The Silent Witness (Published)

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And so it began. Motiňa and Tengër rode out on their gold and silver chariots steered by minor godlings towards the boundaries of Evertheen. Stepping out of their chariots, they walked towards the outskirts and gazed down upon a pitiful sight. A land that was once abundant with life and energy now lay in ruins, with most of the land sunken in the sea. The land was covered with thick, coarse black sand and the sea churned with dense, murky sludge.

Barathorn. Motiňa’s pride and joy that lasted for five hundred thousand years. Tengër kept a respectful silence until she was ready to do what was needed of them.

Before they began, they heard a chariot coming from behind. Kafshëva drew in the reigns, dismounted, and walked over to join them. Before she spoke, she gasped when she saw what was below them. A land with no colour, no sound, no wind, no life. Nothing.

Kafshëva had completely forgotten what Barathorn looked like after its destruction. Had it been so long that she forgot the sympathy she felt for the inhabitants long gone?

Looking around Evertheen, the edgings of the Metropolis had waterfalls that disintegrated into mid-air, accompanied by soft aurora lights serenely dancing around in no specific sequence. It had a mind of its own, but Barathorn? She looked up at Motiňa and, taking her hand, she gently said, “Come sister, let’s make Barathorn thrive again!”

Half smiling, they stood at the edge where three platforms appeared, one for each of them. It then spanned out as they hovered over Barathorn. Motiňa stretched her arms out, palms facing downwards and with a command, she spoke, “Hear me, oh Barathorn! Rise above the sea and be reborn!”

At that moment, Barathorn began to shake with a tremor and slowly, but surely, rose at the same time disintegrating the course, black sand. Motiňa gestured with her hands as if she were sketching the territories. Afterwards, in one hand, she held a green fire ball, and in the other, a brown one. She tossed the green one towards Barathorn and as it struck the land; grass, forests, flowers, shrubs, and all other kinds of plants rose from the ground and spread across the lands. She then hurled the brown fire ball and from this, mountains, hills, and plains began to form. The sound that came from each fire ball was deafening.

Tengër took out what looked like lapis lazuli pebbles and threw them into the murky waters. Instantly, the waters began to bubble and rose high above, covering the entire lands of Barathorn, as if washing away the last remaining stains from the previous age. When the water receded to the sea, it was blue and bustling with all sorts of creatures of the sea. The water that remained turned into dams, rivers, and waterfalls as well as fresh drinking water for mortals and animals while the seas turned salty.

In her hand, Kafshëva had a handful of various coloured gemstones. She scattered them all over Barathorn and within a few moments, the gemstones began to grow and transform into all kinds of living creatures.

Tengër put his hand on Motiňa’s shoulder and remarked, “Well my dear, Barathorn will be thriving once again! A brand new, fresh start!”

With a grim smile, Motiňa replied, “Yes, but will it be the same for mankind?”

* * * * *

Returning to the throne room where all the other gods were now present, they gathered round the Silent Whisper. Zethër stood for a moment, staring into the waters, and without saying a word, he stretched out both hands, palms facing down and the waters began to simmer. Mist rose and took on the form of a shapeless cloud, twirling around slowly around the form. Olěnd waved his hand in a semi-circular gesture and the cloud began to take an outlined shape of a human being just under two metres tall.

“Well, at least you aren’t making humans as tall as us when they lived in the First Age,” Vězra muttered to her husband, who pretended not to hear her.

Only then did Olěnd announce, “Mankind’s form is ready. After our discussions: between myself, Zethër and Ismińa, humanity won’t be immortal, as was the case during the First Age. They will have three stages in their lives: birth, life, and death. A man’s lifespan will be roughly one hundred years. Each of you will bestow a gift that will become the foundation to their rise.”

The gods walked around the Silent Whisper and one by one spoke their invocation. The following was given:

Vězra gave the ability for mankind to recognise the seasons and to create provisions to see them through the harsh winters.

Tengër filled the seas and dams with all kinds of fish that would provide them with food.

Remesló, to teach mankind the art of building and create objects that will be of use for civilization, to grow and flourish just as Færró would teach them how to make music.

Sërafinn and Sælev were tasked to refashion both the sun and moon that were encased in the Void.

Samrósa gave the magic of love, not only for couples and families but to care for those in times of need.

Ismińa would bestow upon man wisdom, knowledge and implement justice systems.

Kafshëva provided animals for man to eat, but she warned everyone present that the animal kingdom was to be balanced. Animals would not be killed for amusement and sport. All swore they would uphold her request.

Everyone then turned and looked at Verontó.

“What?” he snapped. “What in the name of… me, should I give? Peace?

Vězra gave him a hard look. “My son, allow man to defend themselves and to protect their families should danger ever arise. War should not be necessary, but it also can’t be helped. In my opinion, war should be the last resort for whatever the reasons may be.”

There were whispers of agreement and Verontó reluctantly gave his blessing.

Zethër finally turned to Færró. “Go. Release the four winds and let them scatter this shape across Barathorn. Once this form touches the land, its features will take shape, male and female alike. They will have within them the powers we have instilled.”

Færró bowed and left the throne room. And with that, the council of the gods ended and so began the Second Age of Man.

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