Nine in Water, Many Beyond

In the tongue of the Karicarya, their world means 'Adoring Sunrise'. In the Saenoch's speech, it is 'Open Palm'. The name of this world is unknown as of this writing, but most other subjects...well, that's a different story.

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26. Paper Figures - Saenoch Baeldun

He is the one who puts it all into place. Who records every mistake the mortals make in his paper white realm, staining the parchment like how they stain the Nine. Mortals have an unfortunate habit of viewing themselves as individuals instead of as a collective, and only he must put it right.

Saenoch Baeldun is the strict creator, the master of the spheres of control and order. He is the refined and the restricted, and unlike the other Saenochs, Baeldun refrains himself from too much flamboyance in his appearance. Unlike the coloured, detailed, shapeshifting others, Baeldun always appears as a knightly figure encased in armour made of white ice, often carrying the Axe of Equality. The endless scrolls of paper that fold into his section of the barrier fit into crevices in the ice, and he is often flanked by his Libra servants when they aren't spreading their master's will and putting the mortal world back in order.

To Saenoch Baeldun, the Nine Lands need his order urgently, for the mortals upon him have been corrupted by the illusions spread by the other Saenochs and their interferences. The worst pollutant however has to be the illusion of free will. It was free will that caused mortals to be different, go against the natural order that Baeldun had written down. Many years of detailed planning had been made worthless, as the little mortals just had to be individuals. Baeldun soon realised that the more the mortals learned and discovered, the worse they got. They learned from races and cultures not their own and exchanged features; they read fantastical and scientastical works and got ideas, copying what they had read and interpreting them into the real world. Baeldun saw this as horrifying, a desecration of all he saw as good. Had mortals not had access to this knowledge, they would never have been bewitched by the illusion of free will, under the snare of such a vile source. From that unnamed day forward, Baeldun declared himself the sworn enemy of Zaeglar, and with an army of Libra, descended to the Nine to reassume control and replace the chaos with order.

Upon the Nine, Saenoch Zaeglar had many halls of worship, known as 'Wisdoms', doubling as colleges, libraries, and other mines of information. These were Baeldun's targets, for these to him were hives of corruption and lies, spreading illusions of creativity and individuality to the hapless mortals of the Nine. Zaeglar and his Libra descended upon the Wisdom of Deseret, Pellen, in a volley of ice and blood, his servants cutting through the patrons with axe and shield and soaking all accursed texts in ink so no more could they be read. Several of his Libra servants stayed behind, guarding the ruins as he returned beyond the barrier to blank out the records of the lives he had ended.

The attack in Deseret was not the first, nor the last. Baeldun swept through Pellen heading northwest, blitzing through Shamni, Kazidzo, and Remand before he was stopped upon Aquentor, frozen in his tracks by a hero who swam through Zaeglar's waters. They went toe-to-toe with Baeldun, pitting borrowed Pisces against Baeldun's Libra as a distraction. The hero was victorious, but Baeldun was not truly defeated. Banished to his paper section beyond the barrier, Baeldun waited and plotted, until within the twisting mazes of blank pages he got an idea. If he couldn't remove the free will, creativity, and sense of individuality before it influenced a mortal, he could remove it from their minds, replacing it with order and gaining some control.

It is said that those forgotten ideas, which vanish from minds just as quickly as they form, and the moments of self doubt that come from nowhere and force plans of individuality out of minds. Worry at standing out too much, blind confomity, and the fear of any show of individuality not being quite enough are all his whispers, snaking into the minds of those vulnerable to his influence. Those who were born to be individual, and those already struggling to be.

Whilst Baeldun continues to be a threat to individuals, picking off sources of creativity and free will, there is another who simply couldn't give a damn. All mortals to him are deserved of wiping out, for they were created wrong, and became too much of an embarrassment...

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