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Part II
Part III

Ziguran Mythology

Part I

Separated into four "sects", the myriad deities of Ziguran all spring from the original fourteen. There is also a hierarchy among the daemons and any number of sah'reg, or demi-gods, exist. The religion is one of excess and many layers, and religious scholars can always find more to satisfy their lust for knowledge while the merely curious can get by well in Ziguran with basic familiarity with the religion.

The Supreme deities, Akir and Uz, influence the world solely because they were the initial beings who sprang from it. They are currently trapped between Pales.

The Inherent deities, Gishaunik, Irif-uz, Miamm-uz and Qari-uz, influence the world through being all things that compose it. They are considered inaccessible and are generally neither worshipped nor spoken of.

The Ekikki deities, Daudei, Fauozlil, Laiish and Omliazi, influence the world only in abstract ways, such as representing law, loneliness and time. They inhabit the upper realm of Ellushene. The sole exception to this is Omliazi, who rules the Rummur or Afterworld.

The Galilammi deities were initially Agenni, Tiferet, Zzrrrgk and Zukumet, though their ranks grew as new deities were accepted. They live upon Thrael and influence it in any manner of ways due to that.

Part II

History of the Original Ziguran Deities

Uz came into being from the eruption of a volcano in the midst of the ocean. Heat and life were Its domains, and with sweeping fingers It scorched the ground, filling the land with such life force that Thrael itself roiled and churned, heaving and finally puking up sand and mountain, volcanoes and deserts, crafting the harsh landscape there. Yet the ultimate laws of balance held true and along with Uz was created.

Akir, who represented cool and death. Birthed slowly from the dissipating smoke of Its counterpart's fires, the sweeping of this creature's hair across the landscape crystallized areas, creating the purest and hardest of rock within the hearts of the mountains. Too dazzling for the eyes of those beings that were not yet, the clear gems waited alone for color.

From the toyings of Uz came Gishaunik, the first sexed being, with corded and muscular arms, a full rounded set of six breasts and the reproductive organs of both a male and a female — which the former dangled dangerously low. Somehow Uz became entangled with Gishaunik's member and in Its struggles to escape ripped it from the being's body. It fell to the earth, writhing and twitching in the sand, and Gishaunik's breasts fell alongside it as the creature dissolved, not quite destroyed but no longer tangible or even existing among Uz and Akir.

Akir slept peacefully as these things happened, remaining asleep through the proceedings. The penis swung amongst the breasts, and the essence of Uz surrounded the spectacle and infused it. Heat, semen, blood and milk formed itself into the semblance of a human, and this was Miamm-uz, a handsome neutered creature with an androgynous figure, who shed blood upon the sands in an effort to create plant life. And, living in a place with an unknown exact location, Miamm-uz learned to live with little more than the succulent flesh of the blood orange to sustain It.

As millennia passed, from Its realm of Ellushene Uz watched Its child study life and strange things happened to Uz. It came to feel wonder and merriment, though It felt oddly hurt when Miamm-uz's creations withered into nothingness. The deity and Its Aspect on Thrael grew curious as to how the fruit trees thrived even without Their influence, and so Miamm-uz turned Its attention to that mystery. Millennia passed, and at last the answer came unto Miamm-uz: life sustains life. This brought It great joy and It wanted companions to not only share this, but to watch sustain themselves; as Uz watched, rapt, Its Aspect crafted two others. These were Irif-uz, a male, and Qari-uz, a female. In the trinity of the Aspects there was finality and Uz was completion; that deity and Its Children awoke Akir with the joyful singing of the very air at these happenings.

Yet Akir tempered a sudden "emotion" that surged up in It, as the concept of emotions was foreign to It. All things about It had meaning when they had not before, and strange creatures walked the bit of land the Supreme Deities had been birthed from. Akir knew Uz was complete, although It never before had contemplated the idea of things having an End. This was pleasing to It, and It watched over the End of All Things.

While Uz's Aspects were of interest to the deity, It was especially intrigued with Qari-uz, She who was innovating new plants as She, Irif-uz and Miamm-uz wandered the whole of Ziguran. From Her palms came the ethereal eizaal tree, and from Her fingers sprang the poisonous uraia tuber. Uz had lost interest in Its Aspects and turned Its attentions to the traces of Gishaunik that remained, these "emotions". Yet Akir watched and studied but did not communicate with those below. And it occurred during this time that Qari-uz carelessly crushed a pomegranate beneath Her heel and from the crushed flesh and sweet nectar did Akir birth Omliazi.

Selfish and uncaring, Omliazi sat in that pomegranate grove as the trio moved on, oblivious to Her presence. She sat amongst the fragrant plants and luscious foliage, thinking only on how She deserved Her own realm. She screamed out to Her Creator, Akir, and this was the first prayer: "Grant to Me what is Mine, Thee who have Thine!" But Akir would not so easily lose Its only child, who It adored eternally from the very conceptual thought of Her. And the first gift of a Deity was bestowed when Akir said unto Her, "Thou shalt have thy desires whence thou hast given Me aught else to study."

Omliazi tasted power and truth in the words of It who was the End, and She felt jealous that It was so boundless. She went unto Irif-uz, grabbing Him away from the slumbering Qari-uz and Miamm-uz, and with an elaborate chanted ritual stole from Him His essence, then dismissed Him and returned to the grove of Her creation. And She called out: "Watch me then, Creator! See what Thy child has wrought, what She can do!" The fabric of the world twisted and tore about Her and creatures of raw black raced from these tears, howling and twisting about Her. But She was not done, and again She called out to Her Creator, "Keep Thy attentions upon me! These are My creations; I have Thy powers! And this is for Thee, to keep to Thyself, as I want naught to do with it." She tore open Her wrists with Her sharp teeth and spat the flesh upon the earth, then spewed ethereal white essence from her mouth. "See what Thy child has wrought for Thee!"

And the blood and flesh and essence did mix, as the sweetened air was tainted with the malodorous foulness of Omliazi's creations. From this churning boil on the face of Thrael did spring the maiden Tiferet, and She was the image of Her mother. Akir immediately sent Omliazi and Her beasts away to Her own Realm before Her daughter laid eyes upon Her; Tiferet was to belong to It. The maiden was unbalanced, being the first merging of Uz and Akir, and She was angered at Her confusion. All things were foreign to Her, for She was new; Akir spoke soothingly to Her and calmed Her anger. And She set forth on Her own to climb mountains and explore this place and the joys of being alive.

Omliazi dwelt with Her daemons in Rummur, the Afterworld, and crafted the place by making it suit Her lustiest ideas; debauchery ruled amongst Her daemons and She was utterly content, crafting the realm that seemed to be as large as She wished it to be. She did not wonder on Her Creator or Her creation, for They were of no concern to the Succubus as She reveled in Her realm.

It was often that Akir looked upon Tiferet to find Her far-reaching gaze settled upon the camp of the Aspects; She refused to go there, for in Their completion She found something lacking in Herself. And, aching for the sake of Its daughter, Akir crafted Agenni from the most loving of Its thoughts, and set the man-deity alongside Her.

Uz awoke and, with Akir, kept part of Its attention on Its Aspects while the rest was spent on the children on the mountain. Agenni and Tiferet loved each other fiercely; He had been created to love Her, whilest in Him She found the completion She sought. Nonetheless, the thought of not being enough to sustain Herself was distasteful, and so They fought fiercely while adoring each other all the while; She screamed unto her Creator that She would destroy Agenni for the disrespect He had given Her even as He whispered to Her that She was being unreasonable.

The pair reconciled while having a battle of wit, during which They crafted marvels of creatures and humanoids to roam the world below Their mountaintop home. Each strove to create the perfect race: Agenni quested for a creation that was sentient and clever while being resourceful and strong, as Tiferet's more whimsical creations were intended for beauty and charisma while being charitable and prideful. And then Their attentions were caught by the Aspects, whom They had never met but often studied through Their far-seeing gazes.

Qari-uz had borne Irif-uz three children, after millennia of experimentation and altering Her body during both the carrying and birthing processes. She named Her sons Laiish, Fauozlil and Daudei, and as They were born She turned Her gaze towards Agenni and Tiferet for the first time. "Come," said Agenni, turning away from Their game and, taking Her hand, He led Her to the side of the new mother.

And it came to pass that Akir, once again, turned Its gaze to Rummur as Omliazi sat chatting with Her consort, a daemon named Zukumet, and for the sake of balance, It raised that creature to deity hood. And so the daemon did move from the competitive ranks of His ilk to roam Rummur as a god. Omliazi let Him do as He pleased, for He was of little concern to Her now for She enjoyed His company solely because He had aided Her in the creation of an immense canyon on the far western edge of Rummur.

When Agenni and Tiferet arrived at the Aspects, having journeyed across the continent, the children of Qari-uz were walking and speaking intelligently. The "elders" chose to take on the education of the three. Agenni said He would tutor the blue-eyed child Laiish, and not to be outdone, Tiferet said She would teach the green-eyed Daudei. And so the two left with Their charges to return to Their mountaintop home, leaving Fauozlil with the trinity.

Despite all Her motherly instincts prior to having the children, Qari-uz had little interest in Her children once They actually came into existence. She ignored Fauozlil, lost in Her study of a bright emerald snake twined about the branches of a tree - one of Tiferet's creations. Irif-uz and Miamm-uz, engaged in conversation, did not even notice the youngster as He tried for Their attention. And so, with His siblings taken by Tiferet and Agenni, He began a journey to Them. Yet the walk was far and His commitment small, and He could not make it there.

Angered and feeling wronged, Fauozlil in His wandering loneliness called out for Uz to show Him that life was worth living or the world worth wandering. But Uz, bound not to speak by the rules of history, turned away from the pleading young deity. Yet Zukumet, who was listening to all He could with His expanded consciousness, told the deity to come unto Rummur, unto the lamia-daemon, for She would aid him.

And so Fauozlil, recalling a brief bit of conversation between Miamm-uz and Irif-uz regarding a creature named Omliazi, made the perilous journey to Rummur. Daemons taunted Him mercilessly, but spurred onwards by His loneliness and desire to see His wrongs revenged, Fauozlil came unto Omliazi. And She saw in His violet eyes an emotion She did well recognize: jealousy. The succubus smiled and took Him unto Herself, and together They plotted the downfall of the deities on the middle Realm.

Thusly did the war that forever sundered the realm of Ellushene from the realm of Thrael begin, in the jealousy of a single man and the mischievousness of a single woman. Omliazi journeyed to Thrael with Zukumet at one side and Fauozlil at the other. They traveled unto the Aspects. As Omliazi and Zukumet distract Miamm-uz and Irif-uz, Fauozlil rent His mother Qari-uz into shreds, throwing the pieces of Her body carelessly about. And so were the other continents and the rest of the world of Thrael formed, for where pieces of Her came to rest, so did land spring into existence.

Qari-uz's death caused a great shock to run throughout all of Ziguran, shaking the earth and making its features easily mutable. Tiferet and Daudei prepared to go save the Aspects; knowing beyond a doubt that going would cause His beloved to die and forever roam Rummur, Agenni told Tiferet She must stay. Standing on the mountains created by Akir when It came into being, the pair argued, but Agenni finally grabbed Tiferet by the arm and forced Her into the crystalline substance of the mountains.

As the deity's essence combined with that of the stone, a powerful reaction shook all the Realms. Uz and Akir were thrust into a void where They simply could not be reached, and all other deities fought fiercely to survive the force that rocked the realms even after the Supreme ones were caught between Pales. Tiferet was trapped within the rock, which became colored green with Her fury. Agenni grabbed Laiish and the mourning Daudei, fighting off His own grief, and They made for the scene of Qari-uz's death.

Unexpectedly, from the power of this explosion the dragyn deity, Zzrrrgk, was created. A mixture of aether, anger, passion and fright, the ravenous deity spiraled into the volcano of Uz's creation and curled up there, away from the events on Thrael and feeding on the inner earth as it grew and nurtured.

Omliazi and Fauozlil stood laughing over the death of Qari-uz as Zukumet, wanting to further Omliazi's status in the absence of Uz and Akir, tempted the last two Aspects into the emptied realm of the Supreme deities to fight them. Weakened by the loss of part of Itself as well as Tiferet's blast, Miamm-uz was unable to fight back against the deity's attacks and, in an attempt to shield the world below (which was Qari-uz), It dissolved, dissipated, and became the sky.

Infuriated by Tiferet's escape, Fauozlil turned his anger towards Agenni. Agenni dismissed Daudei and Laiish, saying They must destroy Omliazi. And as the two headed towards the Succubus, Agenni lowered His voice to a slow monotone and lulled the boy to sleep. Carrying the sleeping body up to Ellushene and placing it alone, Agenni passed through Miamm-uz and stood guard over Tiferet.

Laiish and Daudei battled Omliazi, but when Zukumet came to Her aid, They began to lose Their confrontation, encumbered by Their youth and inexperience with anger. Using His skill with lies, the daemon-god announced that Irif-uz no longer existed, and this news combined with the loss of Tiferet and not knowing Agenni's fate broke the children down, and They fell under the claws of Omliazi and Zukumet. Irif-uz arrived, empowered by the wails of His children beyond the unconsciousness Zukumet had knocked Him into. Leaving the children for dead, Zukumet and Omliazi chased Irif-uz away to finish Him. Laughing to enrage Them, He transformed himself into a tree of pure stone. The daemon-deities clawed at it, shards of stone flying across the land: where the shards touched ground, cities and other monuments rose, though the tree looked unaffected.

Sickened by all that happened below, Miamm-uz decided to become solid and forever separate the realms of Ellushene and Thrael. He carefully swept Daudei and Laiish up into Ellushene, knowing They would be safe there. As the last translucence of Miamm-uz became the firmament, Omliazi and Zukumet, not wanting to be caught on Thrael, struggled to pass through Him, fighting each other viciously as They strode to the breech. Omliazi managed to slip through at the last into Rummur, kicking Zukumet away and stranding him on Thrael.

Thus: The Supreme deities Uz and Akir are half-banished, influencing the world because They created it as heat and cold, life and death, discord and harmony.

Thus: Gishaunik, Irif-uz, Miamm-uz and Qari-uz are gathered under the name of the Inherent deities, not truly existing in any realm but affecting all.

Thus: Laiish, Fauozlil and Daudei are residing in the upper realm of Ellushene, isolated from Thrael and unable to directly influence and interact with the world below but affecting it in a myriad of intangible ways.

Thus: Omliazi rules alone in The Afterworld of Rummur, guarded by the devices of her many minor daemons.

Thus: Tiferet is trapped in the crystalline stone of the mountain, Agenni standing guard at her side, while Zzrrrgk and Zukumet inhabit Thrael as well, as the four known as the Galilammi deities.

Thus: Three distinct realms are created — Ellushene, Thrael and Rummur.

Part III

The Tale of Agenni and Tiferet

And so it came to be that Akir looked upon Its beloved Tiferet to find the maiden mourning Her loneliness in a world of wonders meant to be shared. With Her glittering eyes She gazed out over the life of Ziguran and the Aspects of Uz enjoying the company of each other, and Akir felt keenly protective of Her. From the most loving of Its thoughts It brought into being the logical but passionate Agenni, He who would be the completion of Tiferet. With the personality of both a charming young lad and a wizened old man, Agenni at once recognized that a deep-rooted fortitude lodged in Him, which was to prove a perfect foil that would keep in balance the moody goddess' fickleness and provide the world with stability and mental strength.

And as He descended from the realm of the gods to walk upon Thrael, Agenni was glad that these were his tenets. He recognized in the constantly shifting landscape a need for something reliable, even as He stood upon the mountaintop Tiferet named Her home and introduced Himself to the maiden. He heard the groan of the mountains as they tried to settle upon a land too young to rest and in the stillness of the air, felt its keen desire to be filled with logical patterns. Even as He spoke unto Her, His ever-roaming gaze betrayed His constant thoughts — this deity who represented stability would ever be restless.

As the two spoke, He found Himself accepting Her challenge to a battle of wits. They populated the world with marvelous creatures of all types, She creating the steadfast and logical wolf as a representation of Him while He gave life unto the jaguar as a representation of Her. And so They did continue in Their game for millennia, pausing often in deep thought to perfect their image of what They would next create. With the influx of new species, Agenni was constantly extending His calming essence over the land to soothe it, reassuring all things that these changes would lead only to constancy. His profound fortitude sustained the world, and He struggled to support Thrael's ever-changing life force with His own essence, though never once did He allow Tiferet to know.

Being both blessed and cursed with the ability to see into the future, Agenni ably manipulated the occurrences of the world to craft the future He, Akir and Uz wished for it. And yet He knew there were things He could not stop, tests He would face and must not fail: tutoring the deity Laiish, the first-born of Irif-uz and Qari-uz, would be His first test.

With a firm mindset towards the balance of all things and His spirit clasped about Tiferet's, He set off towards the newborn triplet sons of Uz's male and female Aspects. Though Tiferet fought mightily to be free of His protection as She always did, Agenni did not let Her go; for protecting Her was His greatest test. She was too volatile for Thrael and would destroy it without His guidance, and while this caused Her to have great bitterness and fling insults and abuses upon him, He handled it with the stoic attitude so integral to His nature. And time passed as They journeyed across the continent, interacting with the creatures They had brought into being, delighting in the fruits of plants that were the newest work of Qari'uz. Yet no flesh did They partake of, for Agenni knew the creatures were yet developing resistances to diseases and the pair would be struck with horrendous illnesses if They did consume them.

Sojourning with the aspects, Tiferet and Agenni offered to school their offspring. Laiish, with His eyes as blue as the empty nighttime sky, willingly accepted Agenni as His tutor; Daudei, with His eyes as green as the foliage of the eizaal tree, eagerly received Tiferet as teacher. Together the four returned to the mountaintop, there to study life and existence.

Yet with the beginning of the war between the gods, Agenni was faced with another immense task in His duty to protect Tiferet: He would lose the maiden until a time unforeseen to Him so as to not lose Her forever. As She readied Herself for battle, Agenni forced Her into the mountain, imprisoning Her in the crystalline stone with the power of the Creators supporting Him.

And so reactive was the newborn world and so furious was Tiferet with Him that Her essence clashed strongly with that of the mountain, exploding outwards in a blast that hurled Uz and Akir into the void between Pales. Agenni shielded Laiish and Daudei, those He considered His sons and students, as well as the rest of Thrael, from this destructive force.

Though the sting of Tiferet's hatred seared at and sunk into His skin and mind, Agenni bore it, for it was necessary, for He knew that if He faltered in the least at taking the brunt of this force; Thrael would have no future. The deities would be struck down and the world would fall apart without Their support; so He stood, fortitude embodied, to guard all things from this destructive force.

And even as Zzrrrgk, the Great Dragyn, a deity born of the powerful magic and Tiferet's fury, twisted from the stone and shrieked with earth-shattering might as He lunged into the sky and away from the pain, Agenni absorbed the blast. Agenni took all He could, and more, until the furious storm abated; yet He could not handle the totality of the blast and each deity was weakened by it.

And then, in deep sadness and mourning, Agenni led the young ones into battle, leaving His beloved behind.

Agenni used the strength of His most reasonable, logical and dispassionate mind to lull the petulant child Fauozlil to sleep during the great war, depositing the deity in the empty realm of Ellushene, and having done so, He returned to stand guard at Tiferet's side.

When the War ended, Agenni was named Lord of the Galilammi, the deities who dwelt upon Thrael. Though He rarely left His mountain, for he was loath to spend more than one minute from Tiferet's side, He spoke often with Zzrrrgk and repaired Zukumet's rampant angered destruction as it occurred; making his decrees as he knew He must and creating deities as the need arose.

The first to be granted godhood after the War was Unne, who came forth from a whirling sandstorm. Soon thereafter, Agenni made the stallion Raaqil a divine being. An exemplary leader of his herd, Agenni charged him with leadership of all the animals and stewardship of the planet itself. As He watched twin sisters sit debating in their home, they too were deified: Amira'el the representation of Free Will, Elira'el the representation of Fate.

And there came a time when the deities needed to assemble and so sojourned to the boundaries of Omliazi's realm of Rummur. The Succubus refused to let them bypass the trials guarding her realm, but the liquid lava flowed though the stony caverns and spiraled upwards, forming a fire-nymph, Lishrammu; She who represented the spirit of flame and lava, She who kept all things fluid. And she invited the deities to stand upon her palm as she bore them unto the cavern where Omliazi did await. Agenni saw in Lishrammu a continuation of Tiferet and invited her to live with Him upon Thrael.

When the conference was completed and all things were relatively settled, Lishrammu and Agenni lived together guarding Tiferet, whose spirit caused the mountains to gleam with an emerald light. The fire-nymph swore to protect Her as Agenni would and so the Lord of the Galilammi became free to roam Thrael as He needed.

Though He found pleasure in roaming the world as He had when He was new, Agenni missed the company of Tiferet. It is said He oft times takes on the form of a mortal to pay attentions to those who remind Him of His maiden, or those who He thinks may be able to tell Him how to rescue Her. Bearing the weight of maintaining normalcy upon His shoulders, Agenni is most serious in carrying out his duties and in the absence of Uz and Akir, He is often regarded as the Ruler of all deities.