One of the oldest known legends of Altherys speaks of the creation of the gods. It is a creation legend associated with the Church of the Firstborn, one of the dominant faiths of the continent and practiced nearly everywhere that Tyrenese, the Common Tongue, is spoken.
Before time began, before there was a world or the planes of the Immatyrium were formed, there was the Allfather, whose name was Auwe. He was the divine architect, the first of the gods, who looked upon existence and felt alone. As he sat daydreaming, imagining a world where he was not alone, it was said that he began to dream of the World of Matyr as we know it today.
“And so he envisioned the world in a single stroke, the brainchild of his master plan. He saw its rivers, oceans, mountains, vales, forests, and plains. He saw its creatures and its peoples. And he saw the gods that would make that world a reality, and so he built for them their Nursery…” – Excerpt from the Book of the Allfather
It was said that he envisioned all the world in the time of a single afternoon; to the Allfather, it was less than the blink of an eye. And as he did, he envisioned the gods who would help make that world a reality. He envisioned them to be nine in number, each unique but also similar and united in purpose despite being divided in approach. And so he decided to make them a reality, to teach them his grand design, and let them loose upon creation to take his great plan to fruition.
He created two planes that were parallel to the plane of creation; the first was his Golden Throne which was to act as his seat of power and to be the place where he would go to collect his thoughts and ideas for the world – so that he may further detail his plan. The second was a place of beauty and greenery where nothing could die and no tragedy could ever be had. This would be the Nursery of the Gods, and it was here that he created the Firstborn; his greatest children.
For the untold ages it took to teach the young gods their duty, they slowly began to grow, and as they did they influenced the Nursery around them. Some made it more colorful, filling the nursery with flowers and living things. Others made sections brighter, or darker, to suit their moods and their present interests. Still others sought nothing but the freedom of continuous change, and so brought the Nursery into harmony; a constant, ever-changing expanse of beauty and light.
It was said that at some point in that constant, timeless age, the Allfather came to his children and offered each of them a gift. Each gift was unique and represented the child he gave it to. He told them that they each must bear their gifts close to their hearts and never let them go, that each gift was special just like them. So the children obeyed, and the Allfather left them for a time once more.
Not all of the children appreciated their gifts, however, and one grew to envy the gifts of the others. He decided that, rather than settle with one gift, how much better would he be if he took the others’ gifts as well? So he did, and as he stole or changed the gifts of his siblings it caused them great torment, and soon the Nursery began to fall into strife and discord until one among them went to seek their father and ask for his aid.
When the Allfather did return at the behest of the sibling he found his children weeping at their missing or ruined gifts, and the one that started it playing with the others like they were toys. He came forward and fixed those gifts that were changed or broken and commanded the child to return the gifts he had stolen to his siblings. Despite his desire not to, the child could not help but obey, for he feared his father’s wrath. When he did the Allfather, disappointed in his son, instructed that he take his own gift and appreciate it for what it was and to never take or change the gifts of the others again.
Enraged and unable to accept his fate, the boy promptly took his own gift and smashed it upon the floor of the Nursery, the gift breaking into nine equal pieces. He then went into the darkest corner of the Nursery to sulk and brood, ostracizing himself from his brothers and sisters, and refusing to meet the saddened gaze of the Allfather.
Rather than leave the gift, the Allfather instructed the others to take the broken pieces and hold them to themselves as dearly as they did their own. For, as he said, all gifts are special and serve a purpose, even when broken, and we must not take them lightly nor throw them aside. Eventually even this young, disruptive god, saddened by his father’s disappointment, took up the last piece and held it closer and dearer to himself than even his siblings did their own – for even though he was left with less than what he started, he found it more precious than ever before.
The myth’s lesson is often taught to those young of blood – one must never envy the gifts of others, just as one must never take their gifts for granted…