A few months ago i started playing a little fifth edition D&D with a friend, and as part of that i wrote myself a short character history. It got my imagination sparked and got me thinking about back in the old days when i used to DM… Sorry if that lowered anyone’s opinions of me, but i wear my DM badge proud.
As a DM, i never used canned worlds that some one else created. I always created my own. That was always one of my favorite parts. Creating my own worlds. The fun part about being self published, is why stick to just one genre? I love creating worlds, so as i’m working on my horror stories for the next book, why not run a fantasy world next to it?
My world doesn’t have a name yet, but it is coming. Since I’ve already shared the character history that started it, i thought i’d throw my Prologue out into the world to see what people think. It’s essentially the legend of how my fantasy world was created and few drops hinting at things to come. If you like it, please comment and let me know.
Keep in mind, all titles, and some names, are subject to change, and this likely isn’t the final version of this.
THE NAMELESS WORLD: BOOK 1
The Edge of Nothing.
With whispered tongues the old ones say that our world was built upon the bloated corpse of the world that came before it. As they say it, the time before now had been a time ravaged by war and destruction, plagued by a sickness called Hate that consumed gods and mortals’ a like. It was not a random sickness, guided by the whims of the winds. Instead it was guided by the blood-soaked hands of a Dark Prophet with no name. This Prophet created his bible of hate and spoke his gospel of despair, like a worm, into the ears of all who would stop and listen.
Like the disease hate truly is, It infected every soul it passed. It turned brothers against brother turned Mothers against Daughter, gods against god. In his footsteps sprung a river of bile that seeped into the water ways and brought blooms of death to deserts on which our cities and forests once stood. Feast and famine followed him like loyal jackals begging to be fed.
Darkness of that kind, it does not go unnoticed.
The tales say that the goddess who holds all of existence in her hands called forth a great conference. She gathered all the gods together in the Tower of Sky, high above the world, looking down on Mortality. The god of Sunlight and god the god of Night, stood shoulder to shoulder with minor gods. Gods like the god of warm cupcakes and the God of A Cool summer Breeze Across a Sweaty Brow. For the first time, since before the darkness of history began, they stood together, each given an equal say in what was to come. Together they looked down upon the world, and together, one by one, after a parlay that shook the stars from the sky, they voted on what was to come.
Gods, no matter how great, are innately petty creatures. They looked upon this Mortal that was slowly becoming one of them, this Prophet, and instead of trying to stop him they let the poison of pride cloud their judgement. Never could he be as great as they were. In their eyes, he was not an aberration, but a figurehead for all mortal kind. Almost unanimously, they judged mortality and found us wanting.
Together they decided it was time to leave this world, and leave mortality to suffer and die out.
Almost unanimously. Almost. Almost, they say. For the vote was Beyond the imagination of man for, and only two against. Two, small, minor gods against forever. Two minor gods standing against the pillars that created reality. One was named Peace, and his eternal Lover we call Hope.
Still, It was decided. So, the great goddess opened a doorway back to where they came from before this failed experiment and one by one the gods left the world of violence never to return. As the last gods left this existence the goddess walked to well of life, and using all her might, she closed the well so that the waters would no longer flow. Given time, this world would now die of spiritual dehydration. Every last soul, the Prophets included would whiter and eventually die.
This world would be empty again. Then perhaps, they would return and start anew.
As she turned to leave though, she saw that not all of the gods had left. The god of peace had stayed behind, his face streaked with tears. Standing at the Edge of Nothing looking out at the world below. He was watching something. The Goddess turned her eye one last time upon the world she was about to abandon, she wanted to see what it was that had caught the young god’s eyes. She wanted to see what had moved him so. For a moment, they stood together and watched.
It was a man. To them, a tiny man, oh so far away. The man cried together with the god watching from the darkness. The man huddled in a corner, locked in a burning room, broken sword in one hand. In his other arm, what was obviously a child, cradled away from the fires. From when the gods were standing, they could tell that the child had long since passed. The smoke had taken him, but the man did not know. His death to was close. Thankfully it would not be the fire, but just like the boy his eyes would slowly close and he would drift away.
“How can we turn our backs on this” The minor god of peace looked at his Goddess whom holds all of reality in her hands.
“They have made their choices god of Peace.” Her voice stern like a mother scolding a lazy child. Placing a hand on his arms, she began to walk him towards the glowing doorway that the other gods had already left through. In the doorway stood the good of Hope, watching his lover, wishing that Peace would come with them, knowing in his heart that he would not.
Peace looked over his shoulder one last time and looked at the man. The Smoke had finally reached him and the man looked almost happy. He was at peace. The Goddess was right, they had made their choice, and there was nothing he could do to help. So, he reached out and did the only thing he could do. He couldn’t save him, for he was already dead. He couldn’t give him life again, and even if he could, why would the man want to live in this world? Instead he took the only thing the man still had. He took first his name and decided to take it for himself, then he took the man’s pain and sorrow and drank it like a bitter wine. Bonding with it.
It is known that gods have no name. They aren’t flesh, they aren’t blood. They are ideas. They are thoughts given strength given power. They exist only because we believe in them. By giving himself a name, even one that didn’t belong to him, the god of peace changed. He was now something more than he was, but less then he could have been.
The great Goddess Who Held the World in her hands smiled at him, for she understood. Once to, she had been a young god, so full of strength and purpose. But as time flowed, it took its toll on goddess as well as man. She was weak now, and full of fear. She had existed so long the thought of not existing filled her with a dread she could not name. Unlike the gods she led, she knew in her heart of hearts that leaving was a cold cowardly thing to do. She knew that the vote made today would someday come due, but not today.
“Hold out your hands God of Peace,” she whispered silently without words. “Julian” she spoke sensing his new name.
Without ceremony, the god that was Peace and now was simply Julian, held out his hands and the Goddess Who Once Held all of Reality in her hand, placed everything in his. And with that charge passed, she turned and left the world behind forever without an end.
He was not yet left alone though. For a moment, still, there was one other. His partner Hope still stood in the doorway watching him, his gut torn apart by grief. Hopes hand shook as he embraced his lover. As they held each other for a time less then eternity, Hope whispered his last goodbyes into Julian’s ears, and turned, and was gone through the doorway to everything.
Sadness took hold of Julian’s Heart, for at that moment, he could see the end of the battle. He tasted his own failure. After all, Hope had left him. What chance did he have against the darkness of hate without Hope at his side?
Before he left the Tower Julian took the Great Axe down from the wall. This world two had its tales, and their legends say that the first God used that Axe to cut down the first trees and hew the first rock to create the first world on which they all sat. He didn’t know how to use it, for he was a god of peace. He didn’t know how he was going to do it, and he knew he was going to lose. But he did it anyway, because at the end of the day, he knew it was the right thing to do.
The god of Peace started by walking the battlefields and spreading his word among the lost and lonely. He talked to the masses huddled in caves crying out to his lover hope. He stood with kings in their high towers as arrows rained from the sky. He reaped the fields with the farmers to try and bring food to them all.
He fought when he had to, But he was not strong enough.
The Darkness of hate had already taken too much. It touched to many people and had destroyed to many hearts. He was after all only one god, and while very large to us, by the standards of gods, he was a very small one.
In his heart, he knew that this is not a tale of hope. It is a story of death and of tragedy.
Just when he was at his worst, just as the madness was about to take him and he was falling to his knees, his will so close to being broken. He saw him. Yet again he found what he needed in the hands of a mortal.
A small sprite, standing against an Army. His sword held high, his troops long since dead. He called to his enemy and spat in their eye. He promised death by his hand before the setting sun. The pixie danced around ready to fight. And for what it was worth, the enemy did actually feel fear. They looked at the sprite and wondered, what did he know, what was he hiding?
Julian reached into the battlefield, and whisked the Sprite away to safety. A plan was forming, so he whispered it in the sprites ear. He showed him the road to the Tower of Sky and recounted his trip so that the Sprite would know where to find them.
All of them.
The sprites job was to go to all those fields and caves, Keeps and farm, and lead them to the tower. With that done he was to send word to the mortals still fighting for what was right. To draw back. To come to the tower. Man, women, Dwarf, Elf, Sprite, anything. Anything that still held that small spark of goodness, anything that still had life. Anything that was just afraid to die. He was given the task of finding them all and bringing them together. He was to take them to the very tower of the Sky that the gods once called home.
If the minor god of Peace could not stop the death, perhaps he could use that door, so that the people could escape. All he needed to do, was raise his Axe and fight. Fight long enough to give them the time to gather. Then he would return, then he would show them the way out.
As they fled the battle, he would step between them and the Armies of Hate and protect them for along as he could. No matter what the cost.
He fought with all his life and soul. He poured the pain and the sadness that he drank from each refugee as they fled past him and used it. He coated the Axe of Creation with blood and used it the bring hell upon the enemy.
For every moment foot pushed forward though, they pushed him back a mile. Yes, he was a god, but they were an army. An unending army. As the dead fell to the ground they stood up something else. They became a river of death and only the god of peace stood before them. By the time it was done, by the time he stood with the tower at his back, the world was gone. It had been smashed into pieces and the stars had melted away.
In the end, he stood before. Pieces of himself missing, floating away through the nothing. A small piece of rock, holding a tower, holding any hope left in this world. Across from him, the Prophet, his armies long since consumed to increase his power. To make him an equal to the god before him. One former god of Peace and one Prophet of Hate. All remaining life, hidden away behind them awaiting a miracle.
The Battle was quick. Julian was a former god of peace. Whatever victories he had on the battlefield, were simply because he was a god. Not because he had any ability. He didn’t know how to use the Axe as a weapon. He didn’t know how to take a life, even though he had taken so many. He wasn’t fit for this last battle. He wasn’t the hearo who could stop hate. He did what he could, he fought as hard as he knew how, but in the end…
In the end, He Lost.
The battle was over, and Julian knew he had lost. He was not strong enough to stop this wave of hate on his own. Maybe with the others, he might have stood a chance, but this…
Even by the standards of gods and mortals, the battle was quick. Seconds at most. Julian struck out with his Axe, and in one move the Prophet slide to his side and stabbed the former god of peace in the side with his poisoned dagger. Again, and again he struck until Julian fell back against the Well that once held the waters of life, his Axe fell to the ground.
Laughing to himself the Prophet picked up the axe, raised it above his head, and brought it down as hard as he could into Julian’s chest. Splitting his heart in two, the light went out in the god’s eyes, and he faded away knowing that he was a failure. At the last moment though, just as his eyes closed forever, he had one last thought.
And with that, the fight was over.
At that moment, several possible futures played through Prophets mind. You see, He was now this world Hew looked down into the palm of his hand and saw it sitting there, broken and tiny. How easy it would be to crush. How easily he could end it all.
Without a word, he turned his hand over and dumped all of existence into the voice of nothing. With hate used up, Apathy was taking hold. Stay here and rule of a dead world? Or turn, open the door himself and follow those other gods into the myriad reality’s waiting for him. It was an easy choice. Stay here and waste away, or spend eternity growing stronger, drinking the blood of his enemies.
And so, he was gone from the old world, seemingly forever.
The Prophet though, his eyes clouded by malaise, missed several small things.
The first thing he missed, was a drip. A small drip coming from a crack in the side of the well. When he struck the dead god, he did it with such force he breached the plug that blocked the waters of life. It was a small drip, but a drip would become a trickle which given time would become a river. All it needed was a little hope. Unwittingly, the Prophet of death, the prophet of hate, the Prophet of destruction had become an agent of rebirth.
It takes a lot to kill a god. Even a small one. In his haste, that was Prophet missed that as well. The sparks of life left in Julian’s spirit were small, but the waters could fan them into embers. Given enough time, he would never be the god he once was, but he could walk the world again in a sense. That spark though, it was more than just a spirt walking the world. It was life. The water would send the broken pieces of the god out into the void and someday, they could come together. Someday they could create a new world. All it needed was a little hope.
How it was, that the Prophet missed the final, and most important event to coincide with his leaving this realm, no one will ever know. Maybe he saw it written in the pages of the future. Maybe he saw what could become of this place he left for dead and knew that with a little hope, he could have something to come back to. One last land to destroy after he tore the rest of the worlds apart.
No matter what the reason, As the door closed on the Prophets blood stained robes, he never seemed to notice the shape standing in the corner watching it all. Maybe, though, maybe the god of Hope never came through the door. Maybe he was drawn back into this reality by the very last thought to run through the god of peace’s mind. A vision of a world rebuilt. A way that it could all work again.
All they needed, was a little bit of hope.
It was his hand that pushed the Axe in just a little farther so that the water would flow. It was his hand that fanned the embers so that water could begin to heal Julian’s spirit. He was the one planted the first seeds to regrow the field.
Hope. Hope for them all, but none left for him. No hope that his hands would intertwine with his lovers again. At that moment, he felt the change. He was turning into something else. Just like Julian had stopped being the god of peace when he took a name, Hope was changing into something else. A change, he realized, that had started the moment he refused to stand by his loves side.
If Hope didn’t initiate his own change, he could feel himself becoming regret.
First though, before he changed into his new form, one of his choosing, he had one last thing to do. Behind him, a door closed, but not forever. Should the Prophet ever come back… Using the fires of eternity, he created a lock for the door, and then he created a key. Separating them into three, for the door could not open without the lock, and the lock could not open without the key, he tossed the three out into the void.
Then, as an afterthought he looked at the Axe that had broken the form his lover, and he took that to. He tossed it as well into the void, wishing it gone forever, knowing it would not be.
His business now done, it was time for the next step.
As the waters, grew, they would eventually turn into an ocean. They would create the great ocean ring that sits at the center of this world. Upon their waves, the pieces of the old god would spread to the corners of the void. Sparked with life they would begin to gather the debris around them. Given time, they would create the two halves of this world as they exist now. Two halves of a world desperate by a ring of water, with a Tower floating between them the center of the universe.
Still, though, it took more than water and hope to create a world. It took light. And so it was, that the god who stopped being the god of Hope, finally spoke his name and become what he knew he needed to be.
Sun. He spoke his new name into the darkness and he rose into the sky to light the void. He took his place to watch from above, traveling around his lover, keeping him safe should he ever become whole and wake up once more. Until then, he would be Sun, the protector and he would bring the light of hope and peace into the hearts of all who would have him.
And that is where the tale of the old-world ends. With a dead god trying to reform and his lover watching him for eternity. It is said that the ghost peace has become wanders the new world and can be found alone at the new day sun, smiling up at his lover. Reaching up to him to pretending their fingers intertwined once again. Pretending he could feel his kiss on his forehead like the warmth of the new day sun.
Furthermore, they also say there are eight who walked that old world, that still live and walk this new one. Among them, a King who never was king, but built himself a kingdom anyway, if only one of gossamer and string. A lost warrior, never sleeping, never stopping, always walking, always searching for his lost love. The Teacher, whom we all know, with his library stolen from the tower of Sky. A Dark Knight, a Paladin, last known follower of the now gone Prophet, searching for a Lock, a Door, and A key.
The sun of hope, now traveling around the healing ground. In its center, the tower of Sky sits. Pointing up and down both at the same time on its small little island of Rubble. The waters of life flowing from its bottom floor replenishing the great ring. The great ring of water, separating two halves of the same whole. Our world itself, exists for now in two parts.
Two halves, separate, but not alone.
With whispered tongue the old ones end their tale with a warning. A whisper of what may come. Still pieces of this world grow together and touch. Once separate, the two halves have already started to come tighter, either by tunnel of by bridge. Touching each other, finally allowing us to travel between them. The old god wants to become whole again, so even though this world is now broken in two, it used to be four, and before that eight…. Before that Countless.
Someday, it will become one.
J L Zbiegien.