In the beginning, all things were animate; the stones, the trees, and the wind. The sun and the moon, the rivers and oceans…There existed 365 gods inhabiting 365 creations, and they lived according to their own 365 laws. But the gods began to quarrel and bicker about their domains, and the world was in chaos.
A compromise was reached; all of the world would be governed by the same laws of life, light, and time. Most of the 365 gods started to dwindle and their power began to fade, save for one: Abraxus, the observer, whose duty was to watch over the graves of the primal forces who came before.
The world was born again under these new laws, and to govern life, light, and time there came to be three beings known as the Transcendents.
Transcendents are not necessarily gods in of themselves; they merely hold the power over their domain. There have been at least 3 Transcendents who have been mortal; two which were or still are human, and one who was of another species. Even the immortal Transcendents, the ones who are gods and spirits, are not necessarily omnipotent and can be captured, sealed, and even killed.
At the earliest point in the story, we know of two Transcendents: Rhinne, the Goddess of Time, and Alicia, the World Tree:
Rhinne is, obviously, the Transcendent of Time, whereas Alicia is the Transcendent of Life.
For quite a while, there are no notable events in the course of history. We only really know of one big event: Ludus Lake, in particular the town of Ludibrium, is a source of child-like happiness and toys. In an effort to preserve this childhood happiness, the citizens of Ludibrium asked the goddess Rhinne to stop the flow of time within the toy town. The goddess agreed, and time was stopped.
But other than that, not much is known until rumors began circulating of a strange, wandering mage known as the White Mage. Born in the continent of Edelstein, and having studied aspects of eternal life with the alchemists of Magatia as well as being gifted in the realm of magic, he was powerful, but sought a reason for all the suffering in the world. After travelling the world, he went into seclusion to study the magic of the Light. He, is the third Transcendent, the Transcendent of Light.
Some time during his seclusion are the events of Grand Atheneum book 1; a mercenary of no name searches for the White Mage, finding him deep within a forest within a temple order known as Aurora (the same Aurora which the hero Luminous belongs to). After staying there for a short while, the mercenary learns that the White Mage has been experimenting with the forces of darkness, summoning creatures of darkness, and granting two specific spirits physical bodies. These two spirits are Orchid and Lotus.
The mercenary confronts the Mage, already being corrupted by the darkness, and speaks his final words as a normal human:
“There is no ultimate Light…but there is an ultimate Darkness”
The White Mage is no more. The mercenary comments that he is no longer worthy of the title, and gives him the new title of the “Black Mage”. The now-evil Black Mage strikes down the mercenary with ease and leaves the scene to amass an army.
The army, of course, does not go unnoticed. A powerful mage known as Freud, gifted not only with magic but also the friendship of Afrien, the leader of a particularly powerful species of dragon known as the Onyx dragons, sets out to oppose the Black Mage. He is joined quickly by a powerful warrior, Aran, and a student of Aurora, Luminous, as well as the queen of the Elven race, Mercedes, and a powerful brawler whose name is unknown.
While this was all going on, there was a 6th person, a thief renowned throughout the world, known as Phantom.
Freud recognized his skills and asked him to join the other 5. Phantom refused, as he was not a selfless, defend-the-peace-of-the-world type of guy as the others were.
What’s important to note is that Phantom did have one sweet spot, the love of his life, and the current Empress reigning over the world, Aria.
Phantom would visit Aria often, pretending to steal the prized jewel of Maple World, Skaia, and Aria would pretend to defend it. And so on. Aria herself was a firm believer in peace, she wished to settle matters with the Black Mage without resorting to war. Phantom was wary, but believed in her, and so agreed with her idea.
At the time, the Black Mage had a plan; he would lay siege to Rhinne’s temple and steal her power. Rhinne, able to foresee her fate but unable to alter it, created a child, Zero, to prevent the Black Mage from obtaining her full power. But she was too late, the Black Mage invaded her temple, imprisoned Rhinne, and split the child into two beings to further weaken her.
He had, also, accumulated a large army of monsters, as well as a total of 9 commanders in his service. These commanders were: Orchid and Lotus, the twin spirits whom the Black Mage had given bodies and names to when he was still the White Mage; Arkarium, a powerful mage; Hilla, a former priestess of the city of Azwan, who sold out her city to the Black Mage in exchange for eternal life, beauty, and power over the undead; Magnus, the tyrant of Helisium, a powerful warrior of the alternate dimension of Grandis; the Demon, a warrior with no fully stated name who was a demon and thus used to the powers of darkness; Guwaru, a spirit of nature who had become corrupted by the powers of darkness; Von Leon, the Lion King, who joined because he was convinced the Knights of the Empress had killed his beloved queen Ifia (in reality, the Black Mage had orchestrated the whole thing); and finally William, the Lord of Spiders, a powerful mage who was as cunning as he was evil. Aria invited two commanders, Orchid and Lotus, to try and negotiate peace.
At the peace conference, things went wrong. Lotus went too far, and he killed Aria.
After the twins left, Phantom arrived on the scene, and upon finding Aria, swore vengeance. He met with Freud, agreeing to join the heroes against the Black Mage. The 6 travel to the Temple to face the Black Mage head-on.
Meanwhile, the Demon returns home to his family during this time. He finds that the Black Mage refused to honor an agreement he had, that the Black Mage would not harm his family residing in Minar Forest, and that his house has been burned, his mother dead, and his younger brother missing and presumed dead. The Demon is furious, and storms into the Black Mage’s room within the temple to challenge him. Demon shouts that the Black Mage was a fool to betray him, and slams his mace into the ground to kickstart the battle. The Demon is powerful, and is able to shatter the Black Mage’s shield and tear his cloak with his power alone, but the Black Mage is powerful still and defeats the Demon, imprisoning him to absorb his power.
The first thing done on the heroes end is all civilians on the continent of Ossyria are evacuated so as to avoid losing them in the battle. The evacuation is spearheaded by a young Athena Pierce and representatives of the Bowmen, Thieves, Magicians, and Warriors. The heroes then head off to the temple, Phantom goes off on his own to seek out Lotus, while the others head for the Black Mage’s room.
Phantom finds Lotus, and fights him, defeating him with no mercy.
Phantom then leaves, while Orchid swears to revive her brother no matter what.
Luminous approaches the Black Mage’s altar, but is confronted by Guwaru. The two square off, only for Guwaru to be struck down in a surprise attack by Magnus, who steals Guwaru’s power. Magnus mocks Luminous and states that his business in Maple World is done, before teleporting away.
Meanwhile the other heroes find themselves facing the Black Mage. Aran and Mercedes are struck down, as is Freud, leaving Luminous and the unnamed hero left standing. Freud has a plan, but is reluctant to enact it. The plan is to seal the Black Mage using his own stolen power. But this spell comes at a cost; someone must give up their own time, their very existence, in order to create the spell. Luminous plants 5 seals around the Black Mage, and the unnamed hero sacrifices his existence to complete the spell. Luminous delivers the finishing blow to the Black Mage, and ends up absorbing some of the dark magic, and the Black Mage curses the heroes. The heroes are scattered; the spirit of Aran’s polearm, named Maha, takes Aran away to Rien, where she is frozen, afflicted by the curse, and loses her memories. Afrien absorbed Freud’s share of the curse, and proceeded to take Freud away from the battle to an unknown island before succumbing to the curse and being frozen, the entire race of Elves, are afflicted by Mercedes’s share of the curse, but Mercedes manages to seal her town to stop it from spreading, leaving at least one elf unaffected; Athena Pierce, Phantom was frozen though no details are known as to where, and Luminous is transported to Ellinia forest before being frozen.
For quite some time, the world is at peace, though lacking an heir to the throne left empty by Aria’s untimely demise. Within the encampment of the refugees from the battle, the fairy Yuris has a half-human child (she refuses to name the father), whom she names Kyrin. Kyrin eventually goes off to sail the world, becoming the pirate captain and job instructor.
People eventually filter out to all parts of the island on which they’ve landed, Victoria Island. They eventually set up all the existing towns on the island, as well as the job branches.
In the alternate dimension of Grandis, however, things are not as peaceful. A race known as the Flora, renowned for their magic, is struck by an ideological split, resulting in two factions: the High Flora, who wish to dominate all other races in Grandis, and the Verdant Flora, who seek peace with the neighboring races. The feud turns violent and the High Flora strip the Verdant Flora of their wings- the source of their power. The Verdant Flora go into hiding and eventually develop a way to combine magic and technology to regain their wings. The Verdant Flora confront the High Flora, only to find that the prince of the High Flora, Gerald Darmoor, the newly-awakened Transcendent of Life in Grandis, has killed the king of the Flora and pinned the blame on the Verdant Flora. This results in a violent civil war, in which the High Flora are victorious and the Verdant Flora are driven further into hiding.
It is likely that around this time, Magnus returned to Grandis and allied himself with Darmoor, thus explaining his unnaturally long lifespan.
Back in Maple World, an indeterminate amount of time later (presumably some hundred years or so) a group of school children are playing in Edelstein park, this group of children consists of Claudine, Belle, Elex, Brighton, and an unnamed member. A scientist Gelimer sneaks up on the group and kidnaps the unnamed member for use in his experiments.
Shortly thereafter (but not related to those events), a young man from Rien, named Neinhart, leaves his younger sister Lillin at home to seek an heir to the throne of Ereve and of Maple World. He does, in fact, find one, the young Empress Cygnus who, with the guidance of Neinhart and an unnamed warrior (explained in Grand Atheneum book 2), grows and sets up the Cygnus Knights, with the job branches of Blaze Wizard, Night Walker, Dawn Warrior, Wind Archer, and Thunder Breaker.
A man holding the title of the Dark Lord, which is the traditional title for the master of thieves, has both a daughter, named Syl, and an Apprentice, Jin. Jin and Syl were romantically involved, on top of training together. However, the Dark Lord left to fight a monster known as the Balrog, and did not return. Jin took up the title of the Dark Lord, and Syl became furious, believing Jin to have caused her father’s death. Syl left Jin and started a group of thieves known as the Dual Blades, determined to eventually retake her father’s position.
Luminous awakens from his slumber to a little girl, named Lania, living in the forest. For a decade, Luminous lives peacefully with the carefree Lania, although one of his eyes has changed from his light blue to a deep orange as a result of his absorbed dark magic.
Back in Grandis, Magnus utilizes his alliance with the High Flora and makes his move and begins an assault on the Nova. His Specters conquer the palace and the royal family is killed, leaving only the princess alive. The princess is rescued, although badly wounded, and delivered to the Shadow Dealers to keep her safe. The medicine used by the Shadow Dealers causes her to fall into a coma. Meanwhile, the remainder of the Nova flee Heliseum and barricade themselves in their holy temple on Pantheon.
Eventually, realizing that she cannot retake her home as she is, the princess of the Nova decides to join the Shadow Dealers to become stronger. She decides that her wings and tail are only a liability in battle, and (quite painfully) rips them off. Casting off her heritage, she forgoes her old name, and renames herself “Cadena”.
A decade later, things start happening; Aran is unfrozen in Rien, having lost her memories and powers. She sets off to regain both, with a temporary polearm in hand as she is unable to wield Maha. A young farm boy, by the name of Evan, finds an egg within the woods near his farm, and he touches it to reveal a vision, where the spirit of Afrien informs him that he is to be a hero. The egg hatches into a newborn Onyx dragon, the last Onyx dragon, named Mir, and the two set off to become as powerful as the former Dragon Master.
Far off from these two, on the continent of Edelstein, in the town of Edelstein, Orchid has raised a small army of her own, known as the Black Wings. This group is cunning, and has infiltrated the government of the independent city of Edelstein. This group has also managed to do something unthinkable: the Black Wings, at this time, broke part of the seal on the Black Mage.
The effects are, literally, earth-shattering, as the entire world shifts. This is, in fact, Maple World’s Big Bang. And while all this is going on, the Black Wings have themselves seized control of the town of Edelstein, imposing severe restrictions on the citizen’s liberties. This prompts the citizens into forming the Resistance, a group of people intent on overthrowing the Black Wings and restoring freedom to the town. The Resistance leaders consist of Doctor Claudine, Police Officer Belle, Streetsweeper Brighton, Kindergarten teacher Elex, Headmaster Ferdi, and the town mascot, Checky, as well as the Headmaster of the school, Ferdi, as their recruiter. With Claudine as the head, and Ferdi as the training instructor, Checky leads the Mechanics, a group of technologically-oriented people riding modified mining machines mounted with guns, Brighton leads the Battle Mages, a group of mages who tap into the powers of darkness, Elex leads the Blasters, a group of warriors who use powerful arm cannons, and Belle heads the Wild Hunters, a group of archers who ride upon jaguars.
The Black Wing’s takeover was actually very well known for quite some time. The Resistance requested help from the Cygnus Knights in defending the town from a complete takeover, but the Knights were unable to help; one of their members had fallen to a Black Wings officer named Elanor and Ereve was almost attacked (Grand Atheneum book 3). The Resistance, however, was furious at the apparent betrayal and cut off relations with the Knights, determined to free Edelstein with their own power.
The Resistance finds a girl, Vita, as a test subject for the Black Wings. She is rescued, and wishes to help, but it turns out she’s being manipulated by the Black Wings against her will. She attacks the Resistance and, apologetically to the Resistance, sacrifices herself.
Meanwhile, the Syl of the Dual Blades discovers the truth behind her father’s death from some previously undiscovered letters sent by her father shortly before his final battle. She doesn’t automatically forgive Jin, but she is no longer bent on his destruction.
Shortly thereafter, more things start happening; the Cannoneer, an average human aspiring to be a great Explorer, encounters a Crimson Balrog monster, and is thrown off the boat. He awakes on an island thanks to a monkey, and discovers and older marooned man named Cutter. Cutter gets them off the island with the help of a large cannon, with the monkey tagging along. Cutter is revealed to have been the engineer of Kyrin’s ship, the Nautilus, and designs the Cannoneer a large handcannon as a weapon, who then goes off on an adventure, the monkey still tagging along.
Going back to the Black Mage, Mercedes awakens to discover her entire town frozen and her powers gone. She leaves her town and seeks a way to thaw her race and regain her powers.
A short time later, the Demon awakens from his sleep, discovering that his powers are not only being drained, but also used as a power source for the Black Wings. He escapes his prison, and is captured by the Resistance, who look after him for a short while. He then strikes off on his own to regain his powers and face down the Black Mage and take his vengeance.
Time moves on. The Empress sees the awakenings of so many heroes and has an idea; for the first time ever, all the forces of Maple World are called to a conference. Aran agrees. Evan, having been tricked by the Black Wings into helping them on his adventures, agrees. Mercedes agrees. The Explorers, headed by the five job instructors, Grendel the Really Old, Athena Pierce, Dances with Balrogs, Jin the Dark Lord, and Kyrin the pirate captain, all agree. The Demon, reluctantly, agrees, which upsets Mercedes. The Dual Blades agree. The Resistance, after the events that transpired with Vita, reluctantly agree. This is the rise of the Maple Alliance.
Shortly after the first conference, on an entire other planet called Cerbus, a bounty hunter by the name of Jett is framed for the assassination of the king of Cerbus. She flees the planet and crashes on Maple World, where she is found by Kyrin. Jett finds her old partner, Burke, is the one who framed her, so she sets off to clear her name.
And something happens to the Alliance as well; a mysterious woman arrives at the conference to announce that she is the true heir to Ereve, and as proof she presents the jewel Skaia. She asks the Alliance to reject Cygnus, as she is just a child who cannot yet accept the true power of an Empress normally granted by the great dragon known as Shinsoo.
As the Alliance is murmuring among themselves, a voice calls up from atop the crowd. The voice points out two flaws with the woman’s argument, the first being the bloodline; Aria had no children, only a niece. The second flaw was that the gem held by the woman was not the real Skaia and shatters the gem in the process, the real Skaia was not only basically worthless, holding no real power at all, but also had been entrusted to Phantom after Aria’s death. The voice then materializes in front of the Alliance, revealing himself to be Phantom. Phantom readies to attack the woman, who reveals herself to be Hilla, who then leaves in a flurry of magic. Phantom then leaves on his airship, the Lumiere, leaving the real Skaia in the hands of Cygnus.
Things then go wrong for Luminous; his dark powers go berserk, leaving his home in ruins and, on accident, seriously injures Lania. Luminous says his farewells, and goes off to master control of his magic so that something like that will never happen again.
In Grandis, meanwhile, a group of children, Velderoth, Tear, and Kyle, are playing as the “Helisium Force”, pretending to retake their lost home from Magnus, who had captured the land with a small army after the battle with the Black Mage. All the denizens of Grandis, known as the Novas, are part dragon, having dragon horns, a tail, and wings. While exploring, they encounter a group of suspicious-looking priests at a relic, an object which projects a shield to protect from the forces of Magnus. The trio attack the priests, and become separated. Kyle awakens as Kaiser, the descendant of the hero of the Novas, who fought Magnus long ago. Tear, the girl (who had been mocked as a child since she lacked a tail and was unable to perform magic), touched the relic, which promptly attached to her arm and would not let go. A spirit of a dragon residing in the relic, named Eskalade, offered Tear his power, provided she used her power to become a superhero. And so Tear, unbeknownst to basically everyone, became the “Idol of the Battlefield”, the Angelic Buster. Velderoth, upon seeing his friend Kyle’s power, grew jealous, and turned traitor, joining the forces of Magnus. Shortly thereafter, a portal appeared between Maple World and Grandis, connecting the two worlds, and the Novas too joined the Alliance.
At the same time, Cadena has made a “home” for herself in a run-down, crime-ridden place known as Savage Terminal, working for the Shadow Dealers. Cadena has grown into being a foul-mouthed, cocky (if slightly sadistic) fighter, whose weapon of choice is a chain. While on a mission giving some Shadow Dealers’ clients a little bit of “persuasion” to settle up their debts, she runs into some suspicious dealings, along with a gang of thugs led by a man known as Mr. Hazard. Before Cadena and her crew can beat some sense into them, the fight is stopped by Mr. Hazard, who reveals himself to be second-in-command to the head branch of Shdow Dealers. Cadena is still suspicious, however, and her boss Gen shares those suspicions. Cadena spies on Hazard’s henchmen and finds them making deals with the High Flora for the blueprints to a bioweapon known as the Heliogene Device, which Mr. Hazard plans to test on Savage Terminal before selling the device to the High Flora. And the kicker: one of the parts require to build the device is a living person to use as a catalyst. Cadena sneaks into Mr. Hazard’s base and confronts Mr. Hazard, who attacks her and seems to defeat her. Mr. Hazard notices the Nova Royal Emblem that Cadena had with her and notes that the High Flora would love to know about the princess still being alive, attempting to blackmail her into giving him the parts to complete the device. Cadena, however, is having none of it, and taunts Mr. Hazard for believing that her past is something he can hold over her, before quickly destroying the device and rescuing two townspeople who had been captured inside it. Gen turns in Mr. Hazard to the head branch of the Shadow Dealers for breaking their code (by dealing with the High Flora), and sends Cadena to ambush Hazard’s contacts with the High Flora. Cadena agrees and journeys to Pantheon, only to discover that Hazard’s contact was Magnus. Enraged by the man who turned her life into a living hell, Cadena attacks him, but is easily defeated. Gen rescues Cadena, but decides that Grandis is too dangerous for now, and sends Cadena off to Maple World to train and become stronger.
Hidden away in Savage Terminal is the entrance to a small pocket dimension known as Sanctuary, where the Verdant Flora live. A young (153-year-old), shy Verdant Flora, by the name of Illium, who isn’t very good at magic but very good with machines, sneaks out of the pocket dimension along with his robot companion, Ex, using a doorway called the Crystal Gate in order to gather supplies. Illium is quickly surrounded by a group of thugs, but his magic overloads and eliminates them. The head of the Verdant Flora, a woman named Agate, notes that Illium’s magic is weaker than most of the others around his age, but also sees the potential for much more. Agate offers Illium a chance to study at the Crystal Academy (rather, she makes attending the academy Illium’s punishment for sneaking out). Illium goes through school, learning in both his classes and from direct lessons with Agate, manages to increase his power significantly and create a place for himself with his classmates. Illium prepares a statue which combines Flora magic and technology for an upcoming festival known as the Festival of the Gods, however one of the professors, a man named Darius, declares Illium’s project a “disgrace” and tells him to get rid of it. Illium is disheartened, but Ex reminds Illium that the Verdant Flora only have their magic thanks to technology, and tells him to pay Darius’ words no heed. While continuing to work on his statue, Illium notices an odd crystal on the shelf in the workspace, which he is drawn to. The crystal almost overloads and he is saved by Agate, who scolds him for touching things he wasn’t supposed to. Later on, at the Festival of the Gods, Illium’s statue wows the onlookers, making Illium feel proud. With the festival over, Illium recycles the statue into a new robot companion, named Machina.
However things take a turn for the worse: Crystal Gates begin opening up all over Sanctuary, and Specters begin pouring out of them. Darius is revealed to be a spy for the High Flora, stating that he’d “rather destroy everything than see our future tainted by the abominations created by engineers”. Darius assaults the Flora’s hiding place and Crystal Academy. Agate instructs the students to flee, and they do with the exception of Illium, who wishes to remain and fight. Darius confronts Agate, and though he’s defeated, Agate is mortally wounded in the process. Agate gives Illium the crystal he found earlier in the workshop, known as the Elder Crystal, and tells Illium to find the Sanctuary of the Ancient God hidden in another dimension before she succumbs to her wounds. Illium takes the crystal and fuses with the consciousness inside, changing his appearance as well as his personality. Illium gathers the students and leads them out of Sanctuary, beginning a journey to find a new safe-haven for their people.
Meanwhile the Cygnus Knights became informed of a large cavern beneath Sleepywood, and started an investigation. Within the cavern, they discovered Alicia, the World Tree, who had fled to the area, which she called Root Abyss, to escape the Black Mage’s wrath, but had been imprisoned by a commander with 4 seals with 4 guardians. The Alliance sends people down to Root Abyss, who defeat the guardians and unseal the seals. Alicia is freed, and it is discovered that the commander who imprisoned her is a new commander, Damien, who is actually the Demon’s younger brother who he thought to be dead. Alicia is placed in the care of the Cygnus Knights.
In an entire other dimension similar to Japan on Earth during the Sengoku era, groups of soldiers are fighting the forces of Oda Nobunaga, the lord determined to obtain power to rule the world. Two of the soldiers fighting against Nobunaga are Hayato, a brave samurai, and Kanna, an Onmyoji (Japanese spirit walker). During the chaos of the battle, the sky lights up, and both forces awaken in Maple World. Both Hayato and Kanna go off to continue their quest of defeating Oda Nobunaga, and get used to the world they’re now in.
Shortly after, the scientist Gelimer in Edelstein awakens his creation; Xenon. Xenon is actually a modified cyborg, whose body was the boy stolen in childhood while playing with his friends. Xenon, irked by his remaining memories of his previous life, rebels against Gelimer, who sends a second cyborg named Beryl after him. Xenon runs into Claudine, who is infiltrating the Black Wing’s headquarters, and the two escape. Claudine partially recognizes Xenon as the boy from her childhood, as he was the one who gave her the knife she uses as a weapon, but he does not recognize her. After learning that Gelimer can track Xenon through his “pulse”, an energy signature given off by cyborgs, Xenon flees Edelstein to protect the Resistance from being discovered, and moves on to recover his memories and learn who he was.
In Ereve, Shinsoo is attacked by Damien, and collapses, seemingly dead. The Empress runs to his side with the Knight leaders shortly behind her, when a barrier forms around the Empress and Shinsoo. Within the barrier, Cygnus begins to accept the power of an Empress, the barrier shatters, Shinsoo awakens, and gives her blessing to her Knights.
One specific Explorer awakens within a space between spaces, to a girl dressed in Maple leaves, who then flees out of a doorway in space. The Explorer discovers he’s on Maple Island, the island of beginners, where all Explorers take their first steps. After traversing the landscape, he arrives at the boat with 4 other Explorers; Sugar, Tess, Olive, and Rondo. Sugar asks you what kind of Explorer the unnamed plans on being, and upon making his choice, the others become the other branches of Explorers. The Explorers do their thing, training and exploring the world around them, and eventually the unnamed Explorer finds himself at the Temple of Time, Rhinne’s temple, and not only that but facing the Black Mage himself. The Black Mage asks the unnamed Explorer several questions, and then tricks him into deactivating the remaining part of Freud’s seal. In the ensuing chaos, the Black Mage used a part of himself, his Shadow, to destroy Maple Island. Unfortunately, Maple Island did not exist when the Black Mage first attacked the world, meaning there was no Seal Stone created to restore the island. However, when the Explorers banded together, and gave their strength to The Explorer, they managed to not only beat the Black Mage’s Shadow, but also create a brand new Seal Stone for the island. Sugar revealed herself to be a goddess, the spirit of Maple World, who resides in the tree atop Maple Tree Hill, an instructed the group on how to use the Seal Stone to restore the island. Afterwards, the group parted ways, each off to have their own adventure.
Deep within the Verne Mines in Edelstein, the Resistance discovers a lab area and sends a member to investigate. The member sees Orchid, Gelimer, and Lotus, with Lotus within a large test tube. Orchid asks Gelimer if Lotus will be revived properly. Gelimer chuckles, and then revives Lotus, but it’s not as Orchid wants. Gelimer has complete control of Lotus and all his powers, he uses Lotus to attack Orchid, stripping her of much of her powers. Orchid is rescued by the Resistance, weakened, wounded, and visibly upset.
Meanwhile the two beings that were split from Rhinne’s child have been growing; the girl has been imprisoned within a temple, asleep the entire time. The boy has been under the influence of William. The boy had discovered the girl in the temple eight times previously, thus resulting in his name being “Nine”. Nine is smarter than his previous incarnations, and has refused much of the substance William had been giving him to weaken him. Nine had already discovered the girl and planned on rescuing her. He charged the temple, knocking down William’s soldiers, eventually leading to a fight with William. In the fight, Nine was forced against the barrier holding the girl, resulting the barrier shattering. William plans to end it once and for all by destroying Nine, but the girl awakens and Nine grabs her hand, a flash of light takes them to the Subspace Temple. There, they learn their true identity as the Transcendents of time, and give themselves new names. The girl names herself Beta and Nine renames himself as Alpha. They explore the world they had been imprisoned in, a reflection of Maple World called Mirror World, and eventually escape, having reawakened as Transcendents (and recreating their mother in the form of a child). They arrive in not Maple World but Grandis, where the commanders Arkarium, Hilla, Damien, as well as Gelimer and the puppet Lotus inform them that Grandis and Maple World are colliding, with Maple World absorbing Grandis (being the larger of the two). They use this to tempt the Transcendent twins, but Alpha and Beta refuse and continue to Maple World.
The Cygnus Knights receive word that a mysterious castle has been seen floating in the sky near Minar Forest. Upon investigation, it is revealed that the castle is the castle of Kritias, a land that had mysteriously vanished when they defied the Black Mage. It is revealed that the Black Mage had stored the city in time, returning it only now to use the city itself as a giant spell circle for an unknown spell.
On Victoria Island, meanwhile, a barrier mage by the name of Elwin unwittingly opens a portal to another world. This Other World is revealed to be modern-day Earth. Seoul, South Korea, to be specific. A student from this Other World falls through the portal, and refuses to go home, as the fantasy-like Maple World is far more interesting than school. In order to avoid suspicion (and make sure that Grendel doesn’t catch wind of what the barrier mage has done), Elwin sends a person from Maple World to the Other World in order to take the place of the student. The explorer from Maple World arrives at the Shinsoo International School, where it is revealed that this Other World is a parallel universe, where the same people live very different lives. For instance, Empress Cygnus in the Other World is the heiress to the Shinsoo Corporation, Commander Orchid of the Black Wings is an idol, and Athena Pierce is a police officer. All goes well, until the school bully targets the explorer and attempts to beat them up, but before he can, a mysterious voice calls to him, knocks him out, and summons a large monster. The explorer quickly dispatches this monster, causing rumors to circulate about the new student, and returns to Elwin. Grendel, however, learns of the portal, and after berating Elwin for his incompetence, introduces the explorer to Lily, Elwin’s younger sister and a manipulation mage. Grendel reveals that Maple World’s magic has affected the Other World, producing monsters. As the story goes on, the explorer learns that these monsters are a manifestation of negative emotions, called Motes, and larger ones caused by powerful negative emotions, Troublemakers. As the explorer lives life in the Other World, enjoying normal school days while simultaneously fighting off Motes and Troublemakers, a new student teacher eventually arrives at the school. This student teacher is so handsome, that all the girls fall in love with him, and every boy in the school turns into a squid in comparison. The explorer holds their ground and fights off more Motes, but never discovers exactly what was causing the students to turn into squids. Eventually, the new student teacher leaves the school, and the explorer is recalled to Maple World, with Lily stating that the Magicians Association will take over managing the Other World. The explorer makes one last phone call to one of their newly-made friends, and Lily erases the memories of everyone in the school of the explorer. Lily leaves the explorer to say one final goodbye, but the explorer suddenly gets a call from an unknown source. The explorer travels to Sunset Park in the Other World to find none other than the student teacher, who not only remembers the explorer, but also reveals that he has the ability to summon Troublemakers. At the same time, Neinheart and Cygnus of the Other World reveal to the Irena and Oz of the Other World that the student teacher has no records of ever existing; all traces of him have been wiped. The explorer eliminates the summoned Troublemaker, but the student teacher has escaped. The explorer returns and relays this news to Grendel, who announces that if the Other World has been affected by Maple World’s magic, then the Other World deserves a hero to fight for them. Grendel then orders Lily to restore the memories of the explorer, and the explorer continues to stay at the school.
Meanwhile a young girl with animal ears named Chase longs to be an explorer and go on an adventure. She meets a cat named Arby. Arby had previously been a member of the “Critter Champs”, a group of animals working together with a human named Sherry, who had left them to protect them when she was summoned by Alicia. Arby leads Chase to the other members of the Critter Champs, where they band together to go on an adventure as friends.
The Cygnus Knights receive word of a mysterious tower not far away from Maple Island. Upon investigation, it’s revealed that the tower is the Tower of Oz, a structure built by Alicia’s spirit. It is revealed that before the Black Mage invaded, Alicia split her soul off from her body, her body hid in Root Abyss while her Soul built the Tower to protect the innocence of the animals in the world. Alicia’s soul is shown to have a strange obsession with stupidity, and dislikes humans, although her body thinks otherwise. The Tower as well as its guardians had become corrupted by the Black Mage, however, and while Alicia’s soul is not in the same danger as her body was, she requests the Alliance to help save the monsters in the tower.
In Grandis, meanwhile, on the planet of Vulpes, the unnamed hero awakens from a long slumber. He is discovered by a young girl with fox ears and tail named Moonbeam. Moonbeam brings him back to her village, and gives him the name of Shade. Shade, after a teary farewell with Moonbeam, leaves for Maple World, where he discovers that no one remembers him as a result of his curse. He seeks out Freud, determined to make sure he is not entirely forgotten.
Meanwhile in the Other World, a student gains the ability to manipulate the fundamental forces of the world. Revealing this secret to his girlfriend Yuna and his hacker-friend Jay, the student dubs himself “Kinesis” and becomes a local hero, while Jay performs tests in an effort to try and understand Kinesis’s powers. After fighting some Motes that appeared in Kinesis’s school, Kinesis loses consciousness for a few moments, and loses control of his powers briefly. Kinesis awakens and brushes this off as a one-time occurrence, before heading home. Along the way, he meets a small cat, which he names “Nero”, and he takes her home, much to Jay’s chagrin. Jay reveals that he has been tracking an encrypted message from an anonymous person known only as “WM”, whose posts online reveal the time and locations of various attacks on the city, from which Jay predicts that the next attack will occur on a subway line. Sure enough, a news report comes in about an attack on a subway line. Kinesis rushes to help the people trapped on the train, and defeats the monsters, but the train doesn’t stop. Suddenly, Kinesis’s head begins to ache, and he is approached by the student teacher who was at the Shinsoo International school. The student teacher then engulfs Kinesis in a strange light, and the city around them collapses into a massive sinkhole. Kinesis awakens in the library of the Magicians Association, where he meets a wolf-man named Three Moon, and the black cat he found transforms into a girl, named Nella Medionel Roonia, although Kinesis (and, for that matter, everyone else) continues to refer to her as “Nero”, much as it upsets her. Three Moon brings in Grendel the Really Old, who reveals that the person Kinesis met was the Other World’s version of the White Mage, and explains that the Other World may be facing a disaster similar to the one Maple World faced long ago. Grendel also explains what happened to Seoul with the sinkhole, and that both Yuna and Jay are fine, but that the people who fell into the sinkhole were transported to Maple World. Kinesis, after informing Jay and Yuna of his safety, goes after and rescues 8 residents of Seoul in various places in Maple World, but there are still thousands of others missing. Three Moon speculates that they are also unharmed, but are caught in the dimensional crack. Kinesis then sets off to train his powers, and rescue everyone from his world.
After training his powers some, Kinesis returns to visit Yuna, whom Jay says is upset that he spends so much time in Maple World (“Leafland”, as he calls it). Kinesis goes out to meet Yuna at their school, but just miss each other. Yuna arrives at Jay’s house and expresses how worried she is about her boyfriend, when all of a sudden, the hideout is attacked by Motes. One of the Motes engulfs Yuna and carries her away. Jay calls Kinesis and the superhero immediately heads off to rescue his girlfriend. The Mote takes the captured Yuna to the edge of the sinkhole, leading Kinesis through the broken subway car. The Mote is able to travel into the sinkhole easily, but Kinesis is unable to follow. He returns to the Magicians Association, where Grendel reveals the White Mage’s plan: to merge Maple World and the Other World together. Kinesis manages to place seals around parts of his world which have fallen through into Maple World. He continues to train until he is strong enough to enter the sinkhole, which has now developed a gigantic tornado spiraling out of it. He jumps into it (pulling Nero along with him) and finds himself in a large space full of twisted rubble and buildings. He fights his way past Omens to find Yuna floating at the center of the sinkhole, seemingly possessed. The White Mage appears in front of Kinesis and gloats about his plan. He tells Kinesis that power is feared and hated, and that more and more people will gain powers and that they “wont all be heroes”; people fear what they don’t understand, and the people of Earth will eventually turn on them. Kinesis rebukes the White Mage, calling him a “pathetic coward, hiding behind his plots” and “The worst kind of villain.” The White Mage summons a King Omen, which Kinesis defeats, and escapes. Kinesis then reaches out his hand to Yuna, who has woken up, feeling scared and not knowing what’s going on. Yuna asks why she feels so light, Kinesis jokingly comments that her new diet must be working, and takes her hand, telling her she has nothing to fear as long as he’s with her. Kinesis brings Yuna back to the hideout, where Jay and Grendel are waiting. Grendel apologizes, saying there’s nothing he can do to reverse the merge or return their world to how it once was, but offers the consolation that “it’s not the first time this has happened”. Grendel also informs Yuna that she gained powers like Kinesis, specifically the ability to control the wind. Grendel then speaks of the future of Earth; more and more people will gain powers, and that “such a sudden explosion of power is sure to inspire fear…and hate.” Kinesis announces that he has a solution straight out of a comic book: an organization for people like them, so they can gather together and learn to control their powers. Yuna embarrassingly positions herself as vice-president of the new club to clean up after Kinesis’s messes, and Jay worries about the new workload pushed on him.
The Resistance is shocked to learn that Orchid has gone missing, despite her injuries. She is discovered in a hidden lab called the Evolution Lab, an abandoned training program for the Black Wings. The program uses an AI with an image modeled after Lotus, and this upsets Orchid, who redundantly asks the program why Gelimer has been “making fake brothers”, and begins to radiate power. The AI detects Orchid’s anger and interprets it as an attack, triggering the defense systems, which knock the wounded Orchid into a coma, where she is rescued by the Resistance, repeatedly calling out to Lotus in her sleep.
After all of this, the Cygnus Knight informant Ten Boogies learns of a secret Black Wing Plan, but she gets captured. After being rescued, it is revealed that the Black Wings had been planning to construct an airship called Black Heaven. The entire Alliance board Phantom’s airship, the Lumier, and seek out the airship, determined to defeat the Black Wings before they have a chance to attack Maple World at all.
These are the events of Black Heaven.
After Gelimer’s plans are foiled thanks to the efforts of the Alliance, the world begins to return to some semblance of normal. Orchid, having escaped the falling airship, journeyed to an unknown forest, quite possible the Forest of Peace where she took physical form, and sought out Guwaru, king of the spirits. Francis, out of his (still unrequited) love, followed her. Orchid spoke with Guwaru about rejecting the Black Mage’s power she had previously taken, and requested that she be granted the true powers of the Spirit of Darkness. Guwaru agreed, but told her that the path would be dangerous.
On the Alliance’s side, Aran befriended Shade (for the second time, though Aran could not remember Shade regardless) and the two became sparring partners; Aran enjoying the companionship and the challenge, and Shade enjoying being with his now-former friend. Phantom returned to his normal life of showmanship and thievery, Mercedes sought out new ways to remove the curse placed on the elves, and Luminous returned home to Lania. Evan and Mir, meanwhile, continued having adventures.
Soon, however, everything began to fall apart. Mir sensed something happening to Afrien on Slumbering Dragon Island, and the two began to investigate.
What they found led to the events of Heroes of Maple.
Following the events of Damien’s assault, one member of the Alliance is summoned to the Temple of Time by the Memory Keeper. The Memory Keeper reveals that there is a disturbance in the Erda Flow; the flow of energy that makes up all things. The Memory Keeper allows the Erda to see and speak with the player, where the Erda explains that something (the Black Mage) is stealing the Erdas away, bit by bit (the Erda describes it as a “big hand” coming out of a giant door and going “RAR IMMA TAKE YOU AWAY!”). The Memory Keeper instructs the Alliance Member to seek out the three goddesses: The Goddess of Maple World (Sugar), the Goddess of Grandis, and the Goddess of Tynerum.
Upon passing a series of tests, the Alliance Member learns from the chief Temple Keeper in the Temple of Time that Kao, the amnesiac temple keeper who bears an uncanny resemblance to the Alliance Member, has gone into the Door to the Present. The Alliance Member chases after them to find themselves in the Arcane River, specifically an area known as Vanishing Journey.
The Alliance Member finds Kao, visibly upset, as well as a town of strange creatures. Kao explains that he thought he could retrieve his lost memories using the Tree of Memory (see above picture, right-hand side), but when he touched the tree all the townspeoples’ memories scattered. The Alliance Member collects the scattered memories and learns of a spring hidden in the mountains of the Extinction Zone, across the Lake of Oblivion. Kao and the Alliance member sail across the lake and climb the mountain.
At the top of the mountain, the pair notices a bridge that leads across, but they’re stopped by a girl in a blue hood who introduces herself as Rino. Rino explains that the bridge is an illusion, and if they tried to cross it they’d fall into the flames and cease to exist. Rino explains that she knows where the Spring of Recollection is, and offers to take Kao there while the Alliance Member gathers materials to summon the Firebirds, which can take the travelers across the lake on their backs.
The Alliance Member returns from their collecting to find Kao unusually silent, but Rino dismisses it as being the shock of seeing their memories in the spring. Rino then summons the firebirds, and the group is on their way.
While flying on the birds, Kao suddenly attacks Rino and the Alliance Member, vaguely shouting something about how there can only be one person with one soul. The Alliance Member and Rino fall, seemingly to their doom, but wind up inside a cavern underneath the lake. Rino knows the way out and offers to lead the Alliance Member.
When the pair reach the end of the cave, Kao shows up, visibly wounded, and tells the Alliance Member not to listen to Rino: Rino is actually a traitor in service to the Black Mage. In a flashback, it’s revealed that Kao is actually the Alliance Member from the future, who had made it to the end of Arcane River but failed to defeat the Black Mage. Upon revealing this, Rino pushed Kao off the edge of the cliff and faked Kao’s attack on the firebirds.
Rino drops her charade and summons her master, a gigantic worm known as Arma, who can wipe out ones existence in a single attack. Kao shields the Alliance Member from the initial attack, and the Alliance Member manages to defeat Arma. The Alliance Member then carries Kao through the cave out to the waterfall. Kao encourages the Alliance Member to continue their journey and do what they couldn’t, before finally disappearing in a shower of sparks, leaving behind their power in the form of an Arcane Symbol for the Alliance Member to use.