Queen of Shadows
by Paul H. Kogel
Before there was time, there was the One and all about Him was darkness. The winds of the deep blew ever more softly until the sound of it was lost to Him, for it lulled Him and He slept. Then, perchance, out of His loneliness came the others. That is, those who were born of the One’s dream, those of substance and those that would make His dream manifest. Thus were born the Ancients, and they spoke, and their words were made of substance and light, for the power of the One was in them, and of them, and they were great and mighty.
The discourse of the Ancient Ones was, at most, harmonious and great wonders did they perform. From them came light and air, sea and solid ground. All things were born of them, that is, from the part of them that was the One. They cared for one another and worked diligently for the pleasure of the One; for it was His will that they did work, and their desire was great to please Him.
And as they worked they sang songs of First Things and began each song with a single Bitter Note, for their wisdom demanded it of them. The Bitter Note was born of necessity, for if there be light – there must be darkness, if there be air – there must be a chasm, if there be sea – there must be land. Their songs spoke too of the paradoxes of width, height, and length, for in these things were elements natural to space - and space quite natural to time.
And of this paradox came solids and the elements the Ancients used to make them, for just as the Bitter Note did acclaim, so did the paradox of opposites occur. So, for all things of form and Order, there came, by nature, Chaos. This too was good and all things were as they should be according to the Ancient Ones, those dreamed into being by the One.
So it came to pass that the Sleeper awakened. He saw the handy-work of His dream and smiled, for He was greatly pleased. He called for a gathering of His first work and spoke to the Ancients for the first time. Then, according to the things that they each had made, the One honored them with names of their own, for it was His great pleasure to entitle them with eternal lordship over their deeds. And the One embraced each one, and breathed within them His eternal breath and bade them to perform one more deed of creation.
"According to the breath I have given you, now you too must make for Me creatures, according to our likeness, and set them throughout this place that I shall call Earth, for all this that you have done must have someone to cherish it."
Then came the first great acrimony into the world, for the one called Pride did protest. "If we should create creatures in our image upon the Earth, then how might we keep them from rising up against us and casting us down from the side of the almighty One?"
Then spoke the one called Wisdom, for it was given unto him to be greatly astute. "If we would create them in our image, then what would be in them that would bid them rise up?"
And the One, wiser still, spoke saying, "What would be in them, is that which is in you, my beloved. I have indeed found in one of you the very seed of rebellion. So I shall cause it to be, that the created ones shall not have eternal life upon the Earth, but shall hold to life greedily; for it shall be precious to them."
And it was so, and it was good.
The Queen of Shadows
In the space of a mere blink of time, many did live and die and many a newborn were set upon the Earth. Some lived longer than others according to the One’s good pleasure. The Elves were the first created, so in them was the newness of all that the Ancients had created. Long life was the result; in turn, expectations were made of them, much more than that of the others. They did not displease the Ancients, which they called Lords, in any great way and prospered much upon the Earth.
Then came others called Breeks, and still others called Mathians. These were unpleasant to the Elves and a great displeasure to most of their Lords. They mixed between their two breeds at first, then among those that came after.
Those were Tarican, and then the Palarks, and these too had matters at odds with their Lords. So the Ancients took council among themselves, and setting the Elves in the great plains, caused a terrible shaking upon the Earth, and many of the others were lost. In most of those that remained, however, order was renewed and they lived their lives in honor of the Ancients. They dwelt mostly in the highlands, in the hills and mountain regions. Their interbreeding made them so alike that they soon became known as one people called Dwarfs, and they too began to prosper upon the Earth.
Then the One called upon the Lord of Independence to create for Him a people that He would call Human, and man was created on the Earth. But man did not respect his Lords and held fast to his own understanding. Even so, he always held the One in most high regard. Now, the One, greatly amused by these creatures, held them in as high esteem as He did the Elves.
This greatly angered some of the Ancient Ones and the second great acrimony entered into the world. They held council and some did plot against the One and war broke out among them. A split occurred between them; nearly a third took a stand against Him.
"The One has caused us to create the creatures of the Earth but stood with the Humans against us and forbade us to take measures against them," said those who stood against Him.
"Have you forgotten that all we have done, we have done only for His good pleasure? It is our delight to do so," said those who would not stand against Him.
But those who would war against the One could not be moved, and enmity grew, and the great struggle began with man at the center, allied with the Elves and Dwarfs. For many years the war continued and out of it many grotesque creatures were created and aligned themselves with those who stood against Him. Among these were Giants, Ogres and Trolls.
When the One had finally had enough, He called for a gathering of His first works and spoke with thunder in His voice.
"Enough!" said He. "The one who has brought this great rift upon us is no longer welcome among us. Her shadow is cast upon you, and will forever leave its mark upon the Earth. We demand Order among our creatures, but due to her work, we sow Chaos by example. For this, there can be no redemption." Then He stood and said, "The one called Pride, come forth!"
She moved with blatant defiance, entering into His presence with great pomp. She spoke not, and neither bowed nor bent her knee unto Him.
"It is clear that there is no repentance within you," He said. "While I slept the great sleep, you and your companions created all things according to the designs of my dreams. Do you think that you did this of your own accord, without my guidance? You did not. All things were done as they must be done, for in my wisdom you were provided all of the elements of my nature. This was, and is, the nature of Order and Chaos, the paradox of opposites. It is your great fortune that I have brought you forth immortal, for if I had not, you would surely by now dwell deep within the Halls of Doom. But there is a place for you and any that wish to follow you. Since you and your followers did not learn this on your own while your existence was delegated to Order, you shall be banished to Chaos, which shall be called henceforth - Kur. There, you shall dwell forever more. So, you would be Queen of Order? Let it be instead, that you shall be queen in the underworld and known for all time as the Queen of Shadows." www.paulkogel.com
For Part II click here: "Creation of the Gad Fly"
© 2006 Paul H. Kogel. All Rights Reserved.