Forrest Cameranesi Geek of all Trades

(2x05) Falling of the Darklight: Part 2, Episode 2

In one land, which had been in the east of the old world but would become the west of the new, the goddess Ice gave her gem of power to a young woman remembered to history as the Ice Queen. This gem, which she fashioned into a pendant worn around her neck, gave her power over frost and ice, of course; but also powers over the minds of others, even as it changed her own mind similarly. It made her emotionally cold, in a way that she would perceive as beneficent: dispassionate, calm, tolerant, forgiving, all the positive qualities that the goddess Ice had cultivated in the higher realms of the world before the fall. But it also made her cold in more maleficent ways: callous, uncaring, apathetic to the suffering of others. With the gem's power she was able to affect all of these qualities in others at her will, and to steer them toward her ends in that way, even as the gem steered the ends she had in mind.

As the civilization of her world was in turmoil following the loss of the Eldest, who had been guiding them to build a better society together, and the literal shattering of her world, the Ice Queen began to use the power of the gem of Ice to settle conflicts and slowly influence a new system of governance. Like she had become, it was tolerant and forgiving, prizing freedom and justice; but in a cold, uncaring way, callous to whatever negative consequences might befall people, be it though misfortune or their own error, so long as the letter of the law was satisfied. As the ages wore on and such libertarianism spread in influence throughout her land, the Ice Queen found that the gem had more subtle influences on herself and the many people she worked its magic on as well.

They gradually grew tall and pale, with a faint pink hue to the skin that glittered in the sunlight; but the moonlight began to freeze them alive, the failsafe of the goddess Ice to control those who wielded her power. Their intelligence was bolstered, and they retained their prior strength. Their eyes turned ice blue. Meat became inedible to them, so they had to eat only plants. They also began to age more slowly, until in time they did not age at all; but this stasis came with the cost of suspending all healing as well, leaving them all the more vulnerable to wounds. In consequence, their natural form of immortality was lost, and if they should be slain, as they remained still vulnerable to wounds, they would not regenerate, but would be separated from their decaying bodies as intangible ghosts until they should tire of that existence and, embracing oblivion as all memory was lost, reincarnate into a newborn infant. To stave off that fate, however, they were gifted with powers of magical healing, to imbue life and health into each other with their embrace. But for this healing ability to be useful, they would have to learn compassion for each other, despite the Gem's alterations to their natural temperment.

They had become the first Elves. But not all in their lands fell under the sway of the Gem of Ice. One hold-out remained, Xiuying, now commonly called Sue or, jokingly, "Pseudo", after her eponymous art style, Xiu Dao. She retreated into the woods to escape the heart-cooling effects of the Gem of Ice, having learned her own compassion the hard way and not wanting to lose it again. From the woods, she tried to get the Ents and were-Stags to intervene in Elven society, as they could not be turned by the Gem of Ice. But they only deigned to fight back against the encroachment of Elven agriculture on the woods and grasslands. So Xiu was left to live a solitary life in the wilderness, alone among the people of her lands to not be turned by the Gem of Ice.

Next: Falling of the Darklight: Part 2, Episode 3