Long ago, two races ruled over the Earth; Humans, and Monsters.
The Monsters were a diverse species; compared to the uniform builds of the humans, they were creatures of versatile shape and size, the designs of their various forms often inspired by or evolved from those of the other fauna that with them shared the surface of the Earth. They were beings whose bodies were formed of pure magic; and thus, they could channel the very energies of the cosmos through their souls as effortlessly as though they were extensions of their own body.
In contrast, the practice of these arcane arts was not something that came so naturally to the humans; it took entire lifetimes of disciplined study for them to be able to draw even the least significant amount of mana from their surroundings.
And thus, among the humans, reverential tales abounded of the tremendous power that the monsters held; and while they were discreet when it came to the exhibition of the true extent of their fabled skills, the humans yet looked upon the monsters with a begrudging respect.
But this harmony was not to last. The passing ages saw this peaceful co-existence deteriorate into shadowy distortions of its past self. Fuelled by the rabid whispers of the unthinkable deeds that the monsters were alleged of indulging in behind closed doors, of the ulterior motives that they were accused of possessing, and of the unfathomable power that the monsters might any day choose to unleash, that which was once respect transformed into an overwhelming fear that crept upon the humans’ hearts and captured them in a vice-like clutch. As time worked its way upon their withering spirits, this fear metamorphosed into anger, an overwhelming rage that drove the humans to lead a brutal assault against the monsters. And so, the two races declared war upon each other.
The battle was long and weary. Though the monsters were of superior clout, the unyielding spirit of the humans could not be underestimated, and the humans managed to overpower the monsters, emerging victorious, if only by the skin of their teeth. Those with whom the humans had once shared the Surface were deemed unworthy of even partaking in the blessing that was the light of the Sun. They were banished beneath the Earth’s surface, and the humans sealed them underground with a magic spell. And thus, the monsters were imprisoned for all of the conceivable future, by the most fundamental ability of their own nature.
Many years later...
It is the year 201X. So many years have passed since the events of that fateful war that those memories which were once branded with fire onto the humans’ minds have become but one of many pages in the dusty tomes of history, and their once implacable terror of the monsters has become the stuff of dubious legend. Even the knowledge of the arcane arts, once protected and revered by the humans with zealous fervour, have been scattered like dust to the winds of time, as the passing centuries saw these very humans stray further and further from the path of belief.
And yet, the barrier they once erected with their collective might still stands strong.
A mountain named Ebott dominates the skies of a nondescript town; it casts an ominous shadow over the otherwise sleepy settlement. Although the mountain itself looks harmless enough, save its overbearing proximity, nobody knows not what impending evils its summit hide. Nobody has ever plucked up the courage to observe Mt Ebott from any closer than the relative safety of their own homes. For Ebott is enveloped by the murky clouds of the portent of imminent doom. And legends say that those who climb the mountain never return.
And yet, one day, these otherwise forsaken slopes saw, of all people, a child daring to scale its forbidden trails.
We know not what they were looking for, what went on in their heart.
Seeking a spot of respite after hours of relentless effort, the child found refuge in a mysterious cave.
As they ventured inside, their attention was captured by the sight of a gaping pit that split the earth, its jaws poised to swallow whoever was foolish enough to tread any closer.
Led forward by the puppet strings of destiny like a man in a dream, they drew nearer for a closer look, unheedful of where their feet alighted...
A vine caught around their foot, and made them trip.
And they fell, headlong, lost to the clutches of this ghastly gorge, from which no being has ever before escaped.
But what if, against all odds, they are determined enough to try?
...stop hurting us! please...
Asriel! If not now, then never!
Their future rests in our hands!
Asriel...you can’t back out now!
They’re all counting on us!
Right here, right now...
IT’S KILL OR BE KILLED!
it had failed, had it not?
...if he is gone...