I’ve been throwing the names of various deities about for the past several posts, and it occurs to me that it’s probably long past time to provide you, gentle reader, with an accounting of them. Accordingly, I’ll be giving you an overview of the Powers under two separate headings: the Powers of Light, otherwise known as the Anari; and the Powers of Dark, commonly called the Uruqua.
The origins of the Powers was covered in one of my earlier posts concerning the ancient history of Anuru, the World of Light and Darkness. The following material is intended to provide a little more detail, especially for those who might consider playing a divine spellcaster linked to one or another of these individuals.
As a precursor to that, though I need to provide a little clarification in the area of terminology, if for no other reason than to avoid letting things become horribly confused.
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The Ordering of the Universe
All that is, or ever was, once was unified; but when the Forces came into being at the dawn of time, this Unity split into two disunities: the Universe, which contained the Forces; and the Void, which contained nothing, and was an infinitude of emptiness.
All beings in the Universe fall into one of seven Orders. The Orders, from most to least powerful, are as follows:
The Forces. There are only two forces in the Universe: The Light (called Anā), and the Dark, called Ūru. All beings in the Universe flow from one or the other, or from the union of the two.
The Powers. The Powers are the undiluted, unmingled offspring of the Forces. The Children of Anā are called the Anari, or the Lightbringers; they are Bræa, Tîan, Vara, Hara, Esu, Nosa and Lagu. The Children of Ūru are called the Uruqua, the Keepers of the Dark, and they are Bardan, Zaman, Tvalt, Kaer, Morga, Ekhalra and Daesuglu.
The Servants. During the War of the Powers, the Anari and the Uruqua alike sought to bolster their numbers and their strength, and so they created many more beings, like unto themselves but of lesser power. These were called the Minions of Light and Dark. Each of the Powers took a number of the mightiest of their minions and raised them to the statue of Servants; and these answered directly to the Power to which each owed allegiance and obedience. Bræa and Bardan originally agreed to eschew Servants, for each was mighty; but Bardan betrayed this bargain, and took seven Servants, more than any of his siblings. The remainder of the Anari and the Uruqua took each of them three Servants.
The Avatars. In time, the Anari and the Uruqua raised up others of their minions, to hold sway over lesser forces or realms that fell outside of the domains of their Servants, and that yet required supervision. The Avatars thus stood second to the Servants, yet still far mightier than the remainder of the minions.
The Minions. These beings formed the armies of Light and Darkness during the War of the Powers. Like the Powers themselves, and like the Servants and Avatars drawn from among their numbers, the Minions were formed of pure Force, either Light or Dark. The Minions count among their numbers all of the myriad Celestials, Fiends, Elementals and Outsiders that populate the Universe.
The Speaking Peoples. In the Age of Making, Bræa created her Children, giving them three gifts: freedom of will, immortality of spirit, and speech. It was the latter gift that distinguished them within Anuru, and enabled them, in later years, to build mighty kingdoms and empires. Because of these gifts, the Children of Bræa were not constrained by the Forces, or even by the Universe itself, and thus they posed a danger to its very foundations; for in time, they could learn to overcome the laws circumscribing the divisions between the Universe and the Void, and overturn time and being. For this reason, Anā forbade the creation of any more beings of free will, immortal spirit, and speech. Bardan strove against the Ban of Anā for eons; but while he succeeded in acquiring the secrets of speech, he could not overturn the Ban; and thus he was ever unable to create beings of immortal spirit, nor – because he did not himself understand freedom – could he ever discover the secret of creating beings of free will.
Thus the first Speaking Peoples were the Children of Bræa; and after the Light that was in Bræa left her, and was formed into Bræadan, the Lantern of Bræa, her children were sundered, and taken for instruction by her younger brothers, and became known as the Haradi, the Esudi, the Nosadi and the Lagudi. And in latter years these selfsame peoples were called, in the corrupted Travelling Tongue, Elves, Men, Holbytlan and Dwarves.
Before they earned these new names, however, Bardan, acting in treachery and under cover of dark, kidnapped many of these Children of Bræa, and spirited them away; and he tortured and warped them, creating new, fell beings to serve him. And because they came from the Children, these new creatures had speech, though it was foul; and they were of immortal spirit, though that spirit shrieked and wailed within each at the horrors visited upon it; and they had free will, though that will was ever bent to the wishes of Bardan. From Elves, Bardan created the Orcs; from Men, the Ogres; from Halflings, the Gnomes; and from Dwarves, the Goblins. And these new creatures Bardan were called the Dark Children; and Bardan mingled their blood with the blood of his fell beasts and minions, and thereby created innumerable monstrosities and horrors to plague Anuru.
Alone of these fell creatures the Gnomes refused to serve the Darkness, and turned back to the light; and for this reason, the Elves, Men, Holbytlan, Dwarves and Gnomes are together called the Kindred. For though the Gnomes are not Children of Bræa, because they turned to the Light, the Children count the Gnomes as brothers.
The Beasts. Last of all come the creatures of Anuru that do not share the gifts bestowed upon her Children by Bræa, or wrested from them through foul craft by Bardan. Numbered among these are all of the animals of the fields, the birds of the skies, the fish that swim, and the dark things that dwell far underground.
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(More on cosmogony and the characteristics of the Powers, the Servants and the Avatars in forthcoming posts)