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Aion: A Tale of Two Halves - Elyos and Asmodians

Updated Thu, Sep 03, 2009 by Medawky

A Tale of Two Halves


Atreia after the shattering

The shattered world of Atreia is inhabited by two warring playable races, The Elyos and the Asmodians. These diametrically opposed races are locked in a struggle against not only each other but against the savage Balaur as well. The Balaur were originally created by the god Aion to be the rulers of the world, but they quickly grew power hungry and attacked their creator.  To protect Atreia, Aion created the twelve Empyrean Lords. These beings were granted powers similar to those of Aion itself and were allowed to train and imbue those powers onto mortals.  After many years of struggle, two of the most powerful Lords decided to attempt a peace treaty with the hateful Balaur. This decision created a division among the other lords as well as among their warriors, the Daeva. The day the negotiations were to take place the Balaur were allowed to enter the Tower of Eternity, the home to Aion. Once inside tensions flared and a Balaur was killed. The ensuing battle destroyed the Tower of Eternity and shattered the world of Atreia into two halves – Asmodae, the northern hemisphere, swathed in eternal darkness and cold and Elysium the southern half that is bathed in sunshine.  Each faction blames the other for the events that transpired that day and remain mortal enemies to this day. Below is an excerpt from the book of the Asmodians:

We returned to Pandaemonium that day and began gathering our forces for battle against these Elyos. The next day we met with them in combat again, and full-scale war broke out between our people.

Shortly after the war began, the Balaur, long exiled in some strange dimension beyond Atreia, found a way out of their prison to enter the Abyss, though for now they are still unable to cross into Asmodae. Their thirst for blood is just as insatiable as in ancient time. With their old allies by their side again, their power is considerable.

And now yet another immediate and urgent threat faces us. We have discovered that our planet is hemorrhaging Aether. We spent many months searching for the source of this bleed, probing throughout the Abyss and Asmodae. In the end, we found it was right in front of us.

It’s the two stumps of the Tower. A mighty resonance still exists between them, vibrating invisibly between the two halves of our sundered world. As an echo of the lost Tower of Eternity, they cry out to each other across the void. This reverberation has created the Abyss.

The Abyss absorbs Aether, drains it away like water pouring into a crevasse. Aether is spread thinner and thinner each minute of each day. Soon this Aetheric leeching will affect our Daevas and our planet. Atreia is held together by the Aetheric ties Siel and Israphel created when they drained their own ethereal bodies of Aether, a process that ended their own lives. Soon the Abyss will weaken these ties, and if they break, our atmosphere will collapse, and everyone on this planet would perish.
There remains one hope. The resonance will cease if only one stump of the Tower survives. Our path is clear: We must destroy the Tower of Light. Then the Aetheric bleed will end, safeguarding the lives of the Asmodian people and simultaneously ending the arrogant tyranny with which the Elyos threaten us.

We will not hesitate. We will not staying our blades. We strike with a brutal and irresistible wave of destruction that will finally rid our home of the arrogant and naïve fools that infest our lands.

Decision Time

Your first step into the world of Aion forces you to decide which side to ally yourself with and take up the fight against the opposition. We are able to see the historic and philosophical differences between these two foes, but what are the palpable differences to the player? Is there any benefit to being one faction or the other, or are these mainly aesthetics?

Landscapes

Aion differs from many of the current faction based MMOGs in that each side is ultimately descended from the same race, and as such, there are no differences in playable classes based on your faction decision.  In reading the initial lore of the game one would assume that the landscapes of these two realms would also be diametrically opposed, one side lush and beautiful while the other side is barren and tragic. Playing through them both however you find that while Elysium may be brighter it also has its share of blight and decay and conversely it doesn’t hold the patent on beauty. While Asmodae is darker it too has lush and beautiful regions to explore.  

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

The most noticeable and compelling difference between the two is the physical appearance. The Asmodians were forced to evolve to adapt to their harsher climate and have developed clawed appendages and thick manes of fur like hair. The Elyos, however, have changed very little from their original forms before the cataclysm, and they like to point this out to their more feral looking brethren as a point of both pride and a claim to the rightful ascension of the lands. Raw physical statistics do not change however and there are currently no innate racial differences in the game.

It’s a Question of Class

Either choice will lead you through a breathtaking gaming experience

The one area where you will find real differences is in the individual class abilities. At several plateaus in the leveling process, players will gain Stigma powers that provide a powerful effect in exchange for a hard to acquire resource. These abilities are different for the same class based on faction and provide the most substantial differences in the game.

The Devil is in the Details

Mostly the decision of which faction to claim as your own will be a personal preference based on character looks and storyline or influence from your friends who have already chosen their side. Whichever path you follow be sure to make sure it is the right fit for you at an early level as you cannot have any characters of the opposing faction on your account on that server. Aion provides a compelling backstory and hours of interesting quests to introduce, acclimate and capture your allegiance to your chosen faction so however you decide, rest assured that fun lies ahead.

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