This is the creation myth of my upcoming (and currently untitled) novel. Enjoy!
In the beginning, the earth had not yet been shaped by the gods, nor had men and women yet come into being. There were no cities or fields or rivers or mountains. The world was a flat plain of gray dust, and there was nothing but silence.
Ages passed, and the world grew darker. The dust became a sea of mud, and the mud hardened into clay. The clay grew hard and cracked, and from the cracks sprang the first of the gods, Ryastre.
Ryastre was a craftsman, so he took a lump of clay and shaped it in his image. But the clay was lifeless, so Ryastre breathed life into it, creating man. The man opened his eyes and saw the world around him. He was Vaedis, the first of the human race.
But Vaedis was alone, and he had no one to talk to. So Ryastre took a lump of clay and molded it into a woman, and then breathed life into her. She was Amaryllis, the mother of humanity.
The two humans looked at each other, and they were happy. They were lonely no more.
But Ryastre was lonely himself, for he had no one to talk to but his creations. So he created the gods: Niavara, the goddess of water; Keldar, the god of war and fire; Almindra, the goddess of wind and storm; Liriel, the goddess of love; Ondur, the god of wisdom; and Lyth, the god of death.
Together, the gods created more creatures to inhabit their world: the birds and the fish; the deer and the bears; the wolves and the foxes; all manner of creatures great and small.
Then, they created the trees and the flowers, and the mountains and the valleys. They shaped the rivers and the seas, and the sky above. And finally, they made a place for themselves to dwell: a great city called Eiras, which rose up from the plain like a jewel of glass and stone.
Although their new world was vast and wild and full of wonder, there were some who were still not content. Liriel witnessed all of humankind worshipping Ryastre for his power, thanking him for their short lives. She saw Almindra praised for the winds that filled their sails and cooled their brows. She watched as Keldar was called upon for the light and warmth of fire, the vanquishing of enemies. She saw mortals sacrificing to Niavara to bring the rains that nourished their crops and quenched their thirst. And she was jealous. She, the goddess of love, was not being worshiped. She, the goddess of love—who saw cities rise and crumble; who saw lovers meet and part; who saw the bonds of family and friendship—was ignored.
So she devised a plan. She would create a being that was better, more perfect than all of humankind; one that would love her unconditionally, the way the humans did Ryastre.
But Liriel knew she could not do this alone. Only Ryastre had the power to create new life without the aid of the other gods. Liriel needed help, so she enlisted her lover and the wisest soul she knew: Ondur. He understood her needs, her pain, and though his reservations were great, Ondur could not deny Liriel her desire. Yet, still, the two could not fulfill Liriel’s greatest hope without one crucial piece: Lyth, the god of death, for it was Lyth who could grant them the gift of immortality. So they went to Lyth, and they begged him for his help. They promised him that his name would be sung by the greatest of bards, that his name would be praised by all.
But Lyth was not so easily swayed. He had seen the world grow from a flat plain of dust to a vast and wondrous place, and he did not want it to change. But Liriel and Ondur were persistent, and in time, Lyth relented. He would grant them their wish, but there was a price: the first child of their creation would be his, and she would be his companion as he reaped the souls of the dead.
Liriel and Ondur agreed to the terms, and they set to work. his terms. Under the light of a full moon, the three gods came together to manifest their creation: the Fae. More perfect than any human, Liriel made the Fae beautiful beyond poetry, and stronger than any man, with hearts bursting with love for each other and for their creators. Ondur, wishing to help the Fae navigate their assuredly complicated relationship with humankind, gave them knowledge that no human could ever hope to master: the knowledge of magic. Lyth, desiring companionship along his lonely path to bring death to the world, granted them immortality. Ondur shaped a being with Ryastre’s tools, and Liriel breathed life into her, filling the Fae’s heart with her own passion. This is how the Fae came to be, but it was not long before their secret was found out.
Ryastre was enraged when he discovered what they had done, and he was especially furious with Ondur for giving the Fae the power of the gods. Ryastre summoned his strength and banished Ondur from the world with one decisive blow, condemning him to a realm he called the Ethyrion. This forever separated the gods of love and wisdom, and ensured that humans would live in ignorance for all of eternity.
Then, Ryastre set his eyes upon Liriel. Terrified of what she had done and the consequences of Ryastre’s rage, Liriel fled to the mountains on the other side of the world, grief-stricken and ashamed.
Finally, it was Lyth who would pay the ultimate price. With Ondur and Liriel gone, he had no allies. No friends to help him. No one to protect him from Ryastre’s fury. Lyth and Ryastre fought for twenty days and twenty nights, the sounds of their battle echoing throughout the land like thunder, while Keldar, the god of war, watched with delight and urged them on.
But the two gods, one of creation and one of destruction, were too evenly matched. Almindra and Niavara knew they must intervene or the entire world would crack apart and shatter. Summoning a storm whose power was unlike any seen before, the goddesses of storm, wind, and water forced the two gods apart, pulling them from each other with fingers of hail and lightning.
Ryastre found himself losing his only chance to exact revenge on Lyth for his betrayal. Just as the two were separated from each other’s grasp, Ryastre plunged his hand deep into Lyth’s chest and pulled his heart from his body, casting it into the raging storm. Devastated and broken, Lyth fled into the night, heartless and alone.
Their creations, the Fae, knew they could not remain or else they, too, would be crushed by Ryastre’s fury. So, they fled. The Ethyr retreated into Ondur’s realm and became masters of the knowledge he bestowed upon them. The Seelie escaped into the mountains to console their grieving goddess, and teach the humans how to love unconditionally. And the Drow, loyal to Lyth, fled into the woods. They were led by Lyth’s companion, Nysia, and they searched the seas until they found his lost heart.
It was still beating when they found it, and it was as beautiful as the day it was created. Nysia took the heart and preserved it inside a glittering crystal, and the Drow guarded it with their lives.
But Ryastre was not finished, and he would not allow the Fae to flourish in his world. He sent Keldar to provoke a war between the Drow and the Seelie, hoping that the Fae would destroy themselves and leave him to rule over a world without magic. But because the Fae were immortal, they could not die. So Ryastre then approached Nysia and offered to build her a prison made from the Heart of Lyth, and Nysia agreed. The Drow waged a terrible war, for which the Seelie were not prepared, and the Drow were victorious. The Seelie were imprisoned within the crystal walls of the prison, and their magic was bound by Ryastre’s will.
The Drow, having turned their back on Liriel and the Seelie, were unable to love and unable to have children. In the end, Ryastre succeeded in weakening the Fae, but ultimately they still survived.
The world was changed forever as a result of this feud. The Seelie and the Ethyr were banished, and the Drow were left to wander the earth alone. And Lyth still rests, licking his wounds. It is said that one day, he will return to claim his heart and exact his revenge.