Note: Many of the myths people sent me fell more appropriately into one of the later myth collections, dealing with Creation or History. They still count as acceptable player contributions, but will be published later. You may also note that many of these myths are written from the point of view of mortals who have not yet even been created. Gods and other inhabitants of Heaven, being outside of Time, get to ignore things like cause and effect when it comes to their myths.
During the Age that passed before ever there was an earth, or even stars in the heavens, Nut, the inky Goddess of the Celestial Vault, Whose Face is the Dark Side of Heaven, bore three children. The first was a boy child born with the power of speech, and he named himself Dzib, the Keeper of Words. The second child was a hermaphrodite, and born with ineffable beauty. Dzib named the child Dion. The third child, best beloved of Nut, was female and born with a caul covering her face, an augury of her essential mystery. Dzib named her Talarian. This is the truth of the Triple Birth and the Three Siblings. Other legends maintain that Talarian was co-eval with the beginning of All, and that she was not begotten of Nut. This also is true
During the Childhood of the progeny of the Triple Birth, the Three Siblings left the sight of their Mother, Nut, and passed into the Void. There, the Foam of Being boiled and spit out everything that ever would be. Each and every one delighted the eye of Dion, grasped them in both hands. And each was molded into its most perfect and beautiful expression by the swift work of Dion's hands, who handed them to Dzib, the eldest Sibling.
And Dzib, who is therefore called Ur-Namer, grasped them in both hands and gave each thing its true name in the language of Dzib. In his turn, Dzib handed each to Talarian, the youngest Sibling, who grasped them in both hands. And when she took hold, the items became corrupted and confused. They lost both their perfection and their name in the language of the gods. And that is why nothing is perfect in the World, and also why we cannot command things as the Gods do, for we know not their proper names.
In the beginning three children were brought forth from the unnamed. The first child Dzib, looked upon his own mother and laid the name Nut upon her. Since that time, the seed which gives birth has been know as nut. Dzib started to wander about putting the world into order. He named the sky the sky, and it was then no longer allowed upon the earth. He named the earth the earth, and it was no longer allowed to touch but the edge of its friend sky. He named water sea, and kept it away from both sky and earth, for now they had names of their own.
The next child born was know Dion, and it was beautiful. She sprung forth into the orderly world which brother Dzib had created. She looked upon it and frowned. In this world that Dzib had created, everthing had its own name and place, and there was order, but there was no joy. This made Dion sorrowful, and all about her felt the sorrow. It was a sad time to see.
The third child, the child of growth and proserity was brought forth. As she was born Nut did turn back to rest on the other side of the moon, saying to her children,"This is now your world, you may make it into what you wish it to be. But watch after yourselves, for there are those who would take your world from you." Dzib, the boring wordy one, did speak long about the good job he would do with the world. The goddess of Prosperity did laugh with anticipation of the coming days of ruling over the world. Dion went to his mother, and did grasp her mightily and say to her,"I love you."
This word, love was the first word which Dzib did not create. When the children realized that Dion had made a new thing, they all looked most concernedly at one another. Dzib demanded a explaination for this new thing, love. Prosperity asked how it was done, wanting to create words for herself. But love had no other words to describe it. All she could do was show it. And so the three did discover the love of family. It was from this joining that Architechture was borne.
Dion loved Aedificus, the Goddess of Architecture, but could not explain or understand what her daughter was to do. Dzib explained it again and again, but Dion could not comprehend it, for it required people to work, and people had not yet been created. So Dion asked her daughter to bring the earth and sea back together. Aedificus agreed, and she created mighty channels that ran from the sea to high in the mountains, creating the first rivers and allow sea to play once again with earth. This coupling allowed the first fish and other life on earth, produced from earth and water's love.
But Dion was not happy yet. She saw how poor sky was left out. She went to earth and said, earth can you not befriend sky again. But it was too far for earth to reach. What earth could do, and yearned to do was to bind with Dion. Earth did make a plea, "Oh beautiful one, if you would allow me to become one with you, I would set my child to find a way to bind earth and sky." So earth and Dion did couple, and it was a fiery passionate time, the earth rent open at places, and rivers did change their course. It was now that Dion understood the importance of love of others.
So it was that Pele was born, and set to the making of bonds between sky and earth. She threw her arms up and could reach the sky. From this bonding the birds and bats and all the flying creatures were born. And Dion was once again proud of her daughter.
But the other gods, who also shared her daughters did work to control Dion's children, to command them to work for them, and this brought Dion sorrow, for there was no way she could free her children. She wished a child she could raise, upon whom none of the other gods had a claim. So she did turn to herself, and bear forth a child that was wholly her own. At this time she did realise the love of one's self.
This last child was the most beautiful of all her children, and Dion did protect her from the other gods and goddesses. Dion hid her in a cave and gave her all the beautiful things that she could. And this child did become cruelty. When Cruelty had grown, and Dion let her go forth to meet the other gods and goddesses, she was as sweet as she could be at least in an obvious sense. But secretly she did say most unkind things, and did lower some of the gods, while building up others. Now not all were equal, and cruelty was determining who was better than the others. But Dion did not see how cruelty hurt the others, he only saw his little girl.
So Dion did love all her children, her family, others, and herself.
Pele, fiery goddess of eruptions, was borne of Dion, deity of Love and Beauty, and Igneous, Lord of Lava. She knew not whether she was the product of love or if it was one of those things that greater gods liked to do. She knew that her father loved her greatly, for she was in a sense a minor version of him. He taught her everything she knew. For this Pele holds a great loyalty and love for Igneous, for he is her Protector, and her Teacher.
She also loves Dion, her mother/father, yet she knows that she will never hold a place in her/his heart that her selfish sister Cruelty does. For this she will always harbor a deep resentment to Cruelty and a lesser, but still heartfelt longing to be the one that Dion loves most. She knows that she can't be cast aside for any longer. Cruelty tries her patience. Pele has developed a temper, which she tries to suppress, but sometimes can't control. Her powers are a source of woe for her whenever she lets her angry emotions come through.
Pele feels a bond of sorts with her other sister Aedificus, who, with her, has seen Cruelty
exalted and lavished with their parent's love. As to her other siblings, Pele gets along well with
her brothers Quake, Mistral, and
The being that was Talarian was always aware. She sought others of her kind. She found three others: Null, Dominion, and Destiny. Talarian delighted in joining her brothers in the creation of Heaven. Talarian, however, soon began to feel that the created Heaven was in need of some disorder to balance the order. Null agreed with her and together they sought the blessings of Dominion and Destiny. The Lord of Light was neutral in his feelings, but the Lord of Fate and Justice vehemently refused. A fight ensued. Talarian sought out a place of safe haven. The beings of the Void welcomed her in and she eventually created her domain in that place. From that time forward, Talarian, Goddess of Chaos, Conquerer of the Void, Demon Queen vowed to oppose order in any form, in any place.
During her period of recovery, Talarian had many thoughts and one of them escaped. It took physical form and became the Goddess of Lunacy.
In the beginning there were only Fate and Chaos, Order and Disorder, and the universe was a pretty boring place because there wasn't anything to do. At least for Fate, Chaos was reasonably happy. So Fate decreed that there exist other Gods, and so it came to pass. And Chaos was surprised, which made her happy.
But after an eternity, the Gods became predictable, and Chaos was displeased. And in her displeasure, she had a stray thought which evaded her grasp. It was a wild thought, and Chaos looked upon it and was pleased, and she let it pass among the other gods. And that thought was Dementia, Lady of Schemes.
And soon, there arose among the Gods an Idea: to create the Earth and its creatures, and to create History so that the Gods might vie for power. And Fate was pleased that the wheels of time might grind out his predictions. And unnoticed, Death entered heaven. And Chaos was mightily pleased at all that had come to pass.
When the world was young, only the phoenix lived in the mountains where the fire-lord dwelled in Algoth. His hall of basalt and obsidian, with volcanos as guard-towers and a moat of liquid fire, was at the northern end of the range, while the phoenix lived in the south. This range was the very spine of the earth, and the phoenix would fly the length of it to bathe in the fire-pools of Algoth.
Then came the Delvers, and made their homes in the southern mountains, and built great fortresses there. And the Shi'tun ploughed the plains about their feet, and built cities there. After a time, the two made war, and the Delvers made weapons from the iron and fire of the mountains to pierce the carapaces of their enemies. The Delvers were cunning, and the Shi'tun were many; the gods added their strength and secret wisdom to the contest. Fire consumed the cities, the fields, and the fortresses; the might of the struggle turned aside rivers and beat the mountains down, for the hate between the foes was stronger than the battleground they contested. In the end, only a great desert remained, the sands of a great mountain ground down by the millstones of war. Even the undying phoenix had been destroyed in the cataclysm, but in the center of that waste was a single egg of mirrored obsidian. And from that fired egg came Mistral, and he walked long alone in the empty lands, listening to the hot winds and feeling the sand shift beneath his sandals.
Like the phoenix, he followed the mountain range to Algoth, and beheld the hall of fire. Inside, he met with the lord of fire, a great figure of smoke, ash, and stone, and on a throne of onyx. And the fire lord said to him, "What ho! Who comes unbidden to my home?"
"I am Mistral, and I followed the winds coming off the mountains to this place. I have walked long in the empty places, and long heard naught by the hollow breezes."
"Well," said the fire lord, "you have invaded my home, and for that you should be punished. But you are courteous, at least, and have had a long journey. So, I will challenge you with three riddles, and if you answer them all I will let you free."
"There is much wisdom and time for thought in empty places," boasted Mistral, "and your riddles should be easy."
So the fire lord posed the first:
Mistral replied, "My lord fire, you think little of me! For I could never have walked an age in the desert places without recognizing the wind that comes off the mountains."
Then the fire-lord laughed, and Algoth shook, and the stones of his throne melted and glittered. "Well-spoken! For that, I shall make you lord of the desert wind, stirred by the heat of the volcano and the scalding earth. It will serve you, and bring you word of that which is spoken within its hearing. But remember, two riddles yet remain:"
"Why, these are the sands of the desert," answered Mistral after a pause. "They are shifty friends, but I recognize them."
"Again, well done. For that, I shall grant you rule over the desert sands. They are strong and subtle, and may teach you much by their stirrings. But come, there is one left:"
"How can one stand in this hall, dread lord, without thinking of flame? For that is surely the answer." offered Mistral.
"A clever thought, my strange visitor, but a wrong one. For the riddle describes mortals, who will deal with you later and who, I think, have had a hand in your past. For your answer of flame, I will teach you some of the fire-lore; you will control it, but it will be your master. As will I."
And so Mistral became the lord of the deserts and the vassal of the lord of fire.
From the nothingness, the senseless matter that was the universe came the first gods. Each had their own influence which they carved out from what remained of the universe. As the gods of nature tore asunder the physical universe each claiming their own portions and spheres, the conflict between them spawned a being. A formless mass born and given sentience by the turmoil caused by the claiming of the universe. This being was to become Calais.
Shapeless and without direction, Calais existed and watched in the air around the Gods as turmoil broke out amongst them. Gaining strength from these encounters, Calais began to take shape. One day, a cataclysm shook the realm of the gods. To the surprise of the Gods of sea and sky, water poured from the air, thunder and lightning shook the heavens. The first storm personified the turmoil that the gods' internal strife was causing and gave substance to the god that was Calais. This storm heralded the coming of a new god.
Now, Calais walked among the gods and saw their strife. He was an embodiment of these struggles, a result of their greed and mischief, and he manifested these conflicts as storms which disturbed the heavens. In these storms he found beauty. In his eyes, there was nothing more beautiful than the breaking of the calmness of heaven with a bolt of lightning and a roll of thunder. Nothing was as satisfying as disturbing the oh so perfect lands of heaven by pouring the seas upon it. The satisfaction of having the earth churned up from the waters' bottom and shattering the air with thunder and lightning. This, he believed was true beauty.
One time, while creating a particularly large and breathtaking display of beauty, Calais found another spark of sentience within the storm. He poured more of his energy into the winds and sky and churned the oceans more than he had ever done before. He put a part of himself into this work of beauty and the sentience was given life: Hurricane was born. Calais looked at his creation and thought that it was good. Pleased with himself, he sought to create such a creature again. He summoned the seas and the winds and created mighty storms the likes of which heaven hadn't seen since Calais was born. It was over the land that this sentience was born. A creature much like the other was born, this one Calais named Cyclone.
Spent, Calais sat back and watched his creations as they made storms of such beauty that the heavens shook from the disturbance. Calais watched, he saw what the funneling of his power could do and the beauty it could create, water and sky mixed together to create magnificent representations of conflict. He pondered what the powers of the other gods could create if they were funneled through him. Their conflict could make things of beauty surpassing even the mightiest storm. So, Calais thought on this. He sat and he plotted....
Aurora, God of Sky and Ice, and his brother Merram have always had a strange relationship. Though the two were brought into being with the same purpose, they were given different means and temperments with which to accomplish them. Merram was mercurial of nature, swinging from calm and placid like the summer ocean at sunset to violent and torn like the sea durring the most terrible of storms. Aurora, however, was more constant of disposition. Though violent like his brother Merram, the God of Sky and Ice was cool and lofty of attitude like the domain he rules.
Though the two brothers most often work in concert as their powers require, these two often disagree about the methods necessary to accomplish their other goal, the bounding of the rest of the Earth. On one such occasion the arguement became more intense than usual. The Sea raged and the skys trembled with the crack of lightning. All of the primitive creatures of the Earth and even the other Gods in Heaven took notice. The conflict last for months and streatched even into years. Unable to resolve their differences the two agreed on a comprimise. With the help of the other Gods they called forth yet another of their number into being, Calais. Each of the brothers ceeded half of his power to this new god and agreed to allow him control of the storms that resulted from the clash between sea and sky.
Calais, however was a true servant of Talarian. To this end he renounced all of his civilizing influence over Cities and Wealth, giving it to her and upsetting the ballance of power between the elder gods of Heaven. Only by investing two lesser gods with these powers did Talarian restore the balance and maintain her uneasy place amoung her brethren.
And that is the story of how Calais came to be.
Aedificus the Builder was building sand castles out of the stuff of Heaven, when Nature came upon her.
And he said with a smile on his face, "Your structures are very pleasing to behold, but they partake too much of artificiality. I feel that you need the touch of Nature." So saying, he took her hand.
But she replied, "I have no need for Nature. I beg you to release me."
And Nature said with honey thick upon his tongue, "We could make beautiful buildings together." And he placed his hand upon her breast.
And Aedificus cried out, "O God of Beasts, do not do this!"
But Nature grew wroth and had his way with her. And their union was fruitful.
Aedificus carried the infant to her three parents. Dzib consoled his daughter and named the infant, Art. Talarian consoled her daughter and gave the infant a wild creativity. But Dion, after consoling Aedificus, could not face the child of lust, born without and in spite of Love.
And Art is ever torn between his mother and grandparents of the Triple Birth, and his wild father, Nature.
Dzib, Wellspring of Progress, foresaw the travails that would beset the peoples of the Earth, and he betook himself to a private place in the heavens.
"The mortals will need aids in facing the harsh and cruel world that the Gods of Nature will provide them." So saying, he took his pen in his right hand and pierced his left with it. And the Blood of Dzib flowed, and it was the god of Tools.
"The mortals will require the knowledge to understand the harsh and cruel world that the Gods of Nature will provide them." So saying, he took his pen in his right hand and pierced his tongue with it. And the Blood of Dzib flowed, and it was the god of Science.
"The mortals will want an art that allows them to change the harsh and cruel world that the Gods of Nature will provide them." So saying, he took his pen in his right hand and pierced his genitals with it. And the Blood of Dzib flowed, and it was the goddess of Magic.
And Dzib instructed the three in all they should know in preparation for the Ages to come.
Before the gods formed the earth, before Light tore out his heart and made the sun, the gods were formless spirits in the dim channels of Heaven, like wisps of smoke in a thatch hut that has not seen a fire all winter. They did not know their names. They did not know hunger or thirst, for they were gods; but as they were gods, they had no gods to teach them why they exist. Nor were they different; each was the same. So they swam in the channels of heaven, but without joy.
One day, a jewel came into the realm of the gods. No one can say what this jewel was like, but it must have shone brighter than any sun; yet the eyes of the gods could look upon it; and for the first time, they knew joy. They crowded around this jewel; and it seemed to give them warmth. No one know who had made it, unless it was the demons that populate the dark reaches of creation. But all the gods wished to be close to the warmth of the jewel.
And soon came into the minds of the gods the desire to possess this jewel. And this is how the formless gods came to focus their minds until their bodies took shape.
And the gods began to fight each other for the jewel. And as they fought, they felt pain, and anger, and desire, and hatred. And as they felt these things, they began to know themselves. They knew their names then.
As Dominon fought at first with hands and feet and teeth, but gradually he fought more and more with the bright strength of Light. And Null fought at first with hands and feet and teeth, but gradually he fought more and more with the fearsome power that is Death. And Talarian fought by clouding the minds of the other gods; and Destiny fought with the tools of fate.
And then the jewel was gone, destroyed in the fighting; or perhaps it never was created to last. Only the demons know, if they made it.
The gods wept.
And the gods drew back and lo, they saw a new god, whom they had not known before. He had been created by the warring of god upon god. And he smiled the smile of a warrior, ready to go into battle. Vadu he was, that was that which had defined them and given them shape. For no nation is made without borders, nor borders without conflict. No people knows themselves, except by knowing where the towns stop and the nameless hordes wander. No truth is found, except by argument.
So it was that the gods then laughed. For they knew now their names, and who they were. And they looked about Heaven, and saw that it was all formless, and needed forming. They banqueted; and they built the Hammer of Time, and gave it unto Vadu, for he would strike fear into the enemy, and they set off to make the world.
She is Aeron, called the Valkyrie, patron goddess of the Berserks, fierce warriors who have abandoned their families and villages for glory, who disdain armor or even clothing, and go into battle clad only in an ecstatic fury.
She rides a night-black mare through the sky, causing thunder and lightning and terror, followed by a band of those slain warriors she has selected for their ferocity, skill, bravery and intelligence in battle. She leads them to the Hall of the Valiant, where they battle each other all day only to rise from the dead to banquet all night, perpetually, until they are called upon to defend the Gods as Heaven's vanguard at the End of Time.
She appears to human eyes in the form of a crow, or a flock of crows, eating the dead upon the battlefield. Men shudder to think that this is the means by which the greatest warriors are taken to the Hall of the Valiant.
She is the youngest and most cherished daughter of Vadu, by Chaos according to some tales. They say she is fiercely loyal, and should Vadu be slain, would likely set her warriors against Heaven and seek to destroy it.
Men used to the comforts of houses, and hearth fires, and women and children, fear the sound of thunder, for they wonder if she is passing through.
In the beginning of time, the Gods were in conflict. Constantly at odds with one another, ceaselessly contesting for power and advantage, even the beginnings of an orderly selection of Rules to govern the Gods' conduct were impossible. The Comos were in Chaos. Commotion and warfare were the norm, and every attempt to bring Order failed. It is said that many Gods did despair of ever forming a Grand Council of the Gods. Caught up in profound hopelessness, some Gods even threw themselves into the Void, to escape from the unending conflict and mayhem.
Something had to be done. Some act was needed, to impose Order on the Gods, to allow for the possibility of discussion and compromise. Thus, a Divine Servitor was called for, one who would enforce the rules of conduct and decorum upon the Gods themselves. So it came to be, that the Great Gods of Justice and Death did agreed to produce a Divine Servitor, one whose duty would be to provide the framework of Order necessary to the birth of the Council. So for seventy-seven days and seventy-seven nights did the Gods of Justice and Death wrestle and couple and labor to bring forth an offspring. And at last they were successful, and brought forth the Divine Servitor to be known as the Sentinel, the Council's Left Hand.
In addition to the Powers granted by his parents, several other Gods did also bestow their powers upon the Sentinel, so that he might better Serve the Council. It was the duty of the Shield to Summon the Gods to Council, to tally the Judgments of the Gods, and to Record the Holy Laws. But the greatest responsibility of the Shield was to enforce the Council's Rules of Procedure. Few dared to try the wrath of the mighty Sentinel, whose Power was rival to that of the greatest Gods, and whose eye was everywhere.
So it was written, in the earliest times of the Gods, that the will of the Council was defied. For the Lesser God of Terror, scion of Death, did defy the Council and declared himself an equal to the Great Gods themselves. And so did Terror refuse to honor the Commands of the Council, unless and until they should meet his Unlawful Demands. And Terror did threaten the Council, vowing to make alliance with and mate with the Demons of the Void, should the Council refuse to bend to his Demands.
And so did the Gods call forth the Shield of the Council, to deal with the upstart God of Terror. Great was their struggle, and long. For what man would someday measure as a lifetime did the two Titans struggle. In the end, the Sentinel called forth the War Child, to occupy Terror while the servitor called forth his greatest Power, and made the Axe of Destiny. With this fell weapon, did the Sentinel fall upon Terror, and cast him forever into the Void, never to be seen again. And the Servitor Sentinel then did return to his eternal post, of Protector and Scribe to the Council of the Gods.
Sekhmet is the daughter of Dominion and the consort of Nut. Mortal rulers adopted her as a symbol of their own unvanquishable heroism in battle. Sekhmet breathes fire against the king's enemies, scorching their bodies. Another of her titles is "Lady of Bright Red Linen", which is not only a reference to the colour of her homeland but also refers to the blood-soaked clothing of her ravaged enemies. Her blood-thirsty nature is revealed in the following tale, entitled "The Destruction of Mankind".
There was a time, when mankind foolishly plotted against Dominion. When Dominion discovered this, he was mightily wroth. He joined with the other gods, and decided to send down his avenging Eye as Sekhmet to destroy the rebels. She went among the mortals and began to slaughter the people in the desert, leaving them in pools of blood, and thus transformed into the "Powerful". Dominion soon grew worried that she was becoming unstoppable in her bloodlust, and would annihilate all people of the earth.
While Sekhmet was resting at night, Dominion ordered his priests to make 7000 jars of beer mash, and colour it with red ochre. When Sekhmet went out in the morning to finish her task, Dominion had the beer poured into the fields, flooding them three palms high. Sekhmet was pleased with the sight of all this "blood", and drank it until she was completely inebriated. Thus mankind was spared, for the time being, from the blood lust of Sekhmet.
Dogai's special aptitude is to frustrate human enterprises of all those who ignore his complex demands for placation. Although many human groups try to appease him, his only true followers are bands of ferocious sea-faring cannibals. These peoples emulate his destructive nature, and so are able to appease his extraordinary demands fro sacrifices of artifacts, as well as souls. Like Dogai, the his people shun un-warlike advances in civilization and are feared for their wily intelligence, keen senses, and unnatural good fortune.
Dogai's face is unknown to the peoples of the Earth. Many imagine him as a face with an ever-changing shape, who can take the form of clouds, waves, or even rocks in order to hide and frustrate his opponents. It is said that when you feel that he is near, but cannot see him, that you are in the greatest danger. For once you are embraced by the "Darkness of Dogai" all that you have accomplished and all that you would have accomplished mean nothing. The war cry of Dogai's followers is a chant that can be translated loosely as: "Pray; Lay Down; Prepare; You Do Not Exist; Your House Does Not Exist; You Have Never Existed".
Some tell of a time when there was a Great Mother, alone in a universe of mist and dust. She created the lands the Gods stand on now, and formed worlds to serve as stepping stones as she made her way throughout her universe. No one knows how, or by what she begot children, but it is said that in those earliest of days, she bore twins. The first was a golden child, whose first cry ignited a sun to warm his cooling, shivering body. Warmth and love flooded the home of the gods, as the Great Mother bore down on her second passing. But the second birth was horrific, her blood flowed and seeped down to the worlds, giving them a core of fire and a molten heart. Eventually, after what seemed to be an age had passed, the pale and shunken babe, clutching and flailing as he left his mothers womb, was loosed upon the heavens. The Great Mother, realizing that this was the time of her passing, whispered, "Null..." and the pale child knew his name. The Golden Child left, lighting his own way throughout the universe, keen on exploring and seeing what knowledge he might find. The misshappen Null stayed at his mother's side, and learned of Love and Death as she slipped from the knowing of this world.
Null, like his brother, grew quickly and soon stood and came to know the other gods that had come from the mist and dust. And amongst them he soon realized only he knew death; and whatever the others may say, only he knew true love. And so it was, and so it is to this day, that Null appears in resplendent white, caring for those around him, concerned about the creatures of every world, knowing that No One will love them as much as he will, and that his love requires that their souls stay well kept and tended, caressed and cared for, in his home the Abyss.
They say that in the beginning, there was nothing.
This is true.
But before the nothing, before the beginning, there was an assurance that eventually there would be something. A promise. A prophecy, if you will.
Because the creation of the universe was Destined to occur. All is foreordained; before anything could ever occur, there had to be the assurance that it would. Destiny knows all that has happened and shall ever happen. In the end, when the world comes to a close, Destiny's final prophecy shall come true; and when Death finally comes to claim the universe, Destiny, too, will end.
Once, long ago, before you remember, when the world was young and the Gods still walked the Earth, Destiny came upon an old man, fevered with illness. That man was ancient and wise, and knew Destiny for what he was, and he said, "My Lord, it is said that thou hast knowledge of all that has ever been and all that shall ever be. Tell me, will I live or die? What is my fate?"
And Destiny said, "Your fate is to both live and die, mortal man. Thy time of living still proceeds; thy time of death will come. So it is with all men."
And the man, disturbed, said, "But my Lord, I have always been a gentle man. I have been kind, and honest, and fair to all men. Why should I die now? This is not justice!"
And Destiny looked into the man's heart, and all the man's secrets were revealed to him. And Destiny spoke, "'Tis true that you have been better than most, but also that you have outlived most. Thou art more fortunate than the bulk of thy race; many are the good who die young, and the evil who long outlive the time they deserve. You are old enough, mortal man, to know that there is no true Justice except in Heaven."
And the old man sighed, and said, "My Lord, you speak truly, and I accept my fate. But tell me, Lord, what will happen when I die? Will I ascend to Heaven, and exist forever among the stars? Or will I be punished forever in the fiery depths of Tartarus? Tell me, O my Lord, tell me!"
And Destiny smiled; and he said, "O mortal man, I have answered the question of your fate, and I have answered your question of justice; but now you ask what no man may know. You ask of your Destiny, and this knowledge is a burden no man can bear."
And the old man sighed once more, and died. And Destiny continued on his way.
Once, long ago, when the world was young and the Gods still walked the Earth, Destiny came upon a village that was being pillaged by raiders. The villagers were a peaceful people, easy prey for the well-armed attackers. And Destiny saw the killing, and the rapine, and the robbing, and the burning. And when one of the raiders rode by, he said to that man "Why do you do this thing?"
And that man called back, "We do it because it is decreed! Because it is prophesied by the greatest of our seers that this village shall fall before our axe and torch, and that no villager may survive our wrath! It is their fate!"
And Destiny was filled with a terrible rage, for he knew that it was true. And he shed two tears, one from each eye, for the people of the village; and one tear became a sword, and the other became a shield. And Destiny set upon the raiders with a terrible roar, and he smote them down. Furious and dreadful was the battle, and soon Destiny had struck down all the raiders but one, and it was the one he had first spoken to.
"Why do you do this thing?" cried the last man, as Destiny strode towards him, sword raised high. "Why do you slay us?"
"Because I am Justice," Destiny said, and he slew the man.
And then Destiny was sorrowful, and he discarded his blade and shield and turned to leave the village; but then he heard a plaintive cry. Turning, he saw a young woman, disheveled and bleeding, lying amongst the ruin. And he reached down and picked up his blade.
"Why do you do this thing?" cried the woman as Destiny closed on her. "You have slain our foes; why do you now slay me?"
"Because I am Fate," Destiny said, striking with his sword. And when it was done, Destiny threw aside the bloody weapon, and continued on his path. But bright tears fell from his eyes.
"Why do I do this thing?" Destiny asked himself. "Why do I weep for those I have slain?"
"Because I am Justice," he answered himself.
And I turned to see the voice that spake to me, and Lo! I saw seven black basins full of blood. And in the midst of the basins, I saw one like unto a Man, and yet not like. For his head was like a lion, and his eyes burned in it as coals in a furnace, and on his hands were dread talons. His robes fell to the floor, and were girt about with a belt on which hung a sword that flamed without fires such as are known among mortals. In his hand he held a star, and it was called Justice. Half was black, and half white, but even as I watched the two halves began to mix together till they could not be told apart. Then he spoke to me, and his voice was low, like the growl of a great beast, and it shook the heaven unto its very foundations. And he said "I am he who judgeth. I know thy works and thy labour. Yet it is as nought before me. And I know what thou might have done. And it is as a mountain beside the first." Then he roared with a great voice, and the floor of heaven was split beneath me, and I fell from that place for an eternity.
And there appeared a great wonder in heaven. A fortress with seven towers standing in the midst of a wilderness, and above it swirled a blackness, and beneath it lay a sea of fire. The gates of this place were of iron, and upon it were the skulls of a great multitude. They were the skulls of those who would be judged and found wanting. Within this there sat the Archon, and it was sometimes as a woman and sometimes as a man, and its head was that of a great beast. The throne upon which it sat was carven of a single stone, and it was black as the heavens in the time before creation. The chamber was lighted by a multitude of torches, held in brackets along the walls, and these gave forth a red and smokey light. By this light, the walls could be seen to be carven with many figures which showed the judgement taking place. There were carved the plaintiff and the accused, and both had right and wrong joined together in their hearts. Then the Archon reached into the breasts of both and ripped from them the beating hearts, which he placed upon scales invisible to the eye. They writhed in agony as the judgement was made. Then the Archon drove them from that place with a sword of fire, and defendant and plaintiff both cried out in terror and great fear...
Then in the heavens I saw a beast with two heads, alike in every way, yet opposed to one another. Each had seven horns, and written on the forehead of the one was the word 'Justice' and on the forehead of the other was 'Injustice'. And no one could tell the two apart in any other way. Above them hovered a giant bird, and the span of its wings was twelve furlongs, and from its wings came a wind like a hurricane. Upon its back sat a woman with the head of a lion, and she was called the Quaesitor Caeli. Her robes were red, and in her hand she held a flaming sword. Then she directed the steed to dive, and it fell as on its prey toward the beast. Screaming it fell, and its wings were like the night that has never known beginning or end. And lo! when the bird rose the beast lay dead, riven in two, and from its rotting bulk there arose a great stench...
Air was Azrael's idea. Azrael decided that there needed to be something to hold up the heavens. Azrael had absolutely no authority, but Aurora agreed that air would be the perfect substance. Aurora thanked Azrael for the idea of air and promptly created winds. The winds blew dust around, and scooped up the lightest, softest parts of the Earth, which now hang above as islands in the sky called clouds. The creation of air gave Aurora the advantage he needed over Storm to make Aurora a higher power in the sky. Dominion was pleased to have air to hold up the heavens, the clouds, and especially his Sun (which Dominion tends jealously).
As a reward, Dominion gave Azrael huge wings with which to catch the air, and gave Azrael a large bag full of stars of his very own. Azrael was thrilled that his idea that would hold up the heavens, now would hold him up as well. He soared among the clouds trying out his wings, and throwing handfulls of stars into the sky. Storm didn't like Azrael interferring in the sphere of sky and wanted to punish Azrael. Talarian saw how angry Storm was, and owed Storm a favor, so she sent an imp named Mischief to tangle Azrael's wings in his legs. Azrael plummeted to the Earth screaming in terror all the way! Azrael landed face first in a baked desert (which later becomes a forsaken badland known as Azrael's Landing Strip). Badly hurt, Azrael began to cry out for Null. Null came down and saw one badly damaged angel! Null gave Azreal enough control over death so that as long as Azrael concentrated on it, Azrael could hold himself together. The worst damage was to Azrael's head and face. Null gave Azrael a large helmet to hold Azrael's skull together and to hide the horror of Azrael's face. Dominion saw what happened and gave Azrael a large sword to defend himself with.
When Azrael had healed, he promptly hunted down and slaughtered Mischief. Talarian was angry, but Destiny defended Azrael's right to do so.
Worshippers of Azrael always cremate their dead.
And then there was life.
And more and more life. And where ever there is life, death must follow. It was more than Null could ever keep up with - and whenver he thought things would be under control, Vadu would show up. Or Talarian would wreak just a little bit of havok. Or Igneous would cause a disaster.
And then once all of the lesser gods started sprouting from everywhere, life would flurish and retreat again and again. From all over the place.
Once again, Null managed to get a handle on it. But then, one day, he was pushed too far. Aeron saught to steal some of his fallen; she swept away with their souls to aid to her undead army.
And so mortality was created, to watch over the heard, and beat the Valkyrie to the fallen. None were to escape the grasp of a proper death.
In the beginning there was only Void, vast empty quantities of it. There was only one thing that was, and as far as he and all who worships him is concerned, he was always there. He was Dominion, first of the Endless. He remembered the forgotten truths and had been around since before the Second Fall which resulted in the Void.
He was joined by others who survived the Second Fall and each of them took upon themselves Aspects. So there are many myths about him.
When Dominion gazed upon the Void, he was sad, for the emptiness gave no solace nor comfort. He pushed his hand within his breast, and with fingers clenched he pulled from within the Flame Eternal. It shone with a light so brilliant that all were silent and in awe of the sight. His heart still beat and he cast it into the Firmament. And thus was there light, and this was good. And the Great Lord spoke,
"My light is meant for all, to show the way and to comfort the lost and bereaved. It shines for both good and evil. For the good it promises eventual salvation and tranquillity in the lands of Heaven. For the wicked and dark, it shows the Way, for Mortal Man can never fall so far as to lose his way. There is always a chance for salvation. So let my light only smite those who are of the Void, for in them is only dark and my light is their bane."
And thus the Lord of Light made his promise unto his children. And he also gave the words of holy purpose. For we stand beneath our Lord's light to destroy all things of great darkness. The banshee, chimera, demon, and black cat are all our enemies. For these are the words of God, and one cannot argue with that.
- Saint Geoffrey the Bright, Comments on the Illurion
Igneous' first real memory is a feeling, a feeling of jealousy.
Although the Earth had long existed, his awareness was kindled as the brightness of Dominion shone upon his sere and barren plains and they did not compare in their beauty. Igneous tried to raise mountains high enough to reach the light, but it was beyond him. He created deserts as a place on Earth to attract the light, but it was not enough and he handed over their rule to Mistral, his first born.
The jealousy built, and the Earth shook with rage and desire, but he frigntened himself with such violent passion, so he divorced himself from this feeling and created Quake.
Igneous turned his thoughts inward, away from the light, and created wonderful structures within himself, veins of gold and mithril, rich deposits of iron. But even these did not satisfy him, so he gave their care over to Pietro, his third son.
For a long time the Earth sat silent and dour. Then Dion came and took pity on him, and in their lovemaking Igneous felt something new well up in him, and he called it Fire. As their passion crescendoed a new mountain rose up out of the Earth, and in its midst a great column of fire. Thus Pele was born, and her beauty rivaled the light.
And so Tellerian slept in her lair of the Void. And yea, many dreams did she dream of places unheard and thoughts unconsidered. One such dream floated out from the Void, escaping the swipes of demon claw, and the madness of the tendrils of mist. And as a mote of dust dances upon a sunbeam, this capricious dream floated across the heavens and made its way to the Hall of Feasts.
And it was there, in the Hall of Feasts that this frolicsome dream brought discord and jarring surprise. For there, as the Gods sat and drank and ate their sacred food, somberness and quiet reigned. At that time in the lives of the Gods, nourishment and company were coincidence, and nothing more. (Perhaps is was but chance alone that directed the dream with winsome delight, though some claim that it was Tellarian herself made it so.) And amongst the godly company sat quiet, smoldering Igneous, He of Rumbling Earth and Fire, and as that fire-lord tipped back his massive cup which steamed with a molten nectar, this fated Dream wandered up into the nostrils of the greater God. And LO! the sudden rush of sensation made Igneous gasp and choke. And as a family of volcanoes, he did spew forth his brew from all the orifices of his countenance.
There sat Lord Vadu, Calais, Dominion, Dzib, and the others, staring agog at their dripping cousin, amazed at the sight of the once-stoic Igneous covered in his own beverage, a soaking testimony to the dream of Tellerian. And the silence was then broken, but not by a call for help, or an offering of comfort for the damp God. A chuckle, a guffaw, and uproarious laugh: these were the new sounds that erupted from the gods, even the usually quiet Igneous, and they reveled in the new sensations of laughter and joy that rippled and rushed across each and every one of them.
From the drippings of the drink of Igneous arose a form, slight of build and handsome of face. And Dzib, Keeper of Words, quickly named their new companion Merth, and his was the happy errand that brought laughter to the sullen gods. And so it was that Merth was introduced to the other gods with many a hand-buzzer and a knock-knock joke, and laughter rang resounding from the heavens, and brought a tear of delight to the dreaming Tellerian, mother of Merth.
In the beginning there was nothing, which was certainly boring and there wasn't really that much to do. All of the gods were prety much in agreement on this, but they dealt with it differently. Many of them sat around shooting the breeze (or collecting the corpses of dead breezes) or inventing titles for themselves. Galius wasn't one of them.
Other gods were more ambitious, they plotted for what they would do if they found a way out of the Void and found a place they could live and work. Some even went so far as to seek such a thing.
Galius wasn't one of those either. He mostly sat around and thought about how there were just too damn many gods. The herd needed to be thinned.
Then the gods got loose, spreading out over the fertile lands of heaven and for a time there was plenty of room and the gods spread out and assumed new roles. In time they created a world and on that world they created new herds and there was worthwhile work to do. But then things changed, the gods got ambitious and began overdoing things in an effort to outdo each other. No sense of restraint. They had to be stopped. Of course one of his own patrons, Nature, was one of the worst offenders, constantly growing the herds so as to crowd out the new things. For a time, life was constant work, always culling, until Galius came to the conclusion that he could make his own rules.
So he culled the herds of creatures and of the new races and observed the swelling population of the gods, seeing that the time would inevitably need culling and began to plan for that eventuality.
And the heavens shook with the cries of Aedificus.
And no one cared to hear them, except for the caring ears of Null. He heard her screams of terror and pain as Nature had his beastial way with her, and it was he who spied proud Nature swagger away from the pained goddess. And it was he who tended to the fallen goddess, and swore to help Aedificus find her vengeance.
With the assitance of his beloved, Azrael, Null stole into the Great Wilds and found Nature slothful and sleeping with the proud grin of sated lust upon his his countenance. As Nature slept, Null poured an elixir into the ear of the slumbering god. And that potion did make the Lord of the Forests soil himself, and from that filth, Null did take a great portion, and left the proud, fouled lord to his fateful waking. And with that dark and reeking portion, Null fashioned a new god, blessed with the powers of decay and disease.
"Go out," Null proclaimed for all the Gods to hear, "for I have learned anger and outrage. Nature has fouled us all, and may he be fouled for eternity! Go, my plague-son, and be my hand and my eye and use your gifts well.
"Go out," Null said before the world began. "You are the natural end of many things. It is for you to decide who shall be strong, and determine what peoples and creatures will survive. Be just.
"Go out," Null whispered to his new child, "and spoil the beasts of Nature's dominion. Bring blights to his forests and fields, and dismay to all of those who inhabit them. He is your twin-father, but he is no friend of yours, for only I love you truly, and you are my son truly. Know this well."
And Nature stood with a heavy heart.
And Aedificus smiled.
Moloch sprang from the Void, at a still point in the creation of the Cosmos. Not the first of things and not the last of things, he is a god "lost in the shuffle". Nothing and no one would claim him as their own, and so Moloch moped about the Cosmos utterly alone.
Many other lesser gods would make sport of Moloch, taunting him in his weakness and alienation from the rest of the gods. This humilation and punishment of the outcast-god is, ironically, what brought him to power.
War could not bear to see a defenseless creature so pitiable as Moloch, and so took him under his wing and taught him the martial art. Nature took pity on a creature so alone and made him a servant equal to his others. The taunting stopped. Moloch was now a god who lived in the society of gods.
In the first time, when the great gods became whole, All was formless void. The void roiled with shifting shapes, wails, and whispers. One whisper, stronger than most, called upon:
"I am nothing, merely a voice without substance. I beg of you, grant me your power so that I may have form and action."
Each considered the request for some time.
The Whisperer hesitated.
"Two of your other Lords wish to give me power as well, and I cannot refuse them. Would you join them in giving me the power of three?"
"Take me to them so that I may discuss this matter." They responded.
The three great gods conferred for some time.
"Thank you, great ones. For you I will create marvelous works of praise, full of Craft, Passion, and Life. I will make all mortals devote themselves to great works that sing your praises."
Each produced their sphere, and gave to the Whisperer as one. From out of the void coalesced a form to accompany the voice.
"You may call me Kilo, and I will be your eyes to make report, your mouths to make threats, and your arms to smite your enemies."
Satisfied with their creation, the three great gods left Art to study his spheres.
"May I be an instrument for my own power and no other's. I shall be a thorn in the side of all who oppose me. One day, a greater god shall I be." said the Whisperer.
He laughed long and hard that day.
After Aedificus came forth from the triple birth, she looked about her, and saw the beauty of the other Gods. She looked upon Dzib, the Ur-Namer, and saw how with his mighty hands he could fashion things. She looked upon Dion, and saw his/her beauty, and felt a deep welling of love in her heart, and knew Dion to be the most beautiful, most loving god of them all. She then looked upon her mother, Talarian, who constantly shifted, never stable, and she knew that this was Chaos.
Then Aedificus looked upon herself, and frowned. She knew not what she might be. So Aedificus talked with her parents, and sought to learn from them. As she talked with her father, he told her of many things of the universe and the gods. "Why must I know this?" asked Aedificus. "Because this is knowledge," replied Dzib cryptically. Aedificus struggled to remember the things that Dzib said, but she could not. Irritated, Dzib dismissed her from his desmesne, which seemed to be formed of books and papers stacked high around him. As she walked out, Aedificus accidentally knocked a pile of books, and they toppled around him. With a gasp, Aedificus fled.
Aedificus then went to visit her mother in her desmesne. Talarian stood with ever shifting images and sounds about her. Aedificus tried to speak with her mother, but the images and sounds bedazzled and confused her, and she was unable to hear any of her mother's words. Finally, Aedificus shut her eyes and covered her ears. Unfortunately, she not only shut out the confusion of her mother's demesne, but her mother as well, and Aedificus left, frustrated.
Finally Aedificus went to her mother/father, Dion, and said "Dear father, I love you most of all. Please, mother, can you teach me of what you know?" Dion looked upon her daughter, and saw the beauty of her form. But that beauty seemed cold, and lacking the glow of love. Perhaps, thought Dion, I can teach her of love. And as Aedificus dutifully listened to Dion's words, days went by. The first night, it rained on Dion's paradise. So Aedificus found some sticks and stones, and built a roof over their heads. The second night, the wind blew chill through Dion's paradise. So Aedificus fashioned walls around them, to protect them from the wind. But now Dion could see nothing of her paradise, so Aedificus fashioned windows for him to look through. Finally, on the last day, Aedificus was sad. "I have heard your words, mother, but I understand little of them. I do not know how to bring forth the well of love in others' hearts." Dion bid farewell to his daughter. As Aedificus turned to leave, she saw there was no way out of the structure she had built. So she fashioned a door.
On the outside, Aedificus looked back upon her father's dwelling, and understood what she could do. She returned to her father Dzib, and fashioned a giant library to hold all his books. She returned to her mother Talarian, but here, she was unsuccessful. Any forms she made by her mother were quickly swept away in the chaos that surrounded her. So Aedificus went and found a suitable area of the heavens, and fashioned a beautiful building to serve as her desmesne. And inside, she was content.
Editor's Note: The following text is taken from the Record Archives of the Abyss. The first paragraph, in elegant cursive, breaks off abruptly and appears to have been erased. The subsequent text is typed over the now illegible script beneath.
The Keeper has always been. The Keeper will always be. When the first mystical Soul-Stuff of the cosmos coalesces into another pantheon of gods he is there as existence begins. And when the last wisps of divine ectoplasm fade into the post-Ragnarokian entropy he is still there. He is the Watcher of the Great Well, the Guardian of Souls, the Guide to Beyond, The Keeper of the Aby-
Job title: Ditto.
Job description: Coordinate distribution and recollection of basic soul component matter (hereafter known as Soul-Stuff) for successive cosmic ages. Administer access to and operations within Soul-Stuff sorting and storage area (hereafter known as The Abyss). Familiarize and assist incoming chief operations officer of Soul Stuff distribution operations (hereafter known as god, or gods, of Death) with correct administrative procedures regarding procurement, use, and recycling of Soul-Stuff. Familiarize and assist other incoming department heads (hereafter, other gods) with same.
Hours: Each succesive cosmic age, Creation to Oblivion.
Compensation: In mana, as per cosmic compensation charts for divine servitors. Supplemented by independent subcontracts with various department heads, compensation to be negotiated, based on guidelines set forth in cosmic negotiation guidelines.
Vacation time: Variable, from post-apocalypse entropy until reformation of cosmic Soul-Stuff into the pantheon of succeeding cosmic age.
Editor's Note: The origins and veracity of this tale are unknown to the gods. Many question the story's complete lack of any mention as to how Gen survived the destruction of the previous universe and became a divine servitor in this one. Many of these same gods believe that this anecdote is actually derived from the back cover of a D&D novel and that Gen's true origins are far more sinister.
Ages ago, prior to this cosmic cycle, on the magical world of Gaiarth, under its two moons was born a half-human, half-elven child. His parents named him Gen. He was a bastard child born from the forbidden love of the warrior prince of the now lost kingdom of Shiran and a warrior woman from the dark elves of clan Tal'Shalude. Unfortunately for the newly formed family, their time was during the height of the Elven wars when the dark elves fought and elf/human alliance. When the royal family of Shiran and the clan elders learned of this union of human and dark elf, both the parents and the child were condemned to death. In defiance, the parents fled with their child and were hunted until, they found a combined tribe of wood elves and dark elves who remembered the days when all elves lived in harmoney and who wanted no part in the present conflict. There Gen grew up learning fighting skills and both black and white magic of the elves, along with the technological and combat skills of humans from his father. There he was happy and grew extremely advanced in his studies, until disaster struck.
The people of Gen's village became the last casualties of the Elven wars when a renegade regiment of the human forces, reluctant to forget the war and accept the neutrality treatly being formed by the human and elven leaders, slaughtered the entire village with the exception of Gen, who was away completing the last part of his training. When Gen returned to his home and found it destroyed and everyone murdered, his rage was unequaled. He chased down the group responsible, entered the camp, and challenged the commander. Though many wanted to destroy this "unholy half-human", the commander accepted the challenge and was quickly killed. The shocked troops turned on Gen, but Gen's anger and blood lust was not quenched by the death of the commander; he re-payed each and every soldier tenfold for the suffering that they had imposed.
After soaking his anger in blood to quell the fires of revenge, Gen walked the world of Gaiarth. Gen ran from his past, but could never escape the constancy of violence on Gaiarth. Eventually he became a wandering warrior. Though he had no illusion of what is fabled to be good and righteous, unnecessary suffering and loss of life would always be looked down upon in Gen's eyes and thus always prevented when possible. Thus, when a dark army threatened to re-ignite the flames of war between elves and humans by murdering the king of Solaria, the strongest of the human kingdoms, and the Shadow Hegemond, leader of the elven dark elven empire, Gen returned to Shiran and then to the clan Tal'Shalude to gather forces to fight the wizard. With the two sides of his family fighting side-by-side, Gen led the final charge against the wizard and saved the two leaders. Gen, however, had to give his life to destroy the wizard and uphold the peace. As a result of Gen's sacrifice, the resulting peace lasted for thousands of years.
Thus descended the dream of the nameless one, refracting into splintered fragments of consciousness which became the Twelve Great Ones.
Among them was Lord Ravathorn, bewildered and awed like the others at his birthless birth. Knowing nothing but his thirst for knowledge, seeking answers which he knew could only come from the nameless one through the whispers of his innermost being.
An age passed.
Rising from his meditation, Ravathorn was now aware of the primal forces that would be the song within the great dream. He returned to where the young gods were already vying for mastery and sought out the power that would bring him to his place in the song.
Seeing that the unfolding universe must have a law, Ravathorn sought to be its master. But he was not alone in this quest, and as the ages passed he came upon another who possessed as much knowledge as he. The two gods faced each other at the edge of the void and in the titanic struggle that waged, Ravathorn was overcome. Though defeated, he had learned much in the battle, for in the beginning no gods could meet in a contest of strength without exchanging a part of their being.
Filled with questions concerning the new knowledge he had gained, Ravathorn fled from the places inhabited by the gods. Out into the vastness of infinity he wandered alone, seeking the key that would unlock his destiny. Then one day, in a place so far away no gods had ever been there before, Ravathorn found something amidst the infinite unrealized potential around him. It was so small it almost escaped his notice, but as he focused his consciousness upon it, he began to unravel its nature and see its unfolding within the great song. Soon, there was another, then another, until finally the scope of his godlike vision was filled with towering intertwining pillars that filled his mind with arcana about the matrix of the great dream. Here before him, was a living metaphor of what was to come. Rooted in the deepest infinity, stretching equally high, reaching out with multi-tiered dimensions to mingle with other realities, all independent yet networking together to create a wild potential, untamable even by the gods themselves.
Thus was born the first forest, the heart of that place the gods would come to call the Primal Wilds.
Returning from his quest, Ravathorn was stunned to discover that many of the other gods did not share his awe at what had been revealed to him. Many of them seemed indifferent to the manifestation of his vision, more concerned with the feeble races that would inhabit the world, feeding them with their pitiful supplication. But worst of all, some of the gods spoke out against the living metaphors he had seen, claiming that the weak races of the world must destroy them in order to make shelter and expand their dwelling places. This was inconceivable to Ravathorn, as if the trees did not provide shelter and sustenance enough!?
So it was that his destiny was revealed to him.
He began to study the gods and was amazed at the diversity of actions that would empower them. Some even willingly sacrificed a part of their life force to create other beings who would serve them. Ravathorn returned to the Primal wilds and quickly followed suit. He let loose a lock of his hair which the wind whisked up into the trees and brought to rest on a great bough. Soon the hair disappeared among great leaves that blew by and was carried off into the sky. Just as thoughts of failure began to trouble him, a sound broke the stillness of the Primal Wilds, the first sound other than the footfall of the gods echoed throughout the forest. As he stood there, marveling at this new creation, a woman stepped out of the trees. She was garbed in the same multitude of colors that now filled the trees. Thus was born the goddess of birds.
Ravathorn next turned his attention to the creation of beings who would be the enemy of all civilization. He found allies in the gods of War and Death. As long as blood flowed they would be satiated. With a tooth of his own and a drop of blood from the god of War, the god of monsters was created. From a rotting tree root, breathed on by the god of death, the god of plaques was formed. Ravathorn contributed to the creation of the god of art in hope that this god, through his nature, would kindle in man compassion and respect for the quiet meadows and forests of the world.
Ravathorn brooded long on his undertaking and looked with pleasure on the young gods he had helped create, though a thought began to plague him. With all his disdain for civilizations, he couldn't help but see something noble in the vain struggle petty mortals faced. He resolved that if a race could be created that would live in harmony with the forests, perhaps he would no longer be at odds with the other gods. This new race could provide an example to the others and protect the forests. But they must be protected as well. Again Ravathorn turned to the god of War for the creation of a new being, a patron of the new race called elves. He grabbed hold of the shadow of a tree as the god of War drove a magic sword into the ground before it. The shadow wrapped itself around the sword and its tree shape was merged with that of the sword. Thus was born Valakor, the Elven God of War.
So it was in the beginning.
In the name of Mhemet, the most Holy, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful, Salam.
Long ago in the eternal past, out of the original chaos of the Void and of the dark and shapeless firmament of the Heavens, there appeared the divine spirits of Law, Order, Nature, and Essence.
And the spirits transpired to form themselves into the God beings of Mhemet, the God of Law and Essence, and Shaharazi, the Goddess of Order and Nature.
And it was Good.
And Mhemet saw Shaharazi and knew her.
And it was also good.
Then in the high moment of knowing, when Mhemet's seed passed into her, Shaharazi spoke unto creation all the Gods of all the Heavens and of the Stars, the Sun and the Moon, the Earth and water, fire and rock, until the Earth and all living things came into existence.
And Mhemet spoke unto Shaharazi and proclaimed, "WOW!!... that was REALLY GOOD!!"
And there was much rejoicing!
One day, Mhemet spoke unto Shaharazi, "Let us make children in our image to bring goodness to our creation."
And all the Gods of all the Heavens and of the Stars made children in their image.
And there was also much rejoicing.
Then Mhemet spoke unto His children, proclaiming, "You are MY children, MY people. Never will I leave you or forsake you for you are a Holy people and I am your God!"
And the children of Mhemet and Shaharazi took unto themselves the name Memmonite and proclaimed in one voice, "WOW, what a head rush, we will be worthy of our God!"
And so the Memmonites became a great nation unto the land and built great cities and temples of knowledge and beauty to the God Mhemet. And they were rich and powerful and feared no nation, for no nation was foolish enough to make war on them because they were unwavering in their faith to the God Mhemet.
But there was one God who could not create beauty or goodness.
Ali Rayon, the God of Petroleum Byproducts and Fine Polyester Garments, was an evil and wicked God whop conspired against Mhemet and His people and made war upon them.
And that was bad.
And Ali Rayon rebelled and turned the forest into artificial trees, the grass into Astor-turf, the oceans into oil, and polluted the sky with the stench of petroleum.
And there was a blight upon the land.
And Ali Rayon led the Gods of all the Heavens and of the Stars into open rebellion until only the Goddess Shaharazi and the demi-God Mujahid, Patriarch of Caravans, stood alone at the God Mhemet's side.
And that was REALLY BAD!
And Mhemet took some of Shaharazi's divine beads and spoke unto Mujahid and His children saying, "I have not forgotten your unwavering faith and devotion to your God." And he instructed Mujahid to gather up all His Memmonite children, their great cities of wealth and knowledge, their temples of beauty and worship, their pack animals and flocks, and their fields and farms.
And Mujahid did as was instructed until not a creature nor beast nor structure was left.
And the God Mhemet put all that was gathered into the divine beads and placed them in Mujahid's hands saying, "I the Lord name you Mehmet Mujahid, Guardian of MY people forever!"
And the God Mhemet spoke unto His people saying, "Obey Mehmet Mujahid, Guardian of MY people, for in him you will find salvation!"
And then the God Mhemet spoke and said, "Go, guard and protect MY people. Leave the Heavens and the Earth for I, Mhemet, the SUPREME GOD OF ALL GODS, will uncreate it and destroy it and cast it into the eternal Void, to exist nevermore!"
And Mehmet Mujahid did all that was commanded of him and fled the Earth and the Heavens.
And then the God Mhemet opened up the eternal Void and uncreated and destroyed; all the Gods of all the Heavens and of the Stars were cast into a great chasm. And great Apocalypse occurred as every wicked and vile creature and thing and God that had existed was cast into the eternal Void and destroyed.
And a great cry went up from all the Gods of all the Heavens and of the Stars and from every wicked and vile creature and thing that had existed and proclaimed in unison, "Damn you, Ali Rayon! We'll get you for this!"
And Mehmet Mujahid obeyed all that was commanded of him and did not look back and he wandered the eternal nothingness for an eternity.
In the name of Mhemet, the most Holy, the most Compassionate, the most Merciful.
In the beginning, the gods of Heaven were content merely to exist. This, however, soon came to bore them, and they wished for more. Together the gods of Heaven formed the gods of the Earth. These new gods were meant solely to create a pleasing diversion for their elders. At first there was only Igneous and Ravathorn. These two beings were relegated to create the playground called Earth.
But the mountains of Earth reared their heads too high and the fires reached too low. Heaven and the Abyss were in danger of being overcome by these latecomers. So together, Dominion and Talarian decided that something must be done.
Dominion: And I shall create the sky. He shall separate the mountains from the Heavens. I shall grant to him powers of cold. Ice that he may counter fire. Orderly shall be the ice of his heights and messages will be borne by his breath. Aurora shall he be named.
Talarian: And to Aurora will I grant a cold and aloof nature; spurning the creatures of the Earth and bringing destruction to those who attempt to rise above their station. Bringing woe with his winds.
Dominion: And next I shall create the sea. He shall quench the fires below and keep the Earth from out of the Abyss. His ebb and flow will repeat endlessly from beginning to end without stop. Merram shall he be named.
Talarian: And Merram shall also have a violent nature. His temperament will ebb and flow as the tides which I will link to the moons. Amorphous in form and without organization. Great woe will he bring to those who brave the shore.
Dominion: Together they will have the power to encourage great civilizations. Cities will they raise and journeys will they inspire.
Talarian: Separately will they sow disorder and destruction. The wrath of the sea and the unfeeling detachment of the sky.
Together: Sea and Sky, together will they form the boundaries that separate the realm of Earth from the realm of Heaven. Both order and chaos forever at war with themselves that they might maintain peace between us all.
I Jarrod, Chapter 2:8-29
|8||But Jarrod in his foolish arrogance did not listen to them and did scoff at their pleas and did cry out to them, saying "Let he who possesses a more worthy craft step forth."|
|9||And none did step forth for it was known by all that a more worthy craft never had been created by the hand of man.|
|10||Again he did speak to them in a loud voice, saying "The storm shall not harm me nor cause my vessel to founder nor turn it over nor break its timbers; for my craft is the equal of this storm."|
|11||And he thusly set forth from the harbor of Kaldish with sails set to run before the storm, even as the storm did grow stronger.|
|12||But the storm was his master, and it did cause his vessel to founder and to turn over, and the storm did cause its timbers to break; and the storm did cause him harm.|
|13||Amid the wreck of his craft he did thus wash ashore upon an island and did there pull himself up from the waters and did there hardly live.|
|14||Then there did come upon the island a sudden calm and the eye of the storm was upon the island.|
|15||And Jarrod did look up at the eye in fear and wonder, and the eye did then open and look back at him and did look deep into his soul; and the eye was sorely vexed with Jarrod's arrogance and foolishness.|
|16||Then the eye did speak to Jarrod and the words did form themselves within his thoughts, and the words did drive him mad for they were filled with the emptiness of the void and with the howling from between the worlds and with the rage of the gods.|
|17||And Jarrod saw that he was as nothing and did fall to his knees before his god.|
|18||The eye did speak again to Jarrod and in his madness Jarrod did understand the words, and the words said unto him, "KNOW ME."|
|19||And the past was opened to him and he did fall forward into it like unto an abyss and was taken by it.|
|20||And Jarrod did see the birth of his gods as Calais breathed life into one of his storms and did give of himself to the spark therein and did place therein a portion of the rage and conflict that he had gathered together.|
|21||And the spark did know itself and did see that though it had just been birthed so had it always been even since the beginning of time.|
|22||And the god did name itself and did declare its name to be Hurricane as this was the name given to him by his father Calais.|
|23||And Calais was well pleased and did say to his son "Go forth and make our presence known."|
|24||And Hurricane did as his father bade him and went forth even as his brother Cyclone did go forth, for even as he and his brother were created one after the other did they come into being at the same time even as they had always existed; and verily they did make their presence known before the other gods.|
|25||And the gods were astonished for they saw in Hurricane and in his brother Cyclone a part of themselves and of their struggles one with another.|
|26||And some were pleased with the chaos they saw within and some were wroth for it was not their desire to be creators of chaos.|
|27||And all did recognize the gift of wisdom that Calais had given unto them for all could see that their struggles would have torn the spheres asunder were they not abated, and they did give thanks to him for this gift.|
|28||And Jarrod saw as the gods sought a way to continue their struggles that would not tear apart the spheres; and he did watch as they created the earth and all the peoples thereof.|
|29||And Jarrod did wake as from a dream and foam did drip from his mouth and he did run about in mad fear for his true purpose had been made known to him.|