A slice of cosmogony from the world of the Cursed Eight
Accipiter G. Goshawk
So far I have merely chronicled the adventures of the Cursed Eight as they wander the continent of Dersorrah. From time to time I have even told the stories of a few of the odd personages they have encountered in their travels.
But I have never taken the time to reveal the more universal truths that bind this world together.
Here follows an excerpt from the writings of the Prophets, detailing the creation of the world at the hands of the Twelve.
In the beginning, there was nothing.
An unbridled chaotic darkness pervaded all reality, and nothing held its shape. Time was meaningless, for all moments were disjointed, lost in the cacophonous symphony of pandemonium.
In the instant that would shine out through all existence, the Twelve stepped out of the miasma, fully formed and equal.
In the front came Thelas and Shooriat, each bearing a glass sphere: one of light, the other of dark. Behind them strode shield-bearing Zorshan, flanked by brutal Tarok Warmonger. Round Phnelios came after, dragging along the sun and stars on leashes of gold, while Frassh came behind, stealing their warmth for himself. Above them all flew Xirshe, and her passage brought much joy in the hearts of her divine siblings. Underneath slithered Djerok, his poisonous bites causing anger and hatred in all those he touched.
Beyond them all, Mirkal was already at work, sternly ordering the universe into a creation worthy of such a name. Zinthid – Mistress of shadows – remained unseen, biding her time and searching for the perfect trinket to steal.
Finally came Gerotil, and it was his sturdy arms that brought life to the world the others had created.
And in his wake came Shareksh, She Who Ends all Things.
Together, the Twelve created Syrros, the sun and the two moons that shone down upon the world long ago.
As the act of creating neared its completion, Gerotil approached each of his siblings and presented them with a seed. Within these marvellous vessels was the potential to make a people that would capture the essence of whosoever used it.
Thelas poured her love of light and knowledge into the seed and from it sprung the elves. To them, she gave the great forests of Syrros, as well as the endless northern plains. Zorshan watered his seed with mead, giving life to the Halfling peoples. Phnelios took his gift and tempered it with mithril and fire, thus forging the forefathers of the dwarves.
It is unknown what Xirshe did with her seed, but many peoples swear that they are descended from her loving embrace.
Mirkal – the ever balanced – used her arts to multiply the seeds and coaxed from them the first ancestors of humanity. Gerotil himself used his arts to bring into being a small, long-lived people: the gnomes.
The other, darker siblings each brought their own awesome influence to bear on Gerotil’s gift: Tarok made the orcs, Shooriat the dark elves, Djerok the Djin-spawn, Zinthid the Tieflings and Shareksh the Dragonborn. It is believed that Frassh devoured his seed, ignoring Gerotil’s pleas.
As the gods set their creations down on to the surface of Syrros they rejoiced and yet felt empty. For all of Gerotil’s art, they remained childless.
It was at this moment that the divine essences were combined for the first – and last – time to create the abominations that would one day be known as Rim-Walkers.
None of the Twelve could have foreseen in this, their greatest act of love, the beginnings of the greatest betrayal!-
Excerpt from the Gospel of Saint Vornias, Prophet of Gerotil