This is the full text of the Book of the First Days:
~ Ê Thâbelledrin ~
being the first book of Kharturi scriptures
He who Is, and Who alone Was before all other things—Ainatar—when He deemed it right and proper, spoke a word of creation, and, because of the power of His own Spirit, and out of the overflow of Being that comes from His Spirit, that word Was, and Being was granted to the word that He had spoken. Thus were the great spirits made, and they were the first of Ainatar’s children. And for a great while these spirits were sporting about in the void around Ainatar, rejoicing in their Being and praising Ainatar, Who made them.
Then Ainatar spoke another word of creation, but this word was different from the first, for after this new word was given Being out of His great Spirit, Ainatar’s children saw spring up around them suddenly a world, and they looked with eyes and saw that they had bodies, and that their feet rested on the world, and that they were no longer sporting about in the nothing that Ainatar had not created; and they were greatly amazed.
And now they saw one another with their eyes for the first time, and they gave themselves a name—the Attar, Ainatar’s Children— and also to each one a different name from the others, and they were very proud of what they had done, and told it to Ainatar, who was also in this world with them, though he did not have a body, and was only Light and Being and power. And Ainatar was pleased with their joy and with the thing that they had done. And the Attar went from Him and everything that they found, they gave it a name, and some things different ones of them called with different names. But that thing was then given two names, and the Attar were in great joy for what they did, giving names to all the things that they found in the world. But after a long time, they went back to Ainatar to tell Him of what they had done, though He knew it well, knowing all things before they happen. But it was a joy to Him to hear them, because of their joy and innocence, and because of their great beauty also.
And when all the things in the world had been given a name, they wandered in the world, but never far from Ainatar, and they wondered what they could do now. But because they could think of nothing, they came to Ainatar, and asked Him.
Then He told them a great thing, which was that He was going to make more things, but that these new things would be different both from them and from all the things around them that they had named. He said that they would be like the Attar, but less in power and beauty. But one thing he said he would give these new things that the Attar did not have, and that was great wisdom and understanding of the world, and knowledge of many wonderful things in it, and a great thirst for more knowledge. For the Attar, though they had named all the things in the world, were yet above them in their nature, and could not ever know them fully. And though they had not knowledge like the new things would have, yet their knowledge was come from the mind of Ainatar direct, and so was pure and good.
And at the words of Ainatar that he spoke to them, the Attar wondered greatly, not knowing what this would mean, or how these new things could be made. And they waited by Ainatar, some sitting like little children and others looking about for the new things He was going to make.
Then Ainatar spoke a third word of creation, and this new word was also given Being because of the power of His Spirit, and the new things Were.
Then the Attar saw them, and they were in great happiness, for these new things were like themselves, though, as Ainatar had said, they were indeed smaller and weaker, and they did not shine with the light of their spirit as the Attar did. And in great breathless silence, the Attar gathered around the new things, waiting to see what they would do, so that they could name them and find a good place for them in their world.
But when at last they stirred and awoke from their first sleep, these new things opened their eyes and saw the Attar standing around them, shining with joy and the power of their being. And the lightless new things fell on their faces and worshipped the Attar, for they were great and terrible to behold in the sight of the new creatures. And at this the Attar were very troubled, for these new things did not act as all the other things that they had seen and named in the world, and the greater part of them withdrew from them, and told it to Ainatar. And yet those who remained loved the homage that these new creatures gave to them, and did not forbid them, though they did not do so out of despite to Ainatar, but simply out of ignorance and because of the pleasure of being worshiped.
Then Ainatar came to where the creatures were, and He commanded them to rise up and get on their feet, and cease worshipping the Attar. And He then forbade the Attar to ever again receive such worship from any creature, and turning to the new creatures, He told them never again to worship any of the Attar, upon pain of death. And at this the new things trembled and fell down on their faces again and worshipped Ainatar only, for His presence was to them even more terrible than the presence of the Attar. And they swore then to never again worship any of the Attar, and Ainatar withdrew.
And when Ainatar had left them, the Attar came again among them whom they named the Min-attar, or simply Min—the Lesser Children of Ainatar. And the Attar quickly learned that there were differences between the Min, and that there were two different kinds, as it were. And they were greatly amazed at this, for there were no such differences among themselves. And one of these kinds submitted to the other kind, though the Attar could tell that each kind was equal in spirit (despite that they were lightless, this much the Attar yet knew), unlike the Attar, who were lesser and greater as Ainatar had made them, and not all of the same power and glory. And those of the new creatures who submitted they called Mina, but the rest were Min; and together they called them simply Min, or Min-attar.
And though the Mina submitted, they did so each only to one of the Min, so that they were split into many pairs—like the animals of the world. And though the Attar sought to dissuade them from this beast-like imitation, yet the Min simply shook their heads and were confused at the efforts of the Attar, and clung all the closer to each other in their many pairs, for they truly loved each other. But such creature love was yet unknown to the Attar, and even now they have never experienced it as the Min do, for they are made for other purposes. And this was a great mystery to the Attar.
But forgetting for the moment this strangeness of the Min, the Attar took many of them by the hand and began to teach them many of the things that they had learned while in the world.
Then of a sudden, as they were walking thus in the world, the light that came from Ainatar and lit the whole world began to dim, and a time of twilight fell on all the land. And the Attar were in great fear, for they had never known any such darkness before, and they ran with the Min to Ainatar, whose light was now silver and faint and glimmering, and not gold and strong like it had always been before. And they asked him with much trembling and stammering for what purpose he had dimmed his light.
Then Ainatar answered them with great cheer, and told them that the new creatures, the Min, were unlike the Attar, for they needed times of rest and sleep, and it was for this reason that He had dimmed his light. And though the Attar little understood, for they did not know sleep or rest, yet their fear was stilled, for Ainatar had a purpose for the darkness, and they were satisfied, though still wondering.
And the Min drew away from Ainatar, and from the Attar also, who sat by Him, and they wandered away in their pairs—Min and Mina—and found places of rest, and slept there. And though the Attar wished to follow them, Ainatar bid them stay at his side, or wander in the twilight away from the Min, but not go near them while darkness lasted, nor attempt to waken them. This the Attar did well, for they were now somewhat in awe of the Min, for they understood them little, and were thus a little shamed, for though they were so much greater, still they could not perceive the mysteries of the Min. But they did not then ask Ainatar to tell them more about the Min—or He would gladly have told them.
But lo, when the proper time had passed for the Min to take their rest, Ainatar revealed his golden light again in degrees until the light that came from Him was again as it had been before. And the Attar were rejoiced again in the fullness of the light, and went to seek the Min, who were stirring and waking in the brightness of Ainatar’s light. And the Attar sought to take them again by the hand and show them the wonders of the world and tell them the names of the things that they had named, but the Min were loth to go with them, and told them that they must build houses for to dwell in, and that they must search for food to eat.
And once again the Attar were stricken with wondering, for they knew not the meaning of the Min, for the Attar need no abode, nor do they wish for any, and neither do they eat, nor wish for food, for their sustenance is the light of Ainatar within them, which never perishes. And so it was passing strange to them that the Min, being also Ainatar’s Children, should yet be so utterly different, and have desires and needs wholly foreign to the Attar.
So they looked on for a time at what the Min would do, and how they would set about to build places to dwell in, and to find things for food. And as they watched, they were filled with wonder, for though the Min had hardly been in the world, already they knew and did things the reason for which not even the greatest of the Attar could fathom.
But when the Min ceased their work for a time and explained to the Attar what it was that they were doing, and why, the Attar began somewhat to understand, and even lent their aid, inasmuch as they understood. And so because of the joint efforts of the Attar and the Min, rough and crude houses, one for each pair of Min and Mina, were built quickly. And food was gathered enough for all of the Min together from the fruit and berries and nuts of the trees in the world. And the Min only had built the houses, but the Mina had gathered the food; and the Attar had helped them both, as they were inclined. Only the greatest among them noticed how it was that only the Min built the houses, and only the Mina gathered food, but they pondered this separately in their own minds, and did not ask the Min, because it was a great mystery to them, and they feared whether it would make the Min angry if they asked them.
Then each of the Mina came back with enough food for two Min, and they brought it to the Min under whom they willingly submitted, and they ate it together, in their new houses, each pair in its own house. And they were very happy that these things had been done. But the Attar still wondered greatly at the strangeness of the Min, and stood even more in awe of them, because of their strangeness, though not because of their power, which was in truth very little compared to the Attar.
But then the brightness of the light from Ainatar began to wane, and the Attar were again affrighted greatly. But, remembering that this strange dimming of Ainatar’s light had been once before, they ran to Him again, and asked Him why He dimmed his light to silver glimmers once more.
Then Ainatar laughed at their simplicity, and told them that the Min must rest again, and again in due time. Then as they sat by Him, He told them much about the Min, and about their differences, and explained much of the mystery that the Attar had perceived concerning the Min. But they did not yet know all about them.
And Ainatar was very happy in this time of the world, for the creation that He had made out of his own powerful Word and Spirit was very good, and all was for the present peace and joy, and very good in His eyes. But already He knew the pain and sorrow that would come into His world after much time had passed, because of the evil that already lay hidden in some of the Attar. And He mourned at it greatly, though for the present He was more greatly happy.
For deep in the hearts of those among the Attar who had accepted the worship of the Min-attar, a little seed of discontent against Ainatar had been planted, because of the commandment that He had said to them that they might never again receive worship. And they thought it hard that He forbade such pleasure from them. It was a small little discontent at first, but in some in grew greater as time passed and they were daily in converse with the Min, and yet always forbidden to accept or demand worship from them. And it grew greatest of all in the most powerful among those who had willingly received worship, whose name was Mauril. And he was jealous of the privilege that Ainatar kept for Himself, and greatly desired that the Min would worship him again, but he kept this thought to himself—or else spread it slowly and secretly among those who also had received worship at first with him, and who thought alike that Ainatar had laid a hard command upon them.
As for the rest of the Attar, who were untarnished by thoughts of jealousy and discontent and bitterness, they were happy among the Min, though ever learning new mysteries about them, and still in awe somewhat of their strangeness. And they took them all throughout much of the world, at least those who were willing, and taught them much. But after a short time it was the Min who were teaching the Attar about the things of the world, for the word of Ainatar was true that He had said about them: that He had given them great knowledge of the things of the world, and great thirst for more of that knowledge. Now because of this thirst, the Min quickly became very wise in the things of the world.
And at every time of twilight, when Ainatar lessened the light that came from Him so that the Min-attar could rest, the Attar withdrew from the Min and left them to their houses or their tents and came to sit by Ainatar, or else to wander in the twilight in the dusky beauty of the world.
And when the light of Ainatar had waxed and waned many times, it came about that the Attar noticed that many of the Mina grew strangely fat. And it troubled them, and they knew not what to think. But the Min-attar smiled at them and said that the Mina bore ata—children. At this news the Attar were greatly amazed, and imagined that it was a very great blasphemy to say such things. And so they brought the word to Ainatar, but he laughed and told them that it was true what the Min said. The Mina bore ata within them—little Min—He said. This gift he had granted to the Min-attar, He said, whereby they might grow great in number and power, and accomplish great things in the world.
And the Attar marveled, for they perceived that though Ainatar had given them a gift of power and great might, yet He had also given the Min a great gift also: a likeness to Himself in that they, too, were begetters of children. And the respect the Attar had for the Min grew greatly when they considered this. But those who were already growing evil, especially Mauril, envied the Min this gift, and grew angry against Ainatar that He had withheld this gift of children from the Attar.
Now when the Mina were very large and great with the ata that were within them, they withdrew into their houses and covered the opening whereby anyone might enter at will, and their Min also went in with them, and the Attar looked at the houses from a distance, anxious and wondering. Then at last the first ata came forth, and with great joy the Min who was now a father came out of his house and told the Attar that his ata was come forth and that it was a Min like himself!
And with great excitement, he invited the Attar into his house to see the ata, and they came eagerly. But when they came in the house and saw the ata with the Mina who had borne him, they were confused, and they said that this was not an ata, but a grub or a worm of the earth, small, weak and helpless. They said that it could not be a Min like his father, and were greatly disappointed. Then the Mina and Min grew angry, and called them foolish, and told them to leave them and go to Ainatar, so that they might learn and no longer be so foolish. Then they were abashed, but indignant also, for the ata was clearly not a Min, and went to Ainatar that they might prove themselves right.
But when they came and told the story to Ainatar, He laughed, as He always did when they came before Him with their childish questions, for it was truly a merry thing to Him to hear and see their innocence. But His laughter was not spiteful, for he was in part happy that their problems should at this time be so simple and so childish.
And as they gathered round him, eager that they be proved in the right, He told them that the ata would be for a time small and grub-like, as they had indeed seen, but that the Mina would feed the ata from her own self. And here the Attar became excited and interrupted Ainatar and said that then the Mina were like Him, for He fed them from Himself also with the power of His light that was within them. And Ainatar smiled at this, and said that it was indeed so. And he continued and told them that when He had waxed and waned countless times, the ata would grow longer and bigger, and would begin to stand like other Min, and would continue to grow until he was as large and great as the Min who was his father—but that this would only be after He had waxed and waned countless times.
And when the Attar were satisfied with this answer, they came back to look at the ata again, but this time they did not say the little ata was a grub, for they saw that as Ainatar had said, the Mina fed him from herself, and it was proof to them that the ata was indeed a little Min.
And they called the Min who was become the first father Aimen, and that was his name from that time forth. And when the other Min had become fathers also, all those who were fathers among the Min were called Aimeni— the Fathers, but they kept their other names, for Aimen alone was the first father, and he was the greatest among them.
But now the Attar saw that they had not at first named the Mina aright, and that they should instead be called We-min, or simply Wemin, and not Mina. And so they changed the name of the ata-bearers from Mina to Wemin—Min who bring forth.
And they were pleased with that greatly, for the naming of things was a very great joy to them at all times, and when they found something that was named amiss, they loved to rename it according as they now knew it to be.
But all the Min were now busy in their own affairs—building things upon which to sit in their houses, things on which to sleep, and soft things to cover them with in the cool twilight when Ainatar dimmed his light; gathering fruits and nuts and roots and berries and leaves and herbs and all manner of foods; feeding the ata, playing and laughing with them, and many other number of things. And they had much less time for the Attar than before, and it was somewhat of a grief to them both. But still they were close and friendly one with another, and the Attar loved the ata when they began to walk and speak, and they had great joyous times with them.
And the Min began to spread over the earth and to have many ata—little Min and Wemin. And they were fast becoming very great, building many cities and great towns.
But Mauril, still jealous of the worship forbidden from him, could little bear to see how great the Min were growing, and how that the Attar were no longer teaching, but being taught. He saw that in the face of the growing might of the Min, the Attar overlooked their own strength and glory, and harnessed their powers to work with the Min. Now this was the wish of Ainatar: that they would work together and be in harmony, bringing all glory and worship to Him. But Mauril was yet of the rebellious mind that the Attar, being of such greater beauty and strength than the Min, should rightly be worshipped by them, and should be lords over them. And he spoke bitterly to the others who thought like him, and persuaded them to withdraw with him to a place that he had found under the world—where there were no Min.
They came with him, and dwelt there under the world, and because Mauril was the greatest among them, they gave him honor such as was not permitted before by Ainatar among the Attar. For though He had created the Attar some greater, some lesser, yet he had strictly forbid that they align themselves below or above one another, knowing that such would only lead to great evil, and kept all worship to Himself alone.
The Attar who were with Mauril were indeed grown evil because of their rebellious thoughts, and knowingly did what Ainatar had forbidden, serving Mauril as their lord, and no longer Ainatar, though He had made them. Even they changed their name, which was now grown bitter to them, from Attar to Gaurim. And they all took new names for themselves, dark and wickedly imagined. Mauril was Mauril no longer, but was called Erag, great serpent.
And, being evilly inclined against the bodies that Ainatar had made for them to inhabit, the Gaurim, led by Erag, endeavored by many means to change their forms to such as they more desired. And according to their own wishes, they were twisted and became darkened, shining no longer with the pure light of Ainatar, but instead with a fiery red as of fire. But the source of their light was still Ainatar, for if their being was ever severed from Him, as the Gaurim indeed wished, though in vain, then they would no longer Be. And this was a very great means of anger that they could by no means escape the sustaining light of Ainatar, though they tried, and this furthered their hatred of Him. But yet they twisted His light in them and added to it their own evil colors, endeavoring to make it their own. And Mauril succeeded most in this attempt, but yet the red evil light that glowed within him was still derived from Ainatar, though unrecognizable as such.
Their power they retained, for it was derived from the light of Ainatar in them, and as long as they had that light, they would have their power also. But they twisted it into a dark and evil power; and they were now become terrible to behold, though to themselves they were even beautiful, insofar as they reflected not the beauty of the pure Attar and of Ainatar, whom both they now dreaded with great fear, though the Attar much less than Ainatar. They rather hated the Attar more than feared them.
And when Erag deemed that the time was ripe, he set about to execute a devilish plan to ensnare the Min to worship him and the Gaurim once again. And it came to pass that when Ainatar dimmed His light when the time for the sleep of the Min had come, that the Gaurim, at Erag’s bidding, came forth from their place of hiding and dispersed to all the great cities of the Min. And they each uprooted two great trees from near the city and took them into the middle of the city, breaking them in pieces and piling them.
Using their great power, they put forth Ainatar’s light from within them, which they had perverted until it was red, angry, and fiercely hot, and set fire to the trees that they had destroyed. And standing amid the fires, they waited for the Min to awake and see them…and worship.
For fire was a thing unknown to the world before that night, and when the Min awoke and saw the sight, terrifying and awe-full, they came out of their houses and worshipped the Gaurim standing in the fire. For the fire gave light and heat like Ainatar, and the Gaurim spoke to them from the midst of the fire, and bade them worship. For fear and trembling, those who had not already done so bowed their knees when the Gaurim spoke so terribly from the midst of the flame. For they did not recognize the Gaurim for who they were in truth: fallen Attar. But that was no excuse for abandoning the worship of Ainatar, as they did so quickly when a new and great thing came to them.
In every city it was the same. The Min worshipped the Gaurim as they had once worshipped Ainatar only. And as they worshipped, the Gaurim spoke to them from the flames as Erag had ordered and taught them:
“See, all Min, the power you have before you. Take brands from my fire, kindled by the power of my light, and feel the power that is in the Flame. Love the Flame, dear Min, and worship him who has given it to you. And why, you ask, have I come to you and shown you this power? Most loved Min, I have come for no other reason than that I have seen your distress for want of the power I possess, and know, O Min, that I wish never to see any of you in want! I had the power to make you happy, and I would be evil to withhold it from you. Worship, worship your lord, O Min! I have blessed you greatly. Worship!” And they worshipped. Then the Gaurim, who were not yet finished, spoke again to all the assembled Min.
“Come, dearly beloved Min, and hear another word I must speak to you. You know, O Min, of the great power that Ainatar has in this world. Even He has the power to make the Flame: He has the power—the power to give you the Flame! But has He given it to you? Never! He is able, but unwilling! He would keep you in your misery!
“For hear me, O Min. With no Flame, you have no Power, and that is what He wants. He fears you, mighty Min! He fears what your power would be if He gave you the Flame. So he has resolved to keep it from you, to stifle you and keep you powerless beneath Him. That is evil, dear Min. He is evil!
“And I have come to free you from His chains of misery! See, even now I give you the Flame—the Power. Take it! Keep it! But always remember him who has given it to you; remember and worship!”
And all the Min did as the Gaurim commanded, in every city. But the Gaurim had still more to say to their new subjects, according to what Erag had taught them:
“Ainatar has kept you beneath his fist when you could be as the Attar—bright and powerful and glorious. He has used the Attar to subject you, acting as your servants and friends, but filling your heads with the lowliness of worms when you should be, will be glorious as their own selves! I have had compassion on your helplessness and given you power. But for what reason?
“This Flame has Power. Great power—you cannot imagine it. I am stronger than the Flame, and it does not destroy me. But this tree is weaker than the Flame, and is consumed. You touch the Flame. It does not destroy you, for you are stronger! You control it!” And indeed they neither were burnt nor harmed at all when they touched the flame even with their bare arms and hands. It was warm almost to discomfort, but yet did them no harm.
“But Ainatar and the Attar are not stronger than the Flame. They are weaker, and will be consumed! Will be? Yes, I say will be! They have kept it from you because they know that they are weaker. They have kept it from you for fear that they will lose your service if you had the Flame. For they know you are stronger than the Flame. They know you can control it, and they do not want you to have it.
“You are now proven masters of the Flame. You are more powerful now than all of the Attar, than even Ainatar Himself! You can destroy them! They have kept you in bondage long enough, dear Min. But they will not continue!
“Destroy them, O Min! That is why I have given you this power, this Flame. Destroy them! Rid yourselves of the evil tyrants that have kept you weak and helpless for so long! To war! To battle! To kill! To destroy! To Ainatar we go with the Flame of Power! Even now He brightens where He sits with the Attar around Him. Come, before the Attar see; we will surprise them and destroy them all!”
The frenzy and power of the Gaurim’s words held them as a spell, and words of war, hate, anger, and evil—which had never before been spoken by the Min—were uttered that night, and their hearts were changed even as they worshipped the Gaurim and listened to their words, and obeyed them.
In all the cities they gathered together, going out into the forest and breaking off torches for all, making a great waste. They would carry the Flame until they destroyed Ainatar and the Attar, and then their unhindered reign over the world would begin, or so they thought and dreamed, spurred on by the hateful malice of the Gaurim.
They marched at dawn, all the Min and Wemin and even the ata. From all their cities they marched towards Ainatar and the Attar. And they met smaller groups of Min who joined in with them quickly, also falling prey to the lying words of the Gaurim. And the inhabitants of cities met each other and fell in together. And the Gaurim met together and went before the Min, more terrible even than the writhing sheet of flame that rose from the torches of the Min.
From all directions they came, for their cities lay in every direction. And as they came close to Ainatar and the pure Attar, more and more of the inhabitants of the cities joined together in great masses, bearing torches and following the Gaurim that had deceived them. And at the last the Min formed a great circle around Ainatar and his Attar.
Then the greatest of the Gaurim, even their leader, Erag, who before had been called Mauril, came forth and stood before Ainatar. And the red, dark light that writhed within him shone faintly from his twisted and deformed figure. Yet Ainatar, his light now fully waxed, was yet more terrible to behold, and in their hearts, the Min began to be afraid. But at a word from Erag, the Gaurim reminded the Min that Ainatar had kept the Flame from them, and that He could be destroyed by it.
And at these words, they with a great and hideous yell sprang forward, filled with the malice bred in their hearts by Erag’s lying words. But Ainatar put forth his great power, and a great and blinding flash of white light burst forth from Him, and the Min threw themselves down on their faces, shrieking in fear and anguish.
When they arose and looked up again, their torches were all extinguished, and the Flame that the Gaurim had given them was gone, and they held in their hands charred limbs and pieces of wood. And they saw the Gaurim gathered together in a body before Ainatar, who shone now with a great and fierce light, inimitably whiter and more beautiful than lilies, ten thousand times hotter than Erag’s red flame. The Attar herded them, their countenances now fierce and angry, shining with the same bitter white light of Ainatar as their former brethren cringed before them and before Ainatar’s awe-full presence.
Then they heard Ainatar speak, and His words filled them with fear and trembling. For He said to the Gaurim:
“Behold, ye Gaurim! Your sin and trespass you know full well, designing and contemplating it in secret and darkness; so I will not recount the many ways you have rebelled against me. But you I curse, and my wrath will ever be upon you, from this time to eternity.
“Erag, your form once was bright and beautiful, great even among the Attar. You now are cursed with the body of a hateful, treacherous beast. A Serpent I proclaim you; as your name, so shall you be.
“And all you other Gaurim, led astray and deceived by this fell beast’s lies and folly, hear me. Him shall you follow and obey, though that be your greatest loathing; bound to him by sin and in sin shall you ever be. Form is forbidden you, except at the greatest pain to your own selves. Shadows you will become, lurking in the dark places of the world.” Turning His focus once again on the whole of the Gaurim, including Erag their leader, he finished his pronouncement of cursing with three awful words:
“You I banish!”
To the Min, who watched with great awe, it seemed that for a moment, the red-glowing Gaurim hesitated for a moment. Then they were gone, hidden from their fallen sight by the word of banishment that Ainatar had spoken. Great fear and a fell wind stirred among the Min as the Gaurim’s now-unseen bodies flew despairing overhead, seeking a place where Ainatar’s light did not reach and torment them.
But Erag, now utterly transformed into a terrible serpent, remained in his new body, dark and brooding, massive and evil, greater than any fell beast that came after in the fallen world. He also fled, crushing many of the Min in his anger with his great coils as he passed through their midst to get himself away from the awe-full light of Ainatar. His going was full of fear for the Min.
Then Ainatar turned Himself to the Min; and His heart was broken as He saw how quickly their fall had come upon them—how soon the world that was once so pure and good had fallen to darkness and evil. And though the Min saw it not, in His heart He wept, for He knew the misery that they had brought upon themselves by listening to Erag’s foul lies, spoken to them by the Gaurim.
But yet the fall was a part of His plan; for He had not been surprised when they came and surrounded Him with the great fire of many torches. Nor had he been in doubt when they rushed forward to quench Him and the Attar with the devouring Flame. Even from before the time when he uttered those three great words of creation—even from that time before time, he had known of the coming fall.
For His plan and foreknowing stretch out from before the beginning of Time, before the unstopping passage of the Ages; from eternity He knew and had decreed it all. For this was not the end. Paradise was lost, but in His decree, it would be restored again. But not until many ages of pain and death and suffering had passed over the face of the ailing world would the redeemer—His redeemer—come: Ainatar manifested in the mortal flesh of Min. No, not until many ages had passed.
So He looked upon the Min, cowering before Him. And they waited His word, not daring to guess what their fate would be.
At last He spoke to them, and as He spoke, it seemed to all the Min that though His voice was hard and angry, filled with righteous fury, that there was yet an edge of tenderness in His voice. This is what He said,
“O Min! Would that you had listened to my words and stopped your ears to the lies of the Gaurim! But now you have sinned, knowingly, and art cursed!
“Yea, thou art cursed, for I curse you now:
“There shall be strife in all your houses—between Min and Wemin, between aimenim and ata, and between your own ata—because of the evil from Erag that you took into your own hearts.
“Ye Min, all labor which before was pleasant and a joy to you will now be a hard thing, and only by great and bitter labor shall you wrest any fruitful thing from the earth. For the land too is cursed because of you, and is even now fallen from that goodness in which I made it.
“And ye Wemin, though before the joy of bearing ata was very great—and it seemed to all that such was a good thing, as indeed it still is—though before it was a joy, I will now turn the bearing of ata into a long and weary thing for you, and in much pain will you bring forth ata from yourselves.
“Verily, the troubles of this life are not alone; for when decay overtakes you utterly, your soul shall flee its broken temple and be shut out in a place of torment and destruction forever, where Erag and the Gaurim shall meet their reward; and you, too, for taking part with them in this rebellion.”
Then He paused and looked on them with pity, for they fell groaning on the ground, perceiving that they would be cut off forever from Him. But yet He was not finished speaking.
“There is hope still for you. There shall come one who will crush the head of the serpent; and though he will be bruised for a time, yet shall his victory be complete and final in the end. And the one who looks to him even now in belief and trust, though his coming will not be until many long years have passed, shall be saved from the doom of Erag and the Gaurim. That one who is to come is the savior of all who will come with true faith and obedience. These words I swear and hold true as my own self.
“And now I give you a promise and a commandment, and all who believe in him who is to come must obey the commandment an they would be blessed by the promise.
“The world will soon be changed, so that you will not know it at all. The sun will rise in the east and go to rest in the west. Look into the rising sun, and north will be on your left hand, south on your right.” [For before the changing of the earth there was no south and east and west and north; for there was no sun, because Ainatar was their light.] “And the commandment is this: go from where you stand when the earth is stilled again, and travel to the east until in the south is a great sea, in the north a dry desert, in the east a range of tall mountains; west and north a sea ringed all around by land; west and south a forbidding mountain with two heads standing alone on a plain by the sea. In that place, in the midst of all these things, and in no other, make a kingdom for my name.
“There you will find my servants, and they will teach you my commandments and statutes, and you shall follow their words.
“And this is the promise: If you shall obey my word that I speak to you today, and make a kingdom for my name in the place that I have told you, and pay heed to all the words that my servants there shall speak to you—then I shall bless you richly and cause you to prosper in the face of your foes and to defeat them when they come against you. And yet more, for when decay takes your body, your soul shall come to commune with me in blessedness and holiness, if you truly believe in Him who is to come.
“But if you do not obey my words, cursing shall follow you wherever you go and in all your endeavors. And if the kingdom you raise up for my name falls away from my service, it shall not stand.
“But there shall always be some who remain true to me; for I am with those who are with me.”
Then Ainatar ceased speaking for a moment, and the Min rose up again. Some then turned wholly back to Ainatar again, but the greater part did not. And they saw the Min that Erag had trampled in his haste to get him gone from there, and perceived that they were dead. And it was a great sorrow to many, for this was the first death to come upon them. But it was not the last.
Then Ainatar called the Attar to come, and they came from around the Min and stood by. And the Min stood all around them still, not knowing what to do or where to go. Ainatar spoke a word more to them then, and his voice trumpeted through all the land, and they all—Min and Attar alike—felt Ainatar’s power.
“The changing of the world is come, and we go to a place prepared beforehand where you will see us no more, neither my glory nor the brightness of the Attar.
“Let the curse fall upon this world! We go!”
And as he said the words, there was a great shaking of the earth, so that all the Min fell down for fear and because of the shaking of the earth. But where Ainatar was, and the Attar around him, the ground was firm as rock. Then a bright flash of light, blinding and awe-full, burst forth more bright than lightning from the earth to the heavens where Ainatar and the Attar were. And when the Min looked again, they were gone. And darkness fell upon the earth.
Then the earth split outward from the place where Ainatar had been, and like rays of gloaming darkness cracks widened and divided the earth into pieces. And the Min, standing on the earth, were divided also. But the family of Aimen, who had turned again to Ainatar when He spoke to them, was not divided, and on one great piece of land they stood together, but in great fear.
And after a time, which seemed weary and long to the Min, because of the tribulation of the earth, amid the darkness arose a light: silvery and slight, and it was round in the sky, and went from the horizon to the heights of heaven, and down again to the other horizon. And many of the Min who had not turned again to Ainatar worshipped the light, for it was like Ainatar when he dimmed his light. And though they knew it was against his will, still they worshipped the light, and called it Muin-eltareth, or simply Muin. And the earth did not cease its shaking all that time.
But when the light of the heavens, Muin-eltareth, had reached the horizon after its flight through the heavens, a light, strong, warm, and golden, brightened near where the silver light had gone down. And the Min remembered Ainatar’s words and called that way east, and the other directions by their names also. And as soon as this second light was fully above the horizon, too bright to look at in its golden fury, the earth ceased it’s shaking, and the lands were brought together again, though different than they had been before.
And because the earth came together when this second light had arisen, many of the Min called this light Silna-minetheld, or simply Silna, and worshipped it also, and gave it much greater reverence than they had Muin-eltareth. Though because of Muin-eltareth’s gentleness on the eyes, some loved that first light the greater, and because it had risen when all other light was ceased. But others held that Silna-minetheld had ceased the earth’s travail and made all come together again in peace, and loved it better.
Yet the family of Aimen worshipped neither, for they knew that Ainatar had made them both; and worshipped Him for these new gifts of light to them. And they began their journey in accordance with the commandment that Ainatar had given unto them. And after many trials that happened to them by storms and fell beasts and quarrels with other Min, they came at last to that land which answered the description that Ainatar had given them. To the south, the great sea, which they called Tiulesper; in the north, the desert, and they gave it the name Faor; and east were the mountains, and they called them Varagrim. North and west was the inland sea, which they called Kargoluk. South and west was the lone mountain with two heads on the plain by the southern sea. They called it Varkaldi.
And they met the servants of Ainatar there in that land, who called themselves the Rhosdel. A little people, like men, yet very much smaller; and they climbed mostly in trees, and lived in secret underground, and did not show themselves often, except at first, when they gave the family of Aimen the words and commandments of Ainatar, and wrote them for them in books. These books Aimen and his family copied, for they learned to write as the Rhosdel, for that they were Ainatar’s servants.
And there were another type of these servants of Ainatar, who called themselves the Dulrattin, and they had great beards, and came seldom out of their caves under the earth, where they smithyed many things of great beauty.
And the Rhosdel drew out boundaries for the kingdom that they were to set up there in that land, and crafted a great golden crown, and crowned Aimen to be the first king of that land, which they called Khartur. In later time, the region in which Khartur lay was called Bhursaht.
And Aimen and his family had many ata, so that they were greatly prospered. And they followed the commands that Ainatar had given to them through his servants the Rhosdel, and were blessed. The kingdom, Khartur, grew great and strong when the other families of the Min, who did not do as Ainatar had commanded, were only beginning to establish themselves upon the new earth in other places.
This is the end of E Thabelledrin; yet what the Rhosdel taught unto Aimen and his family is written hereafter in other books.
I know it's absurdly archaic, and also very long....so congratulations to whomever read to the end of that!
You have now read part of the Kharturi Holy Book! (It's composed, like our Bible, of multiple books written by multiple authors).
I hope you enjoyed,