H.E. The Ortus (A Prologue) by Frank Carentz

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SUMMARY: An intial glance at the futuristic setting known as Harrowed Earth. Describing how the Earth was defiled into what is now known as Harrowed Earth. (Incomplete Story)

The year was 2249 when the people of earth had finally come to truly know peace. The world had conformed under a single ruling government. We had put an end to hunger, overcome homelessness, cured the most deadly of illnesses and even stepped beyond the farthest reaches of our galaxy. It was a true golden age.

However, all would not remain as such.

Deep within the bowels of the Earth, housed within ancient catacombs built before recorded time, the Everstone or World Gem as it would also be known was found, along with several other relics of wonder by renowned archeologist Pete Tork. However, the most amazing of all these relics was the Everstone World Gem, named for both its size and the depths at which it was discovered. This twenty-foot tall gemstone of emerald was the largest the world had ever seen, and yet that wasn't its only unique quality. Beneath its gleaning green surface it was riddled with purple veins of some unknown mineral. After countless extracts of this substance were taken for testing the Everstone would begin its infamous tour throughout the worlds greatest museums to be displayed for all to see.

During the Everstone museum tour, the World Gem was viewed by countless millions throughout both continents, and even attracted some of the wealthier off world colonials from the moon and outer expanses of the galaxy. It was truly the eighth wonder of the world. Its scintillating iridescence was almost hypnotic. Some during interviews were quoted saying; "...there's almost a presence about the stone. Like I could actually feel something, or someone touching me...in some way. It's.... It's hard to explain". While even more simply stated that it was an amazingly beautiful artifact, but that's all the experience they had to share with other.

Quietly, secretly, for fear of ridicule from their peers, as the Everstone toured the globe these widespread individuals who had felt the "presence" gathered together to discuss the various experiences they had while viewing the Everstone. They finally came to the conclusion that there was much more to the stone than there appeared. The group began to research as much as they could regarding the stone, its discovery, the other relics that were found with it, they were like obsessed scientists in their search. Slowly the group began to grow as the Everstone visited more cities, and enticed more people until finally they brandished themselves with the name of the Ortus Brotherhood, or the Brotherhood of the Rebirth. Through their toiling and research the Ortus came to learn that among the variety of relics discovered with the ever-impressive Everstone was a withered tome. A book bound in flesh, its pages brittle from the passage of time, scribed in unknown characters, from an unknown language, by an unknown people.

It was nearing the end of the tour when the Ortus finally managed to locate a member of the research team studying the various relics discovered with the World Stone, and assimilated him into the folds of their throng. Once armed with the whereabouts of the relics they managed to steal them away in secret to research on their own.

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