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'Founding of the West' Timeline

Birth of Claire Clarice Clarene

Claire Clarice Clarene is born to her faery queen mother, on the border of France and Germany. Claire grows into a tall young woman, and she prepares to take the throne. Her mother decides to marry her off instead. Claire attempts to subvert her mother's goal by going to the ball as a man instead. She meets the princess Irene. Irene immediately identifies Claire, whom falls in love with the Irene almost as immediately.

Claire's mother is outraged that the two girls are in love, and she declares that the two be separated. Claire refuses, earning more of her mother's rage. Irene lends Claire some of her forces to aid in Claire's escape from her mother's land, but she says that she's bound to follow the declaration to stay away from Princess Claire.

Clarice Wanders the Worlds

Using the many faeries and spirits gifted to her by Irene, Claire wanders the worlds of men and faeries. She sheds the name Claire and begins using Clarice, as she has matured into an adult and is in charge of a variety of spirits. She spends a fair amount of time wandering in Germany and France. She falls in love with a variety of humans, and she learns more about her abilities as a faery-god.

Later, she ventures into what would be the United States. Here she encounters a river spirit known as Ophelia.

Founding of the West

Clarice enters into Ophelia's river to rest for a moment. The river spirit confronts the faery and demands to know who she is, and her beauty and power captivates Clarice. Ophelia is unfortunately wounded from spending time in between the worlds of faery and men, her body wrecked in various ways. Clarice says she will heal Ophelia, taking her heart in one way or another and repairing it through magic. (This consumes, most often, consuming and then regurgitating the repaired object.)

Ophelia is still not healed. Clarice takes a branch from a faery tree and a steel rod from the nearby world of men and shoves them into their opposite worlds, unraveling a new space between the two. She declares the world to be founded on love. Because she has created her own world, she takes her place as a King and claims her title as the Clarene, and when she carries Ophelia into the new world the river spirit breathes to life again. She is deified by the Clarene and by the new world itself, being the second person to enter the newly made West.

Irene Enters the West

After the West is created, the princess the Clarene had originally loved enters her world. She attempts to reach the Clarene - who, with a new world on her hands, is rather busy - and eventually makes it to her home. She is amazed by the Clarene's many lovers and children, and when she meets with the god worriedly asks if she has been forgotten. the Clarene assures her otherwise but does question why the princess has returned. Irene says that she is no longer under the order that the Clarene's mother was enforcing - because there is no longer any 'Princess Claire' but 'King Clarene'.

She warns the Clarene that her estranged faery mother has pursued Irene across the worlds, and that the Clarene should expect a visit. the Clarene assures Irene that the princess has nothing to fear and that she will protect Irene from her mother. Irene reminds the Clarene that it was her own forces of faeries and spirits that helped the Clarene head out into the world, saying that she is sure she can survive the anger of the faery queen just fine on her own - though she will stay with the Clarene because she has missed her so much.

Clarene's Mother Returns

As Irene warned, the Clarene's mother knocks upon the West and demands to see her daughter. the Clarene grudgingly goes out to see her. Her mother accuses her of all crimes she can think of - breaking her curse that the Clarene should never take her last name unless she became a ruler, the curse that the Clarene could never become a queen, on and on. She accuses the Clarene of 'muddying' her family line by including the many mortals and other faeries she has loved and had children with.

the Clarene calmly counters each of her mother's accusations, and by the end she has introduced her adopted daughter Arabella to her mother, pointing out that while the Clarene does not hold the title of queen, she has passed it down to her children and even turned one of her children into a god. the Clarene's mother accepts that the Clarene has not broken any of the curses she had put on her, but she does not make up with her daughter and instead leaves, angry and upset at what she sees as a crime against her royal line.

'Sundering of the West' Timeline

Two Stars Fall

Above the world of men and faeries, in a more celestial realm, a star named Pallis is born just before the West is founded. She looks down upon the world and sees as the West is created, and she is awed. Utterly captivated by the worlds below her celestial realm, she gazes upon them endlessly. This draws the attention of the other stars, who worry over her behavior. Stars that fall inevitably turn to dust. They attempt to trap Pallis in a castle in the sky, insisting that she remain in the skyward realms, but she escapes and throws herself down to Earth.

She ends up crashing into another star, Mircea, and hurtles them both into the West. They awaken as star spirits, with Mircea as the 'bright star' (having fallen first) and Pallis as the 'dark star' (being caught in Mircea's shadow).

Stars Under Clarene

Pallis and Mircea are introduced, through other spirits, to the Clarene. She asks the two boys to work in her fields and orchards for a time, so she can better learn about them. They are both hard workers, and the Clarene appreciates how hard they tend the fields. She also notes that Pallis has a tendency to draw a crowd, and she slowly begins teaching the star how to handle such attention. She also notes the growing jealousy Mircea bears toward Pallis himself and also those who notice Pallis.

She eventually advises the two stars to visit the Ophelia to learn from that god, thanking them for their service.

Stars Under Ophelia

Mircea and Pallis travel to the Ophelia's River. The god invites them into her home but is largely bemused by their presence. When Pallis explains that the Clarene directed them to study under the Ophelia, she explains that she has nothing worth teaching them and that her lover likely only directed the stars to her out of respect. She offers to grant any wish the stars want to make, but Pallis shoots the offer down. She also offers to let them spend time in the human world, since the West is so close and they will interact with many humans anyway. Pallis originally intends to accept before realizing that Mircea is incredibly put off by the idea, causing Pallis to refuse in order to stay with his brother.

the Ophelia advises them to go into the City and begin living their own lives, but as they leave she pulls Mircea aside. She tells him that he needs to speak with the Clarene about 'his problem', rather than letting it fester, and that if he fails to reach out for help he will end up far worse than stardust.

Pallis in the City; Mircea with Clarene

Mircea suggests that Pallis go into the City ahead of him, taking the Ophelia's advice to meet with the King of the West again. Pallis decides to make the most of it and quickly hits up all the attractions he can, being drawn to the bars and clubs littered throughout the City. His ability to attract people works in his favor, helping him meet a variety of spirits and become acquainted with the people of the West. He quickly becomes popular, having to escape to the quieter areas of the City for personal time.

Meanwhile, Mircea tells the Clarene about his 'problem' - he can feel the celestial energy inside him fading away, and he knows that he will soon being to crumble away. He explains that his brother Pallis is not having this problem; in fact, Pallis seems to be glowing more and more each day. the Clarene says that the West has 'rejected' Mircea, causing him to die like many other stars have, and goes on to say that she could see about returning him to the stars if he wishes. Mircea heatedly refuses, wanting to remain near Pallis, and demands that the Clarene find a solution to his problem. She refuses outright.

Mircea returns to Pallis in the City, and he adjust to the fast-paced life Pallis has begun living. Though not as popular as his brother, he does find friends and tries to enjoy his life as best he can, realizing he has very limited time left.

Arabella Falls Into the West

In the human world, a young girl named Arabella is exploring the mountains when she falls from a cliff. She wakes not in the world of men but in Western Faery, the land created by the Clarene. She explores, desperately trying to get home and not realizing she has been transported into another world. It is only when she meets one of the faeries of the West that she realizes something is remiss, and she is quickly defensive, having been raised on stories about the danger of faeries. She refuses to move from the tree she has found shelter under. This only draws the attention of more faeries, and before long large groups are traveling out to the orchard she had fallen in to see her.

the Clarene travels out to see the 'strange human' sitting in one of her fields. She takes an instant liking to the girl and offers her hand the mortal, asking her to work in her fields. She assures Arabella of her safety, and the girl takes the god's hand. She, like the stars, tends to the Clarene's fields. Unlike the stars, the Clarene spends much time simply talking with Arabella and eventually pulls her from the fields to live in one of her homes. She offers the house to Arabella, but the girl asks to go out and explore the West instead.

In the City, she draws as much of a crowd as Pallis, mostly on behalf of her being a human trapped in the West. She encounters Pallis and Mircea during her trip. Mircea is struck with the knowledge that Arabella is suffering from the same illness as he, and that she will eventually waste away as he will. Pallis is completely unaware of either's situation, but he grows fond of Arabella and offers to take her traveling across the West with him and his brother.

Arabella with the Stars

Arabella explores the West with her companions, learning about its many cities and fields. She is awed by the technology in the West, far outpacing the human machines she had seen. Soon, the West and its inhabitants feel more like home to her than the human world did. She also becomes close to Mircea, who enjoys spending time with someone he views as being left to the same 'fate' as he is.

The three - Pallis, Arabella, and Mircea - begin a relationship together, and for a short time it seems that the trio will be happy.

Arabella Wastes Away

The West rejects Arabella as an outsider that does not belong, however. She begins to waste away, losing weight rapidly and the color draining away from her skin and hair. Horrified and despairing, she isolates herself inside the home she shares with the stars. Mircea begins to experience the first true symptoms of wasting as well, with the celestial energy keeping him alive flickering dangerously. Pallis is distraught at seeing Arabella turning to ash, and he becomes aware that she will eventually disappear entirely, even from memory.

He begs for Arabella to visit the Clarene and make a plea to the god, but Arabella refuses. She insists that she is a human that simply doesn't belong. Before she passes away into dust, however, the Clarene visits her - and offers to work magic to try to save Arabella's life. Arabella and Pallis are thrilled, but Mircea is outraged that a human is being offered something he was denied. After the Clarene has sent Arabella to her home to perform the magic, Mircea confronts the Clarene, again demanding that she save the star. the Clarene refuses again, this time pointing out that she has no reason to want to save Mircea apart from his demands. She states that she doesn't even know if the magic will work or if she can perform it more than once, and she would prefer to use it on someone she cares for. Mircea's resentment and anger only builds at this.

Pallis, meanwhile, mopes. Mircea, anger increasing that he is being left to die, demands that he and Pallis go to the River to try to enter the human world and see if they can return Arabella to her home. Rather than do as they have planned, though, Mircea attempts to drown Pallis in the River - his anger at dying and his old resentment over the popularity of his brother and suspicion that Arabella cares more for Pallis than him welling up into a homicidal rage. Mircea feels assured that he has killed Pallis and goes off to find where Arabella will have the magic done on her, unaware that his brother has been caught by the Ophelia and spared from death.

the Ophelia, worrying that leaving Pallis in the West will lead to his quick death, shoves him into the human world, hurrying to warn the Clarene against saving Arabella.

Arabella Becomes the Firebird

Unfortunately, Arabella has already been buried in one of the Clarene's orchards in preparation for her being 'reborn' as an inhabitant of the West. the Ophelia urges her lover to stop the magic and pull Arabella from the ground, letting the girl die as intended. She warns the Clarene that she has begun something horrible, and that she must take actions to keep the girl from becoming part of the West. the Clarene refuses, baffled by her lover's insistence, and the two begin bickering back and forth.

The two gods bicker long enough that the magic takes full affect, and much stronger than the Clarene intended. Mircea has arrived at the orchard as well and witnesses as Arabella is not simply reborn as a spirit but catches flame, turning from human into a fire spirit - and as the energies of the land intermingle with her own, being turned into a god. The two gods of the West go out, respectively awed and horrified as they see the girl begin turned into a giant bird of fire. Before she can truly take flight, Mircea clamps onto her claw and drags her back down to the ground. Arabella becomes partially split from her divine form, and she begs Mircea to release her before she splits apart entirely. Instead, he uses a weapon fashioned from his own anguish and shatters Arabella into thousands of pieces.

The divine flames from her body left vulnerable, Mircea devours them to give himself elongated life. The West, having been connected to Arabella through the Clarene's magic, is ripped away from the rest of the many worlds and otherworlds. Mircea declares to the horror-struck Clarene and Ophelia that he is the supreme god now and they will take orders from him.

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