Note attached to the outside of the original manuscript
It is with a heavy heart that I put pen to paper in order to write this account. The heaviness is not due to any reluctance in the telling, for I believe that this account should have been shared long ago, but rather it stems from the knowledge that the time that was foretold before the first dawn is fast approaching and will come upon us sooner than any of us would have wished. The time is rushing upon us when we needs must put aside our guardianship and give over responsibility for all of Elolel’s other children into their own hands that they might undertake the tasks that Elolel has decreed for them. Fear not, however, for though we must depart, that does not mean that we have abandoned you, for we will remain, until the end of days, as stewards to Elolel’s creation. I write this account so that ye who remain may know the truth concerning us and not fall into false beliefs. We are not divine. The universe did not originate with us. We are the Taleael, the eldest children of Elolel, the self-originator and author of all. We are the stewards and guardians of that which was created. I leave you now with this account of the beginning of all things that you might understand not only our part in Elolel’s plan, but your own.
The Book of the Heavens
In the beginning was Elolel who is the Author of all things, who preceded all things, who was before the universe was. In that time before Time had yet been made, Elolel conceived a thought and, speaking the first word, caused the Talea to come into being.
Editorial Notation: The Talea are creatures of the mind brought into being by the Will of Elolel and they maintain their existence by unconscious self-will. The Talea, being spirit, can take any form that they will but they cannot be slain by mortal ailments or mortal weapons.
In that time before Time, the Taleael dwelled in the presence of Elolel and all were at peace and grew in strength and wisdom. Then there came a moment when Elolel drew all of the Taleael together and encompassed them within the First Will. Then each knew what part they were to perform and each melded their will with the wills of each of the others and they beheld a vision of the creation that Elolel desired to bring into existence and each saw that it was beautiful.
Many felt drawn to the worlds that lay within the embrace of the Creation and amongst these was a powerful Talea who called himself Nihil. Now when Nihil beheld the universe, it drew his soul he conceived of an unholy lust for dominion over it and all that dwelt within it. Then did the Will of Nihil change and many dark things that marred the beauty of Creation found their beginnings in the change within Nihil as it echoed out and affected others of the Taleael.
Some there were who were swayed by his will to join with him. Others, refusing to join but unable to resist, were broken. And still some there were who found themselves also changing to compensate for the imbalance that Nihil’s Will had caused. The Taleael, who before the vision had existed always in harmony, now found themselves in discord.
The Taleael continued to watch the vision and many noted that where the shadow of Nihil fell new souls of light were born that held the shadows at bay. By the power of these souls of light was a new glory and a new beauty revealed that touched deeply the minds and hearts of those who watched. However, before the vision could move to a conclusion wherein the fates of the souls of light was disclosed, Elolel withdrew it from before their minds leaving them only with the memory of the beauty and glory of the light.
The Taleael were shaken by all that they had seen and felt, for both the vision and the emotions it had awoken within them were unprecedented. Whilst they were dwelling upon the vision, and on the discord that they now felt amongst themselves, Elolel came and spoke to them saying,
“That which you have seen was only a shadow of possibility. By My Will and the power of the word will it be made manifest. Those of you who wish may leave Neiklotir, your home, and enter into Creation, but any who enter in may not thereafter depart until Creation has come to the ending that has been ordained for it.”
Then, according to Elolel’s will and the power of the word that was spoken, the universe came into being. That which had been one became many, and Neiklotir, the place apart, which encompassed all of creation was separated from the universe by barriers that could not be breached from without. For the first time boundaries existed that the Taleael could not pass. Then did the spirit and presence of Elolel withdraw from the Taleael, leaving each of them to make their choice.
When the Taleael looked beyond the borders of Neiklotir they saw the Vision made real and many desired to enter into Creation and work there the Will of Elolel. Before departing each was taken apart by Elolel and given some task, knowledge, or advice that would strengthen or encourage them during their sojourn apart from Elolel’s presence.
Now the Taleael who entered into the Universe called themselves Hegrealil meaning ‘Spirits of Creation’, for when they had entered into the Universe they found that the worlds were empty and dark and that they had entered into the beginning of the Universe before Time or Life. Then the Hegrealil did begin the Great Task.
They lifted up the mountains and hollowed out the seas; they carved the river courses and planted the seeds of trees, herbs and flowers. Then the ten thousand worlds were filled with light and growth and they were gardens of paradise. And alongside the Hegrealil worked the Nystor, spirits who had arisen out of, and were given watch over, the forests and the oceans and the lands in-between. The Nystor were the first of the souls of light, the younger children of Elolel, and were imbued with power over the elements out of which they had arisen.
Nihil succumbed to the love of power which had transformed him during the vision and the hunger for power burned in his heart and corrupted all he made. Putting on a dissembling guise, Nihil traveled between the worlds and began to spread his poison until those with the eyes to see could behold a great shadow spreading through the Universe, and thus did the darkness the vision had foretold come to be.
None knew what happened beneath the shadow for none who came from the shadow could speak of what they had witnessed. However, as was foreseen in the first vision, new lights began to appear amidst the darkness spread by Nihil and these lights grew in strength, beauty and numbers. When the first lights appeared on a world that the shadow had not yet swallowed the Hegrealil hastened to view the wonder and seeing for the first time the children of Elolel were amazed by their beauty.
The eldest of these new spirits of light were the Olkari and they were born of the Will of Elolel and filled by that Will and by its power. Seeing these new beings, the Hegrealil were inspired to create others who might fight against the shadow and these were blessed by Elolel and spread through the ten thousand worlds. These creatures guarded the wilds from incursions of the shadow-touched and, in the war that raged between the worlds, these fought alongside the children of Elolel against the corruptions created by Nihil.
Nihil, as his corruption spread and his power grew, fell so deeply into the shadow of his soul that he could no longer create but only corrupt. From the depths of the shadow came those that Nihil had corrupted and bent to his service. Some of these bore the stamp of Nihil’s twisted darkness upon their flesh, but others bore it only upon their souls and these could pass unremarked amongst Elolel’s children but they answered to Nihil’s every call and demand.
As the shadow within Nihil grew it became impossible for him to disguise himself and so cause disruptions within the societies of the worlds that he wanted to conquer. However, his power had grown so great and so many worlds with all their peoples were under his power that he began to openly battle for supremacy. Moreover, such was his power, and such the loathing of his adversaries for war, that many more worlds fell to the might of his sword before his enemies banded in alliance against him. Then did the battles become hard fought and Nihil, to win battles, was forced to render several worlds sterile, laying waste to all their beauty and reducing them to wastes of ice or sand or smoking lava. But the tide had turned against him and he gained no new worlds for many eons and though his enemies could not throw down his might yet could they withstand it and so Nihil was fenced about with worlds that kept always their swords to hand and a watchful eye on their borders.
Thus it continued for untold millennia whilst Nihil’s hatred grew and consumed him from within and he spent his power creating ever more terrible beasts. Then there came a time when the will of his enemies grew lax and Nihil descended on them with fire, ice, and shadow, loosening the bonds that he had placed about his creatures and letting them ravage as they willed. Then the boundary that his enemies had placed about him crumbled and all the worlds were laid waste and his enemies fled from him and gathered on the world of Ol. On that world were many preparations made amidst a great sharing of knowledge. The Hegrealil worked with the powers of all the children of Elolel to build a Gate through which all could pass to a new universe, and there were laid plans for the destruction of the Gate after their passing, timed, so it was hoped, so as also to destroy Nihil’s battle host.
All went as planned until the closing of the Gate for even as the Gate closed Nihil sent some of his own host through along with a shard of his own malice that scorched the land and killed many people. Nevertheless, even in their weeping for the lost, the people rejoiced in their escape from Nihil’s shadow. Then those of Nihil’s host that would not throw down their arms were slain but those that surrendered were granted freedom for it was thought that without Nihil’s shadow over them they might break free of his chains and for the most part this was so. But the shard of Nihil’s malice survived and hid amongst the peoples who were most subject to its influence and it bode its time, waiting until suspicion had abated and it had grown in power.
Then the people went their separate paths and the Hegrealil blessed the land and began the healing of the wounds that Nihil had made. Soon the paths of the people crossed the paths of a new people who had been on this world and of this dimension before the people came. This new people were called Men or Human and they were the youngest children of Elolel but many of the elder peoples treated them with suspicion and disdain for they had not fought against Nihil and they were different from all others in that their lives were short. And some of the people turned away and would have no dealings with them and slew all who came into the territory they claimed for themselves but others welcomed them in friendship and forged bonds with them that in later days would be the bane of Nihil’s shadow.
And thus the New World continued whilst the seed of the peoples of Elolel mingled and the Hegrealil worked their will upon the world making it rich and bountiful and adding much to its beauty. And some of the Hegrealil went unto the youngest of Elolel’s children and taught them of the world and these the humans held in awe and worshipped as gods and so the seeds of much future strife were sown though at the time none knew it. And there came a time when the Hegrealil saw that they had finished all the work that they could do on this world and they saw also that their presence was causing problems amongst the short lived humans and so they declared their intention of departing to search this universe to see if it matched in all respects their own.
And so the Hegrealil departed and the humans who had revered them as gods were laid low until some raised themselves up and, by declaring that they had received word from the gods and a portion of their power, set themselves up as the mouthpieces of the gods and ruled over their fellows. Others raised themselves up and by force of personality and arms claimed dominion over vast tracts of land and compelled the people to bow down and serve them. In some places the men of might clashed with the voices of the gods but in other places they worked together for mutual benefit and sometimes for the good of the people. But now the Shadow of Nihil began to work in earnest and there could be no peace for the new nations warred upon each other and powerful mages arose who contended also for the thrones and for the hearts and minds of the people. Then was the eon of war as was foretold by Ol during the Hegrealil’s first days on the new world and written down in the Hegrealil’s history of the first days called ‘The Book Of The Heavens’ that contains not only all of the history of the First Age but all of the prophesies of the First Age also.
Nihil remained within the universe he had claimed and ruled over his slaves with increasing laxity. Eventually he tired of their torments and set them each upon the others until they were no more and he claimed the power released by their deaths because he would not have it return to the universe to bring about more life. Then, at the last, Nihil dwelt alone in the Void he had made of the universe and the void entered into him and he entered into the void giving up all physical form and becoming only the awareness within the Dark. But this was not to last, for the shadow that he had sent did its work and those children that lived under it lived in fear and made war upon each other until the beauty that had been in their world was no more. Then, after Nihil had spent long eons in the dark, was a new Gate opened by the power of the Hegrealil and the remnants of the remnants of the children of Elolel that Nihil had first hounded from the Universe returned to the Universe that had been their home and settled upon the world of Ol where it lay, dark and forsaken, within the Void and sundered from the other worlds by the spirit of Nihil.
Then Ol exerted his Will and awakened the spirit of his world from its long slumber and he cast forth a giant ball of fire round which the world could circle to warm itself. Then he called forth new life of flowers, trees, herbs and beasts and the children of Elolel once more settled in peace amidst the bounty of a living world. Then from other dimensions, and from the Will of Elolel, came other peoples and new beasts and the Hegrealil also created many new creatures but all the works of the Hegrealil were marred because the spirit of Nihil still dwelt there with malice and his power was grown great as the Universe but limited as well for he was of the void and could no longer manifest himself and concentrate his power in one place unless it was in a servant, and this he was loathe to do, for to do so required that he share that power that he hoarded as a miser hoards gold. However, this power he yet had, to whisper ill counsel into the ears of the unwary, the arrogant, and the unwise.
Then did Nihil add his seeds of corruption and malice into all the works of the Hegrealil that they did after the Return. And Nihil sought out those touched by the Shadow and entering their minds whilst they slept he offered them power and riches and dominion over the Shadow beasts if they would serve him. Many there were who bowed their heads and accepted power in his service but some there were who would not bow to the Dark and these Nihil broke or killed. Many there were who believed that Nihil was gone, dead, vanished or perhaps returned to the Halls of Elolel for judgement, and these Nihil desired to deceive. However, the wisest remembered Elolel’s admonition that those that entered would remain until the end of days, and thus knew that wherever Nihil was he was not yet returned to the Halls of Heaven and thus was still a force to be reckoned with. Nihil worked in secret from the first, gathering servants and sowing the seeds of hate and corruption for later fruit, and it was many generations of men before his hand was seen in the evil deeds that shaped the new world.
Editorial Notation: Here ends this fragment of the abridged version of the Book of the Heavens.