Gods and Empires
The First Age
The oldest stories all agree that there were originally five Elder Gods, and they are named Aegwyn, Lithos, Neira, Aeris and Pyros. As the stories go, the five awoke and found Faeregoth to be a harsh, yet beautiful world covered by icy seas, towering mountains, rivers of fire and fierce winds. As they raced to explore the world, each sought to claim dominion over the world, and so they fell to quarreling among themselves…all save for Aegwyn, who was counted the eldest of the Five and wanted no part of such petty disputes. The fighting continued for ages, and it was said that mountains rose and fell, fiery rivers flowed across the land, while seas boiled and turned into clouds that rained back down upon the ground. At last, Aegwyn grew weary of the dispute and sought to bring peace to her Siblings who finally agreed to submit to her mediation. The four would divide up the very foundations of the world, and each would have dominion over part of the whole. Lithos, being the oldest of the four, chose first and claimed the mountains and the Earth, from the most towering peaks to the deepest caverns. Neira pointed to the lakes and the oceans, claiming the Water for her own. Aeris was next, and she was content for she had become enamored with the blowing winds and so made her domain the Air. Pyros, youngest of the Five, felt jealous of his siblings and claimed that he was cheated of his due. He was especially envious of his brother Lithos, for Pyros had also wanted to claim the Earth for His own. Filled with rage, Pyros claimed the rivers of fire that freely flowed both over and under the ground, and then left the company of his siblings to nurse his anger and jealousy in private.
The remaining three then looked to Aegwyn, asking what she would choose since there seemed to be nothing left. Aegwyn thought for a long while, looking upon each of her remaining siblings and out across the empty land before finally answering ‘Life’. With that, Aegwyn spat upon the ground and caused a giant tree to spring forth. She called this tree Ais’ildur, the Tree of Life, and there beneath its canopy she began to form a garden which she filled with all manner of wondrous flora which spread throughout the world. The others looked on in amazement, awed by the beauty of that their Sister had wrought. As her garden continued to grow, Aegwyn began to fill it with all manner of creatures that climbed and crawled and leaped and ran. As the three continued to watch, she then delighted them by crafting creatures that swam and flew and burrowed beneath the ground until at last they clamored for her to show them how they might follow her example. Even Pyros returned, seemingly repentant of his earlier anger and curious about Aegwyn’s works. At last Aegwyn relented, and showed them how to gather up a bit of Material and breathe Life into it. Thus were born the Elementals, the first true servants of the Gods, who were soon followed by all manner of celestial beings. For a time the four were appeased and Aegwyn returned to the solitude of her Garden while the others saw to their domains.
So there was peace in Faeregoth and the Elder Gods tended to the world with patience and care, aided by their servants, until tensions arose once more. Lithos and Pyros both found that they desired companionship, and often sought out the company of their sisters, but both of them shared a particular fondness for Aeris, a fair and beautiful Goddess and the youngest of the three sisters. Though flighty and whimsical, Aeris soon came to care deeply for Lithos and allowed herself to be taken to his bed. From their union came the Goddess Enowen, the first of many children to be born of Lithos and Aeris. Enowen was a beautiful girl, full of Life and Light, who found great joy in helping her aunt Aegwyn tend to her Garden and their learned many secrets as well. This only served to enrage Pyros against his brother all the more and filled his heart with envy. In this he found common cause with Neira, who had long harbored a secret desire for Lithos, and so for a time they sated their desires together. From their tryst came a son they named Azoth, but so tainted was their union by anger and jealousy that Azoth’s heart grew dark and everywhere he went he brought Death and Darkness until at last Aegwyn forbid him to come near her Garden. Neira and Pyros grew so discontent, and their hearts held such anger, that together they devised a scheme to trick their siblings. Weaving powerful magics, Neira and Pyros disguised themselves as Aeris and Lithos and each sought out the object of their desire. Neira seduced Lithos and eventually bore a child of him that she named Othos, hoping that she might at last win his heart for her own, but upon learning of her deceit, Lithos cast Neira out of his halls and wept at his mistake. Neira, her heart broken, abandoned young Othos in the wilds of the North where he eventually came to claim dominion over the ice and frozen lands, an area long disputed by his mother and father. A strong and powerful God, Othos sought always to keep the balance between his Father and Mother, and eventually became a a firm champion of Order. Meanwhile, Pyros approached Aeris disguised as her lover, but so great was his desire that he betrayed himself and Aeris turned him away in disgust. Enraged beyond reason, Pyros fell upon Aeris and took her by force before fleeing Lithos’ wrath. A daughter was born of this undesired union, and Aeris named her Ashara, which means change. Willful and unpredictable, Ashara eventually came to claim the deserts and arid lands as her own. She remained ever torn between her parents, seeming one moment as flighty and whimsical as her Mother, and the next flying into a rage worthy of her Father, until she came to represent the forces of Chaos.
Thus the circle of Elder Gods was complete. None forgot what had transpired, and though there remained little love between Lithos and Pyros, and and Neira felt naught but envy towards her younger sister, the Elder Gods held great respect for one another and so they maintained the peace. Such was not true among the Younger Gods, however, for Azoth harbored a deep resentment towards the Elder Gods that simmered and grew stronger as time past. He despised his parents and their abandonment of him, and likewise resented being cast out by his Aunt and shunned by the other Gods. So Azoth bided his time and built his power, waiting for the chance to strike out at those who had wronged him. Eventually, other children were born unto the Gods, both Elder and Younger. Their tales are many and filled with both love and hate, with courage and treachery…too many to be recounted here. It is said that their numbers grew and each sought out a place in the world. Many respected Aegwyn’s works and took joy in their beauty, while others reveled in destruction and violence. Many of the latter were courted by Azoth and recruited to aid him in his schemes with promises of still greater power. So passed the First Age, much of it a time of wonder and beauty as the Gods spread across Faeregoth. Long did Azoth bide his time and wait, until at last he could remain patient no longer. Azoth and his followers conceived of a plan to bring destruction to Aegwyn’s Garden and to fell her mighty Tree, which Azoth had convinced them was the source of her power. First, however, he sought to occupy the Elder Gods and thus distract them from his true intent. He did so by disguising some of his allies as followers of his father Pyros and sending them to launch an assault upon the followers of Lithos. As expected, Lithos was enraged and quickly struck back at Pyros. As the conflict escalated, many of the Gods took sides and went to war. All the while, Azoth waited and maneuvered until he was prepared to strike. He might well have succeeded, the stories say, had it not been for the intervention of his mother Neira, who had been suspicious of the entire affair and heeded Pyros’ claims of innocence. Upon discovering her son’s true intentions by watching his actions in secret, Neira went to Pyros and Lithos and told them the truth. Furious over being deceived, the brothers joined forces and rushed to Aegwyn’s Garden where they arrived in time to prevent Azoth’s plan. Defeated and captured, Azoth remained defiant and unrepentant, and so deep was his malice that the Elder Gods agreed that he should be cast out of Faeregoth. So, working together for the first time, joined by common purpose, the Five Elder Gods wrought magic greater and more powerful than any seen before or since. Together they banished Azoth and his followers to the darkness of the Void and forbade them from returning to Faeregoth.
So ended the First Age, also known as the Age of the Gods.
-From the Historical Writings of Oldeth Dawnsinger, Scribe of Eldoth