There was before all the Great Spirit. In a Universe before the Universe. Whole & as one. And from the Great Spirit’s Eternal Song was wrought all that followed thereafter: the Primordial Egg of the Everywhen & all the fractured planes in all the Multiverse that spun out from its calamitous shattering.
That was a time of Chaos, of immense change & power, far beyond our later understanding, & all that we now know to Be had its initial germ of creation in the elements that also grew from this great pouring forth.
Yet the Eternal Song still flows through all. And it gives especial bounty to those who have the subtlety to hear it, who are able to adjust & interpret & channel it through their skills to bring forth their own sub-creations. For it ever seeks new expression.
1. And in a past distant beyond our comprehension the tripartite aspects of the oversoul entered onto this corporeal plain. And the Demiurge caused the world within this wide realm of the stars to come into being.
2. And many were the lands & seas; many were the mountains & vales; many were the woods & glades; & many are the spirits who inhabit the airs that swirl, the waters that flow, & the living beauty that grows.
3. And the Weaving Mother called into being all the creatures that live on this world.
4. And mighty was her brood.
5. And came there forth creatures of flesh & blood, creatures of the world that are bound to it; came there forth the fishes & whales of the oceans; came there forth the lizards & serpents who hug low to the ground; came there forth the birds & bats of the sky; & came there forth the squirrels & deer of the forests.
6. For She welcomed the greatest diversity that She could create & that would grow & develop from Her initial creations to flow beyond Her plans & show the best of all under Heaven.
7. For stagnation is the enemy of creation, stasis the bane of all who seek to create.
8. And lastly came there forth those who speak & articulate their thoughts.
9. And the Interceder passed amongst them, whether they are the tall ones of the mountains, the stocky ones of the ground, or the insensitive ones on the fringe. For the Interceder wished for all peoples to spiral out from their early homelands & explore & gain understanding from all the places of the Demiurge’s creation.
10. And deep within the eastern mountains there is a vale hidden since the creation of time from those who know not its position. Most fair & magical is this vale of all the lands where those on two legs are permitted to dwell. And from their place of creation deep within the mountains the giants wandered until they came to this fair vale.
11. And they called it their Redoubt, & their Retreat, for mighty was the music it held & wondrous were its walls of enhancing memory.
12. And they were the First Wave.
1. And for many ages the giants dwelt here, singing their songs as they traversed the mountains’ grasslands & ancient woods. Rarely seeing the need to pass beyond the surrounding peaks & not concerned with anything that may come to pass in the wide world outwith.
2. And such as they bethought themselves of the need for defence, they trusted to their songs & the difficulty of the surrounding landscape with its cliffs & precipices & clefts.
3. And to enhance their enjoyment & show off their deep understanding they carved three statues to watch at the fringes of the mountains. For they kenned the purpose of a mother who nourishes and allows creation; of a father who protects when necessary, yet who also encourages creativity; & the perfect combination which the wisest seek ever for as they learn & flourish.
4. And as the ages passed by, they began to hear vague rumours of disquiet & a threatening uprising of darkness, though as of yet in the far south of the world. Even so, they started to give thought to how they could protect their home with more robust defences in the mountains about.
5. And at the weakest point in the surrounding heights, where the valley’s waterway flowed out of the giants’ domain, they built the Old Fort to protect what they had wrought as their own place, though few could be persuaded to spend long away from the heart of their song & thus keep it well garrisoned.
6. And in a vale close by the east they built the Tower to hold, codify & enshrine their music, & their thoughts of primeval & elemental magic that dwelt then in this part of the world. Alas at their folly; for the restraining of the magic music lessened its potency.
7. And they lived here still for a long time, dressed in harmony, unaware of its flaws & weaknesses. Life seemed good – for none is as blind as those who won’t look.
8. And the uprising of might in the far south, having blossomed as a noisomeness in the fetid swamp, poured forth & let flood out its corruption.
9.And then came one to the valley, overwhelming the Old Fort, who cared not for music; & who penetrated the cycles of harmony as though as discord arising from within. The depth of the all-pervading music was weakened. For imbalance overcame the giants & their strength ebbed as their perception failed into banality.
10. And the Demon of Cacophony slew all but one of the giants & left their corpses to rot & their bleached bones to stand as monuments to a superseded past. It perverted the valley to its own desires & ends, stifling the growth of all living things to satisfy its own cacophony.
11. And it was the Second Wave.
1. And the Demon of Cacophony held the valley in the thrall of utter despair & suffocating darkness. It took as its pit the undercroft of the ancient Tower of the giants around which it hung veils of shadowy death & mists of obnoxious dread.
2. And for many ages the Demon of Cacophony ruled unopposed in its self-absorption until the Goddess of the Land came into the valley seeking to make it fair & alive once more. But it seemed the land was too imbued with evil for the Goddess of the Land to heal it by herself. For the land needed to be awakened from the suffocating sleep of the Demon of Cacophony by quicker & more active powers less intimately connected with the Land than hers. Although her power was great & ran deep, it was too interconnected with the Land & too slow to shake off the suffocation of discord imposed on it.
3. And the evil sapped the strength of the Goddess of the Land as she tried to infuse herself with the Land, until she was so weakened that all she could do was retreat to a place of hiding & nurse herself.
4. And it came to pass that one known by the later Overlords as Alkar the Perï entered the valley. It was not known from whence he came, or why, or what had called him.
5. And Alkar wandered long lost in the valley until he came to An Uaimh Binn where the Goddess of the Land lay hidden. And when he saw how sickly she was he went out again into the vapours that the Demon of Cacophony spewed forth to hide its hole. Long Alkar sought the incarnation of evil, until he at last ran it to ground in the Tower and slew it, forcing the eternal cacophony back to the vague lands beyond the mountains.
6. And the Goddess of the Land slowly regained her strength.
7. And the Goddess of the Land brought bounty & fecundity back to the valley.
8. And the valley was called then Andau Argun – the Circle of Silver.
9. And there was a sigil as emblem of this, held dear by those with legitimacy to rule, given by the Goddess of the Land to Alkar.
10. And it showed changing images that were held to help advise its wearer in his rule.
11. And the avatar of the Goddess of the Land, her High Priestess, wedded Alkar, who became the first Sacred King.
12. And they begat many children.
13. And when the settlers came into the valley from the south they took up the worship of the Goddess of the Land & her Consort. The name that the first High Priestess took as the Sovereignty Goddess’s avatar was Aoife, & such was the name of all the High Priestesses thereafter, & their stone & walled city standing in concern on the northern bank of the River Calder and its landsd about were both called An Uaimh after the cave in which the Goddess of the Land had lain hidden.
14. And they were the Third Wave.
1. And I foretell that for many years shall Aoife & her Consort rule over the whole valley, but as more & more people come over Cheven to settle here their temporal power shall wane as the various communities seek to rule themselves.
2. And it shall come to pass that for a while each Sacred King shall remain the Consort for the rest of his natural life – or until he is usurped. But as the High Priestesses try to maintain their temporal power the Sacred Kings shall become annually sacrificed to maintain the fertility of the valley as the High Priestesses fear its lessening.
3. And when the fertility is restored the crueller aspects of the Goddess of the Land’s High Priestess shall mellow. The outgoing Sacred Kings shall not be killed at the end of their reign, but will help the sick & infertile of the valley with their healing powers.
4. And it shall happen that the influx of settlers shall cause the population to grow too large so that there shall come to pass strife & famine & open conflict for the Sacred Kingship. And Einion, the last of the then line, shall stray from the path whereon he rules over the people with benevolence.
5. And he shall lose the silver sigil given unto the Sacred King & disappear into the mountains.
6. And without the secular support of their Sacred Kings the power of the High Priestesses in An Uaimh shall become more & more ineffectual against the rising unrest & imbalance.
7. And when the age is darkest shall Radulph come from a far land – even across the Transcending Sea – before spending much time travelling the lands outwith Andau Argun’s fences; & from there he shall cross into the valley with a small retinue.
8. And it shall come to pass that in the realm of the Dwarf-King beneath Blencarn he shall find the emblem of the Golden Serpent; & that he shall therefore call the valley Orestol. The Vale of Gold.
9. And they shall be the forth wave.
10. And with this Radulph shall ascend to the Sacred Kingship. But he shall also be the first Bragati Sarffargaur, the Lord of the Golden Serpent, the Tarquï-ö-Orestol, & shall be named Centigern – the Chief Ruler. For the emblem of the Golden Serpent shall be taken as the new sign of the bounty of the Goddess of the Land & the right to rule. And those who hold it shall become the new Sacred King for all their reign.
11. And each Bragati Sarffargaur shall keep alive the heritage that Centigern brings with him into the valley & therefore a distinction shall be imposed between the Overlord & his subjects.
12. And the House of the Golden Serpent, Nédath-ö-Orestol, shall be built above the River Darenth, where once there was a hermitage.
13. And as the reigns pass the Overlords shall exercise less & less control & become more & more detached from their subjects & their culture.
14. And I foretell that there shall be twenty-eight Bragatin Sarffargaur. Some who shall be friends of the Land; & some who shall care little.
15. And there shall be one – called Aengus – who discovers the silver sigil that Einion discarded, & he shall take it up & try to hold both it & the emblem of the Golden Serpent; & he shall fail.
16. And he shall see the balance of the High Priestess of the Goddess of the Land as curtailments on his ability to rule. So he shall seek to build a new realm far away in the forests that grow dark in the imagination. He shall take the silver sigil, but leave the Golden Serpent behind.
17. And he shall not succeed – though see his errors at last. Yet he shall drown in the Batch Stream & the silver sigil shall lie there for many years.
1. And I foretell that from a far land shall come one like Centigern before, & he will wear the silver sigil of the Goddess of the Land that Einion discarded & Aengus tried to turn to his will; for he will be given it by the water-goddess Nantosuelta.
2. And this shall be the sign that he shall be involved in the great change.
3. And he shall be called Taru.
4. And as the sigil shows different faces to different people, & different faces in different times, this shall come to be understood anew as a sign of the whole, that all shall be joined in the great work.
5. And Taru will be aided by a Perï – one of the race of Alkar before – who shall guide him through the dangers of the surrounding mountains & into the valley long thought of.
6. And Conan – who is Overlord at this time – shall be blind to the dangers assailing the valley; for he in his House shall feel secure. Until the fell winter. When he shall attempt to show that he is a dynamic man & hunt for a sign of the malaise so he may destroy it. Thus shall he meet his death in battle with a mighty boar in the shadow of the Old Fort. Yet by his hand shall the great boar be slain.
7. And he shall have appointed Taru his successor; but, though Taru inherits his lands, he shall not take the title of Bragati Sarffargaur.
8. And the High Priestess of the Goddess of the Land shall stand firm & say that it is not in the Overlord’s gift to name who shall be the next Sacred King. That Taru shall not be the Sacred King – but from him shall come one who unifies all the valley.
9. And Taru shall return the emblem of the Golden Serpent to the Dwarf-King who dwells below Blencarn, yet who dwells also in lands far beyond ours, though he has wisdom & knowledge of this valley.
10. And Taru shall be befriended by one called Fial, a displaced Princess, who shall help guide him, as he does her.
11. And Fial shall take her own path to understanding the intricate workings of the plans of the Goddess of the Land; & learn in time from her sorrow.
12. And Fial & Taru shall beget a son called Finbar the Unifier.
13. And Taru shall pass again over the mountains to the shadow-lands without.
14. And when he comes of an age Finbar shall become the Sacred King.
15. And the valley shall once more be called Andau Argun & shall once more be the fairest of all lands, for Finbar is the appointed one.
16. And his renewal shall be the fifth wave.
Know that I am called Dinogad – who has lived all his life in this stone city of Callwic – & that all I set down here is of sights I have truly seen.
All praise the Goddess of the Land.