An abstract from the Book “Aeron’s Downfall”
”… there is no separate place where the dead can go to after death of the physical body. Anything that has lived or died on Malartú stays on Malartú and all acts of creation and death on Malartú are driven by the conscious acts of those on Malartú.” Lectures on History, Cer’Synden library.
In a distant time now forgotten Malartú was created by the Creator God, Úrantè. The common belief is that Malartú was once a single landmass that was rendered apart by a smiting of Malartú from the heavens. A careful look at the World Map will reveal the interlocking shapes and ghosts of outlines of lands that could fit together.
As time passed this Smiting has variously been described as either a bombardment of comets, the firing of some ethereal weapons by Úrantè, the hand of Úrantè striking and tearing the land and numerous other stories depending on which peoples are doing the telling. The effect of the event, whatever the specifics, was just the precursor to potentially more significant changes on Malartú.
As part of the Smiting it’s now believed by some that Malartú was ‘Sealed’ at the same time. This belief in the Sealing comes from two key pieces of evidence discussed in ‘The Appearance of Shreetan and the Shadow Realm‘, by Scholar Aaron Branthwite of Cer’Synden. When Scholars contend that Malartú is Sealed they mean that the energies that exist on Malartú cannot escape it. This further implies there is no separate place where the dead, for example, can go to after death of the physical body. Anything that has lived or died on Malartú stays on Malartú and all acts of creation and death on Malartú are driven by the conscious acts of those on Malartú.
For the devout, both the Smiting and Sealing are seen as essentially a single act of specific intent that is part of the Creator God’s plan for Malartú. Many priests and scholars alike focus their meditation and study on the purpose of the event and what their expected actions are.
The Races Appear
After the Smiting the races of creatures that existed across the world were split from each other and over the aeons their already different cultures began to evolve along vastly different lines. Unique ritual, culture, learning and beliefs began to appear and began to be at odds with others. What are referred to as the Talghaern are known as the first creatures, the old race and to have developed extreme martial skills. The Frayhaern developed similarly strong crafting and enchantment skills and the western race of Garaín nothing much of exception, being mainly known only as city builders and colonisers.
History tells us the realm of the Shadows appeared after the Talghaern, Frayhaern and Garaín were already present in the world. Exactly what the origin of them was is unclear. However, the Talghaern, now a defeated race at the time of writing, are implicated in their spawning, as is the presence of Shreetan, an Aspect of the Creator God, Úrantè.
The Origin of the Gods
What is known about the origin of the gods is uncertain at best. What is certain, is their effect on the creatures that follow them and the passion for which they do. At some point after the Sealing, and before present day inhabitants of Malartú can remember, the Aspects of the Creator God came to be. These four beings, treated as gods in their own right and seeming more real than the Creator God by the races that follow them, are accepted by scholars as coming into existence through the devotions of the races after the Smiting. As they developed their own rituals, beliefs and practices the focusing of energy from these practices brought the specific Aspect into its current incarnation. There is extra significance here as it’s evident the races appeared first, followed by their gods, not the other way around as some story tellers would have you believe.
On the basis that devotion can create gods the chain of creation means Bal’Shir, the Talghaern god, was most certainly first. Accepting this is so it goes some way to explain why Shreetan, followed by the Shadows, is the youngest of the gods, appearing as he did after Kreyss’hai of the Garaín and Heirdaal of the Frayhaern, who seem to have come into existence around the same time.
Whether this Aspect would be permanent only as long as the sect’s devotions were given or from the moment of incarnation is a point of some speculation. For all races, this presents both danger and the power to create and destroy the gods.
However, there is perhaps an even greater implication from the observation that devotion by enough members in a certain sect could bring about the incarnation of a further, god like being, that is a more refined, Aspects of the Creator God, Úrantè. That is the theory of the Sealing.
Evidence for the Sealing ~ Shreetan and the Shadows
It’s a historical fact that the Talghaern had for a long period organised trials of combat and martial skills in the Smiting Chasm to the east of the City of Wailing Souls, in the Southern Drenland. Within the Smiting Chasm warriors could undertake trials to prove their martial prowess and complete tests to take significant roles in the Talghaern realm. Each successful warrior would then be honoured with an effigy of themselves being placed in the Chasm. The greater the esteem they deserved, the further into the Chasm the effigy was placed. At the very end of the chasm is the effigy of the greatest warrior of the Talghaern, the still living Stalwart Ethandra.
Annually pilgrims from the Talghaern would walk the chasm and venerate the heroes irrespective of whether they were living or dead. Today many Talghaern organisations and families still practice these veneration rituals either as an organised practice or privately in their homes. None can openly visit the Chasm itself, now being deep in the lands of the Shadows, protected by their god Shreetan.
The lateness of the appearance of Shreetan is accepted to have been because of the similarly late appearance of the realm of the Shadows that allowed it to become incarnate. It’s historical fact that the Talghaern became dominant after the Smiting and that the Southern Drenland homeland of the Shadows was once part of the Talghaern realm.
Based on the theory of the origin of Gods and the concept of the Sealing, scholars surmise that the veneration rituals were, and continue to be, the source of power for both the emergence of inhabitants in the realm of Shadows and Shreetan’s incarnation.