Some world-building

…and a little teasing.

In case any of you have been curious as to what I’m up to, writing-wise, I wanted to tease a little of one of my more recent novel ideas. Instead of just giving away some of it, however, I thought I’d share the world-myth as a little bit of a tease.

Bits and piece of this had solidified a while ago, but some of the finer details really solidified today. I’m really pleased with what I have here–though it should be noted this is a first draft of an idea that is being fleshed out in a full novel–and so I hope it’s an enjoyable read.

In the beginning, before the Endless Expanse was filled with so many worlds, there was Harmony. It rested quietly in a timeless pocket while the Eternals, high above its ideal landscapes, plotted out their future dominions. Harmony—the plaything of future Gods and Goddesses—was where the first mountains were carved from the landscape, the first oceans were spilled only to be considered happy accidents, and where miracles were tested for their capacity to inspire awe. Any Deity worth knowing started off as an Eternal lording over some aspect of Harmony, and they all deemed it good.

Outside of the timeless pocket, worlds burned slowly into existence. Newer, better mountains grew up from the plains, and rivers rushed forward with a higher quality water—or, at least, so the Eternals thought. It seemed as though Harmony’s fate was sealed as a long lost thing of beauty.

A New Idea occurred. There was much argument over exactly who had the idea, but it certainly was there and it seemed good enough. How would the Eternals prepare for the glory of being worshipped, revered, and perhaps even feared if they had never experienced having lesser beings in their domain? After much debate, agreements were made on how these beings should look. There were no failed attempts or do-overs; when the formative dusts settled, seven tribes inhabited Harmony. They were mostly human, or at least human enough in that humans weren’t around to pose a point of comparison. Each tribe stepped into Harmony’s radiant sunlight for the first time, squinting and unaware of what uncertain futures awaited them.

They were blissfully ignorant of the other tribes’ existences, and so they focused inwards on building up their own individual tribes. Creations such as Day and Night followed, though the seasons remained largely fixed to regions of Harmony. The Eternals deemed their work good, and slowly moved forward with their other projects. One by one, the Eternals left Harmony for distant and not-so-distant worlds, and though their absence went largely unnoticed there was one Eternal who had been waiting for this precise moments.

The tribes were certainly an interesting turn of events, this Eternal thought as he looked down on each of them in turn.

“If they knew of each other,” he said to himself on many occasions, “this could become far more interesting.” There was something missing to his scheme, and so he waited. When the last of the Eternals moved on, not before asking the straggler why he’d not forged a new world to call home, he sprang into action.

“They need to be built up first,” he said. “That’s the key.”

The Eternal chose one of the tribes, then quietly slipped in disguised as one of their own. They lived in the higher elevations in the northeaster regions of Harmony, where the summer sun was always warm and the nights were filled with endless, beautiful stars. Of all the tribes, this one seemed to have been given the greatest deal of attention regarding their looks; there was no denying its people were a sight to behold. Gradually, over time, the Eternal brought this to the tribe’s attention.

“Are we not a sight to behold? Even the landscape around is, in its glory,” he said, “fails to compare to our beauty. We are radiant. We are perfect.”

There were some stragglers, but in time the tribespeople became infatuated with themselves. Towering monuments forged from stone and iron were made depicting every rippling muscle and chiseled jawline. A King and Queen were chosen by the masses, having been determined the most beautiful and perfect, and a castle was built for them to live in.

Satisfied with his work, the Eternal moved on to another tribe. They were people of words; they spoke many languages, and had a fascination with communication. Each syllable was chosen with care when one of their tribesman spoke. They told the most amazing stories, the Eternal noted.

It only made sense, of course, that he taught them the ways of deception.

“Our words are beautiful, but soft,” the Eternal said. “We must find a way to give them an edge, and I think I have discovered one.” The tribespeople were reluctant at first, having never been lied to be ever wary of the strength words carried. Once the first lie was told from within the tribe, however, further deception followed. What was once an appreciation of language grew into a mastery of deceit and trickery that, on other worlds, would pass as every day political discourse.

One by one, the Eternal twisted the tribes’ greatest qualities to his liking. He watched from the center of Harmony’s vastness, high atop his castle, and was overjoyed.

“It’s about time I helped these unfamiliar neighbors become acquainted,” he said. By then, however, they were no longer simple tribes but full-fledged kingdoms that had spread out. The Eternal’s illusions and trickery prevented the kingdoms from ever making contact with one another up until he cast those spells aside.

Suspicion and fear marked these first encounters, where before the Eternal was certain it would have been wonder and curiosity felt between the people. He savored every moment of it as the deceivers lied to and forged flimsy ties with other kingdoms, establishing loyalty where it might best suit them best. The vain appreciated the kingdom of precious gems and gold, but loathed how their commonfolk were filthy from working the land to achieve such treasures. The noble kingdom of Harmonia, in its righteous bluster, was quick to present itself as a shield to all in need while acting secretly as a sword ready to cut down any who might defy its long-held beliefs of moral superiority. And so on.

There is no record of which kingdom struck the first blow, but the war between kingdoms was catastrophic. The suffering it caused echoed across the worlds, but remained largely unnoticed.

When Metatron arrived in Harmony, she wept over the losses it had felt while the other Eternals basked in praise and glory elsewhere. In a moment of Divine Wrath, she cast a mighty broadsword down from the skies. It sundered the perfect landscape, shattering the castle at its heart. The least corrupt kingdom, Harmonia, was spared. The others suffered punishments more fitting. The kingdom so concerned with its wealth found its people transmuted to creatures of living stone and gold, while its commonfolk were struck blind and forced to live beneath the ground. The kingdom of deceivers were reduced to living shadows, unable to truly interact with the world around them.

The errant Eternal tried to flee, but Metatron found him. In her rage, she stripped him of his title and status, and to prevent further treachery in Harmony or worlds beyond, she sewed his mouth shut with thick, enchanted cords of wyrmwood. No longer worthy of his true name, the Eternal accepted the moniker of silence before slipping away into the shadows.

The other Eternals arrived in the aftermath, and they were shocked by what they saw. As divided as they were on Metatron’s handling of the situation, they all agreed on one thing; that she would have to preside over Harmony for all time, keeping watch so as to prevent future tragedies from happening.

From the base of the mighty blade sprang the pools through which all other worlds could been seen. Metatron decreed that all future conflict would be settled by calling forth champions from other worlds and testing their mettle. The victor would decide the other party’s fate, and thus no blood would be shed again on Harmony’s no-longer-perfect soil.

There had always been tremendous power in words, however, and none knew this better than silence. The right phrases in the right tone were all he needed, and so he waited.

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