In the beginning, when there was no time, no life and no death, the three Eternals had come together to create the galaxy. Their names have long been forgotten, but the first-born named them Eros, Iluri and Daedalos. Eros gathered material from the endless void of space, which he used to create stars and planets. He was the father of the first-borns: elves, dwarves and humans. Yet his creation was deprived of life, staying motionless in the eternity of darkness, existing within an endless dream. Then Iluri granted them a gift of her own, she breathed the soul and life into the empty bodies of the first-borns, freeing them from their imprisonment. They wandered off, exploring new planets, experiencing life in a way previously unknown. But there was no sense of purpose in anything they perceived or accomplished, all their thoughts had no conclusion, it was a story without an end. As their creators and the universe itself, they were immortal, and life became mere existence. It was up to Daedalos to give them what they desperately craved, and he completed the creation of the Eternals with his gift. He gave their children an ability to recreate life on their own with a wonder of parenthood, giving a true purpose to their existence. Daedalos, being the God of Balance, understood the meaning of life much better than his counterparts. His first gift was followed by the darkest and most meaningful gift of them all – mortality. Thus their creation was complete: out of dust and thought, they had shaped a perfectly balanced world, where life would bloom, prosper and cease to exist without their intervention. Death gave their children a purpose and inspired them to live. But the universe inhabited other ancient creatures that fed on the planets and stars in an attempt to satisfy their untethered hunger. So the Gods have hidden their little galaxy away to keep it safe from the horrors of the outer space. That was the end of the Epoch of Unbeing and the beginning of the Epoch of Dawn.
The Gods had left to pursue their mission of expanding the universe. The first-born lived through generations while developing on their own; some had come up with peculiar mechanisms while others found themselves to be more talented in the means of magic and philosophy, and certain beings were more proficient in the art of fighting and perfecting their physical performance. The natural state of things made them question everything about themselves and the world around them, inspiring their passion for knowledge. The more knowledge they had gathered, the less they depended on the presence of Gods, thus seeing no need to worship the Elders anymore. The names of their creators were lost in time, and the Epoch of Wraith had begun.
Eros was furious with his children, who dared to forget him and his part in making life as they know it possible. Iluri was deeply wounded by the idea. Eros expressed his utmost anger in the new planet of his own – Volcan, which was made home to the creatures of stone and lava led by nothing but blind rage. However, to bring them to life, he needed Iluri’s magic. Eros knew that the Goddess would be willing to create her world by her design, and they had reached an agreement. He shared his power of creation while she had given him the spark of life he needed. The exchange was made in secret, as they did not want Daedalos to prevent them from executing their plans, as he was the only being capable of doing so. Thus Volcans had received the gift of life and were turned into slaves of their God’s will, mindless creatures who existed for the sole purpose of serving Them. Iluri’s world was that of a different nature: it was Effyis, a planet full of beautiful crystal beings created after her own image. They may have been brittle, as their creator was no master of shaping matter, but their spirit was strong and perfected, far more superior to any other creatures. Volcans possessed unimaginable physical strength, but their minds were blinded by fury and their souls – poor and barely perceivable.
The people of Effyis were mesmerized by their Goddess, glorifying her very existence and expressing their unlimited love and appreciation. The delight it brought her made her blind to any other event. At that time, Eros had begun his cleansing crusade: he marched out with his army to fight against the first-born to show them the power of His wraith. Elves were the first who fell victim to his madness. They spent their incomparably long lives mastering the magic of vitality in their pursuit of achieving immortality – the one thing they were craving since the days it was taken away from them. Eros appeared before them as the one true God and creator of the galaxy. He poisoned their minds with lies, telling them that Daedalos, the dark God, cursed them with mortality, and only Eros himself could lift this curse, promising that with him by their side they would achieve greatness they could not have ever dreamt of, as they were the wisest and the most royal of all races, created to rule them all with Eros watching over them. In exchange, they had to become his loyal servants and worship him for eternity. Many elves gave in to temptation, while others were suspicious of such generosity and refused his offer. Enraged, he commanded the legions of Volcans to eliminate anyone who spoke against him. Many were murdered, yet some survivors managed to flee to Veridis. The home planet of Elves – Xor – was no longer fit for habitation due to the scope of damage inflicted upon it in an attempt of mass genocide.
Eros’s next goal was the subjection of all dwarves, the masters of matter, metal and weaponry. But they were too stubborn to even consider submission, and each clan was in constant war with each other. They refused to become his servants, so Eros led his army of Volcans and elves, who were turned by him and became dark elves, across the lands of dwarves, causing chaos and destruction. Most of the dwarves were killed. A certain number was captured and enslaved, while others ran off to Veridis. Kennarion, the wisest of all first-born humans and one of the only beings to have saved his immortality, was a secret servant of Daedalos who helped both the elves and the dwarves get away from the fury of Eros. He called for a gathering of kings of Veridis to inform them about the approaching danger. Humans had accepted all refugees and granted them land on their world, then war preparations began. They may have had a shorter life span compared to the elves and the dwarves, but they were the masters of combat. Despite its incredible strength, the alliance would not be capable to defeat a God.
Daedalos was nowhere to be found. Thus Kennarion called for Iluri, who was so mesmerized by her creation that she was not aware of Eros’s madness. Upon seeing the destruction he left behind, she could not ignore the desperate pleas for help. She was most terrified by the realization that she was the one who gave him the power he needed. She came to him, begging him to stop and come to his senses, but his mind was long lost. He threatened to turn her beloved planet to ashes if she was to stand on his way. He intended to become the sole ruler of the hidden galaxy, and whoever refused to join him would be either destroyed or enslaved. Eros performed his crimes through his slaves, as he was afraid of Daedalos who would have found out immediately if Eros was to take part in the battle personally in an attempt to destroy their mutual creation. Iluri was aware of that, that was why she decided to trick Eros into joining the fight by luring him out. She brought her children, the people of Effyis, to Veridis, so that they would join the final battle with the elves, dwarves and humans side by side, to put an end to the tyranny of the mad God for the sake of the freedom of the galaxy. She appeared at the frontline, willing to protect the free people of the hidden galaxy. She knew that she would not stand a chance against Eros, but if her sacrifice was enough to summon Daedalos, then it was worth it. He was the only one who could turn the tides of war and bring peace and balance upon the world yet again.
The dark army approached their defenses, and the fight had begun! The greatest battle in history, the event which caused Veridis to quake, infusing the land with rivers of blood. Eros and Iluri engaged in a devastating duel, setting ground around them ablaze with every swing. In the end, Eros pierced her heart with a legendary sword called The Subjugator, which was forged by enslaved dwarves in the flames of the Great Volcano and enchanted with dark elves’ magic of death. A God could not be killed, but the sword trapped Iluri’s soul, destroying her physical form. The force caused an explosion which knocked Eros away from the sword. When he turned back to retrieve it, the sword was already in the hands of Daedalos. Eros was weakened by the fight with Iluri, so Daedalos easily stroke him down with The Subjugator, imprisoning his soul for centuries to come. All people were observing the Devine fight in awe. Once their lord was destroyed, dark elves had escaped through portals. Daedalos looked over the living beings who had to fight each other because of his brother’s madness and noticed the ones whom he had never seen before. The two recently formed races were looking around in confusion, as they had lost their creators, and there was no more meaning to their existence. The God of Balance, Daedalos, was not malicious by his nature. He could not simply destroy these children, despite the immense power and immortality of the people of Effyis and indescribable rage, which was the only source of energy and idea of life for Volcans. He gave them the same gift he offered the first-born, thus providing them with a will and reason to live. The balance was restored, and Daedalos had left the world, which caused him only sorrow and pain, taking the sword with his brother and sister’s souls entrapped within it with him.
And that was the end of the Epoch of Wraith and the beginning of the Epoch of Mortals.
To be continued...