Vol. IV

    In the world of land, a mountain made of black stone erupted. It spit golden fire and smoke made of fine crystal shards. The land shook and a molten, silver liquid spilled from the top of the black mountain. It covered the black stone and ran into the black sand, coating everything and turning the sand into white glass and the stone into white marble. From the eruption came a Pantheric being who took the form of a man. He crawled from the mouth of the mountain, molten silver dripping from his freshly made flesh.

    His skin was as white as spun cotton and his hair gold like wheat. It flowed from the crown of his head and covered his muscular stature. This god was called Ashnu, and he bore two sets of arms, each as strong as the next. He sprouted ivory horns and hovering between them was a small flame of red and gold. Ashnu looked down at his naked self, then made a simple loin of cloth to hang over his waist.

    “Surgere,” was the word he breathed into the world. Ashnu extended his hands and a chunk of land shook and cracked before him. There was black stone with jagged peaks and white marble and glass on the land he now claimed as his own. He picked up the piece of land in his four strong arms and flew with it into the sky, towards Heteo, whose form was that of the sun. Ashnu held the island in place and fixed it right under Heteo. He climbed onto his floating island, tall and proud, then spoke the words of life. He watched plants, grass, and trees take over the island. Flowers bloomed and plants sprouted in a beautiful garden that covered the whole island, mountains and all. Ashnu called his new home Savrasara.

    However, Ashnu’s happiness did not last. He took one step and then another. Every time he moved, he set fire to the land. His destruction spread and soon his island was covered in golden speckled black ash. He tried again and once more flowers and foliage rose up, only for Ashnu to take a few steps and leave it all in cinders. Below Ashnu’s island there was another garden among golden sands. It had beautiful trees, plants and a pond that sat in front of a golden temple. Ashnu went to the edge of his island and peered down, envious of the garden. From the golden temple came another of the Panthera. A god with a golden mantle over his chest and dark, rich skin. Shadows dripped off of this god in the form of a robe. Ashnu felt a pang of jealously and the golden eyes of the god below turned up to him. In that instance, he knew his name and all other names he would be called. The God of the Oasis disappeared into his temple of gold once more.

    Ashnu’s flame burned brighter. He turned away and decided he would try again and again to make his home lush with greenery. Heteo watched him repeat his cycle of creation and destruction for two hundred days, till finally, he grew tired and spoke.

    “Child of Fire,” the sun said. “Just as water is married to air, so is fire to stone.”

    Ashnu looked up. “Great one, I wish to live in a temple of golden flowers. One much greater and bigger than the temple of gold.”

    Heteo responded. “This is not possible. All you will have is a temple of ash.”

    “Why must I burn all that I touch?”

    Ashnu was young but like all gods, knew things beyond himself.

    Heteo did not respond but instead watched. Ashnu, despite his reluctance, raised his hands and the island shook. From peaks of jagged rock, he created great structures of stone, glass and marble, harder than diamonds and resistant to his fire. He made a palace from the mountains covered in black ash and he created great towers and fountains of beautiful crystal where wine would flow. He formed a great feasting hall for himself and dug his way deep into the center of his island, where he created a huge forge. He summoned his fire, his passion, wrath, and might, then cast the inferno into the forge. Flames of crimson and gold warmed the halls above. The forge was where his fire would burn till the ends of time.

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