The Birth of Existence: Of the Arbour mythology

Once, very long ago, before time had name or meaning and existence was only a swirling tempest of chaotic oblivion, the only life was that of the Immortal Soul. It was the very essence of change; in one moment, the Immortal Soul was a solar wind, whipping nonsensically through the vast plains of nothing; the next, it was the single white light shining proudly in the endless dark and seething shadows. It knew not how long it had been alone in the void, but it grew bored and it grew lonely. Seeing in a strange dream a sphere of deep blue, endless green and craggy brown, the Immortal Soul decided to construct a world to consume it’s boredom. It created the continents and seas, the mountains and verdant fields, the fierce storms and gentle clouds. The invention of this world forced Time to manifest, and its idea came to life. But even after it created animals to frolic and play in this new world, the Immortal Soul remained lonesome. It fashioned itself an image to cure it’s empty soul, but the quest failed, and it remained lonely. The Immortal Soul, the essence of change, became a creature of two arms and two legs, with skin that shone like the stars it once became in it’s boredom, and eyes of the moon, hair of sea crests, white and silky. The Immortal Soul altered it’s own reality to become a Man, a being it envisioned in whirlwind dreams. It chose for itself the name Xerxes, but even with the formation of it’s own entity, the Immortal Soul was still unhappy. He looked upon the beauty and isolation of his masterpiece, and he did something he never had experienced before: he wept.

Salty and cool, the unusual tears slipped down the cheeks of a god and fell to the surface of the beautiful imperfection he had sired; and in their wake came new life, a delicate and angelic reconstruction of the Man he had brought to life for himself.

The being he shaped bore the same iridescence as he; the same silvery eyes; long, pale yellow hair imitating the watery rays of morning sunlight; flesh clear and thin alabaster. He was amazed at his new creation. The being was small and fragile, curled upon itself like a newborn animal. Such splendor and glory: it was too elegant for the crude lines of his male form, and she became a Woman. She rose to her feet and in a moment Xerxes the Immortal Soul descended on the earth to stand by the side of his creation. Such a beautiful thing deserved a beautiful name; he called her Skye, and gave to her a tropical kingdom of dazzling lagoons and whispering trees above peaceful canals. He was immediately enamoured with her, and he impregnated her. From deep within the fertile walls of her womb sprang a young Woman, fully grown, bearing the same desaturated hues as mortal mother and undying father.

Impressed by this daughter, Xerxes named her Alexia. From the Woman Skye came a succession of four more children: a son called Ankhum, a middle daughter he named Symrine, another breathless copy of Skye called Marxyn, and the youngest was a son named Mikal.

Satisfied with these creations, Xerxes the Immortal Soul returned to his seat in the otherworldly realm, and watched with joy as his sons and daughters explored the world he made for them. Alas, Time passed, as it always does, and he was forced to witness as the Mother succumbed to her own mortality and rejoined the ashes of the earth. And though it broke his heart to watch the life seep from her eyes, nothing he attempted could restore to her the vigour she once harboured. Upon the death of the Mother, chaos began it’s rule. Alexia, the eldest and most powerful of the children, wrenched control of the Mother’s god-given kingdom after her death, and made her brother Ankhum her prince and ally. Displeased with the unfair tyranny of her rule, Marxyn and Mikal formed their own alliance and attempted a coup.

Xerxes could only watch as battles of war ravaged his once perfect land; the shapeless, shadowy hands of oblivion pulled him back even as he attempted to return to his creation and end the needless bloodshed. Symrine, the only daughter loyal to the peaceful will of the Mother, remained a neutral party, but war eventually destroyed any affection shared between the daughters and sons of Xerxes and Skye. The Immortal Soul witnessed the downfall of his beauty; alliances shattered, and each of the five children stole away on their own chosen blocks of land, creating five separate kingdoms, all harbouring deep-seeded animosity to each other. To ensure the safety and segregation of their people, each of the queens and kings devised a marking to be worn upon their faces, forever acknowledging their holy ruler.

Thus able to easily discern enemies from allies, tribal wars erupted between the kingdoms, further isolating them. Xerxes watched and he wept. The daughters and sons of his first heavenly creation had lost sight of their purpose and lost deep in their hearts the unconditional, everlasting love of the Mother Skye and Xerxes the Immortal Soul. In one final act, Xerxes returned to his garden and spoke to his children. To their blackened hearts he begged for an end to the bloodlust and destruction, but his words met with deaf ears. Loyal Symrine promised to honour her father’s wishes; with a wave of her elegant white arm, she called back her forces from the jungles of her siblings and left their kingdoms in peace. Hard-hearted Alexia and simpering Ankhum refused and their combined fury birthed a maelstrom of warriors and ordnance. Bitter Marxyn and Mikal reacted to Alexia and Ankhum by fashioning watercraft capable of wielding unworldly devastation. Wars devoured the once liberated and harmonious land he fashioned to ease the loneliness clutching his soul but, as he sadly watched his daughters and sons prepare for war, he knew his creations were faulted, that no Man or Woman could ever be free of sin and lust. With a breaking heart, the Immortal Soul abandoned his body of Man, his vile creation, and fled to the darkest fathoms of the silent void, leaving behind a world of beauty in destruction, only to return when the hearts of his loyal flock cry out his holy name, and praise the wayward psalms of Xerxes and Skye.

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