The Dwelling of Sihtreh
The Dwelling of Sihtreh
At the beginning it was Sihd, shape of the All and the Nothing. Eternal and omnipresent force of the Universal Being. From him emerged the primeval Light and Darkness, that took place before time itself was glimpsed and complemented each other. Within this realm Sihd named them, with the binding power of words, as Guardians of Equilibrium; but the true names Sihd pronounced were lost – they became known through the ages as Sihtreh and Neharen. It was them who gave shape and existence to Time and Space. Progressively moulded the Vision Sihd had foreseen in his omnipotent mind. Stars occupied the endless Vastness, planets came to being, life shone in Sihd’s heart and descended to the inhabited land to live by the Will of Sihd. Eras went on, letting the never -ending flow of Light and Darkness dwell. Ages tamed the land, and one day, in the times before myth, Sihtreh gave to his abode a physical form and raised a fortress only accesible to his kind. With time, men came to call it the Castle of Sihtreh.
For the people of Agharo –that historians place within the southern coast where once dwelled the Empire of the North– Time represents the beginning of what it is and what has been. There is upon it a veil of majesty that surrounds it and a cult of secrecy that precedes it. Given the mere existence of the Castle, it would be needed to pause the tale to understand what Time (aurin) in Agharo stands for.
Is it said in the manuscripts that came to us from the days of yore –the first days–, inside the Castle reigned the absence of Time. Within its unknown walls of magic it ruled the overpowering Eternity. It would be wise, however, to go deeper in this thought. To say that it reigned the absence of Time is equal to affirm the existence of all possible times in one instant. Over the façade of the Castle, by the principal door it is written Sure ut surheev aurin - suhrkeev kima. Under this spell those who seize the Light are invited to be part of the most legitimate Gift of Sihtreh –the Eternity. For the Sihtrehan cosmogony there are infinite threads of time occurring simultaneously, but each of them incompossible to the other. From this theory is derived the paradigms of the Fates of Elix, perhaps the most significant incarnation of Sihtreh on earth. Eternity supposes the synchronous existence of past, present and future in that sole state of being, bound together by the Will of Sihd. That which had come to pass, along with that which is and what is come to be, is part of the unspoken instant. The inhabitants of the Castle witness in that very moment the complete and uncorrupted history of mankind. They are witnesses, in their continuous and unsuccessive being, of the birth of the first man on earth –creation from the All-maker and ignorant of the Name–, of the wars from the ancient lands, the conquer of empires, the ultimate extinction that will arrive alongside the death of the last man, Sahelan, at that time when the Age of Gods will return.
Now, this eternity –in which all history of earth is written, from beginning to end– is but an instant, a dot, of a much larger line. Each instant of that mayor Time holds an eternity that possesses the countless destinies of our world; of vast variations, of histories and forks, incompossible to ours, but non the less unimportant. Each eternity is a world. Each of them holds their Gods and their mythologies, with its particular and certain universes. They posses their own degree of evolution and a class bound and determined by their men and species. It is said in the old books that the start of every eternity is shared and unchangeable, and is up to their individuals the shape of the course of each destiny and the progress of it.
Now, it was said that all these eternities are instants of a Mayor Time. There are countless Mayor Times, infinite lines, that hold within themselves immeasurable eternities. The wise-men from the old days state that every line with their infinite perpetuities are the All-Superior God, Absolute Creator, Sihd.
It is known by the old lore and writings that came to be found through history, that the incarnation of the Guardians of the Light on the physical world was changeable, diverse and heterogeneous.
Bearing in mind of the absence of time within the holy walls of the Castle, we can exemplify as follow: Urk comes to the world on the fifth Age, Aeg on the seventh and Par on the ninth. Under a tree of Gibrel, by the start of the Spring of the first Age, Urk, Aeg and Par greet each other as if time never was -for their earthly names might come to swift, but their true nature is incorruptible. The instant they step back in into the mighty Castle they are welcomed by the mighty eternity that strips out every vestige of worldly time and each of them stand at the Door of all doors, from where they can enter History as they please –or rather, as they’re needed.
Thirteen are the Guardians of the Light who inhabit the sacred Castle with their Lord and true Master, Sihtreh. Each of them Master a Power, with their unique design under the Will of Sihtreh –for it exists an oposite abode in which their counterparts dwell responding to the Darkness and his Lord Neharen. There’ll be, however, from each Time (within the Mayor Times) –where the countless eternities conform the totality of parallel existences spelling with their very being the Secret Name of Sihd–, thirteen Guardians Gods, the Chosen Ones, that will sit at the Great Council by the side of the All-Maker on the conceiving of the New World after Time, when the Age of Gods will take place. Of these events is written on the Hioatere Aen, or Book of Truths, known once in possession of Anaximander around the 600 BC, soon lost, then hidden in a museum library in Italy until 1465 AC, when it course changed. More than this is uncertain.
On What this work expounds and the Theory of Thirteen, is spoken further along this text. A prologue to its importance is stated within a fragment of the Teraneil un atar Oren ur ata Siriak_, one of the capital texts on the cosmogony of Sihtreh, that –already on those first days– reads:
“The King’s men came from the North to the sacred lands of Histandat. Contained by the deep solitude of the Mountains sought for the ultimate Flame of Light, while the oppressed village struggled by the sword of the enemy. Neal Mi cried aloud ’kine ata iluin ur ata teiran ignikam!’. And at the Temple on the Hill, the monk Kar Tie carved on the wood of the last standing tree: ata ume-to maen sireva atif tremane.”
Inmune to the vicissitudes of Time and earthly existence, there are thirteen beings whose nature is celestial. They dwell in a castle of eternal brightness, disciples of the Light –which essence is contained in Sihtreh, one of the shapes of Sihd, the All-Maker. In their majesty beyond corruption, they are the main thread of the core of all things that are. Their true form cannot be perceived by human soul and their natural speech is binding to the nature of things, unique, and it’s said that every letter of each word contains every language ever spoken. They posses the gift of the Eternal Flame and cannot perish. Chosen, descended to the world on the mighty task of aiding the Will of Men and Species, to then return to the standing still of their all-seeing mind.
Their incarnation among the living respond to the secret Way of Sihd, and it’s called the Heavenly Balance. Their duty isn’t to deviate the course of men, but to lead them, nourish them, protect them from the forces of the Dark that can’t be defeated by worldly spirits. Sihtreh is the Lord that choses their fate, the historic episodes in which his Guardians will be born, their vessels, their will. Their existence in the earth is simultaneous to that within the timeless walls. As was written in the Book of Words and Names, where the sages of Gibrel award them as corporeal ideas_, and though their existence in the Castle escapes from any wrong of the world, on earth they are bind to the nature of the living. Susceptible to hunger, pain, age and corporeal death. The Truth is revealed to them with time, until the moment they are ready to awaken to their true godly nature, in the spring of their soul, when the unveiling of their purpose takes place and the fate is imprinted in their bones.
Through mankind history their traces are seen, as the artist can follow the tacit hand of the painter behind the masterpiece. But is it in the times of Agharo concerning this story, in the days of the Great War and its enigmatic outcome, that the history of the Guardians and Sihtreh will find its pinnacle of existence. And the reason lays in two events that ever in history were repeated.
It was up until then, in the already forgotten chronology, that the Guardians and their Lord descended to the land of the living simultaneously, seeking each other, once their nature was revealed, attracted like metals of opposed polarity. But it happened in the Great War the unexpected. Those days were the last days the world would see all the Guardians sharing the same time and walking the same land. And all because of the Heavenly Balance, all because the intervention of the Gods became excessive, changing the weave of history, guided by their own will and not by that of the Higher Existence. They killed and gave life, regardless of the Law. Blinded by the opposite forces became oblivious of the existence of those they’re were to protect. And above all, because they broke the freedom of the Sons of Sihd, that are born to walk the path of Light and Darkness, to chose and make their fate mean something and be written upon the stars. All the Guardians knew so, took the oath and with grace bid farewell to their brethren on earth – as they did return to the land of the living, but never again in such way.
Secondly –but not less important– it was in Agharo, in the days of Elix, when the Castle of Sihtreh, known within the limits of Histandat, was banned from the world to see. The magnificent architecture –which interior holds the eternity and absence of space– disappeared from this dimension, for man or beast was no longer worthy of it sight. It is said that the day will come, at the end of time when the seed of the New World is ready to bloom, that the Castle of Sihtreh will return, to be seen, in a more magnificent shape, and with open doors to the righteous –but those days are far to come, and no memory other than the wise words in books remain of it.
Now it follows the account of the High Powers. Even if the hierarchy of the Guardians is known to be equal between them, an order is attributed.
At the begging of time Sihtreh walked along the first mountain, arrived to the first valley and the water from the river ran over his feet; an idea emanated from his thoughts taking the shape of a god that safeguarded the true meaning that gave him birth. The thirteenth rose then, taking by name Otonome in Agharo, as the Guardian of Peace. It is said that he comes to this land to temper the souls of men oppressed by desperation and discord, immersed in the depths of Chaos, to guide them in the path of the One. He knows the heart of every society, their reasons, their men, and holds the key to their fate. Is the sentinel of peace that shall bring –when the dawn of men reaches its end– the balance to the world. He acts by the side of leaders, giving council and advise. Judges with wisdom and lets men to their free will, yet has the power –if proven needed– to bend the blind minds of those that lost their path into the dark will.
Way before Time and Space were crafted and the Lords of Light and Darkness came to the world, before shapes and passing, Sihd forebode a thought. This thought, within the void without space, transmuted into a defined form, close to that of a stone –likely a protean, archetypal, form of what came to be a stone. On its surface the Maker blown his will. The twelfth Guardian –Eaneiteb in Agharo– was created from one of the halves of it, to protect that side of the Stone that belonged to Sihtreh, the Will of Light. In his warm hands is weighted the willpower of mankind and his purpose is to ensure –no vigil nor rest– the path of men follows the righteous trail, the Will of Sihtreh. His power, however, only reaches mankind, ignorant of other species, and this jurisdiction will prove to be the touchstone of Agharo, that lost on memory to tales and mere words knew the faces of magic and gods, angels, saviours and destroyers, of a long gone civilisation.
The Guardian of Knowledge, the eleventh, is known in the days of the Great War as Luberien. In his memory –vast as no other– is gathered the knowledge of every living men. Every soul that perceives and remembers prints a twin knowledge in his mind. He doesn’t know about the future of what has been forgotten. But this knowledge also vanishes as each man-vessel perishes. Like the Guardian of the Will of Light, his power only covers the realm of mankind and can’t seize the knowledge of that which isn’t human. He’s been also known as inspiration throughout history.
Already created space, from the earth, under the effects of water and fire, emerged the shape of the first man in a clay-like substance that never ceased to exist –the physical body, that vessel that held him in the times of legend, might’ve been lost, but his divine conscience endures. The tenth was known as Omaestir, the Guardian of Men. His legacy is that of the Sons of Sihd, the first-borns. His duty is to keep their spirits from unmaking the fate written within their free will. It is told in the old Lore that he possesses a unique magic within the Guardians, capable of vindicate and save humanity, but only to be used if every path of the Way should be blocked, threatening the Heavenly Balance. The price of its use is that of sacrifice, that of death of his earthly form. Within the Old Ones, this gift is called the Merciful Sacrifice. Symbology, over time, has replicated this archetype, yet to be fully understood. The Guardian of Men is one who looks after our kind and protects us, and even when we take the roads to the wrong, him –raised from the essential clay– will extend his hand to hold us from falling.
At the beginning, Light and Darkness disputed over the forces of the world, one of them being Love –perhaps the most enigmatic of them all. After countless aeons, Sihd applied his unquestionable justice to determine that it wasn’t up to them to take such decision over it, since its power exceded the comprehension of either of them. Therefore, let Love itself –to whom it gave a god-existence– to chose which edict would obey. Obstinate like no other, Love declared himself independent from either Light or Darkness, and for a long time wandered outside any law but the one of his selfish desire, until one day Sihd presented himself by the doors of Love’s domains, to put an end to this childish ambivalence and spoke with the voice of his Balance, commanding him to make a decision. Out of whim or conviction, Love chose to be ruled by the Light, thus the ninth Guardian was born, Koroten in Agharo, swearing allegiance to Sihtreh. His power is heighten by the love on earth, and is the only one who can –as human– master and bend love to his will, be free of its bonds and inmune to its charm. Koroten was loved among his companions, and it’s believed that his sole sight can tame the temper of men, their hearts, capable of sinking them to the deepest abyss of the soul, filling them with pure and unstable, dangerous, love.
Daughter of the freewill, discord was born amongst those of our nature. It was needed, then, to raise one of power to protect the Light in the times of chaos and violence. Thus, the eight was born, Talik Heas in Agharo, Guardian of Peace. It is told that his primitive form was shaped from the blood of the first incarnation of Sihtreh, after being wounded by his oposite. His blood crystallised transforming into small stones of light first, and then took the form of a man, with a celestial mind and strength. He fights for justice and strives for the Balance. Skilled as no other in battle, can only succumb by being tricked, as almost no earthly force can match his.
In the same way mankind has a Guardian to look after them, Sihd assigned a force to protect those other species that dwell on earth. Under the providential eye of the All-Maker, countless are the virtues of beasts and animals that surpass those of men. The Guardian of Species, the seventh, has the gift to lead and guide all those other sons of Sihd, that walk within his domain in every shape and kind –from the smallest of insects to the biggest mammals and beasts that came to extinction. His nature tends to be instinctive and animal, only feeling compassion for those of his kind, with no empathy for men but a sober respect for the first-borns, as long as they chose to respect the boundaries of his domains.
Once the realms of the world were stablished, legions of men grew in diversity, with their own symbols, gestures and languages, functional to the social regulations, to be able to communicate, interact, convey understanding. The sixth is the Guardian of Language, Sienurme in Agharo, ruler every speech, dialect, symbol ever used –past, present and future– as way of communication. Rather silent, chooses a quiet and taciturn nature. Out of prudence, or even easiness, lessens his words to what’s strictly necessary. He’s able to interpret with flawless precision the gestures of men and species, their meaning, meddling in the mind of allies and foes, unveiling their involuntary and implied intentions, and using this tool towards the fulfilment of his will –that follows that of Sihtreh.
The first of the elements, born from Time –and a shape of it–, was water, followed by fire, that stirs the senses. Naen Koll, the fifth, is the Guardian of Water. Controller of the seas, lakes, rivers, streams and rains that fall over the earth. Not one drop of water escapes his will. Usually calm and volatile, but –when the time comes– with the strength of the tide of all oceans and the flow of water.
After Light and Darkness, through Time and Space, following Water and Fire, Air and Earth sprang forth, giving form to the Great Island, later to be called Agharo. Hinture–the fourth – embodies the Guardian of Earth, protecting nature, which holds the greater wisdom. Mountains, valleys, plants, rocks –the list is countless, therefore its catalogue tedious–, are many of the elects that follow his will. His domain is called home by the living and men of the Way. Hinture was a traveler, wandering the land, never remaining in the same place for a long period of time. As lord of Earth, chose to go from land to land in continuous nomadism.
Wisdom of the Gods is shown in the measure of the Heavenly Balance. Equilibrium is guarded by the secrets within itself. The third was Untak, Guardian of Secrets of Light on earth. He’s the only one of his kind unable to be absent on the land of the living, always bound to be reborn, till the last days of existence come to pass. In him are held the secrets of the Light; secrets some times revealed to him with the course of his earthly life and others veiled to his comprehension, for being only understandable by the supreme mind of Sihd. Regardless of his knowing, is the vessel and book where infinity writes its Light, the most powerful gift of Sihtreh. It is told in Agharo of the existence of an instant, at the edge of his human death, when a light is seen expeled from his body, rapidly vanishing. It is said of this light to be the source of the secrets on its journey to the next vessel-body that will incarnate as Guardian of Secrets of the Light; secrets that maintain the Balance of the world and should never be placed in other hands other than those of its true holder. It is believed that at the end of days, at the doors of the New World, these secrets will be the only proof and validation of humanity and the world, used as the canvas for the making of the New Land. In the chronicles of Agharo, Untak will play a crucial roll for being the one to escort the baby in which Sihtreh incarnated to the temple where he’d be initiated, and furthermore, for giving Sihtreh his worldly name.
As has been said, after Light and Darkness, Sihd gave existence to Time and Space, the two primordial forces that provide the empirical and perceptible quality to the universe and everything that is. Time and space, in mutual communion allow the artifice of movement. Both of these forces surpass all the other that proceeded them and yet –in spite of Neharen anger– both were assigned to the Light, under the wings of Sihtreh. Time and Space, support of things that are, needed a positive nature that otherwise, in the domains of Darkness, would’ve become a no-Time and no-Space that would’ve attempted to deny its true purpose. However, due to the Heavenly Balance, gave to their incarnations only a fragment of the legitimate knowledge and kept such splendid mystery to himself. Eterin, the second, was the Guardian of Space, commander of shapes and dimensions, with extreme mental abilities capable of disrupting reality. Wise and quiet, held powers that are hard to grasp by human reasoning.
The first one, sharing his strength with Eterin, was named Aurine in Agharo and is the Guardian of Time. He’s the only guardian that doesn’t posses the Star of Sihtreh, since his inherent nature cover its power. He’s able to control the threads of time, that is intertwined in all that exists and binds the universe together.
In this way the Guardians of the Light had been enumerated. Only one remains, and is Sihtreh, Lord and supreme Guardian of Light. God on earth, master of time and space, disciple of Sihd –the All-Maker– and a form of him. He sets the paradigms of good and evil_ for each age of men.
It will be noticed, after this accounting of powers, that strong is the fortress of Light. However, by the Will of Sihd, in the path of the Law and to fulfil the Heavenly Balance, an equally majestic force responds to the Dark. But this belongs to another part of the story; soon enough the truth will be shared, and their skills will be exposed to the trials of fire and obscurity.