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Many, many eons ago, there was nothing. The Void, as it would later be pinned, was a vast expanse of nothingness.
Nothingness was soon plagued by loneliness, however, and two creatures came into being. Saint Heaven materialized as a great glowing one, her fair skin white as snow, her eyes a feline yellow. Lord Hell swirled into a dark being, his mere existence staunching all light aside from Saint Heaven herself, his eyes violet as a ripened prune. They were as different as night and day: the moon and the sun, lion and tigress.
Together, they formed Earth. Saint Heaven the land, and Lord Hell the sea. Both formed creatures to inhabit this world of theirs. Saint Heaven ruled over the humans, and Lord Hell, the beasts.
Over time, Saint Heaven and Lord Hell fell in love. At their union a new form of creature emerged: the Shifter. Neither man nor beast, the Shifters were accepted into society as omens, gifts from the gods above. They served as generals and militiamen; governors and kings. However, as the newly-formed nations bickered and bartered for the most valuable of these Shifters, tensions grew. After a scandal now long lost from memory, the first world war broke out. Thousands upon thousands perished, their mortal lives wasted into nothingness. Saint Heaven and Lord Hell watched, unable to intervene, as their world tore itself apart.
And yet, though the end of their world seemed to be imminent, they were proven wrong.
One such Shifter, by the name of, simply, the Crow, appeared upon the battlefields. He was strong as a warhorse and fast as a falcon, untouchable by any mortal being. News of his valor, humility, and grace traveled swiftly among the war-ravaged nations, and his reputation grew.
The Crow fought quickly and fiercely, bringing all his enemies to their knees. One after another, nations fell to his rule. After each, he proclaimed only one line, a stanza of immense power: “By the power of the Crow, may valor, humility, and grace thrive forevermore.”
And yes, he referred to himself in the 3rd person.
By the end of but a decade of warfare, the Crow had conquered the entire Earth. However, his many years of battle left him ailing, his injury hindering his once youthful tactics.
Saint Heaven looked down upon her favorite creation fondly, sorrow plucking her heart’s immortal strings. “Can’t he join us?” She pleaded to Lord Hell. “We have seen no mortal like him.”
“We cannot.” Lord Hell replied. “It would upset the balance of life.” Quietly, he added, “Mortals are not built for immortality.”
And so, the Crow grew older and older, withering away in his Fortress of Kings.
However, the peace was short-lived.
Deep below the Earth’s quiet inhabitants dwelled vile creatures, dark creatures, in a forsaken place known as Incarces. Creatures that could sense the growing weakness of the kingdom.
Siege after seige they forged, the fiercest and foulest of creatures laying claim to mortal blood.
Desperate to save his beloved kingdom, the Crow begged for Saint Heaven’s knowledge. Complying with a tear in her eye, Saint Heaven bid him his wishes.
He needed mortal blood to destroy the barrier between their worlds.
With a sigh and a heavy heart, the Crow left his fortress, never to be seen again. Only a day later, the creatures vanished from the face of the Earth.
Saint Heaven wept, she cried! She did, for the loss of such a precious life. Her tears leaked across the earth, little droplets cascading from the rumbling clouds as what the creatures would soon call, rain. Anger sparked and surged in her heart, its ferocity leaping across the sky as bursts of lightning and thunder. Lord Hell tried to console her, but to no avail.
“You killed him!” She screamed, her face streaked with tears.
Lord Hell was forced to retreat, turning his sights to the war-ravaged humans. He descended upon the world of the mortals, gently guiding them back to salvation. Winter gripped them in its icy grasp for the first of many seasons, but Lord Hell persisted, all the while building a legend for his beloved.
The humans prospered and shimmered, their wealth immense, yet tales of a certain warrior never left their hearts.
Years passed, and years turned to decades, decades to centuries. The mortals’ adulation of Lord Hell grew. However, the dark being himself never felt he truly belonged.
Desperate for reconciliation, Lord Hell approached Saint Heaven once more, pleading for her forgiveness.
Saint Heaven, however, had become jealous of her counterpart. Disregarding the dark being’s attempts for peace, she turned to something nearly villainy. Her Earth rumbled, whole cities fell amidst the darkest of nights, and yet, faith in Lord Hell never faltered.
But Lord Hell truly loved her, and he pleaded to her one last time. “My dearest, please heed my pleading. You will obliviate all of our masterpieces if you choose to continue. Our Crow lives on, in a legend built from the foundation of ruin. He will never be forgotten, nor shall you.”
However, she was implacable, and her sorrow soon turned to bitter anger. “I’ve had enough, Hell.” she snarled. “I feel nothing of what I once felt towards you. At the rise of the new moon, I will release all of Incarces’ creatures back upon the Earth. Perhaps Crow will be released as well. If you are not gone by then, then by Void, I do not feel sorry for you.”
Desperate to save himself and their earthly creations, Lord Hell fled to Incarces itself. Sorrow plucking at his sorry heart, Lord Hell destroyed the portals between Incarces and Earth with the blood of saints, forever trapping himself and the foulest of monsters within.
Not even the sound of Saint Heaven’s anger could ever reach his ears.
And from henceforth onward, the forsaken Incarces came to be known as the realm of Hell.
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