Myth of Creation
Before and after all things, there was and is the Infinite Well, the Source, whom some call Kynos. Kynos foamed as an ocean of Chaos, eager to express itself -- and it did; from the Chaos came the First Spirits, who are themselves the formless, nameless pillars of reality. The First Spirits came out of the well by the path of kha, which is the will of Kynos, the force which drives all things from the future into the present -- but as of yet, there was no time, and all things existed at once, and in the same place.
In the beginning, the First Spirits were confused and knew no direction, for all places were one. This did not satisfy Kynos, so from himself by the path of kha, he drew two Identities, Here and There, and gave them names. These were the first things named. Here, he named Cymur, and There, he named Balor. Kynos gave Cymur the power to pull, and Balor the power to push, and so drew a path for the First Spirits to move in orbit between them. Thus space was created, and from space, time.
And so a system was formed, but though it was perfect, it was not complete; the First Spirits were eternal, existing forever once they came out of the Well. There was not enough room for all the Spirits to exist at the same time. So Kynos drew from himself by the path of kha another Identity, which he named Morhiag. Morhiag neither pushed nor pulled, but instead imposed limitations on the First Spirits, governing over the turns each must take, and at which speed each must move. And so reality was allowed change, and began to move in cycles.
Thus, time passed, and the first gods began to grow and age, gaining knowledge and understanding about and from the First Spirits, and making their own opinions of them. Cymur and Balor gathered Spirits into Doctrines, each side invariably pitched against each other, creating contradictions and agreements. Reality turned its revolutions. Eventually, seeing that the cycles themselves were eternal, Morhiag became unsettled. In secret, she dipped her hand into the Well and drew forth a Spirit which had yet to be thought of. It was a great fang, and she named it 'death'. With the fang in hand, she waiting in the space between Cymur and Balor for the First Spirits to pass by. When they came, she picked out one quarter of their number, according to her preference, and slew them. The corpses she named 'matter'. Another quarter she slew with a different stroke, and they became 'energy'.
At first, Cymur and Balor were angry with their sister, for she hadn't consulted them for their opinions before she acted, but when they saw the possibilities of matter and energy, they were pleased. For these, they made more rules, but left Morhiag to govern over the new universe. Now, though, there were so many different things which existed and needed to be governed that Morhiag couldn't hold them all in her mind, though her mind was vast. Dipping again into Kynos, the Infinite Well, the Source, she drew out another god, and named her Ylessa. By the path of kha, the will of Kynos, Ylessa came into reality with the desire to make beauty, and was a servant and daughter to the other gods.
Her first act was to create for each a sphere, a house in the firmament from whence they could rule: for Cymur first, out of respect for his elder status, she made a great, golden temple; Balor was gifted a similar, but slightly lesser one of shining bronze; for Morhiag, Queen of Death, a barren house of frozen silver; for herself, a lesser moon with pale, blue waters. Between these, she set fields of stars of diamonds and rubies and amethyst and sapphires, all to adorn the heavens so that the gods may dwell in a pleasant place.
As the other gods settled into their temples, Ylessa found in herself a burst of inspiration: she would make yet another work of beauty, a house where beauty had the means to express itself. Bringing with her a group of willing First Spirits, she built them a house between the houses of the gods, and named it Aagos, and gave those spirits shapes, and the ability to combine and reproduce. She named these spirits 'fathers' and 'mothers'. She put them into the shapes of trees, grasses, blooming plants, and all manner of fish and beasts and fowl. And thus Life was created, and given the ability to continue of its own accord. Morhiag watched over these also, and guided the fang of death to where she thought it was needed.
Cymur, fearing that the sheer number of things that now lived were too many, ordered from Ylessa one final act before she was allowed to rest -- the creation of some system or order. She bowed to the Elder God's request, and split herself in half -- one part to stay and rule, another part to go and rest. The ruling part was named Sykala, and was made Guardian of the Order of Nature. Ylessa, having fulfilled all her duties, retired to her house in leisure.
Thus, time passed, and Aagos continued to thrive with all varieties of life, making new kinds of itself constantly, which Sykala would guide and protect. Eventually, the mother and father spirits gave birth to a very new kind of life, a kind that was both soul and form at once. These Sykala named 'people'. The people amazed the gods with their ability to not only grow and reproduce, but create as the gods could, pulling things from the Well into reality in a way that seemed natural. Eventually, there was not only one kind of people, but four, and in the beginning, they all lived peacefully amongst each other.
Balor came first to the people on Aagos, though Sykala had been watching them long from a distance. Speaking to them, he learned that they pulled things from the Well in a very purposeless way; they created constantly, and didn't even know they were doing it, and couldn't always see the things they created.
Cymur saw that Balor was speaking with the people, and became worried that somehow his brother would gain an advantage over him through them (the two are always at conflict, because it is in their nature to do so). So, he rushed down himself to another part of Aagos where there were people different from the ones that Balor was speaking with. Each god decided on their own that the people should be ruled by the doctrines that they had previously made, according to their opposing natures. Thus, the separate societies of people were shaped according to their kinds, which inevitably led to war.
The first wars were terrible; people began to kill each other nearly as quickly as they reproduced.
Though the bodies of people were broken and swallowed up by death, their souls continued to dwell on Aagos, formless and without ability to act. The souls could only wander, terrified and confused. Kynos knew all that was happening -- for everything which happened was still a part of him -- and bade Morhiag to find a new home for all the wandering souls. Thus, from the Well, Morhiag drew another place, and named it Annwn. To death, she gave great wings, so that it could carry the souls from Aagos to their new home. There, she built herself a high throne of onyx, and named herself judge over the fate of the dead.
Sykala objected; the people who lived and died, he said, were still within the realm of Nature. He felt slighted; his authority had been usurped already by Cymur and Balor, he also said. A deal was struck: the people who died would eventually be returned to the mother and father spirits of Aagos, who would give them rebirth. Thus, the cycle of reincarnation was begun.
But still, the wars raged on; Balor, always aggressive, sought to have a claim on not only people that were living, but also those that had died. As the mortals of Aagos battled each other, he would often float above the field, centering his sight on those who fought the most fierce and killed the most enemies. In the earliest days, when these fell themselves, Balor would follow their souls to Annwn to petition his sister for authority over them. Morhiag would consent to her older brother, and over time, it became known that Balor was building an army, and trained the greatest of the fallen himself after death. It is said that this tradition still continues today.
In reaction, or perhaps for reasons of his own, Cymur had taken his society-forming to a new level. He chose a group of people called Men and dwelt among them, demanding their loyalty. In exchange, he taught Men the sciences of Law and Government, and made some of them nobility, to rule over others, and others kings over them. Others he taught agriculture, and arranged them all in castes, so that each knew his place. He taught them discipline, and honor, and order, and they worshiped him with their dogma.
All the land which Sykala had been given to watch was covered in violence, like foam on the sea. So, worried, he left for a short while and went to the house of the Mother, Ylessa, as it turned in the firmament. There, he found her watching people on the planet below, as she would, pleasuring herself with the beautiful sight of their bodies, or the sharpness of their minds. It was her habit to watch this particular person or that and admire them -- it could even be said that she fell in love often with them. Thus, Sykala petitioned Ylessa for a solution to the great wars that threatened the survival of Aagos, and the people on it. She promised she would do something, and bade Sykala, Lord of Nature, to return. Once he left, she chose three particularly beautiful mortal males, and went down to them in turn, disguising herself as a female of their particular kinds. Taking her time with each one, she loved and mated with them, giving birth to three immortal sons, or demi-gods.
The first's name was Melchior, and when he grew up, he walked among all the peoples of Aagos, and taught peace and enlightenment, and art and poetry -- all the beauties of the mind. Within those he met, Melchior awoke the desire to create, and fulfilled it by inventing for mortals the runic system so that they could more efficiently and consciously manipulate kha. The people learned to call this magic.
The second's name was Elbahn, and he taught the beauties of the body and pleasure: sexual tenderness and luxury; opulence and wealth; the art of form and aesthetics. It was Elbahn who walked among all the peoples of Aagos, and touched the eyes and hearts of some, male and female. These would find within themselves a great urge to desire each other, as well as the pleasures of the flesh, and sought to decorate themselves with gold and silver and precious gems -- to collect wealth for the pleasure of it. It was also Elbahn who first brought luck into the world, pulling it from the Well, but that is another story.
The third son of Ylessa, the youngest, was named Belial. He grew to love secrets and hidden things, and instead of walking among the peoples of Aagos, as was intended, he shut himself away in distant corners to ponder and study mysteries -- of the gods, of Aagos, and of the Well, Kynos -- and questions which had not yet been answered.
The efforts of Ylessa and her sons eventually slowed the Great Wars, and the world proceeded on in relative peace, all races living together on the one continent.
After the Age of Great Wars, which also became known as the First Age, the peoples of Aagos flourished and grew in wisdom and culture, the demi-gods, as well as older gods, living among them, dwelling often in temples and holy places, ruling and guiding. This was called the Second Age. Wars still occurred, from time to time, and Balor would judge the sides with his scales, choosing the victor among whomever had the greatest desire for victory, and gathering the greatest of the fallen from Annwn. Cymur still dwelt among Men, but the teachings of Melchior and Elbahn helped soften his otherwise unbending Law, and gave Men other things to explore and be interested in. In short, the world moved forward in many directions at once, and nearly everyone was generally pleased.
Nearly everyone, except for Belial, the third and youngest immortal son of Ylessa. Much like his god-ancestor Morhiag, his mind was complicated, and his ways difficult to understand; he hungered for the very source of knowledge, and looked for signs of it, hints of it, in the deepest part of mortal's souls, or in the bowels of the Order of Nature which Sykala ruled, or in the firmament which Ylessa had created, or in his own form, which was not so far removed from the form of the older gods themselves. As he loved mysteries, he learned to move like one himself, with great stealth, eventually devising a way to hide himself from the eyes of both men and gods when he chose. Thus, he could search without being hindered or bothered.
In time, his search brought him to Annwn, the City of the Dead, of which Morhiag was Queen. It is said that he found a secret there which was most precious, and stole it, carrying it back with him to a distant corner of Aagos for study. He became so absorbed by it that no one heard from him or caught a glimpse of him for a very long time. The gods nearly forgot Belial, which worried them; Melchior and Elbahn were sent to investigate their immortal brother and his motivations.
What they found disturbed them: In a particular place in the Islands of the far East of Aagos, not far from a kind of people known as Elves, they found signs of Belial, but not the demi-god himself. It was the signs themselves that disturbed them; the place where Belial dwelled was no longer ruled by the Order of Nature which the older gods had designed and given to Sykala to govern; Belial had used the secret he had stolen to create a new Nature, which was as immortal as he. No one knew how he had accomplished such a thing, for it was not thought to be within the power of a demi-god to do so. It seemed to Melchior and Elbahn that Belial was somehow, now, much more like their god-ancestors, that he had somehow learned the art of god-making.
The two immortal brothers left the place, and traveled to the firmament, to the two suns and two moons, to report all they had seen. Cymur was furious, and called all the other gods together for a discussion. Together, they decided the acts of Belial was a great sin that needed to be punished, as well as (of course) stopped immediately. They searched for Belial, but could not find him because he had learned how to hide. Thus, Balor decreed that Melchior and Elbahn would return to Aagos and gather an army of all nations and peoples to bring war on Belial and the Nature he had created. It was done.
When the armies of Melchior and Elbahn arrived in the place where Belial dwelt, they found a people unlike any other which had yet been seen -- mortals no longer mortal, the children of Belial's new, immortal Nature. The war began immediately.
Though far outnumbered, the Children of Belial were very strong in both mind and body, and moved on the field like gods themselves -- even when they were surrounded and cut down, they would not die. Instead, they would simply rise and continue to fight, recovering from their wounds quickly. Belial himself was surely there, fighting, but hidden; though the armies of Aagos would call out that they could see him, that he was terrible to look upon, Melchior and Elbahn could not, and thus struggled to bring their full powers to bear against him. The situation became dire.
Furious, Cymur and Balor watched, arguing between each other what action should be taken. In their anger, even as if to spite each other, they ruled that the world should be destroyed without mercy. Surely, Belial and his children would be lost with it, and Ylessa could be asked to create a new one.
Thus, the war ended in the Apocalypse of the Eye, when the suns of Cymur and Balor aligned, destroying nearly all life with floods and fires, breaking up the one continent into many. Melchior and Elbahn survived by the grace and quick-thinking of their mother, and the Queen of Death found her city filled to overflowing. In the aftermath, it was discovered that signs of Belial still remained, and that his clan continued to exist. Sykala begged his god-ancestors not to completely destroy the world, and argued that the Sin which Belial committed would still exist despite, because it was made of the stuff of gods, and not mortal. The Twin Gods, Cymur and Balor, relented, and did not allow complete destruction.
Thus, having little else to do, the gods together send a strong curse to the place where Belial dwelt, and limited his power with the sum of theirs, pronouncing that they would no longer speak of his old name, but would forever call he and his children Vek'pem Ahrye (which means 'cursed, hidden and removed').
With that, Cymur declared the ordeal as complete as it could be, and the world was allowed to move on. This was the end of the Second Age.
Over time, Aagos recovered and its people slowly rebuilt their civilizations, but they were never quite the same. Gods and demi-gods were marginally less involved in the growth of these societies, having learned their lesson. Still, though the other races of mortals received, sometimes, the guidance of gods, the Elves were left to themselves because of the Sin that was near them. Thus, most evolved into the nomadic Tir, forced to wander and teach themselves.
This time is known as the Third Age: the end of creation, and the beginning of history.