Every world has its own set of myths, urban legends, conspiracy theories and mysteries. Aarn is no different, and for your reading pleasure, I present to you a group of 50 popular conspiracy theories believed across the world of Aarn. Some are true, some are not, some are only half-true, and I leave it up to you, gentile readers, to decide for yourselves which are which.
#1. In mountainous regions, villagers and goat herders have reported seeing lights on opposing peaks. These lights flash randomly at one another in no discernible pattern. Exploring the sites of the lights reveals nothing other then strange scrape marks in the rock.
#2. Rural agricultural regions are famous for reports of airships of unknown design which fly higher and faster then conventional airships. These reports claim that certain unreliable members of the population are routinely kidnapped by these airships, without any trustworthy corroborating witnesses. Some reports of these ships have been coming in since before the invention of the conventional airship a century ago.
#3. There have been reports of caves found by adventurers filled with fabulous treasures and riches beyond imagination. Adventurers who return to these caves with the tools required to claim the treasures can no longer find the entrances to the cave. Only a few trinkets or handfuls of gold have ever been recovered, but they are of the highest quality.
#4. Occasionally a person who has been dead for decades returns to their homes as if nothing had happened. Local investigations discover no magical essence around these people, exhumations of the bodies reveal the corpses absent, and the people themselves usually know no one with the required resources to resurrect someone. Every time professional investigators from universities and academies visit to examine the situation, the people in question vanish. Left behind are personal affects, the supposedly dead person's new dwelling, and hundreds of eye witnesses.
#5. Dreamlings still exist. Or rather, they never existed. Take your pick.
#6. On very rare occasions and never confirmed by magic, there appears to be two suns in the sky.
#7. Medusa aren't dieing out, they're disguising themselves as humans and living amongst them for reasons unknown.
#8. Psychics and mind-walkers who study the moon and its affect on people tend to go insane for no discernible reason. Recurring themes in their babbling are mentions of "The false ones," "The sea of white," and "The Butterflies"
#9. There have been pottery and carvings excavated from ancient ruins that show pictures of ardlins. These ancient artifacts not only date to far before Ardlins were supposedly created, but some even date to before human beings were created. These carvings are often dismissed as stylized representations of goblins.
#10. Demons never left Aarn after the Era of Lies. They have instead been manipulating the governments and institutions of Aarn for reasons that are their own.
#11. Camarian floaters are actually godtouched, and use their magical abilities to hide this fact from the other races.
#12. King Jonas Cerenbaun, King William Cerenbaun, King Jacob Cerenbaun II, King Jacob Cerenbaun I, King Marcus Cerenbaun and the King Julius Cerenbaun are all the same man, an immortal that fakes his death every generation.
#13. An unknown ship of advanced build, imbued with advanced magics was found crashed ashore after a terrible storm. Corpses of the mixed race crew were dressed in unknown clothes in unknown styles with no sign of what port they left from nor what cities they were visiting. However, a map was found amongst the navigator's supplies that appears to be a -complete- map of the world. This map features labeled cities on both sides of the world, including the local continent. Mysteriously, there are labels of many cities that don't exist anymore, and some that either never existed or don't exist yet. This map is widely believed to be a grand hoax.
#14. The Jhettan Storms don't exist. Those who believe this theory claim that the storms are a massive hoax perpetrated by the wizards of the world. Their goal is to either hide the other side of the world, control the masses, disguise the fact that Aarn is actually infinite, disguise the fact that Aarn is not really a sphere, or keep the people from learning that Aarn split in half hundreds of thousands of years ago, with the moon being the other half of the planet.
#15. Occasionally there are reports of strange parties of adventurers who dress in odd clothing and also use strange magics, methods and machines, although one of them is always carrying a silver spear. Any attempts to scry on these adventurers fail, and after some time no trace of them can be found. These reports usually correspond with influential or great historical events.
#16. There were once over 30 magical elements, including such preposterous abilities as a "time" element or "void" element. Those who believe this claim that there is a massive, worldwide conspiracy to hide the missing 16 elements from the masses who might abuse their power.
#17. The first astronomers in recent history who closely examined Aarn's moon described the moon's rings as a series of beautifully complex, massive cogs and gears with tiny slits that could have been windows. All contemporary and more advanced magical and technological examinations has revealed nothing but shattered rings of rock
#18. Ancient records have been found that state goblins were once a godtouched race. These records include documented "proof," and further state the goblins disappointed their unnamed god so much that they had their status revoked and were delegated back to existing as smart animals.
#19. Dragons are extinct. The creatures we now think of as dragons are fey, trying to keep up the illusion.
#20. A strange channeler wandered into a village one day, apparently injured. By all reports, his wounds were not static and had a tendency to shift around his body, moving and changing moment to moment. The local healer managed to nurse the channeler back to health. During his recovery, the channeler told many things to his healer. He claimed to be able to channel time itself, and that there were others like him, however upon birth they were all swept away by an unknown entity known only as “Grandfather.”
The channeler claimed that “Grandfather” existed even before the gods and fey came to Aarn. The channeler continued to claim that this entity required the use of all channelers with time abilities in order to maintain Aarn's natural time flow in the presence of the gods, as they were an anathema to continuity. Shortly after his recovery, the channeler vanished without a trace, and all attempts at scrying were met with innumerable failures, from broken scrying stones to those attempting the scry always being distracted by some other coincidental occurrence.
It is said that every year for the rest of the healer's life, on the anniversary of the channeler's disappearance, she would find a magical trinket or precious stone. It is further reported that year after year after her death, flowers continue to mysteriously appear on her grave.
#21. Humanity went extinct during the early wars, what poses as humans now are simply spirits who are not aware they're dead. Claims are made by the most long-lived races that they personally watched the final group of human beings wiped out.
#22. Wizardry does not exist. Any examples of wizardry magic are formed and created by Jennin himself, and using wizardry makes your soul his.
#23. A relatively unknown channeler claimed to have discovered a way to become truly immortal. He disappeared shortly after making this claim, and his acquaintances have been making claims that they witnessed strange people in black armor wandering around the districts of his city shortly before his disappearance.
#24. Jennin is not actually a fey. He is instead a massively powerful divine caster from a lost godtouched race, and human beings are biomantic monsters.
#25. An airship was found crashed in the wilderness shortly after witnesses claimed to see a fireball streak across the sky. No sign of the crew was found. However, a large lump of dead biomass with no aura signature was found amongst the wreckage. The biomass's weight was consistent with the combined weight of an airship of that size's normal crew compliment. The captain's log indicated he was attempting to fly to the moon. Many pages are lost, however the last page describes landing on a gray dusty plain pockmarked with craters.
#26: The Aledorans were not completely destroyed at the end of the Age of Humanity. They have a lost colony on a distant island from which they guide and control the world.
#27. Records from an Aledoran ruin mention excavation of a massive ancient human city in a location that is now underwater. The Aledoran archaeologist claimed the city predated the war of the gods and even the creation of the medusae.
#28. 75 years ago a massive human corpse four times the size of a giant washed up on a Yesshan shore. This corpse was in an advanced state of decay, although there were claims of gems in its eye sockets instead of eyes. All parts of the corpse were auctioned off by the locals and none of their locations are currently known.
#29. A book made of paper materials processed in an unknown but advanced method was found in an archeology dig. The book appears to be a history book for a school of some sort and lists in detail historical events that appear to have never happened. It also records dates set a thousand years beyond the present. Detailed research shows several of the listed historical events were similar or even the opposite of what was known to have happened.
#30. There is a style of magic completely separate from any fey influence. This magic is harnessed by movement of physical objects and examples of it are natural fire and natural electricity. It is said that it is the magic demons use, and humans can use it as well, though none dare study it.
#31. Workers from a geological team reported that they stumbled onto the remains of an ancient advanced civilization. The strata the team were working in was dated to 30 million years ago, astounding the team. A professional archaeologist was called in to investigate the ruins. However, according to reports, the day after the discovery all remains of the ruins were missing, with massive slabs of rose quartz in their place. Further reports state the lead geologist who discovered the ruins was found dead with all his body organs missing, and the archaeologist called in to investigate was killed in a surprise ghoul attack.
#32. Great wizards claim there is an area where magic ceases to exist, but no one can pinpoint it's exact location. Reported positions of this area range up and down the continent, even going into the middle of the oceans.
#33. There is an institution in the City of Jerol that has imprisoned and studies fey. There are rumors of a high turnover rate in employment, and most people suspect a famous mental institution of being the facility.
#34. A great and powerful astralmancer once claimed to have been able to view the distant past and wrote down detailed logs of what he saw. Those in his village who read the logs claimed they were startling. A university sent an envoy to view the logs but arrived to find the village devoid of life. They investigated the astralmancer's tower however and found the logs - they all read the same thing, line after line: “Liar.”
#35. Some geologists have found layers of dust throughout the geological strata. These dust strata have been dated every 10,000 years or so with no explanation as to how the dust got there in that quantity. Worshipers of Sueiffa claim that is is proof their god is real, but no one believes them.
#36. In a famous incident that took place 200 years ago in Igakari, a strange divine caster appeared in a small village. This divine caster had nearly infinite control over his magic and claimed to "enjoy traveling." He produced an unknown formula claiming that it held the answer to his magic ability, calling it the proof of god. None who studied it through any method could decipher the formula or even understand the language it was written in except for a lone channeler of unknown type. She claimed to be able to read it and began showing amazing divine casting ability, almost overnight. According to scryers attempting the event, 99 fey spontaneously appeared moments later and laid waste to the village. Shortly after describing the event, the scryers themselves either lost their power or began to show signs of insanity.
#37. Cows are, or rather were, a godtouched race. However, they were enslaved and specially bred to be nothing more then animals.
#38. There are only 13 godtouched, and all others are either fakes or biomantic monsters. Those who believe this conspiracy cannot agree on which 13 godtouched are genuine.
#39. Humans are not native to Aarn. Rather than being created by Jennin from giant stock, they came to Aarn through other means from some other place. Aledor was only an extension of their alien empire.
#40. If all the ardlin subraces were to breed together to create a single race, the result would be an immortal species of unspeakable magic power. There are theories that this idea was originally created by the medusae, and has been applied to each godtouched race in turn as they were created one by one.
#41. The tomb of an unknown noble was discovered in the Chianmos Desert. Archaeologists investigating the tomb found marvelous sculptures and art of unknown style and amazing quality, made primarily of gold and precious stones and gems. The walls were covered in carvings in an unknown language, along with pictures depicting the styles of an unknown civilization. Magical translation and further research determined that the buried noble was a great human king of an unknown desert nation that doesn't correspond with any locations in the known world. Pictures identified as his gods were oddly stylized anthromorphs.
There are further rumors that a necromancer procured the excellently preserved body, and attempted to use it to create an undead servant. Soon after, the necromancer's village was wiped out by a horrific supernatural plague that was only contained when some of the most powerful wizards in the world gathered and obliterated the surrounding area, destroying all life. All legal records of this event, records of the area that was expunged and even references to the tomb were forcibly removed under threat of extermination by said wizards.
#42. Not only are all house cats spirit animals, but they are the spirit animals' true forms. All other spirit animals are regular animals possessed by spirit animal anima. Most cats are playing animal and secretly controlling their human “pets.”
#43. There are no gods. All contact with the divine is a subconscious reflection of human desires from the astral plane.
#44.An ancient medusae city was recently discovered, contemporary with the war of the gods. The excavated buildings of this city showed carvings of what appeared to be 3 humans. Inscriptions described one of them knowing what is now called wizardry, and described another as a shadow channeler. The city was destroyed soon after the discovery.
#45. A series of letters written in a strange artificial handwriting were discovered in a cave. They appear to be general logs and records of some sort of advanced airship base. The logs references a war against a nation known as Igania and lists of unknown weapons of terrible power.
#46. There is an organization of psychiatric specialists who claim that everyone who claims to have come into contact with a phoenix have a rare brain disorder. This organization also claims that all so-called phoenix feathers are in fact magically imbued rok feathers.
#47. The act of creating a structured civilization is not a natural act for godtouched to undergo. Instead, the behavior is caused by a magical virus created in the early days of Aarn that forces a race to gather in large cities so they can be more easily wiped out. The virus also compels them to develop more and more dangerous magics until they destroy themselves. The destruction of the Aledoran civilization was an example of the virus in action, although humanity has survived for the moment. Only a handful of godtouched are immune.
#48. The destruction of the Aleodran civilization was not directly caused by any of their magical experimentation. Instead, they were murdred by the gods. The true nature of the Aledoran's experiment was a magical spell that could turn them into gods themselves, and the gods wished to ensure their destruction, and the destruction of all knowledge of the spell.
#49. Almost all races that predate humans share a myth about Aarn having 4 moons in its past. In all of these myths, the three extra moons were destroyed, leaving behind dust clouds that fell onto Aarn, causing great calamitous winters where clouds blocked out the sky for generations.. The most commonly repeating theme in these myths is a fiery snake that erupted from the sun, which literally ate the moons.
#50. Spirit animals are secretly controlling the world's economies by gathering tremendous fortunes over their long lifespans and using these fortunes to manipulate human economies, or for other unknown reasons. It is said they created the current banking system, and maintain its global, international functionality.
Much thanks to my good friend Khyron, who not only came up with the idea of Aarnian conspiracy theories, but also came up with most of the above ideas.