Creation of Rinamathair
In the beginning there was Nought. Nought was the beginning and the end, the nothing and everything in one. It was the vastness of space between stars and atoms, but at that time, there were no stars, only a great vastness that was Nought. Out of itself, Nought made the First One, Alda, who Nought cherished as a daughter. But she was not content with Nought’s empty realm and sought to fill it, for she had been blessed (or cursed) with Imagination, which is the root of all creation.
Her first Shaping was called Earth, the first element, and sat as a brown globe in the dark nothingness that was Nought. But Alda was not satisfied with Earth, and molded it as a potter molds clay, causing hills and plains, and valleys to form. The Earth was no longer featureless, but it was still a brown globe. Alda stroked it, causing green to spring up. Delighted, she Shaped all manner of plants and flowers in all shades of colors and manner of shapes and sizes. These grew on Earth and from the Earth came Avani, the First Child of Alda. And Alda was pleased with Avani and gave her stewardship of the Earth.
Though Alda was happy with her creation, she was sad that none could see it, for in Nought, there was no light. So Alda sang the stars into being and chose the largest to sit close to Earth to provide light and warmth to it, naming this star “sun.” The plants on the Earth blossomed and grew in the sun’s light and Avani herself was happy to feel its warmth. Then a tongue of golden fire lashed out from the sun and touched the Earth, burning Avani. Avani cried out to her mother Alda, who came to see what manner of mischief her newest child was causing. The place were the sun-fire had touched was burned black and rose up like a blister on the Earth’s skin.
Standing there was Pyros, the Second Child of Alda, keeper of Fire. He was proud, fierce and wild as the sun itself and was not willing to remain hidden away in Nought’s darkness as illumination for Avani. Avani was angry at this encroachment upon her territory and demanded Pyros to leave. Pyros just laughed and drove his horn into the Earth. Avani screamed in pain, bucking so that the Earth trembled and shook, for, being the Eldest, Avani was connected to the Earth in such a way that harm done to one was reflected in the other. Her blood streamed from her wound and infused with Pyros’s fire, the blood covered much of the Earth, burning the land down to bare rock.
Alda wept to see her two children fight, and her tears fell onto the earth. Where the first tear fell, a pool formed which Mira, the Third Child of Alda and guardian of Water, rose from. Called into being by her mother’s sorrow, Mira stepped between her elder brother and sister to sooth Avani’s wounds and Pyros’s pride. So beautiful and graceful was she that Pyros stopped in astonishment to watch her. Mira told Avani that she could not remove the burning, but could imprison it beneath the surface, and washed away the burning blood. Mira’s waters covered the burned portions of Avani, soothing them. Nothing would grow there now, but Mira hid the disfigurement of the Earth, creating the ocean. Her soothing waters run under the land as well to help nourish and defend the plants and shielding Avani from the heat of the burning blood.
Mira could not cover the place where Pyros stood, for he was older than she and his power stronger. However, Mira was able to convince Pyros to not hurt Avani or the Earth. If he abided by this, then he could remain on the Earth in the place the sun-fire had touched, but the majority of his power would remain in the sun, for the sun had been created to warm and illuminate the Earth. Pyros agreed to this, but for half a year, he pulls his warmth away from Avani to remind her that without him, Earth would be a cold, dark, barren place. And always Mira must stand guard, a barrier between her older siblings.
When Alda saw that Mira had resolved the conflict between Avani and Pyros, she laughed with relief and the breath from that laugh whirled into Zephyr, the Fourth Child of Alda, protector of Wind. He was full of mischief and fun, dancing and racing from place to place on the Earth. He could be refreshing, amusing, or dangerous, for his flighty nature refused to let any of the others to take him to task for any damage or pranks he pulled. Zephyr was mostly independent of the others, contributing and participating little in their quarrels.
Though appearing irresponsible, Zephyr could go anywhere and see anything, for Air and Wind cover the Earth. The only place he could not penetrate were Mira’s waters and try as he might, toss and irritate her surface as he would, Zephyr learned very few of Mira’s secrets. Pyros would stamp and threaten his little brother, but Zephyr was always too quick for him, dancing out of range of Pyros’s teeth and hooves with a laugh. Zephyr loved teasing Pyros, but was loved almost unconditionally by Avani, who felt a special responsibility to her youngest brother (perhaps because he was not as violent as Pyros.)
Thus were these four, the Firstborn of Alda, called the Yenii-Koras, or “Unicorns.”
Alda was happy to see her four children living in harmony. This stability allowed her the chance to make new Shapings on the Earth. These were part of the Earth, and yet separate from it. Alda Shaped fish and other creatures of the depths to sew Mira’s waters with life, birds to soar on Zephyr’s winds, and beasts to dwell on and in Avani’s soil. When this was done, life flourished on the land and in the sea and air. But these were Shapings that held no divine spark. They had their place, but knew nothing beyond the present. The past was blurred for them and they saw no future, for Alda had only Shaped them into being. She had not Sung to them as well.
So, Alda took stands of hair from Avani’s tail and Sang and Shaped into being the Sylvan Folk, the Elves. Because they were made from Avani, they were granted longevity, beauty, and an abiding love of nature. They were peaceful and harmonious, though, like the Earth, they could be fierce and implacable foes when roused and their memories were as old as the roots of the Earth. But they were also not prolific and slow to change with their long world-view, and Alda wanted a bubbling brook to run between the slow-growing trees. So Alda took strands of Mira’s mane and Sang and Shaped beings that were like the Elves, but were also very different.
They were called Humans, short-lived as a spring shower, but multiplied quickly, full of life and zest. They were easier to change, full of varied and often conflicting emotions, similar to the sea which could be calm and placid or tempestuous and deadly. Alda was unable to make anything from Zephyr, for he only laughed when she came to ask and flitted from her grasp. Pyros merely looked at her and snorted, saying his flames were for destruction, not creation, so Alda would beget no new races from him. Then Alda infused the essence of Women from Earth and Water into females and the essence of Men from Fire and Wind into males. Thus, women became the bearers and nurturers of young, advocates of stability, while men became restless as the wind and created havoc and destruction in their wake.
Then Nought came and looked at Alda’s creation. She hoped that Nought would be pleased, but Nought said nothing for a long moment. Then Nought touched the Earth and ran a finger of icy darkness along Avani’s back. Avani shivered and a mountain range heaved into existence, cutting the land almost in two. These mountains remained untouched by Pyros’s warmth, still full of the cold from Nought. “I give you the last element,” said Nought. “Ice.” And from the ice came scaled and winged beasts with intelligence and longevity matching the Elves and the volatile ingenuity of Humans. These were the Ice Dragons, the creations of Nought. As the youngest element, Ice had less authority than Alda’s Children (the Unicorns) and were confined to the mountain range Nought had made for them. The Ice Dragons were also not immortal, unlike the Unicorns, but their magic was almost as strong.
The Unicorns were concerned about this intrusion, but Alda accepted it. She was intrigued by the Ice Dragons and lacked the power to remove them anyway, for Nought had made her as well and so had more power and authority than she. So Alda wrapped her blue cloak called “sky” around the stars and the sun and the world, creating a sphere of protection, for she did not want Nought meddling further with her creations, and told the Unicorns, her Children not to meddle in the affairs of the mortals, including the Ice Dragons, for even immortals have their place in the Cosmic Dance. Then Alda withdrew to watch and the four Unicorns named the world Rinamathair, which means “joy of the mother” in the Old Tongue.
The Yenii-Koras watched over their realms, keeping an eye on Humans and Elves alike, watching them live in the world that Alda had made. The Ice Dragons stayed apart from the other two races, for they had been called into being by Nought, not Alda, and so were not fully part of this world. Not yet…
By Hikari Katana
(Read more of Hikari Katana’s works at her Deviant Art Page)