Overview - From Creation to the First Age of Humans
At the beginning was a single being, unimaginably powerful, vast and alone. Let us call it the Dragon. To alleviate its loneliness the Dragon created beings in the image of itself, taught them and talked to them. But these being were not as powerful as their creator and not as perfect. They grew jealous and tried to slay the Dragon to take his power, but failed miserably. Unwilling to destroy his own creations, the Dragon imprisoned them within a sphere and began to wait for them to show signs of repentance.
Within the bounds of their prison the beings were so powerful, we might as well call them gods. At first they tried to find a way to escape, but that proved impossible. So they resigned themselves to their fate and began to shape their prison to their liking, each god taking a part of the sphere for his own. Soon they began to quarrel about how to proceed. Some wanted to give their world a definite, lasting shape - they became known as the Gods of Order -, while others wanted to change their surroundings as they pleased - the Gods of Chaos.
The Gods' War
The quarrel soon escalated into full-blown conflict, the Gods of Order shaping the world into powerful fastnesses and the Gods of Chaos tearing them down again. As ages came and went the gods squandered their power in senseless struggles until they had none left and could neither create nor destroy anymore. So the world reached a state somewhere between the extremes of order and chaos and the war ground to a halt.
Among the Gods of Order was one who relentlessly sought a way to renew his power and he finally found a way to tap into the great void beyond the world. While he could not leave the world, he managed to create a catalyst that transferred a tiny part of the power flowing through the void to him. This catalyst was the first human being.
The god designed a way for the catalyst to multiply and gave the secret to the other Gods of Order. With the new strength at their disposal they quickly vanquished the Gods of Chaos and drove them into the farthest and most inhospitable reaches of the world.
The Age of Order
Under the watchful eyes of the Gods of Order the first human civilization began to blossom. It was ruled by a rigid hierarchy of priests who saw to it that the gods received proper worship and that no-one left his appointed place in society. At the top of the ruling hierarchy was the high priest of the god who had created humankind, called Teclador - the creator - by his "children". The priest kings had absolute power over their subjects, but were themselves only minor servants before the gods.
For long ages the Gods of Order walked among humans, splendid to behold, revelling in the power the faith of their subjects provided. But as timed past they found that their followers' belief shaped this power and themselves. Humans associated individual gods with certain aspects of the world and their lives. And the gods became limited to these aspects both in mind and in power. Of all the Gods of Order only one saw this clearly and was distressed: Yscir, Teclador's brother. Not wanting to be affected by human belief, he forsook his cult, his brother and the other gods to dwell alone with diminished power.
Slowly unrest crept into human society. Some say it was the realization that the gods could renounce them, others that the Gods of Chaos sowed discord, still others that humans felt oppressed under the rule of gods. Whatever the cause humans began to question whether the gods were truly their friends and benefactors. Chief among the dissatisfied was the younger brother of the ruling priest king. Malvin was his name and he coveted his brothers' position and power. Deep in the night he crept into his brothers chambers and strangled him, hoping to inherit his position as ruler of all men. This was the first murder in the world.
Teclador saw what had happened and what was to come. The "failure" of his children drove him mad. He cursed Malvin for his deed and renounced the rule over humanity vanishing from all knowledge of his former subjects. The other Gods of Order began to argue who should take Teclador's place and in the ensuing chaos, the Gods of Chaos found their chance. They revealed themselves to humans and promised salvation and freedom from the tyranny of the Gods of Order. Many heeded their call and so the first cults of Chaos were formed.
The Age of Chaos
With renewed power the Gods of Chaos again challenged those of Order for dominance over the world. They were not as limited in mind and power by humanity's belief yet and scored victory after victory. This time humans were there to replenish the power of the gods and the struggle continued. The gods made humans their champions and soldiers and for the first time humans killed each other in war.
Slowly human thoughts forced the minds and powers of the Gods of Chaos into patterns as had happened before with those of Order. Still chaos had gained the upper hand and only disunity among the Gods of Chaos prevented their complete victory. Anarchy and self-indulgence reigned among gods and humans alike and no formal structure of society could establish itself for any length of time.
The War of the Trinity
The catalyst Teclador had created to tap into the power of the void was far from perfect. It diminished over time and eventually ceased to function - it died. Death became what humans feared most. While the Gods of Order had always promised to collect the souls of their followers upon their death and preserve them, the Gods of Chaos made no such promise. Life was the only thing that counted, but it was short. Three Gods of Chaos became associated with the greatest killers of humanity: Disease, Famine and Winter. Their power multiplied as humans flocked to their cults to find protection and soon they were the most powerful among the gods.
Eventually the three realized that if they united, they might be strong enough to cast down all other gods and then they would have the world unto themselves. And so they allied. As their human warlord they chose the one who had caused the end of the Age of Order: Malvin. They promised him to lift Teclador's curse which had sentenced Malvin to unending wandering across the world, unable to die and unable to enjoy the fruits of his labours.
With Malvin as their general the hosts of Siresha, Mistress of Disease, Krerok, Lord of Famine and Koris, God of Winter scattered the followers of the other gods and none could stand before them. In desperation the other Gods of Chaos and the Gods of Order finally came together, laid their animosity to rest and agreed to cooperate against the common enemy. They chose Liesson, the god of bravery and honourable death, as their leader and prepared everything for a final stand.
In that last battle most of humankind and all of the gods except Yscir and Teclador took part. Although all other gods were arrayed against them, the three known as the "Trinity" would have triumphed had not their human general Malvin turned against them. It is said that Eshira, the wisest and most powerful woman of her time, came to Malvin on the eve of the battle and touched his heart with her words, so that he betrayed his cruel masters and led their human host into a trap.
So the Trinity was cast down in the final battle. Vladok, god of war, and Ulan, god of the sea, wrestled Krerok to the ground and bound him to the roots of the world with unbreakable chains. Siresha was ensorcelled by Dyra, the earth goddess. Niamut, the goddess of wisdom, and Dichune, lord of forbidden knowledge, fashioned the prison which still holds her today. Liesson fought alone against Koris and - having been strongly associated with death by his human followers - killed the god of winter with his sword.
The gods were shocked. It had always been impossible for them to kill each other. The thought that they themselves might die had not even occurred to them. Still under that impression they agreed to a great contract which would prevent direct conflicts between the gods in the future. They vowed not to intervene directly in mortal conflicts any longer and to refrain from walking the world in a material form.
The First Age of Humans
Many men and women had been slain in the final battle and the remaining humans were frightened and leaderless. So the gods sought a leader who could rule after they withdrew from the material world. None of the gods would accept a priest of another so they selected Jhenar, a fighting woman of great prowess who belonged to none of the cults. For the first time the offices of high priest and king were separated. Jhenar proved a wise and benevolent ruler who led humanity peacefully into the new age. The land humans lived in was named for her: Jhendor - land of Jhenar.
When Jhenar died after a long and fulfilled life, her six children debated who should succeed her, but instead of fighting over it they finally decided that each one of them would take a part of the people and go his or her own way. They became the ancestors of the six races of humanity.
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