“In the beginning, there was Void. Out of this vast nothing came the divine spirit of pure creation, who named Himself Origin, and in so doing made Himself real. Unable to bear the emptiness around Him, Origin set forth to fill the Void with the dreams of His own mind. With a great effort, He tore Himself in twain. Half His body flew up and formed the Sky Goddess, Akhys. The other half fell down and made the Earth God, Ahter. The power of the rending made the forces and movements of the universe. And the blood of Origin spread about in all directions to form the pure waters on the earth and the rain-full clouds of the sky.
Akhys, who was then new, set a great fire alight to see what had been wrought by her Father’s first and only deed. But the flame was too hot to touch and painful to behold. So, Akhys spun her lamplight into a ball and set it forever rolling, knowing that if it should stop in one place too long, it would burn all which lay near it.
Ahter, the Earth God, woke in the bright light of the spinning fire. As it passed above him, he saw the embers left behind in its dark wake. ‘What are these, sister? And what shall we call them?’ Akhys answered, ‘Let us call the greater of them the sun, brother, and the lesser shall be called stars.’
Ahter watched the heavens as they moved and said, ‘There is pattern to it, sister. Let us name the brightness day and the darkness night, and let us order all that we make and do in two parts, as we were made in two parts.’ The Goddess agreed, and they ordered the world as the great Origin had intended.
Akhys set apart the wind and the calm, the dawn and the dusk, the summer heat and the winter cold. Her brother laid out high hills and low valleys, flat plains and jagged mountains, soft soil and hardest stone.
But the tumult made by the Earth God’s labors woke another. The pure blood of Origin, who was called Essasae, grew restless and aware. She spoke, saying, ‘Brother. Sister. Have you forgotten your other sister, who sits between you?’ But they did not answer, being busy at their task.
Essasae grew bitter at being ignored, and wept salty tears into her own depths, spoiling much of the fresh waters. ‘I am equal to you!’ she raged at them, ‘And I will add my third to your creation.’ And so she did. The Sea Goddess made storms to break the pattern of the gentle wind and calm of Akhys. She filled up her brother’s low places and turned some to swampland. She crashed against the peaceful cliffs until they broke into sand. Through the skies she sent hail and ice, and she punctured the land to make springs. And from these springs, rivers, to mar the work of Ahter.
But though the three children of Origin did not know it, this too was His intention."
— Divinis Histraeum, The Book of the First Gods, Chapter One, Verses 1-11.
“It may seem odd to think that the Elven record is not the oldest, but one must recall that Elves are haughty, long-lived souls who think they remember much. Thus, they have no need to write down the knowledge that comes so readily to mind. We less fortunate creatures must make do with the written accounts of those that came before, trusting to their accuracy and honesty in matters of historical report. I explained this on my visits to several Elven libraries and was turned away without ado, leading me to believe that these archivists must have little in the way of reliable histories.
It is with this in mind that I set forth these pages as a primer to what follows. Know that the Gnomish books of Calibratus (whether author or title, I discovered not) are dated to be the oldest records that claim to be truthful in reporting what was. They are purported to be written (or, at least, assembled together) in the year three-hundred and forty-four P.B., by the reckoning of that race, which is to say year three-hundred and ninety as the Dwarves count their years, twelve-hundred sixty-one in the Elven way, and so on (see Chapter One: The Numbering of the Ages). Contemporary Dwarven writings (particularly the stone slabs at Deependire) seem to echo the writings of Calibratus, but as they are slanted to the perspective of those gruff peoples to the exclusion of others, I will not recount them herein. Trust, then, that the Gnomish account is the least biased that has been discovered to date.
Calibratus says, in brief, that the mortal races of Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, Halfling, and Man came to this world “…through a Door of Power carved through the bedrock of the Space Between, wherein dark things dwelt beyond the reach of mortal mind or godly hand.” A wordy description of these “dark things” counters the idea that no mind may imagine them by providing a vivid series of images of such creatures. Tangentially, Calibratus leads us back to the vague story of a flight into exile from a dying world by the five civilized races.
“They were small of number in those days, having lost many Brethren to The Foe in battles fierce and frightful. The Vows of Unity kept them whole, though hurt, and The Door was made fast by the sacrifice of Suru’ase, who was known to them before that time as Cold-of-Countenance, but after she was called Blessed-Way-Maker. And they did weep for her loss…”
Suru-ase appears later in the text to build their new capitol, which may mean the sacrifice was not her life. Alternately, it may mean she was somehow beyond death, a theme which appears elsewhere, but such is a topic for other pages. The author continues, “…Five of the Vows walked the worlds in those days, running ahead of The Foe who sent green slaves to harry and slow their march. But only some of their number crossed over and the greater part was shut out when The Door was locked.”
The Orkish races, perhaps? In any case, the Calibratus account is not the only historical telling of this exodus from other worlds, as I will explain in Chapters Five and Six."
— Comprehensive History of the World, Seventh Printing, Thonas Pressturn, Excerpts from Chapter 2, page 7.
|"Alef’adun erus mannia,||"Elven folk were born of tree,|
|Manni erus tu la’lef.||And long to tree return.|
|Durgum’adun erus sohn’se,||Dwarven men were carved of stone,|
|Estehy-aru’ah asef.||With iron hearts of fire.|
|Iyleiru’adun cul’se,||Gnomish children grew in fall,|
|Sas serr’omun-glafen dun.||As mushrooms in the woodland.|
|Livi tilimandun’talus,||Little half-men are as sprouts,|
|Tolem-tal heym’ba re’mun.||And moss near clearest wellsprings.|
|Uhmen morar clarestan’daf,||Men are merely formed of clay,|
|Asef sohn’su mar-mar’hun."||Though fired hard as marble."|
— Elven Nursemaid’s Rhyme, Anonymous, Translation by Phillim Scrivener of Pacht.