The Islands of Erosia were animated by Nokoma, the God of Passion.
When his undying spirit exploded out of his mortal body, the moon that lit up his home planet was impregnated with his essence.
Orbs are sacred in Erosia, as they symbolize Nokoma's romance with the moon and carry his charge within them.
The people of Erosia have no legal system, but nature has its own laws. To love is to channel the essence of Nokoma.
Those who lose faith in love disappear from Erosia and materialize in Dystopia, where governments prevent chaos among the loveless.
From the earliest age, children are taught to survive, give, and express passion.
Erosian language contains ample vocabulary to describe nuances of love, attraction and emotion...
...but no words for marriage or divorce, monogamy or polygamy, heterosexuality or homosexuality.
Such distinctions are arbitrary in Erosia, where language exists to channel nature.
Nokoma chose the Valentines as the royal family in Erosia.
Many believe they descended from vampires, since their magic feeds on the vital energy of outside forces.
Some Valentines compel behavior in animals and plants, and others influence the elements.
They train their children to inspire, assert power, and enchant.
Every time a Valentine is born, a sacred orb is crafted for the baby to carry with them forever.
Before sleeping, they set their orbs near fire, sunlight or moonlight to recharge their energy along with them.
Many Valentines inspired folklore that was passed down through generations.
The saddest and most compelling tale was that of Prince Ruby Valentine, the Erosian Exile.
Ruby was born to Queen Emerald Valentine, the most grounded and empathetic ruler in history.
Emerald loved to frolic barefoot and play in the leaves. She never allowed her status to obscure her connection with nature.
Electric forces surrendered to her call, allowing her to shape the world.
Water rippled along with her motion, as it was drawn to mirror her empathy and depths.
Though the elements endowed her with otherworldly power, her love for them was most essential to her.
She embodied the instinctual compassion and connectivity that Erosia stood for.
Erosia was left devestated when Emerald died giving birth to Ruby, her first and only son.
Her sisters, Olivia and Magda, prayed to Nokoma every day for a leader worthy of succeeding her.
Olivia was the gatekeeper of Erosia.
She communicated with the magic walls that blocked the islands from each other, and also, separated Erosia from Dystopia.
Her palace was located atop a mountain on an island between the others.
There, she hosted travelers who wished to pass through the magic walls.
Her eccentricity delighted them and awakened their inner child.
Once they were open and vulnerable, she put them to the test.
With her startling command of fire, she embodied danger and terror. If they still showed her empathy, she let them pass.
Magda was the keeper of the Valentine Palace.
Sometimes, she left the palace gates open and read near the entrance, aiming to attract bold and curious Erosians.
She rewarded their adventurousness by enslaving their minds and enchanting them with stories and poems about Nokoma.
The poetry infiltrated them so deeply, they overflowed with love and admiration for Magda.
When artists and performers were especially talented, Magda invited them to stay at the palace and entertain the Valentines.
She called upon ancient magic to build invisible walls which allowed guests to see the private wing, but not to enter.
This was one of many ways she maintained her family's royalty and showcased their dominion over the common people of Erosia.
Magda had three children. The eldest, Violet, protected the royal family with her ruthless pride. Only the most beautiful and talented could escape her judgment.
Violet showed tenderness only to those she deemed worthy, and coaxed them to hypnosis with her harp, to draw out the love that infused their talents.
Her sister, Sapphire, captivated and intimidated with her statuesque beauty and dance.
She levitated and floated in place for hours, inspiring people to quiet their minds, reassess their pre-conceived limits, and overcome obstacles to meet their potential.
Their younger brother, Daeva, was a master of illusion.
He could draw down moonlight and sunlight to create shapes in the shadows.
In any patch of light, he could cast illusions of himself.
Onlookers were forced to confront their perceptions of reality.
He loved confusing everyone with his many faces.
Though Magda's children were enchanting, none could inspire absolute devotion the way Queen Emerald once had. Her son, alone, inherited this burden.
Prince Ruby Valentine was the most dangerous of all. The seed of destruction that killed his mother burned within him.
Music was his first outlet for his inner turmoil.
His relatives were eager to teach him, and in addition, many men claimed to be his father and competed to inspire and instruct him.
In his early teens, he stopped speaking, as he learned that his hands betrayed cravings that words never could.
Often, he wandered away from the palace and ignited Erosia with songs.
He did not care for royalty, power or luxury. Instead, he yearned to lose himself.
Since he was elusive, his relatives tried to engage him with music.
His aunts, Olivia and Magda, played with him whenever he was willing.
The energy that infused his music was boundless, and lured the others into a trance while he powered on.
Ruby’s hands were endowed with the power to unleash the primal energy of anything he touched.
He won games easily, by sensing the essence of objects.
When he played an instrument, the musical visions of its owners rang out.
With his own guitar, he channeled every desire in the area, including his own.
Everywhere Ruby played, nature succumbed to his will.
Animals, especially birds, were drawn to the sound of their own carnal urges.
Women were drawn like magnets to the wild wail of his strings.
Some broke into song and dance to release the burning energy that welled up inside them.
They watched him play in a trance and longed to be ravaged by him...
... but none could predict what would be left of them afterwards.
Though many lusted for Ruby, he chose his prey carefully. He longed for someone who could break him apart.
His lovers fell helplessly into his lure, never to be the same again.
No matter what they yearned for, Ruby embodied it entirely.
Some dreamed of being serenaded until they ripped their own clothes off.
Some longed to be musicians, and were aroused when Ruby taught them to play.
Others wanted their hair pulled and skin clawed until they were screaming in pain.
Ruby ignited every corner of the psyche, leaving no fantasy unrealized.
His lovers were left craving nothing but him, their one and only fantasy.
At the Valentine Palace, guests often approached him.
As he strolled through the gardens, his presence drew all eyes.
When he locked into someone he wanted, he had no patience.
His relatives became accustomed to him distracting their guests and pupils.
When Ruby's hunger kept him awake at night, he retreated to his private cabin, known to women as The House of Love.
As his guitar cried and screamed, women rushed to answer his mating call.
The guitar aroused them as he echoed their desires.
He chose the hottest woman, set her aflame with his strings, and lured her into his arms.
The rejects often watched in awe, locked in hypnosis.
He ravaged his lovers thoroughly, digging deep to scrape up every buried urge so he could bring it to life.
Some overtook him for one night and others for hundreds, but once he had drained them dry, he lost interest.
When he said goodbye, he meant it... but his lovers were infected forever. Only he could unlock their primal nature.
Once a woman had succumbed, she crumbled at his feet, dreaming of nothing but him.
Some were so desperate for him, they became sick.
Once Ruby had lost interest in a woman, he could not get aroused no matter how she pleaded.
Every Valentines’ Day, Erosians gave a gift to the person they were most deeply in love with, and Ruby received more than anyone.
Though he enjoyed being desired, he wished he had someone to give gifts to. Nobody was ever enough.
The more women he destroyed, the more hollow he felt.
He yearned for something more, though he could not imagine what it might be.