March 25, 2014

THE THIRD CHILD

“…My people, the First Child, had forsaken Them, and the Second Child had proved a catastrophe, nearly destroying the world before the gods called it home to The After. With only the beasts to amuse Them, the Divine Siblings found the world, once more, a very dull spectacle. They agreed to create a third generation of Child. Because of the defects of the Second Child, which had been spawned in anger and noncooperation, the Divine Siblings agreed to share resources and skill. They created the Third Child with four distinct faces in Their four distinct images.

“There was little mystical clay left for the creation of the Third Child, but Schöpfer divided what she scrounged into four equal portions to share with Her Siblings. She mixed her quarter with snow and rocks, creating the face of a people that was hard and strong, with eyes of ice. She claimed the mountainous lands in the North of the world for the face she called Nord, and taught the hearty people to hunt for sustenance or pull nourishment from the ground.
“Muumba mixed His clay with shadow, creating the face of a people that was sleek and enigmatic. He claimed the Southern lands of the world for the face of Kusini Watu, in the hope that the sparse beauty of desert sands and the lush splendor of forest flora would provide artistic inspiration. Because of His fondness for spiders, He made Kusini Watu long of limb. Because He adored aesthetics, He made Kusini Watu beautiful.
“Seisakusha mixed Her clay with the gilded sands of sun-spattered beaches. Seeking the right balance of light and dark, She sculpted a golden face, framed it with hair as dark as the fathomless deeps, and called it Shimabito. Settled in the Eastern parts of the world and gifted with love and dreams, Shimabito was surrounded by the bounty of Seisakusha’s ocean domain.
“The heat from Creador’s Celestial Flame scorched His clay and browned it, a coloring Creador found pleasing, though He typically eschewed decorations as impractical. He shaped His clay into a face that would be functional and utilitarian, gave it flames for hair, and borrowed emeralds from Schöpfer to use as eyes. When finished, He was pleased, for this face He called Oestean looked very much like Him. The face was clever and volatile. As volatile as fire.
“And thus the Third Child was born.
“The gods called Their Child Humanity. Because the Divine Siblings lacked the custodial fortitude to attend spirited immortals like the First Child properly, They severely limited Humanity’s span of life and capacity for willfulness. Humanity lived in perpetual fear of Death, and the Divine Siblings exploited this fear, offering the Third Child immortality in exchange for utter, unquestioning obedience. Humanity, greedy to prolong its life, accepted the offer without hesitation. But the immortality offered to the Third Child was a sham. Even if Humanity managed the perfect docility demanded by the gods, its immortal reward applied only it its soul, and only for as long as that soul remained in The After as captive nourishment for its creators.
“Despite its short life and finite soul, Humanity excelled at many things, though at nothing so much as destruction. It wreaked havoc upon the land, the sea, the air, and itself, but its voracious appetite and considerable talent notwithstanding, Humanity lacked the indomitable will of the First Child or the sheer destructive power of the Second Child, and failed time and again to eradicate itself. Its entire existence became a farce of blunders, a delightful spectacle that kept the gods howling with laughter. For a time. Eventually the Divine Siblings did as gods do.
“They became bored.
“They turned their attention away from the world, confident that the Third Child would never be competent enough to destroy itself, an assertion the proved correct for a time.
“But then you were born…” —Wicasa the sage
You will know it is the end when he is come.
He is the reviled son of all and harbinger of the Great Storm—
A tempest of blood and death that will drown the world.
Know him by the dead Bastards at his feet and the storm in his fist.
He is the bearer of woe,
The shadow of death in the skin of the Third Child.
Fear him, for he is doom.
Hold him, for he is salvation.
–The Stormbringer Revelation