Bite-sized Backstory 51: The Mutiny

The Awoken’s political troubles have finally come to a head. Those Awoken that had been threatening to leave in order help the people of earth actually carry out their threats. Despite the best efforts of Mara and Sjur, the first ship of those who wish to break away manages to depart the reef. Mara even tries to send a shutdown command to the ship in a similar way she had absolute control over…


Bite-sized Backstory 50: The Plight of Earth

All night, following Uldren’s return, Mara isolated herself from her brother. From her advisors. From even Sjur. What Uldren’s scouting mission had discovered was both inspiring and devastating, and it left Mara with a weighty decision to make. By morning, Mara had made up her mind, but now she had to tell her people. And it wasn’t going to be easy. Mara called together the elected…


Bite-sized Backstory 49: The Long Unquiet Night

The transit through the portal back to our normal universe all but trashes the specialized ships Mara and her Awoken had designed for the voyage. The advanced materials making up their ships’ hulls were stretched, and warped, and torn away by the passage through the micro singularity, not to mention the five ships that had suffered missile impacts and still survived the journey. Perhaps even…


Bite-sized Backstory 48: Departure

When we next see Mara Sov, she is far from former Queen Alis Li’s retreat and far above the perfect Awoken world that has been her home for the past several thousand years. Mara, and all that have chosen to take up her call to return to earth, are aboard the massive starships Mara spent millennia working towards. Embedded in her sensorium, all Mara has to do is think and the systems built into…


Bite-sized Backstory 47: The Best Thing I Can Think To Be

“You’re the devil,” Alis Li whispers. “I remember… in one of the old tongues, Mara means death.” “You realize,” Alis Li says, breathing hard, “that this is the worst thing ever done. Worse than stealing a few thousand people from heaven. Worse than that thing we fled, before we were Awoken—” The words above, spoken by Alis Li to Mara Sov, are…


Bite-sized Backstory 46: Per Audacia Ad Astra

In the years after Uldren’s victory over Sjur, the Awoken have returned to working on their ambitious dream of space flight. And this time, instead of living on a distant mountain top or remaining hidden in the woods, Mara Sov is out in the open, at the forefront of it all. And Sjur and Uldren are there with her. In Uldren, Mara had an enforcer who could win battles and put down opposition with…


Bite-sized Backstory 45: The Hunter and the Soldier

With the world watching, Uldren Sov and Sjur Eido take their places for their first potentially deadly contest. Somehow or other, it has been decided that their blade duel will take place near one of Queen Nguya Pin’s nuclear reactors. The actual stage for this fight is to be a netting made of woody lianas vines woven into a sort of rope that is suspended some distance above a pool of heavy water…


Bite-sized Backstory 44: Sjur Eido

In the years following Queen Alis Li’s abdication, the position of Queen still existed, but it became a much more ceremonial role. Where Alis Li had ruled a large majority of the Awoken population, the role of Queen now shrinks to become little more than a guide for the Awoken’s artistic and spiritual needs. In the place of a singular Queen, the Awoken people turn to a large group of scholars…


Bite-sized Backstory 43: Mara’s Third Way

Queen Alis Li and the ever enigmatic Mara Sov stand together a kilometer off the ground on a wooden deck the Awoken have built to reach up to on of the Shipspire’s airlocks. They are both watching a somber funeral ceremony taking place on the lake far below. Bodies of Awoken killed in the ongoing Theodicy War are being sent out into the lake and set ablaze while friends and loved ones sing songs…


Bite-sized Backstory 42: The Theodicy War

After the Awoken have their great council, they set out to truly explore and understand their new world. Some travel the land making maps and discoveries as the go. Others build ships and chart the oceans and coastlines. And others turn their eyes to that sky that it so full of starts it is milk white in some places. Meanwhile, Alis Li works to help the Awoken rediscover things like proper…