Thursday, June 25, 2020

RoH: Tales of the First Days

There are many tales of the First Days: how Sinver was born out of chaos; how they gave birth to the world and the the Firstborn of the Gods; how those newborn gods gave form to land and sea and sky; how their descendents became the first people. We hold those tales for another night.

Here, now, in the light of this fire, we speak of a later time. The Firstborn had given birth to a second generation, and the second generation to a third. There were many gods and goddesses (and some, like Sinver, who were both or neither) and each had their friendships, rivalries, and enmities.

So the Firstborn called them together in the sight of Sinver, and assigned to each a sphere of power. Huoron was was of the third generation, and had made a study of darkness, and crafted magics to suit it; but Skiwel of the second generation petitioned the Firstborn before him, and became the Lord of Night. When Huoron's turn came, all that was left for him were the shadows: temporary, fickle, and easily dispelled by the touch of light.

So Huoron made his home in the shadows beneath the earth, in a place where the sun never ventured and light was only temporary. He called his home Shadowguard, and hid it away from the sight of gods and peoples alike. It was there that his magics grew. It was there that he raised his own descendents, until their numbers were enough that he could send them out into the world. They emerged in small bands, tribes that bred, conquered, and became nations.

At first, neither gods nor rulers knew whence this strange new people had arisen. They surrounded their cities in walls of stone, and worked in things drawn from the dark depths of the earth: iron and copper and coal, making metal tools and metal outfits to protect them.

Huoron kept to himself and offered no explanation, until at last he arranged to meet with Skiwel to discuss them. It was at that meeting that Huoron raised the Shadowblade and slew his uncle, taking his place and his power, and it was then that his children the Vanil poured out of their walled cities with their metal weapons and swept over the neighboring kingdoms.

The war that followed was terrible, but at last the Juris Firstborn, Keeper of Justice, struck down Huoron and cast him into the depths, imprisoning him in the unending darkness of Shadowguard. The Aesil and the Oessil drove the Vanil back, and after a time they became just another nation of people. But the newborn world had seen its first war, and the nations would never live in peace again. And Huoron, wounded almost unto death, lay healing in hidden Shadowguard and plotted his return to his rightful place, this time as chief among the gods.

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