Library:Men:Origins

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The Human race tells what is by far a different story of the world's making than any other race known to live on or under the surface of the world. Half-Elves and Dwarves first beheld the Humans, moving in small tribes out of the north-east of the world. The mountain kings and the forestwalkers, as Men called the Dwarvish and Half-Elvish folk, paid at first little heed to the newcomers, for they moved in tiny bands and seemed to portend no changes to the established ways of the elder races. Only the wisest of Elves marked their coming and were concerned by it.

The human myth surrounding their own origins was at first simple and straight-forward, concerning itself only with the race of Men. In time, as contact with the Dwarves, Half-Elves and Elves grew more frequent, the myth changed so that the births of all races were told in one grand tale. Through all changes and variations, the Elves came first and the Humans last.

Long before the world's creation, the Mighty Ones, Lords of Earth, of Fire, of Creeping Beasts, and of many other things besides, with their Ladies of Wind and of Water and of all fair things, moved between the circles of fire which spangle the upper sky. Several were the Lords and Ladies then, and several now; all come from one High King and all are opposed by one Dark Prince. The name of the High King we do not say. The name of the Dark Prince we do not know, for long ago his name was lost. Jealous and cruel, he breaks and bends all that he touches. He swallows up the living and spits them up dead. For all these reasons is he called Venag Danir, Prince Dark.

To us, the stars are mighty, terrible, and full of portent, but to the Mighty they are but as the fires of a camp, or hearth, or harvest festival. Between the fires at will they roamed, till at last they came to yonder bright and golden sun, but found no stool near upon which to rest and watch the fire.

Desiring to rest near the golden light of the sun, they commanded their youngest and mightiest, who was a great hewer of things, to return forthwith to their home and bring for them a fitting stool. Home he went in a flash and cut the least of trees there. He cut the bole of the tree into fitting seats for his companions and at last tore up the still-living stump, roots and all. These all he stacked in his arms and returned to the golden circle of fire. Each companion then chose a befitting seat, though the first choice went to their fairest lady, who rules and raises all things growing out of the ground. The yet-living stump she chose and rooted it again in magick that it might live, for there was no earth there for its roots to gnaw. Then, so rooting it, upon it she sat. By the magick in its roots and the magick in herself, it budded again.

Greatly amazed, the Mighty turned their attention to the marvellous stump. Never before had any such thing been known. They forsook their own seats to look on it, though each left on his own seat the mark of his power. Therefore are some worlds fire and some ice and some regions of the upper sky overflowing with magick rare and mighty.

The Sea King, whom the Elves name Galor, and his River Wife, Cirda, bethought to give water to the growing things of the Green Lady. They besought the hewer of trees and foes to carve for them great troughs for the waters they would give. So the Axe-bearer did, piling his cuttings upon the remaining face of the stump till they rose high. After a time, the cuttings of the Axe-bearer grew weighty and sunk beneath the face of the world, becoming mountains on the land and islands in the sea.

Not to be forgot, Majestis, Lord of Beasts and Ultimlas, Queen of Birds filled the world with all manner of creeping and flying things, but Galor and Cirda were saddened, for they neither had such charges nor could conceive of any such. Then all four in concert made new things, neither beast nor bird, to fill the waters of the world. And so there were fish both great and small, and many wonders else in the deeps of the circling sea.

At last each Lord and Lady had his part in the forming of the world. It was now so full of life that it could not be used as a seat any longer, but each wanted to stay near it and see what would befall. Each King and Queen turned then to touching the world in some special way, that it might carry the imprint for all time and also carry news of its growth to each one who touched it.

The Highest of Kings and Queens moved first, shaping out of the great magick of the world a race tall and fair and like unto themselves - mighty in magick and enamoured of star and sky. Then next the King of Beasts and his Lady of the Birds brought forth a race to tend the living things of the world. They were not so great or fair as the Starwatchers, but fair they were still and took bird and beast alike into their care. The Green Lady Syul touched the Woodwalkers with a knowledge of trees and all things growing out of the earth, so that her making should not be neglected. The Axe-bearer, whom not even the Elves can name truly, made for himself a breed of hewers and set them to work in the mountains he had built, hewing ever as he would have done but could not lest his hewing break the world.

Then, when the three races had been made, the remaining Lords Mighty and Ladies Fair poured their power into the world and its peoples, where the greatest part came into the Eldest, filling them with power over wind and water, earth and fire. One lady, Endwe of the Mists, full of melody and song, withheld the greatest of her power for the middle ones, the solitary walkers, and their charges. To them she gave the love of music and the making of songs, therefore they revere her most, who also gave the birds their songs and the beasts their voices. Foros, King of Fire and Khel, Queen of Ice reached down then, touching the Mountains and the hewers of mountains. They filled the blood of the hewers with desire for the mountains about them, so that they knew at once what could be done with things delved from the earth. But their eyes and hearts were ice. From these three come the powers of the Dwarves over metals, gems, and stone.

When all was done with the world that they could do, many turned away, though their servants, lesser spirits of earth and sky, fire and water, remained. Few marked then the new thing that befell. So full of magic had they filled the world that one last thing and new came forth. In the northmost part of the world, by the shores of the circling sea, there sprang from the ground the race of Men.

Though made by a world enchanted, no power of magic have we by birth. At length we grew to many from few and journeyed into the south, meeting the Stonehewers first and the Woodwalkers second and the Starwatchers last of all, oldest and wisest and fairest of all the races of the world. From their wisdom and their work, their power and art we take much benefit now, who came out of magick, last of all.

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