Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Writing Practice: Day 4 (Mythology)

Pain, all alone, knows no dreams, resting in a void of itself
Sorrow's tears and sobbing silenced, burdens lost forever more
Muse, unseen, inspires our greatness; Death then takes it all... away

Excerpted from
Musings On Universal Origins, and the Nature of Existence
authored by "The Scholar Unbound"

At the beginning of time, the universe was perfectly balanced.  All was made up of a single, primordial element, and all energies were spread evenly-- there were no stars, there was no void, there was no creation.  There is no true birth of a universe, they always were, and always will be.  The undiscovered, infinite universes are the play-toys of gods.  Sometimes they work in unison, sometimes alone.  Rarely do they work subtly-- for the beings which we call "gods" are almost omnipotent, almost omniscient, almost omnipresent in universes that they claim for themselves.  Where they yearn, worlds are created.  Where they rage, universes are irrevocably damaged.

But being this powerful does not put them above the petty desires we so closely associate with mortals.  Debauchery, cruelty, avarice, and what not are not unique to the natural denizens of the universes-- they are universal concepts, in the sense of them being in every universe.  Some of the gods believe that, in fact, the universes corrupted the more debased members of their kind, rather than the other way around.  The truth is something none can ever know, for the universes are the uncreated, the things that always were and will always be.  Even the gods are younger than the universes which they claim as their own.

Perhaps there is a greater power than the gods out there, guiding the universes in some greater plan.  Or perhaps it's just the fickle hand of chance, with no thought at all, no fate save for what we make for ourselves...


In this universe, one claimed by a god who never gave us his name, the standard creation procedure by the gods was not followed.  He just wanted this particular universe for his own personal playground, after all.  After creating the physical realm for him to enjoy, he began to toy with the metaphysical aspects... turning them in to personifications, one by one.  First he formed Love, the Compassionate, whom he coveted above all else-- and shut her away so that none could have her.  Then he created Pain the Sentinel, as well, intending to do the same thing to her as he did to Love the Compassionate... and yet, he could not have her, for by her very nature the pain he felt from being near her led him to be unable to withstand her.  And so, angry, he collapsed Pain's mind with various tortures, until she became Pain the Autistic, and was not able to interact in any way with the world around her... she lived in a universe in herself, where there was only Pain.

Learning from his mistakes, he then created Valor the Honorable and Rage the Wrathful, then set them against eachother rather than attempt to claim him as his own, all the while continuing his abuse of Love.  The deific arena swelled to include Courage the Inspirational and Pride the King as well, each one fighting for different reasons, and with different methods, all for the god's amusement.  Growing bored still in the endless time before mortals, the god formed a social function to match the warriors arena, and added to it Greed the Lonesome, Sleep the Dreamer, Sorrow the Mourner, and Muse the Unseen.  And yet, this was never enough, and so he mixed and matched each of them to his amusement, and yet despite his abuse, such as his complete control over them that they could not even desire to disobey, never mind actually do it.

Still bored, still restless, the god moved to create mortals, in an attempt to expand his decadent court.  To govern over them, he created Science the Lawgiver, Wisdom the Scholar, Death the Reaper, and then the final one, Hatred the Bloody.  Strangely, however, he was unable to control the minds of mortals as firmly as he could his previous creations, and so they began to converse with them... and give them strange new ideas.  Ideas that were not in his vision of how the universe was to be.  Mortals were always fickle creatures after all, and we still are.  We desired, we raged, we loved, we lived, and we died, no matter what he did to the Living Concepts.  And yet... we also felt pity.  But the god did not desire pity in the universe, and thus never personified that concept.

The universe doesn't work out that way, however.  As Hatred's tortures continued over hundreds of years, its hate turned inward, to self-loathing.  For god hated Hatred, as that is what she was.  So desperate, however, was she to escape her inevitable mind-shattering, that she sought the advice of the mortals.  Not strictly disobeying her master for he could recall her at any time in an instant, she tried to learn how they had survived the divine torment that they had been given.  Upon relating the pains, both physical and emotional, that god was putting her through, she saw the pity in their eyes-- the eyes of the things which crawled in the dirt, which starved and thirsted, which could not even bend reality to their will... and she wept.

The First Rebellion had begun at the instant that Hatred the Bloody had accepted their pity in to her heart, and become Hatred the Pitiful.  It lessened the pain that she felt, and made her feel strong again, as she had when she was first formed.  As she was living amongst the mortals, however, she turned her thoughts to the firstborn, Love... Love, the Compassionate, who cared for everything, and yet was locked away, unable to act on her compassion.  The newborn pity in her heart made her hatred turn outwards, towards the creator.  Taking with her Ictis, the First Knife, an artifact made from stone by the first human to try to work their will upon the world, the first to try to change it in their own image, Hatred confronted god within the arena, calling him out.

Laying before him a list of crimes, she built up the black hatred within her heart to hide the pity that was to truly power her rebellion.  Angered by this rebellion, god struck her down... but she rose up again.  And again, and again.  Moment by agonizing moment, step by futile step, Hatred moved through his divine power much to the shock and awe of her fellows and the mortals that were watching.  Even as the bolts became blasts, and the very essence of creation was turned upon her, she focused on her pity for Love, and pushed her will through Ictis, then plunged it in to god's chest.  At that instant, the mortals were rooting not for god, but for Hatred.  They chose the Deifics over the Creator, and his powers were removed leaving him as nothing but an angry immortal who knew everything in the universe.

This was not enough for Hatred, however.  She fell in to a cold, black rage that frightened even Rage the Wrathful, and literally beat god to death-- something that Death the Reaper thought should be impossible, for god was not within her purview, as a being from outside the universe.  In fact, it should have been impossible, even other gods who had visited this universe were unable to understand how it happened.  Gods themselves could not kill other gods, never mind mortals or other created beings.  This singular instance in all of creation resulted in the gods closing the universe off and investigating it... leaving it to evolve and change on its own instead of at the behest of the gods.

Freed from their obligations, the Deifics honored the mortals for freeing them, and blessed them with their virtues, before fading in to the shadows, to give the mortals freedom of their own.  And so they spread across the world, and over many generations, different cultures became attuned in different ways to different deifics, resulting in the various races.  The ambitious Humans held on to Hope and Pride, while the dour Dwarves held on to Science and Greed.  In their search for meaning, the Elves clung to Wisdom and Sorrow.  The fae Celestials held on to Sleep and Muse, and entered the Deific Forum, while the martial Daemons coveted Rage and Valor and turned the Deific Arena in to their own eternal bloody fighting pit.

Of those remaining, Death continued her eternal vigil, while Courage set out to inspire individuals.  Hatred the Pitiful helped heal Love, whom she had utterly fallen for, and then both of them helped bring Pain halfway back in to the world, so that she knew she was not alone any more.  The smile upon Pain's face was enough to make Sorrow's icy tears turn warm, and make the ever-dour Death crack a smile-- all of them had learned to pity their second sister, punished despite committing no crimes.  As the ages went on, the Deifics found themselves in the same boredom as their dead master did.

This time, it was Pain that provided a solution.  Though she could not properly communicate with the other Deifics, she found that she was able to enter the body of a dying mortal, and make them her Host.  She took their pain, and handed their soul to Death, and found... she could think.  She could talk.  Walking the land as a mortal made her feel happy; even the pains of mortals were like the finest wine compared to the suffering she had gone through trapped in her own mind.  And in the body of a mortal, she approached the Deific Forum and talked to her sisters in great lengths.  Even Death found mortal bodies useful, for they helped her further her understanding of her role.

These experiences deepened the character of each of the Deifics.  Science and Wisdom provided a system through which the Deifics would rotate, spending time as mortals as leisure whenever their duties in maintaining the universe were not backed up.  Hatred was the only exception.  Watching from afar, Hatred felt the loneliness she had before... her duties were twice as demanding as the other gods, and she was unable to keep up.  Her hatred for herself built up once more, bringing her the attention of Sorrow, whom called in the others to intervene.  Science and Wisdom created an automated secretary to fulfill Hatred's duties (and have to continually check upon them, leading to the diminishing of the Elven and Dwarven races), while Sleep and Valor guided the near-catatonic Deific in to the body of a willing mortal, whom Death had empowered with agelessness for this purpose and whom Love had gifted with the will to continue on through the ages until Hatred's recovery.

I still am not sure who this person is.  Is it someone that wallows in self-pity in a tower in a forgotten corner of a world?  Is it perhaps a secret mover of history, empowered by the weakest, yet strongest, of the Deifics?  The historical gold mine that would be this person's brain has long tantalized mortal scholars.  It is my theory that Sleep has made the identity of Hatred's host vanish from the pages of history through influencing the dreams of those who write it, or simply making us not care.  I have only avoided Sleep's attention because my focus is on the Deifics themselves-- I have taken a vow not to research this mortal's identity or nature, in exchange for this information.

Perhaps, some day, the glories or villainies will come out-- perhaps when Hatred the Pitiful has recovered.  Until then, the universe has far too much to study.  The origins of magic is one of them, and I will cover that in my next musings.  As always, I expect these writings to be declared heresy by the Human Church, but the knowledge I seek to disseminate will not be denied, so long as I follow the guidelines that Muse has laid out to me.  May your endeavors be as fruitful as mine.

-- The Scholar Unbound --


  1. An interesting add on to this is the dwarven-elven rivalry, which exists in spite of the obvious friendship of Science and Wisdom. It is not a rivalry that the two Deifics support, however, they are not tyrants, and refuse to be worshiped as gods, either. All of the mortal races are allowed to make their own decisions without judgement from any of the Deifics.

    This was their reward for rejecting god and granting the Deifics freedom, after all. All of the Deifics respect all mortals for this very reason, even if certain Deifics have an affinity for certain races.

    Another comment. The "Spirit of Adventure" mentioned in this storyline is the influence of Courage the Inspirational, who does his work on individuals rather than on mortals as a whole.

    That's about all I think I'll reveal without spoiling the plot.

  2. As another aside, the titles are just that, titles. The Deifics are defined by the emotional concept that they embody, rather than their titles. Admittedly, their titles are just there to make them sound cooler. And I'm okay with that.