the Mortal Races and the Demiurges (part 1)
As the winning result of the poll I ran a few weeks ago, here is the first part of the treatise on the mortal races and the Demiurges: 

the Demiurges
What follows is an abridged standardised form of the Mythologia Elyden, detailing the creation of the world and the spread of the mortal races in the time of mythohistory.

Two-and-twenty Demiurges there were, each a master of the Materia Omna - they were responsible for shaping the raw materials of the universe into solar systems, and for shaping the continents, mountains, oceans and lifeforms on individual planets, including Elyden, which was deemed a perfect world amongst other paragons of their craft.

As reward for their work their creator saw fit to grant each Demiurge was gifted seven seeds, which, in due course, would germinate into immortal children who would be under the aegis of that particular Demiurge, who would guide and nurture them. But the Demiurges, knowing nothing but their work, continued shaping Elyden like artists that knew not when to call a work done, destroying the perfection they had wrought in Elyden, leaving it in chaos. 

The seeds bore fruit prematurely, giving birth to seven times two-and-twenty mortals - themselves imperfect due to their abridged gestation. Born into a world of chaos, the mortals’ raw, nascent bodies were assaulted by sights and sounds they should never have experienced. Seeing no fault in them the creator bestowed upon each of them a soul, granting the senses needed to survive the deluge of stimuli that surrounded them. Upon death the soul takes the form of a pearl-like stone known today as a soulstone. The dream of perfect immortals populating Elyden under the aegis of their Demiurge parents was lost.

Begrudgingly, the Demiurges assumed leadership of their respective tribes, and led them as best they could. Slowly, the mortals came to inherit the traits and qualities that would forevermore mark them as the mortal children of a particular Demiurge, even as they proliferated in the world of Elyden.

Meanwhile, the Demiurges continued shaping Elyden, bringing further chaos and death to that which should have been their magnum opus.

The creator, angered at what the Demiurge’s actions had wrought, punished them, stripping them of their powers of creation. They were bound to Elyden and no longer had the power to shape continents and create life on a whim.

The Demiurges would slowly grew distant from their creator and one another, settling into demesnes, moulding their people into their own image. By then the mortals had come to worship their Demiurge protectors as gods, and rightfully so, as even with their powers stripped from them, they remained accomplished natural shapers of the material elements, able to do things that no mortal shaper since has even mirrored. 

Some of the Demiurges learnt that they drew power from these worshippers. Those who cared for and nurtured their children grew strong as they continued to shape Elyden, even as their children developed under their protection and expanded across Elyden. Others concentrated more on their shaping, erecting great monuments to their own hubris, using their children as little more than slaves. Some abandoned their children to their own devices, withdrawing from the mortal world and brooding over or contemplating their actions. Still, others tried to ascend to even greater powers, and sought to achieve a level of divinity even greater than that which had created them. 

The mortal races grew and spread across Elyden, mingling with each other. Great metropolises appeared where mortal races mingled and forgot about their origins and the divinity of the Demiurges, with some openly decrying the Demiurges. 

Many of the Two-and-Twenty were angered by the mortals’ forsaking of their masters. Fearful for what this might mean for their futures, some Demiurges met in secret, appointing Rachanael as a force to oppose the arrogance of these repudiating mortals and bring them to their senses.

Rachanael used fear and tyranny to restore the mortals’ awe of the Two-and-Twenty, but he betrayed his siblings and enslaved many independent cities, taking them as his own, growing his influence and power. Many of his siblings allied against him, defeating him at great cost, dividing the cities amongst them and re-establishing their dominion over the mortals.

Though their actions only served to sow further scepticism amongst the mortals, many of whom came to believe that the Demiurges were merely suruspers and not the true divinity in the world. The Demiurges never revealed the truth of their origins. This angered their creator, who disavowed the Demiurges completely, further weakening them. 

The creator adapted the souls that had been gifted to mortals, giving them the ability to see right from wrong and to make their own choices and question the world around them. This act makes the Atramenta and the Firmament malleable to mortals. The spirit no longer materialises as a soulstone upon death, instead escaping the body where it will eventually be reborn as an otherworlder.  

The Demiurges reacted differently to their divorce from the divine. Some despaired, and other grew bitter at their fate. Others turned busied themselves with mastering the material realm to which they had been shackled. Rachanael and Duruthilhotep were the first to master the mortal applications of the Atramenta and the Firmament, teaching the art of shaping to their closest followers. Other Demiurges follow in their footsteps. Synchthonith and Nyarloth continued along the path of the artificer and did not adapt the mortal methods of shaping, developing the sciences of metallurgy and technarcana instead.

Eons pass and the Demiurges grew evermore distant from their origins. Allaishada had become rudderless and bitter that she had to pay for others’ mistakes, and wanted to restore her link with the creator. She brought together most of her siblings and the decision was made to construct a bridge, the purpose of which was to reunite the Demiurges with their creators. Nyarloth, Synchthonith and Vorropohaiah were the chief architects of this grand design of hubris, while Rachanael and Duruthilhotep oversaw the great ritual that would pull the Firmament and Atramenta closer to the world to allow the bridge to work. Unbeknownst to them, Talantehut and Arimaspi opposed this plan, asking the creator for help. None came, but as the bridge was close to completion it was destroyed in a great cataclysm that left Elyden in darkness for a year and a day. This great calamity brought about a great extinction, and many of the wondrous creatures and monuments of the Demiurges were destroyed. What remained of the mortal tribes were scattered, their tongues slowly change so that they could never work together again. Talantehut was chosen to stand apart from her siblings and became an known as the Wielder of Scales, an entity that maintained balance in the material realm. 

Nations rose and fell in the time following this calamity, and seven empires dominated the world, surrounding was is referred to as the World Sea. Seven  peoples scattered west and north, and a further seven scattered south and east. The tribe of Talantehut died out in this time following the abandonment of their mother and Malachai grew weak following the near extinction of his tribe, eventually falling into languor - the Demiurge equivalent of death.

This showed the Demiurges that they were mortal themselves and that they could die. This affected them greatly and some, such as Vorropohaiah, grew deranged and descended into madness of their own creation. Others, such as Ialdabaoth and Rachanael, refused to accept their fate and toiled hard to find a means of avoiding their eventual death. Urakabarameel and Duruthilhotep became ascetics, turning to meditation and philosophy in the hopes of coming to terms with their loss. 

As mythohistory gave way to prehistory, the Demiurges continued to weaken, and though individuals enjoyed periods of ascendency, they all ultimately lost their greatest gifts of shaping and were reliant on the loyalty of the mortal races, many of which had forgotten entirely about them. As time passed more and more Demiurges fell to languor, a form of coma induced when a Demiurge become so weak as to no longer mobile or cognizant of its surroundings. Demiurges in this state continued to dream, and their in their dreams were their latent powers of shaping manifested, altering the world around them an myriad strange and unearthly ways. Though not dead, Demiurges in this state are neither truly alive, and exist in a fugue-state between worlds. In theory, Demiurges (and scions, their biological offspring) in this state can be brought back to life by renewed worship…

Without their guardians to guide them, the mortal races floundered and some died out completely, condemning all but the most perfidious of Demiurges into languor. Others dwindled to the point that they were forgotten by others, or restricted to a small part of the world, cut off from more metropolitan areas. Any links the mortals once had with their original Demiurges has long since been lost, with humans falling under the dubious aegis of Rachanael instead of Avraham, and most other mortals being reduced to such numbers as to be of little difference to their ancestral Demiurges even if they were to being worshipping them again. Small sects of humans have turned to worship various Demiurges at various points throughout history, to little if any effect, though it does not stop those few with knowledge-enough of their mythic origins to continue trying.

What follows is a list of the tribes and the Demiurges into whose aegis they were created. 

Scions
Sometimes referred to as godscions or godspawn, scions are the direct descendants of the Demiurges, through unions with mortals, Demiurges or, rarely, other beings. Due to their divine heritage (the Demiurges considered as gods in all but name) they exist outside of the taxonomical categorisation applied to other creatures, including otherworlders and halfbloods. It is largely due to their semi-divine nature that scions are mentioned here.

Unlike halfbloods, which are an extant taxonomy, scions are a product of the Age of Myths when the mortal races were yet nascent and the Demiurges still shaped the Material Realm. They are a symbol of the Demiurges’ early virility and the assuredness with which they ruled over the mortal races. Following the decline of the Demiurges, the appearance of a new scion became a rare occurrence and when it did happen it was rarely a product of love.

As touched upon above, there can be many different varieties of scions, the most common being the result of a union between a demiurge and a mortal. Given the number of mortals, even in the ancient days of their tenure over the mortal realm, when compared with the relatively few Demiurges, it is easy to see why such unions were more common. However, other forms of scion have been recorded, including the unions between two Demiurges or even another scion and a Demiurge. The former tends to give birth to a scion closer in many ways to its Demiurge parents, displaying psychological characteristics, with the latter somehow distilling more of the Demiurges’ raw abilities.

The way scions were regarded by ancient cultures differs by customs, beliefs and era. Early scions were seen as a physical link between mortals and the divine and were granted powerful positions – becoming regional rulers, hierophants and other important figures. Some even became gods in their own right. Later, as the age of the Demiurges began to wane some scions found themselves losing favour with the mortals they had helped evolve. In some regions the truth about the Demiurges emerged and the scions, as a link to that hubris, became easy scapegoats  

In many regards scions are similar to halfbloods: both born of two different worlds and are often torn between their mortal heritage and the greater purpose that drove their divine parents. Though unlike halfbloods, who are often tormented by the conflict presented by their disparate heritages,  scions are depicted as altogether more confident beings: likely a trait inherited by their divine sires. One must remember that prior to the despair that gripped most Demiurges following their fall from grace, they were consummate artisans, crafting the material realm with the ease and confidence of deities given corporeal form. 

It was that unsullied spark of their divine ancestry, tempered with their mortal ancestry, that gave the scions their assurance. And it was that assurance that set them apart from their divine ancestors. They were gifted with unnaturally long life and abilities beyond the scope of early mortals to comprehend, even after the art of shaping became commonplace.

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