Stare into the shiftless black abyss of the midnight sky. What do you see? The stars and moon, distant galaxies, perhaps strange, manufactured satellites which twinkle pale red flashes to the mother world. The future thrives in this nothingness- an idle promise that more dwells in the universe than humanity’s imagination can fathom. It is a comfort that our chaotic world is insignificant and that greater realms of reality are stable beyond our grasp to destroy.
Consider a fiction without such comforts or metaphysical roots. Look now- the stars themselves stare inward, being manifestations of deities who perceive the material world in the same dream-spattered way we perceive the endless void. For them, lush forests and mortal cities rather than alternate dimensions and ethereal realms are the frontiers of fortune. This sorrowful plaything of divine contest is Esha, the sole planet of physical existence and setting for innumerable dramas and sorrows. Its singular importance without potency invites cataclysms which a mortal population must defy and define in competition with divinity itself.
At the heart of the Eshanic narrative are the Eshan, the gods. They are the schemers and foremost actors in the great feuds of history. At the same time, the Eshan do not represent the traditional persona of omnipotent and omnipresent divinity with faultless foresight across unseen eons. They are nothing. Mistakes, and little more, created without purpose by an entity known as Ácolitus at the beginning of sentient time. Their entire existence is the pursuit of personal ambitions and their own definitions of meaning. Each becomes an individual unto themselves rather than a simple manifestation of some domain- war, light, nature, order, water, or anything of the kind. Dynasties of Eshan reign together in harmony or discord. Other Eshan reign exclusively among mortals without love nor thought to siblings, while others still disavowed Esha altogether and remain nameless in the Void.
Eshanic activity wrote the definitions of the world which mortal generations discovered. The world was long ago divided between the two great "generations" of Eshan, Alor'eshan (elder and few) and Ebal'eshan (young and many) after a cataclysmic contest known as the First Feud over the question of mortal creation. Kovûnkal, or the Eshanic Mandate, was the agreement which ended the bloodshed. It introduced restrictions on Eshanic interactions with Esha, yet failed to temper their ambitions. Instead, the Eshan became a self-serving breed of divine lawyers, forever seeking loopholes and ambiguities to exploit against one another. History is poxxed with their ill-fated interventions.
Mortal beings certainly possess some role within this Eshanic wilderness. Indeed, their historical agency is made more significant by the absence of destiny and divine omnipotence. One does not need to be some fated hero plucked from ancient prophesy to achieve greatness. One requires nothing more than ambition and the competence to pursue said ambition, much like the Eshan themselves. Mortals are therefore respected actors of Esha, unlike other fiction wherein common perception highlights weakness. Civilizations are forged and ethnic cultures preserved through generations, and these phenomena are recorded in detail. Mortality receives its just share of attention. Yet, one cannot escape the relationship between mortals and Eshan, as guidance and powers might be wrought from above by chosen faithful. At the same time, mortal spirits return to empower chosen Eshan, allowing them to chase self-serving dreams. This is religion, pragmatically speaking. It is not a mere mechanism of theoretical social control, but the bridge between two realms of beings quite alike in ignorance, passion, and often self-destructive drive. One cannot thrive without the cooperation of the other, which is unlike traditional narratives of divine distance or divine intervention as a rare gift to a mundane world. Every actor knows their role, and the endless chaos comes from the full extension of their powers.
The value of Esha and its associated works is the depth and inter-connectivity of its history, along with the questions it seeks to approach and answer. What is the future of a creation without purpose? How would a world operate wherein deities take consistent, necessary interest in mortal affairs rather than remaining aloof? What fate might befall a world with a fallible creator? How are terrible events like genocides, plagues, celestial disasters perceived in a setting without ‘webs of fate’ to dictate some concluding order? Moreover, how are all these questions considered when divinity is known and familiar to mortals rather than some mysterious outer entity with unknown means and motives? These are the literary sinews which weave together civilizations, characters, and narratives which might otherwise appear quite distant or unrelated. Page-by-page, confusion becomes clarity. Eshanic machinations devised across millennia are unraveled, then swiftly destroyed through the intervention of jealous siblings. All the while, mortality matures. Civilizations interact, characters live and die. History is written at every level of sentience, begging to illuminate a greater picture. It is a period piece for a period which never was, with all authenticity due unto it.
Now, a disclaimer. This literary collection is the definitive account of the fictional world of Esha, including its constituent halves of Qadal and Voryndal. The information that has been documented thus far is the result of role-playing campaigns and sessions played by three game masters and no fewer than 12 players over the course of numerous years in game-time and reality. Everything has been pre-written in a long-form text known as the Zolrassal, which is broken into subordinate books. The greatest challenge is transcribing immense quantities of information from one medium to another while maintaining integrity. All due apologies in advance for such lapses which occur in the imperfect process. Certain sections are incomplete, others blank, while others are actually complete. Other sections are limited by the capabilities of World Anvil, such as the timelines which are jumbled together. Whatever the case, there is more than enough content to secure interest for some time. The world will continue to naturally grow in scope and depth as its history expands through further games and writing. Remain, depart, or idle through the pages according to your own interest. Leave comments or critiques if inclined. Just know that everything written was penned with blood and love.