Lands of Exile: The Epilogue
Here is the direct link to the final PEL. We are taking these responses and combining them into a book, so please write them out exactly as you'd want them printed. Even if you did not attend the last Lands of Exile 1.0 event, please fill out the PEL so we can include your story. There is also a beautiful homage video created by our very own Justin Dizon for this last event.
The end of Lands of Exile 1.0 is here. Until the very end we laughed, cried, and created cherished memories together. The end of this story also finds us at the end of our world.
Jrex, the Seventh Eldest, arrived to consume our reality– an unrelenting force, shark-like and driven by insatiable hunger. Though Jrex's consumption of this world was inevitable, you discovered a way to stop Them from ending other worlds and the stories therein. We've always laughed together about New Haven's bad luck and the sheer volume of wild situations they encounter, but it wasn't all by chance. New Haven is where the end of this world occurs. New Haven, and all the people who ever called it home, is a phenomenon called a Confluence.
A Confluence is an entity that, at some point in their lives, experiences a moment in time that cannot be changed by Eldest, Fae, or mortal. This moment, which can be as simple as sharing a meal with a friend to as complex as breaking an ancient curse, is called a Confluence moment. These events anchor the Confluence’s timeline, stabilizing the threads of fate shared by all beings in this world. Every member of New Haven– your characters– are a Confluence with their own Confluence moment. Each and every one of you were destined to be here, at the center of the story, and at the end of this world.
And so, the interconnected threads of fate all led back to the ultimate decision: to stay behind or venture forth into the unknown.
In the final weeks, the Maws of Jrex– the method of consumption that connected Them to our world and so many more– opened all over our land. Strange phenomena began: Fae were being drained, signs of the Eldest were becoming more distant, and by the End the Sun and Moon lost their light. But in those last hours, Jrex became occupied with the all-consumption and the eyes of the shark rolled back, leaving the Maws unattended. Using that brief distraction, some mortals were able to escape this world to what lay Beyond. Those that chose to venture forth into the unknown carried with them the songs and stories of their friends, families, and loved ones, ensuring their legacies would continue outside of Jrex's power of erasure.
Although they knew this world was doomed, there were those that chose to stay behind. Not only did they face the consumption of Jrex, but from across the sea the Dragons approached. However, the great beast’s internal flame, which had been the key to their invulnerability, was extinguished thanks to New Haven's clever deal with the Fire Fae. Successful deals and alliances granted them weapons and magic imbued with unheard of power, In the twilight hours of the realm, those who stayed behind could finally deliver retribution on the creatures that destroyed the Homelands. The final fight in the Exiled Lands happened after Jrex entered this world: those of you that chose to stay behind knew it would eventually mean your death. But nonetheless, you stayed to finally fight back against the dragons and become the catalyst which would end Jrex.
The presence of Confluences at the very end meant that the Maw, once shut behind those passing through, would stay closed. Because they brought their Confluence moments into the Beyond by implanting the memory into a crystal gifted by the Stone Fae, Jrex's hunger went unabated. Instead of completely devouring this world and moving onto the next, Jrex became caught on these anchors in time and began eating Their own tail. This created an Ouroboros of consumption, trapping Jrex in this realm forever as They consume this reality, and eventually Themself. Although they will fade with the world once the Ouroborous completes, those that stayed created the end so that others could have a beginning.
Though there was no way to stop the consumption of this world, many of you risked your lives to save other realms from a similar fate. For every orb of light gathered from the Maw, thousands of souls were saved. For every venture into that corridor of nothing to seek out a light, you made another Maw in this world safe– guaranteeing unthreatened passage for any that went through it, Confluence or no. With every success, the people you defended and fought alongside throughout the years all across the Exiled Lands were guaranteed safe passage into the Beyond. Maws that opened to consume familiar places like Estel'Dor, Blackwater, and Sentinel's Reach were made safe for all to pass through into the Beyond. And, because of the interconnectedness of all fates, each orb of light was also tied to another reality that Jrex was in the process of consuming. For every orb saved, so too was an entire unknown world, swirling with the lights of countless untold stories.
As Confluences, you had what others didn't: the ability to pass safely through the Maw without the risk of facing the Seventh, where you ventured into the unknown with the hope of something new and perhaps carrying on the legacy of the beautiful things from this dying world. But many of you chose to risk your lives and selflessly face that evil to save what you could, for as long as possible, to protect those that needed time to journey through the Maws. In doing so, you saved even more: your presence at the very end trapped Jrex in this world, sealing Their own fate within the Ouroboros.
You defeated Jrex. They will never consume another world again.
Although the world of 1.0 was consumed, the effect of your character's decisions echo in every new story you tell and every other world you visit. You stopped Jrex from consuming those stories and worlds.
The "canon" ending of this game stops at your character's final decision. Whether they stepped through the door into the Beyond or stayed behind to seal the door amid the roar of encroaching Dragons; that is the end of the game. The reality your characters experienced– Lands of Exile– will end when Jrex consumes their world, and then Themself, with it.
What happens after stepping into the Beyond or staying behind to experience the consumption of their reality, whenever that may be? That is our own individual interpretation; each of our head canon.
Music is beautiful because of the silence between the notes. A song must end for it to be fully enjoyed. Jrex was written as an allegory for endings and death. Death is the constant- the great equalizer that will find us all one day. We will all meet our end and we don't know what lies Beyond. But the memories that we make together, and the love and stories that we share with together, the thing that makes us who we are: that is not something that Jrex or Death will ever be able to take from us. We live on in each other's memories and stories, whether in this world or the next adventure.
Thank you for being here to the very end, and making these memories. You are all heroes and I am honored to add my song to yours.
Lands of Exile, signing off.
Game Owner, Producer, & Friend
Thank you to our editors that made this epilogue truly beautiful: Jordan Mullaney, Jennifer Pan, Dartanian Richards. Thank you to Zenith for the masterful art.