Athos: The Return
Athosian Origin of Species
From the Book of Hyacinthius
And so, after the Earth was made
to bare fruits and trees and all
the beasts of the vast planes and
endless seas, there was silence. And
Athos, knowing well that silence was imperfection,
as his soul still seem’ed void with melancholy,
raised his fingers into the sky
and swirled the clouds into
the magnificent races of Men.
Mighty in war and shrewd in
diplomacy, he gave to them an
adamantine sword. Both curse and gift.
Then, seeing that he was standing
on a beach, Athos felt the sand
between his toes and, with such
strength that only a god could wield,
crushed the sand. And lo, not pearls
but the races of Dwarves emerged. Skilled
in mining and steadfast in their determination,
he gave to them a golden pick. A warning,
wrapped in the guise of yet untapped luxury.
Then Athos, looking into the vastness of the
ocean contemplated. And from the strength of his thoughts
were born the races of Elves, utmost gifted in
intellect and the ways of arcane magic.
To these wise children he gave an enchanted
crown. Both a show of their divine
knowledge and an admonition of the
arrogance brought on by pride.
Then Athos watched as a large creature of
the sea washed upon the shore. It shifted,
let out a gruff cry, and then fell into
peace. Athos, seeing death for the
first time fell to his knees and wept.
From these tears were born the Pixies.
Such creatures known for their stealth
and endless humour. To them he gave
an immortal flower of one thousand petals.
When they placed it into the dirt
a great forest erupted, engulfing the region.
The flower was named Thalia and it was
to stand, even as generations of Pixies
would die, mortal casualties of everlasting
life, eternal. And Athos sat and looked upon his creation,
proud in his work, and walked up a hill in
order to see more complete that which
he had designed. When he reached the apex
he saw Man, Elf, and Dwarf shouting at
one another and so Athos approached and
demanded to know the cause of such
bickering. Man stepped forward and,
with fire in his heart, spoke with such
passion that smoke bellowed from
his throat as he recounted the tale of
a faun who, having run through the forest
with such celerity, fell upon the dirt,
exhausted. Man, then, striking the beast
with his sword, claimed the meat
for his own. But then, Elf, with silver’d
tongue and such eloquent speech that even
the birds, loud with song, grew silent
to listen, spoke aloud. The faun,
slain by man, was not his, but was,
in fact, Elf’s. For this faun was
tracked and hunted through the forest
by Elf and when man slew the beast,
had stolen from him, for it was his
by labour and toil. But Dwarf, brash
of tongue and hard of heart rejected
such speech and declared that the faun,
having come from his land was rightfully
to be given to him. Athos, having
heard the tale thrice, lifted his palm
“This faun shall go to he who,
with his weapon, sheds the
most blood.” And with his
hand willed the beast whole
again. Man, remembering the
pool of blood before, sliced
the head from its torso. Blood rushed out
and pooled before Man’s feet. Elf laughed,
and with his crown tore into the beast’s cavity,
inflicting multiple wounds, each flowing,
as does a river when rains are heavy, to
the Elf’s feet, equal to Man’s. The Dwarf,
a grin upon his face struck the beast through
it’s leg, blood flowing to his feet. Again,
equal. Then Athos looked down and willed
the blood into a single pool. From that pool rose the
race of Orcs. A bestial species, unyielding in force
and unmatched on the battlefield. Man, Elf, and
Dwarf looked upon in horror, for he was
given by Athos a club of bone, fashioned
from the faun, as punishment for their intolerance.
Yet it was also a challenge for Orc, to
be greater than the circumstances that brought
him into existence. And so Athos again walked
upon the land until he came to a meadow, covered
in rot and dying things. Yet, before Athos could
leave, a pixie came into the meadow and pierced its
side with a blade. Athos, stricken by disgust,
walked to the creature and asked for what reason
had he committed violence to himself? The creature
gave no response and died. In a rage, Athos lifted the
Pixie’s body into the air and pulled it, as if elastic,
into a larger shape and breathed life back into
the creature. Then, throwing him to the ground,
cast upon him a chain of poor metal
“Yea, for you have taken your own life
without honour you shall be forced that life
again to atone. With this shackle your
children and your children’s children
unto the deed be done, shall atone for
such wickedness upon my creation!”
With these words, which echoed like thunder through
the highest and deepest places of the Earth,
Athos conceived Gnomes, an ill-fated race,
doomed forever to seek atonement from
a vengeful and seldom forgiving God.
So then Athos, finally having felt his design complete,
ascended into the stars to observe
the individual fates of his creations
and to contemplate the vast hole which
still remained in his celestial soul.
Excerpt from the Book of Dros
And he stood stiff, glaring upon me
with eyes void of mercy
and red as the blood that
sat be-speckled upon his
spiderweb’d hair. He looked downcast
to my piteous state and smiled
with teeth yellow as bile.
He lifted his blade and began his work.
My limbs peeled off like snakes’ skin,
yet my cries were muffled by the blood
running down my throat. Endless blood,
from my stumped tongue. My last sight was
of a black star falling from the
sky, passing through the void, and
then, with me, out of sight as my
demon plunged his blade into my pupil.
And this was the first of the Shadar-Kai
to step upon the Earth, yet he
would not be the last.
Athos help us.
Excerpted from the Book of Liviches on the Deva
“And you, my faithful servants
Shall be the shepherds to my children
And guardians of my power
Protect the strength of my sons
Defend the honor of my daughters
And Athos looked upon his seraphs
Emblazoned in majestic purple
Rise, my creations, and know
Though you are not my kin
You are mine own”
Excerpted from the Book of Wrathes
And Athos looked down upon
and made its dishonourable sins
From that pit, Wrathful Athos
made beast and they
crawled upon the Earth from the pieces
of true Athosian make.
Athos named them to be the
force which would keep
all of Athosian kind
unified. That although
they are to themselves
they are also to Athos
which supersedes all else.
To beast he gave various names
and they spread out
from Athos like
as Athos willed.
For Athos teaches as he
Athos be Praised; the Twenty-Fourth Time.
Excerpted from the XXII Book of Colours
NOTE: Very few copies of this text exist. The work is by the First Seer of Naxos who was said to have consorted much with Athos. After the XXII Book of Colours was initially published, the First Seer of Naxos died unexpectedly. The text was printed only by special order from a very limited number of sources. Most knowledge of it is heavily suppressed, known only to those few capable of tracking them down or those who know ones who have made outstanding effort themselves in finding copies. Many powerful, centralised religious organisations ban it officially as heretic. Most copies in existence are therefore most likely heavily damaged.
“And on this day all the city of
Numrunimus ran red. Its people
poisoned by the tongue of Ruxruus,
who had made Men and Elves and
Dwarves and Orcs enemies.
When Athos saw this, his eyes flared.
Huge suns like hot forges shot out molten
fire which surrounded Numrunimus,
trapping the combatants within a
raging infernal moat. Then he
His essence crashed into the city
centre like an Astraloid and
from the energy he shouted no words.
They echoed through the ears
of the people, louder than
O that lesser Athosian tool
Instead, Athos deigned to make
a lesson of his folk.
The first home of Athosian harmony!
O how the stars do
die so brightly!
In the ruins, it is said
Athos himself sat down
In his darkness, Athos
took from his shattered
Creation all that hate
which he looked upon with
disgusted eyes and forged
from their pieces
Made not of Him
But of His.
They would teach lessons.
They would correct the arrogance.
They would unite them in commonality.
For Athos desired this most.
They would join them in life
in order to teach the lessons Athos
desired. He infused in each
of these creatures a part of his
darkness, drawing it from his body,
restoring him to serenity.
That darkness in each formed itself
uniquely and to each was given
freedom of themselves,
as was to all Athosians.
Just as to the ill-fated Gnomes
was given the iron bond
of their brothers so
that they may learn from them
all and overcome the Great
Sadness. All this Athos
imparted to me at the
Rock of Naxos on the
Twelfth Moon that shone Yellow
and was finally the Sun.
Excerpted from the Book of Vanities
When Athosians challenged Father Athos
that they could defeat any creature
Athos could ever surmise,
they sought to trick Athos into
granting them greater beasts to master,
for Athosian-kind had mastered and tamed
the land he had given them and sought more.
They grew more arrogant by the syllable.
But Athos saw through this and his
mouth grinned and he rose his hand
into the clouds. From them he
ripped out the Mighty Terrors
who swarmed down on Athosian-kind and for
one hundred and fifty days
reigned over Earth with the force of
a thousand Armageddons.
When the Sun fell on
the One Hundred and Fiftieth Day
Athos took up the Terrors and
disbanded them. They fled across
the Earth. The Kraken, the
Dragon, the Beasts of Eyes,
and the High Holy Nightmare Below,
along with all the other greater horrors.
Athos looked to them not once as they fled,
cast away by him. Another tool,
for another lesson.
And Athos said,
“There, master your beasts, lest
they master you.”
Athos Be Praised.