Having been appointed by the Lord of Time, Cylad, to do what he does not have the patience to do, here I set down the history of our beloved Tharel. Cylad has given me the tools I need - an extended life, his memory of ages long past, and the memories of Before that were gifted to him upon his creation. I will now detail the account of Tharel.
Before even time, there existed the Void. It contained everything there Was, Is, and Will Be. The Void was wild chaos at first, the five elements scattered and not even united in themselves. Of the five elements that played randomly in the Void - these being air, earth, fire, water, and spirit - the first to unite and realize its potential was spirit. The Ether formed in the Void, touching every part of it. The Ether was made of the spirits of everything not yet born. A great convulsion of the Void occured as each element separated itself from the chaos and became what it truly was. Where fire and air touched, stars were born in the void. Light and darkness were created. Other heavenly bodies filled the void as different elements combined. Only spirit remained aloof, content with being Ether.
Not all was agreed, however. A small portion of the Ether did wish to join with the other elements, and broke from the rest. It gave itself new awareness, and combined fully with itself. The spirit born named itself Fjiorim, and though we usually refer to her as female after the form she chose she was both and neither.
The new spirit Fjiorim searched the void far and near, and when she found a suitable place she pulled over one of the great stars. She also brought the perfect heavenly body she had found - a sphere made of all four elements. Fjiorim set them at a distance from each other. Then she set everything spinning, because she delighted in movement. As a final touch she added a 'moon' to the earth, thinking to decorate it. Fjiorim's creation was a marvelous toy, but she had a purpose in mind when creating it. As she thought of how to enact her plan, plant life flourished on the earth and water portions of the planet. Finally an idea came to her, and she pulled together many elements and created a diverse selection of animal life. In each she put a little spirit. Thinking she had succeeded in combining all five elements Fjiorim was well pleased.
Yet, after a period of time Fjiorim realized she was not satisfied. She was lonely; there were no other beings such as she. So to please air and water, she brought together the elements and crafted the forms of elves. Giving them heavy doses of spirit Fjiorim imbued them with intelligence and wisdom, letting them roam her creation freely. They were long-lived and powerful, but possessing of no great physical strength - much like air and water, which were well pleased. Then dwarves were formed, with hearty strength and resilliance. This pleased earth and fire. Not as long-lived, they delved the earth and stoked the fires in their forges. As an afterthought, Fjiorim created humans to please herself, giving them short-lived but passionate spirits.
Now Fjiorim was content to watch the play of her creations, and talk to them, and enjoy the way they learned quickly.
Fjiorim's world was a utopia and was balanced in all things. Creation of life and destruction of it were balanced, and when souls were spent they journeyed back to the Ether to recharge and be born again. Disasters and discoveries were balanced. The periods of light and darknesss were also balanced, as the world spun and danced around the sun. There was no concept of good and evil, and all of Fjiorim's creatures lived in harmony. A single great city was raised to her, and named Tharel. The rest of the world soon picked up this name, being called Tharel after the city.
Soon the races learned how to harness the powers of their spirits, and they called this part of Fjiorim's essence "magic". In the great city a library and college were devoted to the study of this "magic". Many were students and teachers of the art, and professors and scholars alike came from all three races.
There were three humans who were especially devoted to the cause of magic, learning all they could and setting it down in writing for future generations. But as humans they were dismayed that their time was short and so they began to seek immortality, that they could continue their study of magic. Many of their attempts failed, and though their lives were extended the humans were getting desperate. Their final attempt was a wand, the Rod, and they prepared to test it.
Fjiorim had looked upon their previous attempts with curiosity and amusement, but as the Rod was imbued with spells she felt a great dread of the wood and metal object. Appearing before the mages, she asked them to stop their experiment. Unfortunately, instead of stopping them she startled them into setting it off.
The spirit of Fjiorim was rent into three separate beings, like Fjiorim in all but temperment.
The energy released from this split ravaged the world. The great city was reduced to rubble, and the wasteland surrounding it stretched for days of travel. Knowledge of the Rod left existence for the time being.
Worst of all, the concepts of "good" and "evil" found their way into the world.
The three separate essences of Fjiorim had very distinct views and personalities. Toroid was a creator, determined to bring justice and peace back to Fjiorim's creation. Irrail was the balancer. She walked the world and took care of Toroid's creations, believing that an even greater catastrophy would occur if the world became absolute. Ytrewtsu was the destroyer, taking pleasure in the destruction of Toroid's creations and the chaos this often caused.
Toroid chose his home in the sky, watching over the earth from there. Irrail made her home in the hearts of all living things. Ytrewtsu took refuge on the other side of the light from Toroid, creating a dimension of fire and darkness and naming it the Abyss. It was the exact opposite of the spirit Ether.
New creatures were created by the three. Until this time there had only been three races. However, when good and evil split, the younger races were called into being. (See "Of The Younger Races"). As the races began to side with certain gods, fighting broke out. The followers of Toroid did not agree with Ytrewtsu's vision of Tharel, and Ytrewtsu's devoted did not agree with Toroid's. Irrail's followers often joined either side, to promote the balance when one or the other was weakening. Wars broke out, and chaos ensued.
Ytrewtsu asked his followers to bring him news of any magical artifacts in the land, and in a short time he had quite a collection. Soon one of his followers brought him the ancient account of a bard who lived through the destruction caused by the Rod. Ytrewtsu was intrigued, and went to search the ruins of the old city for this artifact. Irrail, who often spied on her brothers, knew what Ytrewtsu was up to and called Toroid to assist her in the search for the same artifact. The Rod had been split into three pieces at the death of Fjiorim and even as Ytrewtsu pulled a section from the ruins, Toroid and Irrail found the other two pieces. Seeing that his brother and sister were united against him in this, Ytrewtsu snatched Toroid's section of the Rod from his fingers. Binding the two pieces together, Ytrewtsu turned and spoke the words to set it off. He pointed his broken Rod directly at Irrail. The Rod refused to be set against itself. It exploded in fiery destruction, sending Toroid and Ytrewtsu flying to opposite corners of the world. Irrail, at the center of the explosion, was incinerated. The Rod also splintered into tiny shards of wood and metal and spread across the land. Those who came in contact with them were said to be granted elongated lives, or even immortality.
At the destruction of Irrail a great shudder passed through the River of Dreams, which held the unconscious thoughts of mortals. Beautiful Maeve woke from her slumber and set forth into the world. She saw the elves and pulled a sect away to the desert to become her clerics. These elves were later known as the heishans. But soon Maeve realized that in her mortal form she was leaving the River of Dreams unattended, and it threatened to erupt into chaos. Maeve left the world, slipping back into the River to manage it. She still has a few devoted in the world, but she spends her time managing the flow of the River.
Fraktyl was created by Toroid and Maeve, with the help of the ashes of Irrail. Fraktyl was a prankster, and enjoyed spreading chaos and dischord among the gods and goddesses. At one point in time a temple sprung up in his name. Fraktyl cared little for the designs of mortals, however, and he wandered off among the stars.
These two are the younger gods who once walked Tharel but for one reason or another departed. Mentmacro was also created of the ashes of Irrail, but she is very much alive to tell her own tale.
The first of the younger races were the halflings. Irrail looked at the elves and looked at the dwarves, creating a race between the two. Not as hard as the dwarves, the halflings were just about as tall though they were known to be as nimble as the elves. In their creation Irrail made them neutral.
Ytrewtsu saw what his brother and sister were doing and was alarmed. He could not created races to fight in his armies, for Ytrewtsu could only destroy. Pulling aside a group of humans, he sent them to capture an elven village. Torturing the elves beyond their endurance, Ytrewtsu broke their minds to his will and twisted their bodies. These were the first orcs. Doing the same to a group of halflings, goblins were created.
Toroid and Irrail had not been idle, however. About the time Irrail pulled a group of humans into the mountains to grow into the ancestors of the giants, the halflings split into tribes. The first tribe wished to stay exactly as they were, and so they did. The second tribe wished to explore the mysteries of the air. Toroid decreased their stature and eliminated their girth, giving them wings to fly with. These were the pixies. The third tribe wished for money and gems, and they wanted to invent and explore. Renaming these gnomes, Irrail watched their greed carefully lest her creatures be led astray. The fourth tribe believed life to be too slow and boring for their uses, so Irrail sped up their metabolism. These were the quicklings.
Ytrewtsu saw that many races were being created, and they were not joining his dark armies. In his mind, that put them on the side of Toroid. Scouring the land, he saw the wild trolls in the bogs and gave them a bit of intelligence. The act of creation burned him deeply, but he was left with a brutish savage race of super-strong regenerative creatures. When he finished creating the trolls, he looked over the land and lured away a large group of elves and dwarves. He bade them dwell deep under the ground in the darkness. Over the centuries this changed them, and they became the drow and the duergar.
In the mountains there was a discovery. Three tribes of very different giant beings were found. Neither Toroid nor Ytrewtsu would admit to their creation, but Irrail was rather smug about the whole business. Giants were rather large and slow of thought, while titans were a bit smaller though better thinkers. Frost giants were found in the snowy peaks, where they had learned to harmonize with the icy weather.After Irrail was destroyed, the Goddess Maeve pulled a group of sylvans into the desert with dreams. There they slowly became the heishans of today.
With the death of his sister Irrail and with the creation of the races complete, Toroid left the land to itself. He is still alive in each creation of new life. He is present in the birth of every child and the growth of every new plant. However, he has not been seen walking the world in several centuries.
As time went on across the land, newer beings were recognized as immortal and were soon given places of worship built by steadfast followers.
Jirah emerged from the shadowy world of the drow not long after Irrail was destroyed. Ever her beginnings are shrouded, and though time can pierce the veil the author does not have that much power at his command. She is believed to have come about during an ancient drow ritual, but even this is unknown for sure. She is a temptress, and skilled at lying and manipulation.
Though Cylad is the embodiment of time and has thus been around since the creation of the universe, he began to gather followers not long after Jirah came into being. His followers pursue the history of the land and they try to prevent the repetition of disasters past. They also seek the Rod, to destroy it.
Kiara was a water spirit, created when a tiny splinter of the Rod fell into a lake. Later in the history of the land a great war took place on the edge of that lake. Woken by the screams of the dying, a vengeful Kiara swept the armies aside with a watery fist. It is rumored that she then returned to her slumber, though there are still whisperings of her existence among sailors. However, recent rumors seem to indicate Kiara has been seen in the land of Tharel and is active among her followers.
Elbar, the Lord of Storms, was spotted next. Being the embodiment of chaos, Elbar is known to rule the weather. His followers are often as unpredictable as the storms they worship. Elbar is mainly concerned with his own goals in the dance of the gods.
Vallien ascended the steps of Murcaste not long after Elbar. His followers have strong and unbending beliefs in honor and nobility, and do not employ dishonorable tactics. The knight Vallien seeks to destroy the demon Ytrewtsu.
The God of Fire, Vyrul, seeks only to balance the land and the people in it. His histories lost in time, his followers were seen in the land some time after Vallien's. They sway to whichever side is weaker in the balance of the land.
Crifus is said to have come down from the sun when he saw that little was being done to help the young of Tharel after the departure of the god Toroid. Killing is not looked upon highly by his followers, though they have been known to lend helping hands freely to the young.
Soon after, Ghio RockHammer began preaching stories about an immortal named Markov. The protector of rock and stone, Markov was a dwarven champion who fought in the battle against Ytrewtsu. Markov's followers act against Ytrewtsu and his allies.
Sects of the insane god of magic began cropping up a time after the dwarves began preaching the legend of Markov. No one is quite sure where Sainos came from, but it is the author's belief that he is a corruption of what remains of the mages of the Rod. His followers are often ambitious, and are devoted to magic and the pursuit of power.
Barbades the Traveller appeared later, with his goal being the end of suffering. His temple of pacifists requires that respect be shown to all things, and that death is not a thing they should deal with their own hands. His temple promotes a positive outlook on the world.
Mahrina and Mahxissa emerged from the River of Dreams at the same time, and are believed to be the two halves of the mystical world. It is also believed that Mahrina drove her sister back into the river shortly after she emerged. Mahxissa is only seen in the dream realm at present. Mahrina is also present there, thought she has her own earthly temple.
Sylune appeared next. Preaching law, justice, and peaceful coexistence, the goddess herself appears to be neutral while her goodly followers uphold the law and order of the land. She is also portrayed as the Goddess of the Hunt.
The songs of the stars began to echo across the skies. Asteri, the bringer of luck, creator of fortune, and cheater of fate descended from the sphere of the stars. A free spirit, Asteri's fickle favor comes and goes at his random whims. His followers are equally fickle, choosing to do whatever suits their desires.
Gedria cares much for the children of the land, and is believed to be a goddess also. Her followers are wonderful caretakers and prefer to be teachers of wisdom. Though children can go astray, Gedria's temple does not condone the harming of any child no matter the circumstance.
Little is currently known about Kiradus, who stepped from Murcaste to promote personal gain. Generally known as the god of rogues, gypsies, mercenaries, and gnomes, Kiradus believes strongly in greed and wealth.
This is what is currently known about the land of Tharel, and what shall be entered into the histories. However, the land is in a constant state of change and what may be true at one point in time is not always true down the road.
May Cylad bless your hunger for knowledge.