Two Gods

Sits down, sit down children. It's time for a story, a very important story.

No, it's not about the General. It's not about the King Sage either, Malach. It's about something greater than either of those two. What could be greater than those two? Well, why don't you think about it for a moment. What could be greater than the champions of the gods?

That's right, Tumut, it's about the gods themselves. What do you know about the gods, children? Yes, they are powerful. Yes, they are important too. But why are they powerful? Why are they important? Hah, yes, that's true. They're important and powerful because the priests say they are, though different priests will argue about which is more important and powerful, won't they? But why do they priests say that?

None of you have an answer? That's right, because you are young and have not thought about it before. You are told things and do not ask why. As you get older, your friends and family will tell you this is the right way to do things. That you should not ask questions. Obey, do not stick out, do not cause trouble.

But luckily, I am a human, so I didn't grow up learning those rules. I can break them and though I might be beaten for it, your parents will just say I am a silly human, so I shouldn't be taken seriously.

You can tell your parents if you feel like you should. I know at least one of you will.

No, no. Do not promise to not do it. Because if you all promise, one of you will still tell, because if you don't it will tear you up inside. I can't do that to you, but I have to tell you this even so.

There are two gods, you know. Galvetrus, who you and your families worship, along with many other people across the world, including some of my own. Then there is Optierus, who is worshiped by the dranomicax and montane and a great many more.

Galvetrus, as you all well know, is the water we drink and the earth we stand on and the darkness that blankets us. He is the Disc and provides us with strength, courage, and order.

But what is Optierus? Does anyone know?

The light is proper and he is the fire which can scorch, though if you ask the people who follow him they will tell you he is the fire that warms, the wind that cools, and the light which lets them see. He is the Orb and provides us with compassion, wisdom, and freedom.

Yes, your father is correct. He provides us with weakness, pity, and chaos. But it could also be said Galvetrus provides us with destruction, vanity, and oppression. There are two sides to every coin, you see.

Now, that is a very insightful question, Tumut. I have taught you very well. For you see, Galvetrus and Optierus are but two sides to a coin themselves. Does it not make you curious why there is one god for light and one for darkness? When you take away light, it is dark. When you take away dark, it is light. Add a little light and it is a little less dark, add a little dark and it is less light.

So it is for all things. Add a little water to fire and there is less of it. You are right, Cheyise, some of it becomes steam, which is the clouds in the sky, which is part of Optierus's domain. Does Optierus steal the water from Galvetrus with his fire? Or is it merely natural that water becomes steam because of fire?

And if it is natural, how was it that two gods who hate each other, Galvetrus and Optierus, came to make a world where things can be mixed so? Why not make it so that light and darkness can exist together? Why not one or the other?

It is because they did not make this world. Oh, hush, children, this is nothing so surprising. Even if you ask the priests, and prod them enough, they will admit this to you. It's not me telling you this which will get me in trouble, so do not worry about it.

You see, once, long long ago, there was only one god. In those days, there were no humans, no dranomicax, no goblins, no dwarves, no montane. There were just one people, though we do not have a name for them. It has been lost to time, though the dranomicax will tell you it was them alone, but do not listen to them. They are old, but not so old as to know all that.

These people had built a great empire. They were strong and powerful and knew nothing like hardships. They had many miracles! Oh, they could fly through the sky like birds and talk to each other across the world in an instant and had houses as large as mountains.

I am getting to why we can't do those things any more. You see, before these people had these things, they had worshiped one god, whose name we do not know. But this god was the god of everything. The god of dark and light, fire and water, strength and compassion, order and freedom. The god made the world and all the things and people on it and asked his people to give their praises to him.

But when these people could fly and do so many things, they forgot about the god. Surely they must have seen themselves as gods because of all the things they had achieved.

The god despairs, for he had been forgotten. But he knew how to remind them of his strength and existence. One day, as the Orb rose over the horizon, every person in the world felt the god warming their skin. Yes, that's right. In those days, the Orb could shine its light on the entire world, not just half of it. The Disc could do the same, bringing its darkness every night as the Orb retreated. But I am getting ahead of myself.

The people looked up and saw the god's face in the Orb and saw his body in the sky and his mind in the Disc. The clouds were his clothes and the earth was his heart.

Many of the people fell to their knees, overawed by the god and were filled with love for him. But there were others (and this is the part which will get me in trouble, at least one of the parts), the leaders of the people, who saw the god as a threat. If the people praised the god and not their leaders, then what good were the leaders? If the god told the people to do something, they would obey, even if the leaders did not want it.

So the leaders worked in secret to build a great weapon. It took them many years to complete it and, more than once, one of them finally gave in to the god's power and tried to reveal their plan to the world. But the other leaders remained jealous and did away with their self-conscious fellows.

Eventually, the weapon was complete, and the leaders aimed it into the sky and fired at the god, aiming to destroy him.

It was terrible. The whole world was thrown off balance. The Orb and Disc were flung to opposite ends of the world so that a fourth of the world would always be light, a fourth would always be dark, a fourth would be more dark than light, and a final fourth would be more light than dark. Hundreds of thousands, more than you or I could even count, were killed in an instant. The survivors banded together, huddled and afraid and starving, all their greatness blown away in an instant by the single action of the people they had trusted.

But for all their failure, the leaders had managed one thing. The god was no more. In his place there were two gods, each half of the original god. They were greatly injured by the weapon and very weak, which is why it took so long for the survivors to learn of them, and why the false gods in the history books were worshiped.

These gods, of course, were Optierus and Galvetrus. They are two sides of the same coin, both being a shattered half of the original god. They are enemies all the way through. One half got the exact opposite aspects of the other half. This is why, even though the world is so naturally made for them to coexist, they wish to destroy each other. Each thinks he is the true embodiment of the one god and cannot bear the other's existence.

Yes, Cheyise, it would make more sense for them to work together. If they could put aside their differences, everything would be better. It is just like with people. Goblins and humans may fight sometimes, but when we work together everything is much better for us both.

If you look around you, you will see how true it is. When it is cold outside, you gather around a fire for warmth. When you are parched, you drink water. Crops do not grow without both light and water. You cannot breathe the earth or the water, but you must breath the air. The Disc sits in the sky, just as the Orb does. People do not live in the daylands or the nightlands, or do so with much difficulty, because it is not meant that they should live without either the Disc or the Orb.

The dwarves are the only ones who have figured this out. They live deep in the ground, so you would think they follow Galvetrus. Yet they cut tunnels in the earth, to introduce the air of Optierus to it. And they say, deep down within the earth, there is fire. So even without the dwarves, there is Optierus inside Galvetrus, working together.

Maybe discovering this is what drove the dwarves mad. Or maybe we are the mad ones, because we refuse to see that Galvetrus and Optierus are equal despite being opposite, so we should not praise one to the detriment of the other.

Now go, children. Think about what I've told you. And whoever tells his parents about my indiscretions, I offer you the forgiveness of Optierus. I will take the punishment of Galvetrus as is proper.

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