“Pour me a little more, and gather thee chopwise, and I’ll tell the the tale of Koss and the Flames.
It’s said the race of Men was created because of a strained back. Gob thee not! I’ll tell thee shortly how it came to be.
The lord Koss was the caretaker of heaven in the days when YS-Pravi was split in two by her lovers, and in the war that followed his cramped and hot workshop was filled to the brim-o-brim with broken chariot wheels, bent swords, and breastplates warped and battered. Ole’ lord Koss worked ceaselessly, for his peers had naught but contempt for him and gave him no respite. Thus it came to pass one day after long hours of toil, he knelt to lift his tongs from his hearth and strained his back.
The lord Koss gave out a mighty yelp of pain (oh what a simmery yelp!). Oh, he spat and stamped, and spat many a curse, and there he resolved to do something about his crushing workload. With his bare feet (for he certainly had no chariot) and carrying his tongs, he trudged to the edge of the world, where the bodies of father UN and mother YS lay.
There he rooted around their ashes with his tongs, here and there, until he found what he was looking for. It was a ferocious white flame, a brilliant splinter from the eye of mighty father UN. However, as he grasped it with his tongs, he eyed it far too rigid, and moreover, it burned with a fierce and terrible cold. He flung the flame far into the void, and rooting around, found another.
This one was a hot black flame, a writhing, awful, hungry flame from the tongue of his ole’ mother YS. But as he grasped it with his tongs, he saw it a-licking at his wrists, so hungry and chaotic it was, so he flung it too, far into the void. And rooting around, he found another.
This was a warm black flame, an inquisitive flame (aye!), from YS’ heart. Koss was curious and found it gentle enough to hold, but it would not stay in his grasp, and sputtered as it writhed about. Pleased, but not yet satisfied, he put it in his leather pouch, and rooting around, found another.
This was a cool white flame, from the fingernail of his father. And Koss was pleased, (oh how pleased he was!) for it was a pliant flame, a stable flame, yet cool enough to hold.
Koss took the cool white flame and worked it for a year and a day. And when it was to his liking, he took his bronze chisel and split it with a mighty crack, and out sprung up all at once the first order of the race of Servants, the Sustainers. There were servants for mending wheels, and servants for sharpening swords, and tending Koss’ hearth, and servants for sweeping his floor, and many more. And he struck it again, and out came the second order of servants. And when the sound of his chisel ceased ringing, the red city was bustling with canal cleaners, and glass-blowers, and brick-makers, and many more besides.
The Gods were at once astonished and horrified. They rode the void to Koss’ workshop and accosted him. “What have ye done, fool!” they cried, and Koss realized what they meant, for in forging his new creations, his raw material had been the Flame Immortal, the heart and soul of the mighty YISUN. And so, the Servants were no automatons, but all filled with the awful heat of Will, and they very rapidly grew rebellious.
Koss quickly thought about the warm, black flame in his leather pouch, but it would not fit his purposes (how clever was he!), so he reached out to the void to that terrible cold, white flame, where it had splintered into seven hundred and seventy seven smoking shards. But even one of those shards was still far too cold to bring back into the world. So clever ole’ Koss plucked them in one by one and smothered them in the ashes of his hearth. And from that hearth arose the Aeons, the Protectors.
The Gods were even more astonished, for the terrible fires of Will burned even stronger in the Aeons. But Koss was exceptionally crafty, and very quick. Before the Aeons could struggle free from his hearth, encased in their shells of ash, he grabbed them with his tongs, and he beat the good ole’ Law into each one with his silver chisel. Grasping them, he flung them into the streets, where they quickly set about quelling the rebellious Servants with terrifying efficiency.
The Gods were all agape, and praised Koss, and Koss’ heart swelled with pride, for he had indeed done a mighty service. With the servants to take care of their daily affairs, and the Aeons to hold the Law, the Gods were freed from menial tasks to quench their hearts desires (a terrible thing indeed!). And indeed, they would have remained in that city, living luxuriously, in a circular and stagnant existence, for the rest of infinity, had it been for but one of their number.
As the Gods left, Pree Ashma hid her hot and evil body beneath the ashes of Koss’ hearth. Jealousy burned in her wicked breast, for the praise that was heaped upon Koss. She waited until Koss was sound asleep, and with pickery fingers, plucked his chisel from his belt.
Out of Koss’ leather pouch she slipped the warm black flame, and grasping it, cackled as she struck all about it with the chisel. But it would not ply easily, and Aesma was monstrously impatient. As she hammered wildly, the clangs of the chisel grew so loud that they awoke Koss, and the sleeping city, and even reached vestal Prim, where she fought the Archons, lashed to their flensing tree.
Rushing to the workshop, now filled with clashing sparks, the Gods shouted at Aesma to stop. But in defiance, she grasped that chisel in two hands and brought it down in a single wicked strike, and the flame shattered into tiny burning embers. And where the embers touched the dirt arose the race of Men, the Perceivers. And at first the Gods made to stamp them out, but stopping, they were dumbstruck.
Aesma, in her fury and impatience, had very poorly worked the warm black flame of YS (oh poorly indeed!). In her idiocy, she had forged impermanent beings – the first mortals, and in doing so had inadvertently created the Gift of Death. The Gods were bowed in awe, for the little lives of Men burned with meaning many times more potent than the creators of the Red City themselves, and the terrible fires of will burned so brightly within their brows that each was a Universe on their own, and the Gods could say no more.
It was said that this even inspired them into their self-annihilation by Division sometimes later, and the forging of the wheel, and the abandonment of heaven. But it is certainly known that the children of Aesma’s Mistake would go on to be powerful indeed, and exceptionally foolish. It was their race, after all, that tamed that Hot, Black Flame, and in doing so, brought the first of our kin into the world.
Oh lovely, wicked Aesma! And all because of a sore back, my fellows!
Now, bring me more liquid lubrication, will thee not? The night is ripe and I am exceptionally thirsty…”
-Old devil’s tale