Prelude – A Heavenly Gospel

Long, long ago, yet not so long the world had not yet shattered and the sky lacked its moon, a cabal of wise masters gathered. Elven they were, long of life and sharp of ear, wizened with age and wisened by experience, yet filled with curiosity all the same.

Gather they did, under sky and sun, beside sea in a circle of earth, washed by waves and lit flames. A circle they formed, in stone and blood, and words they spoke in tongues celestial and divine, calling out into the void above such that even the choirs of the sphere might heed their words.

And one did.

In brilliant light, a figure did form, with six great wings born of pure white and a body so like yet unlike their own. The light seared until the angel’s wings did curl and cover, hiding the eyes and body beneath feathered helm and feathered cloths.

In His silence, the masters did speak. “O heavenly messenger!” they did cry, “We beseech thee! Take pity upon these woeful who seek knowledge above all! Speak unto us the mysteries cosmic and divine!”

“Seekers of knowledge,” the angel intoned, “You address the angelic messenger of the Divine Elder, She through whom all Life born in Light does exist. Ask what questions drive your words and deeds, and through word I shall Enlighten.”

“Gracious Messenger!” the masters did beseech, after some ruminations on what they should first ask, “We beg of thee! For what purpose was this world born?”

“For no purpose knowable to either mortal or god. Some things believed to be mysteries are not truly, for there is no way to solve them,” the angel did answer.

“Then for what purpose were we mortal beings born?” the masters did inquire.

“For no purpose at all. Mortals were not born of the gods but of the planet, from the seas and the soil. What would become the beings that now stand before me first started as little more than mites within the primordial. Sapience is the achievement of your kind, no mere gift given from on high.”

This revelation brought shock upon the gathered masters. “Then the gods did not make us? We were not crafted?”

“No. You were born.”

“And what if the other peoples?” they did inquire, “What of the human, the dwarf, the orc? Do we all come from the same origin?”

“You did. Though some beings exist outside your paradigm, those within are all born from the same blood.”

“Then what of this first people? Who were those that came before? What name did they bear?”

“…er…” the angel did intone.

“…Gracious messenger? Did you say ‘er’?” the masters did inquire.

“You misheard. I said…Eyr.”

“Air?”

“Eyr. Sounds the same, but is spelled differently,” the angel did proclaim!

The masters pondered on that information, looking amongst themselves, then elected to move onward. “If we come from the same source, then why are we different? Why are our bodies and souls so dissimilar?”

“You have more similarities than differences,” the angel did state, “As to your question, for you, the elven people, you were born of unions between mortal and angel. Your ears of great length and pointedness are symbolic of your ability to hear the voice of the Gods, your lives long-lived through the blood of the angels, and your…third thing is also good because of that.”

“What third thing?” one master asked, yet he was hushed by the rest.

“Then we are the chosen people of the gods!” another master did proclaim, much to the positive answers of those others gathered there.

“What? No you are not.”

The angel’s denial drew a pause from the assembled masters, who looked up at him with confusion. “But you just said–”

“I said some angels slept with some Eyr and Elves happened afterwards, it was not a choosing, just certain angels being too attracted to mortals,” the angel did explain, though some masters could swear that His holy voice did echo with the reverb of “stupid horny teenagers” in a tone of deep annoyance, though they did not know for certain if that was the case.

“THEN WE ARE DAMNED! OUR EXISTENCES UNNATURAL!” one master did cry, before throwing himself from the cliffside.

“Woah what no?! No, no, no you are not! Not damned! Not unnatural!”

The master did return to his place then, after much climbing back up and draining of sweater from his besoaked robes. Back into position he did step, ignoring the befuddled stares of his compatriots with the studious composure of one who just acted like an idiot in front of a celestial being.

“Don’t do that again,” the angel did chastise in a tone of Holy Disapproval, “Where even was I…you said orcs also, yes? Do not worry about them, they are merely your counterparts. Where elves were born of mortals and angels, demons were born of–No, wait, said that wrong…orcs were born of devils and mortals.”

“Then orcs are demons!” one master did declare, prompting nods and agreement from the assembled.

“No, no, devils are demons, orcs are just half-demon. Partially demon, and that is not a bad thing, they are still mortal–”

“Yet their nature is irreparably tainted! We do so see this truth, oh wise angel, and understand precisely what meaning thou dost convey!”

“…I think you may have gotten the wrong idea, but whatever, it is fine and matters not–”

“And what of humans, your holiness?”

“Ah…I do not think any celestial being slept with their species, if that is what you intend to inquire about.”

“So humans are the virgin species…” the master did mutter, prompting more agreement from the gathered.

“You are muttering far more than I appreciate. Look, just, this is a holy creed from on high, be nice to each other, understood?”

“Understood, oh holy messenger! All elves shall know brotherhood and kinship!”

“Yes, alright, back on the right path there…Hm. Now when you say that, do you mean all elves will be friendly to other species, or only elves will be treated with kindness and friendship?”

“…” The masters did look amongst each other again, before one cleared his throat awkwardly, and another shuffled slightly in place. At the narrowing of the angel’s eyes though, one did speak up! “And what of dwarves, oh holy messenger?”

“What of–Oh, yeah, I did not mention those people…they are the short ones, yes?”

“…I beg thine tenderest mercies, oh holy messenger, yet I must ask: are dwarves just short eyr?”

“Oh, no, they’re from space.”

That did earn many looks of confusion. “…Er…what does that mean?”

“You know, space. The space above the sky.”

“Dwarves are from the heavens?”

“No, that is a different thing. Heaven and Space are separate on a metaphysical level,” the angel did explain, before pausing as one of the masters did collapse, “Is he okay?”

“Presumably, now again, I beg both thine grace and forgiveness, o holy messenger, but didst thou say there is a place beyond the sky?” the master did inquire, “The sky is not merely a hanging ceiling from which the gods place the stars?”

“…Oh shit, you don’t know what the sky is–AH I MEAN–Yesssss, yes, that is exactly what the sky is, very clever! Deeply smart! You are all very good boys!”

And the masters did preen, for indeed, they were good boys. Aside from the one collapsed on the ground at the revelations of the cosmos. He was twitching and bleeding from the nostrils, and therefore not a good boy.

“Is he okay?” the angel did ask, prompting one master to step in front of the fallen, keeping him from view.

“This happens often, o holy messenger, this master’s constitution is adequate and will not impede our discussion,” the master did half-lie. Half because there was no way he would allow Hreg of all people to botch this meeting so his collapse wouldn’t impede things at all.

“If you say so,” the angel did doubt, “Do you have anything else to ask–No, wait, I should not answer questions that would interfere…you get three more questions, pick wisely.”

The masters did jolt at that declaration, before looking amongst each other. Finally, one was shoved forward. One of the not dripping or twitching ones. “Ah…o holy messenger, we do beseech of thee, may we humble masters learn of what lies beyond death?”

“Ah, you ask from a place of fear, but worry not, wise master, for after death, you shall live and learn again, reincarnated into the next life…well unless you follow the Ouza, then you go to their heavens–Hells, to their hells, I said hells.”

“Then to follow the Ouza is to be damned?”

“In the sense that it guarantees you go to their realms instead of reincarnating, sure.”

“Hm…then our second question–”

“You just asked the second.”

The master did blink. “…That was a clarifying question, it should not count.”

“It…fine, I am not going to be a dick about it, next question.”

“Our second then, o holy messenger. If we lack purpose, if we were not born with reason, what reason may we find in this world?”

“That is a question you must answer for yourself, for the journey of knowledge is only achievable to those who earnestly seek it,” the angel did explain, though again, the masters did think they did hear an echo, or perhaps more an aside comment, along the lines of “did that sentence even make sense…no, it’s fine, they’ll get it”.

The master did elect to ignore that comment, so the concern the angel felt was unfounded. Clearly. “Then lastly, o holy messenger, why does evil exist within this world? Why must we who are mortal suffer?”

“Well that’s just biology.”

“…Biology?”

“Yes, to be mortal is to be capable of death, therefore the living seek to sustain their own lives, thereby requiring sustenance, and that means they must acquire that sustenance through eating and drinking, and to eat is to do harm by nature by consuming the eaten. Life is built upon minor sufferings in order to facilitate further life. Do not worry about it overmuch.”

“Hm. And the gods could not just…make it so that does not happen?”

“Nope.”

“…Nope?”

“Nope, they can’t. The gods aren’t omnipotent. That would be silly.”

“…uh huh. Huh. Huh…”

“So are we good here then? Everyone had the questions they wanted answered, answered?”

One master did raise his hand. 

“That was rhetorical, I already said I was only answering three.”

The master did lower his hand.

“Great! This talk was productive! I thank you for your interest, do not call upon me again for at least one hundred years or I will be very annoyed.” 

And thus, with his final words imparted upon the masters, the angel did spread his wings and soar once more, vanishing in a flash of light as the masters did look upwards to see a starry night sky.

“…The holy messenger was not lying about the sky being a ceiling, right?” one master did ask, gazing at the stars with a slight trepidation, wondering if they were instead holes in a grand cosmic tapestry that the dwarven beings did fall through.

“Of course not, He is an angel, He would not lie about such matters,” another did answer, though his own tone held a nervousness of its own as he could not help but picture the stars above as baleful eyes, judging the folly of such foolish mortals below…

“…So we all agree about the part that elves are the gods’ chosen people, yes?” a third did elect to bring up, and his statement did receive immediate nods and agreement amongst the masters, for that was indeed the most important part of the conversation, even if the angel did not directly say such things. And maybe contradicted that idea. But still!


“And that’s why elves have a superiority complex,” Jophiel finished, before taking a sip from his mug of hot beanwater. Coffee, as the mortals called it, though the angel of light, firstborn of his kind, found it more fun to call it beanwater to see them get annoyed. Same for leafwater and tea, really.

Speaking of leafwater, Mao–his tigrin companion from the lands of Gorokiva–nodded before taking a sip of her tea, which was a curious thing for the establishment they were in to serve given it was called a coffeehouse. “Mm…so, were you the angel that was summoned, ‘oh holy messenger’?”

“Hmm, who knows?”

“You knows.” She huffed in some amusement. “Though this woman is curious how you knew about the parts you weren’t there for.”

“Who says I was there for the parts I–the angel was there for?”

“Joppy.”

Now it was his turn to laugh. It did take him a long while to get her to start calling him that, after all. “Alright, alright, I might have made some assumptions in parts, perhaps, maybe, assuming it actually did happen and I have not grown senile from being older than most existent species.”

“Can an angel even grow senile?”

“Perhaps? It might be fun to try it out…or at least pretend so people keep giving me free things.”

“You seem to still get free things anyway, oh angel of light.”

“Mm, true, though that is largely because people keep refusing to take the money I would very willingly give them,” he said with a pointed look towards the staff of harpies currently pointing and whispering at the being of pure light in the shade of a mortal sitting in their establishment. One of them squeaked at his gaze and he couldn’t help another laugh.

“It’s my money though, you didn’t bring any,” Mao pointed out, which was fair, “Also, so are dwarves really from space?”

“Sorry, can’t answer that, laws of the cosmos.”

“Joppy.”

“Nope, no sharing forbidden knowledge with mortals. Really, I shouldn’t have said any of the things I did say here, so please forget the last forty minutes, if you would.”

“Very well, if you do insist, oh holy messenger.” She giggled at his immediate frown, before a curious expression came over her. “What happened to the master that collapsed, if you do not mind me asking things you have no reason to know?”

“I don’t mind, and shush. As for him…I think he became the first pontiff of light? Or at least some ancient equivalent.”

“…That explains a lot.”

“It does, doesn’t it?”


(Happy April Fool’s Day!)


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