The First Age: CreationEdit
In the beginning there was the One. She was alone in her thoughts, and she grieved in her loneliness. She grew to despise the emptiness that surrounded her, and in her pain she wept heavy tears. In the anguish of her tears, her essence spilled into the Void, and a fragment of her being was remade in her image and became Uthëllin, who is known as “The Eternal”. From the tears of the One, Uthëllin tore the cosmos in twain, forever splitting the realm of the One from the Void. In this cataclysm, fragments from the Timeless Realm drifted into the emptiness of the Void and soon after the emptiness was filled with orbs of light and darkness, heat and cold, fire and ice. Soon after, the very essence of Light and Darkness exploded into the Void, and the cycle of days was set in motion.
The One was filled with unquenchable joy at this new creation, and she embraced Uthëllin and granted him a place above all others at her right hand. She had discovered the joy of creation, and bestowed upon Uthëllin domain over the cycle of days. Uthëllin became like the One, her consort and friend, and seeking a name for his mistress he called out to her; “Creator of All Things, you of Singular Perfection, I pledge to you my eternal love and servitude.” And from that moment forth she was called Amin’Zerû, which means “Singular Perfection” in the celestial tongue. With the birth of Uthëllin, the First Age had been set in motion, and the One knew the time for the creation of worlds had begun.
The One idled for a time, reveling in the joy of the love she and the Eternal shared. She was enveloped in her emotions as the stars and nebulae formed, silently acceding to her will. Unbridled flames danced across the surface of each tiny orb, and the blazing light of the stars cast shadows across the Void. As the cycle of her creation was completed, she shaped its evolution to her will. The nebulae eventually came to rest, the rage of the stars grew steadier, and the birthing pains of a galaxy began to subside. When the last star in the heavens had been lit at last, the One smiled and was greatly pleased.
Knowing what course her creation must take, the One stretched out her hand and touched every star. From each she drew a portion of Light and portion of Darkness. “What good is such beauty if there is no-one to appreciate it as we do?” She asked her consort. With the burning essence of the stars she merged the smallest portion of her will, and from each and every star and nebula in the heavens was born a new spirit. She called her newborn children to her, each of them unique, each of them born of a fragment of their mother. She spoke to them and said; “Hearken unto me, my Ilith’ari, for thou art the masters and mistresses of this realm. To each of you I have given a fragment of my mind, heart and spirit; and to each of you falls the responsibility to govern this realm which I have given you, according to my will.” The newborn spirits gazed upon their mother, all of them overjoyed in her presence, wishing only to serve her perfect will. In an instant they spread across the realm that had been given to them, and they began to shape it according to the will of the One. She called out to her Ilith’ari, her Star Children, and whispered her approval throughout the heavens. The Void filled quickly with the energy and sounds of vibrant, violent, and vigorous Creation. When the galaxy was at rest and all things were as they should be in the heavens, Amin’Zerû and her beloved Uthëllin chose a handful of stars to be special above all the others.
Planets, moons and all lesser celestial bodies were created then, and it was not long before the eyes of the One came to rest upon the world we now call our own. She gazed upon the Ilith’ari who reigned there and spoke to them, and bade them to listen. “Listen well, my children. I abhor the emptiness of the Void, and it is my wish that this planet be filled with life and death, darkness and light. It is my wish that this planet become a place to pay homage to the Divine Realm.” With that, she granted dominion over this sphere to those Ilith’ari, her children. Chief among these Ilith’ari were the Thirteen Exalted.
Aarûn, favored son of the One, was the Master of Light. Given to him was domain over the Morningstar, the lights in the heavens, and also given to him was the duty to protect all things that held within them even a fragment of the Divine Light. He is chief among the Thirteen and governs them wisely. Aarûn is proud and stern, but steadfast and devoted to the One.
Jolarä, favored daughter of the One, is called the Huntress. Her domain lies over wild beasts, both predator and prey, and all things that live in the wild, assigned to her was the task of filling the world with life, and her intercession is sought by all who wish to hunt or use animals for food. Jolarä is fierce and wild, but loves the One intensely as any child loves her mother.
Sûldin is called the Landforger, and it was by his design that the world as it is now known took its shape. Given to him was domain over the subterranean places of the world, and absolute control over the element of Earth. He is known among the Ilith’ari for his stubborn determination and single-minded will.
Tal’rëa and Kal’rën were born of twin stars, and thus they are called the Twins in the celestial tongue. Given to Tal’rëa was domain over the realm of dreams, and she is favored by Uthëllin for her stewardship of that portion of the timeless realm. When the Ilith’ari gather, it is Tal’rëa who stands bound with Aarûn as his wife, and speaks for the One.
Given to Kal’rën was domain over the Halls of the Dead, and the duty to see all who meet death to their place under the will of the One. He is also favored by Uthëllin for his devotion. Kal’rën is just and kind, and was granted the ability to judge the dead worthy of paradise or condemn them to eternal suffering.
Fënrir is called “Windrider” in the celestial tongue, and to him was given absolute domain over the element of Air. It was Fënrir who gave the world its clouds, wind, and rain. He is a passionate, but capricious spirit, and he frequently strays to soothe the wanderlust in his heart.
Asteria “the Queen of Magic” and “the Mystic Star” was given sole domain over Magic in all its varied forms. It was only through Asteria’s gift that any of the creatures in the world could use Magic to bend reality to their will. Asteria was the medium of the Ilith’ari, facilitating the connection between the mortal and the divine.
Zörena “the Bringer of Endings” is feared by her brethren, for amongst all the souls in Creation, only the One, Uthëllin and Zörena know what is intended for the Final Days. To her was given domain over knowledge of the Beginning and the End, over knowledge of Life and Death. She is seen by some as a joyful and merciful giver of life and by others as a fierce judge, but she is faithful to the One, and only acts according to Her will. It is she who enacts the will of the One and decides when a life is finally cut short or when a new one is begun.
Eäminn is called “the Seeker” and “Finder of the Lost” and it is his domain to see all that cannot be seen by others. His vision extends from one edge of creation to the other. He revels in the unknown and the mysterious, and always seeks to learn and gain knowledge. Given to him was the task of bringing understanding to the hearts of those who will not listen, and light to the eyes of those who cannot see.
Roëna has been called “Mistress of Flames” since before the Celestial War, but during the war she discovered the joy of battle, reveling in waging war and now she is often called “the Warbringer”. Hers is the dominion over the element of Fire. Her anger is known best among all the Ilith’ari, and it was she that laid down the fiery wrath of the volcano, and the indiscriminate destruction of the Ravaged Lands.
Xi’rian is known as the “the Crucible of Storms” and he was once known as “the Fury of Heaven”. He is given domain over the seas and the oceans, and with his twisted hand he shakes the realm of earth with the mighty force of elemental Water. He has long abused those under his dominion, and because of him, to travel the ocean is to risk mortal danger.
Gilana “the Broken” was once the timid, beloved daughter of the One. Sorrow, misery and grief are within her domain, and it is her duty to see that the hearts of those who mourn are soothed. She has grown bitter since the Celestial War, and with her one remaining baleful eye, gazes out upon The world and struggles eternally with the pain and misery in her heart.
Onûs is the fear in the hearts of men, and the tremor in the spirits of elves as they walk in the night. Onûs is the Nightbringer, the Ruin of Mortals, the Shadow Serpent, the Deceiver, and the Fallen Son of Amin’Zerû. He is the cursed betrayer who is damned for all eternity. It was by his hand that the vows of the Ilith’ari were broken. It was by his heart that the will of Amin’Zerû was challenged. Onûs holds domain over Darkness, the void of night where the moon does not shine and sun does not rise. The dead moon is his time, and he seeks to rule in the place of the One, and usurp his rival Aarûn from his place as chief of the Ilith’ari.
The Thirteen were given authority over all the other ranks of Ilith’ari, and were each given a special part of the essence of the One according to her wishes. Each Ilith’aren that followed was made as a shadow of one of the Thirteen in many respects. The One named her eldest children “Iluvai” which means “Exalted” in the celestial tongue. Subordinate to them, she created the Edëllun, called “Shapers” in the celestial tongue, and the Vârellim or “Watchers”. With all the ranks of Ilith’ari given duty and form, the time for the Creation began. The Thirteen immediately set upon their work, taking physical form, and shaping the planet to the will of the One.
Aarûn the firstborn began the work of creation by spreading the light and warmth of the sun upon the planet’s naked surface. Through Aarûn’s grace the sun began its circuit through the heavens passing through the celestial domain of each of the Thirteen Exalted in its time. Onûs immediately became envious of Aarûn’s contribution and loathed the sun as it traveled through his realm, despite the power it granted him as one of the Exalted.
Sûldin then stepped forward, his great hands grasping the earth and shaping it into mountains and hills, cliffs and valleys. He said unto his subordinate Edëllun, “We shall shape the stone and the earth; the world will be a place of majesty and power. It shall be steadfast and unending, and our work will please our beloved mother.” With that he assigned seven score of the Vârellim under his command to guard this part of creation for all of eternity, and left seven Edëllun to lead them. Xi’rian was jealous of the craftsmanship and skill of Sûldin and riled impotently against his brother’s creation. Seeing Xi’rian's displeasure, Onûs came to him and said; “Brother, do not trouble yourself wish such insignificant things. Why not strike out at Sûldin with the overpowering rush of water and storm? Surely the power of the ocean is far greater than the stubborn ignorance of earth.”
The jealousy of Xi’rian was fueled by the poisoned words of Onûs and he struck his fist deep into the earth and pulled forth the element of Water, over which he had been given dominion. In a selfish rage, Xi’rian sent forth towering waves and mighty storms that tore into the land, and drenched the dry places of the world. Many of the highest mountains were toppled, and great was the devastation. Sûldin was enraged, and was deeply pained at the sight of his handiwork bought to ruin.
Seeing the Landforger’s pain, Gilana reached out to Sûldin desiring to soothe his wounded heart. She whispered to her mother in prayer and asked a boon. “My perfect mother, give me the power to mend the heart of Sûldin lest his love for his part in creation turn to a bitter hatred of all that is to come.” Hearing her daughter’s prayer, Amin’Zerû stretched out her hand and touched her child, blessing her. Inspired by her mother’s touch, Gilana danced for Sûldin in an attempt to restore joy to his heart. At first the Landforger was not moved. Then as Gilana became lost in her dance, flowers began to spring up where she stepped, and trees and flowing grass soon after. Sûldin was immediately enraptured by the beauty of Gilana’s dance and was amazed as she slowly restored beauty to his creation. Where the oceans and seas and sprung up and eaten away at the land, Gilana’s dance brought trees and plants that stood as a bulwark, separating the land from the sea. His passion for creation restored, Sûldin slammed his fists against the earth and brought forth massive cliffs strong enough to withstand the assault of the ocean. To this day, earth and water constantly vie against each other as the tide rises and the waves rush to overcome the land, and the land still stands firm and unwavering against the fury of Xi’rian.
In thanks for Gilana’s aid, Sûldin presented her with a mystical diamond amulet he had crafted that magnified her power to bring forth life from the earth. Gilana fell deeply in love with the Landforger, and sought to seduce Sûldin and make him love her as she loved him. She offered her love and her physical body to Sûldin, wanting nothing more than to be embraced by him and submit to his strength. Sûldin accepted her, and they joined without the permission of the One. When the following day came, Sûldin had left Gilana’s side to return to his craft, and she feared he did not want her as a soulmate. Gilana was deeply wounded and left the earth for a time, fleeing to the celestial realm.
During her celestial exile, Gilana gave birth to two children, a son and a daughter. The One forgave Gilana and blessed her offspring despite her transgressions. The One held Gilana’s daughter and blessed her, and Uthëllin gave her a place in the celestial court amongst the other Ilith’ari. Amin’Zerû then gave the child domain over the moon and all things under its influence, and named her Selora, which means “Moon child” in the celestial tongue. The One then looked upon Gilana’s son, and smiled knowingly as she saw the essence of Sûldin in the child’s spirit. Amin’Zerû, in her infinite mercy and forgiveness, blessed the child with domain over the flowers, trees, plains and forests that Gilana had created as she danced for the child’s father. The One named him Tallis, which means “Son of the Earth” in the celestial tongue, and Uthëllin gave him a place in the celestial court amongst the other Ilith’ari. Seeing her children accepted and blessed, peace returned to Gilana and she soon returned to the earth to assist in its creation.
The mountains and oceans having been formed, and the earth having been blessed with the verdant green of trees and of grass and the blessing of beautiful flowers, the Ilith’aren Fënrir looked out upon creation and saw that it was a testament to the will of the One. In rapturous joy he descended upon the sphere of The world and graced the place with his presence. As he flew past the seas he stole water from them, angering Xi’rian, and laughing at his ineptitude. He passed over the earth and the trees and released the water he had taken from the ocean, feeding them and leaving behind him three score of the Vârellim under his command to continue as he had done, being sure to maintain the health of the trees and the flowers, the forests and the plains. After playing his part in the creation of the world, Fënrir grew bored and restless, venturing out again into the celestial plane, leaving three of his Edëllun behind to contact him should he be needed.
Roëna waited for her brethren to finish their tasks so that she could do her part to ensure the world would please their mother. At last she grew impatient. Beckoning to the spirits that waited at her command and pulling the essence of Fire and heat from deep within her soul, she thrust her hands into the earth. Angered by Xi’rian’s ineptitude and weakness, and irritated by Sûldin and his hesitation to act, she placed the essence of Fire deep beneath both of their realms. She said to her mother and her kin “This will be the blood of this place. Fire will fuel this world and give it life and death; the anguish of flame and the comfort of warmth.” The One was proud of her child, and was pleased by Roëna’s contribution to the creation of the Earth as the entire sphere began to pulse as a living thing. Onûs was intrigued by Roëna’s passion, and he used his knowledge of her soul to taste of this passion. He said unto her; “Daughter of Amin’Zerû, you are a magnificent creator. Bless me with but a moment of your passionate fire, so that my heart may burn brighter in its longing for you.” Flattered, as vanity was her weakness, Roëna smiled and allowed Onûs to taste of her essence and join with her without the consent of the One. Her passion for the Deceiver was quenched immediately after they had joined. She sensed the darkness within him and it unsettled her. She left his side as he slept in the Shadows, and hid deep within the center of the earth, crafting a fortress of flame to surround and protect her.
Shortly after her flight, Roëna discovered she was with child. After a time, she gave birth to a daughter. Seeking to redeem herself for joining with Onûs without the consent of the One, she presented her child to her mother and begged forgiveness. Amin’Zerû smiled at her passionate daughter and said “My child, ease your heart. I have made you as you are, and I would expect nothing else. You are full of passion and fire, and it is that very thing that led you to create this child. You have humbled yourself before me and asked for forgiveness, and I hold no ill will toward you.” Then Amin’Zerû placed her hand upon the child’s head. She blessed the child, giving him dominion over luck, freedom, music and poetry. She kissed the child on the forehead, knowing too well that his life would be a hard one, and Uthëllin gave him a place in the celestial court amongst the other Ilith’ari. He was named Endëllion, which means “Fiery Soul” in the celestial tongue. Satisfied with her forgiveness, and thankful to the One, Roëna returned to the surface and continued to help in the world’s creation.
Jolarä felt that despite all that her fellows had created the world was still an empty place, void of activity and mystery, void of feeling. She had waited for the appropriate time to make her contribution to the Creation, and she sensed that time as it approached. Knowing that her mother abhorred a void, she lashed out against the emptiness. With her talons she tore loose a fragment of the air, and shaped from it the birds of the sky and the creatures that dwell in the trees. With her hands she scooped up a fragment of the earth, and shaped from it the hunters and their prey, the creatures of the forest, the desert, the jungles and the plains. With her lips she drank up a fragment of the water, and shaped from it the creatures of the sea and the deep, the leviathan and the behemoth. As she moved to gather a fragment of fire, Roëna stopped her. Jolarä asked “Why have you stopped my creation sister?” and Roëna responded “I am happy for your creation, but fire must not walk the earth beside air and water. I fear whatever you create may only bring waste and destruction.” Jolarä was angered at this, but left Roëna’s realm as she asked. Saddened by Jolarä’s anger, Roëna decided to grant her sister one special exception. Roëna presented Jolarä with a phial of her essence, and said to her “the Flame that burns within this phial will never harm the living, but instead bring Life.” With that, Jolarä embraced her sister and forgave her, and finished her creation. With the phial of Divine Flame, Jolarä created the Phoenix. She released a pair of them into the wild, where they have existed through all the ages, bringing rebirth and resurrection where there was only death.
Aarûn had wed Tal’rëa during this time, under the will of the One, and Tal’rëa bore to him three children. The first child was born a boy. He was strong and proud, a shining semblance of Aarûn. Amin’Zerû saw him and was especially pleased. She scooped the child up into her arms and kissed him on the forehead in an expression of joy, blessing him immensely. She named him Aviaz, which means “Divine Strength” in the celestial tongue. She gave him dominion over youth, courage and the dawn. She then gave Aviaz a crown made of the sun’s rays, and granted him his place as herald of the sun. The second child born to Aarûn and Tal’rëa was a daughter. She was determined and resolute, with the intuitive wisdom of her mother, and the desire to bring her father’s light to dark places. The One kissed this child on the head as well, and crowned her in a wreath of roses. She granted her domain over Love. She then named her Zaria, which means “Shining Blossom” in the celestial tongue. Aarûn and Tal’rëa were finally blessed with a third child. Their third child was a son, astute and intelligent, wise and patient. Immediately upon his birth, he stood before Amin’Zerû and said “Dear grandmother, whatever blessing you give me, I beg you give me the gift of knowledge and wisdom.” The One smiled widely, very pleased with this third born of her most beloved child. She said to him “Resolute little star, I shall grant your gift and bless you twice more.” With that she kissed him on the top of his head, and crowned him in a circlet woven from her own essence. She gave him domain over knowledge in all its forms, hiding only the design of the end days from him. She then named him Solon, which means “Divine Wisdom” in the celestial tongue. Uthëllin then blessed the three children, and gave them a place in the celestial court amongst the other Ilith’ari.
Zörena and Kal’rën also wed during the beginning of the first age. The One blessed their union and they joined hands in wait for the time when their gifts would be needed. They spent this time together enjoying the peace before the beginning of the world, and praising Amin’Zerû in their love.
Seeing the joyous reception the creations of his brethren received, Onûs desired praise from the One as well, and sought out to create things to please her. He heard the whisper of the One in his mind, but he longed to make his own craft and please the One through a creation of his own will. He roamed across the earth, stealing fragments of earth, fire, air and water. He stole gems of all kinds from Sûldin’s creation, as well as the claws and fang of the creatures Jolarä had created. He collected the roar of the clouds, and the flash of lightning. He reveled in his plans, and finally, he forged new words made from fragments of the celestial tongue. With words and action, he forged these things together, taking the dark places of the world and giving them life of a sort. He created the mosquito and the gnat, the serpent and scorpion, the swamp and the bog and a myriad of other things. Once his creation was complete, he added a final touch. With all of the fragments he had gathered he used his divine will to bend the laws Amin’Zerû had lain out, and with ruby, emerald, sapphire, jet and diamond, he created the Dragon. Overjoyed in his triumph, he presented his creation to Amin’Zerû and laughed in the face of his brother Aarûn saying “I have created greatness. The swamp and the bog hold power and strength, engulfing all who are ignorant of their might. The dragon is titanic and unwavering in its ferocity. See how you are cowed brother? What have you created to gain the favor of our mother? I now deserve her favor far more than you.” For a moment, Aarûn doubted and lowered his head in shame since he had not directly created anything on the sphere they had been given. Then Amin’Zerû, Mother of the Universe, spoke in a thunderous roar that shook the very heavens and threatened to tear the earth itself in two;
“Silence you insolent thing! You do not deserve my praise. You are a deceptive, proud and arrogant little fool. You broke my laws, you defied my will. You chose time and time again to ignore my authority as you created for your own merit, not for my pleasure. I am the One. I rule over all. You will learn to submit to my will, and you will learn to let go of your pride.” The One was angry, saddened and displeased. She banished Onûs from the celestial realm until he could atone for his actions on the sphere they had been given. She did not bless the creations of Onûs, and the swamps and bogs became even darker places. The children of Onûs, the gem dragons, became violent and dark-hearted beings in the image of their creator. The One then severed Onûs and his subordinates from her will, removing their power to create. Onûs left the gathering of the Ilith’ari, bitter and angry with Aarûn. Onûs blamed his brother for his rejection and would not accept responsibility for the displeasure he had caused the One, and envy and wrath took root in his heart. From that point forward, Onûs was known as the Fallen One. He was cast out from the celestial court and bound to his physical form, though his power was only somewhat diminished. Amin’Zerû knew that ultimately her prodigal son would play his role in the story of this new world, and despite his most desperate wishes he would not be able to break free of the reins of her will. By the command of Amin’Zerû, Aarûn shifted the course of the planets so that the sun would not pass through the domain of Onûs, greatly diminishing his power. The One issued forth a decree unto her children, saying that one had fallen and that only twelve remained exalted among all others.
Greatly pained by the loss of Onûs, and determined to counter the arrogance of his brother, Aarûn set out to contribute directly to the Creation. As chief of the Ilith’ari, it was his privilege to grace the world with the first of its blessed people. His honor wounded, Aarûn set out to create two peoples. First, seeking to help mend the error of Onûs, Aarûn asked his brother Sûldin to gather up great swathes of gold, silver, copper, jade and obsidian. With the help of Sûldin, he forged these precious materials into beautiful and mighty dragons similar in stature and power to those Onûs had created, and presented them to the One. She nodded her agreement, understanding Aarûn’s design and saw that it fit her will, and she blessed the first metal dragons, gifting them with benevolence and purity. These dragons were powerful enough to counter the dragons of Onûs, and they acted as agents of the One and servants of the blessed Ilith’ari.
His honor restored, Aarûn then set out to create once again. Taking a portion of the divine essence of the sun and the stars from which he was born, Aarûn asked his sister Asteria for a portion of the essence of Magic. Finally, he asked his beloved wife Tal'rëa to touch the minds of his creation, giving them insight and boundless creativity. Combining the sun’s essence, the power of dreams, and the purity of raw Magic, Aarûn created his greatest work. Shaped into beings of pure spiritual light, Aarûn presented his creation to the One. She was overjoyed and very pleased with her child. She accepted his creation, kissing her finger and pressing it to their heads, she blessed them singularly. She spoke to her favored son, “They will be immortal, named in the fashion that I have named my own children. They will sense the skein of my will, and they will come to understand the ways of Shaping and of the celestial tongue. They will not quit the world due to old age and they will be an example unto the other races that are to come.” She granted them Life and named them Soeli’ari, which means “Blessed Children” in the celestial tongue. They are now called Elves in the common tongue, and still prosper to this day. Aarûn placed his creation across the globe, and over time they adapted and adjusted to their surroundings, as was the will of Amin’Zerû.
Jolarä was enthralled by this new form of creation and was inspired by her brother’s work. Reaching out her hand, she grasped a number of the hunter-beasts she had created before and beckoned them drink from her essence. She let loose a primal howl as they drank, and a fierce joy overcame her. She then asked Asteria, the goddess of Magic, to link her children to her for all of time so that they would always know her spirit and feel the touch of the divine. With that she presented her people to the One and asked her for her blessing. The One was again pleased with her child. She accepted her daughter’s creation, kissing her finger and pressing it to their hearts, she blessed them singularly. She spoke to her favored daughter, “They will be immortal, but not like their forebears, for they will come to join you when their days are at an end. They will live fierce and passionate lives, but they will also know the consequences of their actions and seek wisdom. They will live for a substantial time on the sphere I have given you, but they will be able to pass down their accomplishments to each generation that follows, and they will return directly to you when their bodies finally fail.” She granted them life and named them Chatûl. Unlike the Elves before them, they were not given a name in the celestial tongue, but their given name is known in the common tongue, and they also still prosper to this day. Jolarä placed her creation in the jungles of the south, the deserts of the west, the mountains of the north, and the plains of the east, where they adapted over time as was the will of Amin’Zerû.
Fearing that Gilana would lash out at any creation of his for the slight he had caused her before, and concerned that his brother Xi’rian would be envious of anything crafted from earth and stone, Sûldin began the creation of his people in secret. He gathered up stone and earth of all kinds and began shaping it into the form that most resembled his own. Once the forms were complete, he placed within each of them a valuable gem buried deep within its heart for safe-keeping. He called to the One from the security of his caves beneath the earth and asked for her blessing. She knew that Sûldin had followed her will, but was disappointed in his cowardice. She spoke to her son, “Your people will know long life, but they will be ultimately mortal. They will be fascinated by the wealth of the earth, and they will be artisans and craftsman beyond compare. They will fear their emotions like you fear your own, and they will have the strength of stone… on the inside and out.” She then touched them, granting them life. The One blessed them singularly, naming them Gûndre, which they still call themselves to this day. They are known in the common tongue as Dwarves. Sûldin placed his people beneath the mountains of the world where they remained isolated for eons.
Xi’rian was consumed with hatred and envy as he plotted and sought ways to destroy the children of Sûldin. The Landforger had been clever indeed, and had created his people with little need for water so they would rarely be at risk from Xi’rian’s retaliation. For many days after the creation of the Gûndre, the seas raged and tore at the land, a raucous testament to the anger of the Stormbringer. Onûs then whispered again to his irascible brother, further deceiving him with words. The Void Serpent said “Why rile against Sûldin as you do, my brother, when you can simply join in the revel of creation as well. Create a people that will lash out from the strength of the seas and bring ruin and wrath to all who walk the land… show Sûldin his folly.” Xi’rian smiled as Onûs manipulative words worked their way into his mind. Xi’rian reached deep into the oceans of the world and pulled forth one of the great Behemoth. Slaying the gargantuan creature and ripping forth its essence he shaped it with his own will. He then reached out onto the earth and grasped one of the great lizards that walked the plains, slaying the creature and ripping forth its essence, shaping it with his own will. Xi’rian infused both essences with the raw power of elemental water and created creatures that could walk the land and draw power from the seas. Xi’rian was pleased with his creation, but as he prepared to present his creation to the One, Onûs approached him. Onûs spoke slyly, saying “Dear brother, why not let me give your children a blessing before you present them to our Mother?” Xi’rian in his childish stupidity and greed accepted Onûs request. Onûs whispered to Xi’rian’s children, infusing them with skill in necromantic magics and the art of war. After this, Xi’rian presented his children to the One. The One immediately detected the treachery of Onûs, but knew that Xi’rian had followed her will while he created the creatures. The One was pained, knowing that the forces of good must be tempered in the fires of war in order for them to shine pure and true. She blessed the children of Xi’rian singularly, saying to him “My foolish child, your dark brother has tricked you and your children have been embraced by Darkness. However I will give them the chance to overcome their inner evil and bless them with resilience, determination and resolve. They will test the people your brethren have created but they will primitive, untamed and a blight on the world.” She touched each of them, giving them life, and called them Naga.
Xi’rian was enraged at Onûs for his trickery and sought to punish the Deceiver, but once again the Nightbringer was clever and manipulated the Stormbringer. “Be calm my brother, don’t you see that in cursing your people, the One has blessed you? Now your people will lash out against the children of Sûldin, and wreak havoc on all creatures that walk the earth. Is this not the end I promised?” Xi’rian saw truth in his brother’s lies and was appeased, returning peacefully to his realm.
As the world came to its final stages of completion, all of the inhabitants of the world and the Ilith’ari who were not servants of the Deceiver rejoiced in the world’s perfection. Onûs retreated deep within the shadows of the dark places of the world and hid from the light of the morning sun, plotting his revenge against his brother and planning to disrupt everything that his brethren had created. The One looked upon the work of her children and saw that it was good. She passed her hand over the world and blessed it, sealing its finished form and creating a shell of divine energy around it allowing it to pass through the celestial realm and participate in the dance of the stars. She named the world Sidereus which means “Celestial Traveler” in the celestial tongue. Uthëllin then laid his hand upon the world, setting it spinning upon its axis, and the march of time for the world was begun. With the final touch of Uthëllin, the Creation was ended, and the First Age of Sidereus came to a close.
The Second Age: The Celestial WarEdit
The Second Age began embraced by the divine light of the sun and graced by the smiling attention of Amin'Zerû. It was a time of relative tranquility. On occasion, war broke out as the Chatûl, Elves and Dwarves were forced to wage battle against the driven hordes of the Naga. Of all of the peoples of the world, is was the Jade Elves, who lived off of the bounty of the seas, that suffered the most from the wars against the Naga. They developed brutally efficient styles of fighting that honed their natural gift at warfare and finely tuned their spirits for combat. It was during this time that Chatûl, Elven and Dwarven weaponsmiths created some of the most legendary magical weapons to have ever been made, and perfected the art of sword-crafting. Great heroes of the first-born races lived then, leading their people into glorious battles on countless occasions. The vast Naga horde was pushed back time and time again, though many Chatûl, Elves and Dwarves lost their lives in the vicious warfare. Xi’rian watched the slaughter with pleasure, caring little for the lives of his created people as he had created them to be prolific and quick to breed.
The Obsidian Elves of the southern lands retreated deep into the jungles, seeking aid from the divine. They sent prayers to their creator Aarûn beseeching him for his aid, but they also made vast sacrifices of gold, silver and diamond to Roëna, the goddess of war, asking that she protect them from the Naga as well as the harsh environs of the deep jungles. Her curiosity piqued, Roëna sent a score of her Vârellim to improve the Obsidian Elves’ understanding of warfare, and help them advance their skill at crafting arms and armor. The Obsidian Elves were quick to learn, and so pleased was Roëna that she blessed them directly, infusing them with a portion of her divine fire, allowing them to resist the effects of malicious magic if the need should arise. Nearly all of the Obsidian Elves turned their devotion to Roëna for this gift. Aarûn grew jealous and angry, but the One calmed him saying, “Do not trouble yourself my son, all is as it should be, and your children still know who their father is. They follow your sister out of reverence for her blessing, and in turn your sister will learn the glory of living a passionate life and defending those who cannot defend themselves.” Aarûn deferred to his mother’s infinite wisdom and was pleased his people were bringing happiness to his sister’s heart.
The Chatûl, Elves and Dwarves warred with the Naga for six hundred years. From time to time, Onûs even commanded his dragons to come forth and aid the Naga in their attacks only to have Aarûn’s dragons respond and balance the scales. The battles were titanic as monstrous beasts warred in the sky over vast armies that battled on the earth below. Even Vârellim were said to participate from time to time at the behest of Aarûn, Sûldin and Xi’rian. The battles grew to a fevered pitch as the colossal Vârellim waged war in their physical forms, rending apart the very earth on which they stood as they engaged in divine conflict the likes of which had never been witnessed. Both sides believed themselves invincible. They did not understand that the limitations of their physical forms would mean that if destroyed they would be forced to return forever to the celestial realm, severed from this world. It was when Aergad, a Vârellim in the service of Aarûn slew Xatia, a Vârellim in the service of Xi’rian, that all of the Ilith’ari realized the truth of the situation and truly felt fear.
Aergad waded into battle alongside a legion of Gold Elven warriors, facing Xatia who was at the head of hundred score Naga. The two titans battled ahead of their legions, Aergad’s massive sword of light crashing against Xatia’s gargantuan warhammer. Xatia was one of the most beautiful of the Vârellim, her physical form reflecting her unearthly spiritual perfection, but Aergad was a resolute warrior and was not swayed. The two struggled in martial combat for days. During the course of the combat, Aergad found an opening in Xatia’s defenses and impaled her upon his blade of light. Unbeknownst to Xatia, Aergad had forged his blade using the indomitable magic of the celestial tongue to ensure that he would be able to destroy Xatia’s physical form. When he impaled Xatia upon his blade, her physical form was in fact destroyed, but to Aergad’s dismay, her spiritual essence was wounded as well. The pain of a Vârellim being destroyed was felt across the globe, and the place upon which the two titans battled remains a cursed and tainted place to this day. Shock and horror raced through the ranks of the Ilith’ari, and as they begged the One for an explanation, she simply replied “It is my will. Should you desire to remove one another from this realm I have created for you, you have the ability because I have given you the power of choice. Choose your actions wisely.” All of the Ilith’ari knew fear then, and Xi’rian was enraged at the loss of his agent. In frustration, he turned to his brother Onûs for aid. Onûs smiled, for had made great plans with this new knowledge.
Xi’rian pleaded to his brother, “Brother Onûs, Aarûn has wounded me! One of his Vârellim has slain my Xatia! My beautiful Xatia is gone and her essence has been ripped from me, Onûs help me find my vengeance!” Onûs saw his opportunity to act and began to manipulate his brother as he had so many times in the past.
“Dear brother,” Onûs spoke, his words a carefully constructed web of lies and deceit “there is only one way to avenge your fallen Vârellim and truly restore your honor. We must wage war against our brethren. We must make Aarûn pay for the loss he has caused you. We must make his Vârellim die in scores, and remove them from the planes as your Xatia was stolen from you!”
“How?” Xi’rian asked, “Our Mother has diminished your power, and even still both our armies would not be sufficient to stand against the might of Aarûn with Sûldin and Tal’rëa beside him.” Onûs laughed as his brother fell further into his own hatred and frustration.
“We must empower our own legions and make them mightier than the Vârellim of our brothers. We will use the power of the language I have forged, the language I was shunned for creating, and imbue our warriors with the might of the Void!” Onûs howled promising his brother revenge. Xi’rian recoiled in dread for a moment, remembering the reaction of the One when Onûs created the Void tongue, but in his heart he could hear the sound of anger and hatred building. He swore his allegiance to his brother, and the two gathered the Vârellim and Edëllun under their command. Using the infernal power of the Void tongue Onûs and Xi’rian twisted their Vârellim and Edëllun subordinates, turning them into creatures of emptiness, hatred, and pure evil. It was then that Xi’rian sacrificed his ability to create as the One stripped it from him silently in retribution for his actions. Xi’rian grew in power as his mastery of the Void tongue continued to grow, but he did not realize the terrible price his soul would pay even then as he began to forget every word of the Celestial tongue that he had ever known and the nothingness of the Void began to creep into his mind and consume his heart.
Onûs laughed at his brother’s shortsightedness, knowing that Xi’rian was now bound to his fate and would not be able to leave Onûs’s side should he ever desire to. Onûs and Xi’rian labored for six hundred days in the darkness of Onûs’s stronghold, calling upon the power of the Void in the language that Onûs had created. Using this dark tongue, Onus and Xi’rian renamed the reformed Edëllun, calling them Erebos, which means “Defiler” in the void speech. He then named the reformed Vârellim, calling them Velius, which means “Slayer” in the void speech. The fallen Ilith’ari were warped and twisted, and in their new forms many of them were terrifying to behold. As Onûs and Xi’rian completed their dark craft and prepared their new army for battle, Gilana discovered the treachery they had wrought.
“Brothers!” Gilana shouted in dismay, “What have you done! You have corrupted the glorious life our Mother has given us and created something terrible and foul!”
Onûs reacted quickly, using his sinister intellect to weave yet another lie to hide his actions from the piercing light of truth.
“Gilana, my beloved sister, surely you see what madness is wrought in war. Sadness, the likes of which none of us have ever witnessed, has been unleashed on this world. The warriors of Aarûn have defiled this land, bringing the death of one of Xi’rian’s chosen agents. Surely you see that Aarûn must be held accountable for his actions.” Onûs words were clever and convincing. However, despite Onûs’s words, Gilana could not be fooled.
“Your slippery tongue stinks of poison to my ears, brother. You will never distort my love for our mother, you fiend. Keep your lies away from me or I shall tear your vile tongue from your head!” Gilana threatened hime with a rage she had not known before. “I will tell the One what you have wrought, I will bring your plans crashing down and all of our brethren will know of your evil!”
As Gilana turned to leave, Onûs became furious. With the swiftness of night, he assaulted Gilana. With his twisted left hand he struck her face, the darkness of his evil power marring her physical form forever. Gilana’s beautiful golden hair was turned to jet and she howled out in indescribable pain. Quickly she fled the realm of Onûs and ran to Sûldin for aid. The sight of Gilana’s wounds managed to touch Sûldin’s heart and he embraced her, screaming out in agony as he mourned for what she had lost. Swearing an oath of revenge, Sûldin smashed his smith’s hammer, reforming it into a mighty two-handed maul. Naming his weapon in the celestial tongue, he called it Evron-amara which means “Fury of the Ages”. He descended into the realm of Onûs, smashing down the Dark Lord’s gates with his titanic hammer. The earth moved with his every step until he stood before the Fallen Son, and spoke to Onûs with rage in his eyes;
“You have committed a grave error brother. From this day hence, you are not my kin. I will never forgive you for the harm you have caused my beloved. Here and now, I will strike you down and see that you suffer for your misdeeds!”
Despite the obvious power of the fury in Sûldin’s voice, Onûs was not dismayed. He sneered at his brother, and offered no hint of remorse or apology. Instead, he laughed.
“You know nothing of my power foolish Sûldin. You may attempt to strike me down, but you will not succeed. I have seen the future and all that it holds, and I know what is to come. I will destroy your people, scar this world as I have scarred your whore, and ruin all you hold dear.” Onûs spoke slowly, mocking his stalwart brother. Able to take his insults no longer, Sûldin sprang into battle, bringing his mighty hammer in wide arcs and assailing his brother with ceaseless vigor. Despite the fury and passion in Sûldin’s attacks, Onûs was easily able to parry the blows aside with his sword of Shadow. The Ilith’ari battled for ten years, trading blows ceaselessly – neither of them able to land a solid blow or injure the other. Missing her beloved, Gilana went searching for Sûldin. Eventually, she entered the realm of Onûs, fearing that her love had fallen at the hands of their dark brother. Witnessing the conflict, Gilana rushed to intercede, her eyes flooded with tears of worry for Sûldin. In her panic, she only confused the Landforger, giving Onûs an opportunity he did not waste. Lashing out with his blade of Shadow, Onûs gashed Sûldin across his leg, wounding him deeply. Gilana howled in pain and mourning as Sûldin collapsed into her arms. Onûs merely laughed, drunk with his own success.
“Go sister. Tell our brethren what I have done. Tell them to come and meet their doom at my hands.” Gilana quickly left with Sûldin’s wounded form and fled to his realm beneath the mountains.
In her misery Gilana did not cry out to the One for aid. Instead, she pulled the circlet of Light from her head and broke it. Using the broken shards of Celestial Light, she gave Sûldin a portion of her own divine power. His wound began to quickly heal, and he was truly touched by the sacrifice of Gilana. As Sûldin regained his strength, he embraced Gilana – proclaiming his undying love for her. They joined again, outside of the will of the One, and shared their love for one another. When they awoke, Sûldin felt a burning desire to take Gilana as his bride. He crafted a ring of the purest platinum, gold and silver, adorned it with diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, and imbued it with the power of Celestial Light. Placing it on Gilana’s hand, he asked that she become his wife. At first she agreed, enraptured by the love she felt for him, but soon afterward she remembered her scars. Thinking herself hideous she fled from Sûldin’s love, consumed by her own self-pity and despair. Sûldin was deeply wounded, but continues to love Gilana to this day, proclaiming that all of his Dwarven children treat Gilana as their spiritual mother, despite her dark fate.
Gilana fled deep within the shadowy realm of the swamps, the warped and twisted lands that Onûs had created. There she fell deeper and deeper into misery; mourning her loss and the distance she felt she had no choice but to maintain between herself and Sûldin. The scars she bore caused her great suffering, and her despair began to pull her further into darkness. After a time, Gilana discovered she was with child. Calling upon her divine powers, she shielded herself from the gaze of her brethren, and although the One could still see her, Gilana did not call out for aid. Gilana gave birth to a girl in the deep of winter, alone and believing herself forgotten. Surrounded by snow and frost, Gilana allowed her heart to finally break, surrendering completely to her misery with her newborn child in her arms. The One could sense her child weeping, could sense the insurmountable pain as her heart was breaking. In her perfect mercy, the One reached out to her beloved daughter and embraced her, calling her back to the Celestial Realm along with her child.
“My child,” the One spoke gently, “you have let despair take root in your soul, and that is a sin I cannot forgive, for only you can free yourself from that blight. Your child will forever be changed because of this darkness you have allowed to grow within you, but I will bless her so that she will also know Light.”
Amin’Zerû took up Gilana’s newborn and kissed her on the forehead. Whispering into her ear, she blessed the child in words no other being save Zörena has ever known. She then spoke aloud.
“Your child will have domain over the snows and frost in which she was born, she will know joy but she will be all too familiar with pain. She will bring the change that is necessary for the world to go on, but will forever suffer the weight of her duty.” The One smiled mournfully, naming the child Snædís and giving her a place in the Celestial Court. Gilana diminished for a time, descending to the physical plane and dwelling in the swamps and the bogs where she could be alone in her misery and torment. As the ages passed, her heart fell deeper and deeper into darkness where none could reach her.
With Gilana diminished, the treachery of Onûs remained hidden from the ranks of the Ilith’ari. Onûs gazed upon the sphere of Sidereus with great loathing. He looked upon the great cities of the Elves and the Chatûl, and the underground fortresses of the Dwarves, and he was displeased. Calling forth all of his might, he summoned his great army. The hordes of gem dragons and fallen Ilith’ari arrayed themselves before Onûs, pledging themselves to his will. Onûs looked to his brother Xi’rian, eager to begin his conquest of Sidereus.
“Come brother! Our armies are complete and its time we bought our hordes to bear on the progeny of our brethren. Join me! Let us complete our conquest and claim our destiny!” Onûs howled.
Since they had set their machinations into motion, Xi’rian had learned of his folly and loss of the Celestial tongue. Xi’rian’s pride was wounded, as was his heart, and he began to feel a deep sense of loathing for his dark brother. Despite this loathing and growing hatred, Xi’rian’s lust for vengeance and destruction was misguided. He still longed for the destruction of the Dwarves and looked jealously upon the lands that Sûldin had forged. In his hatred, he conceded to his brother, calling forth his legions of Naga, and summoning forth all of his Erebos and Velius to serve him.
“Yes, so be it. For the insult you have received, and for the armies arrayed against us by our traitorous brethren, we will unleash the fury of Shadow and hate upon them. So be it. This day they will learn to fear our might!”
Calling forth a legion of his fallen angels, Xi’rian stood arrayed for battle with his mighty trident, The Claw of Storms, ready in his hand. Naga warriors gathered before him, Obsidian and Sapphire dragons ready to take his commands. For a time, the battlefields of Sidereus were calm as the ocean before a storm as the Destroyer marshaled his forces to serve his will.