gamers who have an interest in Aion know the basics--Aion is a game
that pits angel-like beings against demon-like beings in a
post-cataclysmic fantasy realm. But a deeper understanding of the game
world you're about to inhabit can lead to a richer experience,
especially in a game with lore as compelling as Aion's. We've prepared
a summary that
everything you need to know about Aion into a tidy nutshell.

before we go anywhere, let's clear up one simple issue that plagues
many a gamer trying to talk about the game with friends face-to-face:
how the heck do you say "Aion?" Our good friends at NCSoft tell us that
it is pronounced EYE-ahn. We'll give you other pronunciation clues as
we lead you through the story of Aion. Let's proceed.

You Are HERE: The Lore Behind Key Locations in Aion

in the world are you when you begin your journey in Aion, and what's
the story behind the landscape?

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When the
Tower of Eternity shattered, it divided Atreia in two.

The first
thing you should know is that the game's name does not refer to the
virtual world
you've entered--Aion is not a place; Aion is the deity who created the
place. With that in mind, let's get to know some important locales.

(Uh-TRAY-uh) is a hollow world created by the god, Aion. Atreia's two
halves were connected by The
Tower of Eternity
a massive structure embued with Aether,
Aion's life essence. During a
great battle (more on this later), the Tower was destroyed, breaking
the connection that held Atreia together, and causing the world to
shatter. The event became known as The
Great Cataclysm

Atreia divided into two parts during the Cataclysm. The lower half of
the world became known as Elysea
(El-LIH-see-ya), a lush paradise touched by the sun's light. The area
above, which became known as Asmodae
(Az-moh-DAY), wasn't nearly as fortunate--the cruel
landscape is without sun, and without mercy. The human inhabitants of
Elysea became the
angel-like Elyos
(EL-ee-yohs). The survivors in Asmodae evolved differently, and became
the demon-like Asmodians
(Az-MOH-dee-anz). Neither race is innately good or evil, but they do
have vastly different opinions and perspectives.

Between the two halves of the shattered planet of Atreia lies style="font-weight: bold;">The Abyss,
the hellish rift that separates Elysea and Asmodae. A harsh place, The
Abyss is a contested area made up of the shattered pieces of the
planet. The Abyss is available for
exploration only after level 25. Not surprisingly, The Abyss
Aion's PvP realm.

What's Going On Here? - The Story of Atreia

When Aion created Atreia and the humans who would inhabit it, he also
put in place fearsome and powerful guardians known as style="font-weight: bold;">Drakan. As the
Drakan grew in number, they became confident and defiant, as well as
more organized and filled with a desire for power. Ancient lore
suggests that the Drakan discovered a source of power from beyond
Atreia, and five of them rose to positions of dominion over the others.
These five, called the Dragon
, renamed themselves and their kind the style="font-weight: bold;">Balaur (Bah-LURE).
The Balaur, having grown so much in power and ability that they
appeared as a new species, set about systematically
extinguishing life on Atreia. Eventually, when he denied them
the same powers he possessed, they turned on Aion and
threatened to destroy the Tower of Eternity.

Seeing his creation threatened, and the humans fighting bravely yet
still unable to adequately defend themselves against the Balaur
onslaught, Aion gathered 12 of  the most loyal humans
and embued them with his life force, Aether, transforming
them into beings known as the Empyrean
. Aion charged the Empyrean Lords with bringing down
the Balaur and restoring peace to Atreia.

Aion placed an Aetheric
around the Tower of Eternity. Since the Balaur drew
power from a source beyond Atreia, the Aether was like their
Kryptonite. Within the small Field,  the humans were able to
restore some semblance of normalcy to their lives. Everything
beyond the
Field burned and the Millennium
, so named because it continued for over 1000
years, raged. The Empyrean Lords continued to hold off the
Balaur, who were strong enough to retain control.

During that time period, some humans realized an innate ability to
harness the power of Aether. Those who

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ascension of a human to Daeva is a glorious event for either race.

unlocked special abilities and grew in power became known as style="font-weight: bold;">Daevas
(DAY-vuhz)--immortal demigods who proved important forces in
Millennium War. The transformation of a human to a Daeva is known as style="font-weight: bold;">Ascension.Daevas are
capable of flight on large, angelic wings.  (If you
haven't guessed it already, your character in Aion--whether Elyos or
Asmodian--will recognize his power as a Daeva.)

Two of the 12 Empyrean Lords served as guardians of the Tower of
Eternity--Lord Israphel
and Lady Siel.
Lord Israphel came to the conclusion that a peace negotiation
with the Balaur was the only way to
end the Millennium War. He believed that the mission of the Empyrean
Lords was not to defeat the Balaur, but to protect Aion. Among the
Empyrean Lords, Lord
vehemently opposed the peace, while style="font-weight: bold;">Lady Ariel firmly
supported it. The proposition of a peace treaty caused division
between  not only the Empyrean
Lords but the Daevas, who fell in line behind either Lord Azphel in
opposition of the treaty, or Lord Israphel and Lady Ariel in
support of it.

During a fateful meeting of the Empyrean Lords, Lady Siel finally sided
with Lord Israphel in support of the peace treaty. As guardians of the
Tower of Eternity, Israphel and Siel had authority over the other
Empyrean Lords. The treaty with the Balaur was to commence.

Before long, the peace conference between the Empyrean Lords and the
Balaur began. The Aetheric Field was lowered to permit the Dragon Lords
into the Tower of Eternity. But, of course, things would not go
smoothly (do they ever?). Those opposed to peace assassinated
of the Dragon Lords, and chaos erupted. Furious, the Balaur attacked,
and in the confusion and carnage the guardians of the Tower, Israphel
and Siel,
failed to raise the Aetheric Field in defense. The Tower was splintered
in the attack.

Lord Israphel directed Lord Azphel and his legions toward the northern
base of the Tower, while Lady Siel and Lady Ariel took theirs to the
south. Both sides worked to hold the Tower, but they were not
successful and the tower was shattered. Lord Israphel and Lady Siel
sacrificed their lives in the battle, draining their bodies of Aether
long enough to shore up the Aetheric Field and get their people to
safety. Even so, millions died in the event which became known as The
Great Cataclysm. Atreia was divided into two halves--the half to the
north (the upper half) was plunged into darkness, while the half to the
south remained lit by a nearby star.

The five Empyrean Lords who had been sent to protect the north were
renamed The Shedim Lords.
The survivors regrouped, and their struggle to adapt to their new
surroundings began. Over hundreds of years, they evolved to adjust to
the darkness--their skin grew paler, and their bodies grew hardier and
more cold resistant, while their feet turned to claws to withstand the
harsh terrain, and their hands to talons to survive the hostile
environment. Their land became Asmodae, and their people Asmodians.

Those in the southern half of Atreia were more fortunate. With a star
to light their world, their land became

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Not exactly
a hospitable looking place, is it?

abundant and their people
vigorous and beautiful. The five Empyrean Lords who remained in the
south were renamed Seraphim
. The land became Elysea, and its people Elyos. The
Elyos believed that they were blessed as Aion's chosen.

Neither of the separated worlds knew of the other's existence until a
mysterious phenomenon opened portals around Elysea, and a band
of Elyos Daevas ventured into them to discover Asmodae and the
Asmodians. The Asmodians demanded that the Elyos accept blame for the
Cataclysm and renounce their foolish leaders. The proud Elyos refused,
and violence erupted, with both sides suffering losses.

Both the Elyos and the Asmodians learned that their worlds were
bleeding Aether into the void between the two shattered stumps
of The Tower of Eternity--a forbidding world filled with floating rock
platforms and, to both sides' horror, Balaur. The expanse between the
Elysea and Asmodae became known as The
. The divided races came to believe that The Abyss
was absorbing Aether because of a resonance between the two remaining
shards of the tower--Asmodae and Elysea. Each side determined that the
only means to preserve their own world was to end this resonance by
destroying the other world and its inhabitants, thus closing The Abyss

Read on to discover what it's like to view life through Asmodian eyes,
or Elyos eyes.

Different Perceptions: The Asmodians and the Elyos

Although the Asmodians evolved to look much different and perhaps more
sinister than their Elyos kin, they're not innately evil. Who's right
and who's wrong is a matter of perception. Let's take a closer look:

Through the Eyes of the

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look fierce and defiant.

If you've rolled an Asmodian character, you've awakened in a cruel,
cold, dark world illuminated by phosphorescent plants and
inhabited by
strange creatures that evolved to live in a hostile environment. You've
evolved for the same purpose yourself. You have pale skin, and eyes
that glow fiercely during combat, enabling you to see better. Your feet
and hands have turned to claws. You have a mane.

Before the Cataclysm, you saw the Balaur systematically and ruthlessly
destroying everything before them. Your people fought fiercely for
destruction for over 1000 years. You and your leaders were strongly
opposed to the proposed peace treaty with the Balaur. How could anyone
seek peace with beings who had destroyed lands and loved ones? You
believe that those who sought peace lacked courage and resolve. Had
they not engaged in a peace treaty, and invited the Dragon Lords into
the Tower, the two worlds would never have shattered.

Hundreds of years after the Cataclysm, you view the Elyos as smug and
arrogant. They are to blame for the destruction of The Tower of
Eternity, and for the harsh reality of your own existence. Only their
destruction, and the destruction of Elysea itself, will preserve your
dying world.

Through the Eyes of the

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Elyos look
beautiful and righteous.

If you've rolled an Elyos character, you've found yourself in a lush
environment full of beauty. The sun shines on your world, and although
it's not without its trials, your land is filled with abundance. You
are one of a race of beautiful and robust people. Clearly, your people
are the chosen of Aion, and this knowledge fills you with pride.

Before the Cataclysm, your leaders saw that the Millennium War looked
to be a war without end. They came to believe, as you did along with
them, that their goal was not to annihilate the Balaur, but to preserve
and defend their god,
Aion. You knew that victory against the Balaur might not be possible,
and that even if it was, the cost of that victory was too high. The
only solution you saw was to negotiate peace between your people and
the Balaur. Had Lord Azphel and his cohorts not disrupted the peace
negotiations and slain one of the Dragon Lords, the conflict between
your people and the Balaur would have ended, the Tower would have held
strong, and the two worlds would never have shattered.

Hundreds of years after the Cataclysm, you view the Asmodians as
hateful, vainglorious warmongers. They are to blame for the destruction
of the Tower of Eternity, and they are clearly a lesser people,
deformed and twisted by their own rage. Only their destruction, and the
destruction of Asmodae itself, will preserve your dying world.

A World Divided

Are the Elyos really arrogant elitists? Are the Asmodians really
vicious warmongers? The answers aren't clear cut, and that's what's so
intriguing about Aion's lore. At its heart, Aion is about a fundamental
misunderstanding of the true nature of those people you once called
brothers, and now view as others. It's a story of how righteousness,
rage, indignation and disdain have torn a world, quite literally, in
two. Which side will resonate with you? And, even if you're not a
roleplayer, how will it enhance your gaming experience? Those are
questions you'll have to answer as you discover Atreia for yourself.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Aion Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016

About The Author

Karen 1
Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.