IN THE BEGINNING

FROM THE HEL’LAR BARTIM:

Listen, child of the dust! Listen now for what I tell is the story of all that is, just as our fathers first told it. It is no mere fairly tale, child of the first light. It is the first story, and it is far older than all the ages of men, and all the races, savage or civilized. It is from beyond the beginning of this world. It echoes forth from the whipping ends of time like the crack of the slaver’s whip, driving all that ever has or ever will be. You have your part in this story, oh kin of the brothers. You are part of the great ordering. You have come forth from the same struggle that crowns the emperor in every age. You are Hel’lar, and you are Bar-tir. You are of order and of discord. You are of the world, and of the light. Listen child, for your name shall be written. But whose book will tell of you? Which will you serve? Jel will give you the strength of law and righteous intent, Hath will hand you the cunning knife of dark vengeance, and Korai’ will show you the wisdom of balance and the timing of all things. But the Holy Light offers you the awesome and all-consuming fire of chaos – though it might burn you too. In these gifts you shall be forged. But heed this; none but you may choose your tale. Listen child, and hear my story of what is, that you might choose well.

The Hel’lar Bartim is the first and most fundamental holy book of men. It contains the stories of the creation of worlds, the origins of all peoples, the saga of the death of Hel’lar and the eternal fight of his sons Jel, Hath and Korai’, each of whom will bring order to the worlds in their own ways. It was Hel’lar’s blood after he was slain in the last creation, from which his sons were born, and the earth became everlasting. Each son is an aspect of Hel’lar. Jel is ultimately lawful and good, Hath ultimately cunning and evil, and Korai’ is of balance and the essence of time itself. Each, however, is the embodiment of order, as was their father. It is this order which Bar-tir, the Holy light, has repeatedly sought to destroy. Hel’lar and Bar-tir, order and chaos, are thus in an eternal dance, neither ever completely vanquishing the other.

However, never before has Hel’lar perished, and the fate of the three brothers in the next creation is not known. Indeed, some say there will not be another; that the next unmaking will be the last…

Hawthorne

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