This is a essay on the theoretical origins of the Horizons Multiverse, written by the famed Doctor Jared Sa. Unfortunately, the good doctor's infamous... poetic licensees are obvious throughout. Many details, especially those relating to The Watchmaker, are less than accurate. In particular, it has since been discovered that it was The Seventh Family, not The Nightmare Lord, who were primarily responsible for the creation of the Horizon Multiverse. The Guardians of Zion

The article Edit

He could have been a King, but they bent him to their will and forced him to fight in a hopeless, endless war.

Eventually, he escaped that reality altogether and simply began wandering. With no more to his name than a dusty old traveling coat and hat, and now going under the title of “The Watchmaker”, he located paths between worlds and journeyed far and wide, witnessing more than anyone could imagine.

However, his sight seeing had unintended consequences: As per the Multiversal law, every choice (No matter how minor) creates two parallel realities: One for the positive answer and one for the negative. Even the Watchmakers brief visits had the unintended effect of creating an entirely new Multiverse. Or at least, that’s how the story goes.

In truth, the origins for what would become one of the greatest peacekeeping and adventuring organizations lays before the Horizon.

In the proud, northern Kingdom of Erkan, the mighty King Archontis is counseled by the wise adviser Mage Belor. A powerful, divinely inspired wizard and blacksmith, Belor creates the blade of order at the behest of his king. However, Archontis has secretly always had a lust for conquest and a jealousy for Belors skill with the supernatural and uses the sword and his army to take over the neighboring kingdoms.

Belor crafts a second magical sword (The Blade of Chaos) and sadly confronts his friend, alongside Archontis’s brother Andrew IV. Archontis wins their duel and kills both of them, consolidating his control of the North.

His victory is not complete however; Belor’s long time friend and ally Kylorin flees to the wild south with his sons as well as Andrew V, before disappearing.

The three boys grew up together and eventually returned to the Northern lands, alongside a small band of others, in order to lead the growing rebellion against Archontis. The self proclaimed Lord of the North had spent the intervening years experimenting with his newfound magical abilities, eventually splitting his soul in two, crafting himself into a inhuman monstrosity.

However, the brothers John and Jack destroyed his soul’s resting place, and Andrew killed him, prematurely ending his grand schemes.

Although the adventurers of this trio and their friends would make an epic legend in its own right, the tale of their supposedly fallen enemy is what drove the next expansion of the Horizon.

Clinging to life, preserved only by his ties to the Blade of Order, Archontis drifted into a dark in between the dimensions. From there, he drew his loyal followers to him and extended his influence as far as his dark powers would let him, searching for a way to restore himself to life. The Multiverse, still young and new, compensated by stretching further, creating new parallels and alternatives.

John (Frederick), Jack & Andrew, as well as Eleanor their friend, would appear as everything from contemporary heroes with superpowers to futuristic nomads fighting in an interstellar war. Eventually, one version of this group discovered the ability to travel between Universes and over the course of their life took part in many of the above events. This did not escape the notice of Archontis, now operating under the name “Lord of Shadows”. Having determined that he would need to “die” again to be returned to true life, he set up a confrontation between his forces and the adventurers (Which now included Mike and P.S. Hon-Ton’s plan worked perfectly, and before long he found himself wielding the Blade of Order in war again.

Our focus must now shift back to Forces of Light, as THEY would play the largest part in the next development of the Multiverse.

The band of six Adventurers traveled far and wide, facing many villains on countless adventures (A complete chronicle of which would fill dozens of volumes). Their group would also temporarily sport many new members: Frank, Sammy, the Boulder brothers, Sarah, Paul Simmons, Skid, etc. At one point, this loose collection of heroes numbered 30 strong. However, the Explorers adventurers?  forces of light? eventually retired peacefully to a pocket dimension, hidden away from the wider events of the Multiverse and beyond (As they had even breached that barrier what barrier? How did they breach it?).

After they retired, however, Frederick's youngest son and another band of Adventurers took up the same role as his father had.

Centuries later, after the others had all passed away, Frederick briefly returned for a few years, long enough to fulfill an ancient prophecy and find peace, before he too moved on.

These men and women of legend left an untold legacy, giving rise to an order of paladins in their “home” Universe being a single example. A follower of Hon-Ton’s attempted to destroy their legacy, but said order and an alternate Frederick put an end to him rather quickly.

The effects of these actions and influence of the “Loose band of Adventurers” model can not be understated, as ripples of it echoed throughout the Multiverse, giving rise to similar groups and people in almost every reality. This is best demonstrated here in this book, which incidentally catalogues the most fleshed out single Universe for the Horizons franchise (As far as written down information goes anyways).

And this brings back, once again, to the driving villainous force at the heart of the Horizon.

Hon-Ton may have returned to full life, and may have been leading armies of darkness in countless wars across the Universe, but he had ran into a major roadblock. Everywhere he went, he seemed to run headlong into bands of heroes calling themselves Crusaders. Due to the amount of interdimensional travel and influence, it seemed every backwater Universe had a nutty group of hat-and-coat wearing peacekeepers determined (And even more shockingly, capable) of stopping his advances.

After millennia of warfare, the now infamous and legendary “Lord of Hunger” was forced to admit he would never be able to control the Multiverse with outright force. He once again resorted to deception to achieve his goals: If he couldn't win with a hunger for war and blood, he would win through influence. He separated his soul in two once again, tethering his consciousness to the fabled Zion Shards, before launching a final attack on the hated Crusaders, his physical form perishing in the blaze of glory of his final battle.

From here, his story is mostly told later in this very book. As “The Worst Nightmare” he was trapped in netherspace, but was still able to manipulate events in at least one reality.

Eventually, after many setbacks at the hands of the ever persistent Crusaders, he freed himself into physical form once again, safely hidden away in a mostly overlooked corner of the Multiverse. After freeing himself from a deep “sleep” (Brought on by the tool he had applied to his own existence at this point) the newly Re-christened “Lord of Nightmares” began setting his newest schemes into motion across all Horizons. Although numerous prophecies and oracles predict that he is about to be destroyed once and for all by “The thousandth heroine to oppose him”, the future of this greatest of villains is still in doubt. (Note: Since this writing, The Nightmare Lord fell in combat to Poli'ahu of the Seventh Family, fulfilling the prophecy)

And what of the wider Horizon? Despite constant rumours to the contrary, the Multiverse remains perfectly in tact. The constant travel between realities places little actual strain on its fabric and the Crusaders regularly check and maintain it, fixing any problems that actually  arise.

The Crusaders themselves do not refer to themselves as such: This is merely the term most recognized by outsiders for the loose coalition of adventurers and peacekeepers native to the Multiverse. Although they have interacted and crossed over more and more as time passes on, the many heroes of the Horizon have yet to officially form into a single group. (Note: There is the Demarchic Court, but it's more of a advisory body than a real authority) Individually, each Universe continues just as they also have, barring occasional “out of town” visitors. Many of these will be touched upon here. Many more will not. An infinite amount of Horizons leads to an Infinite amount of possibilities for adventure. Hopefully, this book can convey even a small aspect of that.