Though the lore within the many cultures of Partheus varies greatly from place to place, there is one such telling that speaks true between the most ancient of races - the mowkies. These tellings of the gods and their betters are seen all throughout the known history of the world, dating back thousands and thousands of years. It is said that to hear a mowkie speak of their gods is to hear not but truth. This is what they say:
The great Unvyr is the law of all that is known and not known. It holds together the very fabric of the universe and its many realms. There is none greater than the Unvyr. And one of its many children is known as the Thestimosa, which we know as All and None. An endless abyss of nothingness that spans beyond the realms of comprehension. It was the driving force of our realm, the thing that started us upon the path which we find ourselves still traveling. But the Unvyr could not be satisfied by only one piece of our realm, for it decrees that there must always be a Balance. Upon the demand for such the Thestimosa trembled, and from it sprang a child of brilliant light, white hair shimmering within the nothingness, eyes endless and full of hope.
This being would come to call himself Partheus, Father of Order and Hope. For who had more hope than him to face the endless nothingness alone? And so, he danced around until the Unvyr challenged the Balance again and created loneliness within the heart of the being. Once more, the Thestimosa trembled at the might of the Unvyr, and from the heart of Order and Hope sprang another, her hair a dark mist, eyes soaking in the light of that who she came from.
She would come to be known as Addanyre, Mother of Chaos and Love. For she was created to love Partheus, and her passion always threatened to swallow him whole. For eons, they danced together, she always just about to swallow him completely, he always just a step ahead, dancing in the light.
Their love was insurmountable, and before the Thestimosa could tremble again beneath the weight of the Balance that the Unvyr demanded, they began to create their own. Each formed of the love between them, always causing the Balance to teeter one way or another.
First came the child of strength and steadfastness, Zin, followed by his equal opposite, Hora, whimsical and tempestuous as she was. Following them was Ova, the child of the heat of passion and the warmth of the heart, and her opposite, Emero, who embodied the cool logic of calculation. Caralla came next, the blessing of fertility and light, and her inverse, Maur, who was the usher of fatigue, despair, and shadow. As if to compliment Maur, Von came next, bearing the wisdom often wrought by loss and grief as well as the longevity of those left behind, and his polar, Isla, whose music was that of naivete, grace, and wonder. Finally came Xarinia, the driver of above, the heartbeat that could be heard in the music of the Thestimosa, and Xeon, the blessing of below, that which is known to rest.
With each new addition, the dance of the Thestimosa would increase its speed and rhythm, making the realm wobble like a spinning top. As the circle came to its completion, and all things came to be understood, Partheus wished to give his mate something she could never truly consume. Something that would forever ensnare her with hope and light. At his request, the Thestimosa allowed its first creation to burst from his original form, using the light of his being to create millions of stars that twinkled in the nothingness.
The Unvyr trembled as its Balance shattered within the Thestimosa, and its demand was known. Addanyre wandered, her loss known to all within the realm, and her void began to eat away that which had been created by her beloved. Unable to bear her grief, she, too, gave up her original form, creating the void that consumed the spaces around each star. All that remained of her physical form was a single, black stone in the darkness, its surface smooth and twinkling like a mirror image of its surroundings.
Unwilling to lose that which gave them life, the children of the original two forces, who came to be known as the Kalidyrre, found the mass that was what remained of their Mother and took it. With it, they called upon what remained of their Father, and his wandering spirit answered that which loved him so, coiling around it as though he could protect his ward.
The mass that remained of their Mother came to be known as the first Heart Stone, and within it was the sanctity of Addanyre’s spirit. Softened by the presence of her mate, the stone accepted the spirit of Partheus, and they once again began their dance of Balance, though on a smaller scale. Neither having a true form, they shifted and changed around each other until the Kalidyrre decided it was time to give them a temple to reside in.
One by one, the Kalidyrre blessed their parents. Zin gave the spirits a shell to protect them from the constant tremble of the Thestimosa beneath the demands of the Unvyr. Around the hard armor, Hora created a ward of winds and sky, a bubble to breathe in. Ova helped to move the shell between two stars, the creations of their Father, and used their light to create warmth and make the shell more comfortable. On the surface, Emero created cool, flowing water to help the temperature fluctuate and create weather within Hora’s skies. Caralla created - from the clay of Zin’s shell - creatures that could traverse the shell and keep the precious spirits from falling into a slumber they would never return from. Maur used the creatures to forever keep the shell from drying up and losing its luster, blessing the shell with shadow to allow the clay to return and rejuvenate its maker. Von gave the creatures autonomy and the ability to learn, and Isla the sense of wonder that would keep them ever-occupied with curiosity. But these creatures would not truly come to life without the spirit of the Father, and the youngest twins created a thread of life that flowed ever above and below the shell. Xarinia would pull the threads of spirit into the clay to give them the magic of life, and to keep Partheus’s spirit from diminishing, Xeon ebbed the flow and allowed it to return from whence it came, using the power of his older brother, Maur, to continue the fertility of Zin’s shield.
As all came into existence around the life forces of the original creations, their spirits began to influence the surface, and the first beings sprang to life - not from the mind of Caralla or her sister, Hora, or even from Xarinia, but from the essences of Partheus and Addanyre, themselves. A mighty temple sprang from the land, itself, and within it a treasure most prized: a fountain that changed and shifted with the comings and goings of eons, swirling with the dozens of different dragons, mounted by the mighty firstborn, now known as the Addanyre Dragon.
It is said that each dragon soul originates from this fountain. Flowing from the Heart Stone, itself, their very beings reach out to find a body curled within the tightness of an egg, awaiting the mighty call of their own Mothers.
But dragons were not the only creatures made by the rejoining of the original creations. Still filled with love for her mate, Addanyre continued to create many who would give abundance to the world. As life came to be and trees grew across vast plains, Addanyre fueled life into the stalwart Wickerwood Tree, where the first Mowkie hatched with her sister, Itski. Though their souls still came through the fountain, their forms were vastly different from their cousins, the dragons. Small and able to change shape, Mowkies would forever mold the world with their paws, earning the respect of the truest essences of Partheus, Addanyre, and the Kalidyrre - the Elements, the most basic forms of that which dwelled upon the surface of this new world.
The Kalidyrre relished that which they had created in honor of their parents for many eons, and they enjoyed watching from above that which happened on the surface. But the Thestimosa grew weary of stagnation and demanded that the children challenge the Balance of the Unvyr. Loneliness suddenly filled the hearts of the ten, and they began to take each other as mates.
The firstborn of this was Varon, son of Caralla and Von. Unlike his parents, Varon was not predetermined. He was shapeless, without purpose, and without his shape, he became jealous and enraged. He looked down upon the many creations of the Kalidyrre and the original creations with envy and despair, for they had more of his parents’ love than he did. So, he set to creating his own love.
As he began to mold his creations, other shapeless beings were born of the Kalidyrre. Each one, like the first, had no true identity of their own. While not all had taken to Varon’s rage and envy, each one looked upon something they liked and wished to emulate and chose it as their sphere of power, such as Tarsus, the child of Ova and Zin, creating the three moons, Una, Itsk, and Piora, as a symbol of his devotion to his parents and their contribution to the world below.
By the time Varon garnered the courage to create his own beings, there was plenty of intelligent life upon the surface. The mowkies, though few as they were, had begun entire civilizations, based around the temples that had sprouted upon the creation of the world. Each continent had a temple, and each temple had a clan of mowkies that protected and worshipped it. But beyond the dragons and the mowkies, there weren’t yet beings that could walk as their equals. And so came the vision of Varon, to create a being upon the surface in his own image.
He tried many different ways to create the smooth-skinned varonians, humans by the standards of Earth, but it took him many attempts to get it just right. In his first attempt, the clay he used was filled with the stone of the mighty mountains and thus was too lumpy. From this came the first race of dwarves, short and stocky, too round to be the image of Varon. The next came from clay that had too much water and was imbued with fibers that created a sinewy texture. Out of this attempt came the first elves, with pointed ears, surprisingly tall, lithe bodies, and flowing hair. Though beautiful, they were not what Varon had imagined.
Varon tried desperately in so many different ways. This clay was too red, this one too gray. One had too much sand in it, while another dried too quickly. Race after race after race until he finally found the right one. The varonians were the last of the many humanoid races created by Varon to grace the surface.
But Varon could not destroy that which he had created, as too much of him had gone into these beings, and he had no power over death, try as he might. Instead, he cast them out to search for their own protectors, preferring to keep to that which he considered perfection.
Each of the other races took to another god or goddess. Some even chose to worship many, so that they may have more protectors if the need arose. To many, the Kalidyrre ruled all, but still, the influence of the Exhartuus impacted the many races in ways unprecedented on the surface.
It was the protection of the Kalidyrre that allowed many of the other races created by Varon to thrive upon or even within the thick shell that covered the flowing life force of their Father, and as they thrived, they worshipped ever-more-fervently. Much like their parents, however, the original ten children had finally given up the remnants of their solid forms and thus were no more than spirits, clinging to the familiar world, mere watchers in the skies, controlling only that which they had originally bound to their beloved parents.
That left only the children’s children to have full forms to do with what they pleased, and so those children took to the world as any would a sandbox to play in. Many played with the whims of the mortals, pitting their fears and passions against them and toying with their hearts and minds. Yet the hearts and spirits of the dragons always seemed stronger, keeping the Balance in check. They even began making deals with the younger creations, such as the first Pact being a deal struck between an Addanyre Dragon and Sonia, the bringer of bonds. Since the original deal, however, the Pact has come into its own, breaking away from even Sonia, herself, and controlled only by the spirit of Addanyre.
Still, like always, the Balance always tipped one way or another, and so it was, as millennia continued onward, and the dragons felt naught but the breath of their Mother’s whisper at the back of their minds, like a flickering candle they could never quite reach, some turned away in hatred and despair. How could they do as their Mother bid them when she never spoke? And as war broke out across the surface, some between the different races of mortals, and others between mortals, their toying “gods,” and the mighty dragons, many dragons took out their anger on that which was a representation of all that was not their beloved Mother.
Some went mad. Others sought solitude and hid themselves away. And others, still, decided it best to travel and teach the ways of the world to all those willing to listen. And so, the world has come to be, an ever-swirling fight for Balance, always tipping this way and that but never remaining one way for too long.
Perhaps, that is what the Unvyr wished for, to begin with. Of that, we may never know.