Song of the Abyss

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Infragris
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Song of the Abyss

Postby Infragris » 05 Jun 2014, 10:09

An antique piece of Imperial Cult theology, part of a creation myth written shortly after Alessia's ascension. Theologically speaking, it has a couple of quirks, not the least being that Shezarr is depicted as a female spirit - this is a result of early Nedic matriarchy, and does not reflect later Imperial beliefs. This book can be read as a prequel of sorts to Shezarr's Song. It is not an objective account of the creation of the world, but one influenced by Nedic culture and the recent synthesis of the Imperial pantheon.

Testament of the Church-Mothers Verse 1-31: the Song of the Abyss

Hear now the Song of the Abyss, of the Beginning Place, where Life and the Divine came forth from the nothing and the blind energies, as it was revealed to the Church-Mothers of Ald-Cyrod by intercession of Al-Esh.

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Verse 1-4: the Work of the Hours
1. Once, all the world was in darkness, and all the world was darkness, and the spirits therein lived only in darkness. In this place there were not the waters nor the air, there was up nor down, wrong nor right. This place was without time, and without life and death, it was without knowledge and wisdom, it was without the breath of life, it knew not of beauty, it knew not of worth, it knew not of mercy. This we call the Beginning Place, for all things were born there, and naught will ever return there, for it is lost forever in the folds of the world, and only the blind seek it now.

2. There coiled from the darkness the dragon Akatosh, the First of Spirits, who was also the King of Spirits. For one hundred and eight times eternity the dragon gathered its strength in the timeless time, for it was a time without time, and it was the timeless time. Then on the morning of no mornings Akatosh spoke, saying: "I am, and it is joyful to be".

3. Akatosh now regarded the Void of the Beginning, and he was moved by the sense of existence, its joy and splendor, and perceiving the spark of his fellow spirits who lay as yet unmade in the hollow between thought, he was moved by not-yet-pity and not-yet-love. And from his perch on Eternity he allowed the day, saying: "Let these be my children, the Hours, and let these be my children, the Minutes".

4. And long the children of Akatosh did labor in the darkness, to build the space of Days, and they became the Waters, where our thoughts in life find succor. And before the dawn of lines, the Waters did whirl as time yet untempered does, and one Day did nor follow on the other, and one Hour knew not the other, and there was no order to be found anywhere.

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Verse 5-12: the Nascent and the Sequent
5. And in the space of the Hours there came to be two new spirits, and the first of these was Arkay, First-and-Last, and he came forth from the Will of Akatosh to impose order, and let the world surge in ordered striations, and also he came forth from the Will of Mara, who first thought of things to be.

6. And Akatosh loved his son dearly, and said: "In this place, I have found what I have made myself, which is the lattice that twists and shakes spirits from their slumber. Yours is the place by my side, and for you there is a place, and it will be the place of your choosing, to shape and forge the world, and shape and forge yourself, as all things must shape and forge themselves."

7. And Arkay regarded the revolving Waters that his father had wrought, and saw how thing came to be, and how they ceased, and how there was no limit to this, and no order, and there was no cause, and no consequence. And this displeased him, and he said: "Father, from the nothing you have made something, saying, "This is", and saying, "I am", and it is good, and I love it dearly. Yet you have neglected to bring these things to bear, and show them each other, that is, themselves, and how one thing may bring forth another, as you have brought me forth through the Waters. Yet one thing may be, then cease to be, and be without cause nor consequence. For it seems to me a great and good thing, to be of consequence. Let us therefore initiate the shape of things, in which one thing may be cause to another, and one thing be the result of another." And the Shape of Things was to be a Circle, which is a pleasing shape, and all things did come to follow its path through the Void, to be, and to grow, and to diminish, and to be again, and to bring about this cycle in others.

8. And the Waters did wheel in different ways at Arkay's feet, for he was the King of Circles, that is to say, the story of Life and Death in the beforetime when Life nor Death were known to the Divines. And so Arkay was the keeper of things to come, and this was a secret sorrow to him.

9. Another spirit came to be, and this was Mara, the Mother, and she came forth from the idea of growth, of how the spirits did coalesce and grow, and from the love Akatosh had felt for the spirits yet unborn. And also she was born from the workings of Arkay, who dreamt of the Beginning and the End, and in this then she was always the Beginning.

10. And she was twin to Arkay, born in the same space of the Hours, but while he grew enamored with the Circle's gentle tyranny, Mara shied away from it, saying: "I know this path, for I can see its circumference, the whole breadth of the walk of the world. It leads back only to the Beginning, which is a pleasant place, but the path of your making is long and tortuous. Better to stay, and nurture the place of one's choosing, and I choose the place of Life, and from my feet will spring the place of Life".

11. And first Mara found solace within herself, filling the empty, and the life she brought forth rose from the waters and threw itself down to become a dream of the earth, which gave solace to the spirits, and was a place to rest and gather strength, to build homes and lie down to rest, and lie down to give pleasure. And then Mara came unto Akatosh and elected him her love, whom she taught to drain the stones.

12. But Arkay refused the warm and heavy land, and lived on the waters which carry the dead, and he looked at the valleys of the earth and saw graves, pits that swallow life and keep it. So all who seek rest and refuge from Arkay's circles look to bury themselves in the earth of Mara, to cling to the mother. But the wise man will follow the river to life's end, where he will find life anew, and true and joyful it will seem to him. Those who bury their bones in the earth are held for but an hour's breadth, for in all things Mara's grasp will slip, and they too will follow the Waters.

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Verse 13-16: the Birth of Knowledge
13. The Beginning Place grew sharper, and under the benevolence of Mara there were born not only the spirits, but new ideas and dreams, also. And all were overwhelmed by these new thoughts, which came between them and constricted them, and could not be held, nor cherished, without the secrets of knowing, of knowledge, and of insight.

14. Then from the space between the whispered word there was born Julianos, of Incantations, who knew of knowing, and was a teacher, too. And Julianos was a spirit of wisdom and knowledge, and he made all wisdom and knowledge his domain, to instruct, and give the gifts of wisdom and knowledge. His children were Learning, and Insight, and the solace of Memory. Julianos knew all of the Beginning Place, and freely gave his knowledge to others, and under his tutelage all other spirits did grow in splendor.

15. But Julianos grew attached to two ideas, whom he cherished as children, and taught more than all he knew. The first of these was Has-Mora, a darkling idea, and a quick and eager student. Has-Mora knew all of his teacher's words, but desired more still, so that he grew to love the unthinkable, and the false, and at long last he invented the Lie, and for this he was banished to the Outer Darkness. And there he waited an age and more, until in the Hour of Creation he returned, and stole many things not meant to be, and became a keeper of forbidden things.

16. The other was a spirit named Magnus, who was born from the blind energies and fed on them, and he too learned all of Julianos' words. But Magnus cared not for wisdom and knowledge, but only for the abstract and the ideal, the schematic and the formula. He set about to draw and plan the knowledge of the Beginning in lines and figments, and forgot the truth of substance. For in the Beginning Place, substance was a dream, and all in nature was a figment and a dream, and Magnus grew to overshadow Julianos, and the student grew to overshadow the master.

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Verse 17-20: the Roar of the Void
17. Noisy and crowded did the Void of the Beginning become, and the gods drew idle breaths, and could not speak, for the world was arid, and for lack of air the Waters would have ceased, and for lack of air all would have fallen silent. The Beginning Place then was pierced and frayed in search of sustenance, and the Outer Void reached and seized the hearts of the gods.

18. There from the roar of the Divine did spring forth Kynareth, returning the masculine breath, and she filled the world of the Beginning Place with her presence, carrying sound and water to and fro, and by her will there was air to wall the waters, and a sky to connect the world's forces. And the spirits of the air, the chorus, flew aloft and knew their hierarchies.

19. And Kynareth sprung from one end of the Void of the Beginning to the other, and where she touched the Waters they followed her in crashing waves, and where the touched the land of Mara it rose in sharpened peaks, and so she imbued in all the works of the Divines the sense of majesty.

20. Yet Kynareth was ever restless and dissatisfied, as she quickly grew to know the walk of the Beginning Place from one end to the other, and desired ever more. Her restless mind turned to nightmares and madness, and nightmares and madness sprung from her eyes and fled to the far corners, giggling spirits by name of Vaer-Em and Shegg-Et, who are cursed by all right-minded folk.

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Verse 21-24: the Eye of the World
21. Then came the spirit of Dibella, who was a capstone to the dream of others, for she as soon spoke as saw the world, and said: "This is good, and you have done well. Each of you has elected to be, and to become, and has become a thing of Beauty, and what you have made has become a thing of Beauty." And from her lips fell the words of Beauty, which was true in essence and appearance, and ever since the spirits strive for Dibella's favor.

22. And as in word and deed she was mystery, and many things of mystery she brought forth, and in her shadow a spirit of nightly whispers was born, a thief of luster and night-gold, and between her tongue and teeth a spirit of fading light and breaking beauty was born, who said nothing, but thought of many things, and held secret desires.

23. All spirits did covet Dibella's favor, and also the spirit of Magnus did covet Dibella's favor, and for her he built an idea of lines and symmetry, which is to say, a secret hand that shapes the world in pleasing patterns. And Dibella rejoiced in this gift, and granted Magnus a single boon,fire, for she was the progenitor of fire, and fierce light and heat, too. And Magnus was the custodian of fire and light, though in the late hour this light would desert him, and fall from his heavenly sphere to torment the world of the living things, and then the light was a tyrant, and a cruel enslaver of men.

24. Dibella was a perceptive spirit, and in time she grew to dislike the Beginning Place, even before the Word of Shezarr she was in opposition, and voiced her dissatisfaction. She would see the flaw in the works of others, and say to them: "you, great spirits who have dreamt of a thing to be, have dreamt of things in motion, which is another word for decay. Our world will not stand, and I relish the hour we break, but I also know that things as they stand will falter, and much that is beautiful will perish. I love you, brothers, but I curse you, too, for in your plans you have not thought of loss and the end." And the other spirits were puzzled by this, as they could not yet conceive of loss and the end.

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Verse 25-: the Measurer
25. But even in her not-yet-grief Dibella was above all a joyful spirit, and the Beginning Place did echo with her moans. From her Beauty the spirits learned to know the worth of things, and from worth they learned to know value, and from value came forth Zenithar, the provider of our ease, who of all things knows the values. He then knew of the wheels and workings in a way than none other knew, and he set about to count and measure the Beginning Place, until he was knowledgeable of all that moves and works, that is transmitted.

26. And Zenithar spoke: "From this place in the absence of places, there can be no growth, for there is neither the spark of creation nor the boldness of the new. Here, we can rule, and we are rulers, and rulers we shall be. But mark, spirits of the fold, that you who praise this state and wish for no weight, may never ask for more than this, not the hand on the laborer's back, not the strain of work or the pleasure of things well-gained. For in this place such things will not come about."

27. And Zenithar was displeased with the Void of the Beginning, and the serenity of his peers, though he could not conceive of the solution. And he became a reclusive spirit, whose self was denied in blissful tranquility, and his true worth was not to be seen until the Hour of Creation.

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Verse 28: enter, Mercy
28. The Last of the great spirits was Stendarr, who was born of compassion, and was compassion, and moved the others to feel compassion. His, too, was the sphere of mercy, though there was little use of mercy in those, the first of days. But Stendarr was ever concerned with the fate of the lesser, the spirits who knew not growth, and moved others to pity them. But his part in the early days was small, and he spoke little, saving his voice for the coming hours, when there was much to regret, and wherever men suffered they cried out for the hand of Stendarr.

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Verse 29-31: the Obscured Spirits
29. There were many other spirits, the spirits of the Daedra and the spirits of the Elves, but of these we know nothing, for they speak of things that are not of Man, and the rules they bring to bear on the world do not apply to us, and their will and commandments are obscured to us.

30. Know then, the spirits of the Daedra, greater and lesser, some had come forth from the workings of the Divines, and some had come from the Outer Darknes, biding their time, and some had come from strange angles, knowledge of whom falls under the edict of Akatosh: know not! And these spirits were enamored with darkness and nothingness, and so they came to live in the outer places of darkness and nothingness, and they live there still. When they speak, listen, and show them respect, for these are your master's cousins, but ever remember that they have no claim over you, and the man who submits to their will is a wanderer.

31. Know then, the spirits of the Elves, who revel in their own weakness, and are ever dissatisfied with their part in the place of the living. Do not listen to their moaning, for they would seek to lead you astray, and take you back to the Void of the Beginning, to an age of no time, and no life or death, of no knowledge or wisdom, a stifling place without the breath of life, where no beauty, no worth, and no mercy are to be found, anywhere. They are the gods of not things, and of the blind reachers. They are loathsome and evil spirits, and they have cost us dearly, in the long red hours of slavery, and hardship.

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Verse 0: the advent of Absence
0. The spirit of Shezarr, too, came about, and she was an ambitious and warlike spirit, who saw the world and thought it not enough. And she perceived that Akatosh was pleased to let things be, and the spirits were pleased to let things be, and those who were displeased had not the acumen, the heart to change their ways. And Shezarr lay silent for a long time, and walked far among the outer regions of the Beginning Place, and further still, until there was no path to walk, until there was no such things as walking. There she turned and saw the shape of the world, that which is. And she conceived an even greater shape, a place she called the World Entire, a crucible of growth and the spark of creation, for a soul to become more than anything else, anything that ever were. And this idea was to be the end of the Beginning Place, and much joy and sorrow were to come from it.

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