The Great Betrayal: Sundering of Existence Military Conflict in Luridity | World Anvil

The Great Betrayal: Sundering of Existence

And It's All Over For You, Electric Blue...Tell Me, What Can I Do?

Destruction of Spark. Evolution of Tracer. Opposition of the Current. Invasion of Galvan, an alternate Earth.
Spark was a single plane of existence, connected to the planet Galvan in the Galvanic System of Luridity Galaxy, until about 25 years prior to Truth Spark. The society of Sparks enjoyed centuries of peace and comfort, secretly making trips to the Earth-like world of Galvan like tourists, happily living in simple villages and cities on their own plane.   Until The Great Betrayal, when a faction of Sparks, one million strong and power hungry, destroyed everything.   The faction gained a following by promising an upgrade to a life of unlimited luxury. It wasn't enough that they could travel to the planet adjacent to their plane, Galvan. It wasn't enough they could create small, necessary things with their powers. It wasn't enough that their simple life ensured, truly, that they had little needs to meet.  

No, they still wanted.
  And to get what they wanted, all of it, they would need more power.   The plan was a grand one: using a massive influx of power, the faction would mold a glimmering city of splendor, and there, they would want for nothing. There, they would be able to summon anything--small, big, enormous, exquisite!--at will from either their own ability to imagine or from Galvan.

In their dream city, they would be limitless.
  The betrayers siphoned off The Current to grow their powers. Glutting themselves, however, resulted in a catastrophic overload. The explosion was so large it shattered the Spark plane. While the betrayers--who would later be known as Tracers--were unharmed due to their swell of power, hundreds of thousands of the remaining Sparks were torn apart as, to their horror and against all their known laws of thermodynamics, their molecules, their energy simply...vanished.   But as the Sparks and their plane diminished and the energy of those lost seemed to disappear completely, a second plane was born. The Tracer plane grew rapidly from what was essentially the shredded remains, and those "lost" molecules and "destroyed" masses of energy ultimately forged that glittering city the faction had desired.

The destruction of much of the Spark plane and the majority of its people has left them shattered but not broken. Still, even as they rebuild, their numbers dwindle, and if they can't rescue their people from the planet's surface, all could be lost.
Conflict Type
Involved Parties
Involved Locations
Spark Plane
Tracer Plane
Galvan (Alternate Earth)

The Evacuation

In the minutes that followed the initial calamity, a massive attempt was made to help many of the Spark women and all of their children escape to the surface of Galvan.   This, too, turned out to be fatal.   The power drain caused to the Current disoriented the pathway's usual capabilities. It was forced to seek ways to replenish its energy, and unfortunately, this was readily available within the Sparks themselves. The Current drew and drew and drew from the adult Sparks until they ceased to exist, and continued on to the children until it had enough energy to send those remaining to safety.   Thousands of surviving children, all girls and a minute percentage of those who had attempted the passage, were delivered to the Galvanic plane--without powers, protection, or guidance from their own.   The Current grieved and to the devastated ranks of those who had stayed behind it made a vow to bring the children back when the plane was safe once more, rather than tossed in its present unheaval by enemies. They believed the childrens' Spark abilities would eventually recharge and that by that point, it would have figured out how to able to call them home.

The loss of life during the Great Betrayal was devastating, but no loss was felt more keenly by the Spark people than that of their evacuated women and children. The survivors were unable summon power any longer; they were taken in by Galvan families and all too soon, Spark was just a dream.
Some believe that in the case of those lost in the Evacuation, rather than ceasing to exist like so many Sparks during the explosion, they were instead absorbed into the Current itself. They believe this is why, as it began to drain the children as well, it failed to restore its energy completely, merely becoming aware soon enough to realize those it was supposed to protect were being harmed.

The Rise of the Council

That even an over-sized village of survivors remained on Spark, rather than being obliterated, was thanks to an heroic effort on the part of a group of women--at much personal cost. The energy use, drawing on enemy and Spark alike, boosted their abilities and allowed them to shove the betrayers out. However, the act left them wavering between energy and physical existence, more powerful than even before the Betrayal...yet one supernova away from self-destruction. Known as The High Aunts, the women are revered for their sacrifice; they were given leadership roles by the grieving, but grateful, surviving Sparks.  

A High Aunt Stands on the edge of The new council dias

The Tracer Plane

The third plane, created out of the chaos, sealed around the enemies The High Aunts shoved out of the Spark plane. The betrayers exist in a glitzy city they can only dream to interact with, for the power amplification they sought so desperately warped them. Most became enraged by this denial of being, others barely sane, evolving into glowing balls of energy as their human appearance mutated. Over time, they were able to shape their forms back into skewed person-shaped beings, but the Tracers remained much like ghosts in their ability to interact with the world and appeared as sizzling creatures of lightning.  

The Golden Peaks of the new plane's Palace, beautiful yet untouchable

Futile Attacks

By 15 years prior to Truth Spark, the Tracers who had yet to succumb to madness in their opulent hell had worked out how to arc their energy and made their first attempt to reconnect with the Spark plane. They believed this would allow them to regain corporeal form.   However, the Sparks had not been sleeping. Castes now occupied the three castle structures and village remaining to them. They had restructured their society around the abilities of those who remained and trained rigorously to bring vengeance down on the Tracers--only, the Tracers reached them first. The men of the Warrior caste, the women of the Domestic caste, and a small subset of Sparks who retained the ability to shield, men called Grounders, were tasked with defending the plane against Tracer attacks. The grounders worked on fusing their abilities together to create a massive shield while the warriors and domestics guarded them and fought once again for their lives.   The Spark front line held and the grounders' shield formed, grew, and pushed the Tracers out, then secured the entire plane against the enemy. Attacks on the grounder-maintained shield grew stronger and more savage by the year. Five years of protecting the realm, and the grounders found themselves pushed to their limits. But suddenly the tide turned. They won a major battle, and the attacks stopped.   All was quiet.  

The Remains of the Spark plane, shielded by Grounders

The 10 Year Quiet

Sparks: The Lull

After daily, constant, non-stop battering and assuming the Tracers had finally given up or burned themselves out, those on the Spark plane relaxed. Not right away, but in small slips and moments of ease that slid into a full, uneasy year of peace, and soon another 9 years followed, each as quiet as the last.   Grounders and domestic Sparks set down their weapons and settled into less rigorous shifts in guarding the plane, finding ways to enjoy the life they now had.   Some of the women even agreed to take a mate, and longed to conceive children, an act that required a surge of energy from everyone who could spare it, given their weakened state.   Warriors trained half-heartedly, some mumbling about missing action, others taking up hobbies too as the need for constant battle-ready alertness waned.

Tracers: The Culling

Initially the Tracers had decided to feint their weakness and get the Sparks to lower their guard, but...things changed. Attacking the Spark plane came to a temporary pause when Tracers figured out how to use their energy to traverse from their plane to the planet of Galvan.   They knew Spark refuges had been sent there, and while they attempted to find them, they spent years embedding allies into various businesses and political structures, infiltrating society. Their intelligence sharpened. Many of those who had been mindless balls of furious energy regained sense of self. After several years they found their first, barely blossoming Spark.   They drained her dry, taking her energy to replenish and sustain their own.   With an influx of fresh energy, they were able to think more critically. They began a series of experiments in regaining corporeality. Dreaming of living in the gilded world-of-plenty that made up their own plane of existence, the Tracers continued to hunt. As more and more Sparks came into being on Galvan, the culling intensified.

Desperate Recoveries

Ten years after the Tracers ended their assault on the Spark plane, the High Aunts were stricken with an unknown illness. This turned out to be a panicked attempt by the Current to communicate. In trances, the High Aunts spoke with it, and discovered their years of laying down their weapons were not years of peace, but of complacency while their enemy prepared. All female, the children were now becoming adults and finally rekindling their powers. But though the thousands of Spark children successfully transported to Galvan were indeed recovering their power, each, in less than a few months, seemed to lose it again.   It took precious time and further communication sessions to understand that the children weren't actually losing their abilities: the Tracers had discovered a means to enter Galvan, and through finding and absorbing the missing children who had been sent there, they were strengthening their army.   Their children, their future, were being slaughtered while they were holed up in the Spark plane, playing house.   With numbers of domestics so low and only a tiny number of children yet born, the Spark survivors on Earth were vital to rebuilding Spark numbers--even as they remained a major target for the Tracers.   Warriors and grounders began training anew in earnest. They mobilized in shifts to undergo missions to the surface of Galvan, taking the Current as direct transportation. Mission directives for rescues came from the High Aunts, who could hear where the lostlings were located by speaking with the Current.   Women have been recovered, but the Sparks are becoming ever more desperate to bond their single warriors to the lost women they have yet to find, in order to grow their numbers...or their people will dwindle to nothing.   By the beginning of Truth Spark, less than one hundred remain unawakened and unaccounted for--and every single one is precious.  

Better hurry, guys!

Cover image: by DaniAdventures


Author's Notes

This one's a doozy! I love how it came out...but I feel terrible about what I've done to these poor Sparks. Not enough to be nicer to my characters though: torture them allllllll :D Thank you so much for reading!   I use Canva to make my images. <3

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Dec 15, 2021 12:25 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

Poor Sparks! D: It's really nice to have this background to the novel. Great article!

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jan 13, 2022 16:32 by R. Dylon Elder

Awesome work here. It kept me engaged the whole way through and I definitely appreciate the inclusion of a Table of contents. I actually had to pull away for work and it was nice to come back and easily find exactly where I left off. Besides the awesome formatting, the writting was stellar as always. I'll second emy when I say the poor sparks really had a rough time here. The inclusion of art was also a great idea. I like the little twist you make when the tracers decide on a more subtle means of handling the war, infiltration and feigning weakness just to strike at the opportune moment.   I also like the way you establish needs vs wants here. It makes perfect sense and establishes what the tracers seek. Finally, you end on a bit of a cliffhanger!? What is this? How does it end!? Well played. This article makes me want to delve further. I must read this novel!

Jan 31, 2022 08:05 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

I apparently forgot to comment when I first read this article! So I'm coming back to say that it's fantastic, and I really love how you've managed to present the setting and the conflict of the novel in one article, this is a really great introduction and really left e wanting to know more! Guess I'll have to read that novel :p

To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.
Feb 1, 2022 05:47

I feel bad for the Sparks. They’re definitely having a hard time.

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