SOMEWHERE BEYOND THE stars, in one of the estimated billions of galaxies in the observable universe, you’ll find Endura, a wondrous world every bit as vibrant and alive as Earth. It is where this tale unfolds.
Before recorded history, in the age known as the Late Antiquity—tens of thousands of years before this tale begins—an indigenous humanoid race of beings called Ruids ruled Endura. In those vanished times, preserved now only in myth, legend and other dark and musty places, the virtuous Ruids went about their tranquil lives with a genuine innocence. Besides a relaxed and passive temperament, ancient Ruids shared one trait unique to their race and crucial to this story: they had no propensity for hatred, wrath or jealousy. It was not a matter of choice or morality for Ruids; it was their nature.
Although slightly taller in stature than humans, their physical characteristics, skin texture and cognitive capacity were essentially identical except for one thing: Ruid hands were typically wider and their fingers were thicker than those of their human counterparts. Between the forefinger and smallest digit, Ruids had one thicker appendage that curved inward like a claw.
During the Late Antiquity, days were filled with the kind of contentment that comes without the boundaries of expectations. All life subsisted in a perfect balance with nature until the day a giant fireball fell from the sky and plunged Endura into a lingering dark period. A strange enduring sickness fell over the land. The age that followed, spanning thousands of years, seemed to have been intentionally left untold and forgotten. It was towards the end of this dark period when the appearance of humans was first recorded and Endura’s destiny, and that of its races, would be forever changed . . .