Caelestials are a race defined by one thing: having ascended to live among the stars. As such any member of any race has the potential to become a Caelestial and are only discriminated by their capabilities. Not much is known about ascended Caelestials since they rarely leave behind any information and tend to not reveal themselves or their intentions.
Aspiring Caelestials and the Caelestial Doctrine
Individuals who walk the path towards ascension are considered aspiring Caelestials. These individuals follow their own ambitions and sometimes the teachings of ascended Caelestials. They follow what is called the Caelestial Doctrine, an almost pseudo-religion. The doctrine incorporates the teachings of accomplished Caelestials, the holding of Caelestials in high regard, and the pursuit of ascension. Caelestials are idolized as role models and are not intended to be seen as deities. In the doctrine the pursuit of ascension should be seen as a priority above anything else.
Aspiring Caelestials believe that among the stars the Caelestials have birthed a thriving civilization, rich with knowledge and culture, an undeniable utopia.
The ascension process is seen as a process of rigorous understanding of everything in an individual’s surrounding. Only upon reaching penultimate understanding of the worlds capabilities can an individual reach its outer limits and achieve ascension. The means to achieve this are inconsequential, however those who attempt to rush the process or fail are seen as a cautionary tale and shunned. Because of this there is distaste from aspiring Caelestials, towards anyone who attempts to rush results or doesn’t understand the intricacies of the tools they use.
Dreamer is regarded as being the first Caelestial. His life's story is further outlined in the retelling of The First Caelestial.
Rynnth is an aspiring Caelestial by tradition. His father passed down stories of Caelestials while recruiting Rynnth to help with his ascension. Rynnth is a Caelestial following a similar path to his father to reaching ascension.
Rynnth's father, who's name is still unknown, is a fully ascended Caelestial, utilizing the field of engineering. Utilizing machinery, he was able to pass the threshold to the stars, sacrificing Rynnth's brother in the process. His story is further outlined in The Last Caelestial.
Llull Ancane was an aspiring Caelestial pushing genetic engineering to its limits in hopes it will help with ascension. This led to the birth of Llull Ancane (Vessel) who then killed him and took his name. Not much is known about Llull Ancane other than what was shown to Llull Ancane (Vessel) in his dreams (see Llull Ancane's Dreams). It is believed that more information could be hidden in the now collapsed laboratory of Llull Ancane.
Redwood Imp Man
Allegedly the Redwood Imp Man was seen flying towards the stars. Information on this event is limited.
History on Alathra
Correlation to Alfredians
The First Caelestial
A story passed to Rynnth through his father
Hundreds, maybe even thousands of years ago, there were the First. The first who decided to push humanity to its boundaries and attempt the impossible. Their tale was ridiculed by the old churches, their stories choked until they were only told in whispers and their scriptures burnt until no trace of them remained. This group would come to be known as the First Celestials.
The dream of being a Caelestial began with none other than the man we name Dreamer. Nothing more than a boy looking to the stars in hopes of something more. At a time where kings and commonfolk alike pursued nothing more than the pleasures of comfort and scholars could only help perpetuate this lifestyle, dreaming of achieving more was outlandish, almost considered treasonous. So, Dreamer sat in the grass, side by side with his companion since childhood, and decided he’d reach the stars.
Dreamer was nothing more than a scribe, unable to attain his wishes. However, the tales of writer and the power of the quill were nothing to take lightly. He had spent most of his earlier years touring the continent gathering stories, information, and contacts in many of the settlements. Dreamer was bound to continue this lifestyle, unable to move forward with his dream. He travelled between settlements, sharing tales, writing for coin, and learning what he could. His companion travelled with him, but we do not speak of him here.
One evening Dreamer arrived in a settlement and as usual made himself known at the tavern, offering his skills, and sharing stories for drinks. The tavern was pitched on the cliffside at the edge of town, giving view to everything. Most people looked out at all the farms and settlements, signs of civilization budding. But Dreamer didn’t look out at the lands, he looked up, the boundless expanse, filled with beauty and possibility. And he began to speak, releasing the tension within him, speaking about his dream to go further and travel the stars.
People began to question him. They sat around him, bellies full, sickness fading, sex and romance aplenty. What more can a person ask for? They turned away from Dreamer, he was no longer welcome. As Dreamer left the tavern, a man hurried after him and asked him to sit. They sat together at the cliffside looking at the boundless expanse. The man did not question Dreamer for his pursuit of the stars. At the edge of the cliff looking out at the corners of their world, the man instead looked at Dreamer and asked about the oceans. Ships common in settlements could travel through rivers, between settlements, but the oceans were a different beast all together. The man looked out at the waters, believing that there was more for them out there. Other lands, other cultures, other resources, and other knowledges. The man, Crafter, was not dissimilar to Dreamer. They wanted to push the bounds and with that began the true start of Dreamer’s quest.
It took the turn of many seasons for their first sea-faring boat to be completed. Crafter had designed the ship itself, while Dreamer looked up at the stars and used them to guide him. The three of them made their first voyage heading south. The high seas were never to be taken lightly, but the first ship crossed it. After days of travel, a mass began to form in the distance, a mesa. They dock their ship and ventured outwards, hoping that this new land held promise.
They toured the mesa for days, supplies running low, until suddenly a pack of horses began to surround them. Strange men mounted these horses, their shouting completely indecipherable. But some things need no translation and the group followed to horse riders back to their camp. Brought before the chieftain, there wasn’t much to say, but Dreamer understood that they were not welcome. However, the strategist at the chieftain’s right side was a different matter.
Celest, younger than Dreamer by many years, was puzzled by the strange men who had journeyed into his lands. After weeks of painstaking trial and error they could communicate with each other on a basic level. Dreamer shared his hopes to journey the stars and Celest was overjoyed at the prospect of conquering another frontier. A strong bond was formed between them as Celest left his home to join the path of ascension.
Upon travelling back to their home, Dreamer and Crafter shared their new means of travel and new connections with the settlements and their mayors. The coastal towns quickly became prime locations of ship building and trade centers, giving access to the tribes of the southern continent. Dreamer relationships with the various leaders of settlements had continued to grow, to the resentment of the widespread churches.
It didn’t take long before the group became labelled heretics by the church, defiling the will of God. Their next steps became more and more difficult, until a new opportunity arose. One of the expeditions had just returned from the east, speaking of spiritual forest peoples. Quickly, the group ventured away from the continent they were listed as heretics, only to be met by violent storms on the high seas.
With broken bones and punctured skin Dreamer arrived with his followers on the shores of strange new continent. They were met by strange individuals, distinguished by their pointed ears and their strange way of life in the forest. A woman, the healer of the village they were brought to, tended to their wounds. Somehow, she was able to understand the language they spoke, and Dreamer managed to recruit the final of the First, Lifebringer.
They returned to their homeland, hoping the church no longer wished them dead. The First began preparations to make their way to the stars. Celest and Dreamer worked together to map the stars and gather any information they could. Lifebringer and Crafter worked on creating the stairway of light that would take them past the heavens. The last grew restless and tried to reach the stars himself, leaving him crippled and shunned by the group. The First were scholars by nature, not people who believed in miracles.
The machinery was set, the four First sat at the edge of the cliff where Crafter and Dreamer first met. They didn’t look up but looked out at the lands they were leaving behind. The world had grown bigger through their travels, but still couldn’t compare to what would await them in the stars. Running from the church was no longer a concern as the First stood on their machinery. A pillar of light shot to the heavens, visible across all the continents, and the First were gone. The first to become Caelestials and achieve the dream of living among the stars.
The Fallen Caelestial
Taken as extracts from a diary found in modern-day Ashina
Today a heretic was found in my bar. It was early afternoon when he walked in, asking for a drink. I served him not yet recounting who he was. I remember now though that he was here a year before, in a group of five. He used magics to put on a show for the children outside. The group told stories all night, stories about the stars, sciences, and happiness. They stayed a week, everyone in the town liked them, until the local priest came by one day. He brought the inquisitionists to chase the heretics away, saying they were tarnishing the name of our God.
The man walked in today, muttering something under his breath too quiet to hear. He sat at the bar and I asked him if I could help him. After getting his ale the muttering stopped while he drank. Seven drinks later he began to talk again, this time loudly. "They left me, they left me because I tried to do what they were too scared to do," his voice trailed off and then he quietly continued. "It should've worked I don't know why it didn’t. It would work if I tried again, magic makes mistakes sometimes."
Plat, plat, plat. I heard a dripping sound from the other side of the bar, looking down to assume the man had spilled some of his ale. Instead, I see a stump where his right hand should've been, bleeding on to the floor. Out of panic I throw a cloth at him, hoping he understands what I'm indicating. Instead he just looks at me blankly until I gesture at the hand, too stunned to speak. "Where is the rest of it," I barely manage to make out while he wraps his hand in the cloth.
"They chopped it off, to stop me from using magic. I don't know what happened to it its probably still out in the forest somewhere. Apparently, I disgraced their vision for what a Caelestial should be. Everything that they're doing is fictitious anyways... go live among the stars, what a useless dream. And to believe that I stuck with them, and almost got there, and now they toss me aside."
I went to the other side of the bar, gesturing to the man to leave. He was way past drunk, muttering nonsense, bleeding on my floor, and unbeknownst to me, was meant to already have been executed by the priest. As he was leaving, he shouted back to the bar, "don't trust your friends, they get stupid ideas and then cast you aside." He finally left, and the bar went back to being peaceful. I've already reported him to the inquisitors, he will likely be executed by the morrow.
The Last Caelestial
A story told by the perspective of Rynnth about his father
Every night we went and looked up at the stars. Our father pulled us from our sleep early in the morning, long before the sun could blind the sky, studying the changing stars. They were beautiful and before long we were already awake before our father came to get us. As we grew older, we began to chart the stars, watching them move each night, and saw the patterns they created. A beautiful aspect of nature, littering the sky with light for us.
My brother and I were about 10 years old when our father began telling us about them: the Caelestials. He told us how the Caelestials were once one of us, uninteresting individuals cluttering the surface of this planet, the same way the stars cluttered the night. These uninteresting individuals were unique, with one redeeming quality. Their unwavering stride to more than uninteresting individuals. Why walk across planets when you could walk across the stars. It started with the first Caelestials, or at least the first that we know of, but that’s another story entirely.
These Caelestials took it upon themselves to push human advancement in all fields, medical, industrial combat, and so on. This advancement was all leading to one final goal ascension and living among the stars. The goal was absolute and the ends justified the means. Through this advancement, we saw civilization quietly be pushed by technological revolutionaries. In the end, those revolutionaries either failed miserably and died horrible deaths or could claim to be a Caelestial.
Our father was walking this same path. Once he told us of the Caelestials, we assisted in his work. The day, hunting for lost scriptures, and the night committing any past knowledge to memory. Once we had an adequate level of knowledge, we began experimenting. Alchemy, machinery, and eventually even on individuals. The lesser minded traders were dissection subjects, exploited for our father’s gain. I did feel remorse for them, but my brother and I were pushed to keep moving forward.
We saw how our father changed, the experiments giving and strength and control the likes of which I had never seen. It was his journey not ours, so we didn’t share in the benefit. The man began to have a true understanding of everything around him. The water pushed us letting us sneak around Alathra, gathering what we needed. The trades were almost extensions of him, gathering any resources he needed, similar to a hive mind. Day by day, my father gained more control of himself and everything else around him. He was nearing the end of his journey, we could feel the power emanating from him. The rest of the world was irrelevant, we only looked up to the stars.
One evening, that changed. One evening my brother met someone, someone who knew nothing of the Caelestials. He didn’t care, he soon fell in love. I was told it’s a beautiful feeling, haven’t had the pleasure. My brother grew blind sighted, and wanted to share all the knowledge with the world and put them all on the easy road. This wasn’t the way of things. Those who haven’t struggle don’t know the responsibility that comes with the road of a Caelestial.
We pushed forward regardless, the girl joining us on our journeys. My father didn’t take kindly to her, and she remained away from our work. But on day we began work, using the means we had to build a large contraption. An entity of machinery, a tool which should allow my father to travel the stars. The day before it was complete, my father looked towards me and told me to follow my path, and he would see me among the stars. My brother was already off the path.
There was one piece missing, an energy source. My father thought that far ahead already and had what he needed. I watched as my father stepped into the morning light with my brother and his lover. Their lifeless bodies hung from my fathers’ shoulders. I did not weep; I had moved past that. My father pulled the life out of their blood and soul and used it to turn on his contraption. There is nothing I can remember about it other than it was beautiful, and I watched it fly into the sky in a flash of instantaneous light. I never saw my father again. I never saw my brother again. I did not weep; I had moved past that.
Or so I thought. A single teardrop began to move along the side of my right cheek. I didn’t know if the tears were for my death brother, my ascended father, or my now lonely existence. And once that one tear fell, the rest soon followed. Those were the last tears I shed this day. My father was the last Caelestial until this day. I will be the next.