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The Agatheio Trials: Curse of the Cosmic Sea

He’d only been a boy at the time of the storm, yet Agatheio deterred its rage with a small and solemn cluster of words—a prayer. One taught to him by the only father he’d ever known. King Mortepus dubbed the gifted child his heir shortly after his third revolution around their sun, Yur, just after a mountain crumbled within the baby boy’s clutches. The king believed him to be the reborn remnants of a fallen star. Crafted by the gods, a product of the long-rumored creator whose name had been lost to many but haunted the nightmares of the remaining relics; The All Father.

He was found on the golden-coated stairs of the king’s castle. Afterward, Agatheio had been named in jest of the storm that’d divided the land. A storm that exiled most of the once united people from the great and ancient city now lost to time, Hermodata, a city of perfection. The king’s duty, commanded to the title by the first Mortepus, had been a mission of impossible odds: reforming what had been lost. The job of the king with each era that's passed had been a fruitless endeavor as reuniting the land with people who disdained unification had been a daunting task. A fool’s quest. At least that’d been the understanding of the many leaders before Mortepus named heir. He made a promise to himself, his forefathers predating his time, and his son that he’d find a way to make it possible for his people to emerge, even if it meant harboring the most powerful being he’d ever seen in his lifetime.

Agatheio had been an adept child, mastering basic emotions before his seventh season. He’d listened and learned, and he loved to know more about the universe; as much as possible all at once. He’d been an impatient boy, but his instructors adored his poise. There’d been no room for error, and everyone had been on their best behavior no matter the room he’d entered. He’d been a relatively undersized child, his peers—would be, had he been a regular boy, usually spared him no expense and teased and mocked his stature while remaining dastardly terrified of his potential wrath. He’d long outgrown games of that nature, however, and left the children to their taunts and torts. The fault in his temperament, though, had been his narrow and naive understanding of the grander scheme; the infinite aggression toward garnering knowledge about the beyond which inherently, he never stopped pestering his instructors for a definite answer.

He sat, legs crossed, folded over one another in a meditative position. His wild and intrusive hair obstructed his eyes, but not his vision. His instructor, a tall man, no thicker than a leaf named Va’lan sat mirroring him, but in a perfected position.


“In through your nose and out through your mouth, young Mane.” He said.

“I already know how to breathe.”

“Then you should be aware of this activity’s benefits, young storm. Center yourself.”


Agatheio had taken his studies seriously and halted no time for the lax luxuries the era had to offer for children his age. Where they’d storm the fields in teams for their Site games, he’d been found missing the festivities barricaded within the academic halls, pouring through the journals of long-dead philosophers.

Va’lan and his student sat together in a lit forest for hours, the floor of which had been covered with a bed of fallen leaves that left a light crunching noise upon one’s foot barreling through the ivies. They’d been disrupted by the frantic shuffling of a guard, hailing that Agatheio be brought to his chambers immediately. The boy hadn’t known why at the time, nor understood the gravity until he’d been much older; the severity of the situation had called for the impending end of days.

A slew of scientists and noblemen huddled around the king’s council table, advising King Mortepus of an increasingly worrisome wave of energy passing through a neighboring galaxy, and based on the trajectory of its direction, had been on its way to their solar system. The king had inquired about the news regarding the galaxy’s current status, to a haunting revelation: the wave had utterly consumed all of which it passed. Rumors quickly began upon hearing this news, and witnessing the evidence with his own eyes, that the king himself released his sickness over the council table.

Agatheio remained in his room until visited by his father late that night. He could feel the trembling terror buried behind his father’s confident voice as he explained to him the process of life and the vital role of death in all things. The balance of the universe. Agatheio heard the somberness within his father’s tone, recognizing it as a show of endearment and reassurance masking fear and uncertainty. Morpetus smiled at his son, showing him boundless amounts of love before leaving him to the quietness of his chambers. It was in the silence where Agatheio found himself pouring over every obscure piece note, journal, and text he could find lying around his library that night, relentless in his search for an answer to what his father briefly referred to as the Cosmic Sea Curse.


He’d surrounded himself in a sleepy haze with books stacked varied in mounds with freelance papers and folded notes that lounged about and scattered in a beautifully lax sequence, an abundant and consequential mess of intellect. A spine-numbing chill fell over him while he lay sprawled over the codified clutter.


Nothing else except for the curse had run rampant through his mind for far longer than the king allowed. It’d been so late, the Drakken owls echoed deep from within the forest. It’d been far past midnight. So of course, it’d been the idea that the solution to his father’s problems—the solution scratching at his mind, was to come from within the dreamscape.

Agatheio had seeped into the dark corners of what he’d seen behind closed eyes. His mind followed the dancing dots detailing the outline of his tunnel vision while his brain pieced together a new form of puzzled awakening.


He’d been met with a terrible stench before appearing before a grand jury. He’d floated adrift in the cosmic void, pressed against what felt like a glass screen for him as he watched the sea in its full glory. The sea was a storm. A lonely parasite in the bowels of the cosmos that absorbed planets and suns, stars and novas, and seemingly everything else in its apprehensive and boundless range. This had been what the astronomers had shown the king. But Agatheio felt a calming peace; like a hundred years passed before a blink befell his eyes, then the white space. He’d been staring down a solar system, one he’d witnessed be consumed by the sea, but every planet, every star had been there.


The inversion of the vacuum settled an abundance of electrified anxiety in the boy as he adjusted to the deafening silence. The grief for those who’d been lost had dissipated from his spirit and was replaced with a sense of eerie wonder. He’d noticed the wave had been aware of his presence and pressed itself against the glass. He reached through the barrier, his fingers barely managing to skim the sea’s essence, but it’d been enough–the energized particles jolted through his fingertips, and he awoke in the same spot he’d fallen into slumber albeit strangely warm.


The sweat hadn’t bothered him nearly to the same extent as the familiar pit in his stomach. Even with his childlike grasp of his father’s fears, he’d known deep within his heart that they’d been for naught. His first instinct had been to feign as if he’d been asleep in bed for hours by the time a maiden made the first-round check throughout the night before he’d make his discoveries known at his father’s council meeting the following morning.


It’d been early when he’d awoken again, unable to properly fade away into a dream after the exhilarating premonition. He’d approach his father, barging through the closed doors of the council meeting guarded by two watchmen all but confused about how to direct the heir to the throne. He ignored the mumblings, the confused mutters, and the men standing in the way of the king. He, who headed the council table had a sour mixture of pride and disappointment.


The men had all silenced themselves in hesitation of the young Prince’s declaration; it hadn’t been of him to stir such commotion without cause. The joy and relief they’d felt when he had finally made his voice heard brought a light aura to the room, shielding them from their worries for a moment.


It hadn’t dawned on the prince until mere moments after their laugh ceased that they hadn’t taken any word of his recount of the previous night’s affairs as absolute.


“You must believe me,” Agatheio said, “the sea is not what you claim it to be!”


His pleas had eventually begun to trouble the room before it became vexing. He’d been shunned by his father and directed to resume his studies elsewhere while their briefing continued. He had never felt such betrayal in the days leading to this moment, but he left them to their talks with the remaining grace–what had remained of it after he’d split the table meeting into two separate pieces during a fitful tantrum, muting their disrespect from his ears.

There had been nothing left for the people afterward. Nothing but the hope of a child’s dream. The people had all but torn themselves apart when it had appeared before them. From the desert sands.


From the vast oceans. From the roaming plains. The sky had been drenched in the Cosmic Sea. They’d all—all of them, had been outdoors. They stood together in horror as they watched the sea descend upon them. Their belief had trained them to fear this moment with every fiber of their being. Their sky, decorated with the particle wave had dampened the weight of the sun, blackening the clouds. The masses had panicked, mostly out of frustration and uncertainty though, not fear. That had been left for those who stood motionless. Paralyzed and conflicted. Their internal thoughts had been misaligned with their physical actions.


Although they’d been struck with fright, what they’d been able to hear was a hushed whisper growing ever present with each passing syllable. It’d been the voice of their prince. He’d been the only person under a roof. He was on his knees with his hands clasped. His head had been bowed and his eyes closed. His lips moved rapidly in a rough pattern with no breaks in his verbiage. It hadn’t been the sudden rush of his voice that frightened the people, it was the undeniable prayer that King Mortepus spoke on the days of funerals, not blessing death, but praising the commencement of life.


The king himself had watched over the kingdom from the seat of his throne as the Cosmic Sea deafened the world in chaos during its descent. He had been a slew of emotions racked him the further his son recited the prayer. It’d been a flash of a blinding light that brought him to tears as this was the end. They’d suffered before they could’ve been united, before the king could fulfill his duty to his people, to his land, to his forefathers. He’d been thankful that the final words he ever heard would have come from his heir. But then the miracle happened.


The sky had been peppered with the ominous glow of the Sea; the final moment stretching for far longer than they’d anticipated, but then it happened. The sky bled a brighter shade and the sun, given the name Yur, had a joining cousin that inhabited the other side of the horizon. The people hadn't fully understood the epitome of their grace at that moment, but the king had. Agatheio, the boy who’d serve the people from the comfort of his bent knee, had whispered a polite poem to the Cosmic Sea, embracing the glow of its energy, flowing with the charge particle wave that had swept countless stars and planets away before.


The new sun had been much smaller than its cousin, but it had soon been revealed that it’d emitted the absent rays of particle energy the planet needed to expedite the growth of crops which is where it garnered the name Fah, a tribute from the overly thankful philosophers titling it the Son of The Sun. To many, Fah represented the ever-present and balanced power of the one who’d saved them with a hushed invocation.


The people, old and many young, and those who’d never be able to thank him personally would forever praise Agatheio, the boy who saved the planet with nothing but the hope of a child’s dream and a prayer.


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Guest
Jun 25

"The inversion of the vacuum settled an abundance of electrified anxiety in the boy as he adjusted to the deafening silence." I love this line!

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