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The Time Before Time

Information sourced from studies by the Citadel of Scholars dedicated to Our Lord Hamaskus, derived from historical studies of the First & Early Second Eras, and studies into the Tomes of Chalanna

Written by David_Ulph

The druids speak of a time before the Gods, where Light and Dark could combine in harmony over a Garden that could flourish life. This life became born from the mixing of Light and Dark rather than the collision, thus becoming Grey. The Garden was lost long ago, and as it drifted out into the Aether the equilibrium was lost with it, hence the birthing of Chaos and the Gods with it and why the druids refuse to worship it.
Studies of Candlebishop Henrique of the Citadel of Scholars

All cultures speak of a variation on the creation of the Great Dance, but many pieces of information stay the same no matter where on the Mortal Realm one travels. The very name 'the Great Dance' will translate into every language and dialect ever recorded in every Realm as the very being which binds all life together. Not only that, but each religion or interpretation of faith will live by the Path of Light or Path of Dark.
Light and Dark are the two primordial entities from before time, being known by various names from culture to culture. Light and Dark; Lumen and Umbra; Life and Death; the Gardener and the Winnower; the Flowermaker and the Whisperer; Past and Future; Magus and Spider; Truth and Faith. The Holy See have requested it be known as Light and Dark, whose corpses formed Lumen and Umbra - the Realms of Aetherborn. The druids refer to the entities as the Gardener and Winnower.

The Great Dance

Once upon a time, though before there was time, there lived Light and Dark in a beautiful Garden of Flowers surrounding a great Olive Tree of Silver. Light and Dark played a dance with each other, a game of sorts, with the Flowers of the Garden. At the start of the day, Light would plant an equal seed, and by the end of the day, Dark would rip away the Flowers that did not grow as strong throughout the Timeless Day and let them die so the others may prosper.
The end result of the dance was always the same. In the end, the Dark would claim everything Light planted. Light hated this, for it was in its being to seek everything to flourish while Dark sought death and finality. The Light hated the Dark's mocking that finality was a natural cycle of life and end of the dance, that death was inevitable and why should the strongest not be allowed to live for longer? The Light sought to introduce a new move into the dance to prevent Dark's finality and allow all the Flowers to continue.
And so Light created magic, which could be used to heal and restore the Flowers throughout the Timeless Day. When Dark came, he found all the Flowers equally strong and was enraged as he could not understand which ones were weaker and deserved to be ripped up.

The Escalation

Light set a precedent, one which Dark would abuse to ensure the balance of the Great Dance was restored. Dark would introduce another move of his own to the dance to balance out the restorative magics. From a torn away piece of bark of the Silver Tree, the Dark held a Spider who was placed back on to the Tree to exist. The Spider who would beginning spinning its web became the beginning of Time with the web at its centre. Time influenced the constant Song of Magic, where the magic would over time mutate the Flowers developing a cancer that killed the entire batch of that Day. While the magic could restore the Flowers and prolong the absence of weakness, time would allow the Dark to patiently wait for the magic to wear, or for the Light's great gift to develop corruptions.
In response to protect Flowers which could not be protected by magic any longer, Light created something else which would physically protect from Dark's winnowing even after time. This was a simple thornbush, where no matter how much time had passed and the Spider would spin their web on the Silver Tree, it would always be made of prickles to stay Dark away from the Flowers behind the thornbush.
Dark felt pain from the thornbush, and plotted to end Light soon. The Dark created a Knife, and this Knife was called Loneliness. As Light's Flowers flourished under the protection together behind the thornbush, and Dark used Loneliness to perfect the Flowers and let them die themselves without a winnowing process. When the Flowers were alone, they could only grow at their own pace and face their greatest weaknesses without the support of other Flowers. Only in Loneliness can one witness whether they are strong enough to survive or not. To take the Knife of Loneliness is to perfect themselves or wither and die in the path to perfection.
Light saw only one way to compete the predatory nature of isolation and survival of the fittest, and this was to be Communalism. To embody the new concept of Communalism against Loneliness was a simple Honey Bee, which could support all the Flowers through working together no matter how isolated the Dark made them. The Honey Bee shared life throughout the Garden so that all Flowers would benefit each other to thrive without the need for death or solitude.

The Death

The Dark with the Knife of Loneliness lunged at the Light, seeking to end the corruption of finality. According to Chalanna in his Tomes, the Dark did not successfully strike Light at first, instead missing and snapping a piece of the thornbush which was thrown out into the Aether as a Circlet of Thorns .
Light and Dark came to blows and turned the Flowers of the Garden into mud and Worms, and the Garden was thrown out and lost into the Aether. The Great Dance was disrupted, causing both Light and Dark to lie down and die, becoming their own Realms. Light and Dark could no longer combine in the Harmony of Grey and would collide harshly henceforth in the new Great Dance. In the place of the Garden came the Chaos, born from this conflict in a combustion of magical energy.
Thus started the First Era of the Realms, where reality and time was created.
Prompts Advent Calendar #11

WorldEmber Article #13

Disclaimer from the Citadel of Scholars

The following information is a collection from multiple select sources to largely fit with the theological rhetoric of the Holy See. Scholastic sanctuary can only protect so much, but to publicly display within the Territories alternative truths on the origins of the Realms would cause the entire Citadel of Scholars to be the target of a righteous crusade. For all intents and purposes, the following tale is the true origins of reality in accordance with the Gods of Chaos.

An Artefact of the Time Before Time

Crown of Thorns
Item | Feb 18, 2022

Written for Prompt 7 (2020 Advent Calendar) - An Artefact of Light From Before Time Began

The Harmony of Light and Dark

The Grey
Physical / Metaphysical Law | Feb 18, 2022

The Druidic Belief Which Binds All Mortal Life

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Cover image: by raytheoverlord


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12 Dec, 2020 20:13

This is a great creation myth - very beautiful. Light and Dark kind of remind me of two siblings trying to one up each other.

Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
18 Dec, 2020 18:43

Huh I never noticed that but I really like this interpretation! Chuffed I managed to portray that feeling while being an only child :-)

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here
12 Dec, 2020 22:02

An inspiring story with a twist on the classical battle between Light and Darkness. I miss the short info on the bolded words.

Introducing my challenge entry, with my cat as the main character and visitor to the tavern.
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
18 Dec, 2020 18:41

Thank you :-) Yes, I was asking for my Crown of Thorns article still somehow WIP! But I've started to find you're help more useful in recent articles I'm sure you've noticed haha

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here
13 Dec, 2020 16:54

This is a really interesting myth! I love the symbolic of the dance throughout the story, and how its a representation of life itself. Very interesting article!

Author of Arda Almayed - check out my SummerCamp articles here!
Journeyman David_Ulph
David Alexander
18 Dec, 2020 18:41

Ay I'm glad the symbolism I was trying to go for in this interpretation managed to come through! I have about 5 different interpretations in my notes, maybe I'll end up writing the different religion's belief of this time period some day ;-)

Latha math leat! Sending praise from the Hebrides! Check my Summer Camp ramblings out here