When Hyratus, the God of Light, ruled the heavens and pushed his will upon the other gods, there was never night and never darkness. Hyratus believed that he would need to stay awake and watch all to ensure that there was no chaos and no rebellion. And as Hyratus stayed awake, studying Illythia and speaking with the Gods, Tarkulus, God of Darkness, was imprisoned with all the terrible and wicked things beneath Illythia.
Tarkulus was not a bitter or resentful prisoner, rather he was patient and he was understanding. Tarkulus listened to the darkness and those that dwelled within it. He named them and gave them shape, mirroring them after the beautiful things that Hyratus made in the light. While Hyratus made hounds, Tarkulus shaped the wolves. Where Hyratus made forests, Tarkulus formed the caves beneath. When Hyratus formed the land for all to live on, Tarkulus shaped the sea where none upon the land could live. When Hyratus made Humanity, Tarkulus gave life to the Vark. And while Hyratus grew brighter and brighter, Tarkulus grew darker and darker.
It is said that Tarkulus’ children and the Gods of Tyrantium whispered in his ear, telling him that the longed to walk Illythia and how they dreamed of the delicious fruits and savory meats of the surface. Tarkulus, who is caring and loving and who embraces all in the darkness, told them that they must be patient. Though the children of Tarkulus did not understand their master’s unending patience, they knew that he was wise and caring. So they waited in their caves and in the Black Highway and beneath the waves.
Hyratus, however, blazed as the Eternal Fire above all. Hyratus, the all seeing was not as caring and as patient as Tarkulus was with his children, for Hyratus saw with his eyes how Humans were not all beautiful as the Elethyn were. He saw how small the Ratarni were and shunned them to the shadows. He looked upon the strength of the Ryken and the endurance of the Daraken and made them stronger. As he worked to try and make that which was not beautiful or well, perfect and desirable, Hyratus longed for sleep. The other Gods, those the Malonese pray to, they conspired with each other, whispering about how Hyratus was meddling in everything, how he craved more and more power, and how the sun burned brighter and brighter with each day.
Finally, the Gods of the Light could take no more of Hyratus’ madness and so they journeyed beneath Illythia and met with Tarkulus. In the darkness, the Gods were afraid and scared of what they could not see. It was then that they met the Daughters of Tarkulus, Auryna and Lewetha. One glowed pink and one glowed blue in the darkness and the gods were no so scared. They followed the Daughters of Tarkulus to their father and it was Tarkulus who told them not to let anger and frustration drive them to wicked deeds, lest they dwell forever in darkness.
The Gods of Light, however, complained about the eternal brightness that Hyratus shown and the fire that would burn their creations, how he meddled with their people and favored only things that soothed and were pleasing to his ever-watching eyes. They told Tarkulus how they could only find one solution and that was to end Hyratus’ madness and oppression.
When he heard this, Tarkulus sounded his great black horn and the whole of the world shook and the Gods trembled as Tarkulus’ son Varulius appeared, burning red with rage and hatred for the Gods of Light and the host of Vark to imprison and battle the Gods of Light. The battle was ferocious and bloody as the Gods of Light and Darkness waged their war.
Meanwhile, Tarkulus ascended from the depths of Illythia and Hyratus, who was confused as to where his children had gone, was furious when he saw his banished brother. As shadows stretched across all of Illythia and wherever Tarkulus walked, creatures slept, finally embracing the peace of sleep in his shadow. When Hyratus raged and hurled his fire, Tarkulus let it wither and turn to smoke.
“Brother,” Tarkulus said. “You have made such wonders and have had such lovely children. Do you not feel tired? Do you not long for the embrace of sleep? Come, I will let you rest and you may be at peace for I will watch over all that you have created and make sure that they sleep as well.”
“No,” Hyratus roared. “This is mine and you will try to take what I have created. You will ruin all that I have made.”
But Hyratus yawned as he shouted and Tarkulus, patient and wise, let Hyratus roar and shout. He endured the wrath of his brothers until his eyelids grew heavy and Tarkulus let his brother sleep. As Hyratus lay down, Tarkulus pulled the horizon over him to keep him warm and invited his Daughters to sit with him and watch over the world. Deep beneath Illythia, Varulius let the Gods of Light and the Gods of Darkness end their fighting and come to the surface where all could sleep and all could dwell now beneath the loving gaze of Tarkulus, Auryna, and Lewetha.
This is how night was born and where the moons came from.
(Torn from a book of Children’s Tales in Marchetti)
While it is often remarked with some sense of certainty that there are only two moons that hang in the night sky, there are actually three.
Auryna, as the Ancient Ones called her, is the largest of the moons, blue and eternal. She slowly arcs across the night sky, watchful and protecting. Auryna takes a full night to make her journey from horizon to horizon, visible all across Illythia. Her popularity among pagans is often attributed to this watchful standard that she takes, regardless of how full she is. When Auryna is covered in complete shadow, once every two months, it is called the Witch’s Moon and it is said that rogue Magicians will turn feral, becoming beasts that feed on the humble and honest. Every child knows not to go outside during the Witch’s Moon. But, when Auryna is full and bright, she is known as the Queen’s Moon, filling the night time world in pale blue light. It is said to keep wolves away and often Queens are celebrated with a feast in the Kingdoms. In Malon, it is known as the Imperator Moon and it is said that the Imperator can commune with the spirits across the Ether. Whether this is true is unknown, no Imperator has spoken of it and I think that they enjoy the mythos of the idea.
Lewetha, the Younger Sister, according to the mythology is the pink moon and significantly smaller than Auryna, but is also known as the Night Jewel for her alluring pink glow. Lewetha makes her journey twice across the evening sky and this is said because she attends to the Sun. Of course, the Sun needs no attending, however, the myth lingers, regardless of how many times you try to explain it to the common folk. Lewetha is known to vanish from time to time, slipping beyond the northern and southern horizon, but she is steadily in the sky from late spring to early autumn, vanishing for the colder months. But, the most popular aspect of Lewetha is when she crosses behind Auryna, vanishing when Auryna is in the Queen’s Moon. This is known as the Lover’s Eye and it is said that a child conceived within the Lover’s Eye is destined for greatness. Most Saints and Chosen have been said to have been born within the Lover’s Eye. It is extremely rare and I doubt the credibility of these claims, but historical records for the heavens is limited. I am a pioneer in this field unfortunately, but I hope to keep interest alive going forward here at the Collegium.
Finally, we have the Wandering Moon that is see only once in ten generations, that I have yet to witness myself, but Hawathi mystics and foreign travelers in the Scattered Cities claim to have seen it as well. We have images of the moon on cave paintings in the Kingdoms predating the 3rd Scourge. There are also carven images that the bold travelers of the Heartlands have brought back rubbings of indicating three moons in the sky over a battle. I was also allowed access to the Autumnal Court in Malon City to look upon a tapestry in the Old Hall which predated the Imperator Ascension which shows a blood red moon in the sky.
For the mystery of this moon, it is called the Vark Moon, the Scourge Moon, and the Doomsayer. It is reported to summon the Vark to rise from the Black Highways and the Shadow Dominion and invade the surface, unleashing a Scourge or Rising, as the Malonese call it. While I do not believe that this is true, many of the Elethyn that I have interviewed claim that the Wandering Moon, known as Varulius in legends, does appear when a Scourge is unleashed. As there are only records of Five Scourges, this would mean that in all of Malonese, Tyrantine, and Atherlonian, and Bashuranian History, we have only seen the Wandering Moon five times.
I personally do not believe that the Vark rise with the Wandering Moon. It is most likely an ominous symbol that is taken as an omen and related through history to have coincided with a Scourge. As with all things in nature, there is a reason for its presence and I doubt it is there to herald the doom of mankind, but I cannot deny my own unease when speaking of the Vark. Any man of science knows that they are there and these unthinking killers operate by their own methods and primitive thoughts. Why not rise with the Wandering Moon? But I believe my own theory is more akin to reality in this matter.
I doubt very much that I will see the Wandering Moon within my lifetime, but it would be a sight to behold. Until then, I will continue to study the heavens and watch for the Wandering Moon and behold Varulius with my own eyes if I am lucky.
Professor Reginald Clavare
Professor of Heavenly Phenomena at the Collegium
(Recorded from the Library at the Collegium)
Moons? Are you daft? Why would the moons be of any value to a Magician? You’re listening to old wives’ tales again. Do you think we strip off our clothes, take to the meadows, and bathe in virgin blood beneath Auryna? Don’t be stupid. Pagans might find moonless nights appealing for their gods, but we have no use for such infantile ideas. Let the Woodlanders have their orgies. We will spend our time wisely.
If you want to coordinate your attack based off a wives’ tale, then that’s on you. There is merit in preying on the lesser minds of the common folk, but the Musketeers are not common folk. Don’t expect superstition to throw them off guard and if they have a WarMage with them, run. I don’t need to tell you what those poor souls are and are not capable of anymore.
Don’t be stupid Fettius. Think of your men, plan cautiously, and strike true.
For the Resistance,
(Collected from a Musketeer evidence locker at Cruciatus Maximus.)