The Adoption of Man by Asral

In the weavings and turnings of time, there was a moment when some gods in boredom and might, came upon a new kind of creation to form in accordance to their amusement and desire. These creations became known as races, and the races were filled with the purposes of their creator. The first race to exist was the race of the dwarves, conceived by the master craftsman Zhakrin. They were filled with the desire to create, to reveal the beauties buried within the depths of Geas, and they pleased their lord greatly with the gems and ores that surfaced from their mines, and with the intricate and lovely creations they formed with them.

Seeing the pleasure Zhakrin received from its creation, Taniel was taken with a desire to see what his own will could bring about. He pulled his cloak of night around him and sat for a time, unmoving and unspeaking, staring into the void. And after this time, he rose and threw his cloak back from his face, and with the dawn was born the Race of Elves.

Long ages passed, without any of the other gods taking much notice of the playthings of Taniel and Zhakrin. But one day, Sathonys, in his infinite jealousy, noticed something unusual. Somehow, Taniel seemed more radiant, more self-assured in his movements in the deadly Game of Gods. And Zhakrin, too, seemed able to create more wondrous workings, with less effort, to awe its brothers and sisters. And Sathonys set himself the task of discovering what had caused this sudden transformation.

Sathonys performed arcane experiments, he set eyes in secret places, he shed blood and murmured secret incantations. And finally he ferreted out an answer that astonished him. These toys, these trifles, that Zhakrin and Taniel had wasted their time upon, had reaped unexpected rewards. The prayers and adoration of their followers imparted upon the gods more power, more grace, then they could harness alone.

Sathonys knew instantly that he must have a Race of his own, and that somehow, they must be the best ever created, to give him the power he needed to finally achieve a decisive victory in the Game of Gods. And he knew he must finish his creation quickly, before his opponents guessed his secret and moved against him. So he withdrew to a secret place and threw his dark might into his vision of the Race of Man.

First, humans would not have the skill of creation of the Dwarven Race. Instead, they would turn their talents to bloodshed and cruelty, for in destroying the other races, the humans would serve Sathonys by weakening his brethren. Secondly, humans would not have the longevity of the Elven Race. They would live instead, short, frantic lives, and their need and their fear would bind them to Sathonys, and force them to rain worship upon him. They would be remarkably adaptable, able to survive in a wide variety of environments, and therefore be able to spread themselves across the surface of Geas, conquering all.

When his creation was finished, Sathonys quietly seeded Man upon an empty continent of Geas, where they could learn in secret how best to serve him, and how best to kill, before he set them upon the races of his brethren. And Sathonys grew swollen and mighty through the power of their desperate prayers, and he knew that he could no longer be defeated.

But he had not counted upon the sharp ears of his sister and strongest foe, Evren, who heard a whisper of doom upon the wind. And she went to the humans, and fathomed the plot of her brother, and knew with a sinking heart that it was already too late to prevent the Human Race from taking hold. But it was not too late to bestow upon them a gift. A very special gift. And so she spread her arms, sank to her knees on the earth of Geas, and the Races suddenly had something that till then had been reserved for the gods alone. Free will.

The dwarves looked upon their works, the beauties they coaxed from the earth with their labor, and were proud. And with redoubled joy, they strove to achieve ever more wondrous workings then they had created before, and praised Zhakrin for granting them their ability.

And the Elves looked at the earth around them, and saw how beautiful life was. And with a newfound love of existance, they learned to dance, and to sing, and to live in harmony with all around them. And they raised their voices to Taniel, in thanksgiving for their delight.

And the humans looked up from the bloodsoaked ground, saw their own gore-stained hands, and wept at the evil they knew in themselves. And at that moment, in anger and betrayal, most of the humans turned from the worship of Sathonys and refused him their strength, and in the halls of heaven, Sathonys sank in a swoon at his sudden weakness.


When Sathonys rose again, he was consumed with rage, and his furious howl was heard even on Geas, where the Human Race trembled with fear. And with the force of his anger, Sathonys created a second Race, a Race that could not be corrupted, a Race of pure killers. This Race had one purpose, and one alone: to wreak utter destruction upon Geas: to destroy first their older brothers, the Human Race, and then every other Race upon the planet, and leave it barren and useless. And this Race fell upon Geas like a plague, and the humans fell like wheat beneath a scythe.

The Humans soon realized that they stood no chance against the godbound fury of this terrible new Race. Humankind had been created to conquer, and although they had turned from the one who had implanted this drive in them, still it ached in them to admit defeat. However, they knew that in order to ensure the survival of their Race, they must find safe haven to regroup and to gather strength. So those few surviving banded together, and in desperation built a fleet of mighty ships to carry them across the waters, where they hoped the Insect Race could not follow. And these ships, they crafted in the likeness of the mighty Dragons, as a symbol of their strength of will and power of body. And crying their defiance to the empty universe, they set sail for the unknown.

**** The horrors that manifested during the long journey of the Humans are nearly impossible to comprehend. Only a few scattered tales of that torturous time passed into legend, as nearly no Human who had experienced it ever wished to speak of it afterward. How scores of people starved, or succumbed to sickness, madness, or despair. How a huge sea monster attacked in the night, consuming entire ships with its gaping maw, until finally a hundred men leaped onto it at once with stabbing spears, and accompanied it to a watery grave. How wrathful storms wracked the tossing sea, pulling ships whole beneath the water, or smashing them to fragments with baleful lightning. How every morning, when the sun spread its skin-searing rays across the water, fewer and fewer ships remained to greet it. But through it all, the humans clung to one thought: They would survive. They would endure. They would triumph.

Then one day, long past the point where all hope was lost and only stubborness kept the Human Race alive, a miracle occurred. Land came into sight. They had made it.

The Humans set foot upon the land with trembling spirits. They knew nothing of what would await them in this new place, but they had come too far and survived too much to let fear consume them now. And so their first action was to throw burning brands onto the decks of the ships that had brought them so far, and let them be consumed by flames. For there would be no turning back. This was their final stand. They would make their fortune on this new continent, or they would be annhiliated.

The Humans found themselves on a sandy shore, surrounded by an ancient forest. With a frigtening efficiency born of their long period of working together to survive on the sea, the Humans began forming the land to suit their needs. The first thing they did was to build themselves a fortified city, which they named Arborea. Wood harvested from forest that had never known the bite of an axe was transformed into sturdy houses, secure walls, and lethal weapons.

And here it was that they made their first contact with one of the other Races. For the Elves had dwelled in this forest since their Creation, and were greatly disturbed by the arrival of this wild and warlike Race. There started a great debate, for the Elves had always lived in harmony with the earth around them, and it pained them to see the butchery of the great trees and the wanton slaughter of animals, far beyond what they considered necessary to live. Some of the Elves believed that they should aid these poor refugees, but another, far larger faction, thought that they should work to eliminate this threat before it grew out of hand.

Meanwhile, the Humans regarded the Elves with both fear and contempt. The teachings of Sathonys were not quickly laid aside, and the peaceful nature of the Elves seemed alien and weak.

Well, the resulting Race Wars are widely known, and well documented. How the Elves invited the Humans to their ancient city to inspire mutual peace and understanding. How the Humans looked upon the wealth and vulnerability of the Elves with hearts inflamed with greed. How the warlike nature of the Humans rose to the surface, and compelled them to fall upon the Elves with clubs and arrows fashioned from the butchered limbs of their own beloved trees, and to ransack and destroy their fair city. How Elves died in numbers never before experienced. How filled with indignant wrath and expressionless sorrow, the Elves retreated to the Northern forest, and built themselves an unbreachable city from which to enact their vengeance upon the Humans. How the whole continent became enmeshed in war, until the arrival of the ultimate horror, which would force them all to unite. The arrival of the Insect Race from across the sea.

The Insect Race did not adapt well to a seafaring life, and it was even harder for them to reach the inhabited continent than it had been for the humans. Incapable of shipbuilding, they could cross the ocean only through a complicated and oftentimes lethal method of linking their own bodies into a huge raft. But the Insects have no concept of personal comfort, and only one goal, which far outweighs in them the preservation of their own lives, and that goal is complete destruction of all other Races. And as soon as they landed, they began to wreak havoc upon the older Races.

Their most hated enemy, of course, were their older brothers, the Humans. And discovering the Human city of Arborea, they laid siege upon it in such numbers, that looking out from the guard towers of Arborea, the humans could only see an inimical sea of swarming Insects surrounding them in all directions. And now they knew the darkest of despair, for already exhausted in numbers by their long war, and having no chance to defeat so many enemies, they knew that the fall of the walls of Arborea would also be the final end of Humankind.

Desperate for aid, they raised up their voices to the Gods, and begged for any who would have mercy and help them. But their cries were unheeded, for most of the Gods were angered at the Humans, the allies of Sathonys for betraying him, the enemies of Sathonys for bearing his taint. And so, realizing that they could do nothing at all but take as many enemies as possible with them into their graves, the humans girded themselves one final time for war. Even the women and the youngest children bore what arms they could, for none would be spared destruction.

And in this moment, when they prepared to do final battle against their enemies, their courage and determination caught the attention of a God who had hitherto declined to participate in the Game of Gods… the warrior God, Asral.

Asral, almighty be His name, loves battle for its own sake, for its own challenge. And to Him, the purest joy, the greatest achievement, the most worthy pasttime, is to take the side of a worthy combatant clearly marked for defeat, and to bring him victory. And when he saw how worthy, how valiant, the Humans were, He agreed to take them for His own and grant them a measure of His own power.

And so, filled with godly rapture and might, the Humans stood upon the walls of Arborea, and raised their voices in a mighty chant of praise to their newfound God. And in response to their call, a storm of fire fell from the sky upon the Insect spawn, killing scores at a time, until finally terror broke through even their hatred and lust for blood, and they ran screaming far from that place. And from that time, have the majority of humans followed the path of Asral.

Servant of Asral. Scribe.