Monday, March 19, 2012

"Aeyr, Let These Things Be..."

In the beginning, Illuvata created the Einor as his children. Then he created the world with but a single word, Aeyr. Illuvata sent the Einor to Aeyr to establish the world and to begat life so that the Einor might know love of his children which were ordered in the mind of Illuvata and the Einor.

The first to be sent to Aeyr was Danu, the daughter of Illuvata for she is the mother of Aeyr. She created all things green and good in the world in accordance with the mind of Illuvata. Trees, shrubs, grasses and all manner of strange and beautiful plants. Then she called forth the animals of the air, land and sea.

Next came Thor into Aeyr. Thor raised the mountains and great canyons upon the earth and placed within them the great minerals and wealth of the world. But Thor had his own mind from Illuvata and sought to create his own children. So Thor created the dwarves, the moutain dwellers. Iluvata sought out Thor and chastised him for his creation of dwarves. Thor then raised his hammer to crush his creation and the dwarves were afraid. Having sympathy for Thor and the dwarves, Illuvata stayed Thor's hand and granted forgiveness and adopted the dwarves as his children. So it was that the dwarves were the first to awaken in Aeyr and are known as the elder race. Thor loved the dwarves and instructed them in all things under the mountain.

Danu, having perceived Thor's creation and knowing that they will come to her great forests and bring down her creation, created the Tree-Ents to protect the forests. She then created those to tend her creation and nurture it, the fey folk, brownies, fairies, centaurs, satyrs, unicorns and fauns. Then not to be outdone by Thor, she begat her own children, the elves and instructed them in the worship of Illuvata, the Light and only sought their reverence in the protection of her creation. Thus it is today that many tribes of the elves wander the great forests as rangers striking down those whom enter with a black heart.

Then came, Romulus unto the western lands and with his sister Danu, created the great lands of rolling hills, groves and valleys of great beauty and plenty. Then having perceived perfectly the mind of Illuvata, Romulus created men and halfings and instructed them in the worship of Illuvata, the Light.

Then came, Ulric unto the northern lands and with his sister Danu, created the great ice realms of the north. For in ice and snow the Light is magnified. Knowing the mind of Illuvata and knowing that to live in his bright yet cold lands that men would need to be hearty, thus did Ulric create the great men of the north, men of great renown and strength.

Strife ran between the children of Thor and Danu. Illuvata arose in splendor and came down to Aeyr to set peace upon Aeyr and his children. Thor and Danu sought forgiveness from Illuvata and created the gnomes together as a sign of peace between themselves and their children forever. Thus it came to be that the gnomes have traits of the fey and the dwarves.

Then came Sabek unto the eastern lands and with his sister Danu and created the great plains and vast openness of the east so that nothing might hinder the Light from shining upon Aeyr. Then Sabek lamented with pity for himself, for he knew not the mind of Illuvata and jealous of his brother Romulus he created men also, thus it is today that the men of the east strive with those of the west. Pity turned to anger in Sabek's heart and he turned against Illuvata and his siblings and desired to set himself up as master of Aeyr and force all to call him Lord. Then did Sabek steal some men from the west and using his magic to twist them into the race we call Ogres, which is why the western lands are under near constant attack from these dreaded creatures. Then did Sabek steal two groups of elves from his sister Danu and he took one group and did darken their hearts and set them beneath Aeyr away from the Light where Sabek had created his kingdom of the Underdark, thus it is how the dark elves, the Drow came into being. The other group did he twist with vile magic into the Orcs. Thor took notice of Sabek and set his protection on the dwarves but forgot the gnomes, whom Sabek stole from and twisted a few into the vile goblins. Then he used his malice to create his own work of daemons, monsters and misshapen beasts and other vile races.

The came Amun, the youngest of Illuvata and with his sister Danu created the great sands of the south and the fertile plains therein. There did Amun create not only men, but other majestic & noble races of good heart as in the mind of Illuvata and instructed them in the construction of the Great Temple of the Light and in the worship of Light. Then having seen the terrible works his brother Sabek had wrought in the east, did Amun travel to the far east and created a race of militant men unbeknownst to Sabek. Amun instructed the far eastern men to worship the Light and to always oppose Sabek and the dark.

Thus it was that the world and all therein was created in the ancient days.

Seeing the terrible things that Sabek had wrought upon Aeyr, Illuvata summoned the Einor back to him and forbade them to ever enter Aeyr again. But mighty are the Einor and though they cannot walk upon Aeyr again, they still intercede on behalf of their creation and on occasion send messengers and assistance from above, all save Sabek, whom Illuvata has hidden away in the deep void but has promised him release if ever the whole of Aeyr was to call him out.

For a thousand years Aeyr rested at relative peace. With fighting never growing larger than a few skirmishes or battles between the races of the Light and those of the Dark. For in those days the races of good would ally with one another against the dark and whereas the Dark forces would invariably fight amongst themselves. In time many fell away from the worhsip of the Light and began to worship false idols and things. Some began to worship the Dark.

These events passed into legend and legend into myth. Then came the time of the elves. Blessed by their mother Danu with immortality and a fervent belief in the Light, there arose in the far west on the islands of Ulthantis a great city and a call for unity of spirit and worship of the Light. A desire to unite all of Aeyr under the rule of the elves so that all of Danu's creation would be watched over and protected and that the Light may rule the lives of all. Many of the Ulthantean elves began to seek pilgramage to the south to worship at Amun's Great Temple Pyramid of Light, for it was believed that to bask in the warm light at the top, was to receive the direct love and admiration of Illuvata. Those whom survived the journey and made it back became great heroes and elders of the elves. Many elves, leonines and men were there that day to worship the Light, each one taking their turn to ascend the steps to the top. There among them was an elf warrior named Aenarion, as his turn came and he reached the height of the temple pyramid a great cry was heard in the heavens, all eyes turned towards the sky and there descending in glory was the Great Phoenix, the messenger of Illuvata. The phoenix swept downward towards the pyramid and leveled out in a direct path towards Aenarion at the summit. Aenarion knelt in reverence and in a great firey crash the phoenix exploded at the summit hiding the top in a massive fireball. After many seconds, the fireball burned out and there stood Aenarion arrayed in glory with a golden crown which had the appearance of a phoenix upon his head. All bowed as Aenarion made his way down the pyramid. Never had there been such a noble to walk upon Aeyr and never again was it permitted for any to ascend save for a candidate to the throne. Aenarion had been blessed by the gods as the first Phoenix King. He bade all there to journey with him back to Ulthantis and those whom did go with him became the first Council of Light, thus the legends of men and other races serving first in what has become a council of elves.

Upon his return Aenarion had built a magnificent palace of gold and ivory so that all whom entered would be mesmerized by it's majesty. And within his palace a great throne the back of which was the outstretched wings of a phoenix. The elves of Ulthantis became known as high elves for their lofty character and pursuit of noble ideals. The many realms of the west and south sent emissaries and swore their alligieance to Aenarion and thus it was the that the Ulthantean Empire was born. Aenarion a wise and just ruler, lost his immortality, it is the price of to pay for being the Phoenix King. Aenarion lived for a thousand more years and died an image of a king in glory. His soul was seen arising from his body with the wings of a phoenix, he bowed his head and disappeared from sight. By the time of his death Aenarion and the Ulthantean Empire ruled two thirds of the known world.

Many there were among the Council of Light and other realms that desired the phoenix throne for themselves. Many did travel to the Great Temple Pyramid of Light in the south. Many ascended and never did the phoenix appear. For months on end, thousands gathered around the temple awaiting the blessing of their next king, but the phoenix never returned. Years went by and it was decided that the Council of Light would choose the next king from among themselves. And so it was that Eltharion, came to don the purple of the throne and wear the phoenix crown upon his head. In time many whom had swore allegiance to Aenarion now fell away, without a divinely sanctioned king, their oaths no longer held sway over their hearts. So the first great wars began in the west, with the legions of Ulthantis trying to hold together it's empire and keep tribute to it's great city and king.

A thousand years passed again and ended with the Ulthantean Empire in retreat to it's home islands. Many elves split away arguing that it was never the goal of Aenarion to war with the west but to protect Danu's creation and to seek out the Light. These elves retreated to the great forests of the west and established their own kingdoms within and became known as the wood elves.

A thousand years later and the tribes of men are growing larger and stronger. Among them a great war chief emerges, his name is Sigmar. It was Sigmar whom lead a raiding party into an orc camp and rescued the High King of the Dwarves, Durin Stonebreaker. Durin awarded Sigmar with a great warhammer named Ghaal Mararz and titled him Lord of Men. Then from the east a darkness grew and became strong, thousands of orcs, ogres, goblins and other vile creatures burst from the pass between the Worlds Edge mountains and the west. They overran the dwarven gates that protected the pass and stormed into the west. King Sigmar gathered together the greatest army that had ever been seen in the west, even greater than the ancient legions of Ulthantis and marched upon the invading army. The Dark Army was pushed back to the pass, when their Dark Lord appeared, the Witch King, an ancient servant of Sabek, on the back of a mighty dragon. Sigmar and his allied army fought with great valor and finally at the center of all stood Sigmar and the Witch King. A circle formed around them and they began battle, the thunderous clash between the two warriors was immense. After a terrible fight Sigmar fell with a mortal wound and it appeared all was lost, but as the Witch King made for his killing blow to sever Sigmar's head, a light shown down from the heavens upon Sigmar and he swiftly arose with renewed vigor and smote the Witch King, although the Dark Lord was only slain in bodily form. The armies of the west held the field and the dark armies fled back through the pass. Sigmar raised his hammer in triumph and the light grew stronger around him and the voice of Romulus was heard for the first time in a millennia. “This is my champion and he will be a guiding light to men in the West.” Then Sigmar, irradiated in glory established his Empire which came to be known as the Reichsmark and he reigned for 40 years before disappearing on a quest to bring the Light to the east. His parting words as he set off from court alone, were “I go now, alone, a light into the darkness.” Thus it has been since the time of Sigmar that after the 40th year of an emperor's reign, if the reign lasts that long, the Emperor abdicates and leaves the west through the mountain pass to the east which is known as Black Fire Pass. Though there have been a few emperors ignore this but none lived much longer after ignoring the call to quest. Today the quest has been out of practice for 200 years.

Today, a thousands years after the departure of Sigmar, the Reichsmark is the largest and most powerful kingdom of men in the world. The Cult of Sigmar is the major religion in the west for it is believed that Romulus made Sigmar a demi-god. The Phoenix King sits on his great throne in Ulthantis, the Emperor Magnus the Pious rules from upon his golden throne in the imperial city of Altdorf. The wood elves protect the forests and the dwarves mine beneath the mountains. Leonines and other noble races ply the savannahs and sands of the south. In the east, a shadow grows, dark and terrible to behold.

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