The Keeper and Levanto in Arclands | World Anvil

The Keeper and Levanto

 

Introduction

  This article is a continuation of the The Story of the Keeper, and begins at the end of the Devourer War. The Keeper's realisation that he was no longer the most powerful entity in the Arcverse was confirmed by the arrival of the being known as Levanto.

The aftermath of the Devourer War

    Following the Devourer’s defeat, The Keeper, though greatly weakened by the struggle with The Devourer, withdrew for a time, testing the loyalty of the remaining Graces. He hoped that those who would challenge his power and question his wisdom would expose themselves, and instructed a select few Shuravai to spread the rumors that he had abandoned Celestium. Little did the Keeper realise that in creating the Shuravai in the first place from that tortured, fearful part of his mind, he had allowed his own paranoia to take corporeal form and whisper dark conspiracies back to him. The Keeper hid in secret recesses of the dimension, known only to him and a few trusted servants, watching and waiting. He saw that his subjects did not despair, that they did not beg for his return, some even seeming quite relieved to be rid of him. The Keeper feared that the Graces had ceased to tremble before him, that they had deserted him for his betrayal of their brethren at the Gates of Damnation, or that the war of the Devourer had exposed the limits of his power. He had lost their adoration, and so he needed them to be in fear or awe of him. Though greatly weakened The Keeper was no less adept in staging a spectacle and he prepared a dazzling form to inaugurated his return. Even though the Athervannir could see through his performance, most of the seven had gone mad and had lost all coherence. The Keeper counted on the fact that the Tralanvannir would be too imperfect to perceive the most sophisticated of his illusions. And so he took the form of Empyrus, a great star emanating an incandescent white light of such magnitude that it appeared to collapse the sky itself into a radiance which banished all distinctions. The full force of The Keeper’s trickery engulfed all rival lights and shadows, so that even the one god started to believe his own illusion. Unable to distinguish herself from the light surrounding her, Y’Tran-a-Khul, the Tralanvannir who would later earn infamy as The Khul, first experienced the crushing nothingness she came to associate with perfection. She withdrew inwards, shrinking instinctively from the embrace of The Keeper, retreating into the dark crevices of imperfection she had managed to hide, even from herself, for so long. The realisation grew that if no imperfection of hers was great enough to darken even a small ray of The Keeper’s light, then by all accounts she did not exist.

Levanto 

  It was when she was all but resigned to her fate that the mysterious entity known as Levanto came to the Celestial Realm. It confronted the light that emanated from The Keeper, appearing as a great shadow, its eyes emanating a compressed golden glow of such potency that it is said they could dim the light of a thousand stars. The Keeper, as the star Empyrus, shrivelled into a cool revolving core, emitting a faint glow. When the Keeper looked into Levanto’s eyes he saw reflected a vision of how Levanto saw him. He did not react to the Keeper with awe, fear or love, but indifference, and the curiosity of the seasoned collector and the expert eye of an appraiser noting every tarnish, chip and flaw. Levanto could see exactly what the Keeper was, but the Keeper had no explanation as to what the strange entity that examined him was or where it had come from and it filled his heart with a cold fear. As The Keeper eschewed the blinding light that had always adorned him, lest the shadow of Levanto grow any greater, he started for the first time to appraise himself in his most basic state, not as a god but a being, subject to the same cracks and weathering, flaws and tarnishes. He saw himself as an object with a history, each triumph and humiliation, every doubt and every certainty leaving its indelible mark. He was not unchanging or eternal, above all passions and dissonances, for the imperfections of the Tralanvannir were the fruit of his own. In desperation, he tried again and again to return to his state of radiance, blinding Levanto with the glorious luminosity of the Empyrus. Each time he did so, the great shadow of Levanto grew, engulfing, then consuming it, like a shadow devouring the light that cast it. The Keeper realised that the greater and more resplendent the form he adorned in Levanto’s presence, the greater the shadow that would be cast to devour it, leaving only the most rudimentary and skeletal core of The Keeper’s being, a form which he had hidden even from himself. The Keeper came to an accord with Levanto. Knowing his strength to be useless and seeing beneath the mask of his own light his own insignificance, he feared impending annihilation, he agreed in a panic that he would not interfere with Levanto’s affairs, neither opposing, nor questioning nor investigating his designs on the five dimensions The Keeper claimed dominion over. The shadow of Levanto that lacerated The Keeper’s illusion was explained to the Graces as a fraction of The Devourer that The Keeper had ordered into the being of Levanto, who would stand apart from the other Graces as a new kind of Athervannir, an appraiser of souls capable of detecting even the tiniest flaw in the beings of even the Graces.

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The unknowable Levanto

  In truth Levanto is a creature of unknown origin and nature, that typically presents in a masculine form. He has an utterly aloof and irreverent demeaour, remaining calm and composed regardless of the provocation. Though The Keeper was careful to treat Levanto with the utmost respect, he secretly despised him, dedicating an entire division of the Shuravai to researching and developing weapons which could potentially harm him. Although it is certain that Levanto is an exceptionally powerful entity, easily surpassing the Athervannir in strength, and possibly even The Keeper and The Devourer, Levanto rarely, if ever, feels the need to demonstrate even a fraction of his strength, usually shrugging off the few assailants brave, or stupid, enough to attack him as minor annoyances.

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