Twenty years ago, when the world was at war, a jeweled citadel appeared. It appeared with no explanation, seemingly out of thin air, and it appeared with inhabitants: people who could kill with a gesture, or call down a hurricane, or raise volcanos. The armies surrounding the citadel made probing strikes on it and were beaten back with contemptuous ease. Nations blamed one another for the citadel's appearance, and the eyes of the world were upon it. It wasn't until then that the first messengers left the citadel.
Its name was Chrysalis, they said, and the material it was built with was called Prism. Prism was a rare stone that had always existed, but that the nations of the world had mistaken for mere crystal, never realizing its true power. With Prism, the messengers said, anyone could taken into Chrysalis and be transformed into what its inhabitants already were: something like a human, but magnified, possessing great powers. Something they called an Eidolon.
There were only two conditions for entry into Chrysalis: the applicant who wishes to become an eidolon must offer a prism of adequate size and purity, and the applicant must not be the representative of a country that has gone to war since the offer was made (the armies that initially investigated the citadel were not considered to have broken this condition). This second condition has come to be known as the Citadel's Peace.
All eidolons are different, but as a general rule, a team of eidolons is superior to anything conventional military technology can realistically field against it. While not invincible, most eidolons possess a combination of mobility, low profile, and destructive power that is unmatched: they can pick their targets, strike without warning, and ...
... middle of paper ...
...ng of value escaped their notice: museums, churches, banks, even the homes of the wealthy. Tigranes had made many enemies during the war, and no one interceded on its behalf. After years of this humiliation, the Tigrani people rose up against their government, outraged by its inability to stop the raids, and the royal family fled the palace in the night to escape death.
That was the last stable government Tigranes had. What followed were a string of civil wars, or perhaps one long civil war with lulls in the fighting. Making it worse was the presence of Tigranes' mines, still home to large deposits of prism and a valuable target. Every interim government that controlled the mines had a deal with some outside power to sell them prism in exchange for their support... and was in turn deposed by an organization that had the backing of a rival power.