The Dangers and Secrets of the Drift

The following entries come from a compendium on the dangers and secrets of the drift, written by the doyenne Aigina Sapientia in the year 308 of the emperor-elect.

Those who believe that fortune can be found beyond the aether seas err.
Those who think that there are far away islands full of countless treasures are fools.
Those who presume to conquer the waves make a tragic mistake.

Under the surface of the aether sea, in the unfathomable depths, hidden from our eyes, countless archaea lie dormant. They are waiting to bring darkness over every living creature and to devour everything. The archaea are ancient creatures of the aether sea, as old as time itself and irreversibly connected to the aether. They are lurking patiently and nobody can imagine what other creatures are still hiding in the ocean’s depths.

The chronicles are telling stories about the numerous dangers in a world beyond the aether sea and of islands which nobody is able to locate anymore. According to lore, this was also the fate of Synn. Had the blademasters not banished and expelled the soldiers of the Red Army, there would be no Aetherra. But what has happened to the Alvantari and their new home? They did not take up the battle, but fled.

The blademasters whose eyes are able to see through even the deepest darkness and find enemies that are hiding in the darkest shadows like wisps of fog… will they be able to recognize the menace rising from below the sea?

Surely not! This duty will forever be ours, the sea guardians, to fulfill.
-(Entry from the Compendium: On the Red Army of Synn)

In the beginning, Aureth himself formed creatures from the archaea which he had caught from the waves of the aether sea. When he saw his creation being mutated into brute, aggressive beasts by the Drift, he tried to restrain the hostile monsters. He failed and so he had to wipe them from the face of the earth. Alas, he failed again and thus, several of those creatures are still hiding in the darkness. The Plains of Gaihaen bear witness of this incident.
-(Entry from the compendium: About the Plains of Gaihaen)

But of all those horrors, the aether sea itself is the most gruesome. The sea with its immense energy and all its demons is the force that could destroy all of Aetherra: It is the Drift!

The Drift influences everything that happens. It changes everything that was and everything that will be. It is the beginning and the end. When it formed these lands, it demanded many victims. Monta Samarya, the city that was full of people, sat solitary after the ground shook, splitting it in two. The stones of the temple lay strewn upon the streets, burned by the fires of the destruction. Only the eastern part has remained and the city, which was once said to be the most beautiful of all, remains only as a place for the sick. It is an allegory for the rupture that tore apart not only the lands. The healers exert themselves to cure all wounds, be they of carnal or spiritual nature, but the hearts of people have been marred and their eyes have turned somber.

We humans, too, will someday be changed by the Drift. And what is more: We will not become what we want, but what we deserve to be. Under the influence of the Drift, you will turn into something you had not believed in or could not imagine before.

Rest assured, the Drift is omnipresent and you cannot resist the change brought by it, as the Crystal Mages of Sedhannia are doing. And if only a hint of a crack tears through the resistance, then Aureth help us.

But there is an effective way of stopping or halting the Drift; it can be found in the Chasm of Dimona. Deep in the depths of the abyss, where alone the descent evokes a sense of doom, you will find what you seek. The Drift has two sides: Fortune and Fate. It gives us the opportunity to change, but also a destiny that we cannot escape.

The answer to the tantalizing question you now have is simple: Live with it, or fight back!

You, who are reading these lines, do you want to find luck beyond the aether sea? Do you want to retrieve the treasures of distant islands? Do you want to conquer the waves, come hell or drift?
Plan your adventure well! Carelessness is a dangerous companion.

For the old driftdrivers, who survived, have a saying: “The Drift is a bitch…”