What is TIME: A Sunflowerman Project?
One story, illustrated week by week. That's the idea.
Starting in June we will be launching a new story project that will be released week by week for 10 weeks. As we build out the world and the story we wanted to share some background, and hopefully build excitement around the story, so we developed Inga's Chronicle.
Its a little sci-fi, a little fantasy, a little fashion and all prologue to the main story, TIME - coming Summer 2017.
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Below is the manuscript of the prologue for your enjoyment.
The Third Timekeeper’s Confession: Inga’s Chronicle
'It is always difficult to watch a friend suffer. It is perhaps more difficult to watch a friend cause others to suffer. I did not wish to kill my companion with whom I had spent so many years learning, but some weaknesses are irredeemable.
I tell this story not to brag about my skill as a student of The First Timekeeper, for I was imperfect in many ways. Neither do I share this to excuse my own wrongdoing; when I killed Cosmas, it was still murder. I am simply recording so that my history will not be lost to time.
At the beginning of the world, The First Timekeeper was given the care of the wild and unruly sea of time. There were currents and tides, but no flow, and the world was a chaotic place. The First Timekeeper learned to guide and prune and shepard the waters of time so that civilization could grow in a stable world. For thousands of years The First Timekeeper carried the burden of tending time.
I was the Timekeeper’s first student, but Cosmas was the greater. The First Timekeeper taught us to leave our bodies through quiet meditation while our souls traveled to the river and garden of time. There, sitting on the riverbank, our master taught us the intricacies of the keeper’s burden. Time could not be stopped, but it could be slowed, guided, looped, or even cut off. These actions had great effects for the physical world. Natural disasters; floods and earthquakes. Periods of bounty and plenty, times of famine. All of the elements of chaos could be guided and ordered to provide stability for humanity.
There must always be balance.
I never guessed why the Master took us on as students, I was too caught up in the beauty of the patterns and exploring the nature of the river of time. Cosmas was the one who figured it out. He was curious, and his questions seemed to have no end. The Timekeeper had grown tired, and was training one of us to take up the burden.
As students of The Timekeeper, time was slowed for us, and we did not age much - but for The Timekeeper, time was stopped. Our Master was ready to give up that immortality, ready to rest, to age, and to die. With that revelation, our studies took on a new level of gravity.
Many years of teaching passed, during which Cosmas surpassed my own skill at tending the rivers of time. Eventually the day came when The First Timekeeper decided that it was time to pass on the great burden, and Cosmas was chosen. And so Cosmas became The Second Timekeeper and the old Master left to live out life with the rest of humanity.
Please do not think that I was angry. I was happy for Cosmas, and only wished to continue learning. We shared our old Master’s secluded home and lived for some time in peace.
The peace did not last long though. Soon Cosmas became too curious. The First TImekeeper taught us that tending the Rivers of Time was a duty, but to Cosmas it was a playful adventure. Cosmas discovered that certain changes made to the pattern could make changes in the physical world that brought riches, comfort and convenience for Cosmas. The changes were small at first, but as his riches grew, so too did his needs.
Bigger and bigger changes were required to sustain the needs of The Second Timekeeper. Perhaps Cosmas forgot the balance. A thrown pebble makes ripples. A thrown rock makes waves. Disasters soon accumulated. Earthquakes, floods, eruptions, and war. Cosmas had become all too blind to the devastation that his actions had caused.
There must always be balance.
I found in my journeys to the river of time that the threads were in disarray and chaos. While Cosmas reveled, I tended the threads of time. Pruning and weaving and guiding order back into the pattern. But each time I thought I had fixed the problems, I would return to find that Cosmas had altered the pattern for his own benefit again.
Perhaps it was not my place to take change into my own hands. Perhaps I was part of the mechanism of balance in the universe. That does not excuse my actions. I asked Cosmas to join me at the River. I told him that I had discovered something new. Together we lowered our bodies into meditation, and our souls traveled to the river of time. I asked him to follow me, but would not answer his questions, so his curiosity tied him to me like a rope.
Together Cosmas and I waded into the river of time. All around us wove, flowed, and grew the trickles and strands of time. Waves and eddies of time that carried in them a spectrum of sensations and emotions. I dove down into the pattern, located Cosmas’ thread, and pulled it to the surface. Cosmas watched carefully as I wound and looped the thread around him. He did not realize until too late that I had tied him to the bottom of the pattern.
I swam to the river bank while, like roots digging into the ground, the threads grew and tightened around Cosmas. I wept on the bank as he was pulled under. I do not know how long I stayed there, but when I returned to my body, Cosmas had passed. I buried him as my first act as The Third Timekeeper.
That is the story of how I took up the burden as Timekeeper, though it is not a memory I cherish.
When I took up the mantle of Timekeeper, I finally understood. Humanity is flawed, and I was no exception. I felt the burden of the old Master, I understood the weight that drew Cosmas down the path of indulgence. I too felt that pull many times, and knew that eventually I could fall into the same trap that snared my friend. In light of that, I have worked for many hundreds of years to create an answer to the problem of tending time. I have created The Guardians.
The Guardians are marvels of mechanics and magic, meticulously crafted by myself and my students. These machines are designed to guide the patterns of time. They keep everything in balance. The goal is to create small peaks so that there may only be little valleys. This avoids the dramatic rises and crashes that existed under Cosmas’s influence. I have spread twelve of these mechanical Timekeepers across the Earth so that the river of time can never again be subjected to the flaws of a single human being.
I have given up my burden as Timekeeper. I still visit the river, but only to watch the beauty of the patterns. There is beauty in the peaks, but also in the valleys. Everything is in harmony, and I can peacefully watch the patterns weave as the wheels and mechanisms of The Guardians carefully regulate the waters of time.
I have left my students as watchmen to care for the twelve mechanical Guardians. They call themselves Speculatorem; guardians of The Guardians. They have not been taught the meditations that grant them access to the patterns of time. Instead I have charged them with protecting the timepieces so that the role of Timekeeper shall not pass again to a human, and so that no human can again fall victim to their own flawed nature and destroy the balance of the universe.
They will carry on this duty, and pass it on to their children, and their children shall pass it on to their own children so that our world may be kept in balance.'