Abridged History of the 10th Age
The Scroll of Migrations
We are what is within us to be. Let it be known! The tribes of men have come upon the standing stone in the waste, and it spake unto us and it said LO I AM THE HAMMERER WHO BRINGS JUSTICE, and we knew it to be true. So among us were the artifactors the first to kneel before the stone, and it was as it was meant to be. We pledged the fire of our hearts and the steel of our swords before it, and we knew then that it was law that would save us. SO it is written.
Aeldus lived amongst the ruins of the giants for many years. He was considered wise. His words had been recorded by the great philosophers, and his knowledge had been the foundation of numerous schools of thought. But is it not so that even he himself said My knowledge was incomplete until I knew Haeron? For Aeldus came upon the place in the where Haeron appeared to him and said I am the smith, I am the hammerer. I deliver to you the golden bonds of law. Thus did Aeldus go to city of Miles and lay down his burden.
IN Miles there dwelt the ruler of men called the Ardon Ry Ymerhon, the Lord of Man. Aeldus came to him with the sacred truth and the Ardon Ry understood and relented. It is said that he was visited by great visions, many and terrible, and these visions he transformed into the Law of the Empire. He called himself no longer Ymerhon, Emperor, but instead Iudex Regis, the Judge of Kings. He had made of himself the measure of all men.
Aeldus said to the few, Do we not need worship? Look at the kingdoms of men. They are scattered, and yet they worship. But when he said this, there were many doubts.
Why do we need this god of the Hammer? asked Munaras, who had been one of the priests of the southron gods.
He is kind, said Aeldus, And he gave to man the secrets of Law. What have the Aspect-Gods ever given to us? What has the worship of Zesh ever given to us? It is not that we do not need worship, it is that the gods we served are empty and hollow. The northern gods have touched me, and I in turn shall touch you.
And Munaras believed, and so as he believed was he converted.
As Aeldus was granted with the powers of prophecy and had studied the ancient histories, he told the tale of the migrations of men to the imperial scholars. So said Aeldus:
Man’s first god was Zesh the mighty, who held us in thrall. The historian Astrus said We come from the south, and this is true. The ancient realm of Zesh, the endless jungle, is our home from which we sprang. Do not the histories tell us that our skin was darker of hue? Do we not hold the amber-eyed as specially touched? It was not until we came to the North and our blood was changed by the Valelan that we became pale as the other lowlanders.
And men did spill across the deserts, and the great plains in the south, until they dominated all the other Created Races. For we were made not of the Gods, but of the EARTH. We knew magic from our infancy, and it was we who taught it. Those who learned from us were our allies, and those who stood against stand in eternal enmity. We trust not the orc, nor the goblin; we give no quarter to the ogre, and we do not suffer the gnoll. There is no place for these creatures, for they are not friends of men.
You must know that the First Men came north in the time of the Second Age when the light shone from the Lamp of the Sun. As Astrus wrote, Mero lead them, Elsoín. So does Haeron honor our customs with the forging of the law, for without it, there could be no Emperor. His great work comprises the bonds between men and gods. Without relation we are nothing. To know these relations is to know the golden bonds of law, which dictate that which precedes and that which follows.
Elenon Manslayer, heir to the throne and rod taken from Murillon in blood, was the Elsoín of Miles in the time of Aeldus the Prophet. The Manslayer harkened to Aeldus’ words; all the more when Munaras the chief priest of the Fire-Aspect became a true follower of the Hammer. So in Miles there was raised a temple to the Hammer; Munaras was visited by a dream in which he was told that when the temple was complete, the Hammerer himself would grace it with his presence.
LO! In the year when the temple was built, Munaras was not disappointed! For a vision of the god was indeed present at the day when the last tile was lain. More than a vision; the God himself arrived in glory. He appeared in the halls of Law and he bore with him the golden bonds which support the very fabric of the empire. The emperor came before him and knelt as is befitting before a god. And he promised the Hammerer that we would appoint a Lawkeeper to reside at the temple and a system of judgement courts, each of which were also a temple. Thus, did the power of the Hammerer reach across the Empire.
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