Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Maw of Taimat

The Gods of Aihrde . . . Of Tiamat and the Five Caves

After unnamed years passed, the first Dwarves laid their minds to rest and returned to stone; but the fire of their being remained in Aihrde, without house or purpose. The All Father grieved at the sight, though he was not surprised, for as with all things, from his being had they come and his fire resided within them; and the All Father is dea
thless. He saw them wander upon the arc of time and knew that eventually they must end beneath all creation; and this he could not abide.

The All Father took the houseless fire and rose above the Maelstrom of Creation and looked out into the Great Empty, the Void. There he cast a thought upon the Void and made a place for the fire to dwell; a land of mist where matter assumed the form of the fire’s desire. There he set the fire to dwell until the Gonfed should come.

The fire of the dwarven dead dwelt there and made of it a field of its own liking. In time more Dwarves died and they too rose and took the path laid out for the noble dead to the plane of mist, there to mingle with their fallen kinsmen, to build their own dreaming. Soon the plane was filled with the souls of departed Dwarves and they made of it a world of stone, with high mountains, green fields and blue skies. Thus these fields earned their name, the Stone Fields, and there the noble dead came to dwell, of whatever race or people.

But some souls were not bent for the Stone Fields for they were evil or disturbed or their lives ended in murder and the road to the Stone Fields confused them and they could not find the way. So they were lost. They wandered upon the arc of time for there was no other way. They followed the arc to its end where time flows to the bottom of the world, beneath the deep oceans and through the Gates of Ea-Lor, Lord of the Seas. Beyond the Gates time flows until the end where the Futhnopt lays, the “Five Gates;” these mark the end of those legendary paths the restless dead must travel on their way to the Wretched Plains that house the dead. These plains lay at the end of time, where the weight of time’s passage gathers in five great pools, called the Shadow Realms by some, the Wretched Plains by others.

Into this darkness and wretched timelessness the souls came to rest. Here the weight of time settled upon the dead and forever after, or until the Gonfed, they were forced to carry the weight of it upon their shoulders; the burden bore them down, crushing them.

It was here, at the Futhnopt, that Thorax, the Red Duke, built his House; here he brooded upon the conquest of the world. He used the shadows of time to fashion weapons for his wars and his House became a morass of twisted thoughts haunted by the shades of the dead; its labyrinth filled with darkness, chaos and evil. From the House of Shadows he fought many long wars against the world of Aihrde and the gods, his siblings. There came a time when his foes assailed him, pursuing him even to the House of Shadows, though it consumed them as they became lost in its twisted mazes. But Thorax grew fearful for their wrath came too close. He set his thought toward guarding his realm and he fashioned from his own malice a beast of such hideous demeanor that few living could look upon her. He set her to guard the way to the Shadow Realms and keep all living from entering. So Tiamat came to be. She was the greatest of his servants, born in the maw of his spite, shaped from his disdain for life, and cast in the mold of the unquenched fires of his madness.

Tiamat guarded the Wretched Plains and the House of Shadows beyond by splitting herself into five heads, placing one before each of the Five Pools and she devoured all that came to the Shadow Realms. In time she grew great, bloated and unmoving, resting her heads upon the arc of time where it met the pools and each of her heads became a cavern wherein the dead entered and were devoured by passing into the dragon. These are the Futhnopt, the Five Caves. Her jaws closed the Timeless Pools to the living; for any who sought entry through the arc of time must do so through very powerful magics such as only Wizard’s possess. Either that, or convince Tiamat to let them enter through some flattery or trick.

Tiamat has no end, only a beginning. Her heads are called Taimat’s Maw, the Five Caves or the Furthnopt and they are the gateway to the Wretched Plains through which all the damned must pass. She has grown immense in power and size, so much so that many creatures beyond the damned have settled within the Shadow Realms, relying on her hunger to Here the Tvungenos the “demons” and the Tvungen the “devils”, and some gods such as Agorl have come to dwell.

She broods there in misery and hatred ever longing to see the light of the sun where it is said she will rise as a great five headed dragon, and breaking the gates of Ea-Lor in violence, bring the oceans to boil. Their steam will cover all the land and blind those who dwell in peace. Tiamat then will rise to vomit up the damned upon the sun and blot out its light forever. In the darkness that follows the Bull, the Red Duke, must finally return and visit his vengeance upon the world. Or so the Tales of the Gonfed relate.

But Tiamat is a creature whole and of herself, and as such, she possesses the powers of creation. Once in a great while, she births the tuoth drauk, the two headed dragon.

When Tiamat is roused for battle she assumes the form of a massive five-headed dragon. Each head hold the power of one of the greater dragons, red, black, blue, green and white. Thick scales coat her body, both above and beneath. The crack of her tail is able to rend the fabric of time, opening up the halls of the dead. Her heads breathe a black noxious vomit that poisons the air and lungs. She is utterly without mercy and incapable of understanding suffering or pain.

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