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The Dawn of Man
In the beginning, there was the Void, and inside the Void dwelt God, for God was the Light in the Void.
From the Light of the Void there came a song. From the heights of the Void to the depths the song rang, and from the Light of the Void came a second, smaller but pulsing with the energy of Creation.
God spoke: "Faith we name you, and Faith shall you be. From you shall others come, but you shall be first of them. Your light is the light of the others, but they must have their own."
The two Lights gave their voices to song, and together wove a melody smaller than the first, but richer and with vanishing detail.
For the second time God spoke, saying "Propriety we name you, and Propriety shall you be. Ever shall you live in the shadow of your elder brother, but with your own light shall you bring others to me."
The three Lights gave their voices to song, and together wove a song of iron and stone. Broad were its themes but its melodies few, unyielding and firm.
For the third time God spoke, saying "Justice we name you, and Justice shall you be. With your brother and sister shall you rule, so that others may act according to our will."
The four gave their voices to song, and from their chant came a Light, strong and unwavering.
For the fourth time God spoke. "Fortitude we name you, and Fortitude shall you be. You shall serve as a buttress for your brothers and sisters, and when they falter you shall return them to Our path."
The five gave their voices to song for the last time, but this song was different. Quiet as the breeze and as still as a winter pool it shimmered across the Void, and the Light that was made was small and dim, but it cast its light to the ends of the Void.
The other four lights admired their new sister, and for the last time God spoke, saying
"Behold the last of the children we shall make. Wisdom we name you, and Wisdom shall you be. The others may be larger and more brilliant, but only through you shall those who come after achieve Enlightenment."
The six lights stood in the Void, and from around them arose the five songs, interweaving their themes to fill the Void with music.
The song finished, God said "Open your eyes. See what we have made together."
To their new eyes the universe unfolded, and they danced among the stars.
For endless time the Virtues played among the stars. But after an Age, they grew tired and looked around for a place to rest.
Seeing none, they turned to the Ever-All. "Father, Mother, may we not create a place for ourselves to rest. For we grow weary, and the Universe is vast."
They replied, "Look to your elder brother, for through Faith are all things possible. Join with him in song, and make for yourselves a Garden to dwell in and a shelter in which to rest."
The five, Faith at their head, rejoicing in the spirit of creation, set out across the stars, coming to an unnamed star.
Joining in song, they took the rock and ice surrounding it and fashioned the planets with their hands, and on the third planet they fashioned all the trees of the field and beast of the air, land and sea, putting each into the place designed for it alone.
For a time they rested, and ate of the vine and drank of the cool waters. They laughed and ran through the fields, and soared among the clouds.
But they were still not satisfied. Returning to God, they said "Father, Mother, why must we be only five? Surely there is space for more, for the Universe is vast and filled with nothing but stars. May we not make more?" But The One shook their head.
"Five were made. Others may follow, but I cannot create another. In Faith is the light of Creation, but take heed: those I do not make may be pure, but with them follow others even you did not make," and with that God wept.
Saddened, the Five went back to their new home, and consulted with each other, pondering the words of the Ever-All.
"Surely", Wisdom said, "this means we cannot make more. We may be tired and few, but if the Almighty did not create more, neither should we."
"Wisdom speaks true," said Fortitude. "We may not be many, but we are the first Creation. If we cannot endure, surely the others that may come later cannot."
Faith, the eldest, raised his hands, calming the others. "Brothers, sisters, I do not wish to quarrel. Let us each make up our minds. For me, I wish to see what we can make."
The others, silent in their contemplation, drank from the waters and ate from the fields for another Age, pondering the Eldest's words.
Returning to their Garden, the Five once again sat together.
Faith said "Brothers and sisters, what have you decided?"
Propriety stood, and said "We must make more, for there is no one else besides us, to wonder at the majesty our Father and Mother has wrought."
Justice stood, and said "We must make more, for the endless ages ahead will be long and fraught with danger."
Fortitude stood, and said "We must make more, for while I may survive the endless stretches of time ahead, others make the burden lighter."
Lastly, Wisdom stood, and said "I cannot make more, but should it be the will of the Eldest, I shall add my part."
Faith stood, and with a shout caused a mountain to climb to the heavens underneath their very feet. From its peak was spread out the whole of Creation, and the light of the Ever-All shone on them.
The Five sat and for the last time joined their voices in song, weaving new themes across the Void. From their age-long song came tremors and earthquakes, and the land and sea roiled with the force of their music.
From each of their minds came another like unto themselves but distinct in form.
From Faith came Temperance. "Welcome, my wife," he said "Let us rule over the Universe together, for while I may see only what is possible, you may tell me what is right."
From Propriety came Diligence. "Welcome, my husband," she said. "Long may the shadow of our elder brother be, but while I can only do what he tells me, when I flag in my duty to him you shall help me sustain my labor."
From Justice came Charity. "Welcome, my wife," she said. "I shall be the strong sword arm of our elder brother, and you shall be his warm heart. When the sword strikes down the innocent with the guilty, you shall stay my hand."
From Fortitude came Integrity. "Welcome, husband," he said. "Together we shall be the solid rock on which the others stand. For I shall always do as I must, but you shall always do what is right."
Lastly, from Wisdom came Hope. "Welcome, husband," she said. For a long time she remained silent, contemplating her new companion. "I bid you welcome," she said at last, "for while the wisest course may be one of darkness and despair, through you shall I see the plan the Ever-All has laid out for us."
For a time all was peaceful, the first creation communing with and instructing the second.
After a while, the Ten gathered together and celebrated their new companionship, sharing amongst themselves their gifts and unique wisdom.
Suddenly, the ground shook, and fires rained from the sky, and out of the ground came the molten heart of the garden.
From the fires came the ten Vices, demons created from the thought of the Ten.
Twisted were their faces, as one in agony, and from their backs rose wings blackened with soot and ash, and from their foreheads twisted horns as of rams.
"Mothers, Fathers," they said, "come with us! Together we shall destroy what you have made, and return this world to the Void it was fashioned from!"
The vices fashioned for themselves great clubs of stone, and walked the face of the world smashing apart the works of the Ten. From the rents in the earth arose further abominations, some in the form of their masters but others with neither hand nor foot nor eyes to see.
The Ten, seeing the destruction of their children, turned to the Ever-All, crying "Father, Mother, help us! These new children seek to destroy all we have built!" But the Ever-All remained silent.
Weeping, the Ten drew the water from the seas and winds from the air, and fashioned for themselves spears of light, glowing with the Light of the Void. The thunder of their charge rang across the Void as they confronted their children in battle.
But it was all for naught. Long did they fight, and many victories did they win, but each victory was marred with an equal defeat, every advance met with an equal retreat. The surface of the world grew hot, and chasms opened up, spewing harsh and poisonous vapors that blanketed the world in darkness.
Wearied after long ages of conflict, Justice took to the void. Blinded by the cruel fires of Corruption, she felt her way among the stars, seeking the Light of the Ever-All but unable to see it. Seeing her plight, the Father and Mother took pity on their broken daughter, and extended their hand and brought their daughter to Them.
Justice prostrated herself before the Ever-all, saying "Father, Mother, we cannot be victorious. Long may we fight, but the fighting is endless with no victory in sight."
God wept for their first creation, the Ten Virtues, for though the second creation was not of their making it was of their will, and the tears of the Ever-all fell upon the smoking ground, quenching the tremors and fires of the world.
Taking up the Virtues in one hand and the Vices in the other, the Almighty spoke, saying to the first: "Children of my heart, long may I yet weep for your strife, for though I did only create five, yet Ten do I see. Brothers and sister are you, but you may never know peace unless a third sibling is created. Akin to me they will be, but you shall live in them. Through their actions shall your war be waged, for though I cannot prevent your strife, I can protect the Creation we have made from being destroyed by it."
Speaking to the second, the Almighty said "Your children and mine shall be in ever conflict, so I clear the way for them, that they may prove victorious in the fullness of time."
Taking the demons the Vices had made, the Almighty cast them to the farthest reaches of the Cosmos, to prepare a way for their new creation.
And so the Ever-All, the Light of the Void, the Father and Mother, the One, took the mud of the ground that had been created with Their tears, and fashioned a new type of being, one of the Creation as a beast yet as Themselves, and placed them in the Garden of the world they had made.
In each of humanity the Almighty placed a fraction of either of the Ten, each balanced against the other, and with that the new people awoke and looked out to the new stars above and world around them, and they were filled with wonder.
Appearing as a raging fire, the Ever-All said to them, "You are my Third Creation, and in you is the Light of the Void. The Cosmos I give you, to tend as my faithful servant.
In you I have placed your elders, the Vices and Virtues. Through you shall their wills be made manifest, but you shall be of your own mind, and it is only by your will that they are allowed voice. They may be your elder, but you are their keepers."
Turning their faces to the clear sky, the Almighty spoke with a loud voice, saying
"Look at the stars! I cast you among them, to populate them, and bring humanity to the furthest reaches of the universe!"