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Annals of the Keepers

First Extract

Where do we begin? Each beginning is preceded by another beginning, and that by a beginning before that, until the story is so old, and so remote, that making sense of what was, and seeing how we came to what is, becomes a task that none could undertake.

When Man came out from under the Others - that was a beginning. It was also an end, since for one thing to begin, another must end, and make way for that which supplants it. And so Man supplanted the Others, whose kingdom of gods was taken from them by Tahuti, who was born of them, but was not one of them.

And so Man was forced out of the gardens of the gods, and went into the world, and made his own home amongst the beasts and the lesser gods. They took up tools of iron, and killed the trees which were the life of the land, built up from the dead wood their houses and put roofs above their heads and walls to mark the inside from the out, making boundaries between one place and another, dividing up the land such that it was split apart from itself, and so the old magic began its decline.

Many of the gods lived on, but bereft of their great power, living outside the homes of Man, away from the lines and walls which break the magic and take the power of the gods away. And all of the lines of Man were guilty of this, and though the sons of Adam were as destructive as the others, they at least understood not the magic of the land, and what it could do. The true Men - they had magic, at least in part, though over time it became diluted with the blood of the other lines - they knew what they did would destroy the magic, but did not care, or refused to understand what they could have understood.

After many lives of Men had passed, so Man came to worship those old gods, as they had before, but now they came to them with demands and wants, and they bound the gods within their walls, and tore stone from the heart of the land, and put stone onto stone, and built up towers of five sides to bind their gods to them, and force them to their will. And the descendants of those that were bound to the gods gained great power, but the strength of the gods waned.

But how could these gods let themselves be ruled by Man? They had wisdom and understanding, but after generations of Men had passed, they had grown bored and lax, and so were tricked by Man into doing what Man desired. Not all were so fooled though, and many took it upon themselves to fight against Man, or to leave for other realms. In the end, there were few gods which still had both freedom, and a desire to use it within our world.

The last of the old gods lived in the far wilderness of the east. He was Hujal, who was the Crafty One. And Hujal knew the weaknesses of Man, and so as the Serpent had corrupted Adam through Eve, so the Crafty One sent lies and promises to the women, and gave them power where before they did not have power. And the women controlled the men, and the Crafty One knew all that they knew, and so when Man came to him with desires to entrap him, and use his power for their own ends, he was there waiting, and his traps were always better, always quicker.

So many Men, both of the descendents of Adam and of others, came to serve the Crafty Lord. And he raised his women up with great power, and through them he ruled them all. The greatest of them he made more in his image, and they became of the wild places, of life and magic and all things not of Man.

As the Crafty One did build his domain, so the other gods perished under the gaze of the One God. Where the One God did tread, so lines were laid flat, and walls were built, and the dominion of Man spread through the wild, and the old gods fell from this world, and hid in the places in between, or died, or became part of the One God, as all gods once were, and will be at the end of things.

There were others not fully of Man, but like him, who also feared the rise of the One God, for they were born from those who had displeased Him, and they could not stand the dominion of Man or of God. They sought the powers of the gods for their own sake, and through their rituals they took the life of these gods, and made themselves powerful. And with this, they took power over Man where and when it suited them.

These were like monsters made of the darkest side of Man, descended from the blood of Cain and the demoness. Though partly of the sons of Adam, they were also of the Others, via Lilitu, and the first of their kind, Eshk, Shiman, Alach and Ime joined themselves with their half brothers, and had all the power of true Men and more.

But as the gods went in between, so those that were of the Bloodline were unable to take their power, for it became unlike that to which they had been born. And it came to pass that the Children of Lilitu heard of the Crafty One, and sought his life for their own use. He had hidden himself well, and his She Beasts kept away those that were unwanted, and made sure none left his domain to tell of it.

But the domain of the Crafty One could not be kept forever from the eyes of the world, and the lands of Men encroached upon it, where it lay at the heart of his forest, where magic was greatest and life was strong. Indeed, the power of the Crafty One was such that magic grew in abundance around him, and the land became bound in his life, and all became a place of great power, driving back the cities and lines that Man built in dedication to the One God.

It was here that the Children of the Bloodline came to see him, to offer promises of service and gifts to appease him. It was Malach, who was child of Ershal, child of Memthalis, child of Lilitu who came to him with promises. But the heart of Malach held only deceit, and Hujal saw through the deceit that were the gifts of Malach, for he was young and inexperienced in the ways of his legacy, and had no power against the god. So the name of Malach was known to the god, and through it the Crafty Lord was led to the place where others of the Bloodline hid. But traps lay within traps, and Malach, who was unaware of the trap behind the trap, led Hujal to a place of lines and corners, where his power was nothing against the Children of the Bloodline. And so the last of the gods was captured, and his soul taken for use by the Bloodline.

The Children of the Blood came amongst the wild men who followed the Crafty One who was Hujal. They slew all and took their blood and their life, and fought against the She Beasts and laid them low and burnt their flesh from their bones, and all that they found they took the life from.

Much time passed, and the power of the last god was used by the Bloodline to further their own ends, and to bring about the domination of Man by means subtle and cruel. For the Bloodline has no understanding of wrongness, and do only what they desire. As their father committed the first mortal sin, so they continue his work as they desire, destroying that which does not please them.

There was one among them who thought not as they did, who saw that the magic was flowing from the world, as the old gods died, and the God forced his will upon Man. Lastilis, child of Memthalis, child of Lilitu, who was to be the first of our Order, saw that the power of the last god must be kept for when the world was a desolate place, such that he could bring life back to the world.

And so Lastilis spoke to the others of the Blood, and said “look at what we do, look at what will be when the last of the old gods are gone. There will be no life amongst the world, and the One God will come and rule with an iron fist, such that none speak out against Him, and none can hide from his burning wrath, for there will be none left to share the power of the gods, and all will be held by the One God.” But the descendants of the Blood could not see this, for they were blinded by their devil half, which clung to the now and the past, and could not prepare for the future.

So Lastilis gathered about him his mortal followers, and they cast upon the Crafty Lord rituals of binding and sleeping, and took his body away from the sacred place of the Blood, and hid him deep in the wilderness. And they hid themselves, for the wrath of the Bloodline was great when they found out the treachery of Lastilis, and so they vowed to forever hunt and kill Lastilis and his mortals who kept the god hidden from them.

Lastilis passed from the world while still hiding from the wrath of his kin. To those that were with him, he entrusted the secrets of the Bloodline, and the secrets of the future, and took from them vows to keep the Crafty Lord hidden until the time of reckoning, safe from the eyes of the Blood, and to pass on their vows and secrets to those that came after them.

And these were the vows of the Keepers, who have kept ever vigilant against those that seek to steal back the power of the old gods, and to use it for their own ends.

Second Extract

The Keepers will go forth into the world, but not ever be part of it, for the time will come when the last of the magic has gone, and there are only the descendants of Adam, for no other Men will survive to the last days.

The One God will be the last god, and all others will be made part of Him. Darkness will fall across the world, and it will know fear and ignorance, for the knowledge of the old ways will be lost, and Man will be like a savage in the new Wilderness of stone.

And so it shall come to pass that all life will be gone, and only Man shall remain. Magic will be gone, and there shall be only blindness. A great famine will descend upon the land, for it shall be a dead land, and nothing shall grow upon it. Man will live on, for there shall be the sustenance of the One God, but life which is magic shall die, and all that ever knew how to live shall die.

All I have seen will come to pass, unless the Oath is kept. When the seven seals are broken, so the last god should be released by the rituals I have written, and his life will go forth into the world, and bring life to all things. The slaughters of the One God will be averted, and the music of life will drive out the sound of the trumpets.

For the last god holds within him the patterns of the woods and animals, of the forces of the wild which dominated the world before the blight which is the Sons of Adam spread across the world, and swallowed up the wild lands and the places of power.

I charge all those that follow me to keep the knowledge of the ancients, of the old gods and the old ways. You must guard against the encroachment of Man, and nurture and cherish the magic that lives free. All this must be done without the knowledge of those who are without Life, for if they knew, then they would rise against you from fear and ignorance.

The secrets must be kept even closer to guard against those of the Bloodline who would extinguish the flame of our knowledge, and wake the sleeping god for their own selfishness. For should the sleeping god be woken before the end, then his Life will be wasted on the world for a scant few generations. The Life of his body will not go unnoticed in the world, for the cities of Adam will be torn up by the Life, and his domains will again spread across the land, for where he treads there can be only untamed wilderness.

arsmagica/twilight-saga/lore/annals.txt · Last modified: 2009/09/13 15:56 (external edit)