The Loop (Games)
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The series this book is part of is critiqued in The Fall of the Astral Shapers Critique (Book).
The Fall of the Astral Shapers by Teruvax Tristem - Part 1
Nowadays the beings commonly known as the Astral Shapers have largely been forgotten. Back in the days, however, they were one of the most important races of the God Wars. Favoured by Uman and Zathroth alike, they were blessed with a unique kind of vision that enabled them to see magical structures and flows. Their speech was a mixture of verbal communication and magical emanations. Their true name was a mixture of barely pronounceable syllables and magical symbols. For this reason, the other races of that time referred to them as Astral Shapers or just Shapers.
Their keen understanding of magical structures was oddly paired with a very structured and logical way of thinking. Therefore, the Shapers were never really fond of spontaneous magic based on spells. From the beginning, they preferred to imbue objects with magical effects. While this might have been only a preference in the earlier days of their civilisation, it later became an integral part of their culture, going so far that spell magic was frowned upon as something primitive, dangerous and offensive.
In their earliest days the Astral Shapers were relatively insignificant. Some of them were enslaved or hired as advisors for all kind of magical matters. The creation of enormous, magical towers in their cities was their first major accomplishment. Those towers somehow connected the minds of all Shapers in a city and enabled them to access some sort of hive mind in which they stored and shared their knowledge.
With these shared insights the Shapers' technology made vast progress in a short amount of time. The advances that they made in terms of technology led to a rapid growth in their power and status. This allowed them to construct more towers which were increasingly technologically advanced. Eventually all of the Shaper cities were connected via a network of Shaper towers. Having access to the shared knowledge of a whole nation, the progress to advance the science of bound magic gained momentum and seemed unstoppable. Focusing on knowledge, the wars that ravaged the world became a tedious annoyance for the Shapers. Eventually they assumed a neutral position. When the other races realised that the Shapers were willing to provide their knowledge to everybody who was willing to pay the right price, they grudgingly accepted the Shapers' new status. This allowed the Astral Shapers to explore the depths of magic freely without having to deal with the bickering of the other races of their time.
For a while the Shapers prospered. However, their special status and the constant flattering of the other races that wanted their favours turned the Shapers vain and greedy. Seeing themselves as higher beings, they increasingly relied on slaves for the more mundane tasks. Often the Shapers were paid in slaves for their services. These unfortunate slaves served under their uncaring masters until they died.
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