|The Nameless Void. When beginning a story it is best to, well, start at the beginning, and The Void is the beginning of all. I would then perhaps be getting ahead of myself if I were to explain who, or what, I am in relation to The Void. For now, I shall merely hint to things, reader, for I am your guide and teacher through these pages and can only hope you will learn something through my accounts. I am a prisoner to the parchment and the ink, and not entirely so on my own. I sit here, locked in a prison of lush comforts and my own guilt, and so I write these accounts, from beginning to end, to new beginning, because essentially that is all that is known of the force of the universe, The Void.
The words which shall fall heavily upon these pages are fraught with the forces of nature, both good and bad, but chaotic either way. These words will weave with fate and prophecy, and I plead with you, reader, do not dwell on those paths, for in those directions lie only the darkest shadows of madness. So now, without further destruction by my mindless warnings and blathering, let this story officially begin… with The Nameless Void.
Before all else, there was The Void. The Void was everything and nothing all at once, it was (and some say still is) creation, life, destiny, and death, all in one large empty space, the ultimate contradiction of itself. From The Void was born the Divinity, or Divinities. I call them such so as to try and seem unbiased by any one of many religious beliefs, for each culture and race has its own. For now we shall explore the Divinities as described by the elves. There is no wiser nor older a race and their words should be heeded with no light heart. The Seldarine, gods of the elves, are also considered the first, born from The Void itself. Lead by Sehanine, the Moon Mother, and Correllon, the Father Longbow, the everlasting branch of the Seldarine is said to have created the world as their game board, the elves and animals their precious pawns. Time had little meaning to the elves, with their elongivated lives, and no one is really sure for how many centuries, or even millennia, the elves lived in peace as the lone occupants of the Earth.
Change though, is a natural force of the world, and eventually new gods and their creations began to appear, dotting the Earth with their societies. The elves were a people who pulled into the most unexplored regions and limited contact with those they believed to be ‘lesser beings’. The Seldarine gods loved their creations and often blessed them ten-fold when compared to the other races. Naturally this brewed jealousy and contempt from those other races who received more hardship than blessing from their gods, the worst by far being the humans and their One God.
Now reader, do not hold me mistaken as the humans One God was in no way a, shall we say, malicious God. While yes, He did bring on the demise of the world, He was in no…oh dear…it seems I’ve gotten ahead of myself. My apologies reader, I mean not to confuse you further. Yes, the One God could be held accountable for the destruction of the first world, but that is a false and much simplified explanation. The first world would have fallen whether meddled with or not, it was fates wish, and, like myself, the One God could only be described as ‘fates hand’, as I shall now explain.
There are moments in time when we have no control of what is happening to and around us. Moments where no matter what decision we make, we cannot influence the outcome. It is called Destiny. Destiny which moulds us to its every whim, the game of the gods so blindly played out by us, their puppets. We beseech those gods to earn favour among them, to earn the tread of the easy road with as few bumps and scrapes as possible. What happens then, when not even the gods we worship so faithfully can save us from the cosmic wishes of the universe? What happens when the game is intruded upon by a force so great nothing can be done? This is where the true ancient heart of the story began to form, at destiny’s doorstep, daring the unheard of, daring cosmic destruction for tampering with the forbidden: attempting to change the fate of the world.
It began many millennia ago with a nightmare. A foresight, a glimpse so far into the future it was thought ridiculous. Had the dream not visited the Mother Sehanine herself, no one would have believed it. It instilled fear into the hearts of the Seldarine. A force greater than themselves was coming, and their world, their game table, would meet its end. Fearful for her children’s lives, Sehanine called a meeting of immortal minds. Darkness and ice began to spread over the Earth, similar to the way fear spread across the hearts of the gods. Centuries of frustrated discussion passed, the Earth frozen under sheets of ice, until a conclusion was reached. Every hurtful, malicious, or dangerous object, disease, or natural disorder that could possibly be brought to their game would be locked away, never to threaten their people.
Thought to be the perfect plan it was acted upon immediately and every disease, daemon, drought, or other possibly malicious object was tucked away into a sealed chest the elven people named mal gurtha olin in their legends: the secret black death. Unfortunately the chest was no children’s story to be told before bedtime. It was real, and as real as the chest was, it was taken and hidden away deep within the mountain caves with a confusing three part puzzle as its key, inscribed upon the chest in the language of the gods. Believing their game safe once more, the Seldarine’s fear diminished, sunlight once more melted away the ice, and life resumed happily…at least for a while.
Foolishly the Seldarine overlooked the stone set fact that you cannot cheat the chosen path of the universe. The land lived and prospered for five millennia before the foul hand of fate set back into motion. The chest had been found by greedy humans, one of the most flawed races, brought to life by the One God. The humans had been digging in the mountains in search of iron ore when the team stumbled upon the caves…and the chest. Taken for treasure, the greedy humans studied the chest carefully. The ancient lock refused to break, no matter what was struck against it, and after many hours with no results most of the team left in pursuit of easier treasures. All but one. Allen Shade. This particular human had a mind to him, and as strong a will as the iron he mined deep beneath the Earth. Curiosity drove him to take the chest home with him so he could study it further. His friends laughed at young Allen’s stubbornness, but secretly plotted on how to cut in on the treasure once their friend found a way to open the chest. If Allen put his mind to it, they knew he’d find a way to accomplish it.
The Seldarine gods knew that the chest had been removed, yet foolishly remained secure that no creature could find the key to open it, especially a mere human. They forgot about the One God. All empowering, All justifying…All jealous of the elven pantheon, loved by their perfect people who lived and prospered while His own appeared flawed and grew disinterested in their Creator and more interested in their greed and themselves…like an ugly weed next to the blossoming rose.
This human had indeed been taught well in his time and he knew that all he needed to do was ask the right questions of the right people and the answer would come. Who better to ask than the One who Knew All? Had this human not been so bright, had he only let the iron ore dull his mind and the darkness of the mines fill his life with drab…if only he didn’t believe so faithfully in his God, perhaps fate would have been duped and the world would be different. Allen Shade was none of these, and as such, he prayed to the One God, and the One God answered by sending a scholar. A shrewd, red-eyed, elven-hating drow. Drow resented everything their surface cousin elves loved, and lived for darkness and shadow, so naturally such a treasure as the legendary mal gurtha olin was a special object to the drow people.
Still, the Seldarine remained confident that the lock could not be broken, but this drow scholar had an incredible talent for ancient languages and within a year had worked out a rudimentary alphabet. An incorrect alphabet, but close enough to send buzzes through the immortals circle. Not enough to act on though…had they not been so blind. It took another decade until the human and drow worked out what the inscription on the chest read. A sequence of three riddle which the drow then translated into common tongue for the human…now the immortals began to panic as Sehanine and Correllon watched in fear that they had just set their peoples up for destruction, as surely they had. By evening Allen Shade had worked out the solution to the riddles:
To open a secret locked by the gods, one but needs to
Speak the name of these three things.
“At night they come without being fetched,
And by day they are lost without being stolen.”
“The Prince of Sleep blesses those lovely,
In a lonely place with this.”
“And forth come from those sleepless nights,
Horrors unbound to frighten children and adult alike,
Daemons alive but dead to us.”
The human responded with all true answers. The stars, a dream and a nightmare, and the lock dissipated as if never there before, leaving Allen Shade with a choice. He chose wrong. Allen crossed to the chest and swiftly lifted the lid, not expecting what awaited him within. Into the unaware world was unleashed daemons, disease, death, and disaster. Suffering from the brunt of such an unleashment, the humans soul corrupted within mere seconds as he fell back and watched the storm of darkness circle and begin to descend upon the town below. The wails of children and screams of women and men as they fled in horror filled his ears. The Seldarine panicked…and the One God laughed.
It was then that Sehanine made a desperate attempt to save her children, playing her last card on the table. Sehanine used her powers of illusion and created a new world, hidden from the disaster unleashed upon Her game board. She then called her children to come and save themselves while they could. They tried, but many lost their lives. The plague attacked the Sylvan Tribes, drought ravaged the land, daemons terrorized Twilight and Sunrise elves, and a tidal wave washed many Hydro elves inland. Many…many lost their lives. Sehanine’s illusion was not only closed to the elven kinds, any who survived were given entrance, though the immortals dared not leave the gateway open for long, and soon it too was hidden, leaving mostly humans, but elves, orc, fae, dragon, and dwarf as well. It pained the hearts of the Seldarine and darkness spread over the game board. A part of the immortals died with that world and it was left deserted and cold.
This is where I shall now leave you, reader, to the narrative story of the Mists of Illusion, the magical world created by Sehanine herself. Bring your mind into a world of magic and mystery where during a time of need, the unheard heroes, or in the case of the Mists, heroines, step forth to lead their people. These heroines, or saviours, will become central figures very quickly, you will see, and do not take these words I have written lightly. Think of this as you enter the world of illusion, reader. Seeing is not believing. Believing is seeing the truth.