The Elohim acolyte rested studiously in her abode, reviewing the texts of old. This was a formality, of course, as much of the text pre-dated any form of language she, or anyone else, could decipher. Oftentimes she had crude sketches or contextual clues to work with, and little more. Fortunately, if she concentrated hard enough, she could sometimes feel the passion with which the words were written. She might mistake their meaning for her own, but at least it was start. Regardless of the source material, her focus remained keenly on one subject—one she believed had shaped, and would continue to shape, the fate of her world. The Prince.
The oldest texts don’t mention him by name, and many are not clear as to whether he was even a he. Varying accounts imply he was probably a smallish fellow, impish, and probably not very strong. He may have not been terribly clever, or much to look at either. But he was kind. So kind. Beyond that, the details remain vague. Even so, the consensus among the acolyte’s ancestors remains the same: the Prince started everything.
It is said that the great tribes that roamed the lands fought ceaselessly. From corruption to political intrigue to assassination for sport, there was no shortage of callous, raucous villainy. At the height of the depravity, it was said that an unusual catastrophe befell the land. Some accounts speak of lightning, some of fire, one of a very large fishing boat. Most agree, however, that at the end of it all, members from various tribes found an injured lad asking for help. The Prince.
While most ignored him at first, some soon noticed that where the Prince was found a ring of verdant flowers seemed to bloom bountifully only moments later. As he walked, the gleam of the sun resting high in the sky followed his every movement. When he smiled, a wave of comforting, ardor sighs followed. The tribes wasted no time in warring over whom would claim him (though they’d cared little for him not long before).
It is said that the Prince, still injured from whatever plight might’ve brought him, tried to assuage their fervor, though it was to little use. As with most conflicts, the records indicate that both sides spent so much time fighting they paid no attention to the prize itself. Unable to bear the grief of the war he’d wrought, the Prince made his way to the cliff of a great sea. In order to end the fighting for good, he leapt, removing the cause of their strife. But it seemed the world itself favored the Prince, and possessed no mercy for those who’d incited his demise.
Though the events that followed are described in many ways, most accounts suggest the sky being torn asunder, the ground rent as the seas raged. In short, they’d pissed mother nature off quite royally, and she meant to make an example of those who remained. To flee the terror, the tribes split off into two factions: those that denounced the Prince and blamed him for causing the great calamity, and those that sought the world’s forgiveness through the Prince’s example. The former, considering themselves cast from their previous home of glory, called themselves the children of Lilith. The latter, viewing the Prince as a sort of deity, called themselves the children of God.
Near the end of the calamity, sketches imply the earth stopped assaulting the peoples directly, and instead bore a new plague. Living bodies indiscriminately began eating away at themselves, dying agonizing, graceless deaths. All creatures were afflicted, although the Lilim and the Elohim far more so. A majority of the populous perished, while only a small handful seemed to persevere. They’d stayed near fountains of shimmering grace, that, for whatever reason, seemed to halt this illness that the Lilim would later dub “the Sick.” The Elohim founded small settlements to protect their grace, what they considered the “essence of the Prince,” while the Lilim found new ways to machine and manipulate the fountains.
Whether any of the story is true is difficult to say. Much of it has become an Elohim lullaby swayed by the bards’ songs. For the nomadic Lilim, it’s impossible to say if they think about much beyond surviving the day.
The acolyte continued reviewing her materials, unsure of what it was she might be looking for. Much of the stories read like legend, and were likely no more than that. But what else could she do? Her kinsmen would not stop the purge, and dragonfire continued to spread. Though she could see no means to stop either, every person had to play their part, even if it wasn’t on the front lines. She continued to read as the wicked cackling crackle of mighty thunder bolted out somewhere in the distance, just beyond the waterfall.