In the beginning was nothing, so empty that nothing could exist, but then a small part of that emptiness formed a mind and senses. The darkness settled into a being made of pure darkness named Void. It thought that it needed focus and direction and so space and time were created from the Void. But this could not go on for infinity and so exhausted the Void slept and began to dream, from those dreams came planets and stars burning in the great vastness of space. Upon waking the Void was pleased to see these creations and went about creating more life so that it could share this joy it felt with something else. It created three eggs, that it hoped would hatch and give birth to beings to aid it in creation. It placed each egg carefully down upon the world, but one rolled off and fell into a great chasm to be lost. The other two eggs hatched and so was born the Father of Gods, and the Mother of Gods. But this act of will was so great that Void vanished and was lost forever and so began the era known as the Dark Time and Father and Mother huddled in the darkness and tried to comfort each other. Sometimes they would see stars and know that light existed but could not feel it’s warmth on their faces. They explored the world and made many lands.
Then one day Father was holding stone in his vast hands and began to play with it and crushed the earth around him and began to mould it into a shape of himself, but felt it lacked something and so gave the form to Mother who kissed life into it and held it close as it wept at the pain of creation. So was born their son Montis the Breaker a sullen and mighty boy of Stone.
Meanwhile Mother wept at the joy of creation and gathered her tears in a hollow in a cave and into this lake was formed a slender humanoid crystal of ice, but this again was missing a vital spark and so she gave Father the form and he sang to the child until a duet was made with the two singing at the world, and so came their daughter Glacies Songbird a beautiful and musical girl of Ice.
Father shouted his defiance at the darkness and emptiness and his breath became a wind that whisked around them all and threatened to break all they had made, Mother whistled to this wind and it became a helpful but quiet child the Caeli Lightning Chaser, a girl of pure Air who is sometimes helpful and other times is filled with her father’s rage.
Still no light was to be had and so they played with their children and made more in the dark. Mother gathered two dying trees dry and starved of light began to rub the wood together but got nothing from this and went faster and faster and formed a vortex of air and debris. Father leant in and breathed gently on this and smiled as light and fire sprang forth and was born their fourth child, Ignis the Dawnbringer a boy of Fire and Passion.
He shed a small light that began to grow and heralded a new era called simply the Creation Era
They went about the world creating all manner of beasts, but none had the spark of intellect. Plants were formed the seas gushed forth and scorched deserts spread before their bountiful outstretched arms. Time passed and new creatures were made and a myriad of wondrous creations there were.
Montis was now full grown and come into his powers and felt the need to explore the lands, he went into a cave that he had not seen before and down he travelled into its depths, exploring and creating types of mushroom and bats as he went. Lying in one of the deepest caves he came across a massive shattered black egg which he thought to show his family. As he grasped the first shard an overwhelming hunger over took him and he could not resist the urge to eat it, so crammed it in his mouth and ate it all, feeling pleasantly full and rested. He gathered up two other shards and that was all he could find and continued his journey back to their home atop the greatest Mountain. He had forged this palace for them all and found his parents in the gardens there and with great sorrow confessed his greed to his parents. His Father took up one of the parts and hunger over took him too, so without pause he devoured the shard he held, feeling similarly satiated and elated. They were at a loss as to what to do with the last piece and so saying felt they should leave it for a great work, perhaps creating a being of intellect to expand the world’s voice. But Ignis was a prankster and thought it great sport to hide the fragment from his family, but as he scooped it up he too was overcome by greed and consumed it also.
The Male Gods all then had taken in a part of the great void and were changed by it and felt an urge they had not felt before and so each went to a woman and expressed their sorrow at this missed opportunity, but as they gazed upon them they felt the need for love and to be held. In time new life was created by the female gods and more gods sprang from their loins, in turn they created greater beings of power, in their turn they created the great heroes and the genesis of all the elder races and those elder races made more of their kind and so bred with each other to form sub races. The Mother though had made a new lesser race that did not have the magic of any of the elders, the grace of the Elves, the sturdiness of the Dwarves, the Strength of the Giants or the Majesty of the Dragons. But did have great fertility, could learn quickly, adapt to any situation well and so they began to spread across all lands. So was born man.
But a fragment of the great egg had been left undiscovered in the depths and alone and unloved it began to form a body from the creatures that got too close and were consumed. It took many years but it grew and grew and longing was all it knew. It rose up from the depths and consumed a small family of dwarves mining deep underground up it came and ate a dragon who had its home in a cavern, it blinked at the light and found Elves among the trees of a mighty forest and consumed them also. Now it strode the land and found the Giants and battled them and feasted on their bodies. It grew to know its longing was one for revenge and as a part of its whole had been shattered from it and now having parts of all the elder races it in some way became whole and sentient. It rose up with mighty wings part humanoid part dragon and so was the savage Demon lord Odium born.
Odium thought to eat all the gods and came at last upon their Mountain home of Hortus, there he discovered Father who was singing to a willow tree and creating a small beetle that would live off and help the tree he sat under. He sprang at him, as he could sense part of his soul in this god. Father was resting in the shade and had his back to Odium and so was born down by the impact. With a crack of great magics the Father and Odium fought and part of the palace and the mountain itself sheared off and fell into the lake below. The two beings fought and Odium knew he could not best the Father in a fair fight, he began to quietly absorb his power and so it was that the Father at first hale and hearty filled with righteous anger and with the energy of creation itself began to wax and loose vigour. Odium however began to grow in strength and felt he now could defeat this one foe now and all others too. So seeing Father knew he had no choice but to deprive the demon of its revenge and he could see that if he fell all the others would surely be consumed as well.
Father then created Death and in this instant Odium consumed it and died, but alas Father was lost.
Now Mother returned home with gifts for her family smiling at the new creations of her son and husband along with the others, but she came across the body of Father lying broken and part devoured upon the smooth stone. Shouting her grief to the world and vowing she could not live without him she accepted the father’s gift of Death. Her great love was gone and never to return and so she flung herself at his corpse and passed from the world, crying out with sorrow and suffering never heard before. All the other gods heard her cry and came home, they too suffered with the same grief but did not die, fuelled by the anger at this great injustice and choosing instead to support each other through their mourning. Montis in his anger punched the earth and made a vast crater and spores and dirt was flung far and wide making the Spring in honour of his parents, Ignis flung his arms wide and scorched a vast stretch of land in his rage and so was born both Summer and deserts, Caeli created a storm so great that the plants had their leaves ripped from them and the heavens cried and so rain was born and finally Glacies sang a lament so sorrowful that nothing grew and all the people came together for warmth and so Winter was born.
Now the Father had created an external death and so had died correctly; the Mother was overcome by grief and so had also accepted death and died correctly, but Odium had consumed death and so now fought death to prevent being devoured from within by it. It threatened to leave him no body behind and so he fled to a new plane he created. Odium found that he had better control over death here and so mastered it and death became part of him creating undeath. But he could never go to the world again and so would rule this new place he called the Underworld, where he now held dominion. He began to create great beasts and horrors none could match or imagine and bent them to his will. All who died came through his halls and he dispensed a kind of justice for there eternity and never returned any soul once claimed.
Back in the world all the humans had also accepted death with ease as they knew the balance was more life for them and they could adapt and gave them more strength to fight the other new power of grief. Some the Elder races though fought with death and so live longer than men, but are diminished by it and are less fertile, with less energy to fight grief as well so when it came upon them, it had more of an impact.
Soon the life began to ebb from the world as more and more souls entered the underworld not to return and it looked like the world itself might die. Even though the gods themselves made lesser gods they were few and it grew harder to work their great magic upon the world. Caeli then decided that enough was enough and gathered a great meeting of all the gods and said unto them “I go forth into the Underworld to fight Odium the Undying for a gateway so that souls may return to be born again and alongside those souls the flow of the river of magic may yet again be restored to its usual merry torrent” She looked about at the host and asked “Who among you will come with me on this great adventure?” but only a few stepped forward as they now all feared death. So out set five gods and among them were; Clavem the Keeper (a god of secrets and portals), Navita Many Oars (the goddess of exploration and boats), Animo the learned (god of knowledge and languages), Bellator the Bold (God of soldiers and warfare) and finally Caeli herself The Lightning Chaser, greater goddess of the Air.
They found the spot where Odium had fled from Death and Clavem found a hidden open portal through which he claimed to see a thousand souls pouring in. He used his cunning to make the gateway visible for a time and there they all stood nervously looked into its swirling vortex. Bellator gathered up his shield and gladius and strode through as bold as his name. Clavem shrugged and slid inside followed by the others until they all stood before grey and colourless series of halls stairs and corridors. As they searched these vast and labyrinthine ways for signs of Odium they found no other doors and were soon assailed by grey and dark beasts that came at them with fangs and claws, drawn in by their colour and majesty perhaps they sensed the life in them compared to this place where none existed. They were no match for the blade of Bellator, the Lightning of Caeli herself and magic of the others. There seemed no end to these tunnels and they were becoming fatigued fighting endless clawed and fanged demons. But Navita gave shout and said she felt the draw of flowing water and they hastened toward it to emerge from the maze to find a huge and rapid flowing wide river in what seemed a great underground cavern. Souls were flowing into this river and being dragged along some would wash to the surface with faces filled with agony. They stood and watched a while and wondered how they would cross, but Animo had a mind that never forgot and soon said that all the souls spun about the middle in some giant whirl pool. They studied the centre of the cavern and the huge tower there, Navita said that she could easily fashion a boat from bones that lay strewn on the beach and using magic she forged a rowing boat and sprang aboard. This is how they got across the River Mortem and landed on the isle of the damned. They strode up to the gates of the great tower and were assailed again by all manner of new undead that Odium had created and although their magic was mighty and Bellator was the god of battle he fell to tooth and claw and died but while this last and his final battle was fought another Clavem used the time to pry open the door to the Tower of Animarum. They had to close the door as the horde began to rip apart brave Bellator and fear began to grip them for if one of their number could fall to such foes how would they survive and what power must the mightiest Odium possess.