Tom Noon's Tale | Puck's Tale | JT's Tale | Adventures in Babysitting
Of the Races of Earth | Faerie Geography | A Dialogue on the Demi-Spirits
Elves and Dwarves | Petty-Fays | Nymphs and Elementals
Of the Races of Earth
This page contains the text of a small book called "Of the Races of Earth". There are several copies of this book in Vinyagarond, The Dreamtime, and a couple of MUSHes on the Internet. The original manuscript was found in the library at High Dwarrowgard, in The Summerland, called by some "Old Faerie", by Tom Noon. It was ascribed to an ancient Mazzik scholar. Tom transcribed the book in Elvish and sent a copy to Daewen at her home Isiltin in the Dreamtime. Daewen, in turn, translated the book into Anglic and presented copies to a couple of her friends in the Dreamtime, including Zareba who is now in the Tuesday night game. I, in turn, gave a copy of Daewen's version to Eglantine MacRory, through whom it has spread to at least a couple of MUSHes on the Internet.
In the beginning, God made the light. From the light He made fire, and from the fire, air. From the air He made the stars. The stars in their turn brought forth light and fire and air, and a new thing -- dust. From the dust God made the worlds, and among the worlds was Earth. In its turn, Earth brought forth fire and air and dust, and a new thing -- water. From the water God made living things, and to some He gave reason and speech.
Dwelling in Earth are the Eretsarin, the Princes of Earth. They are spirits, children of the Most High God. As the potter is to the clay, so are the Eretsarin to the beasts of the field, the creeping things of the ground, and the living things of the sea. As a weaver is to the cloth, so are the Eretsarin to the grass and the trees, the weed of the sea, and all things that grow on Earth.
Their number is not known. Men have said they number twelve or thirty or seventy or one hundred and forty-four. But men do not know.
Some have said there is a king among them and others have said they are equal in the ranks of God. But men do not know.
Some have said they are divided into tribes and others have said they are a single people. But men do not know.
The Eretsarin dwell in Earth and shape the flesh thereof.
Melchizedek has said:
"The Eretsarin are the workers in the gardens of God. These gardens are the Earth. As shepherds and grounds-keepers do their work, so do the Eretsarin rule the races of beasts and plants.Before men were made, there was a time when Earth was empty. The Eretsarin said, "It is time to fill the world," and set out to raise up many races of dragons from the lesser beasts. There were four Eretsarin who did most to create the dragons -- Yahala, Turel, Azaroth, and Temeluch, who is also called Eth. They took upon themselves the forms of dragons and walked among the monsters, founding new races, bearing and begetting new kinds with their dragon-mates.
One day, Turel came upon Yahala among the eggs and hatchlings of her latest clutch. "See the finish of my work," she said to him. "If you, Turel, have had done with begetting, as I have had done with bearing, let us return to the Glorious Courts together."
Turel answered, "Yahala, it comes to me that I have begotten sons and daughters among all the dragons but the greatest. Let us not have done with begetting and bearing, but raise up children, you and I, before we rejoin the other Princes of Earth."
Then he sang Turel's Song to her, which is written in the Book of Dragons. Yahala consented and bore him nine eggs. These hatched into the Nine Kings of Patala, of whom the eldest is Leviathan.
Then Azaroth went to Temeluch and said, "See what our sister and brother have done. But their royal sons have no wives. Let us raise up queens among the dragons."
Then Eth, which means "Time," answered, "Let it be as you say, sister, but remember this service in an age, when I shall ask one of you in return." For even then, Eth looked beyond the dragon age, when Earth would have other rulers.
Temeluch covered Azaroth and she bore him nine eggs. These hatched into the Nine Queens of Patala, of whom the eldest is Rahab.
The Dragon-folk have many names in many tongues. They are the Lung, the Nagas. They have many forms. None may say which is their true shape, or if one shape is truer than the rest. All of them may take the shape of mortal men, which they call the Shape of Thought, the Form of the Earth-Word. They also have dragon-shapes, most often those of giant serpents. Some have many heads and some have wings. In any shape, their eyes are dangerous for men to meet. They are not subject to death unless the Earth-Princes themsleves, their fathers, should turn against them.
Now there was contention in Heaven over the birth of the Dragon-folk. The angel Meshael reproved the Eretsarin, saing, "These creatures are not part of the Design given you at the founding of the world. There is no place in it for such beings. Such devices one would sooner expect of the Enemies."
Turel, father of the Kings, answered, "The world is given to us, Meshael. Not to you. And there is no smallest facet of the Design that we have not fulfilled. If we add to the Design, it is our praise to God. These, our children, are neither the first nor the last of such praise."
Azaroth, mother of the Queens, said, "When God has condemned us, you may condemn us, but not before. And the Nagas did not ask to be created, any more than did you, Meshael. So if you quarrel with us for bearing them, do not quarrel with them for being born. They had little say in the matter."
Meshael said only, "A third of the host of Heaven has turned its face from Earth."
A wise Greek has said, "Between transcendence and immanence there is no agreement until the resolving of the world."
In the Book of Dragons, one may read the tale of Patala -- how the Nagas founded a race and many kingdoms in the Earth -- how they fought the Lords of Pestilence beside the Eretsarin and were betrayed by the false Leviathan -- how they were overpowered for a time because of Meshael's cool love -- how Rahab and the true Leviathan won the friendship of Heaven and became the Empress and Emperor of Dragons -- and how they ruled the Earth for the Thousand Ages of Peace.
In the Thousand Ages, the Nagas built their cities openly on the Earth. These cities were rich with gold and jewels. The clouds covered the knees of their towers and streets wove among the bridges like tangled branches. Such are the thoughts of the dragon-people, soaring and subtle, dreadful and indirect.
In the Thousand Ages, the Nagas aided their ancestors, the Eretsarin, acting for them on the ground, in the air, and in the deeps, until it was as if the Nagas ruled the Earth, as if they had inherited from the Eretsarin.
But the Eretsarin turned their face from the great monsters, according to the Design, so that the monsters vanished. Then Leviathan said to the Kings and Queens, "The Earth is empty, as in the ages before our birth. The Princes of Earth begin a new design. Let our people have done with toil and watch the new ages at our leisure." So saying, he and his brothers and their wives went each to his city and, on the same day, in the same hour, worked a great spell, removing the cities of Patala to the invisible realm, so that they lie between the Earth and the Glorious Courts of the Eretsarin. There they remain, where few men have gone.
After an age, the Eretsarin filled the Earth again. They made great beasts and birds, but there were still no men. One day, Eth took on himself the Form of Thought and went walking beside the sea. In his hand he carried a staff of power, enchanting the creatures he encountered, granting fertility or barrenness as he saw the need.
Suddenly, he saw one of the Lords of Pestilence spreading blight over the sea. Eth planted the staff in the sand, then sprang into the air and battled with the demon.
While they battled, the staff took root and grew into a tree. Half its branches shaded the land and half the sea. It put forth flowers and leaves, which gave off sweet odors and healing mists. Birds and beasts and fishes gathered under its branches and were held entranced. None fought with another or devoured another; all were nourished by the scent of the tree.
Meanwhile, the two gods fought in the air, changing their bodies from moment to moment. The battle carried them over the tree. The demon put forth claws and struck Eth, so that his blood was drawn and fell upon the tree. But Eth healed himself and, taking the form of a dragon, withered the demon with firey breath, so that his body was destroyed and his spirit fled.
When the blood of Eth, which means, "Time," fell upon the tree, the power of the tree worked upon it. Some drops caught on the branches and took the Form of Thought. Others passed through the mists and perfumes of the tree and rained upon the ground. Still others rained upon the sea. Still others rained upon the living creatures gathered below. From this blood the Fays were born.
The blood that landed on the trees branches brought forth the High Fays, most skilled and wisest of the Fays. Where the blood hit the ground, Dwarves arose. The beasts in the water and on the land were transformed and became the Wer-Houses, less in art than the High Fays, but able to take animal form, each according to its house.
When Eth saw what had happened beneath the tree that had been the staff, he smiled. "It would seem you arose by chance, without design or intent," he told them. "But it is not so. You are the children of luck, but behind the luck there is a plan, in which good and evil, gods and titans, are merely tools. The Children of Fate I name you. Your gifts will shape the world, you whose making did not lie with the Princes of Earth."
Eth stayed with them, teaching them speach and skills, then pronounced them free of the Earth and of the Glorious Courts. Then he touched the tree and made it back into a staff and took it with him back to the invisible realm.
The tribes of Fays then went their separate ways. The High Fays went often to the Glorious Courts, as the Dragons had before them, learning the wisdom of creation from the Eretsarin. The Dwarves sought out the Nagas in Patala and learned great craft from them. Alone among the Fays, they built cities in the Earth and worked metal. The Wer-Houses remained in the Earth, dwelling in the woods and fields, seas and streams, marrying one Wer-House with another and learning little arts and magics from the Dwarves and High Fays.
Alvirin was a lord of the High fays, who are also called the High Elves. He wandered far, as did all his tribe, but loved the northlands above all. Further north, there were mountains of ice and Alvirin marked that, as the ages wore, these mountains moved further south, like a slow tide. "What if they do not stop?" he asked himūself. "Is the Design of earth freezing to a stop?"
Going to Patala by the hidden paths, he asked the Naga-lords, "How long will the northern ice advance upon the south?"
The dragons answered, "The ice of the north has come before and will again, nor will its advance cease for many thousands of years. Where flowers now grow, snow will fall. Hills that have never known frost will be leveled by ice."
In dismay, Alvirin went to the Glorious Courts and asked the Eretsarin, "Is it your will, O Princes of Earth, to banish summer from the year?"
The Eretsarin answered, "Know, Alvirin, that we may not subtract from the Design. The winter of the world will last long, or so it may seem to one so young, and yet not forever." And they turned him away with kindly words, but Alvirin was not comforted.
When Alvirin left the Eretsarin, Azaroth turned to Eth and said, "I remember a promise I made you before the Dragon Queens were born. Now is the time to keep it." And she reached out to Alvirin.
Alvirin walked the hidden paths back to Earth. As he strayed between the seen and the unseen, he paused for heart's weariness and looked around him at the abyss between creations. A thought came to him, from Azaroth, though he did not know it. "The cities of Patala have been removed from the Earth," he said to himself, "and are now safe from the changes of the Eretsarin. I do not have the power to remove cities, but craft may succeed wher power fails." But the thought of Azaroth took him no further, so he returned to Earth and pondered long.
At length, Alvirin traveled to the sea, to that shore where the Fays were born. He searched there for a tree that he was not sure existed. When he had searched for seven months, up and down the shore, he chanced to meet a sea-fay, a man of the Seal people, basking on the shore. They conversed for a time and the Seal-man remarked that the shore had changed over the ages. "The sea withdraws, I think," he said. "Formerly, it covered this hill. I have sometimes wondered why."
Alvirin stared at him in wonder and said, "It is because of the ice-mountains in the north. They are growing, but there is only so much water. If they grow, the seas must shrink." The seal-man said, "Growing? For how long?" Alvirin told him, "It may not matter."
Then he climbed the hill to the old shoreline and resumed his search. Three days later, he found a seedling no higher than a hand's-breadth. "This is a seedling of the tree beneath which the Fays were born," he said to himself. "But that tree was removed ages ago. Its seed is slow in growing. I will change that."
Alvirin dug up the seedling and took it onto the hidden paths. He also took a great slab of rock, covered with soil and moss. He planted the seedling on the rock and watered it with his own blood for nine months. Then he watered it with enchanted water from a crystal ewer and caused the sun to shine on the rock, there between the worlds.
The tree grew and its bed grew with it. Soon, it was twice as tall as Alvirin and the bed was a hill, covered with grass and flowers brought from Earth by Alvirin. One day, when Alvirin was there with his crystal ewer, Azaroth appeared to him, like a blazing star in the abyss. "Why do you linger between the visible and the invisible?" she asked him. "And why have you brought this tree and this hill?"
Alvirin answered, "I will establish a realm apart from Earth, since you will send a winter on all the world. Here I will gather such things as I love, to save them from the ice."
"How would you answer me," said Azaroth, "if I asked by what authority you did this?"
"I would answer that the Nagas have done more than I, but are still at peace with the Glorious Courts. Should I have consulted you? You did not consult me before sending ice upon the world."
"Peace," said Azaroth. "We have indeed consulted, though you did not know it." Then she told him of the thoughts she had sent. "But your fulfillment of my inspiration is your own. Even I did not imagine it."
"Then do I have your leave to found this realm? For I know you can stop me easily."
"Our leave and our blessing and the blessing of the Most High God." Then all the Eretsarin appeared and shone down like stars on the land and tree of Alvirin. Thereafter, Azaroth sent showers of blessed rain to Alvirin's land and stretched the summer sky above it, so that it was called the Summerland. The land grew wide and the Tree of Alvirin grew high into the summer sky. Healing mists came from its leaves and its flowers were like summer stars.
As the winter of the world proceeded, the Wer-Houses and Low Fays, the Dwarves and High Fays left Earth for the Summerland. Alvirin became high king everlasting over them all.
This is the founding of the Summerland, which is called Elysium and Faerie.
There came a time when all the races of Earth gathered together. Lord Alvirin and his Lady Didana were there, with many high lords of Faerie, all in human shape. Rahab and Leviathan were there, with many great ones of Patala, all in human shape. The Eretsarin were there, in human shape, shining like polished copper, their eyes brights as flames. All met upon a grassy plain.
Angels came from beyond Earth, rank upon rank, all in human shape, shining like lightning in the air, and among them were the Four Before the Throne. And all the hosts of Heaven and Earth stood silent before a certain place in the grassy plain.
The Eretsarin came forward, crying, "Today is wrought the Form of Thought. Today the Earth-Word is spoken from the dust." So saying, they knelt and dug in the Earth with their hands and brought forth the bones of an ape of the southern plains. When the bones were arranged in a complete skeleton, the Eretsarin covered them in dust and called down rain. When the dust washed away, a body lay upon the plain, not the body of an ape but rather the Shape of Thought, the Form of the Word of Earth, a human body.
The Eretsarin stood back and said, "This is the gift of the Eretsarin to Man."
Then Rahab and Leviathan came forward and said, "Long we ruled Earth for the Immanance. Now Man will rule for the Transcendence. But though Man rules, the Dragons yet live and watch, and we will give to Man our counsel in the days of his youth. This is the gift of the Nagas to Man."
Then Alvirin and Didana stood forth, each carrying a branch of the great Tree of Faerie. They said to the hosts, "The voice of God was heard in the Summerland, and we have obeyed it. The people of Fate have planted a Garden in the east of Earth, where Man will live in the days of his youth. This is the gift of the Fays to Man."
But then Alvirin took both branches in his hands and held them aloft, saying, "But let Man beware! At the call of the Voice, I will plant these branches in the Garden, where they will grow as trees, good to look upon. These branches come from the crown of the Tree of Faerie; high above the clouds, their fruit ripened under the lights of Heaven. This tree," he said, holding high the branch in his right hand, "bears the Fruit of Eternal Life, but this," he said, holding high the branch in his left hand, "bears the Fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. I will plant these in the Garden. All the fate of Man is woven about them." Then he fell silent and did not name the trees as gifts.
Then Didana sang this song:
Angel-got were the dragon-kings,Gabriel came forward and said, "Hear, O Hosts of Earth! The Dragons ruled and passed. The Fays reigned and spent their years. Now Man shall rule in the days allotted to him. As you were charged, so he is charged, with the right and duty of stewardship, to tend the Earth in his dominion, to take delight in it, fulfilling its beauty before the Lord, and delivering it up at last, in his turn. This is his duty and right. This is the gift of the Angels to Man."
There was silence. Then a distant voice was heard, saying, "Let Us make Man in Our image." A wind blew out of the east and the Presence was among the Hosts of Heaven and Earth. As the wind blew, the Man breathed and opened his eyes. But he did not see the Hosts, for they retreated to their hidden realms, so that the first man was alone with the Lord.
In the youth of Man, after the prophecies of Elf and Dragon were unlocked .and set awry, humans began to multiply and become many. In those days, the sons of God looked on the daughters of Adam and saw they were fair, and they took wives from among them. Likewise, the daughters of God looked on the sons of Eve and saw they were fair, and took husbands from among them. Now most say these children of Heaven were all of them fallen, while a few say some were of good intent, but those who know give no answer.
The daughters of Adam bore mighty children, the Nephilim, the Heroes and Demigods, and the sons of Eve begot another mighty race, the Mazzikim, the Djinn and Peris. The Nephilim, born of human women, have material bodies of great strength, stature, and beauty. The Mazzikim, born of she-spirits, have spiritual bodies, with a spirit's powers of shape and movement. Yet neither race is immortal, but live only seven times the human span, and they are accounted children of Adam and Eve.
In the days when the Nephilim and Mazzikim were abroad on the Earth, God sent a flood against all the children of Adam, preserving only one family of the line of Seth from all the humans, and many of the Nephilim perished also. But the Mazzikim and a remnant of the Nephilim fled to Faerie and the half-worlds, and then on to the Mountains of Kâf, where their kingdom stands to this hour.
These, then are the races of Earth: the Dragons, eldest children; the Fays, of many kinds and tribes; the Humans, with their chained power; the Nephilim and the Mazzikim, twin bastards of Adam and Eve. Old now is Earth, and none may count its days past, but neither may any count its days to come. It may be that other races shall arise, called by the Design of the Eretsarin.
©1984, 1994, 2005 Earl Wajenberg. All Rights Reserved.
Tom Noon's Tale | Puck's Tale | JT's Tale | Adventures in Babysitting
Of the Races of Earth | Faerie Geography | A Dialogue on the Demi-Spirits
Elves and Dwarves | Petty-Fays | Nymphs and Elementals