De esas cenizas, fénix nuevo espera;

Mas con tus labios quedn vergonzosos
(que no compiten flores a rubíes)
y pálidos, después, de temerosos.

Y cuando con relámpagos te ríes,
de púrpura, cobardes, si ambiciosos,
marchitan sus blasones carmesíes.

Francisco de Quevedo

domingo, 12 de junio de 2016

Chapter 2: Necromancia: The First Era

Click here for the spanish version!
Da click en el enlace previo para leer la versión en español!

Here is the link to the Kindle version of the novel, avaliable just in spanish by now. 

This chapter deals with the basic lore and mythology that fuels the world of Úrim and everything that happens in Necromancia: The first Era. I hope that you enjoy it!

Translation is set to end around july 31 of this same year :)

2. Ginnungagap, Creation, Protohistory and Regenesis

What I have gathered after covering most of the mythology of Úrim is that all races agree in something: beyond the stars we see at night and the planets that have been discovered past the moon, Nibiru and Antichthón, our mirror planet at the back of the Sun, there is an infinite nothingness.

All that exists now in the surface and the deeps of Úrim, according to the myths of old, was born into the Great Void Ginnungagap and at some point in time, everything will return in the end. In the tongue of the Sons of Ivaldir, Ginnungagap means the Yawning Abyss. Some other names have been given to it: Primeval Abyss, the Great Yawn and, finally, some people call it The Great Devourer. A lot of legends claim that the Black Hole has devoured a hundred galaxies and planets on its path. Ginnungagap, it is believed, is the beginning and the end of each and all universes.

Be that as it may, the myths do agree in this: At some point, a word manifested itself inside the Ginnungagap, and from it the almighty will of Kósmon was born. Kósmon, the God, the Only One, the Great Father had given birth to himself inside the Void, and his existence, born from the debris of countless planets and stars, made the Abyss come to an almost complete halt. Kósmon noticed he had the power of creation, and that every word he uttered was different from the past one. Kósmon, the Divine Spark, the great Maker, was the first entity in the universe with a will, and he filled the Void with planets, moons and stars and set in motion the universal machinery. It gave its laws to physics and to magic its power, linking it to the Ginnungagap. From it, magic would drain its power, and the void would return a part of what it had consumed in its life.

With a second, greater effort he created a world and he named it Úrim, and set apart sky from the earth and the sea; he divided light from the darkness and established the four elements. According to the myths, in this gigantic continent untouched by water, their creatures thrived. Finally, Kósmon, in a great love act, created all the races in the world, to the image of some of the materials found in the world: some, like orcs and dwarves, were created from creatures that lived in the mud; giants were raised and embodied from deep beneath the sea. Men were made out of fire and elves from the wind. Those primitive creations were granted a soul, an agent that animates matter and that could or could not return to the Ginnungagap, from where they were extracted in the first place. Kósmon noticed that with each passing second, he had to make a greater effort to make things happen. The more tongues he created, the more difficult it was for him to remember each one. His energy started to fade and, though he could have stopped everything, it would have meant to freeze his creations forever. The Maker knew that the day would come when he would sleep forever. But he was happy with the races and the order he brought to the universe– to the Cosmos.

Giants, divided in both males and females, represented the creation’s highest thoughts. Dwarves, which were closer to earth, represented the life cycle of plants: The seeds germinated on the earth’s womb. They also represented patience, since only through it could the legendary, golden, diamond-like shine halls of Bael-Ungor be born. It is said that the machines and forges there shadowed even those crafted on our own era. Orcs and Humans represented the vital spark of things, the principle of movement; a constant that has led them to war, destruction and greed. Elves were the middle ground of creation. They understood all of this, but they were not inclined to any of it. Kósmon saw the essence of each race, satisfied, and created mirror images of them and called them Guardians: Odin for Dwarves; Nut for the Elves; Quetzalcóatl for Men, Yog-Sothoth for Orcs and Ishtar for the Giants. Guardians, adored by their people, guided their people to an era of glory but, as Kósmon himself, they became tired. This mythical era in which gold rained, the moon moved freely and Kósmon, the Guardians and Úrim’s races spoke with each other as children do with their parents is called the Protohistory.

But this primeval bliss would not last.

Men and Elves; Orcs, Dwarves and Giants met at the Garden of Kósmon and there was war between them. They all thought that their Guardian was the one true god, and the Guardians, confused, surrounded by screams and blood, filled with pride. Brothers fought brothers and became each other’s curse. Guardians thought of themselves as the One True Maker and disregarded Kósmon, for their power was too great. Mothers ate their children and fathers interbreed with their daughters. No distinction was made between the dead and the living, which were deprived of flesh and effects. And there came a three-cycle winter called Fimbul which covered the hearts of all immortal races of Úrim. Many creatures died and the world was purged of any and all vestiges of compassion and love. Kósmon, who was already too tired, saw all this and wept. Then came the Protowar.

The dwarven skald Radsvinn Ivaldsson, a Protohistory enthusiast himself, wrote in a stone tablet —known as the Tablet of the Past— who he then gifted to his son, Einar Radsvinnsson, the following text:

The land of Eisgrind, previously named Grinland, was home to as many trees and animals as the Glitnir forest, and its mountains greened with each cycle. From Bael-Ungor to [...] an endless sea of oaks and poplars covered what today is the permafrost of Eisgrind, and the birds sang […] along the beasts of the land. Our fathers met creatures […]. At night, a long row of torches was lit and guided travelers from the entrance of Bael-Ungor to its core. Men and orc alike came to our taverns. The crystals at the caves greeted each day a new wanderer and they did not tire, nor the stones knew how not to rejoice when they met an old, long unseen friend.  At the heart of [Bael-Ungor’s Fortress, deep] within the mountains, a colossal statue […] meter high, in a vault […] the image of our Father Odin. I speak to you, my son, Einar Radsvinsson, of an Era of peace as Úrim will never see again; of the city that we lost, of the creatures of old; of the forests that died buried by our […].

I am not able to tell you, and it is not in my hands to judge who […]. The truth is that the armies of Bael-Ungor did not hesitate in excavating under the forest the pit that would sink it forever; the grave that would extinguish the life of Grinland forever. We did not hesitate in erecting the hills that gave that cursed name, Eisgrind, the Ice Gate, to our land. When Orcs marched from the western coasts, it was as if some wolves had devoured the sun and the moon. Men and Giants lost their way in Fimbul.  Only the Stars, and the Stars alone, could save the Elves and the rest of us from freezing over. We were shielded inside the Mountain’s stony ribs. Ivaldir, my father, forged a mighty war horn which he called Gjallarhorn to […] war. Men […] in Quetzalcóatl’s feathers. We did not know […] Men fired immense fireballs from its entrails. Their power […] to burn for entire days.

Giants diverted an entire sea and the forests of Grinland started to wither away. […] the enormous desert of the South. But it was not them who razed […] Grinland. 15,000 dwarves dug every day and every night. They dug until their hands bled and […]. 2,000 kilometers to the south they dug and three to east and west; they dug until Nut, [infuriated, made stone] impenetrable and they could advance no more. However […]. Everything was a giant tunnel web that held the trees’ roots as ceiling. And a thousand times [7,000 chains] were forged, […] tree was chained together. And we created a gigantic machine —as big as Bael-Ungor’s own entrails— to pull them all with a single move. The Men of the East attacked and they were stopped by the bjørn.[1] Wave after wave crashed in our crags […]. When the first enemy touched the base of the mountain Bael-Ungor, Gjallarhorn was blown. We activated the machine and we let the mountain slide over them. And the device devoured the chains […] the foundation of the forests itself, dragging the bodies of our attackers. Seven million lives ended in an instant. We had defended our home, though we lost, for all eternity, the [comfort of the forest.] For Odin did not allow trees to grow again, so that we understood the true nature of our actions. The [primeval] forest that covered the whole continent of Úrim was divided and in its place were left the southern Sharran desert, Glitnir and Eisgrind, the ice gate. From then until now, a thousand cycles after the [Gjallarhorn was blown], we have endured the perpetual winter of Eisgrind.

The recovered stone tablet quotes sources now gone from the surface of Úrim and all of its continents. Kósmon wept his children and named this conflict, the Primeval War, —renamed by historians as the Protowar—, a time of Wolves and Axes. Then he washed the hands and the feet of his sons but left their memories untouched so they could remember with a painful amount detail, what they had lost and the damage they caused to the world. He also made death —molded after his own weariness, but greater in degree— to descend upon the once immortal races;  elves, his favorites from above all else, which lived in a blessed garden, were given not bodily death, but systematic oblivion. He punished the Guardians and incinerated them for 21 days straight. On the 22nd day, he mixed the dust of his failed creations and bled his penis over them. And he made them whole again, inferior, enslaved to his will, weaker each day until the day came when they disappeared altogether.

Regenerating valleys, mountains and forest, as well as all the flora and fauna that inhabited them; seeding all the races anew along their Guardians exhausted Kósmon, and he fell in the Sleep of Death that he himself created as a punishment for his sons. Kósmon, the Creator, would sleep forever, and the Guardians would be forced to watch over him and all the races of Úrim. The remake and rebirth of the Guardians is known since as the Regenesis. All mortal races were expelled from Kósmon’s earthly plane and forced to roam Úrim so they sought a life for themselves and so they might be forgiven for their actions.

Almost all historians agree that the Protohistory ends just before the birth of Ivaldir Odinsson. There are two powerful reasons to consider so: First, that the races of Úrim would wander, since then, and would cause conflicts and great world alterations —greater even than those of the Protohistory, of course— and, second that up until that point there are no written records whatsoever. The first witness records of “what happened then” are registries scattered through the First Era. The defeat of Nergal would also fuel an interest for the past. Unfortunately, the dwarves were the only race that kept a fragment of that epoch, written at a time that was far too close to the Regenesis. Humans, orcs and giants lost any memories of this Era of bliss, called bitterly, since then, the Protohistory. Almost everyone forgot what happened after that.

Some events and findings have made most of my peers to reconsider exactly how mythic is, in fact, the Protohistory: the rise of the technomages during the Fourth Era and the Prototypes on the Second one; the discovery of the ruins of Lemuria; the remnants of Bael-Ungor, Uruk, Dhabi, Thorsheim and Jotunheim; the lost registries of the Second Session of the Academy that recount some of the events of the First Era; the resurgence of alchemy —and, for that matter, the verification of some of the most unbelievable recipes recorded in The Chemical Wedding—; the diviners and esoteric and rumors of ghosts in abandoned houses are just some of the hundreds of thousands of daily occurrences. All these seem to be the echoes of an epoch frozen in time that struggles to break a seal.

The following work bounds together in a single tome all that is known about the First Era and the things that happened then.

[1] Bjørns are the dwarves’ finest warriors. Covered from head to toe with steel armors and bear pelts, bjørns were trained since childhood in melee combat as well as offensive geomancy. However, most of what is remembered today about them are legends, such as the one of the mighty dwarf bjørn Hangatyr Nordstein from the Second Era. After the clans Runnenseele and Nordstein separated –this will be narrated in the next chapter–, the bjørn disappeared from the annals of Gal’Naar. They would be rediscovered during the Second Era.

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