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Born Of The Ashes

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Millennia ago, when humans had barely crawled out of their caves, Earth grew sick. The reason Earth grew sick is not written down in any of the stories, perhaps forgotten over time, or simply left out. But it is known that, however it may have happened, Earth’s sickness is when it all began.

The world began to crumble, to split, tearing itself apart. All life on the planet became compromised, and as the only planet in the solar system to support life, the situation was dire indeed. The Gods of the Stars would not sit idly by and watch as the soul of the solar system wasted away. Sun and Moon were chosen, as key elements for much of the life on Earth, to go down to the planet and save it from the sickness that would most certainly be its demise.

Earth had always had a balance to it, a delicate balance, between Life & Death. The sickness had tilted the balance, and so, to restore the planet, to save it, the balance would have to be corrected. For this, Sun and Moon became something different.

Sun, for his strong rays and destructive power became the God known as Death. Moon, for her gentle light and forceful power became the Goddess known as Life. They both fit into the roles well, restoring the balance and bringing Earth to its former glory. For centuries, they remained peaceful, watching over Earth and its people, the source of balance.

But all good things must come to an end.

Life and Death both came to be worshipped by the mortals, however unequal the worship may have been. Life was favoured, the beloved Goddess of the people, blessing them with twins, two lives where only one was expected. Death was feared, the loathed God who took their loved ones away, claiming the lives of the young and old alike.

While Life lived among the mortals, basking in their devotion, Death kept his distance, watching in the darkness beneath the Earth’s surface. The once mighty Sun, centre of the solar system and God of Fire, was now the feared and unseen God Death.

Death reached out to the Gods of the Stars, he requested to be released from his role on Earth as Death and returned to his role as God of Fire.

He was met with silence.

For decades he waited, for centuries he prayed, but the Gods of the Stars remained silent, trapping Death on Earth. Almost a millenia passed by before Death became desperate, and when a voice in the dark began to whisper, he snapped.

Death emerged from the darkness bitter and frustrated. He emerged with a deranged plan to return to the Stars his own way. If he was going to return to the stars, he needed to become the most powerful being in the solar system.

To do so, he needed to weaken Life, and that’s when he created diseases and deadly illness to aid him. While his creations spread like wildfire, killing every living thing in his path, he went searching for the tools he’d need to succeed.

Very quickly the delicate balance they had been put on Earth to restore and protect shifted, favouring Death’s side. And the more people died, the more the balance shifted and the more powerful Death became.

And while Death grew in power, Life weakened.

Life had been oblivious to Death’s torment. His rash actions had blindsided her. Even so, she was quick to react. As the diseases reached her people, Life was powerless to save them. So Life made the decision to leave her people in order to locate Death, promising to return as soon as she talked sense into him.

She searched for many a nights. She searched the highest peaks of the Earth, and the lowest crevices in the ocean. But Life failed to locate Death.

She returned empty handed to the people she had left, and what she found upon her return wounded her so deeply her tears still run across Earth to this day.

Her people had been butchered by Death himself. Twins and triplets had been tortured and mutilated; anyone who dared to worship her had their throats slit. She had left her people with the promise of saving them from Death’s wrath, and not only had she failed to stop Death, but she had left her people defenceless and at the mercy of Death.

Death, on the other hand, almost had everything he needed to return home. Before he went for the final piece, he tried one final time to connect with the Gods of the Stars, but just like the last thousand years, silence was his only answer.

Life, devastated and desperate, became detranged with anger. She did something forbidden, something so against her nature, it would change the shape of the Solar System forever.

She divided herself, her power, into four other beings.

The Doves, goddesses of the night, were born.

Each one represented a large part of Moon’s power and beliefs. Each one was a gift she promised to her people, the promises she failed to keep once, and was now determined to keep.

Hope, Love, Peace and Freedom added a whole new front to Life’s power and to the war itself.

Death was outraged when he discovered what Life had done. Life’s move had complicated his plans, so he did the only thing he could think of. He evened the playing field.

Death copied what Life had done, dividing his power into four beings meant to rival The Doves.

The Crows, gods of the day, came into being. They were every bit as bitter and ruthless as Death. Fear, Hate, War and Slavery added a new side to Death, one that just made him all the more dangerous.

The war waged for decades, Life defending her people while Death continued to search for the final piece he required. He hadn’t known, however, that Life had beat him to it. She had located and hidden the final piece of Death’s plan, marooning him down on Earth.

Death grew increasingly agitated as every attempt to locate the final piece ended in failure. And the more agitated he became, the more destructive and violent he was.

As Death’s wrath spread much like his plagues, Life grew desperate for an end. She knew Death would never find what he seeked, and he would continue to take out his anger on her people. She could not allow him to succeed, but she could not allow her people to continue to suffer.

Instead, she hatched a plan to stop him forever.

She arranged a meeting with Death and the Crows, promising to turn over the final piece he seeked in exchange for her people’s safety.

Death agreed eagerly.

Life led him to the cave where she had originally found the piece. For this cave was more than a simple formation, it was a doorway to the stars, among other things, and a device of power that no one knew the full extent of. But Life knew enough to use it as a weapon against Death.

She used it with the help of the Doves to strip Death and the Crows of their immortality, bounding them to mortals. The problem with using such a powerful device she knew little of is it had outcomes she didn’t intend. When she stripped the Gods of their immortality, she unintentionally trapped them within a mortal bloodline. But before it was complete, Death lashed out. Being the more powerful of the two he was able to grab Life and by extension the Doves, condemning them to the same fate as himself.

The gods vanished, leaving no trace.

Peace settled across the Earth. Balance was restored. The lives of the people were now left up to chance. Praying to the gods would no longer bring blessings on you and yours, and peoples belief in the gods themselves began to fade. Eventually the people forgot about the hardships of the war their ancestors were subject to. Eventually people began to forget about the gods entirely.

Centuries passed, and the war of Life & Death passed into legend, a story parents told their children in front of the fire.

Free from the meddling hands of the gods, people grew and evolved on their own, building societies and their own forms of power.

But all things must come to an end, and while Death had prepared tools to ensure he would find a way back to power, Life had done nothing of the sort.

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