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Theia (A Midsummer Day's Memory)

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It is a warm summer wind, hinted with the first signs of coming autumn that greets you this morning. Only a few clouds linger in the blue sky, and a few insects buzz with anticipation of the coming day. The parchment that rustles in your hands is crisp, as if old, but still the colors of the poster shine through with gaudy eye-catching images and letters.   “Mc.Gibbs Marvelous Menagerie - the greatest show this side of the world." It proclaims, advertising a traveling circus. It features a young ginger-haired man with a small purple dragon on his shoulder, a twinkle in his eye and soft smile upon his face as he tips his hat. Below him and on either side are several unusual things such as "a friendly beholder, beardless dwarf, and gelatinous cube." It promises "prizes for games of skill, strength and intelligence, and lively entertainment." The main event appears to be a contest where they use "real magic" to create challenges for the enterprising and entertaining "adventurer."   You cannot remember the last time you saw a paper poster, let alone a traveling circus, and most of these advertised things are outlandish. Yet something about it calls to you this day, a special midsummer day, the last time you might see your home again.   Your destination is no ordinary circus, but the cerulean jewel world of Theia, a world alike and yet unlike the one you know. Here, creatures of myth and legend walk among humankind, magic is real and technology is a new and fantastical thing. A century ago, a new resource called Aeon Crystals brought technological and magical inspiration to the rich and poor alike all across Theia. For a time, class and tradition meant nothing as dreams could be accomplished by anyone.   Magic, so long held by the wealthy, the powerful or those with long hereditary lines, could now touch ordinary people even as science and innovation created a new form of magic which made the impossible possible. Storytellers and prophets whispered warnings, retelling tales of an ancient mythological conflict known as the Dragon War, but the wide populace had no purpose for legends in the face of prosperity.   But this renaissance came spun to sputtering halt by the upstart nation of Irkalla. Fueled by zealotry, an Aeon Crystal empowered military, and supposedly immortal champion, Irkalla began widespread conquest of the lands around it.   It is into this season of change that you are brought, a dreamer, a doer. Your past on that summer day lies behind you and your future is uncertain. Whether by fate or ill fortune, you find yourself a long way from your home. Fear not though, child. Soon you may discover that hidden potential and set along a path that may deliver all of Theia from an era of strife ready to explode at any moment.

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