Historia Europa I
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These are the words of Quin of Nore, the Chronicler, and most humble servant to Idus III von Apollyon, Sky King and Master of the Seas and Sands. I have been tasked with the grand purpose of assembling all that is known about the first days of Creation, the tales of the Olde Things, and the stories told by our ancestors passed down through the tradition of the Great House of Apollyon and the wisdom of the First People. May the words of my pen and my meditation on these, the great tales of olde, bring guidance and clarity to all who dwell in the peace and prosperity of that most noble and ancient house.

Historia Europa

The Olde History of the World

Chapter I: The Dream of IS

Before the sun was placed in the sky, and the moon to follow her, before light and dark and before time itself, there were two siblings: IS and IS NOT. Together, they were the Balance – IS encompassed all that was, all that is, and all that ever shall be, while IS NOT held dominion over that which was not, that which is not, and that which will never come to be. They were together, for countless years, in the quiet slumber of the First Night where they dreamed the First Dreams – a dream of a living creation, of might and magic and science and souls, and a dream of words unspoken, lives unlived, and potential unrealized.

It is not known what first disturbed the slumber of IS, though the olde poet Fife the Lariat wrote, in the Passage of Night:

did cometh the silent sleepers,
and upon them did alight a wisp
insignificant and small, born as it was
from the dream of the creator.

And as does the fawn cry for
the milk of its mother, so too did
the wisp cry out for form,
and form it was given, and name.

Regardless of by which mechanism it was accomplished, IS awoke from its long slumber and its dream became THAT WHICH IS – all of creation brought into existence. But the world was without form, and IS pondered over it for a time. Eventually, over this new creation was dominion given to the Paragons, the fundamental architects of everything that would ever exist. Of these, there were nine, though the first Paragon, the Paragon of Names, gave up its own to give name to the sum of creation, and was annihilated. Those who remained were called thus, in the tradition and language of the First People:

Edos the Eldest – Paragon of Time
Usarus the Painter – Paragon of Form
Zutris the Speaker – Paragon of Power
Aella the Gardener – Paragon of Life
Osyn the Quiet – Paragon of Soul
Runheia the Serpent – Paragon of Knowledge
Va the Annihilator – Paragon of Decay
Bramimond the Boatman – Paragon of Death

And thus began the Arranging of the World, whereupon the Paragons set in motion the Dream of IS.

The First Named of the Paragons was Edos, called the Eldest, the Paragon of Time. It was He who first stepped out of the Dream of IS and began His march towards IS NOT, within which the whole of creation would exist. His journey, the passage between existence and the Void, was called Time, and it is said Edos will stop to rest only when His task is done and the world becomes the Dream of IS NOT.

In the Passage of Night, the following is said of Edos the Eldest:

Long was His journey,
old Edos, who spoke not a word
but began His passage
an eternity to men, but
only a moment to the Walker.

Next was awoken Usarus, called the Painter, the Paragon of Form. Usarus long studied the Dream of IS, and with a brush made of starlight They painted the shape of the Dream upon the canvas of reality. By Their action were the great vessels placed in the sky, and the boundaries of the world carefully set upon their Foundations. Usarus drew a line between the Endless Void and Their realized Dream of IS, so no power from the endless unrealization of IS NOT could be made manifest within the world.

Then came Zutris, called the Speaker, the Paragon of Power. So terrible was His arrival that it is said the whole of creation shook and the very fabric of reality bent beneath Him. Zutris cast his eye out upon the work of Usarus and found it pleasing to behold, but became filled with despair as He gazed upon it, for it was wholly without impetus and sat unmoving upon the canvas. So then did Zutris reach out and, with a Word, pour His authority into creation, setting alight the great vessels - the stars - and sending them spinning across the cosmos. Through His Word did lightning fill the sky and did the clouds give up their waters to fill the seas, and through His Word did the great furnaces of the world roar with purpose.

Following Zutris was Aella, called the Gardener, the Paragon of Life. Though the tides came in and the sun crossed the sky, there was yet no living creature within the whole of the universe. Aella came down from the Dream and planted a pure seed from the Heart of IS in the fertile soil. From this seed grew the Tree of Life Everlasting, and from it Aella pulled a single fruit. Aella blessed the fruit and scattered it onto the painting, from whence came the birds of the sky and the fish of the sea, and every living thing that draws breath across all the worlds that made up the Realized Dream. It was from the Breath of Aella that the first Gods came into creation, those beings who first arose from the ash of Usarus’ painting and gathered authority unto themselves. These gods then made creatures in their own image, creatures to fill the worlds of Aella’s living universe. But they were like beasts, living but not yet alive and fully aware.

Aella too is mentioned in the Passage of Night, though not by name. The Lariat writes:

Now I walk through the garden
where the Gardener tends the fruit of life
and though I were to hold it for mine own,
the wisdom of the serpent stays my hand.

But then was Osyn, called the Quiet, the Paragon of Soul, and within Her was free-will. Osyn did not fully leave the Dream of IS, having no true shape of Her own, but instead became a fountain from which the Gods of the new universe could bless their creations with consciousness. Those that drank of Osyn’s waters had their eyes opened and could fully understand the beauty of the Realized Dream. Of the Paragons, Osyn is by far the most mysterious, and it is believed that man may never truly know the depths of Her secrets.

With awareness came curiosity, and so then came Runheia, called the Serpent, the Paragon of Knowledge. It is said none better understood the true nature of the Dream of IS, for Runheia was all-knowing and all-seeing. It was in Her wisdom that Runheia did build Her Eternal Library between the Void and the Foundation of the world. Knowledge, She determined, must not be given freely, but must also not be unobtainable. Those with access to Perfect Knowledge would, in turn, know the power and secrets of the Paragons, and would be able to find the Tree of Life Everlasting and seize from it the power of the Paragons themselves. Aella lamented, fearing this new Knowledge would lead to a usurpation of the Dream and a ruination of Their Arrangement.

Runheia wept, knowing that by assuaging Her sister’s fears she would be keeping Perfect Knowledge forever out of the grasp of the creatures of the world, and none would ever be capable of seeing the Dream as Runheia sees the Dream. Despite this, She pulled another seed from the Heart of IS and planted it next to the Tree of Life Everlasting. From this seed grew the Tree of Perfect Knowledge, and using the full power bestowed upon Her by IS She created a single TRUTH, one that was not found within the Dream of IS - the Great Paradox. Any being could eat the fruit from the Tree of Life Everlasting, but only so long as they had first eaten the fruit from the Tree of Perfect Knowledge. Similarly, the fruit of the Tree of Perfect Knowledge was freely available, but only to those who had first eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life Everlasting. Runheia, diminished from the creation of this new TRUTH, withdrew to Her Library to guide the souls of Osyn and study the great secrets of the Dream.

The Passage of Night has the most to say about Runheia - indeed, much the poem is written as a letter of affection to the Paragon that Fife the Lariat holds most closely in his heart. A passage reads:

Serpent Runheia, mother of the secret word,
know you truly the message of my heart.
See how Fife, your humble servent
even now seeks your counsel.

Mother Runheia, your wisdom is clear,
but you have set me on a course from which I cannot diverge,
for while many seek your wonders for the scepter you wield,
Humble Fife desires naught but to see your eyes, if even once,

and behold the Truth beneath them.

After Their work was done, life flourished within the painting of the Dream. Usarus, Zutris, Aella and Osyn, the Arrangement concluded and the Dream of IS fully realized, Themselves returned to the Dream to sleep again, though Osyn was careful to leave Her hand extended from within the Dream to fill the souls of creation. The remaining Paragons lingered; Edos in his long march, Runheia among her endless bookcases, and the final two – the Paragons of IS NOT.

First of these was Va, called the Annihilator, the Paragon of Decay. From Va came erosion and entropy, the great unwinding of all things - a force equal to but opposite that of Zutris. Under Va’s command, the stars in the sky began to dim, mountains began to crumble to dust, and age and infirmity came to the living beings of the world.

Last was Old Bramimond, often called the Boatman, and the Paragon of Death. It was He who watched over the passages between Creation and the Dream, and returned those from the former to the latter in their time. It was said that Bramimond often walked amongst the living peoples of the world, giving aid and comfort to the suffering and the lost. In this way, Bramimond was perhaps the most human of the primordials, being the one most closely affected by the mortal affliction of men. Together, He and Va were the Paragons of Reorder, tasked with the solemn duty of breaking down the world as Edos passed it by and, in time, returning it to the Dream.

Bramimond and Va are mentioned only once in written texts, though their names have been known in the tradition of our people for generations. In the Account of Dais Daggorl, the titular Dais recounts the dying words of Born, olde King of Armentuk, as he heard them while acting as the king's private chronicler:

His majesty gave a great sigh and spittle came from his mouth - a rasp, less than a cough, and then a rattle beneath it. It passed, and then after a moment I heard him speak, saying "Va, Va, cruel annihilator. Spare me this agony. Boatman, call off this Reaper - your servant. Spare me over another day. Take me another day, Boatman." Then did the king die, the breath exhausted from within him and his body cold and pale.

The Paragons, before going Their separate ways, created a world to serve as a monument to Their grand design. It was here that They had come forth from the Dream of IS, and it was here They had returned. They placed upon that world a doorway over the Void, and it is said that at the end of all things, when the world has unwound and creation has run its course, the remaining Paragons shall pass through the door into the Dream of IS once more, and Edos will close it behind Them.

Before departing, Aella and Osyn fashioned a powerful goddess to watch over the place, and named her Gaia. To protect her they built titans - one of steel, one of flesh, and one of stars. In the heavens they placed a watchman and on her soil they gave her a final gift - the Children of the Stars, who were not touched by the mortality of the Great Paradox. So long as Gaia maintained her watch, they would be with her, and when she returned to the Dream so too would they. Gaia delighted in her Children, who themselves spent countless ages with her in sublime awe of her many wonders.

In time, the Titans would find names of their own. The Titan of Steel came to be called Mekhane, and the Titan of Flesh would be called Važjuma. The Titan of Stars was named by the Children of the Stars, who loved her above all but Gaia alone, and who in their tongue they called Iýa, or Mother, and who would later be called Titania.

Fearing that the Children of the Stars were not prepared to defend Gaia from whatever might threaten her, Mekhane and Važjuma built a knight of their own, to defend the secrets of IS and their Mother God. Važjuma formed him from shapeless clay, and Mekhane gave him an iron purpose. For an age, while the Children of the Stars gazed into the cosmos, the two Titans labored over their creation in secret, and upon its completion they reached into the heavens and pulled down a lightning bolt to put fire in his chest, and he rose from the dirt.

His name was Asem, and he was the First Man.

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