The Beginning of Darkness

In the beginning was a void.

Out of nothingness came four bright sparks, radiant as suns, yet darker than eclipsed moons.

One was a she-dragon, scales scarlet as fire and eyes and talons and curled ram's horns darker than the depths of space. To her was given the fell gift of battle and the passion of love, and the name of Neiren, for she embodied both war and the bonds of the heart.

The second was a proud spirit, given the form of a spectral wolf. Her fur was but a shade darker than white, the color of bone, her empty black eyes and black spines the color of a slain fire. To her was given the power of the Reaper itself, as well as peace to quell the stirrings of a spirit restless and bring it to eternal slumber. She was named Lethias, for she brought great and meek to equality in death.

Next of the four was a spirit with the guise of a mighty hawk, his feathers ebony and silver, his crooked claws and horns the color of fresh blood. His eyes glimmered dusky green as he was gifted with the power to bring disease and sickness, and along with it vengeance to right past wrongs. The name Orphethus was his, for he embodied revenge and grim pestilence.

The last of the mighty spirits possessed the form of a great lion, a powerful beast whose pelt was given the colors emerald-green and azure-blue, and whose jagged claws and feathered wings and long fangs gleamed like polished ebony. His gift was to drain flora and fauna alike of vitality, and his power also bespoke dignity and superiority. He was named Zailen, for his might was that of famine and that of pride.

The Four created a world together, a Realm that was born from their souls and born of their powers. They created beings to inhabit this new world, beings that they called demons. For a time all was peaceful, and the Realm that they had created bore no scars of battle under its ever-scarlet moon and deepest black sky. But it could not last.

Lethias, arrogant and proud, looked upon her three siblings and thought that she was the greatest of the Four. In time, she realized thus: why work together with lesser beings when she could rule over them, be the ultimate deity of this Realm? So it was that fell night that Death attacked she of War, the dragoness Neiren. Days upon days their battle raged, for though she was her sister, Neiren's lust for her blood overcame her, just as Lethias forgot her desire to control and fought now to kill.

And not only the two sisters; but the demons of Death and War as well, fought a war that scarred the Realm of Demons. It was this conflict that caused the rivers and oceans and lakes to run, to swell with the blood of those slain and those injured. Zailen and Orphethus, too, entered the destructive conflict, wishing only to stop their warring siblings at first, but like them, giving into themselves and fighting with all that they had. Zailen drained the trees of the Realm of their energy to fuel his fight; this is why, to this day, every tree in the Demon Realm is white as death and bear neither fruit nor leaves. Orphethus, too, afflicted their Realm; his mighty wings blew the very stars from existence as he battled, and that is why only the moon reigns in the Realm's sky.

At last, the Four lay wounded, unable to continue their blood-feud. Their Realm was ravaged and almost at absolute end. Neither of them could defeat another; they were created equals, and equals they remained. The Four had come to a grim truth; no longer could they exist together. So each of the Four claimed part of the Realm they had created from dust as their own, dividing their world forevermore into Death, War, Pestilence, and Famine lands.

But no sooner did they retreat into their own territories were the two that had begun this terrible war cursed. Neiren, for the crime of wanting her sister's blood, was compelled forevermore to drink the lifeblood of others in order to survive, and this punishment carried to the demons she had claimed as her own. Lethias, for the sin of wishing so wickedly to kill her fellow deity, was then cursed to kill to give herself life; the demons that bore the name of Death, too, were branded by this law.

The war that raged between the deities never ended. It changed form, yes...alliances shifted, yes. But to this day, the four kingdoms, War, Death, Pestilence, and Famine, fight bitterly against each other...as it will be until the world perishes forevermore...

...for in the beginning was a void, and so it shall end...

- the Darkness

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