|Date of Birth||~10,000 BC|
|Date of Death||N/A|
|Real or Mythical||Real|
|Claim to Fame||Goddess of the Nelfin|
Estel, also known as the Archexist, is seen as a goddess, a divine being on Aloria meant to protect and guard her followers. She is the creator of legends and mother to all things in nature. But her history is far from divine, and her creation even less so. The love she has for all Alorians may only be the shackles that keep her here. She is an influential figure, a tool from a forgotten age, a goddess, a mother, and an embittered soul seeking freedom in world in which she is forced to stand vigil.
Origins and Early Life
Thousands and thousands of years ago, the Seraph mastery of magic in their world was at an all-time high, and their lust for knowledge and power drove them to be the masters of another. They had long since been aware of the realm Alorians know now as the, Exist. In a ritual only vaguely referred to as, “The Summoning,” the Seraph began to sacrifice thousands of their own kind in order to pull the essence into their world, kicking and screaming. The Seraph masters poured it into a large statue, created in their own image, and gave it life. Whether they were unaware or just indifferent, Estel's very existence was one of imprisonment. It was the greatest accomplishment of the Seraph, but it would also be their undoing.
Out of any being that has ever existed in Aloria, Estel has perhaps had the greatest impact. Her very existence produced a counter-reaction that spawned the Archdemon itself, and she was a tool used by the Seraph to dominate their magic. But despite her life of greatness, it was also one of tragedy. Imprisoned in a giant stone statue, she longed to return to her own world, but could never take direct measure to do so herself. This overwhelming desire was forever contained with the Seraph magics, and she was forced, compelled to go against her own wishes and sustain herself in Aloria. This in turn was the reason for the creation of the first of the Elven Pantheon, the Virtues.
The Virtues were of her essence, and each took their personality from one of eight traits to mimic the personality the Seraph had given her. It may be seen as cruel to do unto others as the Seraph had done to her, but it was out of necessity that she cursed these Virtues with the same life of imprisonment that she herself hated. These first members of the Elven Pantheon acted as her agents in Aloria, though the Seraph saw it as another of their accomplishments, and referred to these beings as nothing more than powerful conduits. Their creation, however, spurred another counter reaction in the Void, and the first foundations for the Void Invasions were being laid.
As the first Voidling crossed over into Aloria, Estel quickly became aware of the growing threat. Against her own wishes, and she began to prepare for war to ensure that the Alorians survived. The Archdemon had come, and sought to end all existence to try and end its own in turn. Even if she wished nothing more for it to succeed, her hand was forced into a proxy war that would last thousands of years. Even with the Seraph, her Virtues, and all their combined strength, though, she was losing, and she was loving it. The end was near, and her imprisonment was soon at an end. However, she, nor the Archdemon, had counted on the sudden betrayal of the Vices. Life would continue, and a weary Estel was one of the last remnants of the Seraph at the end of the war.
Civilizations rose and fell, and yet Estel endured. Her Virtues acted in her stead to ensure continued life in Aloria, even against her deepest desires. This compulsion had earned her a place at the head of a quickly growing cult of Nelfin, who saw her preservation of life as proof of her devotion to Alorians. The cult spread and spread among their kind until she was turned into a goddess and creator of all life. The biggest edge the new religion had was that their goddess, unlike many other pantheons, had physical form and could directly influence their world.
By the next Void Invasion, Estel’s hopes had once more risen. Her compulsion forced her to warn of the impending war, which in turn lead to the creation of the Yanar. It seemed all in vain, as the Nelfin were nowhere near as strong as the Seraph, and even with the Vices and Virtues working against her deep desires, the beginnings of the war didn’t look good. However, the Vices once more had their own plan for the war, and rather than fight another thousand year war, they instead attacked Estel directly. Her compulsion forced her to defend herself, though her destruction seemed imminent. Much to her own disappointment, however, she didn’t return to her own realm, but rather her essence was spread across the broken pieces of her statue. As a consequence, the magical connection that the Seraph had once established came to an end, and nearly all mages in Aloria lost their power in what is known as the Cataclysm. ie It didn’t last forever, though. The world had almost been torn in half, but it healed, and the Virtues began their work to restore their fallen mother. As the pieces came together, magic slowly began to return to the world. For Estel, this destruction was a relief, a reprieve from the imprisonment. But it wouldn’t last forever.
In 303 AC, the pieces of Estel had come together, and the goddess was awoken once more. The Seraph compulsion that had long stayed her hand was no longer keeping her in check. Her vengeance was at hand, and her destructive path culminated in what Regalians know as “The Battle of the Curag Fields.” This ended with her disappearance, and a seeming victory for the Alorians. It left many questions in its, wake, however, especially among the Nelfin, who had once worshipped her as a protector of life.
To many, especially the Nelfin, Estel was the goddess of nature, creator and protector of life, and guardian to Aloria. This is a lie. Unbeknownst to all, the Seraph compulsion has forced her to do all of this against her secret desire to free herself from the statue the Seraph imprisoned her in thousands of years ago. Seclusion from her home for so long has turned the sentient essence bitter and jaded against the very beings she has long guarded against destruction.
While Estel has long since been seen as a benevolent figure, her very recent reappearance and destructive path has left many questioning her guidance and teachings. Many Nelfin remain loyal to their fallen goddess, however, but the sentiment among the other races is hostile, especially among those who lost family and friends in her final battle. Her reception is mixed, and a topic for debate among the scholars in the Faith of Estel on how to proceed in their worship and devotion.
- Because the statue she’s imprisoned in resembles a Seraph woman, many ancient depictions of the Seraph are falsely attributed to Estel worship.
- The creation of the Yanar may not be the first time Estel has created an entirely new race, but any traces of previous, “artificial,” races have yet to be found.