An almighty roar echoed through the nothingness of The All as the ill-tempered Nardaeth and his father, a fierce and relentless God, clashed in a raging sphere of fire.
The fight lasted for a hundred years and when The All once again became quiet, the father lay mortally wounded before Nardaeth’s feet.
When his twin sister, Nirith, saw what Nardaeth had done, her heart overflowed with sadness.
She kneeled down to kiss her father goodbye, and with his last breath he expressed his love for his children for the first and last time.
Nirith captured that final breath and used it to form the World, ignite the Sun and create the First of the Earth People, the Mahri, which means the Breath of the God.
Then she turned to Nardaeth and banished her brother to forever walk on the side of the World where she and her Sun could not see him.
But still shrouded in anger, and unbeknownst to Nirith, Nardaeth brought with him his father’s dark heart and with that he created the Second of the Earth People, Mankind. And Nirith knew them not.
And so the Twin Gods of Light and Darkness ruled The All and, although they would never meet, they maintained a balance for the World:
At the beginning of every day, Nirith gave birth to the Sun, and at the end of every day Nardaeth took it to the Shadows and set the Moon to light up the sky in its place.
And the World was good for many Times.
* * *
Nirith took good care of her people and created a mighty city, Nath’Tenor [House of the God], for them to live in.
She blessed the Mahri with the gifts of eternal life, healing and invention and an unrivaled understanding of the powers of Nature.
And the Mahri lived in peace.
But one day Ardamehd, the youngest amongst his people, became curious about the World outside the protective walls of Nath’Tenor.
He stood up before Nirith and asked for permission to travel in the rest of the World. But Nirith refused him, saying that the Mahri need not concern themselves with that World.
But Ardamehd was blessed with a more powerful curiosity than any of his peers and one day he scaled the walls and travelled the World.
And he saw that Nardaeth had not cared for the people he had created.
Mankind struggled to survive in a harsh and unforgiving land without the knowledge to create fire, without the skills to build shelter and without the understanding of Nature to help and guide them.
Ardamehd returned to Nath’Tenor, gathered the Mahri around him in the Great Temple and told them the woeful tale of his travels.
And The First Earth People wept.
Then they gathered in front of Nirith and begged for her permission to go into the World and teach Mankind what the Mahri knew.
But hearing that Ardamehd had defied her wishes, and that Nardaeth had meddled with the world of the living, Nirith was filled with rage and decreed that the Mahri could never set foot outside Nath’Tenor again, and she built the walls of Nath’Tenor even higher and more impregnable than before.
Nevertheless, the First Earth People did not forget Ardamehd’s tales of Mankind’s suffering.
Away from the eyes and ears of their God, they debated what they could do.
And Ardamehd stood up before all and he said: “Nirith has forbidden us to set foot outside the walls, yet we do not need our feet to travel”.
And the Mahri understood.
When Nirith was asleep the men and women of the Mahri gathered in the Great Temple and once again they became breath and they moved in spirit form.
The Twenty-seven Spirits of the Mahri travelled over the walls of Nath’Tenor and spread across the World where each of them sought out a suitable human host.
When Nirith awoke and saw that the Mahri had gone from Nath’Tenor she was much angered and she set out to punish their disobedience.
But when she saw the good that the Spirits of the Mahri and their hosts had brought to Mankind, and that the work was done in her name, she relented.
She named the human hosts The Nuh’Mahri [Walkers of The Breath] and gave them a Mark on their face so they could be recognised and revered by all.
And so Nirith blessed the Nuh’Mahri and they brought healing, understanding and balance to Mankind.
And the World was good for many Times.