The Beginning of Elthir
From the Royal Archives of His Majesty King Luther III, Ruler of Balnavia, Lord Protector of the Ember Isles. File Number 396 It has been requested of me by my Lord Superior, to put down on parchment, a tale of singular importance to those who call themselves the sons of Men. It is an old story, one that has, for generations, held children captive and spell-bound; it has strengthened the heart of the dying, and has fallen as a blessing on the ears of the aged. It is a tale that will never lose its beauty or strength, it will continue on down through the ages, being told and retold, passed from father to child, and it's legend will only grow as the seasons pass and the flowers bloom and fade away. It is a story that never loses its value and will continue as long as this earth shall remain. It is the story of our birth, when everything came to be. It is the story of the beginning of this world. Two hundred years ago, this world, as we know it, was void and without form. There was nothing; no color, no sound, no air, no up nor down, only a cold, colorless mist that was neither light nor darkness and having no depth or width, was measureless. This mist didn't move and swirl as the mists we know today, but lay with death-like stillness, and with a silence deeper than anything mortal man can imagine. The mist, too, was untouched by time, it was not limited by days and numbers; it was neither temporary nor eternal, it simply was. In knowledge of this, we, mere mortal men, cannot say when the light first came. It was sudden. It hadn't been there and then it was. A warm, steady glow that shone with a strange light against the walls of the colorless mist that surrounded it. At first it was only a small glow, and although flickering with a calm steadiness, it seemed lost in the deadly silence, like a candle in the depths of cave, whose darkness threatens to extinguish it at any moment. But then it began to grow. Like the sky as the sun begins to rise, this light grew and thickened, changing from a feeble light to one that began to shine with a golden brilliance. Slowly, it grew, the circle of light ever widening. It penetrated the thick walls of the silent mist and pushed back the stillness like the prow of a ship parting the waters of the sea. Where ever the light shone, the mist vanished, as if it could not stand to look upon such glory, and was forced to retreat in submission. The more the light grew, the quicker it became, moving with force and momentum as it enveloped the mist in its majestic brilliance. The mist, unable to stand against the light, gave way to it and was swallowed up by its depths. The light grew and grew, until it shone with a blinding radiance, a cloud of glory that moved, destroying the mist, the silence and the stillness, until all that remained was light. Glorious, golden light that grew and grew and grew and seemed as if it would go on forever only growing stronger and brighter, until suddenly it was gone. The light, with its indescribable glory, disappeared into a darkness that came with a suddenness and force that could not be denied. For one single moment, all was darkness. All was silence. Then, the darkness lifted. As if pushed by an unseen force, the darkness faded, and was gone as quickly as it had come. The mist, the light, the darkness; all were gone. In their places was a world. Where once had been only mist there was now a whole, new earth that teemed with life and growth, and seemed as if it had always been there. It was young, it felt fresh and new, yet, strangely, it looked like it had been there for hundreds of years. As if it had been silently growing and developing while the mist covered it, waiting until the day its glory would be unveiled. Mountains, valleys, rivers, oceans, forests, and seas. Deserts, plains, meadows, and swamps. Birds sang in the treetops, creatures moved across the earth and beneath the depths of the ocean, sea monsters prowled in the murky depths. The whole earth sang of life and growth, everything fresh and new, untouched by the man, breathtaking in its uncorrupted beauty. Truly, this was a world unequaled in splendor and natural glory, but alas! Few would be the days until the rough hands of Man would pervert and dismantle the ways of the earth, using the gifts of nature for their own corrupted desires! This world, young and glorious, not yet knew the ways of Man. It moved and breathed with joy, unaware that days would come when pain and death would blemish her pure being and a new darkness would fall upon her. A shadow that would not be lifted. Of things to come, this world knew nothing and it grew and flourished. It glowed with youth and beauty, and each day brought new life and each night more peace. It was a world that seemed to have been forever exactly as it was now and it seemed, that no matter how long time should endure, it would stay exactly the same. But change was on the horizon, and the world knew it. The tall trees of the forests, stirred by gentle breezes from the sea, seemed to speak of it. The birds that flitted through the morning mists, spoke of it in their lusty song. The waves of the ocean, crashing against the rocks and beaches, cried the news. The flowers, swaying in the evening wind, whispered of it. The very stars of the sky, shining in all their splendor and glory, seemed to tell of the change that was coming. Whether good or bad, none seemed to know, but that it would come, was sure.
The Beginning of Elthir, as recorded by His Majesty's Royal Historian, Malkolm Kerith, in the Golden Age, 413