-Oration performed by an unnamed Seveli Justicar. Transcribed by Valan Forvana in the year 3622, Illyrian Long Count.
In the beginning, there was Void. All that had been was Void. All that was was Void. But Void was not of what was to come.
Low and blessed did two voices wake from their slumber. One was of salt and of sustenance and of renewing. One was of ruin and of wrath and of terror. And the voices did sing their separate notes, both soft and terrible. Their words told of what was to come.
So did Void stand in challenge to the voices, for his way was of what had been. And he did boast, and he did bargain, and he did threaten.
The voices heard not. Their song sustained until their chorus became as one. And then there was a tremor, beating in time to their rhythm. And the heavens did quake and did tremble. And there was much fear. Then the song ceased, and all was silent, and there was stillness once more.
Void, fearing what was to come, called out to the nothingness. He did not boast, and he did not bargain, and he did not threaten.
Then there was light, both violent and tranquil. And Void did cower before it.
Low and blessed was the light.
And it shone upon the heavens scattering the darkness. And the light did shine upon Void, and it came to know the nature of things, and it was displeased.
So it came to pass that the light splintered and became two, just as the voices were two. And they took form, dual as was their song, though in harmony and concert and chorus they were.
And the first voice, one of salt and of sustenance and of renewing, did look upon Void. And it looked upon him with pity.
So did the second voice, one of ruin and of wrath and of terror, look also upon Void. And it looked upon him with anger.
And the two voices that heralded the light and took form did announce themselves to Void. And they were named as they had always been named: Sem, Father of Fathers and A’ev Mother of Mothers.
And they demanded the mantle of Void, for there would be a reckoning of what had been. Void refused. For he had no desire of what was to come, his way had served him, and he wanted not of the light.
So did a great battle ensue. And through this, the heavens were shattered and split and unmade as all was of Void. And Void was laid low by the first father and the first mother, defeated before the light.
Sem, in victory, did take upon his countenance the mantle of Void.
A’ev, in pity, did grant upon Void dominion of the unlight.
And there was a peace struck among the fractured heavens.
And it was good.
And A’ev did speak to Sem, who was her beloved. And she did say unto him, “Look at what has been made through your hands.”
Sem, Father of Fathers, looked upon creation. Beyond the terror there was now light. Through his wrath there was order amongst the chaos. Through the ruin of Void there was now peace amongst the heavens. And he was pleased.
And Sem did speak to A’ev, who was his beloved. And he did say unto her, “Look at what has been made through your heart.”
So did A’ev, Mother of Mothers, look also upon creation. And she did smile for through her works had a place been carved— a place of salt and of sustenance and of renewing.
And they did enjoy their works and did come to know them and love them. But also did they remember of what was before, of the hollow, of the dark, of the nothing. So it was that a vow was made to protect all that had been made.
Sem, Father of Fathers and A’ev, Mother of Mothers, knowing of what was to come, did seek to make a third. And this third would be made of their light, and through their hands, and through the voice of their song. And his way would be of remembrance, and of forbearance, and of keeping. And he would guide all that was to come upon the path. And he was so named Time.
Long did they bask in the joy of Time. For he gave purpose and meaning to what had been, so also did he bring purpose and meaning to what was to come. And it was in this that they, the first of fathers and the first of mothers, did labor again. And this song would be their most glorious, their most precious, and their final of songs.
And in the first chorus, through their hands, the heavens were made anew. And there was much in preparation for they saw of what was and of what would become. And Sem and A’ev did order the heavens three. Such was above, such was below, such was between. And it was decided that they would be made a home for what was yet to come.
And in the second chorus, through their words, laws were made. And these laws were of governance and of command and of listening. And Sem and A’ev did give these laws to all things under them, as all things were made to obey. So too were the laws made different in each of the heavens.
And in the third chorus, through their hearts, those that came before were made. And Sem and A’ev did make them to inherit all that was below them. And they would be given dominion over the heavens, and also responsibility for they were beholden to them now. And so also were they given songs of their own to sing for each were made with a different song of the heart.
Low and blessed were they that came before.
And names were given to them, who thereafter named themselves the first sons and first daughters. And of the first sons there was Eloheim, Sûne, Golle, Dware, and Sereve. And of the first daughters there was Delcia, Gaial, Liral, Rea, and Mana.
And when the final notes did fade, so too did Sem and A’ev, for their path was of making and not one of permanence. And as they did fade, their children did wake and did look upon the heavens for the first time.
-Excerpt from Of Gods and Men. Original text recovered from the Great Library of Tol’ Rukar, transcribed by Valan Forvana in the year 3618, Illyrian Long Count.
Forward: Artimus Cahn, second quill to High Lord Hectari Bromaire, 313 A.F.
There is debate between Old Sevaelis and the Venticle as to which of the gods was first to awaken. For the purpose of this text, we will leave an account of the Venticle tradition, as the Sevali orations tend to vary depending on which patron god or goddess is favored in the region.
With the passing of The Father and The Mother into the ether, the dominion of all they had made was entrusted to those that were firstborn.
Elo, being the first of sons to awaken, led his brothers and sisters from the source of their making onto the plane of light. It is said that they did not move far from the source for fear that should the Makers return and find them gone that they would be displeased. It is also said that they rested in that spot for thirty and three days. It was upon the thirty and fourth day that Elo assembled his brothers and sisters before him.
“We have waited here for thirty and three days and thirty and three nights,” Elo said to the assembled. “They have not returned.”
Gol nodded in agreement. Sune nodded in agreement. Dwar nodded in agreement. Sereventus nodded in agreement.
The Sisters remained silent.
“I say that we remain here, upon this plane, and make of it our home, as the Makers intended,” Elo continued.
Being the eldest, his commanding words held sway. Gol nodded in agreement. Sune nodded in agreement. Dwar was noncommittal. Sereventus was the only brother to object.
“We have waited here for thirty and three days and nights,” Sereventus said. “But we have seen not what lies beyond this plane.”
Sereventus was not the eldest, but his words were clever and also held sway. Sune nodded in agreement. Dwar nodded in agreement. Gol was noncommittal. Only Elo did object.
“What haste do we have, Brother?” Elo asked. “The rise and fall of the light means not to you nor I. Would that we should wait here, not in eagerness for their return, but in appreciation for what they have left us.”
Dwar was noncommittal. Sune was noncommittal. Gol nodded in agreement. Sereventus was the only brother to object.
“I hear your words, Brother,” Sereventus said. “But what has been left to us save these eyes to see and hands to feel? We linger upon the plane, never straying far from the source of our making, yet there must be more to this than to linger and never stray.”
In this, all brothers did agree, save Elo, who remained unconvinced.
“Would that we abandon the place of our making? Should we leave and the Makers return, they would be angry, they would be wrathful, and we would be punished.”
In this, all brothers did agree, save Sereventus, who remained unconvinced.
“See now that we agree as brothers,” Elo continued. “There must be more to this than to linger and never stray. But we have been prudent in waiting and will continue to be prudent until they return. Such is the will of the Makers.”
“Prudent we have been, Brother,” Sereventus said. “In this, we agree. I will not object, as such is the will of the Brothers. Though I give a word of caution, for it is woe to he that interprets the will of the Makers.”
In this, Dwar did nod in agreement. Sune nodded in agreement. Gol was noncommittal. Elo was noncommittal.
“It is agreed, Brother,” Dwar said, whose words were just and carried sway with the Brothers. “The will of the Makers is unknown, it shall remain unknown, and only Time will reveal their purpose. Let us quarrel no longer. I am want and eager to see what lies beyond, but it is the will of the Brothers that we be prudent and stay, lingering upon the plane until they return. Only then will we know their true intention.”
In this, all brothers did agree.
The Sisters remained silent.
So it was that Elo commanded a place to be made upon the plane that would be a home to all the Brothers and the Sisters. It would be a place where all were welcome, and no strife would befall them. All obeyed this command, save Sereventus.
Elo did see this, and as the eldest, did seek to compel Sereventus to obey.
Sereventus heard not as his copper eyes clouded over, becoming dark with vision. He pointed into the distance, where the light did not grace, and he uttered words belonging to no tongue. And the Brothers did see this and did witness. They sought to break him from his trance, but he heard them not. So it was that Mana, whose nature was most like Sereventus, did try to rouse him and wake him from his trance. Sereventus heard her not. And the wind did howl and crack and break around them as if a storm had been called. Then all was silent. All was still.
“Behold, brothers and sisters,” Sereventus said, his eyes colored copper once more. “The Makers have blessed me. I have been shown a vision, a glimmer of the path.”
And Dwar did nod his head in agreement, as did Sune and Gol. Elo was the only brother to object.
“Tell us, Brother,” Elo said. “What vision have you seen?”
And Sereventus smiled, for he was shown much in his vision. It was not his nature to keep from the others what he was shown, but he was warned to do so, warned by a voice from beyond the plane, the voice of the Makers. It beckoned him but also warned of division, of breaking, and of ending. It was in his nature to be clever, and so he heeded these words.
“Brother, fear not,” Sereventus said, “for this vision has shown me much of what is to come.”
Sereventus turned to Elo and bowed his head. “You were right in your prudence, for it is from the source that this vision flows. There is much work to be done, and if you permit me, I would see you lead us in that work.”
And as Sereventus bowed, so did Mana, who was much in mirror of him. So also did Dwar bow and Gaia with him. Gol followed, with Rena beside him. Sune did also bow, as did Lira. Lastly did Decia bow, placing her head to Elo’s feet.
“King,” Sereventus did declare.
And the Brothers and Sisters nodded in agreement.
Regarding the Firstborn
–Third day of the sixth cycle 3613, Illyrian Long Count.
Such is an account of my research into the Firstborn and the making of the world. While the Seveli account of the creation of the universe stands apart as unique and wholly original, the accounts of the lesser gods vary greatly depending on the source and subsequent successor culture.
Though my research into the topic remains ongoing; It stands to reason that the Seveli account of the Song of Creation can be agreed upon simply because its words were universally shared among all cultures prior to and following the Fall. While information has been intentionally culled by the Silence, it is curious that the individual venerations vary as greatly as they do from this point of confluence.
One might assume the strength of the Seveli oral traditions would hold their account of the lesser gods as most accurate. Ironically, it is in this belief that our plan has been so effective. I have personally witnessed more than one Justicar deliver an oration from a seed that I had planted all those years ago. Even Sol Serephet couldn’t have predicted such success.
It is curious that the Cyllian tradition weighs so heavily in favor of Sereventus. Would that they knew the truth of their patron god. Still, their aggression is troubling, as is this Cause they speak of. Hull assures me that Emerand has doubled their annual tribute and that peace is secured. He is a good soldier, but he often misses the finer points.
I have dispatched three of my most promising students to Emerand. Their mission is to secure the true words maintained within the Hall of Knowledge should Emerand come under siege. I have faith that should the worst happen, they will succeed in their mission. As a precaution, I have made alternative plans to relieve Tol’Rukar of the original missives and any other Illyrian work found in their possession. The Ruklanders shouldn’t notice their absence; I am quite certain the barbarians don’t know how to read.
–-Excerpt from Of Gods and Men. Original text recovered from the Great Library of Tol’ Rukar, transcribed by Valan Forvana in the year 3618, Illyrian Long Count.
Forward: Artimus Cahn, second quill to High Lord Hectari Bromaire, 313 A.F.
It is worth noting that there is no mention of Vorad in the earliest of Cyllian texts. It is unclear if this is an omission by design or something lost in translation from Illyrian. I find it curious that his role was not established until after the shaping, something that runs boldly against the Sevali orations.
There was no argument made regarding Elo and his place among the Firstborn. He was king, confirmed by the Brothers and Sisters, and he would rule thereafter. But he grew to worry over what was to become, preoccupied with the vision that was shared with he who was not a king.
“Tell me again, Brother,” Elo said to Sereventus. “What did you see in your vision?”
But It was Sereventus that was blessed with vision of what was to come, and he was not want to share everything that he saw, even if there was much that was hidden even from him. He remained thoughtful and careful with his words, sharing only what he must, even when pressed by his king.
“I saw a new land, dark and cold. I saw a fire that rose high above it. I saw things I have no name for. And I saw the shaping of these things,” Sereventus replied.
And Elo beamed with excitement. “Yes, the shaping, you have mentioned this before. Tell me of it, tell me how it came to you, tell me how to command it.”
Sereventus looked down, choosing his words carefully. “I believe it to be our purpose, my king. Just as the Makers created all that is, so too must we shape it according to the path.”
“Yes,” Elo said smoothly. “This path you have seen. Would that I could have seen it so that I might also know the path. Tell me, do you know how it came to you?”
“I know not, my king,” Sereventus lied, for he feared what Elo would become should he be blessed with the vision. “I know only that I was chosen, just as you were so chosen to be our king.”
And Sereventus took to his knee and bowed his head. Elo was satisfied, and though he coveted the vision, he was contented in his dominion over it. He did not need to see what was to come, for the one who did was bound to obey him, such was the way of things.
Elo considered these words for long under time. When he made his decision, he assembled the Brothers and the Sisters before him.
“Hark and heed my words,” said Elo. “Long have we dwelled upon the plane, lingering near the source of our making. But we have been given vision of what is to come.”
And the Brothers did nod in agreement, for they had heard of the vision many times.
“Our brother says It is our purpose to leave this land of light,” Elo continued, “and travel to a new land, one that is both dark and cold.”
And Elo did look on his brothers with sorrow, for he remained unconvinced, and had begun to doubt of the vision. So also did he wish to linger near the source, for he coveted power most of all, and he was want to be graced should that power return again.
“Despite our brother’s vision of what is to come, I cannot permit that we all abandon the source,” Elo stated. “See that it has graced us once; it shall grace us again.”
And Gol did nod his head in agreement, as did Sune. Dwar was noncommittal. Sereventus was the only brother to object.
“You are wise, Brother-King, and prudent for you speak of a vision as if you too were blessed by it,” Sereventus said. “You say that we all cannot abandon the source, and so it was that in my vision I saw few upon this new land, but it was by their hands that it was shaped.”
And Elo did nod, for the words of his brother lent strength upon him. He wanted for obedience, but he coveted power most of all. “Indeed, Brother,” he said, dispelling his sorrow, “take with you your few; the rest shall stay here, upon the plane, so that we may remain close to the source.”
Sereventus smiled widely as he turned to address those assembled, for this moment had been shown to him in the vision. “Dwar,” he said, “stand with me. From your hands, we shall see a great work.”Dwar nodded and stepped next to Sereventus. “Gaia, so too will you join us, for your hands shall complement that work.”And Gaia did nod and join them.
Sereventus turned to Mana then, whose nature had been much like his own, and said to her the words he had seen. “Mana, you will also join, for your work shall bring purpose to all the other works.”
And Mana did nod and step forward.
“Wait!” Elo declared for he feared of his power should too many leave his land. “She shall remain here, upon the planes.”
And Mana did halt and bow her head before her king.
Sereventus turned in surprise as this was not shown to him in the vision. “Brother-King, would you deprive me of my complement, whose nature is like my own? Would you do this when there is work that only we together can create?”
And Elo stood and did speak with command. “I would do these things, Brother. And I would do them for the sake of us all. I would keep her here so that you would have reason to return, for I fear that should you complete your works, you would no longer have cause to linger upon the plane.”
And Gol did nod in agreement, as did Sune. Dwar also did nod. Sereventus was noncommittal.
“See how the Brothers agree,” Elo said. “Go now, unto this new land and shape it as is your want. Return to us and share these wonderous works. Perhaps under Time we may join you and enjoy of these things you have shaped.
And Sereventus did turn to Mana, who he had seen clearly in his vision upon the new land, and he did whisper unto her, “I shall return for you.”
-Oration performed by an unnamed Seveli Justicar. Transcribed by Valan Forvana in the year 3622, Illyrian Long Count.
So it came to pass that those who came before departed from the heavens. They were few, but of purpose and of courage, and of seeing. And they were led by the one whose voice still sang of Sem and A’ev.
And it was that they who left were want to build a new land, one between the heavens as was foretold.
Of how they travelled it is said not, but upon the nothing did they see a place touched by both light and darkness, one that could be of much promise and new beginnings.
And of the first sons, it was Dware who did first suggest a hearth. And it was Sereve of the first sons who did suggest a fire. And it was Gaial of the first daughters who did suggest a renewing.
And the voice did agree.
So it was that Dware did gather what had been unmade in the breaking of the heavens. Iron and stone were both want and plentiful. And he did form it and gave it shape as it would be a home to those that had left. When he was finished, he did speak onto it a name, Ara.
So it was that Sereve did gather what had been unmade in the breaking of the heavens. Geth and ether were both want and plentiful. And he did form it and gave it shape as it would bring light to Ara and those that called it home. When he was finished, he did speak onto it a name, Súl.
So it was that Gaial did gather what had been unmade in the breaking of the heavens. Edrúm and quin were both want and plentiful. And she did form it and gave it shape as it would sustain Ara and those that called it home. When she was finished, she did speak onto it a name, S’iel.
Thus it came to pass that Ara was made, and Súl, and S’iel by those that came before.
Low and blessed was their light.
It is worth noting that the Seveli account is corroborated in both the Venticle and Emerese traditions, though the voice is attributed only in the Seveli as is expected. In the earliest Seveli orations, Gaial’s role is more directly applied to the birth of life and the manifestation of quin. This seems to fall out of favor a few centuries after the Fall, though I certainly did my best to propel that particular piece of doctrine. Had I not heard it from the goddess’ lips myself I might have also doubted the account as her role seems to begin and end with the creation of the lesser life of Ara.
That Sereve is credited with the creation of the sun, I found to be particularly noteworthy as the early Seveli songs cast him as untrustworthy and little more than a brigand. I expect Serephet had a hand in this.
What I find most intriguing is the Atoli and Ruklanders’ omission of such events in their cultural understanding of the larger Song of Creation. A lack of divine representation confirms their divergence from diety-based belief structures after the Fall. It is possible that the breakaway is more about pragmatism in a harsh new reality, but this quin-based mysticism they have adopted in its place would argue against that.