To defeat the lands, Praemortem birthed the giants and trolls into existence. They were plump, horrid creatures with gray skin like stone who wore nothing but small leather pouches around their waists. Their weapon of choice was a club of stone or wood, as it was able to tear down the greatest structure in a single virile swing when mixed with the giants’ brute force. With them came the golems, made of animated stone that was seemingly alive. With momentum behind them, they could charge down any crowd of enemies, unhindered by the need to carry wood or steel.
To conquer the seas, the god of Chaos created the fiercest of all sea creatures. Twisting and writhing its slimy body through the waters, its jaws opening wide enough to swallow entire fleets in one, was the Krakaboa. No ship would sail in this new world; no man would dare go near the sea. Its tentacles would reach the depths of the ocean and pillage ocean-side cliffs. The Krakaboa was unparalleled in its destruction.
With a battalion trailing behind him, Praemortem marched to the gate of Criator’s new universe, yet he was deceived. The gate was but an illusion, and its true form lay at the other side of the Chasm.
With Praemortem tricked, Criator took one final gaze upon the Chasm, turned to the blinding, bright light of his new world, stepped through, and destroyed the passage behind him. Without Order to counter Chaos, the Chasm would undoubtedly fall to malevolent demise.
Criator created a new world of stone and soil, yet it was a barren place with no life other than itself. Yotas, the god of water, and Cheity, the god of nature, were the first two kindlings of Criator. Together they formed the flat land into mountains that climbed their way into the skies, into deep oceans where darkness dwelled, shallow streams where reeds and rocks lay, into forests of tall trees with mushrooms at their feet, and grasslands of green meadows that spanned the horizon. The world was beautiful, yet still void of any life. So, Yotas filled the seas with scaly creatures with fins and gills. Cheity filled the skies with winged beasts that soared to the highest peaks to lay their young. The lands he filled with tough, horned creatures and other flightless beings that could sprint deserts and jump canyons. This world was beautiful, and it was named Antreya.
However, the beauty did not last. Soon, streams ran dry and clouds appeared in the sky, growing darker and darker but never to burst. And so Criator made Xezrys, god of lightning, and handed him a staff that reigned over the skies, the seas, and the falling leaves. He slammed it to the ground and light erupted from the skies to come down and scorch the earth as a deafening crack whipped the land into submission. Water began to fall from the clouds, and the skies became clear. The rivers were full and flowing once more. Xezrys controlled the weather, which governed Antreya, but his power was not all that came from the staff’s might.
Where the lightning had struck the ground remained a crater of fire and molten stone, and the surrounding trees burned so bright that even the rains did not hinder them. From its center was the outline of a burning figure standing amidst the flames. And so came Hestiph, god of fire.
Criator felt there were many aspects of Antreya that lacked control and needed gods. In light of this, he created Hurdes, the god of death, Nuesto, the god of darkness, and Prine, the god of solar, to maintain the balance over life and order in the wondrous land.
All had become well in the world of Antreya. However, while all appeared in balance, some of the gods grew spiteful of each other. They began to fight over sections to control. Yotas was the first to approach Cheity, claiming they each controlled the most essential parts of nature and should have a say in what creatures and life were created. This was declined with laughter and ridicule, which sparked a vigorous standoff between the two. After hearing of this confrontation, Hurdes approached Xezrys on using his lightning to increase the flow of death, to which Xezrys refused with disgust.
The rejection sparked a fight between Hurdes and Xezrys that lasted for weeks. Criator witnessed with disappointment and finally stepped in, pulling apart Hurdes and Xezrys with its might and interrupting the dispute between Cheity and Yotas. Criator proclaimed that things were to remain as they were set, lest the balance be corrupted. While this may have ceased the tempers for the time being, greed and desire for change still lingered.
After months had passed, the gods united together and began to create the people they wished to inhabit the new lands they governed. From the clay ground, each of the gods molded its own vision of people. Prine and Cheity saw beauty and elegance in the clay and crafted tall, thin figures with oddly pointed ears who would be nimble, agile, and skilled with dexterity. They named these the Reyt. Together, Nuesto and Yotas shaped a similar figure, yet shorter, wider and more muscular—whose ears were curved and distinguishable from the Reyt—and they named them the Siopus: beings who would be conservative, yet confident in defense of their property. Finally, Xezrys and Hestiph joined forces to sculpt a being of pure strength, masters of the offensive arts—albeit even shorter and wider again—and they were named the Minoseus.
The gods brought their creations to Criator, who looked upon each carefully and saw the beauty of what had been made. As he touched gently upon each forehead, the clay took lifelike form. The eyelids shuddered slightly as the eyes beneath began to move. Sprawled fingers were now clenched, and their legs began to move ever so slightly as the creatures took their first steps. There were stumbles and falls, yet they found their footing quickly enough. However, it was not what the gods had imagined. The bodies had warmed, yet the eyes were cold and lifeless as if no soul lay within them.
No matter how hard he tried, Criator could not see why the creatures walked like people, yet were nothing but empty vessels. So he created Drundyn, the god of spirit, and she granted souls to the hollow figures. Their eyes filled with light, desire, and gratitude to the gods.
For many years, there was peace in the land, and the people grew to befriend one another and perfect their crafts and skills. Soon, though, as all things do, the people fell victim to the harsh cruelty of nature. A young Siopian boy fell victim to a deathly fever, his skin turning gray and lifeless. The water of the creatures’ settlement had turned against them. This was not the work of the gods but the malice of time reaping its rewards, and hence, they had no knowledge of how to stop such a violent plague. Criator called upon his powers once more and created Wenulys, the god of poison, in the hopes that she would be able to heal the child, yet even she was not strong enough to do so in time, and it was only moments too late when she found a cure for the poison that lay within the waters.
Consumed with grief over her failed efforts, she grew reclusive and sought to conquer all manner of medicine and healing, willing to draw on any power necessary to do so. And so the child passed on and his body was buried, yet his soul was trapped inside. Drundyn felt the screams of the child—the first death in Antreya—and a lonely soul with no place left to reside but below the soil.
Turning to Criator, Drundyn begged that it use its power to create a haven for the souls of the dead, and so above the skies, he created a new world. Drundyn took the boy’s soul there, where she now cares for all the creatures in their time after death. This place will always be known as the Haven.
And so it was that all was once again well with the people of Antreya: the world in balance and the people content in their new lands. The nine gods would watch over the land and care for the Antreyans who chose to follow them.
And so began the First Age of Antreya…