Proceed at your own risk.
Mango was a highly regarded player upon the original Aetheria server, as well as a Builder and a Scribe.
A bit excitable in personality, his game character was most unusual, being one of the relatively few players to have chosen the race of "Pigman", along with a full support roster -- that is, a class line that was 100% composed of supports.
It is said that among the original server's millions of players, he was perhaps the most knowledgeable of the server's inner workings, besides Entity himself and a handful of other Immortals. He wrote much of the game lore, especially regarding the Prophecy and various quests, quest chains and quest trees.
Quote from Shards of Aetheria:
A Note From Mango, Third Scribe of Aetheria
In 2037, there were many games which featured worlds made of blocks. The most popular had a fantasy theme and RPG elements
Sadly, the name of this game cannot be mentioned. Currently, in our reality, a powerful world enchantment is in effect which prevents anyone from uttering its name. Or even writing it down. Long story on both the enchantment and the reality we reside in.
Anyway, though that name cannot be written here, the server once based upon it can be.
The greatest server ever made.
Like many servers these days, Aetheria was VR. Virtual reality.
Try to imagine that for a moment. The virtual reality version of your favorite game.
You're no longer sitting in front of a computer, clicking a mouse, no no. VR means it feels like you're—
French accent here—actually in zi game.
And I mean real VR, none of this, stumbling around in your living room with a clunky headset on your head, cable sticking out of the back of that headset, chunky controllers in your hands.
Real VR. Real. As in, um . . . real.
As in . . . not unreal? Wait, let me try one more time.
Okay: as in, you try to move your arm, and your game character's arm moves. Not yours.
As in, you're lying on your bed, in real life, completely motionless, and—in the game—you're screaming, and doing ten horizontal backflips per second around a giant zombie named Ogo.
And while you're doing all that . . . your body never moves. Never. Your real body, I mean. In the real world.
In fact, despite all the crazy acrobatics you're doing in-game, in the real world, it more or less looks like you're sleeping. So calm.
But how can this be? you might ask, the tone of your voice wistful, your eyes shimmering with hope and/or curiosity. How can such a thing be possible?
Quite simple, really.
Through the use of a technology called MindLink, otherwise known as VR2.0, the latest in virtual reality.
(AKA the coolest thing that ever happened to gaming. And medicine. And education. And driver's ed. And pilot training. And secret ninja commando training. And, well, basically pretty much everything, but come on, gaming is what I'm focusing on here.)
In short—MindLink was a non-invasive BCI (brain-computer inteface) in the form of an HMD, or head mounted display (a headset), which stole and altered each signal sent to and from your brain, allowing you to surrender control of your real body for use of a virtual one.
Confused? Yeah, so am I.
That definition, although technical to the extreme, and capable of impressing even top secret scientists, was on some webpage I once read. I mentally just copy/pasted it here.
You see, my buddy, Kolb, tasked me with explaining some of these minor details to you, and I'm doing my best not to let him down.
What's important here is that this technology, first available to the public in 2035, made virtual worlds seem real. Mostly. Much more than before, at least.
(Yes, we still had pizza in 2037. No, the crust didn't contain nanomachines.)
We have a new VR technology that's amazing and cool and wonderful.
But you need a game for that technology. You need a world. A big world, vast, and filled with all kinds of cool and interesting things.
Say what?! You know of a game that's big and vast and filled with all kinds of cool and interesting things?! Please look shocked when I say that this game was one of the first to go VR2.0.
Of course, a lot of servers ran all kinds of mods. (For the dinosaurs out there, mod means game modification.)
Those mods featured quests. Boss monsters with crazy AI. Races, classes. Wildly detailed kingdoms filled with countless NPCs.
In fact, as if all of that wasn't enough, some servers added even more stuff. Aetheria added tons of stuff to make the original game almost like a VRMMORPG.
Wow. I've been dropping acronyms left and right. RPG, VR, AI, BCI, HMD, NPC, and now, boom-VRMMORPG.
What is that? you gasp, horrified. What is wrong with you, Mango? How could you do this to me? (I'm sorry, my friend. I am so, so, sorry . . .)
VRMMORPG is an acronym for 'Virtual Reality Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game'.
It just means an RPG with a vast virtual world, often fantasy, and played online, capable of supporting a huge number of players.
Such was Aetheria. When you first logged in, you chose a race for your character—human, pigman, villager, and so on—and a class as well. Of course, each class had different abilities.
For example, as a Mob Shepherd, you could control mobs. (Such as void bats.)
Or there was the Nethermancer, one of the spellcasting classes. Um, they burned stuff. With fire and lava.
Needless to say, there were also your standard basic and boring classes like Miner and Crafter. Only noobs played those classes, though.
(If anyone here plays a Miner on Aetheria, I was just kidding. Please don't place a lava golem spawner under my house.)
As for Crafters, I'm not too afraid of Crafters, so I'll just say it right now: who'd be a Crafter when they could be an overpowered Void Wizard like me? Seriously, who?!
(Yes. I'm a Pigman Wizard. Get over it.)
By the way, Aetheria had 27 different races and 151 different classes. It also had 117 clans, including some super hardcore ones like the Knights of the Crafting Table and the Boss Wizards.
Now that we've got all that out of the way.
All of the above pretty much described my life, and the lives of all my friends. Beyond studying, and eating things like those frozen burritos that are like 10 burritos in a pack for maybe $3 in the frozen section of your local supermarket, well- we played on Aetheria.
We played there for three years.
Our lives were okay, then. We couldn't complain.
Then, on April 7th, 2039 . . . the end of the world happened. (Notice how I was using the past tense when referring to everything.)
It was total chaos. People screaming. People crying. People screaming and crying at the same time.
Yet some kids, being the VR addicts that they were, responded in a most ridiculous way: they um, logged into the game.
I was one of those kids. And this is where things get really weird. While we were logged in, waiting to see if the world would really end . . .
Well, we're not sure what happened, exactly, but clearly something happened. And so I, Mango, the Third Scribe of Aetheria, have created a record of events beginning from that time.
This record is told from the perspective of Kolb, our clan leader.
I'm warning you now: the first section is somewhat dark in tone. That's because it happened during dark times.
Armageddon is terrifying. Believe me on that one. I was in a supermarket when it all went down.
Beyond that, Kolb is a serious guy, and that's how he related his side of the story to me.