In ages past, the world of Anora was home to five Cradles. Each of the five deities ruled their own Cradle.
Aderyn the Maker is deity of hands, craft and Light Force.
Nitima the Bonder is deity of heart, passion, and Fire Force.
Ostia the Consumer is deity of mouth, hunger, and Life Force.
Ryphae the Thinker is deity of brain, intellect, and Stone Force.
Acie the Seer is deity of eyes, perception, and Fluid Force.
The Five Deities shaped their respective Cradles, in unique ways. They fashioned their followers’ societies in ways that satisfied their own selfish pleasures. They cared little for the quality of the lives that their human followers led, only that they remained great in number; for a God’s power is drawn from the number of its followers. The one exception to this divine selfishness was Aderyn. Aderyn took pleasure in watching the humans build, and They took pride in the creations and art of the humans. They discovered that the individual will of the humans was stronger than that imparted by external pressure, and decided to nurture it, not challenge it. With the Force of Light, Aderyn lit the soulfires, divinely-imbued lanterns in Their temples which housed the energy of Aderians' souls, giving humans free will, intuition, and inspiration to create. Aderians became renowned as master crafters. With the soulfires’ light gleaming like beacons, many foreigners began to flock to Aderyn’s Cradle and turn away from the other four gods. The Maker's influence gaining, Aderyn’s followers began to carry the Hand of the Maker, a radiant totem that signified their deity’s will guiding their path.
Aderyn’s siblings seethed with jealousy as their followers deserted them. Daily, the Maker's followers swelled in number, augmenting Their power as greatly as it drained the power of the other four. Hastily, the Jealous Four decided to join forces and overthrow Aderyn.
Thus began the Soulfire Crisis, an event which eternally altered the face of Anora.
A global battle ensued between the followers of Aderyn and those of the other four deities. As the blood of the faithful Aderians soaked the soil of their Cradle, the Jealous Four sensed Aderyn's power wane. Their divine smiting decimated the Aderian population. Their plan was working. Soon, Aderyn would be weak enough to defeat!
Those of Aderyn’s loyal people who did not perish outright suffered an even crueler fate: they were twisted and corrupted, painfully separated from their own humanity. Only their altered bodies remained as the rest of their humanity was consumed.
Showing no mercy, the Jealous Four divided Aderyn’s Cradle, one piece for each, warping and twisting it into an aberration of its former beauty. Wielding their Forces, Fluid, Life, Fire and Stone, they distorted the natural cycles, altering the creatures into monsters, and destroying countless wonders of craftsmanship built by Aderians over the ages to honor the Maker. Finally, they extinguished the hated soulfires, severing Aderyn’s last link with Their beloved people. To ensure that Aderyn could never return to the world, the Jealous Four locked Them away in a great cathedral, located at the heart of his land. Together, the Four joined Forces to banish Aderyn’s Cradle to another plane of existence. All that now remains to mark the passage of Aderyn’s lost land, and the genocide of the Jealous Four, is a great gaping crater in the face of Anora, an example of what happens should anything threaten the balance of power among the gods.
Anomalies are physically altered versions of natural animals and plants. They spawn when individuals are exposed to mana. Mostly, they are isolated cases. Their exposure to mana in the environment, whether sustained or instantaneous, alters their developmental patterns, causing them to develop into altered forms which can better coexist with and exploit the mutating Force. Post-Soulfire Crisis, their numbers dramatically increased in the ruined Cradle, correlating with the sudden jump in mana spawn. They are the corrupted creatures of Aderyn’s land, and most become enemies for the player to fight as they journey.
Born of Light energy, Aderyn embodies both the momentary inspirations that drive creativity from perception, as well as the long-simmering intuitions that come to creative fruition over time. They represent both intuition and free will. Aderyn possesses and alights their followers’ intuition.
To enable this, they have built a society that unconditionally protects free will and craft above all else. Aderyn is the deity of Creation, who creates soulfires for which humans create material containers. To inspire creativity in Aderian followers, Aderyn lit the soulfires, lights in his temples, giving men freedom and will to innovate.
A mere sliver of his essence is what had the power to teleport you all the way from your home in the real, physical realm of Ostia’s Cradle to the ethereal, cursed lands of Aderyn’s Cradle. Aderyn did this because you are the Oracle, the savior he has promised his faithful surviving followers. The Oracle is the one who will restore Aderyn's land to the world and allow Their followers and culture to one day grace Anora again.
There are various types and forms of Kami in Aderyn’s Cradle. In essence, they are the physical manifestations of any one of the Five Forces. They are created from the collective consciousness of either a single species or an entire biome. The species (or biome) must come into contact with mana in order to spawn a kami. The kami will be a kami of whichever Force spawned the mana, giving it not only unique abilities arising from the Force, but also a nearly indestructible physical form, both stronger and wiser than any individual of its species (or biome). Once created, they do not die or disintegrate on their own, and can exist for thousands of years.
Aderyn's people believed the kami to be eternal, and their attitudes towards the beings ranged from reverent to superstitious to disbelieving. Druidic legends tell of kami possessing the powers of the Gods, and speculate that the human Gods, Acie, Nitima, Ostia, Ryphae and Aderyn, were born from the same forces which create kami.
In certain areas of perpetual violent or dynamic geology/ecology, there is constantly mana bleeding in the area; this is how elementals, sometimes called "land kami" are born, some occupying Anora perpetually. A certain number of kami will always exist in areas of localized imbalance, whether from environmental phenomena, mana bleeding, or an imbalance in a population of living creatures. Some kami in-game will be enemies, while others might aid the player or remain neutral.
Here are just a few examples of imbalanced conditions in the land where mana can be found:
A large forest fire ravaged a partition of the Bayou causing much death and destruction of living organisms. Because of the sudden imbalance, Life Mana begins to seep from the land.The corruption of Nitima spawned a fissure of lava to form in the Icelands. Because of now-extreme heat of the area, Fire mana continuously bleeds from the opening, around the steady lava flow.
A devastating mudslide caused deforestation in a segment of the Quarry. The massive release of energy exerted in the disaster, Stone Mana accumulates in the central area of impact.