Aion: The Day the Tower was Lost
So you think you know what happened the day the tower was lost. You have your opinion formulated, outside interferences calculated, so that must be how it happened - just like you think. Well, you should read on.
On that fateful day, two things happened. First, an uneasy presence was justified and second, a rift was forged. The great divide began in the midst of chaos and calamity, in a way that for those who love the story found it to be very cleverly crafted. Our own Shayalyn put it out there for the readers to tell us their take on the lore, and we certainly had some interesting responses. As suspected it was evenly divided, based on the lore being released from two separate points of view. Most readers would identify with and adopt a given point a view. The controversy though, is much more than just taking a side.
Near what was to be the end of the 1000 year war, Israphel proposed a peace with the Balaur feeling the war would never end and that perhaps making peace was the right way to bring stability to a people living in constant fear of annihilation. This idea was clearly rejected by Azphel and various other members of the 12. Israphel was finally joined by his counterpart and equal leader Siel, both guardians of the tower. This finalized the arrangement so the peace talks could begin. Much to Azphel and a few other Empyrean Lords dismay, however, the Aetheric Field was lowered and the Dragon Lord Fregion together with others entered the Tower of Eternity.
From what is known, things did not go well. There was shouting which escalated into one of the Dragon Lords being killed. Here lies the controversy, so what happened? There have been several theories pitched and most are very plausible. Let's take a look at a few, and then you can decide for yourself.
1 - Azphel assassinated the Dragon Lord
This theory is supported by suggestive sentences in both the Elyos and Asmodian books. The Elyos lore suggests that it was Azphel:
We still speak of the events that followed that day, of the sudden shouts of panic. A sickening certainty gripped us that the warmongers had decided that they would have their way even if they had to sacrifice all of Atreia to achieve it. Azphel moved swiftly and suddenly, and one of the Dragon Lords collapsed. The Balaur did not waste time with words. In an instant, carnage and chaos reigned.
The Asmodian lore leaves this open to interpretation:
I saw the mistrust and anger that I felt in my fellow legionaries as the Balaur walked into the Tower. How could our Lords' convictions have been so weak as to let these beasts, who wanted us to kneel before them even now, negotiate with us? I turned to my most trusted centurion to speak with him, in that moment, everything changed. The crowd shouted and milled about in startled confusion. One of the Balaur had fallen, and Lord Azphel was standing ready to fight, his eyes blazing.
This seems to be generally accepted by many because of the fact that Azphel is singled out on both sides and mentioned in the heat of the moment. No one else is mentioned. I would point out that it's also completely possible he waited until he knew in his heart the negotiations had failed and were beyond repair, so Azphel struck first to gain an advantage. This would be supported by the fact that he was still taking orders from Israphel and was not going rogue after this all occurred.
2 - The Balaur sacrificed one of their own
This theory is not really supported by any particular text that I've seen. The theory is that there was a predetermined death to occur to rally the Balaur forces into laying siege to the tower while the Aetheric field was lowered. From a tactical standpoint I don't necessarily see how this can benefit the Balaur, as I personally do not think they ever wanted a peace treaty but rather a way to catch their enemies off guard.
3 - Aion intervened to punish the Empyrean Lords
This one is certainly plausible because the Empyrean Lords and the Aetheric Field field being created or even the ability to become a daeva are all possible for one reason. Aion made these things to give humans a means to survive and defeat the Balaur, the wretched creatures that went out of their place and declared war against their god. They destroyed most of the life on Atreia and found a source of power outside Aion. Once there was an agreement to make peace, from this point of view I think it's possible that Aion could have been angered. The only problem with this is that the cost seemed to be too high, as the events that unfolded left the world shattered, and with aether leaving the rest of the land all life would eventually perish.
There are many other theories being tossed around as well. I prefer to think there was not any desention among the Empyrean Lords until after the Cataclysm occurred. It's very possible that the hate developed over time from a lack of communication. With both sides being at odds and losing the Tower of Eternity to the Balaur, and undergoing a Cataclysm of sorts that leaves two societies seperated for such a long period of time can leave things wide open to interpretation. I'm sure other lore junkies are waiting in line with me to hear more of the story unfold!