The Third Cycle of Life, or the Epoch of the Calm, is the third and final cycle of life in the grand scale of the Universe. Following the sterilisation of most life in the Universe, the destruction of star systems and the death of Imperius, life had to survive in artificially constructed arks and deep corners of the Universe until planets could become habitable again. Much of the focus in this cycle of life goes into New Eternos, now referred to as "Home" by its inhabitants. Most of the Centros system had been destroyed following the Third Cosmic Extinction, and all Magick Stones in existence were destroyed. All of the events on Home are now focused on living in a world without magic and extra-terrestrial beings. Very few life forms live on Home now, with the progeny of Second Cycle humanoids (living in the Dyson Spheres) inhabiting it, free from the bondage of feral beasts. This removed the need for monster hunting groups. Now, humans live off the land and live for the good of the community, in societies of peace, trying to make the best of the world they have been given.
Author notes: "I wanted to make the Third Cycle of Life a huge departure from the Second Cycle, where most of my effort and emotional input went in. It's like an epilogue to the entire Hellblade story arc, but it's big enough to be a story in of itself. With this, I wanted to recreate the feeling one gets when they've finished an epic story or film series, where the ending ends up being peaceful and totally different from the first 95% of the story. The ending of such a series, like Lord of the Rings, makes you feel happy because the problems are all finally resolved and you've been given closure, but it's incredibly sad because it means saying goodbye to the characters you've followed in their amazing journey, and how things are completely different now and will never be the same again. You've lived through their adversities with them, wanting them to make it until the end, but now that the end is here, you don't want it to be over. It's a bittersweet feeling that I feel with this story, and it makes me tear up knowing that something I've been thinking about for over a decade is finally coming to an end. I'd cite the ending of Lord of the Rings as a minor influence, but my bigger influences would probably be Lightning Returns: FFXIII, The H. G. Wells novel "The Time Machine", and the premise for Gears of War 4. Futuristic themes and post-apocalyptic themes are often explored in fiction, but the entire regeneration of society--where the next society is different to the last--following an apocalyptic event hasn't been explored nearly as much. It's something I find really appealing and interesting, and I really want to take on the gauntlet of writing a story within the setting myself.
It seems right for Hellblade's story to end here. I've been thinking about the end of Hellblade's journey for quite a while now because I'm growing up and I have more responsibilities, making it more difficult to set time aside for thinking up these scenarios. Plus, it became tough to know where to take it, and I didn't want it to "descend" into a Sci-Fi space-travelling series because that wasn't characteristic of the series at all, even though I love Sci-Fi and wanted it to make up a decent section of the series. I didn't want to create a separate Sci-Fi series because it would mean creating a whole new Universe and I didn't have time for that, so I found a way to incorporate it into the Eternos series. I wasn't sure how it would end and ideas were running thin, but I fell in love with the idea of creating a story arc with the premise of a de facto epilogue, due to the emotions it brings up. It genuinely gives rise to some pretty strong emotions. And I will create a new story for people to follow: granted, it won't be as long or detailed as the Second Cycle, but it will be something new and in my opinion, great, whilst keeping the old and familiar charm. It will connect the Second Cycle in some ways, but not too closely in such a way that it compromises its own identity. Hellblade, his friends and their adventures are finally over, and this paves the way for new characters and a new world. Much of what I write about will be entrenched in the world we live in, but it's more idealistic and utopian. Human society mostly socialist as this point, even if it can't be realistically and fully implemented in our world, but it's to reflect the change and resolve from the calamities of the last cycle of life. They'll also be some real world problems that we face, but it won't be completely devoid of fantasy nor sci-fi elements--I'll get to those later.
It's so sad because even I hold the old characters close to my heart. I think that's the point, though, because it makes this next story so much more hard-hitting and molds the previous adventures deep in your heart. You don't miss it until you're reminded it's truly gone. I really hope you enjoy the Third Cycle: it's going to be incredibly emotional. Hellblade is gone, but Eternos, ahem, Home, is far from over."