It is the greatest fleet of which there has ever been a record.
The mighty ships spin across millions of light years, sparks of light leaping between a myriad galaxies on a search-and-rescue operation which has been underway for thirty thousand years. The wheels of imperishable jade that encircle and bound them spin endlessly, pulling geomantic energies from the quantum chaos that underlies the structure of shaped space and time. Against the bitter cold, the fathomless darkness, and the utter void of the spaces between galaxies, the ships, and the life aboard them, and an ancient promise endures.
Your sleep shall not be endless. We are coming.
Many of the Jadeborn perished in the geomantic and geological convulsions of the Reshaping – but the Artisans had seen Creation shaken before, during the Balorean Crusade, and had had many centuries to prepare. This time, most of the deep cities – buttressed with jade fortified with the essence-energies of manses, and warded with every defense which the genius of the Artisans could devise across the centuries – held.
But this time the survivors faced a terrible obstacle to rebuilding. With the vast expansion of Creation – now a cosmos – the energies of the Elemental Pole of Earth had washed out to engulf a radius of some fifty million light years. Now the imperishable souls of the Jadeborn might reincarnate in masses of Jade anywhere within the hundreds of galaxies within that immense radius, beyond the reach of their brethren – and thus condemned to sleep in stone for all eternity.
It was years before the problem was understood – and work began. Locator-instruments were devised, and revealed that – while the Jadeborn had been scattered beyond imagining – there was a potential boon as well. History had repeated itself. Many millions of Raksha had been overrun by the sudden, vast, expansion – and had been encysted in stone to await rebirth as new Jadeborn.
It was years before the first, crude, artifact-ships of the great search lifted away from Earth, to seek out and bring renewal to those Jadeborn entrapped within the stones of the solar system.
Those Children of the Search improved their ships, and artifact-instrumentation, and built more – and set forth into the Milky Way. Their successors, long centuries later, constructed the first great Reiskaer – the flying Cities of Jade – and set forth into the galaxies of the Local Group, and then into the Virgo SuperCluster, beyond, seeking out strange new worlds – and drawing forth their kindred from them.
With the gradual emptying of the ancient cities of the Deep Earth, the Jadefolk carried the Earthfolk, and a scattering of others with them. Today, the Earthfolk – often now known as “the grays” – and the Jadefolk’s god-blooded offspring make up the great majority of the crewmembers – in all their trillions – of the Great Search and have colonized hundreds of worlds, establishing outposts across dozens of galaxies. While both the Earthfolk and the Jadebrood (as per Feybloods, but they respire normally in creation, use Jabeborn magics, and breed true) are far less prolific than pure mortals, despite the “new recruits” born of the reshaping, the number of Jadeborn is ultimately fixed – and the universe is vast.
Today the seekers beam newfound Jadeborn aboard directly out of the stone if possible, landing to retrieve them otherwise – although the mess with an attempted retrieval at Roswell has encourged the Searchers to avoid the Earth when they can; the resurgent Terrestrial Exalts can be quite troublesome…
The befuddled Terrestrials are still attempting to analyze the body to this day, and have not yet figured out that they’re actually reading back along his resonances with the Earth’s ironjade core, which is why they get so many WEIRD results. If only they knew that reviving him was as easy as finding someone with the right Pattern Charm…
The recent rediscovery of Autochthon has brought a new purpose to the Great Search. In their attempts to contact the Great Maker the Jadeborn have established a series of resupply and ship-building bases in the surface layers, with convenient access to both space and the interior – and have embarked on a project to re-awaken him. They do not have the the raw offensive power to take on the Apostates toe to toe – but they can help Autochthon’s Champions by making artifacts for them, by holding off the smaller monstrosities, and by helping them deal with blight zones – although the various inevitable factions disagree as to which goal is most vital and as to how to awaken Autochthon (although a fair number believe that it can be achieved if they can just locate the Eye of Autochthon).
The memories of the Jadefolk are very long however (they build external memories and call them “thought depositories” or “libraries”) – and many of the ship crews take it on themselves to isolate the Jadeborn from any Exalts who come calling lest they place demands on them – and tend to encourage the punch-the-celestials-in-the-nose mindset after all the abuse that their honored patrons took over the millennia beneath the Exalted thumb. Their individual power may be no match for an Elder Exalt – but The Great Search is still the largest and most powerful organization in the history of Creation.
For the Jadefolk, as it has ever been… there is work to be done.
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice – The Modern Gates, Part III (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice XCI – The Pursuit Cantata, Crescendo (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice – The Modern Gates, Part IV (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles Of Heavenly Artifice Session LXXXIX – Lost Horizons (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- Astronomers find record-breaking galaxy cluster (sott.net)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice – The Mondern Gates, Part I (ruscumag.wordpress.com)
- The Chronicles of Heavenly Artifice LXXXV – Fraternal Affairs (ruscumag.wordpress.com)