A Brief History of the Four

A Brief History of the Four

A Story by Patryk Shepard
"

This is an overlooking history of the Four, a set of Gods that are one of the major beliefs in my upcoming series "Aeons of Tellus".

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As told in the holy texts in Temples of the Four across Tellus, there existed a time when the Gods hadn't yet taken to their Kingdom of Heavens and Kingdom of Hells. In times long ago, when the lands were one and the oceans were small, the Four once walked amongst the mortal men and women of all the races. The Four resided themselves to their own corners of the land, ruling as God Kings of their nameless countries. William, the Saint of Winter and God of light and dark, his dominion was of the icy north. Helena, the Saint of Spring and Goddess of life and death, her kingdom contained the rainy and tree covered west. Xera, the Saint of Summer and Goddess of war and peace, her realm included the rolling plains of the east. Finally there was Damian, the Saint of Autumn and God of health and disease, his empire lorded over the sands and swamps of the south. 

The Four ruled over the lands for centuries. Conflict rarely occurred during these times and the races were made to follow the Four's example of accepting both sides of life - the evil and the good. Eventually though, the Gods looked to give the lands to their faithful citizens in hopes of giving them a chance at leading their own lives without the Four's direct assistance or guidance. The Four worked together and split the lands, expecting the initial chaos and war that would ensue once they became absentees. 

Many of the once faithful servants chastised the Gods for their abandonment and for a time the Four were forgotten. After the initial warring over the lands, the countries formed and the Elder Chiefs came to be. To the western hemisphere there was Kalinfor, Hyldin, the now forgotten kingdom of Zaterna, Faust, and Drakein. To the eastern hemisphere there was Lariad, Bestatter, Russtek, and Tsuki (which then included many of the islands that would later form as their own countries). Beyond these disconnected expanses of land and countries were The Nest, the floating island country where the Raptors originate from and the cities of the Mer, located here and there under the sea. 

The Elder Chiefs chose for themselves and their people to abandon the Four as the Four had abandoned them. For centuries the people instead embraced what was called the Tribal Gods. The Tribal Gods were vast of number, uncountable. Almost anything that ever could occur or did exist had some sort of God tied to it that apparently lorded over the said object (or objects) in question. There was the God of the Books, the Goddess of the Pages, and the God of the Ink - all of them ruled over the simple concept of a book, but each was of a different aspect or more focused idea. Such ways existed for all things and there were many, many Gods. 

The people grew weary of so many Gods to wish and pray to during the days and nights of regular life. The Elder Chiefs did their best to chastise those who verbally went against the Tribal Gods, but it seemed the people began to remember the Four and their teachings, they began to realize the lesson they had been trying to teach by leaving their people and their kingdoms behind. The Elder Chiefs of each country were eventually overthrown or made to accept the coming return of reverence to the Four. Eventually belief in the Four eclipsed belief in the Tribal Gods and the lands once again completely embraced the Four as those to appeal to when one's life came to an end.  

One denomination of belief of the Four differed slightly, coming from the Moonlight Dominion. This difference (from their own texts) is said to originate from Tsuki (back before the Moonlight Dominion and before Tsuki was split into many different countries) shortly after they also found that the Tribal Gods' took a harsh waning of importance to the common people. The Moonlight Dominion's version of the reinvigorated belief in the Four all started with one man, one who chose to openly challenge the beliefs of both major religions at the time: the Tribal Gods and the Four. This man's name was Izanagi, an already legendary warrior during his time. He was a man who had apparently challenged both William and Xera to combat - calling down the two Gods from their Kingdoms and somehow overcame the two at the same time. They appreciated his outstanding talent as a warrior and granted him amazing power. 

With his newly granted status as a demigod Izanagi eventually conquered Tsuki and formed the Moonlight Dominion. The first act of the Moonlight Dominion was making Tsuki into a single island rather than encompassing many as it previously had. The rest of the islands that were once Tsuki where made into their own countries: Taiyo, Kong, and Pangu. These new countries were all ruled under the sole leadership of the Moonlight Dominion's Emperor. Izanagi ruled for decades as the Moonlight Dominion's first Emperor.  

Eventually though (as the texts tell), he grew weary of being a ruler. Izanagi had three sons up for the possibility of being the next Emperor, but denied them all the chance. Instead he wanted them to be warriors as he was, as he always felt was of his blood. Izanagi's eldest child would continue his duties as a Shogun, the middle child would continue at his work as a Samurai and eventually become a Shogun himself one day, and the youngest child would continue training to become a Samurai and join a Shogunate as his brothers had before him. They would argue briefly with Izanagi's decision, but as loyal sons, they would resign to his decrees and continue their honorable work as warriors, as their father had before them. 

The Four would meet once more with Izanagi, the second time the Four had interfered into the direct affairs of Tellus (as written in the Moonlight Dominion's holy texts) since they had left their rule of the lands long ago. Damian and Helena descended to speak to the man who had once defeated their brethren. With his desire to leave behind his role as an Emperor they would offer him a new responsibility, a new title. He would be a Shinigami, a guide to the souls of those who die. Izanagi would decide if he would guide a spirit to the Four for judgment or if he would leave the soul to find its own path to them, potentially leaving the soul to wander the planet for ages in search of the Four. 

The faithful who follow the standard belief in the Four dispute between the Moonlight Dominion's version of faith in the Four and the existence of Izanagi. Some argue that Izanagi never existed, while some argue that he did exist but simply did not become some mystical "Shinigami" as their stories dictate. Almost all of those who live in the Moonlight Dominon, however, believe and revere the legendary Izanagi and hope that he will guide them when their life reaches its honorable conclusion. 

Izanagi's full story can be found in the Moonlight Dominion's popularly followed Code of the Sword, a religious set of credos containing a detailed telling of the Shinigami's tale dubbed within the book as "The First Samurai, The First Emperor".

Beyond the histories of the Four and the Moonlight Dominion's belief in Izanagi, there are legendary items told of by storytellers, budding historians, and religious clerics alike. These items are called the Tools of the Four. The Tools of the Four were said to be left behind by the Gods themselves before they left to their Kingdoms. The first of the items would be Helena's Hand, a b*****d sword of incredible size. It is rumored that one needs considerable strength to even lift the fabled sword, let alone wield it true. Needed strength to wield the blade was beyond merely muscles however, vigor of the heart was also a necessity. One who could wield the mighty blade was given the power to instantly reap the souls of enemies with hearts of evil, yet in the same venue those with pure hearts would be instantly restored upon death - effectively it would kill or restore enemies in a single blow. This meant that the user of Helena's Hand had to be righteous in their combative efforts. With the relativity of good and evil, skeptics call this item for being false as terms like "evil" or "pure" on a person are often a matter of perception. 

The next legendary item supposedly left behind is William's Eyes, a helmet that appears to cover one's eyes. It is said that if one is of pure resolution in their heart and mind the helemt allows one to see truer than any other pair of eyes in the world the mortal lives. In the darkness of night, with William's Eyes one could see as if it were a cloudless sunny midday. During the times of day one could cast darkness over the eyes of evil adversaries before them. If the use of William's Eyes had nefarious deeds in mind or in the heart they would be temporarily blinded, or so the stories tell. Skeptics of this item give claim that if one warrior had such an advantage over their enemy that the armor piece would eventually end up in the hands of a great general, or otherwise rise a warrior up to the status of a great general - and thus it would not be absent from the world as it is and was. 

Following the helmet, William's Eyes and the sword, Helena's Hand was the jewel, Xera's Mind. The jewel that was Xera's Mind was/is a purple colored gem supposedly the size of a kiwi and is a trillion cut piece. The gem is stated to give a weapon, if fashioned within the weapon's making, great powers over the wars the weapon's master participated in. More specifically those with good/pure intentions in their participation of a war would be on the side of the victor by the war's end. Just the opposite, if one held ill-intent while participating in a war they would doom their side to defeat by the war's end. This item finds its disputes in that one rarely goes into war thinking their intentions aren't pure or just, and thus would be difficult for a gem to determine what is of proper or ill intent without a specific code of rules that apparently no one has made mention of in regards to the item. If such a code of rules exists within the gem's decision, skeptics believe this Tool of the Four would be the most likely in terms of possible existence, but it hasn't ever turned up to prove it either way.

Lastly there's Damian's Heart, a staff whose visage has become the symbol of the many Mercy of Damian hospitals and infirmaries. The stated look of this Tool of the Four was that it appeared like a sizable branch of a birch tree with a glowing light at its end. Damian's Heart's effects included powerful and deadly acts in the arts of medicine or viral infliction. Again, as with the other Tools it relied on the aspects of a good or evil hearted person. One who was of pure heart would be healed of all their ailments: cancer, gout, disease, broken limb, lacerations, and so on. Juxtaposed, those of blackened hearts would instead receive disease or cancers where it previously did not exist, or it would make certain ailments/issues increasingly dangerous or life threatening. Skeptics of this Tool of the Four state that if such a staff existed then many people would've utilized it to the extent of becoming immortal, and so it would likely still belong to whoever was of the first to find it, if it ever existed in the first place.

And so that is a brief history of the Four: the Four themselves, the Shinigami as believed by those in the Moonlight Dominion, and the fabled Tools of the Four. More extensive and detailed stories exist of these deities, but there is much to speculation and many who discuss which facets are true, which are false, and a fair number of people who consider the entirety of it as falsehood. There is too, lesser believed faiths that gain edge over the Four in certain regions. There is the Mer who believe in their own Octus the Speaker. There is the quietly growing religion of Alpha and Omega who believe their God to be more existent and participatory in the lives of mortals than the Four. All of that however, is up to discussion between scholars and clerics. Most simple folk are well enough in believing in most of what is mentioned in this brief overlook of it all. Many who believe in the Four aren't even well-versed in the simple explanation of it. They simply believe in the Four: William the North, Helena the West, Xera the South, and Damian the East.

© 2014 Patryk Shepard


Author's Note

Patryk Shepard
If you seen any proofreading issues/errors please let me know. Hope you enjoy reading!

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Added on January 14, 2014
Last Updated on August 1, 2014
Tags: the four, tellus, wanderer, aeons, gunslinger, fantasy

Author

Patryk Shepard
Patryk Shepard

Seattle, WA



About
Hello there, I'm Patryk - writer and hopefully soon to be published author. I'm sure you've heard the same kind of story before somewhere, so I'll get to the point - I love to write and hope that one .. more..

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