The Forgotten Lore of Celestia

Warning Spoilers Ahead!

Long ago, the Astral Wizards of Celestia created powerful magic using the energy of the Stars, the Moon, and the Sun.

The sorceress Morganthe, a Queen of the Shadow Web, wanted the secrets of Celestian magic at all costs. The Celestians refused her, so she raised a Dark Army and sent it against them. After decades of battle, the Astral Wizards realized their world would fall. They summoned the Storm Titan to defeat Morganthe’s legions and to bring their world safety.

The Storm Titan betrayed the Celestians by sinking their world beneath the Waves together with Morganthe’s invading forces. Realizing they were doomed, the Celestians raised mighty Domes to protect their treasured city from the waves, though it was too late. They perished along with Morganthe’s invading army. Celestia was lost to the Spiral, its Spiral Door closed forever.”

-KingsIsle Entertainment

From Fire to Water

Salutations once again Wizards and Pirates! Welcome to another installment of Forgotten Lore. We’ll be diving deep into the secrets you might have missed in your travels. Last time I told you the lost history of the fiery realm of Dragonspyre. Today I will tell you the secrets of Celestia. Let’s dive in!
 
Celestia was the first world of Wizard101’s second story arc launching in the summer of 2010. The new world introduced the three Astral schools to the game. This world inspires thoughts of the lost city of Atlantis.
 
There are secrets hidden throughout Celestia, written upon the walls. Hidden in plain sight lie interesting niches of its ancient society and culture. Celestia, much like Dragonspyre, is an ancient world that also fell victim to destruction by titanic forces. But the possible reality behind the reason for the summoning of the titan may surprise you. So sit back, relax and let me tell you a story…

Celestia and its People

They say that the Celestians were an incredibly advanced magical society. Many say they were ahead of their time. Its people were both powerful and wise. Peaceful, intelligent beings. They were devout in the pursuit of knowledge across a wide array of subjects not only astral magic. A culture of Wizards and inventors creating magical contrivances. Items to aid in their everyday lives. They were a culture of people who looked closely at the effects of their choices. Not only upon themselves but the Spiral as well.

The Origins of the Spheres 

However, the story of Celestia’s beginning starts with Bartelby and Raven. They say in the “Light of the Spiral” that Bartelby and Raven set two shinning spheres within the darkness. Bartelby’s was golden and illuminated the sky around it. Raven’s was silver and cold and unable to push back the darkness around it. From there the “Tome of the Sun” recounts the arrival of the sun avatar, Mithraya, and her command to build a great hall. It would later become the Trial of the Spheres. We know this as fact as Mithraya still resides in her Solar Sanctum to this day.
 
The Celestians would rise around it. Mastering the powers of astral magic and fiercely guarding its secrets. The people of Celestia would go on to become one of the most advanced societies in all the Spiral. Expanding their knowledge of the universe, creating a myriad of magical wonders. Always exploring into unknown. A Celestian, Phaeton, would oversee the construction of the Solarium, Lunarium, and Stellarium. These would serve as hallowed ground for the Celestians. Standing as houses of learning, and symbols of Celestian knowledge.

A Gap In Time

This is where the early history of Celestia ends. Anything between this period and the war against Morganthe vanished. As a result of Celestia sinking beneath the waves, everything disappeared. What might have been is generally unknown. Events that might have transpired? The marvels of the Celestian’s contrivances? The Celestians advances in the realms of magic, science, and society all disappeared. This is until new information emerges. Until then one thing is certain. Most of Celestia’s history lies not in its murky beginning, but rather in its unfortunate demise.

The Beginning of the End

Morganthe’s arrival spurred the beginning of the end for the Celestians. When she arrived, she demanded the secrets of astral magic from the Celestians. They were quick to deny her. Infuriated, Morganthe resolved to achieve mastery of the astral schools at any cost. So she amassed an army to take such knowledge by force. Thus, it was the beginning of the war between Celestia and the forces of the Shadow Web.
 
The siege of Celestia dragged on. Casualties began to pile on either side, and the Celestian’s strength began to wane. Morganthe’s forces had weakened them significantly. They were uncertain of how much longer they could hold off the enemy. So the Celestians turned to a fickle and unreliable ally, the Storm Titan.
 
Summoning a Titan is a risky business! No mortal beings have ever been successful in commanding one and lived to tell the tale. And the Celestians knew this. So, they created massive obelisks, visible around the District of Stars. Created to emit a magical barrier protecting some of their grand city from the Titan’s wrath. The Celestians beseeched the Titan to save their world and take them to a place of safety. Instead, the Titan betrayed them and dragged Celestia beneath the ocean. Wiping out the remaining Celestians and Morganthe invaders.

The Crustacean Empire

Time dragged on and slowly the submerged ruins of the once-great city came to be inhabited once more. A new Empire that would make quick allies of the barbaric Piscean and Lophian tribes. They built the center of their empire around the lost places of the ancient Celestian’s power. By doing so, the Empire would bring some level of peace to the sunken ruins. Supported by Piscean and Lophian mercenaries, Crustaceans maintained their power over the seas. Despite their best attempts, they were not particularly proficient in the art of building empires. The Crustacean Empire would go on to lose its strength, as its allies grew weary.
 
Some would still come in search of the now-lost city. As did the Queen Calypso, laden with treasure. Whether passing through or seeking to add to their haul, the ship and her crew crashed. Forever vanishing beneath the waves. Its treasures, seized by the Crustaceans, who used it to threaten the crew into submission.

The Rediscovery

Once again, time would move on and the location of Celestia became lost to the Spiral. That is, until a certain Thurston Plunkett rediscovered the world. With the support of the Spiral Geographical Society, Plunkett secured a ship and crew. He then led an archeological expedition to Celestia. They were hoping to learn it’s secrets. Plunkett thought they might even determine exactly what caused its disappearance.

The Skyship Explorer would be shot down upon arrival. Crashlanding on the Floating Land, the crew and expedition became lost and separated. Despite this setback, Plunkett and most of the remaining expedition would carry on. They began the construction of several exploratory underwater domes. Once completed and drained the archeological exploration of Celestia would begin. Unbeknownst to the expedition, in rediscovering Celestia they had angered the Crustacean Empire. They also opened the door once more to Morganthe and her forces. The Crustaceans and Shadow Web would come, to put a stop to the exploration. They would raid the uncovered ruins, splitting up the remaining Marleybonians. A distress call would go out across the Spiral and only a certain Wizard in Wizard City would hear it.

What Happened to the Celestians?

That would end the story of Celestia. But too many questions remain. What was the ancient city of Celestia like? What do the inscriptions all over Celestia mean? Why summon the Storm Titan if it was going to sink the city anyway?
 
Having gone to great lengths to find answers to these questions. I cannot so easily keep these thoughts confined to my mind so allow me to elaborate.
 
Keep in mind that what follows is strictly theory and may or may not be the actual in-game case.

Not as Dead as We Think...

I find it strange how little actual information we have on the Celestians themselves. Where is their history, their culture, their people? We have bits and pieces but very few full works. Being a society devoted heavily to the pursuit of knowledge and magic the amount of concrete information we have is shockingly small. On top of this, I find it strange that the Celestians would try to save their knowledge. While at the same time trying to keep it from Morganthe.
 
Celestia was under heavy siege by Morgantine forces who would stop at nothing to claim Celestia’s secrets. The Celestians allegedly realized they were doomed, so why try to save their knowledge? Why not spite Morganthe and ensure she would never have Celestia’s magic by destroying it all? Where is Celestia’s history? Why is the distress signal we receive from Plunket’s expedition written in Celestian? The answer to these questions is simple: the Celestians have or had plans to return.
 
Alaric Moonsunder, a Celestian ghost, stated that the Storm Titan was an unreliable ally, or was it? I would argue that the fate of Celestia was not so much an accident as it was a calculated decision. They were facing certain doom, with Morganthe’s forces threatening to take the secrets of Astral Magic by force. For the good of the Spiral, it would’ve made more sense for the Celestians to destroy everything. If only to keep it from Morganthe. The only logical reason, in the face of certain doom, anyone might try to save critical pieces of their society is if they intended to flee and come back for it later. According to KingsIlse the sinking of Celestia killed the Celestians along with Morganthe’s army.
 
The more I think about it the more I wonder, did the Celestians try to escape?

Gone but Not Forgotten

It would make logical sense to move everyone who could not fight to safety. Knowing their love of wisdom, the Celestians could (and likely did) take a large part of their expertise with them. The statue of Phaeton in the Solarium calls our style of magic primitive and crude but effective. Perhaps to imply our current understanding of astral magic is but the tip of the iceberg and that more advanced techniques exist beyond our knowledge.
 
Given how advanced the Celestians were with magic and knowing that their chart of the Grand Spiral allegedly contains worlds that are beyond our knowledge, they could have moved the more vulnerable population alongside their most sensitive secrets to a different world. One that was, and may still be, completely unknown to rest of the Spiral. In-game we don’t encounter any civilian ghosts. The Celestian spirits we come to interact with are soldiers or their constructs.

On top of this there’s the matter of Qyburn Stellargaze in the Arcanum. He remarked in his Bio back in February of 2017 that he hasn’t been home to Celestia in at least a millennium or two. Provided Qyburn is being serious with that remark, that would mean the Celestians are not only an ancient people but also long-lived ones as well. This adds an interesting layer to the entire situation, allow me to paint the entire picture.

morganthes invasion

Morganthe invades after being denied Astral magic. As the siege drags on, the Celestians move their civilians to the safety of another world. A world known only to the Celestians (likely one from their Grand Spiral chart). Being so long-lived they could simply wait out the Morgantine invasion if things didn’t go as planned. In the process the Celestians also take any of their knowledge that isn’t nailed down. Taking the most important and portable objects: books, tomes, scrolls, and etc., things which likely pertained to history, magic, and culture. While leaving behind the less critical things. Writings on less important and less sensitive subjects and things that couldn’t be easily relocated. Such as the Astral Archivist, obelisks, monoliths, carvings, pedestals, frescos, and so on. This would explain why we don’t encounter any civilian ghosts. It also explains why we don’t have a lot of information on Celestia’s history before Morganthe’s invasion.

If the Celestians won the war they likely planned to send some form of transmission. Letting their remaining people know that it was safe to return. That might explain why the Expedition’s distress signal appeared in Celestian characters. In case Morganthe or any other unsavory characters were listening they arranged to send a message only their people could read.
 
As the Celestian soldiers continued to fight off Morganthe’s forces, they began to realize they might not outlast her onslaught. To cut off enemy reinforcements the Celestians formulated a plan to summon the Storm Titan. Knowing the possible risks involved they constructed obelisks that would emit a protective magical barrier around the most important locations in their world, like the District of the Stars (which houses the Stellarium and Astral Archives).

If the Titan fought with them as planned Morganthe’s army wouldn’t stand a chance. But, if something went wrong the Celestian’s could retreat to the safety of their magical domes and let the Titan wreak havoc on Morganthe’s army. When the Titan betrayed the Celestians unexpectedly, there wasn’t time for the retreat. Both sides perished as a result, which might explain why we don’t see any Celestian spirits or Shadow Web spirits inside the District of the Stars.

The Last Nail

Because there was no one left, no message was sent and so Celestia faded into obscurity until the Marleybonians arrived. Perhaps we weren’t the only ones to receive Thurston Plunkett’s SOS. If any Celestians were listening, the mere mention of the Shadow Queen’s return, it would be more than enough to keep them where they are. If this theory is true there could be a remote population of Celestians in some hidden corner of the Spiral. Waiting, patiently, for the day they can finally return home.

Reading the Celestian's Writing

It is fascinating to note, that the various inscriptions found on walls, obelisks, and other objects throughout Celestia are not gibberish. These symbols are a monoalphabetic substation cipher, meaning for every letter of our alphabet there is a corresponding character that never changes. So, while the individual symbols are different any message or word written in the cipher will always directly correspond to the other set of characters, for example, the word “loom” is written and spelled with the same corresponding characters in either script. If you know all the characters or have the translation key to the cipher cracking the code is a cinch, and the inscriptions on the Stone of Mazzaroth give us just that.

The Stone of Mazzaroth 

While there are multiple scripts on the stone of Mazzaroth, the sentences are all the same “Sphinx of black quartz judge my vow”. These words weren’t chosen because they make an awesome mysterious message. They were chosen so that every letter of the alphabet would be used. This gives us an effective key to decode the messages hidden throughout Celestia and Grizzlehiem. We will look at Grizzleheim another day.
 
Our first major exposure to Celestian symbols is the SOS transmission from Sir Thurston Plunkett. At first, it might seem like a jigsaw of what appears to be meaningless characters. But the message we see before acquiring the stone does perfectly decode to its English version with or without the stone. Provided you’re particularly gifted in the ways of code-cracking. The message regardless of storyline progression says this:
 
“Mayday mayday this is Thurston Plunkett representing the Spiral Geographic Society seeking assistance our survey expedition is stranded on Celestia”.
 
“We are under attack”
 
“Send help immediately the Umbra Queen has returned it is the work of Mor…”
 
This message comes to us as a bit of a freebie, or rather proof the code works. Beyond that, we barely have any more direct contact or use for these symbols.

More Messages

Thurston’s SOS is not the only Celestian text you’ll ever lay eyes on in your journey. If you have a sharp eye you can find all sorts of things written throughout Celestia.
 
I should mention that the process of decoding these messages can be very tedious. The process often involved the use of weird camera positioning and photomancy. So we could get as close as physically possible to the writings. 
 
Furthermore, some of these decoded messages have been corrected to make more sense. While translating the code, one will find situations where there’s a noticeable absence of a word that should be present. It is almost always the word “The”. There might also be areas where two words merge or are stuck together. For example, the words void and star written together as Voidstar. Which in context to surrounding words causes the sentence to break and stop making sense. Besides that, there is also a distinct lack of punctuation and missing spaces in most of these messages
 
These issues aren’t necessarily glitches, oversights, or bad grammar. They are likely problems the game designers had. Trying to stretch, shape, fit, and render the characters onto objects with limited space. That said, here are all the messages I have found thus far and their respective locations so you can see them for yourselves.

The Celestian Base Camp

There are two major legible messages that you can find in the Celestian Base Camp. The first one is around the edges of the Grand Astrolabe which says:
 
*The sun is a hearth to warm against the cold*
 
*The stars are the birthplace of imagination*
 
*The moon is a signal of hope in the night*
 
The second message is around all of the Astral School Trainer obelisks. Base Camp, Stellarium, Lunarium, and Solarium. They say the following:
 
*The ending pillar*

The District of the Stars

The District of the stars contains a multitude of inscriptions on various objects. In the Chantry, there is a model of the Spiral surrounded by a ring of tablets with names of each world carved into them. Wizard City, Krokotopia, Mooshu, Dragonspyre, Grizzleheim, and Celestia. Inside the Astral Archives, you can observe a series of twelve paintings each labeled with their respective titles. The Warden, The Chariot, The Loom, The Messenger, and so forth. Finally, in the main area where you first arrive there’s a large obelisk in the center of the roaming Piscean mobs. Don’t worry you can this object can be safely approached from the left and right sides. When repaired, through the progression of the storyline, it reads as follows:
 
*Stars guide us through the void*
 
*Our passage written in the stars*
 
*We will never falter on the path*

Stormriven Hall

The last major location to find Celestian messages lies in Stormriven Hall. In the areas beneath the Pylon Bosses, you can find a pair of tunnels on opposite ends of the area. One collapsed while the other is completely open and tranversable. The writing found within translates to the following:
 
*The suns flame dispels doubt*
 
*The moon’s light inspires us*
 
*Our passage is in the stars*
 
*We swear to seek the truth*
 
*We must not fear the unknown*
 
*We will never falter on the path*
 
*In the dark the moon grants us hope* 
 
*Stars guide through the void*
 
*In the sun we find purity*

Bonus Piece!

Across the entirety of Celestia, on the trims of many floors, walls, and ceilings, you can find the words “Moon Sun Stars” written repeatedly in that order.

As a nice final touch, the message written beneath the name of the world in this image says:

*Beneath the waves the stars still shine*

While I may have searched Celestia from top to bottom for these messages, its very possible I may have missed some. If you have found any more messages in your adventures please share them below, I do enjoy these sorts of things.

Thanks for Reading!

That is all I have on the world of Celestia for the moment.
 
 I would like to give a shout out to Brad Baker who suggested we visit Celestia in the last article. I would also like to offer a special thanks to those here at Ravenwood Academy. They help edit, create images, and make this article possible. 
 
I implore you to read some of our other articles and share them with other Wizard101 fans! There’s also a Ravenwood Academy page on Facebook and Twitter. Like and follow them to stay up to date on the latest guides and articles. We also have a wonderful Ravenwood Community Discord server, just search Wizard101 in your Discord App.
 
I hope you enjoyed this article and if you did please comment down below as I enjoy reading what others have to say. I do believe our next stop in this series will take us to a favorite world of mine, Grizzleheim.
 
Until next time, stay tuned, see you in the Spiral!
 
~Shade
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4 thoughts on “The Forgotten Lore of Celestia

  1. I think the part about Celestians living for a very long time is an interesting part of W101 lore, because I actually think it’s possible all wizards live for a very long time. Morganthe had been around for a while, and even longer than that, Ambrose has been alive. Ambrose may not be entirely human, given his relationship to the Treeminders, but Malistaire and Cyrus are from Dragonspyre, and so they’re possibly pretty old. There are lots of characters who seem to have been around for quite some time, like the Alhazred, King Artorius, Lydia Greyrose, and others. Just makes me think.

    1. It’s fascinating you should bring that up, Garrett. While digging through the Wizard101 Message Boards I stumbled upon a post titled “Storytime 2016” that positively filled with all sorts of juicy lore bits. Here’s the link for those who would like to read through it (it’s really interesting some of it): https://www.wizard101.com/forum/ravenwood-commons/storytime-2016-8ad6a415523abbf50152846521182fa1?page=1

      According to Librarian Fitzhume, while time here on Earth is governed by the laws of nature, time in the Spiral is governed by the laws of magic. Meaning that time moves differently between separate worlds. Hence, we have worlds like Marleybone which are extremely advanced, worlds like Azteca that a seemingly primitive, and worlds like Dragonspyre that have fallen to ruin. Knowing this fact, a day in Avalon could possibly equate to years in Marleybone (that’s just an example). Fitxhume also said, given Ravenwood’s connection to Bartleby, it’s likely it has the Wizard City own unique relationship with time.

      So in the cases of the characters you mentioned, I don’t think it’s entirely a matter of magic (magic probably plays into it some). It’s also a matter of location and how much time one spends there. Still, it is fascinating food for thought, well done!

  2. I am always fascinated with the lore the Spiral holds, especially when it comes to Celestia. The matter with a large gap of history vanished, along with the theories mentioned makes it likely for some sort of update to arrive like it did with Dragonspyre in the recent dungeon.
    Also I am definitely looking forward to the next article on Grizzleheim. It is one of my favorite worlds, and just as mysterious as Celestia in my opinion. I do have a theory where Nidavellir was once home to the Empyrean Dwarves. According to Norse myth, Nidavellir is the realm that was home to the dwarves. My theory is summarized as such:
    When the Spiral was created Grandmother Raven seeked guardians to protected the Fire and Ice chain, and took notice to the Dwarves in Grizzleheim. The Fire and Ice Dwarves, ancestors to the ones we know now, made strides in the advancement in their technology and engineering. She saw them worthy, asked for their help, and they agreed. So they packed their things and inventions (which could explain why there’s no artifacts n Nidavellir) and settled in the Athanors, where they worked in harmony until their civil war generations later. As for their ancestral home, it remains abandoned and in ruin for a long time until the arrival of new inhabitants: the Grendels.
    Again this is a summarized version, and I can go on forever. If you would like to hear more, let me know!

    1. Alex,

      It is always pleasing to hear new theories from fellow theorist! While I won’t spoil anything for the next article, I will say Nidavellir is somewhat touched upon within the lore of the game. So stay tuned! But your theory is definitely an interesting one, and not beyond the realms of possibility.

      -Morgan Shade

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