Story — Iron: The Sixth World

There are those in the Lower Valley that would teach you of their Mother’s grace. The light of the moon gazes upon the world with a brilliant yet peaceful eye. They cling to their ideals because they are at the mercy of their gods. Without Yone to cultivate their crops, without Umera to bring them light, and without Ienta and Iella to harness the tides, humankind would have no place in this world. If the gods forsake us, they say, we would all be lost.

But there are those of us that do not like being beholden to powers out of our reach.

The Iron’s Chosen see the world differently. It is not a place of submission and acceptance, but one of opportunity and growth. The culmination of thousands of years and eras as new gods emerge and defeat the old.

The first god gave birth to everything. Iltar, whose being was the Sun, blinded the cosmos with his radiance and showed dominance over all. Nothing could withstand him, until Jegzol came. His was the body of the world, and this armor shielded him against his father’s oppressive light, and soon Jegzol became the dominant god. But Jegzol was arrogant. He put all his faith in his armor and paid no heed to his weaknesses. Elene, the lady of waters, saw that his armor had cracks, and so she poured all her substance into him, restraining him with her entire essence of being. In this way, Jegzol was suffocated, and Elene took his body for her own. Now she had both Jegzol’s armor and her fluid form, so she was confident that she could not be overtaken.

It was then, during this third age that Umera, the mistress of the moon, came. Her brilliance was like that of Iltar, yet it was strong and sturdy like that of Jegzol. Like all the other gods, Elene fell victim to Umera’s beauty. But like the farmers will tell you of their Mother, she was no fool. She saw Elene’s craftiness. “Take me if you can,” Umera stated. “But if you falter when I go, you will be cursed with loneliness for eternity.” Elene graciously accepted, but as soon as she did so, Umera had disappeared. You see, Umera cast a spell on Elene, so that she lusts after anything she gazes upon. By doing this, Umera showed her superiority. When in sight, Elene gazes upon Umera’s beauty and leaps for it, but the Mother never stays long.

Eohr, whose form was that of wind, saw this unity and nodded solemnly. There was no way he could defeat Umera on his own now. Elene would protect her, and the two of them together were unstoppable. But Eohr was clever, as well. And so he went to Elene while Umera was away and said, “I see you have great power.”

“I do,” Elene said, but saw none, for Eohr was shapeless. “Who is it that speaks to me?”

“It is I, Eohr,” he replied. “You are cursed to love that which you can see. You cannot see me, and therefore I am immune to your fate. But I see that you are lonely. If I embrace you and hold you tight, will you claim me as your own, rather than the temptress Umera?”

Elene said that she would, and so Eohr embraced her. Elene forsook Umera’s light, because though her curse still held, it knew less sway because she had felt the touch of another. Eohr’s cunning and his union with Elene was the fifth world, and this persisted for many years.

Many of the gods thought that this was the way it was to be. Eohr and his unity of Elene, who still wore the armor of Jegzol were perfect.

Ferreus saw this world, however, and saw weakness. The last few gods had asserted their dominance through cunning, not power. Ferreus knew that strength was the only way to secure an unyielding hold, and so he stole pieces of Jegzol’s body. These pieces were burned, turned white with power. When they cooled into iron slabs, that power remained, and Ferreus used this power to show real strength. The earth, the winds, and the seas were powerless to stop him, and so Ferreus heralded the sixth world: one ruled by superiority through iron. He taught that competition breeds power, and so gave the power of iron to all the lesser beings of the world.

There is strength to be had in cunning and words, to be sure. But no amount of words can slow a blade aimed at one’s throat, and no amount of cunning can stop a crossbow bolt. Remember that should you choose to align yourself with the Chosen.

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