Serenity's Miracles

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As the world lay dying at her feet, the Silver Queen, in her anguish and despair, knew that for humanity to live, the whole world had to change. Thus it was that Queen Serenity called upon the power of the sacred Silver Crystal, and rewrote the very heart of the world. Jointly, these three wishes are known today as Serenity's Final Decree. Like much about the tale of the Silver Millennium, it is considered apocryphal -- a myth, explaining via anecdote, anthropomorphism and just outright fiction why the world today is as it is. Few today believe the Dark Kingdom ever existed, and even fewer put stock in the miracles of the Silver Crystal. But the Decree... the Decree, above those other things, is seen as true, or at the very least the lesson for which the rest of the story exists, for the Decree speaks to the way the world is.

So what did these miracles do?

The First Wish: Seal the Earth

"Never again shall darkness touch these shores."

The first of Serenity the Elder's three great wishes, which rewrote reality so fundamentally as to render the world before inconceivable to the world after. It was by this wish that Serenity cast darkness from the Earth, and isolated the world from all the many Magical Worlds.

In so doing, Serenity ripped the masses of darkness out of the Solar System, and cast them far away. Many returned to the Dark Realms of their birth, those dire dimensions where they could be at their strongest. Others were flung into the far-off Magical Worlds of Dimensional Space, Juraihelm and Cephiro and Midchilda and many, many more -- and, now faced with threats far beyond their ken, these worlds shut the doors behind them, rendering travel to and from Earth difficult to the point of near impossibility. Some, native to Earth, were cast out of the Sol System and ensorcelled to be never again able to find it. It is said that this is the fate that befell the Desert King. Some few, bound inextricably to Earth by nature or pact, remained even in the face of the godhead's wrath… and these few represented a lingering, dangerous threat.

The most important part of this wish is that it rendered the Magical Worlds almost, but not quite, totally inaccessible. The doors to the Magical Worlds remained, but they were so difficult to cast open that very few did, and those occurrences were rare. Often only when a Magical World was in crisis would the difficult spells be cast -- summoning forth guardians, or sending forth messengers. Frequently, it was only the most powerful of worlds capable of such magics -- it is said that the Queen of Light and the Pillar of Cephiro are some of the only few in all the many worlds with such staggering might. Some rare few worlds, such as the wizard haven of Mundus Magicus (simply Latin for "the Magic World") had somewhat more ready access to Earth, but even these required gateports and doorways that exist in only a handful of places around the globe.

But there is a twist in this tale. When Clow Reed’s grief rocked reality to its core, it was the threads of this miracle he hoped to shred. By his hand, its effects are weakened -- darkness has regained much of its former strength, and many more magical worlds are finding it possible to muster the strength to open those doors. It is still not as easy as it was during or before the Silver Millennium, when one could practically pop over to the Kingdom of Sweets for lunch, but far more often are refugees from magic worlds being found on Earth -- and far more often are the forces of darkness slipping through the cracks to menace the world.

The Second Wish: Recognition Inhibition

"Never again shall wonders blight the innocent."

The second of the Silver Queen's three great wishes hardened the hearts of the people and of the world alike, armoring the innocent with ignorance. No longer would most of humanity live in terror, despairing of powers that they could not hope to understand, much less defeat; but it is also by this wish that Serenity blinded humanity to its own potential, and to the sights of wonder. In short, this wish clouded the eyes of the uninitiated, and prevented them from seeing the truth: That magic was all around them, and that miracles are real. In the ages hence, this phenomenon has come to be known as Recognition Inhibition.

Recognition Inhibition, at its broadest definition, is basically self-explanatory: It inhibits the recognition of wonder. Recognition inhibition is, therefore, a subtle nudge by the universe itself to forget, ignore and avoid the fantastic. The mundane traffic of a soon-to-be battlefield trickles to nothing, as people subconsciously find reasons not to be in the area. By the same token, people who get attacked by monsters pass it off as a dream, and when they do not or /can/ not, they never take it quite as seriously as you'd think 'aliens are turning people into monsters' would merit. The story just never seems to make the news; often simply not reported, and when it is, quickly dismissed or rationalized by editors into more mundane disasters. Amateur photographers take a picture of a magical girl battle and take it not to the Asahi Shimbun or New York Times but to their school paper, where students gossip about if the pictures are real - or just don't even think about it, marveling at the photo quality without anyone saying word one about MONSTERS ARE REAL, ISN'T THAT WEIRD??

Recognition Inhibition is a powerful force, but not an omnipotent one. It can be pierced, by those dogged enough to hunt down every lead; there certainly are normals who see magic and recognize it as a strange, fantastical thing. And massive, repeated exposure can penetrate the fog of inhibition, as well - a full-scale magical war held in broad daylight would quickly make even the most helplessly blinded person begin to wonder just what it is they are seeing, at least until they have an extended period of normality in which to rationalize it away, even where regular battles with singular monsters never quite moves the bar far enough.

Recognition Inhibition is also responsible for the ability of magical warriors to mask their identities. People see Sailor Moon, and even Usagi Tsukino's best friends might not even notice that they even look similar, let alone that they are the same person. The strength of this effect can vary from person to person. Nagisa Misumi can't be recognized as Cure Black even by people who see them both every day, but Asuna Kagurazaka in her pactio outfit might well be identified by her friends as soon as they spot her the first time. In the end, this one is down to OOC preference; Your identity is only as obvious as you wish it to be. As a matter of courtesy, therefore, unless you are given express OOC permission, you should not recognize someone who has transformed.

It is also possible to dull someone's recognition consciously and deliberately as well. Powerful supernatural beings can make Recognition Inhibition far more powerful than simply removing someone's ability to recognize their face. Some are so adept at it that it might be months of being their best friend before you ever notice you don't remember when you first met, and without prompting, you might never notice you don't know anything about them...or their name. That's a rather extreme example, but the Generals of Darkness often use such powers as part of a disguise to slip in among humanity and carry out some scheme to steal energy or hearts -- he may change his clothes and put on sunglasses, but it's his Recognition Inhibition effect that truly prevents you from noticing that your personal trainer is Jadeite.

At the most extreme ends, this can obscure entire phenomena from view. Some supernatural creatures (such as Guardian Characters) are quite physical, but imperceptible to those who do not pass certain restrictions. Despite many attempts to suss out the mysterious fate of certain arctic explorers, satellites and search teams just can't find the Dark Kingdom's sanctuary at D Point. The HiME Star glimmers balefully in the sky next to the moon, and yet only those who fit the criteria can see it at all. All of these are Recognition Inhibition -- the results of Serenity's wish for humanity to live in peace. Sometimes, ignorance truly is bliss.

The Third Wish: Champions Will Arise

"Never again shall hope shine alone!"

The final words of Serenity the Elder, Queen of the Silver Millennium. The third and last of three decrees that defined the World That Is. A miracle from the lips of a goddess, imbued with the dying embers of her very soul.

A wonder that doesn't appear to do anything.

Magic scholars have pored over texts and tomes, seeking some clue, but they have all come up blank. Is the translation simply wrong? Perhaps it really is just a myth. But their perspective is so far removed from the Fall of the Silver Millennium that they cannot possibly understand that this simple wish was the mightiest of all, for it is by this, the greatest of Serenity's workings, that the Silver Queen ensured that humanity would never again face darkness without light in hand.

The third wish of Serenity's Final Decree bestowed the mighty places of the universe with the power to create guardians. Until the Fall, the Great Heart Tree had no Pretty Cure protectors; when the Silver Age reigned, God's treasures on Earth had to be protected by mere angels. Pretty Cures and Pretear and a thousand other breeds of magical warrior; not one of these was present in the universe before Serenity wrote the Warriors of Hope into the laws of reality. Power arose, certainly -- there were paths to power, and certain beings knew the trick to granting it before Serenity was ever born. But it was not until Serenity that the worlds themselves, powerful places and powerful things, with no intervention from shaman, wizard, or god, could rise up and bestow power to a champion.

And so, as darkness returned to the world in the wake of the First Wish’s decline, the Third Wish became fully realized as the most important miracle ever performed. As the forces of hatred, greed, cruelty and despair slithered between the bars and onto Earth's soil, champions burst into being in equal measure to oppose them with love, generosity, kindness and hope -- Pretty Cures descending from endangered wonderlands, and saintly warriors blessed by the relics of God. The world itself struck contracts with young girls brimming with potential, giving power to their heart's Meaningful Words, while Shugo Chara arose from the strongest dreamers to protect the dreams of all. In heart after heart, hope begat destiny -- filling their hands with the strength to save the world.

For more information, please see: Theme, Silver Millennium, Clow Reed