Before there was time, there was the Crystal. It gave shape and form to the black void and surrounded itself with the world. Lying at its heart, the Crystal brought life to the barren rock and saw that it was good. The Crystal is all and all is the Crystal. As eons passed and time moved forward the world grew self-sufficient and the Crystal rose from the earth's core unto the promise land. There it's chosen people took residence and worshiped it.
One among them stepped forward and built a grand temple in honor of the blessed shard. She was Riva, the Masonress, the daughter of the Crystal. Birthed by the Crystal's will alone, She communed with it and spread its teachings to the chosen.
The Crystal teaches us that we are all one, and that it is the Crystal that binds us all together. Hate not those who worship other gods, for they have been warped by the Great Calamity and they too are of the Crystal; just as the Chosen will rejoin their maker, so too will the apostates and their false gods.
And then the world will be One.
And then the Crystal will be whole.
—the legend of the Crystal
The Harsh Truth
Long ago, when Valucre was still young, and the light of the gods still fresh upon the face of the land, the great calamity ( a meteor of sorts) came from the stars. Its origins remained anyone's guess as was its initial purpose. Crashing into the landmass that would come to be known as Tellus Mater, the meteor was buried deep within the earth, where it lay in wait for many years.
The meteor was, in fact, a parasitic, sentient life form. Its goal is to sap a world of all its energy and then move on to the next one. However, it is, if anything, exceedingly patient and cannot accomplish a great deal without assistance. On its own, the Crystal is an energy source, one that divines its energy from whatever planet it happens to be on.
Whether it has accomplished its goal before is still unknown.
So, the Crystal crash lands on Valucre and devastates a small area of land that came to be known as Alterion. People existed at this point and those that survived the Crystal's arrival divided themselves into two groups: those who saw the Crystal as a benevolent deity and those who saw it as malevolent demon (aka. The Great Calamity. )
What does the Crystal do?
The Crystal operates in an extremely subtle fashion, warping the minds of those within its immediate vicinity very slowly over long periods of time. It was through this 'warping' that the Crystal convinced a young woman, Riva, that she was its offspring. Riva constructed a temple around the Crystal and founded the Masonic Faith, after upending the ruling civilization at the time. The Cathedral and The Masons served as the basis for which the Alterion social hierarchy was constructed. Riva preached of the Crystal's greatness, and its message of One-ness.
Here is where the Crystal's true nature starts to bleed through. The idea of Oneness, while seemingly a message of unity and peace, is actual the desire for a total hivemind society, with everyone eventually feeding the Crystal. Ideally, the Crystal would gather more and more followers, collecting more and more energy, allowing it to spread its influence further, to collect even more energy until, at last, all of Valucre's energy is directly funneled through the Crystal. It can then sap the planet dry and head off into the Cosmos in search of another planet.
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Fun Fact—The Alterion Mindset
The following is an excerpt from the initial Alterion write up, for any who just want to know.
Okay, so Riva has her followers and the Crystal is now worshiped by most of Alterion. Technological advancements, using the Crystal's power soon become abundant, allowing Alterion to become self-sufficient.
The problem is there are still certain people talking about the Great Calamity and the danger it represents to the world. Seizing this fear the Masons, create a scapegoat. The Great Calamity crashed to earth and spread across all of Valucre birthing these false gods, etc. The Crystal, at this point, has convinced Alterion that it has resided on Valucre since it's inception and that every other god, is in fact a fragment of it's soul, shattered by the Great Calamity.
Thus, most Alterians (devout Masons, at least) believe that in order to truly be One, they must spread the glory of the Crystal and it's power. Which is where our story comes in at, with Alterion preparing to start expeditions for other nations in hopes of spreading the word/converting people.
The Crysstal possesses the ability to influence and outright take control of an individual's mind,however, it can only influence those of weak will. Most Alterian's, especially those exposed to the Crystal and it's energy in a daily basis are more susceptible to its control, purely due to constant interaction and reliance on Crystal energy. Most player characters can defend against a mental assault, few NPC's can.
The Crystal's genetic structure is a two-way conduit: it can both take in the traits of its prey, and insert its own genes/energy to turn other organisms into violent monsters. Once it lands upon a planet it will destroy every form of life it finds, via a war of attrition. The Crystal can absorb its prey's memories and form, hiding as their loved ones to destroy them.
Once Crystal energy has been separated from the main body it will seek to reunite with the Crystal. If inside a host it can influence its mind and body to join reunite with the Crystal — sometimes the influence is severe, the host is killed.
Once The Crystal has completely drained a planet, it uses it as a vessel to travel the cosmos to another planet. The Crysyal's age is unknown but since it can lay dormant for millennia if necessary it might be older than the planet itself.
The Crystal is, in fact, a massive protective barrier with the real entity/power source (actually a Primordial Extradimensionsl being) at the core. Just who, or what lies at the Crystal's core is unknown, but on a metaphysical level it is impossible to differentiate between the source and the shell and its dense composition ensures physical scanning entirely useless. The Crystal's nature, suggests that it is a parasite and that its form, with its incredibly versatile and malleable energy, is itself capable of metamorphosis.