We began, as all life does, with simplicity.
Our kind once only existed as primitive life forms in this world. Unthinking, unfeeling, and only driven by the need to consume whatever we could and reproduce.
In that time, aeons ago, a race of beings called Humans ruled the world. They subjugated all around them, bending nature to their will and leaving destruction in their path. Power was their motivation, ever seeking new and more efficient ways to bend the laws in their favor with greater and greater ease. Often at the expense of the very ecosystem that allowed them to survive.
The very destruction they caused favored our species, however. Creating new and more nurturing environments for us to consume the waste and detritus they created. We became ubiquitous in their world. Living in their homes, in their food… even on their skin. We became a part of them, and they, a part of us.
Their end came when they sought a power too great for them to control. Using their most advanced sciences, they created the Cylophene, powerful micro organisms with the ability to alter the genetic makeup of their host.
The humans believed they could achieve the power of their god if they were able to tap into the energy that surrounds the Universe. They, in their foolish arrogance, thought these Cylophenes would accomplish what they wanted. To understand and embody the all powerful deities they worshiped.
It proved to be their destruction.
Humans, never believing that something they created could escape their mastery, unleashed the Cylophenes on themselves in their haste to unlock this power. But they underestimated their creation.
Free from constraint, the Cylophenes grew. They adapted to become self aware colonies, with instincts and goals of their own. Able to replicate themselves, and able to alter their own genetic makeup, they evolved at a frightening pace. Spreading first from Human to Human, then to other organisms with ease.
Their activity was fatal to humans and other lifeforms almost instantly. Spreading through their cities in a matter of days, floating on the air, and living in every imaginable space, The Cylophenes wiped out almost all life on this planet in a matter of weeks.
Almost… all life.
Our kind was a very simple organism in that time. When the Cylophenes encountered our species, it found very little to alter to suit their means. We became their blank slate in which to craft a more durable and powerful form.
And so, we began to change with the help of these organisms.
We grew larger, gaining the ability to move autonomously. Each of us infused with an ever advancing network of Cylophenes within us that powered our evolution.
As we advanced, so did our abilities. Modeled after the humans that created them, The Cylophenes shaped us in their image. We began to change, splitting into different shapes, sizes and abilities.
We became as the Humans once were. We learned as they did how to survive, aided by the resilience afforded us by our infused nanotechnology. Learning from the artifacts and crumbling texts left behind by the Humans, we quickly mastered our ecosystems.
We divided into societies based on our preferences of lifestyle. Some preferred the cool, dark underground spaces beneath the ground. Others, the vibrant green forest called them to build their homes. No matter the location, we all learned to master our surroundings as they were.
But not all was in harmony…
Despite the knowledge of Humans and their downfall, some believed they were destined to follow the same path, with the desire to bend the land to their will in ever increasing power. Others created a theocracy, giving their will over to sacred texts written by the Humans and interpreting them as their destined fate.
Soon, conflicts arose between Tribes. Then skirmishes. Then all out wars. The Age of Tribulation had begun.
Our rapid reproduction fueled the numbers needed to sustain these conflicts over decades. Greater and greater losses were sustained, until some tribes were completely vanquished. In our own arrogance, we had become what the Humans had been, murderous and petty over individual beliefs.
With each new generation, our strength began to fail. Where once new sporelings were created almost overnight with imbued power and knowledge to survive, now weeks were needed to become strong enough to detach from their germination bed. Soon, it would take months for our youngest to be strong enough to leave the bed and join their Tribe.
We became weaker. Frail by comparison. Our species began as seemingly immortal if left alone without conflict. After 4000 years and endless young generations lost to war, we began to fall to natural death within 500 years. Then 200.
The power of the Cylophenes was leaving us.
The Age of Tribulation would have continued to decimate our species if not for the ageless Exemplars of The Scholar.
Concerned little for the daily struggles of the tribes, these ancient beings from our genesis, imbued with the full power of the Cylophenes, had sealed themselves off from the world for thousands of years. Ensconced in their citadel, they dedicated their existence to seeking knowledge and enlightenment through an endless horde of artifacts and writings recovered from the Humans.
In their wisdom, when it was learned the power of the Cylophenes was waning, the Exemplars of The Scholar emerged from their seclusion, and called for an unprecedented meeting with the heads of each tribe.
No tribal leader could resist meeting a true Exemplar. Even the most warlike and primitive was drawn to witness the power and presence of such a being, some with selfish desires for power and favor.
Hundreds were their number who arrived at the Exemplar’s citadel. Gathered in an auditorium crafted by their will out of the living world around them. As each tribal envoy arrived, tensions grew. Few believed that the sagely advice of the elders could solve their problems.
But the Exemplars did not wish to solve their problems. Only show them what they’d become… and what will be if they continue.
Through their power, they performed the first re-mycielation. A reconnection to the greater consciousness of their kind, joining them all in a unified mind. They saw everything that had transpired over the ages. Felt the loss and pain of generations all at once. Saw their impending destruction.
In this way, The Gregarious Accord formed. A pact between all races and tribes to preserve the species.Peace reigned for an age, With the Exemplars watching over, we were able to put our differences behind and work together.
However, as the ages passed, so did the Exemplar’s gaze. One by one, they became dormant, closing their eyes for rest that lasted centuries at a time. Only a few remained wakeful and watchful, not enough to hold back the greed and lust of each new generation.
In an effort to stave off the inevitable, they formed The Academy. Here, all young sporelings of the remaining tribes who honor the The Gregarious Accord are germinated. On this original site of that event, the power of the Exemplars is still strong, allowing a single entity to perform this ritual and teach each generation of the danger we face.
We are growing frail. Our species can not live carelessly without the power of the Cylophenes. It is down to each of us to learn how to survive in the world created by them, but without their influence.
YOU must take up this challenge. You are ready to face the world of Myca outside these walls knowing what’s at stake. You are all one. We are all one.