Of the Pool Temple and the Fall of Anath

In the years after the Rending, the people of Teretz slowly moved across the continent of Teragen and established towns, cities, and kingdoms. As they did, they discovered many natural landmarks, such as rivers, lakes, and mountains. One of these in particular came to play a very important part in history.

On the island of Yaralassa, later called Anath, a small clan discovered the first known of the seven pools. The elves who accompanied them built a temple there and set guards around it, saying that Eleos had decreed the pool forbidden. The Temple became the center of a new city, Polibrek. This city became the center of the civilization on Yaralassa,  the nation of Mamnes, and it thrived under the wise leadership of the elves.

In time, as they developed better sailing technology and made use of the island’s resources, Mamnes became the most prominent and powerful of all the nations of Teragen. They maintained trade and contact with all the coastal lands surrounding the sea, thus gaining great economic and political influence. Yet with her prosperity came the usual ills of human life. In time there were villages of poverty and violence, and in one of these villages lived a man named Anath.

Anath was the son of a poor farmer, and in TY (Temple Year) 338 a brief but painfully timed drought devastated the family’s income and food supply. Anath, at the time a youth, was convinced that it could have been prevented through magic. Moreover, he became convinced that the elves were holding back access to magic from men. So the young Anath fled his home and went into unknown places where he studied magic for 12 years.

Anath had told his family and village that he would acquire magic which would prevent droughts, increase crops, make animals more fertile, and give his people the power to stand up by themselves without elvish help. When he returned to his people in 350, however, he did not have any such magic. Instead, Anath had been consumed with his hatred for the elves. He came home immensely powerful, but more like a god of war than a god of harvest. With one curse he slew all of the elves in his village and declared it independent of elvish rule.

Anath’s people feared him, and when they saw his violence toward both elves and men who loved elves, they expelled him from their region. The tale says that he nearly killed them all, but his hand was stayed by the pleas of his mother. So Anath became a wanderer, entering towns and cities where he preached opposition to the elves. He warned that they were conspiring to keep mankind subjected to their magic, and that the only way to resist was by greater magic. Most did not listen to him, recognizing the goodness and fairness of the elves, but still his following grew quite large.

Anath built his movement for 6 years, and in 356 he marched with 3,000 followers to Polibrek. He told his followers, who had become known as the Anathim, that the pool in the Temple contained more magic than anyone had ever known, which the elves guarded in order to maintain their power. So the Anathim swept over Polibrek like a great wave, killing every nearly all of the elves and most men who defended them. They marched into the Temple and killed everyone serving in it.

Having accomplished his victory, Anath and his men approached the forbidden pool. Most of the men drank from it and did indeed find their magic strengthened, but Anath was not content. He alone entered the pool, and after he did he was never seen again.

In the aftermath, the Anathim took control of Polibrek and eventually conquered all of Mamnes. The nation and the island were renamed Anath after their leader, and the nation of Anath used its economic and political clout to sway all of the coastal nations to worship magicians, rebel against the elves, and abandon Eleos, who, they claimed, had clearly been an elvish invention. Over the years, rumor began circulating that at the end of time Anath would reappear from the pool and bring the whole world under the dominion of the Anathim, achieving what even the Great Magician failed to do.


Skeleton Timeline: The Rending to the Establishment of Tereth

Unnumbered years[*] The Rending
Year 1 Temple built at pool
356 Anath’s rebellion[*]
428 Yaralassa fully conquered, renamed Anath
697 Aedor last of six nations to pledge allegiance to Anath
728 Tereth called by Eleos
731 Tereth escapes Anath
871 Terethim finish conquering the surrounding islands
872 Terethim invade Anath, destroy the Temple at Hagibrek
886 Anath fully conquered, renamed Tereth, northwest temple construction begins
890 Northwest temple completed, named Telogar

[*] The chronology before the Temple years is a matter of great confusion. However, most sources are in agreement that there not even a generation between the Rending and the construction of the Temple. The thorny issue is the length of a generation. In later times it was counted as about 200 years, but many accounts indicate that it counted for much longer in the days before Anath’s rebellion. Claims vary from 360 to 900. Another consideration is the widespread belief that the Rending happened shortly before Noah’s flood. Because of the ambiguity here, I do not put any definite number in the chronology. However, I suspect the correct date for the Rending would be about 500 years before the Temple.

[*] Evidence from various accounts indicates that this event may have taken place at roughly the same time as the Egyptian Exodus on Earth. If so, by dating the Exodus we could align the histories of Teretz and Earth for comparison, though this is naturally fraught with difficulty. Personally, I am inclined to suppose this puts Anath’s rebellion at somewhere around 1417 BC our time. This would mean if true that you could roughly translate the temple years of Teretz into our BC dating by subtracting 356 from the date and then subtracting the result from 1417. So BC = 1417 – (T – 356). But again, this is all rather speculative and even if basically correct is probably not that precise.

Of Teragen

In the Rending Teretz received only four continents, much less than our seven, but they are vast. It also received many islands. Here the most prominent of the continents is described. The names of its lands and features are translated loosely and perhaps with some error into English. (For the magic of Teretz can translate any tongue to another in any ear, but it does not translate names, out of reverence.)

Before the Rending, nearly all men dwelt in the regions we know as Northern Africa and the Middle East. These lands being removed from Teretz, the people who remained were taken up and placed on the far northwest of a yet unexplored continent. So they named it Teragen, the First-land. The region where most first arrived was near to a great lake, so they called the place Limnalad, Lake-born. There was also a great river there. It was first called Potarah, for it made the land around fruitful, but later when men began to sail east and west on the river toward the ocean and the lake it was renamed Darthalass, the Sea-road.

In time it was realized that the “lake” was in fact much greater than a lake. It was soon named the Sea of Shemayim. The name apparently means something like Sun-water, and this may be because from all around the sea, it flamed and glittered with brilliant luminance under the noon. Over time the true extent of the sea became known, and in the final accounts it was said to be a near-perfect circle almost 1200 miles wide. It sat in the center of Teragen, and in all the journeys men took there, they wheeled around it on one side or the other until they could sail.

The first movements from Limnalad were north, but after much travel the lands became cold and dead. This region was named Teraqor, the Cold-land. Very few people ever lived there, and dark creatures came to fill it, but rumors suggest that eventually these creatures were driven out by the elves, and they established a kingdom there hidden in the ice and snow.

People then began moving westward. This move was stalled for many years because they soon came upon great mountains, and they named the land Petsuwr (Rocky). Some men settled in the mountains and wandered their peaks as nomads, but these were few. Only after the coming of the elves were men able, by elvish aid, to make paths through the mountains to the lands beyond.

Those who went due west or northwest came upon a vast desert, and they named it Terchowl, the Sand-land, though its northernmost regions were hard and rocky rather than sandy. Many people became nomads there, but no kingdoms were established until Emeth the Green brought forth by his magic the great oasis called Peggan, the Garden-fount.

Those who went south after Petsuwr continued over lower and flatter rocks for some way until they came to a great and long series of cliffs. To the west, in an attempt to go around the cliffs, they found long, grassy plains and came to another shore. This region was named Cheiliam (Western Beach). But some found paths down the cliffs, and they came to a land with many rivers, rich soil, tall grasses, and abundant vegetation, with forests which stretched beyond the sight of the keenest eyes. It was called Karporetz, Fruitful-land. Few people ventured any further south than Karporetz for a long time because it was such a pleasant place.

Around the time the men first passed Petsuwr, people began to cross the river Darthalass, and the land immediately south of it was called Perahar, which means Across-the-river. The land there was full of marshes and bogs, but on its eastern edge it met the ocean in what many have said are the most beautiful beaches in either Earth or Teretz. They were long and white, with the clearest waters in Teragen. As the sun rose over them, some peculiar quality of the sands there caused them to sparkle with every color. For one or two weeks in the year this effect was so strong that miles of beach appearing to be flaming in rainbow. So they were named Irisaph, Rainbow-shores. And for many ages, whenever this sight appeared, the people who dwelt there would cease all work and give themselves to celebration until the last glimmer of color faded.

South of Perahar and Irisaph there was another desert, much larger than Terchowl. It was much less flat than Terchowl, filled with high dunes and, in the center, a towering mountain. So the land was named Orokaum, Scorching-hills. Even after the mountain, it gradually sloped higher in the south, and where it reached the coast it stood as massive cliffs.

Those who finally moved south of Karporetz found grassy highlands which they named Orochort. Many small villages were built there, and it was a peaceful, quiet land for a long time. But those who ventured still farther south came to regret it. For it was in the southwestern corners of Teragen were the Great Magician had built his greatest fortress.

Therefore the vast lands in that region were called Eremageo, Magic-waste. The fortress of the Great Magician was still there in the center, and all of the lands around it for hundreds of miles were black and dead. Nothing grew there, and nothing lived there except for dark and unnatural creatures fashioned during the War. To this day not an inch of the land has been restored, but it is said that when the Reconciliation is complete, all the black will turn green, and nowhere in Earth or Teretz will be able to rival its beauty. Then it shall be renamed Shen-Eden, and its old fortress will crumble, and in its place a son of the Six will build a palace dedicated to Eleos.

East of Eremageo, men found vast forests, spanning hundreds of miles. They named it Hulael, Mighty Forest. In this land they found many foul creatures who remained from the perversions of the Magician’s War, and so it was many years before men tamed the forests and were able to travel farther toward the southernmost region of Teragen.

Eventually, men did reach the bottom of Teragen, and there they found a varied region, containing very different geographies all close together. There were hills, grasslands, deserts, rivers, a jungle, a massive mountain, and the famed southern beaches. It was therefore named Echpoletz, with a meaning something to the effect of “Many lands in one.”

In the west of Echpoletz, near where it meets Orokaum, there is a narrow land between the oceans connecting Teragen to the Southern Realm, also called Noterreg. Few people passed on to there in the oldest days, and of the doings there little news has ever reached our world. It is said that the peoples and lands of Noterreg are even more various and splendid than those known in Teragen, and the adventures and history there no less amazing than those I will be recounting. But their stories are not the most important story and do not pertain to the comings and goings between Teretz and Earth, in which I am alone interested.

One important land remains in Teragen. After men began to sail the Sea of Shemayim, they found a large island, roughly crescent-shaped, near the sea’s center. It was named in this time Yaralassa, Sea-moon. However, in later times this name was nearly forgotten, replaced by the more infamous name of Anath, for this island became the domain of the Anathim after their rebellion. It was then surrounded by a magic ring of perpetual storms which prevented any man from entering and leaving the island, which was not broken for centuries. The wars between the Terethim and the Anathim began when Eleos gave the land to Tereth and his descendants.

A rough map, approximated from these collected descriptions:


Of the Elves

In the aftermath of the Rending, the world of Teretz was unstable, both socially and physically. It seemed certain that within a few decades, all things would be lifeless and void as they were before creation. None of the remaining magicians had the knowledge or skill to recover from the effects of the Magician’s War. The world was saturated with war magic that made everything from the smallest berry to the greatest beasts more perilous than death itself. The natural order remained in effect, but so many layers of created order interfered that even the sun’s rising was often in doubt.

In this dark hour came the elves. For in heaven there was great distress over Teretz. Its hosts had pity on men, and so some of them were given leave to come among men. They took on a form like the human form, and and they were tasked to work with men to rebuild and restore. So men were placed under the authority of the elves until they could again live as they did before the War.

Since the time of the Coming, the elves have little been seen, but lore remains. They were said to be fairer and wiser than men, and the least of them was more skilled in magic than any member of the Six. They were naturally immortal, though they could be slain, and if killed they would return to the heavenly host and there remain. Tales also told that they were ageless, and that according to their will and their temperament they could change their stature and apparent maturity.

Thus the elves for many years worked closely alongside men. Together they turned Teretz from a wasteland into a new paradise. This work continued until the Fall of Anath, when the Anathim made war on the elves for being servants of Eleos. Slowly the elves withdrew from the affairs of men and hid themselves until the call of Tereth. They became allies of the Terethim and aided them in many battles. The elves at war were terrible and deadly, able to make themselves large and menacing as they drew their swords, and before them many of the Anathim fell.

The elves remained close to the Terethim until shortly before the Coming. When its signs began to appear, they departed into unknown regions where they have remained ever since. On rare occasion people still see elves in both Teretz and Earth, though in this latter case nothing is known of how they arrived. It is said that in the end, when Anath returns to dismantle Teretz, the elves will gather in a final alliance with men, and all of them will be slain.

Of Teretz

Long ages ago, before the rise and fall of many empires, and before the cataclysm of Noah’s day, the world was not as it now is. For as we know the world, it is governed by strict laws of nature which do not yield to any power save that of the One who decreed them. In the far ancient times, however, these laws, the natural order, served only to uphold the creation, which they did not then rule. At that time men held another power, a gift from their Creator, by which they could add to the world in small measure their own order. A man could teach water which first flowed down a hill to instead flow into the air, or he could add to the nourishing powers of a berry healing effects. This created kind of order might be called in present language “magic,” and it was good. The Creator gave this magic to men so that they might build upon His own work in the natural order. By mastering both magic and the use of the natural order, man would make the raw world into the vessel of the glory of their Maker.

But this did not come to pass. For in the deep past the first of men had heeded the words of the Unmaker. The Unmaker taught him to rebel and to lay the world to waste rather than to glorify the Maker. In time, magic was much corrupted. Men became skilled in magic and in using nature, but for each skill they found use for evil as well as good.

Therefore after countless years of strife between making and unmaking, the Unmaker inspired a man powerful in magic to pursue domination by his art. This man named himself out of arrogance the Great Magician, but he spoke truly. For none before or after him could ever rival his ability in creating magic. With this magic he sought to claim all the world for his own, but many resisted. So began the Magician’s War.

How long the Magician’s War lasted no soul ever knew, whether weeks, years, decades, or centuries. The magic which was devised at that time bent even time itself, so that a year could become an age, and an age could return to an ancient day. Cruelties of innumerable kinds were invented, and by magic the War came to include pains which always increased but never ceased, creatures of shadow and malice, deaths followed by resurrections and then repeated, treachery imperceptible until the final hour, and devastation upon all the lands of the world.

At long last, after what seemed to be millennia, six powerful magicians determined to end the barbarity. In their many years of war they had advanced so far in magic as to nearly rival the Great Magician himself. Yet in a strange twist of fortune, the Six concluded that magic itself was the root of all evils. They sought to rid the world of it. Therefore they gathered and increased all their strength by some deed which is only remembered as the Abomination. They cast their curse to remove all magic, and so came the Rending.

It was the Rending which sundered the world in two. Half of all creatures and all lands were removed from the world as it was then known to another realm. In this realm there was and could be no magic, and today we call it “Earth.” The other half of the world became known ever after as “Teretz.” There magic remained, along with half of the lands and half of the creatures. The Six found themselves on Earth with only half of a world, and they were grieved of their error.

Teretz and Earth, however, did not forget the union of their youth. By some means, perhaps the work of the Creator, there remained connections between the two realms. These connections took the form of seven pools, and by these pools all the comings and goings between Teretz and Earth would come to take place. But for ages they lay hidden, and no man knew either on Teretz or on Earth of any way between the two. Soon Earth forgot of its brother, and now only whispers and rumors remain.

I, however, have been diligent to take account of all of these slight memories. Lore of the ancient affairs remains in the world, and all the more so since the Reconciliation began. Of these I have attempted to make orderly chronicle. This blog is for the telling of such tales as I have found them. I only hope that they will remind us all of the world beyond our own.