Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 2 (Serial Story)


Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 2: The Oldest Merlin

“Ooo-ooo-ooo the heroes of Westmeath, The Phantom and the Wraith!” sang Merlin as they slowly walked towards the forest. “I’ve had that stuck in my head, this time, for over a millenia.”

“What is this about and why are you so old?” Oberon asked.

Laughing slightly as if the man had made a great joke, Merlin replied, “Don’t be hasty. I am very old, but we’ll get there in time.”

Titania looked like she was going to say something, but instead rolled her eyes. 

“This is about magic isn’t it?” I asked.

“Astute observation, Robin,” Merlin replied. “Can you feel it?”

I shook my head. “You’re a wizard, so I assumed.”

We walked for a long time until the Fay realms started to thin. They were young and hadn’t solidified; they weren’t a planet like Everworld or Earth. They were just a giant plain of existence.

We came to the end where the Fay realms reverted into pure Aether and Merlin, with the ease of a school teacher, explained, “The Fay realms were built of pure inner power, magic from another universe completely. It’s not compatible with the magic from this universe. It’s too…” He paused and looked around.

When he didn’t say anything, I ventured, “Organized?”

“Yes,” he said and clapped his hands together. “Aether is partially sentient and always trying to convert order into chaos. The nascent universe over there—” he gestured back where we’d come from. “—It has a natural defence against Aether called a barrier. You do not have one.”

That’s when I saw that the ground in front of us was receding slowly. 

Peaseblossom made a high pitched sound and said, “Fay is being eaten?”

Merlin only nodded as the rest of us stared at him, wide-eyed. It was Titania that finally said, “What do we do?”

“Nothing. It’ll slowly eat at Fay until a barrier is put up or it consumes everything,” Merlin said casually.

“Can you do anything?” Mav asked, somehow sounding bored and worried at the same time.

“Me, yes. Me now, no. I wasn’t expecting to be here yet, but since I was the only me here, I figured I’d warn you. Just don’t go into the Aether and you’ll be okay for a while. I’ll be back after I see a girl about a ring.” He fidgeted with a large crystal ring before turning back and slowly walking back towards the Deep realms.

The other others walked away from Merlin to do whatever it was they wanted to do. I stayed back to walk with him. After a long time of walking, I asked him something that had bothered me my whole life, or less than a few hours, I suppose. “Why us? Who made us? Why are we here? What’s the goal?”

Merlin seemed to think it over and finally answered, “Chaos thrives on imbalance. The Fay balance out the Humans just like New Albion will balance Everdome.” When I looked confused, he said, “Fay are important to creating a balanced universe that won’t collapse back into chaos.” 

He went back to walking as if that had explained anything and just when I thought he’d forgotten what I’d asked he added, “You were magical crystals created when powerful creatures died. The Mulciber took those souls and experimented, creating superpowered crystals they could use as a powersource. A group of brave people fought them and took the crystals, redirecting a great gate into this universe and planned on building a better, less dangerous home. They succeeded in creating the universe, but not so much with the safer.”

“So I’m a rebirth of a bunch of magical souls?” I asked.

“Yes,” he replied with a smile. “You were always my favourite Robin.” 

I watched Merlin walk towards the Deep realms forest as another version of him, somehow older, walked out. As they crossed each other, the younger said, “You dawdled.”

The elder replied, “Yes and you would have, will, do the same thing.”

They both burst into chuckles and then walked away from one another. The elder Merlin saw me and smiled like we’d not seen each other in a long time. “Robin, my old friend. If I had to choose who would be there when I die, you would have made the top one-hundred for sure.”

I ignored the bitterness in his voice and asked, “Die? Are you dying? What can I do to help you?” 

He patted my shoulder and said, “You’re so young. I’ve lived a long time. Not as long as you will, but longer than most humans should.”

“Why are you here if you’re dying?”

“I am the Guardian of Reality. The universe has given me everything I have ever wanted and it’s time I pay it back for that.” He said it as if it answered my question, but I felt like I was missing parts. 

“Are all wizards this cryptic?” I asked.

“Only the good ones and those that forget how much information they’re supposed to give.” We reached the fading parts of Fay again and I was alarmed to see how much had been lost. He nodded to me and said, “This is my stop. I’m going to become the barrier for Fay. The only advice I have for you is to take time to truly enjoy life. Sometimes we’re too busy living that we forget how much fun it is and take it too seriously.”

With that, and before I could ask any questions, he stepped back, and with a flash of white light, disappeared. When my vision cleared, the thinning was gone. I walked forward to where it had been and there was nothing but more of the realm. 

Our realm was complete and the universe set into motion. I didn’t appreciate what that meant at the time, but I wasn’t even a day old.

Read Chapter 3


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:


Read more about Merlin in his Holiday Stories

Birth of the Aetherverse – Chapter 1 (Serial Story)

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5 | Chapter 6 | Chapter 7 | Chapter 8 | Chapter 9 | Chapter 10 | Chapter 11 | Chapter 12


Chapter 1: The Voices of Time and Reality

The first thing I remember is the voice of a young man saying, “Where are we?”

A second voice answered him, this time a young woman, “It’s not where but when, big brother.”

“Fine, Morgan. When are we?”

“We are at the beginning of our universe. This is the Aether, but the question is, what are those?”

A gentle, dark brown hand picked me up and the young man asked, “Don’t you know?”

“No. You never told me. Spoilers and all that.”

I tried to speak, but with no mouth or body per-say, I couldn’t. “These look a lot like the  Aetheria crystals. Its magic signature feels familiar.” The man finished what he was saying and I felt myself changing.

If you’ve never gone from crystal to humanoid, it sort of feels like the best stretch you’ve ever had. 

The woman, who I saw was dark with beautiful blue eyes said, “Ah. Robin Goodfellow.”

That is my name. I was named by the Guardian of Time. I am Robin, or Puck. Yes, that one, but my old friend William used little but my name.

“If this is the beginning of our universe, where’s Everworld?” the boy asked. He had the scraggly beginnings of a beard and close-cut brown hair. His skin was as dark as his sister’s.

I pointed at a large stone gate that seemed to float in the nothingness that surrounded us.

There were people walking through, lots of people. They were obviously carrying everything they owned into a vast nothingness. I felt bad for them and I didn’t know why.

“Wow. The original settlers of Everworld.” The man sounded awed. 

There were thousands walking through the gate and I started walking towards them, but the woman stopped me. “No, Robin. Those events are already decided and you aren’t part of them.”

I watched them walk away for what seemed like a very long time before seeing one man closing the gate with magic. He looked sad while he clung to two crystals. He turned to us; he and his crystals disappeared, replaced by a ball of golden light.

“I think we just watched the big bang,” Morgan said, her voice serene. 

“What about all these other crystals?” I asked, proud to have finally found my voice. “Are they like me?”

There were five other crystals, one of which had been shattered into three pieces. Morgana said to her brother, “Pick them up, you’ll know their names.”

In order, he picked them up and named them, “Oberon, Titania, Mav, and Peaseblossom.” As he touched and named them they became real and flesh like me. 

Oberon was of brown skin with a deep red beard, I knew him then as the king of all Fay, even if there were only five of us. His first sound was a deep rumble of laughter, it flowed from him and filled the Fay realms with water.

Titania was dark skinned and the queen of the day. Her eyes and smile became the sun.

Mav was as pale as the moonlight, queen of night and shadows. Her hair blanketed the night. 

Peaseblossom wasn’t tall and statuesque like the other three, they were short and furtive looking like a rabbit caught in the open. From them came all the plants and wildlife. They were the monarch of nature.  

They all looked at me expectantly. What was I compared to the kings and queens? I was all the rest, I was magic, hope, joy, luck, power, cunning, and everything in between. I wasn’t a king or queen, I was the first Fay lord. From me came the Fay themselves, in all their many forms and failures.

To the three pieces of the last crystal, Merlin whispered,” Charites, Horae, and Moirai, the Three Sisters. You belong in Everworld.” Their forms didn’t fill out, instead turning into balls of light that sped towards where Everworld had been.

“What are we?” I asked Merlin.

He looked pensive and answered, “You are souls made of magic from the old realms. You were brought here to kickstart a new universe where magic wasn’t based on the spiritual energy of its people, but was a fundamental element of the universe.”

Morgana cocked her head sideways and asked, “How did you figure it out? It took me millennia of studying the old texts.”

“My thesis supervisor told me. He lived through the Fay and Mulciber wars.” He looked at us and shrugged before adding, “Oops. Spoilers.”

Something about the word, Mulciber, made me shiver in disgust and fear. An image of a long line of metal, snaking around a mountain, popped into my mind. 

“So what do we do now?” asked Oberon. 

“Be Fay,” said Merlin. When we looked confused, he added, “You get to decide what that means and try to be kind.”

Oberon, Titania, and Mav scoffed at Merlin’s comment, but I’m not sure they understood it. Peaseblossom had wandered off part way through the conversation and was talking to a tree.

“Goodbye and good luck.” Merlin turned to Morgana and asked, “Is this where you…”

Giving him a dirty look, she replied, “No, it’s further in. Follow me.” They walked into the forest and they hugged each other. It was the kind of hug where they knew they’d never see each other again. As they hugged, the world melted around her and everything went a little distorted. Both of them disappeared.

That forest and it’s boundaries where Morgana died became the Deep realms of Fay, a place of wild magic and even wilder temporal effects. 

An old man walked out of the forest and looked at us in surprise. He looked like Merlin, but much older. His brown scruff had become a white beard, his brown skin turned a little grey, but his eyes hadn’t changed; they were still filled with mischief and curiosity. 

He smiled and said, “Oh my. I’ve gone a little too far back this time. Glad I stopped or I would have met myself. That would be awkward.”

Read Chapter 2


While you wait for the next chapter, check out the previous serial stories:


Read more about Merlin in his Holiday Stories