The Making of the World
Back in the mists of time, the world began to cool. The surface became solid, cooled further, and then began to shrink.
The colossal pressure of the molten core built up until the new crust split asunder in a great circle around the northern pole. Huge crags and spires of obsidian rock, thousands of feet high, were thrown up in a great ring almost a thousand miles across. Carag Cri’eth was formed, “The Black Crown” in the tongue of the latter race of men.
A huge crater was left within the crown. Steam spewed forth for millennia from beneath the crust, and condensed into the sea of the north. The sea froze as the world cooled further. A crown of black inset with a great pearl of ice. The roots of Carag Cri’eth bored deep into the world. Tendrils of black stone, each miles thick. Like a great claw, the roots of Carag Cri’eth held the molten mantle in it’s grip, and with it the fate of the world. Carag Cri’eth ruled alone.
Millions of years passed before the first race of men walked forth on the rolling and fertile hills of the great northern continent to the south of the feet of the great black mountains.
Carag Cri’eth watched as men hunted the other creatures that had evolved, almost to the point of extinction. Huge bears and wolves that could devour a man in a single bite were wiped out from the plains, their remnants driven north into the ring of Carag Cri’eth, where they were cradled and nurtured, protected by his unassailable obsidian walls, beyond the reach of man.
But man was intelligent, he made weapons and could control fire. He brought herbivores from the warm south, domesticated and farmed them. He learned to quarry rock from the cliffs of the western ocean, and built castles and keeps across the plains. Ever man bit into the world that had given him life.
Men formed clans and alliances, and made war upon each other. They quarried deeper and deeper into the cliffs to build bigger and stronger keeps. They carved and cut into the world, and the world was hurt. A dozen millennia of digging into the rocks weakened the still cooling crust of the world.
All the while, Carag Cri’eth watched. Anger was slow to come to the Black Crown, but his patience was not unlimited. Eventually he released his grip on the mantle, the crust split once more, and rivers of magma streamed out from the cliffs. A great reef was formed as the magma was cooled by the waters of the western ocean. The ground shook and convulsed across the continent, the hills sank and took with them the keeps and castles built upon them. Those men that could fled south, but the flow of molten rock into the ocean swelled the tides, and flooded the south of the continent, forming the great salt marshes. Few of the first race of men crossed the marshes and survived.
The weakening of the fabric of the northern continent caused a great rip in the world from Carag Cri’eth in the north out into the southern ocean. Ash and dust spewed from the core of the world and covered the continent from the rip to the western ocean, and the fertile hills were laid waste, all life there destroyed. The crust of the world unfolded and rolled up onto itself, billions of tons of rock piled up into soaring peaks. Sparak Th’ur, the “Spine of the World”, was formed. Huge wide mountains of granite in an unbroken jagged line split the northern continent in two.
The roots of Sparak Th’ur ran not deep, as those of Carag Cri’eth, but spread wide across the northern lands, and held the continent together.
Carag Cri’eth and Sparak Th’ur regarded each other, and both watched the downfall of the first race of men. They saw each other as rivals for dominion over the future of the races of the northern continent and each had taken to himself a number of the survivors of the old race as disciples to carry out their work whilst they slept.
Then Carag Cri’eth spoke to his new born kin:
Welcome, my brother, too long have I ruled in isolation. Now, together we will have dominion over mankind. No longer will he bite into the world as he sees fit to build his castles and keeps, but will build only monuments to the greater powers of Carag Cri’eth and Sparak Th’ur, whom they will look upon as their Gods.
My disciples, to whom I have granted the power to bend the will of men, will nurture those races I have chosen within the protection of my walls, and release them when they are strong to populate the plains of the west.
Sparak Th’ur thought long on this and then replied:
Well met, brother. In smiting the world so, you have brought me forth from the depths. For this you have my gratitude, for now I may look upon the world in all it’s splendour, and it is indeed fair to look upon.
But I will not repay that gratitude by aiding you in your ambition of dominion over mankind. I will suffer those of their race who so wish, to pass into the green and verdant lands of the east, there to flourish and grow as they may.
To those I have taken to me as disciples I will grant the power to watch over the population of the eastern lands when I slumber, and their creed shall be as mine, for they shall know the truth of who we are. They shall not interfere in the doings of men, but neither will they allow any to have dominion over them.
The two mighty ranges slumbered long between their awakenings, and while they slumbered they thought.
But the thoughts of mountains are slow and long remembered, where the thoughts of man are quick and short, and soon forgotten. While the mountains slept, man flourished once again. The old legends of the downfall of the first race of man were lost to memory, remaining only as legend, and man once again, ventured into the northlands.
Excerpt from The Waking of Carag Cri’eth