Kind of weird it requires a "lock key." I was unaware. I tried to avoid posting because it is over 7K words, but I guess this IS a writer's forum and it isn't out of the ordinary. Here is the text below:
On What Came First-
The tale of Annuhlin — and its singular mass-continent, Reil— is one of folklore and legend. While there are many events that contributed to its rise, prosperity, fall, and undoing, there has to be a logical starting point. For us, that point would likely be the War between the Men of the Land, the Children of the Dark Garden, and the Dogs of the Woods. For this war changed everything in the landscape of Reil and opened the continent in its entirety to a great conflict. The aftermath of this jealousy-driven battle awoke great beasts from their slumber, destroyed entire bodies of water, and — most importantly — angered the one Above, who created it all ages before.
The continent of Reil was a simple, yet complex piece of geography. It was near circular in appearance from the sky and surrounded by a single body of green-blue ocean named Mara. The lively woods rested on the banks of the East, just in from the rolling green Hills of Nil. To the south of the Woods lay the continents lone Lake that poured its body directly into Mara. The southernmost part of the land mass, from east to west, consisted of the Plains of Theo, the Gardens, and the Land of Men which stretched to the edge of Mara. Above the Land of Men was the Quarry. This formation gaped the mass from the West-North and, although depleting in size as it ran, spread two fingers through the continent. One far east, above the Woods, and one far south feeding the Gardens. Both of these streams of water would eventually pour into the great Mara as well. Above even the Quarry were the Mountains, the Dark Forest, and the Caves. In between all of these areas lay various forms of growth and terrain. Everything from desert sands to barren valleys and lush trenches made the trek from one area to the next quite daunting. Even long nights traveling under the iridescent moons — Dara and Hara— where a feat for any beast, bird, rodent, fauna, or man.
You might wonder where those unique names came from for these various places on Reil. The Above created the Giants Hara, Dara, Mara, Reil, Nil, Theo, and Theri when he created Annuhlin. The Giants still reside on this planet, but in a great protection as the mightiest of formations. The seven Giants carved this continent and its moons by hand just after the Above cast down the light of Life. A great feat for them all, they stand tall over watch of their creations (Theri is actually a half-giant that watches over his beautiful garden to this day). And yet, still, before these grandeur achievements there was the Above who saw it all be.
Before time was time, thought was thought, and light was light, there was Above. Life, the Universe, and Everything was the Above. Stricken with the notion that everything is an embodiment unto itself, the Above so no purpose. Above found that purpose, after many millions of years of existence, to be creation and thus he began his great creations.
First, he created a blinding golden light with rays of a red hue. This came to be known as Ghemar the Light. Ghemar one day asked his creator where did he come from and thus Above told him he was born from him but not in his likeness. As time went by Above noticed that Ghemar had no opposite. With this he created Ghed the Dark. After seeing the harmonious joy brought forth by his new creation to that of his old, Above created more, which became the space where all his creations would rest. Many particles clustered around each other and created larger ones. Masses slammed into one another, creating new masses of varying properties. Some were cold and dead, some had gusts of wind that would go on for millions of years, plunging waters, steep and deadly terrains while others were blanketed with unbearable heat.
One day the Above came across an audacious, yet small, spinning little orb, one with a mind of its own. It consisted of a mass of blank land, not too dry, not too cold, nor too hot. Fascinated, he cast another light down onto this place and from it sprang life.
The desolate and dry ground opened and from there grew vines, shrubs, trees, and flowers. Insects sprawled the world quickly; hiding in plants, underground, and some taking to the sky. The beavers, the boars, the bears, the bovines, the big cats, the horses-all sprang from this light. Down on that surface lay a figure, a cumbersome one. Not yet agile and strong, nor weak and frail— in infancy. This figure came to be MAN. The simplest of beings and what was needed here, for the Above wanted an entity to gaze upon his creations. With that, the Above wanted the being to see not only the animals and insects, but lands and wondrous formations as well.
To build these terrains the Above christened seven Giants tasked with making the landscape as beautiful as possible with a variety of wonders for unseen eyes. For this was a sprawling landscape decorated with hilltops, and mountains, and gardens, and caves all surrounded by the blues of water and the smoothest of beaches. Ghemar and Ghed urged the Above to create more creatures to gaze upon this land so carefully constructed by the Giants.
From the depths of the deep he lined the surface— like drawing a map — whisking golden light as he chanted one of his creation poems:
"For the light and the dark shall emit from my home,
The waters will sway deep under the gaze of a twin circular chrome.
The Mages and Magicians must keep to their Caves,
Their spells bring light to their ancestor's graves.
The Children shall play about in the Gardens full of wonder,
The Dogs must keep to the Woods for all days here under.
The Sirens to Lakes where they can quench their fill,
The Elvish keep watch from the steep grassy Hills.
For beasts are burdens, but the youth of fountains,
So the Giants and Celestials will share the Mountains.
And so those that are easily swayed cannot worry,
May the foulest creatures and Demons reside in the Quarries.
All other creatures far and wide, snake or swine, stock or pride,
Be it with wings, be it with paws, be it with jaws, or with fins,
Shall inherent the Land and share it with Men."
With that poem, so it was. The land of Reil became populated by sentient beings and races growing in environments fitted for their survival. The Above did this to ensure peace and the absence of crossbreeding, which would be the downfall of this land of balance and fortuity. The Magicians were the sullen-most of the creations. Fixed in their Caves to the North, above the dark forest, they practice their spells and hexes to alter their life span and grow their own nutrients to sustain their life. The forest before the caves is dark and dreary, a way to deter any would-be grifters from obtaining their magical secrets— or worse— one of their kin. The Magicians were a strictly devout race in regard to their lineage and heritage. They held beautiful ceremonies when one of their own came on the cusp of death; ceremonies that would cover the night sky of Reil and delight all its inhabitants.
The Dogs of the Wood in the East were the most primitive. Beasts of burden, skulking, and weaving, in and out, of the barks of trees. I wouldn’t say they are dogs in the sense that we know them, they are quite large, comparable to that of an Antelope nowadays. Four legs followed by a long bushy and strong tail. They varied in color from black, to brown, to gray. Their teeth were stumps, not sharp as you would expect. They were more suited for crushing flesh and prey as opposed to tearing through it. Their language was a broken form of speech, but over time they became quite privy to the language of Man and even made truces and pacts with said Men, which we will learn later.
The Gardens, as mentioned before-tended by Theri, were a beautiful place of many fruits, foods, and delightful insects to pollinate them. Theri kept to himself, never really feeling at home with the much, much larger full-giants. He was a half-giant, and that means he was quaint, quiet, and never disrespectful. Over the years he'd come to be known as a troll of sorts, but a nice and pleasant troll that welcomed all to share in his lovely Garden, especially the Children of Men.
We will learn much about the Sirens and Elves as the story goes on. The Elves are on par with Men in terms of civilization, language and culture. They make things, such as Men do, and take great value in their creations and lifestyle. The Sirens— what is a Siren? That will come soon enough.
The Celestials and Giants became encased into the Mountains overlooking all of Reil. It may sound as if they are restricted or restrained to this place, although that is not the case. They can come and go when they please, it’s just that they are satisfied with their place on this Land. Because of this satisfaction they tend to remain in their abodes, mulling about their own business. Every now and again a skirmish breaks out which causes great quakes to shake the Land violently, but these are so few and far between that no one being experiences it more than once in a lifetime.
The last, and most dangerous creatures, the Demons, reside in the large Quarry. While they are quite volatile and can become provoked at a moments notice, that is their same vice. They must be provoked to act a certain way, but when they are, as we will see many times by the foolishness of Man, Elves, and Dogs alike, they can be quite violent and manipulative.
Now that you have the tidbits of the other creations on this Land, let us turn to the penultimate creation that leads us down the path to discovering Reil and all its wonders. The being called MAN.
On MAN, CREATURE, and Ghed-
MAN would wander around on this planet eating its fruits and living peacefully with its creatures. What the Above did not expect is the mating of its other creatures. The populations doubled, then tripled, and even mutated and changed into beautiful things never before seen. But there was this one creature that remained alone and the Above felt it best be that way. He battled with Ghemar the Light and wrestled with Ghed the Dark, but he continued to have the final word: "MAN should be alone on this Sphere to live his life and see things far and wide. Since he was a creature I made in my image and there is only one I."
Then something happened, just as Ghemar once did, MAN became aware. It had noticed it had two of everything; two eyes, two lips, two ears, two hands and two feet and other appendages with equal parts. MAN began to think if there was another out there as well— a partner of sorts. Someone to roam within this vast and beautiful land. He sat out on a journey to find if this was indeed true. With a makeshift satchel and some leaves for clothes, MAN roamed the landmass for 26 years. He roamed the Cold Caves of the North, the sunny hills of the Middle-grounds, and even the dangerous Quarries. But he never found a creature quite like himself.
Ghed the Dark decided to do something at this moment. Ghed had seen the happiness brought to Ghemar by his creation. For Ghed governed the Giants, the Mages and Magicians, the Demons and Dogs, all who had partners and were destined to grow into sprawling communities. The Dark wrought up a plan to see MAN grow into a great race. He silenced Ghemar and deceived the Above during Above's great sleep, the seventy-seven year-long Chira. What Ghed the Dark did not know is that the Above relented on his earlier decision. The passion that Ghemar and Ghed spoke to him moved him from his stubbornness. For Above did indeed understand the notion of being alone as he experienced this before he made the Light and the Dark. So, before his great sleep, he sent more man and women down to the land in the lower south. He hadn't spoke of these creations in an attempt to surprise his children, as he saw them, Ghed and Ghemar.
Ghed the Dark and Ghemar the Light were not aware of those creations. This would prove to be a great issue in the land of Reil.
One lonesome and quiet day, while on the banks of a vast Lake, MAN noticed something. A CREATURE rose out of the water of the Lake in the Low east. Long and flowing hair, fair skinned, and appendages of equal parts alike. A shapely figure that had different curves yet the symmetry between the two was unprecedented. The MAN grew excited and ventured into the waters to accost this CREATURE. He noticed the CREATURE did have one difference, the lack of eyes. The face was smooth in this place. The MAN took the CREATURE, who walked with him; hands at its side, and showed the it the masses. MAN showed the dark, the light, the mountains, the rivers, and the gardens. MAN fed the CREATURE foods that sometimes sat well in its bowels and other times did not.
MAN became startled one day when, at sunset, the CREATURE opened her pink-pale lips and began to serenade him. Her voice calmed him and drew him closer. The two lived together in the lowlands for four seasons. One night after a serenade at dusk MAN mated with the CREATURE. MAN was happy, and the CREATURE seemed pleased by way of a calming sleep. Many animals were around that night and they all seemed at peace. MAN was approached by a wave of fireflies who gathered in front of some branches laid down by the beavers and they sacrificed their lives to light the area on this night.
Many seasons carried on with the CREATURE growing old in the face and skin. The CREATURE grew large in the abdomen and on one fair evening, with a wretched holler replacing a serenade, the creature gave birth— and the child was beautiful. Fair skinned, long hair, and large, uncommonly large, blue eyes. The CREATURE seemed at peace and MAN called his seed a GIRL, for she resembled not he but the CREATURE.
MAN wanted to rejoice with the animals, but they didn't respond that night. They all went away from him. The bears, the bovines, the bats, the birds, and the beavers all departed his nest. The illumination from the fireflies was dim and coming to an end. As he wrestled with some plants and shrubbery to maintain the flicker, it extinguished and MAN was in the dark. MAN huddled back into his small makeshift hut and held the GIRL while the CREATURE lay pale and stiff.
A loud crackling covered the sky and it burned ferociously. So much so that he thought the light was back and raced outside only to see thunderstorms streaking through the night sky. Gusts of wind blew about as he held his GIRL close and she began to wail, as small creations do. The gusts of wind toppled his tent of stick, mud, and plant; exposing the CREATURE.
The CREATURE rose to and began to walk away from MAN. Going after in a hurry, writhing through the mud with the GIRL in arms, he was unable to prevent her from returning to the nearby lake. The animals came out and stopped him, but not the pleasant animals as before. These were large boars, bears, sabers, and rhinoceros. The man feared for his GIRL and ran away deep into the Woods of the East. As he looked back, he saw the CREATURE submerse into the lake in a glowing yellow light until the top of her head disappeared and with it the illumination. This was the last he saw of his CREATURE.
Time ran by fast for MAN, now alone with the GIRL, who grew as the seasons changed into a tall and slender being. She played amongst the woods, climbed trees, and gathered her own fruits. MAN grew older and with each passing year, he revisited the lake in hopes of finding his counterpart again. On the GIRL's second season birthday the man took her up far into the trees to glance over the treetops of the world. The girl had no caution with climbing, she even helped him get past the difficult areas with ease that day.
MAN, now with a gray beard, weary eyes, and a hunched back, looked out over the vast tree tops and their colorful foliage. The girl stretched her arms out and basked in the rays of the sun, smiling with those big, unnatural eyes. The MAN reached over and provided her with a fresh picked fruit— an apleo, a type of apple— and they ate together as they had done many years over time. As the wrinkles on his face shifted to make him almost unrecognizable, there was a loud noise from the South west, under the Hills. Smoke billowed out above and MAN became startled. He quickly hurried the GIRL down the stalk of the tree to the ground below where they immediately crouched, as if not to be seen.
More noises followed, growing louder and more raucous. MAN grabbed the hand of the GIRL and lead her deeper into the forest. MAN could barely move at speed as his body grew weary, but the duo had travelled for some time. For he did not know that the forest was indeed a dense and confusing terrain, and they eventually happened back onto the familiar noise, yet closer.
The branches of the trees crinkled and ripped as wind whisked through the air and a pointed item pierced the GIRL on the upper thigh. She wailed loudly in pain, collapsing to the ground. MAN came to her help, removing the device and examining it closely. More branches crinkled and ripped and more of these pointed sticks surrounded the two. A sound belted an uncommon roar MAN could not comprehend. "STOP!" it echoed throughout the Woods. MAN looked to the sky and almost blinded himself with the rays of a gleaming sun. He turned his head to the sounds of footsteps and figures came into view from the blur. They were men like him, to his surprise. Some tall, some short, some wide, some stocky, and some slender. All with odd items on their bodies covering their skin. Their eyes peered out of hairy faces as they clinched odd devices of wood, stone, and iron in their hands.
A tall figure approached MAN and the GIRL as he grabbed a pointed stick from the nearby ground. He towered over MAN as MAN has never been towered over before. Not even by the hunched giant bears that used to wander about peacefully. The stranger looked over at the MAN and then at the GIRL, specifically her eyes and he was in amazement. Other men came from behind with the same look, beginning to tussle with each other over who gets to approach the closest. MAN was cast out of the way by the giant stranger who softly stroked the GIRLS hair as she lay there bleeding from her wound. MAN looked on in disbelief, in fear, and in wonder. For men had flourished elsewhere while MAN adored, in the low hills and the Woods, his CREATURE and his GIRL.
The stranger kneeled down and removed a piece of cloth from his head as his black hair fell long and hard to his shoulders. His eyes a stale and concentrated green, he wrapped the bandage around the GIRL'S leg and helped her to her feet.
"What is your name?" He said softly. The GIRL looked in confusion. "What do they call you? Or, what does HE call you?" as he pointed at MAN, who still down on his knees.
The girl still hadn't responded when the stranger grew angry.
"WHAT IS YOUR NAME?"
Her mouth opened slowly as she attempted to move her tongue and a vocal come out that sounded like an ancient language: "Ayuhan."
"What was that?" The man leaned in closer to her right ear.
"Auhan..Auhan" she said, shaking her head and shivering.
Her stammering for any response in the face of the behemoth led to an attempt at a vocal she hadn't practiced. A speech for the first time.
"Auhan? Where do you come from Auhan, these Woods? Why are you off in the Woods? Are you a Dog? You don't look like a Dog. I've seen and slain many," he said proudly, "and who of this quivering old man?"
MAN looked on in amazement and fear and contemplating if he should get up from his knees. For he had never heard such sounds outside of the animal and the CREATURE'S serenades. He had never seen such a band of beings emerging from the Woods.
"I know you can speak, you wretched filth. Why are you here with this girl in the Woods of the Dogs?" The stranger looked around in a state of confusion.
"Maybe he is the one from City-Liored who escaped? Maybe he took her from her home, too?” A tall, long-bearded man in the rear said, spitting the bark he was chewing out of his mouth.
"So, you're a scown! You picked the wrong place to come and hide, scown." The stranger placed his weapon back into a holster and turned to walk toward his pride of men. He waved his hand high and exclaimed: "Bring her! We must find who she belongs to!"
"But what about..." The question of a smaller man.
“Nothing, he came out here to the Woods of the Dogs, let the Dogs have him. For tonight they are coming, hence we hunt the mornings on Avahur. They will come and they will bathe the brushes with his flesh."
With that, two men came up behind the GIRL and called her 'Auhan,' and bonded her hands to escort her away. As the party left, MAN attempted to come to a stance and to intervene, but just as he lost the CREATURE to the frightful animals that night, he felt he needed to allow what is to be, be. A playful, smiling boy-man kicked him onto his side as he lay looking up at the falling sky. No one knows how long MAN lay there. He was never heard from again over the howling of the Night of Avahur.
The men marched in large party for four days and nine nights across the Hills of the East. Auhan had never seen this part of the landmass with her father. The Hills were vast with deep, plunging valleys, looked over by shapely Mountains with ice tops. She walked slowly in this band of men and occasionally caught unrelenting glimpses from her escorts. Some attempts to touch her hair from these men often ended abruptly with a grunt or foul eye from the towering leader. As she walked, she fed on grapes, berries, the bread called haifthro, and other foods these men found enjoyable. Not like the ones her and her father consumed. After crossing a narrow river they came upon large stone walls. She'd never seen anything like this before. The walls were half as high as the Mountains in the distance. Joined at the seam by plants and other water-covered debris, these walls formed a circle, The Land of the Men. At the base was a small door that had jagged chains anchored the ground. Lower, half circles flanked both sides of the entry, each with one of these men standing in formation. As they approached the door began to rise up and the GIRL stopped, dropped her food, and retreated a few steps. She was halted by a snickering, dirty, olive-skinned man with bark hanging out of his mouth as he gestured at her with a curved stone blade. As she turned around the towering man was there to greet her.
"You need not worry Auhan, this is the Land of Men. No more Dogs, Elves, or Mages. This is where I believe you may belong. My name is Chiel. I wish to bring you to the master here. You will not speak unless he speaks to you, and do not look him directly in the eye, for your eyes may frighten him."
She looked at his mouth for the entirety of the conversation, not understanding a word.
"E-YEES?" She said with a question.
"Yes," he pointed at his eyes and then hers. "Those there, your eyes."
I guess she really was amongst Dogs." A man said laughing.
The doors opened to a sprawling town within, where thousands of people were hurrying about their business; Auhan had never seen so many beings converge in one place and communicate amongst one another. Women of the city stopped in their footsteps, as did men, and children, as the girl with the unnatural blue eyes walked slowly behind the men as they greeted their brothers. The men all seemed happy to see each other, with pats on the back, hugs, kisses on the cheeks, and other forms of greetings she was unfamiliar with. They walked down a long winding road as clean as a rock near the water and just as smooth. The city was alive with many men that resembled her caretaker from the Woods. This place was lined with huts and shops and, what resembled to her, small living quarters similar to that of the undercarriage of a bush. Many fruits, meats, and cloth were on display. A pick of the litter compared to what she'd seen in the last years with her keeper in the Woods.
As they drew closer to an archway adorned with golden engravings the men behind her parted ways and flanked on both sides. Under the archway was a bevy of lighted candles and multiple chain mails hanging from the ceiling in decoration. The door underneath, a few stone steps down, was solid wood with a single emblem of a creature she has seen out in nature (a lion). Slowly did the door open and her tall, brooding capturer gestured for her to enter and darkly lit room.
And into that darkness marked the culmination of Ghed's scheme.
The Blue Eyes Among Men and a Solution to Deceit-
As time went on, her beauty was unmatched. She quickly caused the departure of the Master of the Land of the Men's concubines and became his equal. All was well for many kings' lifetimes in the Land of the Men. But the greediness of men led to a terrible thing: Auhan was a coveted prize for all man. No child could not bear her lineage. The Master had sons and daughters with Auhan, and their children mated with the first sons and daughters of generals, clergymen, priests, and royals. All of their children begot children and within a hundred years any breathing soul in the Land of Men not from Auhan's bloodline was discarded upon birth. These Children were sent to live in the Gardens, where they will play and live out their lives.
But the Gardens did something to them, the abandonment by their parents for the sake of one lineage turned them into wrathful little things. Their growth stunted, their teeth gnarled, their hands as sharp as talons. Now no Man dare enter the once fruitful Garden. The Elves despise such creatures and the Sirens do the same in their waters. Theri, the half-giant, is at constant war with the unruly Children, as a child is to its parent in certain age-years.
At the end of the Chira of the Above, he thought to peer on his creations to see how they'd flourished. What he found he was not pleased with. He quickly deduced that the Children in the Garden were not once what they were. He looked upon Men and saw the beautiful children they had born, unnaturally beautiful. Their eyes were that of another creature. An unnatural mating manipulated by Ghed the Dark. The creature that rose out of the Lake that day was not of human compatibility, it was instead a Siren. The eyes of this creature are absent because it produces peace by not seeing, but rather singing their harmonies. Above approached Ghed about this and looked down upon Ghemar for looking away. Above had come to find that in his earliest moments of creation, Ghed the Dark and Deceitful, as he came to be known, put forth sleep on a Siren which allowed her to rise as he commanded out of the Lakes. A combined pact of treachery coerced with Giants, Demons, Dogs, Mages and Magicians. Above felt saddened, betrayed, and, ultimately, felt at fault.
Above decided that this will disrupt the nature of everything he had created. Once the Sirens find out what had been done, they will surely cease their melodies. The Elves will lose their crops and fine lifestyles falling into the same selfishness as the others. The horse fields will no longer raise with food in abundance. The Celestials will no longer light the night sky with beautiful designs to inspire, and the Children will continue their unruly ways and destroy the Gardens. He decided it was time to put an end to this. At that moment he turned Ghed into multiple forms to seal his punishment for betrayal. He cast him down into the chasms of the Mountains as a solid stone chain that wrapped all sides of the Giants that helped him, Hara, Dara, Mara, Nil, Reil, and Theo. Theri was left to tend his Garden, but he had to watch it die and become withered for all eternity. He cast Ghed as a ball of dust to murk the Quarry, preventing the rise of any demon including the Chief of Demons, Lacalagon. He sent him down as the Great Stone to seal the caves of the Mages and Magicians; angering the king Uhol and his prince Uholo. He shattered Ghed's remaining body into a blanket of Harpies to chase the Dogs in the Woods for all eternity and forever adorn the tops of trees to render them void and in darkness.
Above turned his musings to his other creations; knowing that he must wait for that wretched place to destroy itself with its own selfish poison and that Ghed's presence should hasten this.
On A Harrowed Land and the Coming of a New War-
Many, many years passed, kings lived and died, wars were fought and lost and won. Many of these battles were over land, others over the mating of Men and Siren— being deemed unnatural. Smaller truces were broken, treaties dispersed and friendships torn and mended over a great many time. Eight dynasties of Men came and went, four reigns of Elven kings fell, the Children of Men grew even darker and more deceitful in the Garden, and the Demons attempted to rise from the murky Quarry and failed all too consistently. Lands were decimated, mountains crushed, and lakes dried up. Just as the Above suspected. The coming of the bloodline of Auhan's extinction will be the final blow to civilization on this terrain. The bloodline began dying many moons ago, her sons many seasons, her grandsons, great-grandsons, greatest of great grandsons; all gone to the depths of this wretched planet. Many cousins of kings, wives of fallen masters, sisters, daughters, brothers, and all of Siren-Men's kin.
The Siren-Men line will end with the youngest left of the blue-eyes. Arioth, Daughter of Aen the 8th Master of the Land of Men. A noble late-teen in the warrior ranks for the Land against the current conflict with the Children and the Dogs on the banks of the Lake of Auhan, as they've come to call it. This girl, with fair hair and fair skin, a muscular figure from aggressive and constant training under the warriors of old, and knowledge of the lands beyond compare, is an eager and willing soul. Being the youngest that remained in the Land, she had been tasked with understanding the ways of war from both near and from afar in the preparation of her father's death. She studies, reads, chart, and maps the attacks and retaliations for all the vulnerable areas in, and surrounding, the Land of Men. She is to keep, and value, treaties with the Elves, man's only ally. When not tasked with such duties, Arioth takes to the fields with other children, plays games, and admires the drawings of the Celestials in the night sky. She has become a coveted prize in her late-teen years by many men of the Land. Not only for her vaunted beauty and swordsmanship, but her bloodline. Many men see this as an opportunity to rule absolutely while others see her as the last chance of salvation upon her death. She is allowed to communicate with the inhabitants, but most of them have foul plans once the Master, Aen expires.
The many men that flank to her left and right on this day of conflict are not of her bloodline. For only a few were left in the Land at all. The general of this army, Alurae, was one of them along with his brother Adorl; Aen, the current Master; his clergyman Anit of City-Gean; Ashai, a priestess; and her warrior-daughters Aeri and Atu. The rest of the Land of Man were on equal man blood. They protected these individuals as many Demons, Dogs, Mages, and Magicians seek the opportunity to dispatch of these mixed beings due to the interbreeding of races being seen as going against the Above.
There was another descendant that lived amongst the children of the Garden. But he was not of men's equal blood. For he was possessed by the Ghed early on, so early that his eyes were indeed rounded like those of the Siren-Men, but they were not Blue, they were black and glossy— devoid of beauty. His hands were misshapen, but resembled that of Men and not the talons of Children. He was taller when he stood erect and he had a chiefly knowledge about him over the other children.
This Child of the Dark Garden, son of Abach and Amistha of the Land of the Men, called himself Oborgul. He had been cast out by his father and left to rot, wither, and die while the Land of Men flourished with their precious-eyed fair-haired Siren-Women.
Oborgul saw nothing more than an army of dull creatures in the four-legged beasts of the Woods and so he quickly made a deal with Dogs to take over all of Annuhlin, which they agreed to, as Dogs do, but this trickster and manipulative child only used them as a means to an end. For the Dogs were a gullible race of creatures. Easily bartered and persuaded to stick to their Woods for a lifetime when long ago Men had made a treaty with the Dog King Gulyas to never seek food outside of the Woods and Men would never come into the Woods during Avahur, the time of day they feast. The agreement also stated that whoever so shall be in the Wood at that time will not be treated as anything but food and no punishment shall come from any race of which that course came. The Men, the Elves, and the Children all agreed to this. Oborgul saw this opportunity to trick the ruthless creatures and lead them out of the Woods and near the Lakes to attack the Sirens. He talked to Gulyas and his twin sons, Gundarak and Gorvon, and convinced them that he would relinquish the Garden to them if they aid him in defeating the Men. Gulyas, in a thirst to exit the dark Woods, agreed to this quickly. As King he figured casualties would occur, but the Dogs know no difference in life or death as ignorant creatures.
On this day of war, the Men and the Elves heard the cries of the Sirens and suspected the Dogs were attacking them. Honoring their allegiance to those that made them a great and beautiful civilization, Men hastened an army and persuaded the Elves to help them drive back the Dogs into the Woods. The Men marched with the Great Horses from the Lower Cliff as they prepared for battle with an army the size of two cities of the Land of the Men. The Elves brought their mighty staffs, adorned with the Kings amulet from the time of Creation, and a party of sixty-six hundred.
After arriving past the Hills and down to the Lakes the Men and Elves saw a frightful sight. The Children were on the backs of the Dogs attacking in pairs. They had waited for the Sirens to come out for their sunset-song and then they bled out of the Woods from the ground, from the trees, and even above in the form of Harpies. The treaty with the Dogs had, at that moment, vanquished.
During this battle the Elvish warlord, Harlorn, was critically wounded, to which the Man, Ador, came to his side and fought off six Dogs. Ador would become great legend of this slaying in the tales of the great warriors of Annuhlin. The Sirens lost their King, Lisus, in the battle with the first wave of attacks. Lisus was directly attacked by the Twin Dogs, whilst trying to save one of his many daughters. Arioth watched the battle in the fifth flank, as the heir to the throne does, in case she and her noble steed was needed to push back the forces of Oborgul. The Sirens were wailing in the background retreating deep into their lakes a broken and kingless people. Their numbers dwindled down to that of the rarest fish residing in the blues. Knowing his bloodline would be in the fight, chief of knowledge that he is, Oborgul called out to him:
"My Blood, thou with the Blue Eyes inherited from these wretched beings of the Lake, show yourself! You will not rule these lands! You are not worthy! The Chains, The Dust, and the Boulder will make my Master whole again and we will curse you and your MEN for ousting us to those pathetic Gardens. Come on, MY BLOOD, show thyself!"
He walked to a dying Siren, drenched in both blood and water, eye sockets sunken in, a sign of death to those with no eyes, and picked up the body by that beautiful hair that the Land of Man had become so accustomed to. Running his ragged fingers through it, he turned back to the ranks and removed his cowl to show his hideous and misshapen hair and piercing gloss black eyes.
"Your beautiful Siren lay dead beneath my feet or they retreat to those putrid Lakes. You people have thirsted for the light and the beauty that surrounds this world. Yet you cast us Children, your Children, off into that wretched Garden to die. Look what it has done to us. And look at what your greed has done to you!"
He tosses the body violently into a pack of Dogs as they descend upon it swiftly to devour it, an Avahur of a Siren.
"You put the dogs in that dank and dark Wood and now they feast on the flesh you value so highly! Now, the body of Ghed, the Harpies, shall feast on yours!”
The ranks of men stood still, in their battle formation, as Oborgul called forth a swarm of vicious Harpies to blot out the sky. The leader of the Men, Alurae, brother of Ador, felt overwhelmed and surprised by the sight of these swarming creatures. For no one knew that there was a being alive that could control Ghed's dark bodies in this world. The Dogs and Children of the Garden belted and yelled viciously and Oborgul pointed his hand forward and screamed out the name of the Dark one:
"My Master, your time has come!"
The Harpies swarmed toward the Men of the Land and the Elves of the Hills, picking them up with their mighty gusts and tossing them to and fro. Nary a staff or sword nor bow or horse could penetrate the attack.
"Fall back! Fall back! We can't take them here!"
The party of Elves scurried between the giant horses as Alurae caught the eye of Harlorn being carried by a gentle-beast.
"Harlorn, get well my friend. We will retreat at this time, but we will come back. The Children of Dark Garden shall have this victory and your people live to fight another day."
Swiftly, the horses sped off carrying the herd far and away from the blanket of Harpies. Oborgul bustled through his ranks, just as brutes and masters do, while the others raised their hands in victory and the Dogs barked a ferocious zeal. Making his way to the front and peering on the hill top, Oborgul caught the glimpse of one rider turning around. It was the daughter Arioth, the Sister, as Oborgul would come to call her, looking back on the carnage wrought by those they had abandoned because of her lineage’s beauty. She felt sad for the Sirens as well as the Children. She may have been the first to look upon them and see that they are mere men stripped of the right to live wonderful lives. At this moment, there was nothing she could do. These Children were destroying their lands and killing innocent races of beings and creatures. With the ways of Men she knew she'd, in her time, come across her bloodline in confrontation. Although, never did she think that it would be in such a bloody and violent form. Her horse standing steady, she pulled her helmet up and around her left ear with those unearthly blue eyes peering at Oborgul with the sun setting at her back and down the Hill.
Oborgul's eyes grew an even blacker color— if at all possible, his armor tightened, his body straightened, and his fist clenched with the rage of abandonment.
"Soon, Sister, before it is your time, I will see to it that it is mine," he muttered to himself as a swarm of harpies covered his face and bled into the hood of his cowl. “and it shall be soon.”
Alurae returned to the mountain top with his horse to retrieve the standing, and undeniably shaken, Arioth. The great tails of the horses were the last to see the sunlight over that Hill of the Elves as they returned to their Lands.
This is where Arioth's journey begins: In the eight-hundred and seventh tenth year, the Eighth Season, during the War of the Dogs, the Children, and the Men. Arioth and Alurae must return home to the Land of the Men and regroup their resources after seeing what the Children of the Dark Garden had accomplished. Stricken with guilt and uncertainty, her decisions from here on out will greatly impact the Land of Reil and its inhabitants. With it will spring forth the Legend of the Warrior Arioth, Daughter of Aen and Blue-Eye Siren-Men Heir to the throne of the Land of the Men.
Last edited by whatle02; 09-25-2014 at 08:25 PM..