THE SECRET BOOK OF THULLU

The following is an extract from the only surviving copy of The Word of Thullu, kept in the Library of Kings at Pixett.


I

And in the beginning there was only Emptiness, the infinite void.

And One with the void was Thullu: timeless, ageless, shapeless, faceless, neither dead nor living, neither bright nor dark, neither good nor evil.

And Thullu sought to increase, to propagate, to create.

And thus Thullu brought forth the two great powers, the Bright Power of magic and the Dark Power of sorcery.

And thus, by Thullu’s will alone, the two powers caused a great cataclysm that seared the void, bringing light (and shadow), creating space and time, forming blood, flesh and bone, enervating breath and mind.

In this way the universe was born and all the worlds made – from Thullu to Thullu for Thullu. All the worlds are thereby under Thullu’s ultimate dominion and ever will be.

And in the midst of this great creation, Thullu thought into existence many ageless children, deathless and potent, male and female, Bright and Dark.

And these children, the Faeden, Thullu sent forth to bring awe and wonder to all the new races in all the new worlds of the universe, so that all beings might know and understand Thullu’s true nature, both its Brightness and its Darkness; but most of all its limitlessness.

And thus the Faeden came to the realm of Anwynn, over which they reigned as gods, as Thullu ruled over them as their god.

II

Greatest among the Faeden who came to Anwynn are those known as the First Four: Amallayne, venerated as the Great Goddess, Maeb, loved as the Forest Mother, the nameless one revered as the Bright Child and Morrigan, feared as Mother of Monsters and Queen of Doom.

And following the First Four came Arawn the hero and Zeera, the daughter of sickness and plagues. Then came Lyrris, nicknamed the Little God and known to the halflings as Eugene. After Lyrris came the younger ones: Erima, revered as the healer, Danuss the handsome, and the mischievous one whom the common folk call Hob.

And to each Faeden went a portion of the races of Anwynn for protection and to learn the secrets of magic or sorcery. To Amallayne went the human folk of the ancient Kingdom of Pix. To the Bright Child went the Vellenor, the Dark Elves, to Maeb flocked the beasts and birds and the trees of the forests. To Morrigan went the dark things, the goblins and the monsters.

None sought out Hob nor did he seek out any. To Lyrris tho went the Halflings, but only after much enticement and only after giving him a new name that better suited their tongue. The trolls flocked to Zeera for she offered them a feast of flesh. Then to Arawn, Erima and Danuss went the other human nations of Anwynn, each according to their temperament.

And yet the Bright Elves, those of mountain and plains, those of the wood and those of the night, sought no Faeden’s protection and offered no worship. The ageless Oaklings of the forests also remained aloof from the Faeden. The elves and the Oaklings sensed Thullu’s power behind the magic wielded by the Faeden, tho knew not what it might be, nor if it was wholesome and good or corrupt and wicked, and so they bowed their knee to none, not even to Amallayne. Ever good, Amallayne granted her protection to the Bright Elves and the Oaklings regardless and taught them much magic.

III

And as for the godless and friendless ones, the Tiqq, who are necromancers and parasites possessing the bodies of both the living and the dead, they first went to Amallayne, seeking her love, but she was offended by their tampering with corpses and sent them away. Maeb also rejected them, saying that death was too strong in them, like a poison that would spread to birds and beasts and even the trees. Then the godless ones went to Morrigan, Mother of Monsters, thinking that she, of all the Faeden, must accept them, but she did not, sensing in their power over death her own doom. Thus the Tiqq, using darkest sorcery, discovered the origin of all power and began to search for Thullu. Long they searched until, at last, Thullu took pity on them and accepted them.

And in this way Anwynn became what it was before the time of the Veil, with its many races each under the protection of the Faeden.

IV

And it was at this time that the many religions of Anwynn formed. The worship of Morrigan among the goblins and monsters became known as The Dark Glories. The trolls worshiped Zeera in The Dark Meal. The Vellenor followed The Quiet Walk of the Bright Child. The Brightlings from the Halfling Dells, led by their Florid Spinsters, worshiped Eugene, the little god of the chimney. The Tiqq forged The Path of Moonless Night dedicated to Thullu.

The nations of mankind all followed The Bright Way, each nation dedicated to one of the Bright Faeden. In Pix they adored Amallayne. In Danussan many temples were built to Danuss. In Harshan the hero Arawn was revered and in Anda the priestesses of Erima healed the sick and cultivated virtue.

V

And to their followers the Faeden gave effigies of themselves, made of precious stones or metal. These effigies were nicknamed the "Gods’ Ears" by the common folk, because the Faeden empowered them so that to pray to one of these effigies was akin to speaking directly into the Faedens’ minds. They also gifted their worshipers symbols to be used in magic or sorcery.

Amallayne gave an effigy of brilliant ruby to the Kings of Pix, who housed it in a great temple at their capital of Amaltor. Ever after the Red Circle became her symbol, much used in wholesome magic.

Maeb placed an effigy of topaz deep in the Great North Wood, where the creatures of the forest might go to be in her presence. The Autumn Leaf became Maeb’s magical mark.

Morrigan gave to the goblins and monsters an emerald effigy, to be housed in her temple at Bonemound. She gave them also the banner of the Screaming Mouth, an evil mark, which would forever be the sign of the worst sorcery.

Arawn crafted an effigy of diamond for the people of Harshan and commanded that they put his mark, that of The White Eagle, on all their flags and shields.

Lyrris gave a garnet effigy to his followers, which the Florid Spinsters housed in their Hallowed Hall.

Erima’s effigy was of platinum and her symbol, a mark of healing, was the bell. The effigy of Erima was housed in her temple in Anda.

Danuss, the handsome, gave to the Kings of the North a silver effigy of himself, so lifelike that it was said that it almost breathed, and bid them use the Silver Raven as his magical mark.

Thullu gifted a Sacred Word to the Tiqq, those on The Path of the Moonless Night, and said that forever the symbol of The Radiant Blue Eye shall be his markto be used to wield great power. Later the Blue Stallion also became a mark of Thullu.

The symbol of Zeera, bringer of plague and sickness, became the green vulture. She gave to the trolls an effigy of jade, which they placed in their deepest cave high in the mountains of the Trollmark.

The Bright Child gave to the Vellenor an effigy made of meteorite. Her symbol was the Black Dagger. Ever after the Princes of Fellwood carried a black dagger as the mark of their sovereignty.

Hob, ever aloof, made no effigy nor gave any magical symbol.

VI

And then came the time when Morrigan, the Pale Mother, no longer satisfied with the adoration of the dark ones, yearned to be worshiped by all the beings of the world. First, in secret, she seduced the Vellenor, by gifting them powerful sorcery. The Vellenor abandoned the Bright Child and became minions of the Pale Mother, smashing the Bright Child’s effigy as if it were nothing and giving it to Morrigan as a gift of supplication.

And then Morrigan sent the goblins and the Vellenor against the trolls. After defeating the trolls in ferocious battle the minions of Morrigan forced them to abandon Zeera and worship The Pale Mother instead. The effigy of Zeera was smashed and its pieces carried to Bonemound, where Morrigan’s Vellenor sorcerers, the Dread, delved deep into blackest sorcery. With the trolls subjugated, Morrigan sent her army against the human nations and then against the elves. With each conquest, Morrigan’s minions tormented the conquered by desecrating their temples and smashing effigies. The effigies of Danuss, Arawn and Erima were destroyed in this fashion, the pieces also carried to Bonemound to join those of Zeera and the Bright Child.

And although the temple of Amallayne was sacked, the ruby effigy was saved, carried to a place of protection by the last king of Pix, Duan the First, known as the Schoolboy King. Thus only the effigies of Amallayne and Lyrris (known as Eugene) remained in the world to be a conduit for their makers’ power.

This was The Doom War that nearly ended the world, after which only Amallayne and Danuss were remembered and revered by human kind; except for in the nation of Anda, where Erima was still much loved.


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