The Third Age - The Taint

In the twilight’s gleaming exists a place where dreams walk free and words do not fall into order.

Ga-shadin knew and understood what he was to do…but at this time he was not ready. Some can call it fear, and some will, but Ga-shadin called it something else. He knelt before the fruit, inside the tower, under the glowering sun, and opened his mind…

In his mind he traveled to the far lands. His journeys took him to places that his imagination could not grasp and in each place, he left a part of himself…a tower if you will. In turn, with each place, with each tower, he brought something back…

Not all things that came back were good, but what is good, but a set of preconceived notions instilled at birth and tainted through the ages. To the lands these beings came and settled across the far reaches. Their settling brought a murmur of discontent to the watchers and warders. They understood naught as some of their numbers fell to the many species and genius that Ga-shadin brought upon his travels.

In time, in turn, divisions and cracks occurred across the warders, watchers, and the tower itself. With each journey, a part of the tower crumbled into dust, and with each crumbling Ga-shadin slipped closer to madness.

Many of the watchers and warders left the once tall shadows of the tower to seek out other places and perhaps other trees. But as they searched the four corners they realized there was only one tree…so many burrowed deeply into the earth while others claimed the vast forests as their homes, and with each passing, with each day, they forgot who they once were and understood what they were to become…

The watchers and warders that remained stood watch on the one tree, with limbs a bent, ladened heavily with fruit. They watched and waited in the hopes that a fruit would fall, and perhaps, in their understanding, in their knowledge, save themselves from the creatures that roamed the lands…and the laughter of Ga-shadin himself.

The tower itself gave way each day until it pasted from sight. The only marking of its standing being the discolored grass of its base – now a blackened and sickening color that brought nausea if stared at to long. The warders and watchers, with a single understanding, with a cry as one, slew Ga-shadin and scattered his ashes to the four corners. Were his ashes fell, darkness and sickness crept to the earth.

The warders and watchers then turned themselves onto the one tree and climbed its branches and harvested the fruit. Stripping the tree bear, they divided the fruit into baskets and set-off to the four corners.

With each day they planted a fruit and built a tower. With each tower, with each fruit, some of the watchers and warders remained, trying to undo the wrongness of Ga-shadin. But undoing wasn’t the word of the day…understanding was. So they journey to the far lands…journeyed and learned.

They learned of the sleep, of the ways, and of the wyrds. They learned all were bridges to the far lands. Of the watchers and warders – nine arose that needed not the sleep, the wyrds, or the ways to travel to Jalihdua -- the dream lands.

The nine learned to travel as close to the far lands as possible without becoming like Ga-shadin. It is in these travels, in these understands, that the old order gave way to the new, and gods walked the lands of the wake and sleep.

Into the sleep of all creatures they journeyed, gathering followers and many times martyrs – writing history as their words caressed those they chose. The nine worked their understanding and their plans as they wished, for not all were good, nor were all bad. It is the way, the wyrd, and the sleep that weaves unto itself – it’s thoughts and it’s working…

With each night and day the boy grew a little older…until one day he woke no more trapped inside of his thoughts as the nine walked…it is in this time…in this day that the shadow smiled and the ashes of Ga-shadin stirred and the memories of the old ways walked again…perhaps…

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