The Reckoning, or more fully, the Reckoning of the Planes (but that’s a mouthful) refers to that period of time between the Elder Days and the Age of Man. It occurred between ages, not during one. It had a beginning and an ending, but it’s impossible to put your finger on how long it lasted. It happened instantaneously. It happened over a period of days. And, it lasted moments as long as centuries.
Right about now, you’re probably thinking, just WTF is Jerilyn talking about? I’ll give it a shot.
The Reckoning changed everything within the Girdle. Esel billowed. Stars followed new marching orders. Folds came and went, like the Primal’s cloak was shuffling in the wind.
While this was happening, the Realms of Heaven were expanding to accommodate an exploding population. The Gods of Light had made a mass exodus from Sangrar at the end of the Elder Days and were relocating in the plush new Realms. Once they were settled, the Lady of Esel made rounds, bringing ‘welcome to Heaven pies’ and whispered to them about the Vanara. Those seductions took some time, and then the Vanara had to pop out (it’s not nine months with gods, could be more, could be less. It takes … as long as it needs). The Vanara took up in the Crystal Palace overlooking the Blessed Kingdom, a new Realm carved out for Mankind’s dearly departed. And, let’s not forget that Norath’s Doom had been a cloud hanging over the gods’ heads too long and needed reconciling. Dracorys and Davyrma came to terms, not in the way anyone expected, and then there were dragons! All of this was happening in the Heavens during the Reckoning.
Meanwhile, down on Sangrar, things weren’t exactly peaches ‘n cream either. Kandol had pulled down the world from the inside to get the party started (for more on that, read The Warrior Revealed, forthcoming). It was a big deal, let me tell you, more devastating than your Great Flood, the comet that killed the dinosours and every San Andreas earthquake added together. The land shook, mountains crumbled, rivers gushed. Many people died. Then the Primals, who hadn’t been seen in an age or two, made a rare guest appearance, and finished up what Kandol had begun. The world fell into itself and the Elvetur, the Desert of Molten Fire, the Caverns of Gloom, every recognizable feature of the land imploded. Then poof, the Primals shrugged like when they’d made the Girdle, and the world was whole again and larger than it had been.
The worst consequence of the Reckoning was losing Spirit’s magik. When the Primals remade the world, Spirit had no hand in it. The new world was devoid of ley lines and the earth did not sing, it was mute. The channelers had been without power a millenia, now the earthmages felt the loss of Spirit’s magik too. The new Sangrar had much less magik than the old one, but still lots more than yours (except perhaps for Storybrooke, ME).
So you see, it’s really hard to say how long the Reckoning took. The very fabric of the Girdle, the Heavens and the world changed, and each element of the change took more or less time than the others and yet, they all took exactly the same amount of time too – the entire length of the Reckoning, however long that was.
Confused yet? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people have the same reaction when I explain the Reckoning. Personally, I’ve never had a problem with the concept. Maybe it’s easier for my mind to grasp after spending several eternities in the Greater Realm.
So, what have I forgotten to tell you about? (Sage Jerilyn scratches his head in contemplation). Oh, that’s right. I haven’t mentioned the Path of the Reborn. The Primals called it down in the midst of remaking the world and offered it to the Elder Races, a road to the Outermost Heavens where eternal joy and bliss awaited. Many missed the Full Radiance and jumped at the chance to be reunited with lost loved ones. A few stayed, maybe one in ten, mostly those most curious about Mankind and a few who just weren’t ready to leave. The Path was there until the end of days, available to any of the Elder Races yet remaining on Sangrar.
Nammoran the Firstborn chose the path, as did his sons Indallar and Nammydan and many other Elven leaders, leaving Kandol Elf Lord as the High King of the Fair Folk on Sangrar. Kandol couldn’t even enjoy his own coronation though, not after all he’d been through. It took him three years to sleep it off and by then, the new news was old news. After hearing all that had happened since his stroll down to the Darkhold, and how many of his family had taken the Path, the shock almost threw him into another coma.
Mankind wasn’t eligible for the Path. Their spirits stayed in the Blessed Kingdom, new to the recently renovated realms. When they died, they took the Long Walk to the Halls of the Dead, where Bangal the Rainbow Lord, one of the Vanara, judged them worthy of the Short Walk to their new home in the Realms or found them lacking and sent them to the Spirit World (a new fold in the Girdle, courtesy of the Primals) to contemplate their failures. Some found their way back to Bangal and eventually the Blessed Kingdom, others never found atonement and spent eternity in the Spirit World.
I wish I could report that in pulling down the world, Kandol had taken care of the Dark Lord and his little band of hoodlums, but you and I both know that’s not what happened. One-Eye made good his escape and found refuge in the Darkstar, a little piece of real estate Majestrix had carved out in Esel long ago, during the Age of Beginning, just in case. Well, after Kandol did his thing, Erlik decided it was time to invoke plan B. Along with the Erlikarrin, the Traitor (who’d just taken a pounding from his nemsis, the Eternal Warrior) and whatever Dark Ones he could round up, One-Eye hightailed it out of dodge just as the world collapsed on his former home/prison.