MYTHIC HISTORY OF THE WORLD
by Michael Bard
© Michael Bard -- all rights reserved
I: THE CREATION
It is written that before the Gods came, the world was naught but chaos, with existence, but without form or order. Into this chaos came the great gods, Gaenan, the Earth Mother, who birthed the world; Kor, He who walks By Night, the God of the Dead, who helped Gaenan create the world - for without Death, there cannot be life. With them came the other great gods - Vashigan, the Sun, the King of the gods and the Judge of the Dead. Sheshanka, the goddess of Storms and the Ocean, the Destroyer of Valdanis. Alindor, the Father of Man, God of the Forge and Fire and his wife the beautiful Sildaya, the Tigress, Mistress of Love and War.
It is said that the Gods entered the chaos of our world fleeing from their own as it fell into its own fire. And it is written that they arrived in a monstrous sphere that still rests at the centre of the world.
The first to enter into the Chaos were Gaenan and Kor who consummated the new world with their love. In the flickering light of unreality they loved each other as the rest watched. And when the seed of Kor penetrated the womb of Gaenan our world was born.
In just nine days, Gaenan carried the world to term and screamed, in pleasure or agony none can say, as the world burst forth into reality. All at once the world burst out, but it was bare. And with the world was birthed Cernus, the Stag, the Hunter. And the gods watched as Cernus ran along the world, and watched as life, the plants and the animals, appeared wherever he went. And as Cernus finished his creation the gods looked at the world and were pleased.
But the world was still dark and without light. So Vashigan made the light. He become the sun and shone over of the world and the gods smiled as light bathed the animals and the plants. And the animals came to the gods and were blessed, and the gods walked with the animals and blessed the plants.
And then Vashigan returned from the heavens and the world was dark once again, for even Vashigan could not light the world for ever. And Vashigan spoke to the other gods. The world will not remain dark, he said. Although I can light the world, I can only light it for but half a day. The other half I must rest. And so Vashigan went to rest in mountains and slept that night. And the next day he awoke and again journeyed across the heavens. And thus came the day and the night. And so has it remained.
For an ageless time the gods wandered the world, together and apart. But eventually they came together and created a place in which to live. They called Vashigan and for two days the world was without light as the gods laboured. And when they were done they had created the Sun, the home of the gods. And together they set it above the world. And they went upon it and lived upon it as it journeyed around the world. And when it was above the world, Vashigan stood on its underneath and lit the world. And when it passed beneath the world Vashigan slept. And so has it remained.
II: THE FIRST AGE: THE FAERIE
Eventually the gods grew lonely. They wished for someone other than themselves to talk, to teach. And so they created the Faerie. Together they gathered vines and leaves, and the bark of trees, and together they wove it into a man and a woman. And then Gaenan took the forms into her and they remained inside her for 100 years. Kor also gave his seed unto the forms, for only the Gods are immortal. Then Gaenan birthed the new living forms and the gods saw and were pleased. And the gods took the first beings from the Sun and placed them upon the world.
And for ten thousand years the Faerie spread across the world. Their cities were beautiful beyond imagining. They created the Dragons as their allies to take them where ever they wished to go. The gods taught them much until they were almost as powerful as the gods. A few of the Faerie even became gods.
The goddess Luani earned the love of Vashigan and became his wife. She slept at night beside him and sat as his feet as Vashigan lit the world. But the longer Luani stayed with Vashigan, the more she came to gather his light. Her godly formed absorbed the radiance from Vashigan and she grew even brighter. Finally even the gods noticed, for where Vashigan would dim himself so that the gods could look upon him freely, Luani could not. Thus Alindor forged a silver boat for Luani and set it opposite the Sun about the world. And during the night when Vashigan slept, Luani slept in her boat and radiated the light she had been given by Vashigan during the day.
Another of the Faerie to become a goddess was the lady Tamiola, Mistress of the Trees. It is said that she was once a priestess of Gaenan and while worshipping her mistress in a grove was come upon by Cernus. And Cernus fell in love with her and could not wait until she had finished her rites but rushed upon her. Gaenan saw this and changed her into a tree to save her. But Cernus would not rest. And Tamiola grew to love Cernus as he spoke of his love for her beneath her tree self. Eventually the power of their love grew so great that Tamiola became faerie again during the night. Then Cernus made love to Tamiola and they birthed the Dryads. And Cernus pleaded with Tamiola to free his love. And Gaenan spoke to Tamiola and found that as Cernus loved her, she had come to love Cernus. Gaenan smiled and changed Tamiola back from the tree and made her into a goddess. And when she was transformed back, Tamiola found that she had powers over the trees and over plants, and that the Dryads were her priestesses. Thus Tamiola came to be the goddess of the forest and plants, and the wife of Cernus.
The final member of the Faerie to become a god was Tuomyn. Tuomyn was the greatest of the Faerie, and created the Dragons to serve them, and worship the gods beside them. As Tuomyn died, the Dragons would not let his spirit leave to be reborn. They refused to let Tuomyn die. Kor came to see why Tuomyn's spirit had not come to him and the Dragons would not let him approach. When Kor asked why, the dragons told him that they wanted their own god, and that they had chosen Tuomyn. They would all die before they let him go. Kor left and called the rest of the gods and told them and the gods talked. Finally the gods came down to the dragons and demanded they release Tuomyn. But the dragons stood firm. Sildaya rushed forward and struck a dragon down, but the rest remained. Then the gods smiled. Gaenan touched the head of the dragon Sildaya had killed and pulled the spirit of Tuomyn into it. And then they made him a god, and granted him both human form and dragon form. And the dragons worshipped him, and so did the Faerie.
And during the ten thousand years the Faerie lived, other gods came to be. For Sildaya and Alindor were not idle and birthed the twins Cerulan and Zandalee. The same day Zandalee was birthed she touched two sticks and they became the first Aulos and she played and the music was so wonderful that even Vashigan turned from the world and came to listen. The twins grew up together and were inseparable. Cerulan taught the Faerie to write and gave them language. Zandalee taught the Faerie music.
Vashigan and Luani also had their children. The first birth was that of the seven Olandas (the winds, the Seven Sisters), who were named Aeolina, Zephina, Maliona, Galian, Ariela, Serena and Pereana. Later Vashigan and Luani gave birth to the God of the Storms, Tarkrin. When he was born, even his father was hidden by his arrival over the world.
THE FALL OF THE FAERIE:
And finally, after ten thousand years of life, the Faerie grew envious of the gods. Why should the gods live eternally, when we must die? And the Faerie talked about this and grew bitter and jealous. Arguments grew into fights, and fights into war. Eventually all the Faerie and Dragons desiring immortality drove the others into hiding over 200 years of war. Then the victorious Faerie and the dragons asked the gods why the gods were eternal, and asked the gods to make them eternal, and were refused. Then they demanded the gods, but the gods did not answer. Finally, the Faerie began to cast a great magic, a magic aimed at destroying the Sun and forcing the gods to give them eternal life. The gods saw them chanting and turned away from the world. Vashigan left his post and the world fell into darkness.
Slowly the world grew colder and eventually it froze. The Faerie died, or fled into the chaos outside the world. Tuomyn put the few dragons who had remained loyal to the gods, and the few Faerie who had hidden from the rest of their mad race under the earth, asleep so that they did not die. Sheshanka took her chosen priests and priestesses and transformed them into the Sirenes, and kept them warm deep beneath the oceans. Cernus called all the animals to him, along with the few Faerie had who fled from the rest and secreted themselves in the wilderness, and hid them away from the world. And Tamiola put all the trees and plants into a deep sleep. One hundred years passed before Vashigan looked upon the world again.
And Vashigan looked upon the world and made the ice melt. The dragons and underground Faerie, who were now the Dwarves, were freed, Cernus brought the animals and the Faerie who had hid in the wilderness, who were now the Elves, back and Tamiola made the world grow green. Then the gods called the Faerie and their Dragon allies who had survived. All the gods stood before the last of the Faerie. You wanted eternal life, Vashigan said. Those of you who want it shall have it. The Faerie were pleased.
Then the gods cursed the Faerie with eternal life. They would no longer die, and if killed would be reborn with all their memories. They would exist unchanging until the end of the world, unable to create anything new, only able to copy past glories. And then those who wanted eternal life were cursed with it and banished beyond the world where they created the Faerie realm and still remain. Some have turned bitter and seek to cause evil, others seek to make amends and aid humans and Caldaya, but most just laugh and replay old glories.
And the rest? They remained upon the world as their own races, the Elves, the Dwarves, the Dragons. They would still grow old and die, but they could still grow.
So ended the First Age.
III: THE SECOND AGE: THE AGE OF HEROES
And then the gods created the fifth race - Man. They gathered clay and formed another man and woman. These were not as beautiful as the Faerie - the gods would not create such a race again. And again Gaenan took the forms into her and this time but 50 years passed before she gave birth to the first of the race of man. Kor also made this race mortal. And the gods took man from the Sun and placed him upon the world.
But the gods had learned. They would not teach this new race, but let it grow on its own. And they would not gift it with magic. They ordered Sheshanka to take magic away from her Sirenes, and she obeyed.
The gods watched and lived for another thousand years as man spread across the world. Alindor gifted man with fire and revealed to man the glory of the gods so that man would worship the gods. But Alindor, and the rest of the gods, would not gift man magic.
During this time the sixth race was created - the Caldaya. The first Caldaya were the children of Cernus and Tamiola. They spread across the world and learned to worship the gods. But they too were denied magic.
Humankind grew great and numerous and spread across the world, denied only the oceans where the Sirenes rule, and the great plains where the Caldaya would not suffer them. The gods mated with men and woman and birthed mighty heroes and heroines who were gifted by the gods. Nations grew and warred, and great cities were built along the coast of Pagania and in Valdanis. And the gods watched and were pleased.
And during this period, the gods had the last of their children. Hulvanes was born to Alindor and Sildaya. And Hulvanes became the messenger of the gods, and the god of travelers.
And also during this time, Sheshanka fell in love with Tuomyn and wooed him, but Tuomyn would not listen. So Sheshanka stole him away and hid him in the depths of the oceans where he is still imprisoned.
THE GIFT OF MAGIC:
One night as Luani slept in her silver ship above the world, a woman stood on a cliff in Valdanis and stared at the light of Luani as it shone across the sea. Then she called out Luani's name and Luani awoke and listened. The woman cursed the gods, for her love had died and she had been powerless to help. If only she could have healed him as the Faerie in the ancient tales could. But the gods had denied that gift to man. Then this woman threw herself from the cliff and into the sea.
That night Luani didn't sleep, but thought only of the woman. Would a little magic hurt that much? She left her ship early that night and went to see Kor. Kor was the only one who had openly disagreed with the gods decision to deny man magic. She told Kor what had happened, and Kor said that he would help her to give the mortal races magic. But he warned that it must be done secretly.
The next night, Kor came to fetch Luani and showed her where Vashigan had hidden the magic and told Luani how to steal it. And Luani stole it and slipped down to her temple in Valdanis and gifted it to her high priestess in a dream. But she warned her priestess to keep it secret.
For a hundred years, the theft of magic was not known by the rest of the gods. And the temple of Luani kept it secret and used it to help those in need. Priestesses traveled throughout the world and taught it secretly to those they thought should learn it. And Luani slept easy.
But the theft was discovered, as all thefts must be.
THE WAR OF MAGIC
During a voyage to Valdanis, a priestess of Luani was on a ship that was attacked by the Sirenes. And she panicked and forgot her vows of secrecy and cast a spell to save herself. And the Sirenes saw, and recognized it, and they told Sheshanka who told the rest of the gods. And the gods summoned Luani and asked her how her priestess had magic, and Luani told them what she had done. But she did not mention Kor.
Then the gods punished Luani. They forbade her to see Vashigan for half of each month and during that time bound her to her boat. Thus came the phases of the moon. When Luani is with Vashigan, the moon shines bright. But as Luani is separated, her light becomes paler and paler until finally there is no light at all until she is allowed to see Vashigan again.
Then the gods took council to decide what to do. Vashigan wanted to destroy Valdanis to punish man and take magic back from humankind. Tarkrin stood with him, as did Sheshanka. The other gods wanted to take magic away, but did not want to destroy Valdanis. But only Kor refused to let Vashigan take the magic and he left the Sun to defend humankind. Luani went with him.
Vashigan, Tarkrin and Sheshanka when after him. The others would have gone too but Sildaya held them back. The world grew dark and the skies full of clouds as Tarkrin and Sheshanka combined their storms for the first and only time. But Kor only laughed and waited for them to attack. Luani fled from the gods and went to her temple in Valdanis and warned the priestesses there.
The world shook as the gods warred. The skies rang as Kor laughed. For 100 days and nights the world was black as the gods warred over Valdanis.
Finally, Kor struck Vashigan's head from his shoulder. A god died.
Sheshanka screamed and flung her trident at Kor, but Kor only laughed and ducked. The trident struck Valdanis and pierced through the world destroying all of Valdanis except for a few islands and the temple of Luani which Luani defended. The spear remains still in the centre of the Broken Sea, a great pillar of stone piercing the sky. Then the other gods, who until now had remained neutral, stopped the war. They bound Kor and took him to the Sun for judgement.
Sheshanka and Tarkrin wanted to kill Kor, but Gaenan and Luani restrained them as his death would not restore Vashigan. Instead the gods forced Kor to become mortal and search for Vashigan's soul which was still on the world. Only when that soul was found would Kor be freed. And Kor agreed, but only if humankind was left with magic. The gods agreed.
And so Kor journeyed to the world and found Vashigan and restored him. During his search the skies were but dimly lit by a great light Alindor forged to temporarily replace Vashigan. Humankind, the Caldaya, and the Sirenes were given magic. And those who survived the destruction of Valdanis, other than those who Luani had protected, were transformed into the goblins, the seventh and last race, Sheshanka's Cursed, as punishment from the gods and as a sign to those who would disobey the gods.
And even the gods were appalled by the destruction they had wrought. They all swore never to openly interfere in the world again. And so that The World and the gods would never forget, Vashigan turns away from the world for three months of each year to judge the dead, allowing Alindor's sun to light the world and a brief winter to occur.
And so ended the Second Age.
IV: THE THIRD AGE: THE AGE OF MAN
Gradually the skies cleared of the wrath of Tarkrin and Sheshanka. The ocean settled and drew back from the ruined cities of humankind. The secretive Dwarves and Elves remained in their mountains and their forests. The Caldaya who lived far inland overran much of humankind and founded their own kingdoms. Mankind began to recover, and to learn magic.