Just about a year ago, Yora Games celebrated the 10th Anniversary of A'therys Ascended and the world it created. During our livestream we showcased the best of what we had to offer and unveiled some of our grander plans for the coming years. But as with so many aspirations, fortunes changed and plans adapted, and since then I reckon things have seemed a little sleepy around here. Without a server to play on, the community has largely quieted, and we've hardly been forthcoming about our plan to reawaken it. Ambition takes time to realize, to say nothing of the difficult decisions that needed to be made along the way. It's been a long road. However, if you've stuck with us this far then you've probably seen the updates on our Discord. You know as well as we do that the wait is almost over, and we'll finally be playing together again soon.
You may also have noticed that things look a little different.
The A'therys name was originally selected to meet a few needs. We wanted a memorable and approachable brand, trending into generic fantasy while still keeping its own identity. It needed solid value in web search results, to stand out on server sites, and above all to be easily pronounceable. Alright, maybe that last one is a stretch, but we did need to ensure folks could talk about it and find us easily. The alliteration with "ascended" made for a solid title that went well both with the story we aimed to tell and with the phoenix imagery we used for our logo. Dropping the second word in later versions helped us solidify our brand in the space, creating an enduring legacy in Minecraft that players still recognize eleven years later. And that's precisely the reason that we've opted to replace it.
When we first termed A'therys, the word defined the entire mortal plane: the flat, rectangular server map where the game was played. The word expanded in meaning as the lore deepened, moving away from Minecraft definitions and into something all its own. Years later, A'therys is the entire living cosmos - in short, our universe. Too abstract an idea to mean what it once had to a brand name. Yora needed a new, future-proofed identity for the property, able to be applied both to our current efforts in other studios' games and, hopefully, to our own one day. Meanwhile, A'therys has become synonymous with its servers past, with all the value and baggage that has accumulated there. It has to go.
What can I say, names are hard.
I turned to an idea that I had been playing with since lore development for A'therys Evo. Like any good fantasy or science fiction story, A'therys has mystical macguffins. Artifacts of immense power and mostly unknown providence - to mortals at least - that can be pulled out of the writer's drawer when needed to tell specific stories. Those who've been around a while may remember my hinting at objects called "Words of Creation", while also suggesting that the name was not final even if the spirit of the idea was. As many fantasy franchises of note are named after their own recurring plot devices, I thought it appropriate to just come up with a cool word for ours and then name the IP after that. How long could it take?
Seven years. Apparently. What can I say, names are hard. But for all that time exploring options, we did eventually settle on a word that meets all the criteria that A'therys had once fulfilled while also opening up our story options even further.
And so, Lumenshard.
The Lumenshards are enigmatic fragments of creation, originating from outside time and space. Relatively few modern humans have encountered them, leaving their existence more myth than fact, and fewer still have the knowledge (let alone luck) to study them. You should expect them to feature prominently in our narrative going forward, starting of course with Lumenshard MC. As for the word A'therys, it will continue to mean what it has become: the inhabitable, observable universe around which the stories of Lumenshard will center. Familiar, enduring, and where it belongs.
Where does this leave previous servers, then? Simply put: in the past. We respect our origins, with Lumenshard comprising old server ideas from pre-V1 lore development to unrealized plans for Horizons and everything in between. The arduous process of Rebuild, which I have alluded to before this blog post, was a Creative Team effort to mine our history for the best of its content to elevate in our new endeavors. The combined canon of all A'therys-based products prior this point is now something we refer to as A'therys Legacy, to be appreciated for what it gave us but left behind where it no longer fits.
With Lumenshard, we again look ahead, as we had once done with A'therys Ascended. First to a game built in the Minecraft engine, the concept that founded this effort eleven years ago, and then as far as we can take it. You'll be able to experience those first steps yourself in a matter of days, not months or years. I know I speak for everyone at Yora when I say that we're thrilled to be back. This time, to stay.
This project is currently being funded entirely by the developers of the project, and as we continue to grow in experience and in community we can’t help but be so deeply appreciative of the support we’ve been receiving from you all as of late.
If you’re feeling generous and would like to become a paid supporter of the project to help us with continued development, please feel free to check out our Patreon. All of the public facing behind the scenes content we share is through our Discord so be sure to stop by there as well.