The Garden Tender
I walked down the empty archive halls towards the large gilded doors I have passed through many times during my studies here. Color tinged light filtered in through the stained windows, splashing across the doors as I came to a stop. My professor tasked me with hunting down a special book. I pushed through the doors and began my search, scanning the shelves for the uniquely shaped tome of interest.
A Lonely Being
Long before the universe flourished with life, there was only one sentient entity. This being didn't know when or how they came to be. One moment there was nothing, then the next, they were aware of their existence and the vast cosmos that laid before them. There were no other beings, just them and the emptiness of space. With nothing to do and no one to talk to, they floated about and tried to come up with ways to entertain themselves.
Before long they discovered their powers of creation. With a simple wave of the hand they could bring forth any element or piece of matter they could dream of. With another wave, they could also destroy their creations. This never felt right to them and in turn, was rarely used unless absolutely necessary. With these newfound powers the entity set to work filling space with places to play in and other beings they could converse with.
My professor only told me that this book was in the shape of an egg. She didn't mention where in the archives it would be, but insisted it was in there and that I would know it when I saw it.
Filling the Void
The first item on the agenda was to bring forth light, as space was terribly dark and made the entity sad. They concentrated on feelings of safety and guidance while weaving their magic through the universe. Thus the stars were created. Now that the creator could better see their canvas of the cosmos, they set to work filling it with things they thought would be interesting.
Their next step was to create a solid place they could call home that would also function as their main workshop. With a large exhale of breath, a pocket dimension was formed. Here, the entity created a chunk of land that would flourish with life. They knelt down and placed their hands on the soil to release a pulse of energy that would adorn their new land with many plants. The vivid colors and vast amount pleased them. After dusting off their hands, the creator took a moment's rest before using some of their trees to create a cottage in which to live.
For a while this being was content raising plants and playing with their magic. Then they moved on to experimenting with other forms of life. Soon enough, various critters of all shapes and sizes were formed and allowed to roam the gardens. The entity was content once more and settled for watching over their new creations for a long time. The creator still sensed a hole in their life that needed to be filled. Despite all the interesting plants and animals, there was still a shroud of loneliness as none of them were sentient enough to converse with.
It took me four hours to find the blasted tome. The archives feel impossibly large when one is on the hunt for a specific item. It wasn't even located on any of the shelves. I stumbled upon the book tucked away under a potted plant for some reason. Thankfully there was no water damage, just a thin layer of dust to be wiped away with a cloth.
After some contemplation, the creator utilized what they knew of their powers and began work on creating sentient species. Over time they played around with different designs and filled their garden sanctuary with all sorts of folks. They were delighted to finally have companions that were able to learn how to speak. Things went well, for a time, as everyone got along and enjoyed themselves.
During this time everyone came up with names to call each other. Each species received a unique name to differentiate themselves by. Everyone decided to start calling their creator Azara, or simply, the gardener. Then a time came where the creator faced the predicament of not having enough room for everyone on the island. Tensions grew between their overcrowded friends and something needed to be done before they hurt one another.
The World Garden
Azara needed time to think and locked themselves away in their cottage to come up with ideas to help their new friends and make all of them happy. After more experimenting, the gardener discovered that if they concentrate hard enough, they could condense a portion of their magical energy into a potent sphere. An idea came to Azara and they planted it deep into the rich soil. A large plant grew in its place and produced a sizeable berry. The creator took this fruit and shot it into space. It burst with the pent up life energy and produced the very first planet.
This surprised Azara as they weren't certain the idea would work. They rushed to inform their friends that they'd have a new place to live along with many others. Before allowing the different species to leave, the creator ensured the new planet had the means to provide and would be safe. Azara utilized their star creation method to provide a sun for them. Before long, the new world was inhabited by their many creations. Seeing that it worked without fail, Azara decided to dedicate the rest of their existence growing more worlds in their garden to fill the vast universe that surrounded them.
Before reporting back to my professor, I took a moment to examine this peculiar book at one of the empty desks. Despite being egg shaped, the covers were designed and colored to look like a fruit of some sort. I couldn't begin to identify the species, however. The tome is a deep purple with silver gilded pages. The spotting and patterns were also silver. There was no title to be found and after opening it, I discovered the text to be a language I do not know. I would have to ask the professor.
The tale of the garden tender is Phaiyon's oldest myth. It is primarily told within the human cultures, but does have a few variants for others. The celestial being of this story typically has one of two forms: an older human covered in hooded blue and silver robes or an entity capable of shapeshifting. They have no gender and are always perceived as a loving, parental figure. Most pantheons of cultures with this myth view the celestial gardener as their main creation deity. There are temples with diverse gardens dedicated to them. This myth started out being passed down verbally through generations. It's been written in countless myth collections and at some point received its own book. There are versions of it written in the current common language, but tomes written in the dead dialect from before The Great Shattering exist in rare book collections.