The end of the Second Epoch of Mortality - Aetolia Online Help

16.6.3 The end of the Second Epoch of Mortality

Severn, having been defeated time and time again by His opponents in the
Garden, sulked yet again.  His pride was destroyed, His creations ruined,
and His essence was rapidly depleting.  The Ankyrean Order which He led
to its destruction only contained one final member, Qeddwyn the Wise.  As
the pair looked down over the Citadel from the walls of Spinesreach,
Severn turned to Qeddwyn whom He had grown to like.

"You shall chronicle this one day, Ankyri," the raspy voice of Severn
echoed throughout the young man's mind.

"It is too horrific to bring to light! You let them kill each other, you
intentionally let them...." Qeddwyn was cut short by the Divine's voice.

"I let them?  Man was given free will many years ago by the Creator.  You
saw what was happening, why did you choose not to stop it?"

Qeddwyn stood staring aghast at the shadowy figure's form. "I trusted You!
You taught us much, You showed us the secrets of the Gods!  I obeyed,
because You said it was a means to an end.  A required end!" His voice
quivered with fear and pain.

"So you did, My dear Qeddwyn. So you did.  Loyalty is a virtue shown in
this age by very, very few.  Even My Brother left Me for His experiments.
But your loyalty shall be rewarded, for you shall be he who chronicles the
history of this age.  And did you not want to be head of your Order? I
would daresay you now stand a head above the rest!"

"I don't want to write about this! I am ashamed of my actions, and I am
ashamed of what has been done here."  Breathless sobs heaved from his
frame. "The Order is nothing.  It is gone."

It cannot be said that Severn is without compassion, for He looked on
Qeddwyn with pity; it seemed Qeddwyn's failure was His own.  He looked far
to the Tree of Life near which the Garden sat peacefully.  Anger welled in
Him at His losses in the Second Mortal Epoch, and at His Brother, Lanos,
who sat at Varian's side most favored.

"I wish these images were never in my head! These thoughts of betraying my
own Order...I wish I never knew it happened." Continuing his rant, Qeddwyn
began to rub his hands violently across his scalp.

Inspiration filled Severn at that moment as He heard the words spoken from
this mortal.  "I shall grant you this request, though I shall maintain all
the promises I have given you in the past.  Yet, you shall not remember that
it was you who asked this last boon."

Qeddwyn looked on with wide eyes as Severn began to mumble an ancient
incantation, His voice echoing off the horizons.  In response, the
farthest skies began to shimmer, darkening and lightening simultaneously.
The distant forms of mountains changed quickly into forests and lakes and
oceans distant, the environs changing form as the shimmering swept over
them.  The shimmering drew closer and closer and as it approached the
mountains above the Citadel, Qeddwyn drew himself close to the robes of
Severn, huddling for protection.

"Please...I don't know what You are doing...Please stop..."

Severn looked down on Qeddwyn, as the shimmering hit the first major
mortal settlement, now known as Ashtan.  The citizens sat in their houses
at twilight, not knowing their immediate fate. As the shimmering passed
over each, it absorbed their memories, and in its place left a history
Severn had chosen.  A history in which His losses were forgotten, and
which erased the errors of the past Epoch.

The shimmering had a similar effect on the other mortal centers as it
passed over them; in each person's memory the history of the ages was
replaced with the lies of Severn. The shimmering replaced His failures
with a non-history in which mortals knew nothing of their past lives.

As the shimmering began to approach the Garden, Severn let out a groan
for His trial was yet to begin.  The shimmering approached the top of the
Vashnars, and as it neared the Gods lounging unknowing, He hesitated in
advancing the curtain further.  Already He had reshaped that which the
Creator had created; it was an artificial copy that mimicked a natural
creation.  If Varian learned of this mutiny, it would throw Severn into
further disfavor with the Celestine.

But He pressed on, and history was changed forever.  The shimmering passed
over each of the Gods and forced them to believe Severn's magic.  Only
Varian, sensing the threat to His Creation, sat by unaffected knowing
what was occuring.

The shimmering continued its advance across the world, and slowly began to
gather around the valley surrounding Spinesreach.  "You must do one more
thing for Me, Qeddwyn.  It is for your own good," the voice of Severn
rasped.

"Lord, why have you reshaped the world?  You shall surely be struck down!"

"Qeddwyn, there is not time, nor do I have the power to undo this act.
Move to the Citadel, and seal its doors. If you were to find the Citadel
after I finish My work, My Grand Artifice, your mind would surely become mad."

The eyes of Qeddwyn looked on the strain tormenting Severn as He held
the shimmering away from the Citadel; without looking in front of him,
Qeddwyn began to run straight towards the Citadel, whispering the words of
sealing that the Order Head had once taught him.  As he approached, the
gates began to creak and shake and slowly they rumbled shut, sealed for the
second time in their history, and as far as Qeddwyn knew, the last.

His speed too great, Qeddwyn was unable to stop himself from running into
the closed gate with a solid thud. But at the same moment he struck the
gate, the shimmering passed over him, the last mortal under the spell of
Severn's desires.

Severn collapsed, His form and essence exhausted from the effort.  Looking
up at His new creation, He saw the rumbling visage of the Creator fast
approaching.

"SEVERN..." the voice of the Creator boomed in His head, driving Him to
grovel on His belly.

"Do not kill Me, Father! You know not why I needed to do it..."

"I do indeed, Severn.  You have recreated what I once created perfect, and
set in place a new imperfect vision of the world.  Do You realize the
implications of what You have done?"

"Father, I had need to do it..."

"For your acts, I shall brand you the Artificer, for trying to duplicate
the World I created, and driving the mortals to their doom.  The mortals shall
know of Your treachery to Your own kin, and shall learn that Your
creations are imperfect and falsifications of true Nature."

And thus He is called to this day.  His failures drove Him to an act of
desperation to redeem Himself, and for it He was reviled by the Creator.
His actions caused mortals to learn a false past, and to prevent them from
learning the truth.

But now the Truth returns.