Brandon M. Dennis
Before Time there was but the inkling of flame. Only it wasn't flame as we now know it, but rather a vast Intelligence that simply was. His name was Nurin, and nothing existed beyond him. His sentience boiled and burned, churning with energy and thought. His was a mind bent on creation, and every idea he had was in furtherance of this pursuit.
����������� He first created things that are hard for the mind of man to fathom-chains and weights that set the bounds of the universe. He named the universe Hru and it resided within Nurin's being, but it nowhere compared to Nurin's infinity. Nurin then cast new energies into being and molded them into laws and ideas. It was during this moment that Time was born, and everything that was made after it resided within the plane of Time. Time itself stretched from one corner of Hru to the other, filling it completely, but not extending beyond.
����������� Within this sphere of Time and Hru, Nurin focused his work. He gave Hru dimension and it became the block with which Nurin crafted all else. He then gave character to Hru by filling it with portals which glimpsed at that which was outside the sphere of Hru and Time. These portals became known as stars, and they varied in size, color and brilliance.
����������� Nurin then decided to craft something different. He withdrew into thought for a time, and when he emerged he cast a burning ember into Hru which spun and spun, ever growing until it had become enormous. Nurin then dashed the ember to pieces and flung the blazing matter to every corner of Hru. Some of the pieces went on forever and to this day continue to seek out the furthest reaches of Hru, but others were hand placed by Nurin, to forever glimmer and gleam before the stars in radiant colors.
����������� Nurin took one ember and gave it particular attention. He heated it and it expanded into a molten ball, which he divided in two. One half he left molten and charged it with so much energy that it shown dazzling white, a blazing sphere that crackled and spat flames. This sphere he named Yalis, the sun. Nurin struck the other half and a small glob came loose. He blew on this glob until it became cold and frozen, and he polished it so that it shown brightly. He named the frozen glob Halis, the moon, and placed it near to Yalis, but not so near that it thawed.
����������� Nurin took the remaining material and blew into it, and it bubbled and boiled and grew. It rounded on the top and came to a jagged point at the bottom like an icicle, yet the inside was cavernous and full of many chambers. Invisible roads and hidden rooms with caverns as large as a realm were there, and thus Nurin had a many sided world of infinite possibilities, to which he gave the name �nurin which means "Of Nurin".
����������� The world �nurin cooled and hardened, and it drifted aimlessly through the void-a stone spike with a cold face. And so Nurin placed anchors and chains around �nurin and the world stopped and remained still, held by Nurin himself. He placed it near to Yalis and Halis and flicked it ever so slightly. �nurin slowly began to spin and teeter back and forth, so that at one moment half of it faced Yalis and was heated while the other half faced Halis and was cooled, and it moved so that no part of �nurin faced Yalis longer than it faced Halis. Its teetering gave �nurin seasons and made some places on �nurin's face, particularly in the middle, perpetually colder than others.
But �nurin was hapless and uninviting. It was hard and rugged and not suitable for his thoughts, and so he created an effervescent Welke and placed the world inside of it. The void disappeared within the enclosure and �nurin hovered securely inside. Nurin blew and winds were formed, and jagged shards of rock broke free. They smashed and shattered and crushed and stumbled, and the smooth, cold face of the world became sharp and crevassed. Shards of rock flew out of the Welke and came together, forming a ring around the world, and this became known as the Ring of Design, which has and always will encircle the world as a declaration of creation.
����������� Yet now things within the Welke were wild and in motion, unhampered by the chains that held �nurin in place. And so Nurin created a cleansing, and water drained from the Welke and smote the jagged face of �nurin. Sharp edges were worn away and made smooth. Stone was broken and soil formed. Hills, valleys and mountains came to be, all buried under a sea of cleansing, but soon the waters receded, draining into the caverns beneath the soil. After the cleansing was done, the oceans and lakes and seas all settled and were placed according to Nurin's desire. Many of the stone chasms beneath the surface were filled and water ran endlessly under the soil. To this day you can hear the sound of water running if you put your ear to a smooth face of hard rock and listen closely.
����������� Now some of the chasms within �nurin were not filled, and to these Nurin gave special attention. He created anchors and bindings specifically for these chambers so that nothing would float aimlessly within them. The Weight of the Under-Earth was formed, making little worlds within the greater world.
����������� But �nurin was a dead place. It existed, yet it did not flourish. And so Nurin drew himself within and contemplated for many world-years. For centuries he meditated, and finally he roused himself. Exerting all his energy, he focused upon �nurin and breathed a new breath upon it. The Welke wailed and shrieked, the stars flickered and a tongue of flame sprung from Yalis, licking the surface of �nurin. �nurin trembled and awoke, and Nurin spoke to her;
"�nurin fair, you are my bride;
I made you to be my delight.
All things I know and to you I confide
My desires and my far-seeing sight.
Like me you yearn to make and create;
This desire to you I bequeath.
With creatures you will populate
The surface and everywhere beneath.
You are mine and so I decree
Of this you should be aware:
Do not seek for love beyond me,
For rebellion ends in despair."
So Nurin had a mate, a being akin to himself, and he now had a partner to help with his work. She was the living world and mother of life. He gave her instructions and taught her the ways of creating, and then he took to other tasks.
����������� Nurin set into motion a plan for the Lesser-Worlds. He dipped his hand into the Welke and cast it into the void, and the Lesser-Worlds came into being, which he named the Kalani. There were six Kalani in all and Nurin gave them each names; Talitar the Red, Kerast the Green, Justarn the Gold, Sarvest the Blue, Jarnok the Gray, and Goondagk the Silver. Each world glowed its respective color and revolved above �nurin, far above the night sky, where as colorful pearls they looked to the eyes of men and were revered. Nurin opened his mouth and let loose a mighty cry, and the Kalani awoke. They sparkled and shimmered in the night sky, and every wave of their dazzling light spoke of the love between Nurin and �nurin. The Kalani rejoiced in all things made and took delight in bathing �nurin with their light. Nurin was satisfied with all of his great works. It was now �nurin's turn to fulfill her creative destiny.