The Book of the Origins of the World
Chapter 1: The Making of the World
1 In the space before the world, all the universe was filled with a light. 2 So pure and intense was the light that no life could exist, and all was empty. 3 Instead, from the light emerged two Brothers, Twins, perfect in every way, and They were Shākk and Mātt. 4 Perfectly in balance the two were, and opposite in power. Shākk was full of heat and passion, and so generated heat, so intense that nothing could come near Him lest it be burned to ashes, and the ashes themselves cease to be. 5 Mātt was dispassionate and logical, and so emitted cold, so intense that nothing could come near Him lest it be frozen into dust, and the dust itself cease to be. 6 Each was so powerful that alone, He could not create but only destroy. 7 So They came together, and made between Them a place, 8 wherein the air ranged from pleasant warm to pleasant cool, and all that lay between Them was good. 9 And there They built a great table, which became the plane of the earth. Upon it They placed many mountains and rivers, and decreed that the one side would be filled with green and growin life, and the other side filled with death. 10 Thus were the realms of life and afterlife made. 11 Then Shākk and Mātt wove together a canvas of purest azure, and wrapped it around the world to block out the piercing light of heaven, and it was the sky. 12 Now the two Brothers descended to the dome of the sky to watch over their creation. They punched wholes in the canvas for handholds, and the light of heaven shone through the holes, and that light was the stars. 13 Shākk climbed upon the sky, and the air caught fire, and He became the sun. And His dominion was over life, and the time when He was above the world of the living was called day. 14 Mātt climbed upon the sky, and the air and water froze to ice, and He became the moon. And His dominion was over death, and the time when He was above the world of the living was called night. 15 But the strain of passing over the world over and over again began to tire the two Brothers. 16 Shākk began to slow, and His fire did warm the earth almost to its limit. Then He caught his breath and sped up again, and the world did cool and begin to freeze. Such were the seasons born, and Shākk measured His pace so that they would follow one after another. 17 And Mātt, lazier than His most diligent and forthright brother, slowed and failed to keep up His pace. Such were the months born, and the moon began to creep up during the time alloted to the sun. 18 The two Brothers' realms overlapped, and They began to feel anger and resentment toward one another.
Chapter 2: The Disunion
1 Shākk and Mātt had an argument. 2 Each was dissatisfied with the other. Shākk wished for all to coexist in harmony, with Himself overseeing all life and Mātt taking his place in the underworld, 3 but it was Mātt's secret desire to depose His Brother and take His place as lord of both life and death. 4 The two Brothers came together to speak, and They did null one another's power, so that neither might emit His light, and so the world was cloaked in darness. It was the first eclipse. 5 "Brother," said Shākk, "You are remiss in your duties. You encroach upon the day, and the night is hollow without Your presence." 6 Mātt was angry at this, and jealous of Shākk's domain. "Can not the day and night survive without My watch?" He retorted. 7 "May I not watch over this world which is Ours together in what way I wish? Am I nothing more than an accessory to Your glory?" 8 Shākk accused his Brother. "Your place is in the land of the dead. 9 The dead are restless and unfulfilled because of your ambition, and the living huddle in fear against your coming." 10 "And yet You provide the living with no comfort," replied Mātt. "All living things reach out to You, and you give them nothing in return. 11 The dead, at least, are content with themselves." 12 "Only because you provide them nothing else," said Shākk. "I at least give the living hope." 13 "Hope," said Mātt, "Is an empty thing." 14 Shākk replied, "Hope is all things."
Chapter 3: The War
1 Great was the anger of the two Brothers, and the earth quaked in fear below Them. So even still does the earth sometimes quake at Their anger. 2 But though the earth shook in the darkness and all life trembled, still the Brothers argued, becoming ever more angry, until finally Shākk could not contain His anger any more and struck down His brother. 3 His rage overflowed, and all the mountains of the earth erupted with the fire of his anger. Smoke filled the sky and became clouds. 4 Mātt, felled by His Brother's blow, struck the earth, leaving huge shards of ice that drifted across the world, carving seas and vast oceans. 5 The shards thawed, relinquishing wads of mud and dust that mixed with the earth and water to make fish, lobsters, and all the low creatures of the earth. 6 Mātt stood, and drew His anger within Him, and all around Him was ice and death. 7 And from the deep core of His anger, Mātt drew forth from His mind a host of terrible creatures, and they were called insects. 8 Above them He placed the prolific bee, in wisdom, to rule over them in life and the mutative scarab, in holiness, to rule them in death, and set them to consume every plant upon the earth. 9 Shākk saw this and was greatly displeased. He sent forth his anger as a thousand living sparks into the air. 10 The sparks flew, and their flames became feathers, and they were called birds. Shākk set above them the immortal pheonix, in holiness, to rule over them in life and the watchful raven, in wisdom, to rule over them in death, and set them to consume the insects. 11 Mātt frowned at this, for He was greatly displeased. He spread out His wicked fingers and carved many creatures from stone and earth, and clothed them in flesh, and they were called beasts. 12 Above them He placed the obedient man, in wisdom, to rule over them in life and the fierce lion, in holiness, to rule over them in death, and set them to consume and destroy all other forms of life. 13 Shākk observed the ways of the beasts, and saw that they had promise, but were greatly flawed. 14 So He took some of them up and remade them, and clad them over their flesh in shining scales, the better to embrace the sun, and they were called reptiles. 15 Above them He placed the pious lizard-man, in holiness, to rule over them in life and the all-powerful dragon, in wisdom, to rule over them in death, and set them to consume those creatures below them and so balance the wanton ferocity of the beasts. 16 Mātt frowned and gnashed His teeth in anger, and seeing no end to this escalation, went to the land of the dead, meaning to draw the dead into the world of life. 17 But Shākk sent the dragon forth into the rim of the world, the space between life and death, to ensure that nothing may pass to the side of life from the side of death. 18 And Mātt fled from the dragon's breath, and returned to the sky where was His place, and all was in balance once more.