"Before the coming of man, the rulers of that age were the ones known as the Ancients, that had overthrown the old gods, and begot an age of peace and plenty, when they built great cities and many marvelous things on Eternia. Theirs was the power above powers, drawn from the seed of creation, hidden at the shaping of the world. They were the sorcerers and warlocks of old. And by their pride did they lay the foundations of their demise."
-- Legend of He-Ro, fragment I
Books of Aeonia is something that started out as an attempt to write an ancient history for Eternia. Its roots go back to the year 2002, prior to the release of the MYP cartoon. I wanted to write down all the ideas I had been brewing about MOTU, and that involved putting together a coherent history for Eternia, it's places and races as well as individual character histories. In time it evolved into it's own separate canon with details that are clearly, sometimes glaringly, divergent from any other MOTU canon. For this reason I've dubbed the whole alternate universe as Metternia.
During the years, a lot has changed, but the basic outline remained the same. I've written down fragments of history starting from a time before Eternia existed and events relevant to the time and trials of He-Man. At a certain point I decided that just writing down history, laying all the facts bare, wasn't the ideal approach. I decided to write the histories as the works of scribes and scholars working from fragmentary sources of uncertain reliability, leaving it open when they were relying accurate facts, when myth or guesswork. This also allowed me to leave some details vague, so that I could return them if I chose to be more explicit, or decided things needed to be changed. This is what lead to the name "Books of Aeonia", Aeonia being the place all these legends and histories were being preserved and deciphered by a dedicated order of historians.
There's also more than just straight up accounts of events. Some texts handle subjects such as the origin and nature of some races, gods and descriptions of things that don't exist in other canons, such as the Gear Men of Eternos. Many of them are in dire need of rewrites just for the reason of switching from omniscient to unreliable author mode. Some are more problematic, as the assumed author needs to know things unknowable to most or even all of Eternians. There are also bunches of quotes and fragments from ancient manuscripts, like the (one at the beginning of this post) I've created both as notes of things I need to cover and to give an idea of what sort of data the author would be working from. I doubt I'll try to write entire chapters in this style, it would honestly be too tasking to try to imitate the style of ancient writers - and quite painful to read as well!
(My MOTU bios, also concerning the Metternian versions of characters, are a separate project. They will remain in a style where every statement is factual, even if this means revealing things the fictional authors of the Books of Aeonia are unaware of.)
As an example I offer you this account of the First Great War. Please, let me know what you think. This is your big chance of stopping me from posting any more!
The First Great War
It is told by Scribius in On Sorcery that at the end of their golden age the Ancient sorcerers found the very essence of all that is. They discovered patterns beyond time and space, matter and energy, which defined the shape of that which was past, that which was present and that which was yet to come. With this came the realization that if these patterns of being could somehow be influenced, they could gain power beyond that of even the gods. The Ancients became afraid of the consequences such a power could have in the hands of a mortal man, and they banned anyone from ever attempting such folly.
But there were those among the Ancients that would not easily give up the promise of such immense power. One of them was known as Ho-Ra'kul, the lord of the Viper Tower, and greatest of the warlocks of this time. When it was found that he still pursued the power to change the patterns of being, he was thrown out of the Council of Power that then governed all the practicers of arcane arts. It was thought that denied access to the Great Seals, he could no longer channel the magics he needed to achieve his goal.
Though defeated and humiliated, Ho-Ra'kul would not give up his quest. He feigned repentance and begged the Council for forgiveness, but continued his work in secret, and gathered a group of lower-level mages that would aid him under the pretense that he was merely teaching them in the arcane arts. With time the Council of Power began suspected Ho-Ra'kul's intentions and desired to keep an eye of him. A young sorcerer named He-Ka'tor was chosen to approach the warlock pretending to seek apprenticeship, but report back to the Council in secret.
Too late the Council of Power discovered that He-Ka'tor had betrayed them and joined Ho-Ra'kul. One of the warlock's closest disciples*, the magically changed Horned Ones, had seen the error of their ways and wanted to warn the Council that Ho-Ra'kul was about achieve the ultimate power beyond powers. As a proof he showed a book of spells, copied from the warlock's own grimoire. The Council of Power was outraged and demanded that Ho-Ra'kul and his followers end their activities and surrender to investigation. But Ho-Ra'kul had foreseen this development and prepared to war against the Council.
(*This was according to Scribius the warlock Ho-Res'kes, who it is said elsewhere chose to abandon his ways and train in the art of sorcery, taking the name He-Re'tos, and guided Ro Larr on his path to become He-Ro.)
The might of the warlock and his Horned Ones was terrible, and their first attack took the Council of Power by surprise. Entire cities were engulfed in flames and wiped out of existence by destructive magics. But though the Hall of Wisdom was destroyed and the Serpent Seal lost, the guardians of the Great Seals were not yet beaten, and they were joined by the Council of Knowledge who gave access to all the science and technology at their disposal to help the war effort. Together they joined the forces of science and sorcery to end the threat of the warlock and his disciples.
As the war raged, great and terrible forces tore the very fabric of reality. Mountains shifted, great yawning chasms between dimensions opened to swallow everything within the reach of the eye, and others spewed forth strange things and beings never seen before. Even time was bent and distorted, farthest future and most distant past blending together in an unnatural union. But neither the forces of the warlock nor the Councils combined could gain the upper hand. The great chaos strewn by the battles forced both sides to rethink their strategies. It became clear that all would have to end in direct confrontation, or all of Eternia would become undone.
A legend tells that Ho-Ra'kul took the Serpent Seal and forged out of it a great black sword, the Sword of Destruction. None could stand against the devastating power of the demon sword, wielded by the Warlock himself. But the Guardians of the Seals forged another sword to oppose it, the Sword of Protection, that would stand against the warlock's sword. It was made to channel the protective powers of the universe and answer to the destructive might of the demon sword to with an equal strength, so it could not be unraveled. The great blade was taken by He-Me'ros who was now the leader of the surviving sorcerers and according to some sources the guardian of the Skull Seal.
When Ho-Ra'kul came to claim the Viper Tower as his own, He-Me'ros challenged him to a duel. But when the Warlock tried to strike him down, his blade met that of the Sword of Protection. The primal powers channeled by the swords clashed together and engulfed the battleground in a brilliant flash of light and great peal of thunder. A wind strong enough to throw grown men into the air gushed forth from where the two adversaries had stood, but they were no longer there. The very ground below them had vanished, leaving a great bowl in the ground. And in the middle stood a sword, merged together from the two opposing blades, yet greater than the sum of its parts. It was the Sword of Power that many legends would be written about.
The loss of their leader was a great and unexpected blow to the followers of Ho-Ra'kul. Even his most trusted disciples, the feared Horned Ones, became confused and frightened and fell one by one. Yet there were two among his trusted elite that simply disappeared, the witch Sho-Ko'ti and the traitorous sorcerer He-Ka'tor, both thought to have abandoned their master even before he was defeated in battle. So ended the First of the Great Wars, and a period of rebuilding and reparation began.