Chapter 4: The Coming of the Kindreds

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 5

Many a long year after the creation of the earth, and the births of all of Mæanya's many children, still more she made. For it came into her thoughts that the world was too quiet and empty for her liking and that there should be things that could speak and sing and walk and dance upon the vast green gardens she had made. And in this new labour, she made first the creatures who walk upon the earth, and she birthed many numerous kinds. To each kind she gave birth to two, male and female, who alone themselves could not make life in the same manner as that of the star kindred, but coupled together they were fruitful and from their pairings came many offspring, and countless generations to follow. For these creatures, as it would be for all the creatures of the earth, lived far shorter lives than the later children who were made as to be the gardeners, and in their passing, they return into the earth, thus their life force is never truly gone from the world. These creatures were made great and others small, of all shapes and sizes, strange and fair. And Mæanya held no love for any single kind greater than the next, for they were all made from her, and she gave various purposes and mannerisms to each as she saw it fitting. And as Varvys had done with the elder stars many long aeons ago, she named these creatures and gave voices to each of them. And so they were the second-made, after the grasses and the plants and the trees, to inhabit the gardens of Earth, but they were the first to walk upon it and they spread out across it as their numbers multiplied. Some of them found long-lasting homes to abide in, but others roamed ever from place to place according to their dispositions.

Then Àre came upon the earth, after long years of toil during which time he had wrought countless other spheres in the likeness of the earth to inhabit the vastness of the Outer-world alongside the innumerable stars, but all of them uninhabited and none near so fair as the earth itself. And he saw the newly-made creatures who dwelled therein, and he was amazed. And he watched them for a time, observing the mannerisms and intricacies of their creation and all the various habitats which they had chosen for themselves. But then he looked to the skies and into the vast encircling sea and he was saddened, for he beheld that they were yet empty and bereft of things living. And these new creatures, wondrous as they were, could never fly, not high up in the air and winds nor deep down below the waters. And so it came to pass that Àre envisioned the creatures of his own thoughts. There came from him the winged ones, whom he made it their joy to soar through the skies, and their voices sang in the wind, and they made their homes high up in the trees, and in the mountains which he had raised many long years since. And as it was with the creatures of Mæanya's making who could make life only in their pairings, so too it was with the winged ones, and Àre made many different kinds to inhabit the skies and the high places which were his favoured domain. Then he turned to the sea, which in those days was but one great single ocean of water, encompassing the green earth. Below these waters, Àre brought into being the strange and wondrous creatures of the deeps, and he made many countless kinds, more so than any of the numbers of those who dwelt on the earth or in the sky put together. And he dwelt there a long time, creating those that dwell far below in the deep depths of the sea, and those that dwelt far above and near to the coasts. And to all of these, he gave voices of their own, many of which have never been hearkened to by those who dwell above the sea and can never venture down below to hear them. Those creatures of the deepest, darkest depths are the most mysterious, and why it came into Àre's mind to put them there is unknown to all but himself. Many countless names have all these creatures of the world been given by all the kindreds who came after, but to Àre and Mæanya they were called simply the Second-born.

Now the third-born, and indeed the last-born of Mæanya, are those whom she named the Gardeners, for she made them as to be such to her many gardens that covered all the earth. And they were of a different likeness entirely to the second-born, as those had been of a different likeness entirely to the first-born. Though these too could walk and dance and had voices of their own to speak and sing, their minds and their hearts and their stature were far greater. For to these her youngest Mæanya gave the essence of her starlight, which was her own gift from Varvys - the gift of life's eternal flame. Through them, she made a likeness that most resembled that of her own guise, which she had chosen to take at the time when she had first come down to walk upon the earth. The Gardeners first awoke in the presence of Mæanya and to her great happiness, for she loved them as dearly as she loved the oldest trees. She taught them to speak, much like the second-born at first, but she made them far fairer and so too their speech. Fairer even than the ethereal songbirds of Àre. Then she taught them also the words, the tongue of the star kindred, and all their many fair names. In this way, they came to learn of the creation of the Elder Stars and of the great sundering which had caused the Outer-world to come into being. And they were instructed also in the tongues of the first-born and the second-born, and the Gardeners could speak to all the living things, as it was necessary for their charge as well as it was pleasing to Mæanya for them to do so. And they called her The Mother ever after, and indeed mæan is the word for 'mother' in all the Earthborn tongues to this day.

Then Àre came again after he had seen that his companion in creation had made yet more children from her being and that they were unlike all the others. He beheld the starlight in their eyes and in their hearts, and he perceived the joy in their faces. And there, in that fairest of all the gardens of earth, Àre laid down to rest from all his many labours. And the Gardeners came to revere him when they learned of all that he had created around them, for among his labours was half the making and the fashioning of the earth, as well as all the makings of the worlds that hung around it in the greater Outer-world itself. And the Gardeners called that place where he'd come down to rest Àrberedh, the field of Àre's peace, and indeed that was the name by which they would come to use, for a time, for the entirety of the earth itself. For under Àre's long and watchful vigilance the earth was ever a peaceful place to dwell. And so it was that after the Gardeners had come to perfect their mastery in the tongues of all living things, and in all the many other things that Mæanya had taught them, so they went out into the wide-open world of forests and fields, and they went about their tasks as gardeners and caretakers. Birds sang and orchards grew. Rivers ran and the first-born bloomed. And there was bliss on earth for a long age.

Estamar, the Earth-home, was the name given to the world by the Vystari when they had first awoken to it, ere the sundering had come to pass. They beheld the first gardens of Mæanya's making in all its beauty and serenity, and they walked upon the earth when all things were still young, though they were themselves the youngest of all. For the Gardeners had dwelt there many years ere the ill-fated love between Eleris and Railla had transpired, far-off in the distant Void-world.

The Vystari were not known to Àre or Mæanya at first, however, for they were carried in secret by Varvys as orphans posthumously born. Nor is it known where 'twas that the star-born had first opened their eyes and beheld the world, though it is said that in that hour they awoke to the dancing silver lights that fill the northern sky - Thoamëa, the Winter Lights. The origin of the winter lights is also shrouded in mystery, though the Vystari believe that it was Merel the ever-weeping star, sister to Eleris, who came to the earth and was the first to look upon them, for she knew the lingering light of her brother and had pursued it. Therefore the Thoamëa was her gift to them, as was her teaching to them of the starlight speech, accompanied by her final song - from which the Vystari learned the tragic tale of their conception and of their deliverance ere Merel departed from them, and from all the world, forever. And the Vystari lingered long there in that place which they had named Estamar until they grew restless with wanderlust and began to venture out into the world in all directions.

 

"Far astray and for too long parted are we,

the Earthbound orphans, from our starry sires

But our hearts grow strong, and courage the greater,

to live and to die with Everlight's fire

We are not long for this world, this dream, this hour

Nonetheless, we abide here, in victory and in strife

For no heart anchored by sincerity and valour

shall ever be condemned to the darkness and unlife"

- Song of the Earth-home, as sung by the Vystari in the Hallowed Age.


Submitted: January 14, 2022

© Copyright 2022 J. K. Trigg. All rights reserved.

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