Some of you may be wondering what ‘Vilu Nilenad’ means. Today is the day I tell you.
A long time ago I started to read and write fantasy. As part of my writing I created a long backstory for my imaginary land — par for the course in these things, as some of you may well know. The backstory was heavily influenced by a book called The Silmarillion by a chap called J. R. R. Tolkien, and it told the long and epic story of elves and gods set against a backdrop of millennia.
For the story I created my own language (again, all in a day’s work for a fantasy writer) and used it to name characters and places in my world. In this language (Aldenad), Book of Tales translates as Vilu Nilenad.
So there you have it.
As time went by my conception of my world changed, until I ended up with The Endless Circle, which is a bit less Tolkien, a bit more George R. R. Martin, and infinitely better.
But I still had the Vilu Nilenad, and I didn’t want to waste it. So it became, not a history, but rather a record of someone’s mythology — some ancient civilisation that had died and turned to dust by the time Banac and Balor were born, but whose ghosts and bones still showed through in the stories and songs they heard from their grandfather (and in the foundations of Padascel itself).
There are poems and prose in the Vilu Nilenad, some better than others — but I have a special place in my heart for all of them, so I’d like to share them with you.
The more eagle-eyed amongst you will recognise some of the names, though they may be attributed differently here than in The Endless Circle — this is not inconsistency, but rather the effect that time and exaggeration will have on what went before, as succeeding generations take the stories and make them their own. In this way men have become gods, and gods men — heroes can become villains, and vice versa.
It is all part of the endless circle.
– – – – –
: Next :
(The Tale of the First Days)
Of the Creation
Many ages ago, ere the Anódarín were wrought by the Three Kindreds or ere the light of the Daystar shone out over the Hidden Kingdom, there was naught that now is save for the Kingdom that lies beyond the Veil of Stars. It is a sunlit realm, eternal and blessed, and the Lord of it is that One who is most high and holy, whom the Eldar name Iorë – that is the Sustainer; for through his might were all things made at the first, and by him all things continue in the paths of Doom appointed at the dawning of time, and without him would all things fall into disarray and be utterly confounded. He it was who ruled alone over all the Outer Kingdom, which the Eldar name Nevrun, the Realm that is Without; and he took thought with himself in the endless years and made for himself Children to dwell in that place with him, to love him and him alone – for who else was there to whom their love could turn, save they themselves?
These Children the Eldar name the Unorath, because they were the Firstborn Children of all the children of the thought of Iorë that were to come; and in those former days the first among the Unorath was Callach, who was exceeding wise and fair beyond thought to look upon.
Now it came to pass in the fullness of time that Iorë took thought again with himself and spake a word, and called forth the heavens and the earth that they should be where there had been naught. From the substance of his will he formed them, and cast a great Veil about them, and set them in their place in the midst of his Kingdom in the place long appointed for them. On this wise do the Eldar name the Little Kingdom of his thought Navrun, wherein we dwell, and the greater Kingdom do they name Nevrun, because the one is within the other and but a thin Veil doth divide the two; and on this wise do the Eldar name that One who spake Eldë, for it was he that brought all things to be at the first. Now Iorë and Eldë are One, and were together in the realm of Nevrun before the beginning of all things.
Now in the beginning Navrun was void, and in darkness: naught was therein, and all was yet without loveliness, being newly-born. Therefore Eldë spake a second time, and brought forth the stars in their number; and he set them in the Veil in places long appointed for them that they might give light to the world. Ever after, when the Second Children of Eldë looked up at the heavens and beheld the stars set like fire in the darkness, they remembered the first created things, how that they were for the giving of light, and how that they shone in the darkness when all other lights failed them. On this wise is the Veil that lies between the Kingdoms named the Veil of Stars: Elid Nimlith in the tongue of the Eldar.
Now the light of the stars shone out over the Void that lies betwixt Elid Nimlith and the earth; and the Void is called Ënyo, because it is empty and formless, and nothing lay therein. Eldë saw that it was empty, and he spake again, and brought the golden fires of the Sun with a word, and set him in the Void for a greater light unto the darkened world. A command gave Eldë him that he should keep watch over all the things of creation, that the wonders that were to come to pass should be seen by all. Lord of the Void is he, and he shall pass ceaselessly over the earth, and never rest until the course of time is accomplished and all things are finished. With the same word also Eldë brought forth the silver Moon, and set her in the Void for a lesser light unto the earth. A command gave he to her, that she should pass with her brother as a sign for times and seasons, and never cease until the day appointed when she should rest and be at ease.
But the light of the Sun and Moon and stars shone down upon a darkened world, for it was covered over with a mighty deep, and nothing moved therein. Therefore Eldë spake a fourth time, and his voice was like the sound of many thunders; and at the sound of his voice the mountains rose up from the deep, and the waters fled away into pools and oceans, to the rivers and the seas. And Eldë set bounds upon them that they might not pass over, save by his word, and the waters fled away into their places and there abode in silence.
Thus was the world formed, and set in the midst of the Void; and thus were the stars scattered abroad, and the Sun and Moon set for greater lights in the Void; and thus did the mountains rise at the command of Eldë, and thus did the waters fly away at the rebuke of his voice.
Then Iorë looked upon all that he had made, and saw that it was very good; and he named the world, and called it Arun, for it lay as a very small thing in the midst of Navrun; yet afterwards the Elves named it again, and called it Erun, for it seemed to them that it was very great, having seen nothing of the greater things nor of Nevrun, which lies without. A span set Iorë upon Erun, and numbered the days thereof unto the final day appointed when all things should be no more. And when these things were completed Iorë opened a book of gold, and set down therein all manner of things that must come to pass in Erun in the span of days appointed; and behold, he was saddened by the manner of the things that he set down in the Golden Book, yet they must come to pass ere the span of days is accomplished.
And when all this was completed Iorë closed fast the Golden Book, and bound it with a golden chain, and set it aside unto the final day when all things shall be accomplished. Then Eldë looked out over Erun, and saw that it was yet unlovely, being barren and bare. Therefore he gathered together the Children of Iorë, the Firstborn, and brought them to the Doors of Heaven, and showed them all the things that he had made.
Now the Children of Iorë were filled with love for this new wonder, and they marvelled greatly at all they saw, and admired the handiwork of their father. Then some inquired of him what manner of thing this was, and would know the reason of it. And Eldë answered them, saying, “This is the work of my hands that I have set before ye: the substance of my Will, conceived in times past ere ye were brought to being. And now I charge ye to go out into it, and to plant it with forests, and to fill it with flowers and grasses of sweet fragrance. Beasts of the field shall ye make, and birds of the air, and monsters of the deep to play in the seas and in the oceans. And put thou the Breath of Life into every thing that thou makest, that it might live and move upon the face of the earth. This do, for it is my will that thou shouldst do it.”
But at these words those of the Children of Iorë were greatly troubled, and they answered him, saying, “Lord, we have not the Breath of Life, and we cannot make anew that which is not. How then shall we do this thing which thou dost command us?”
But Eldë answered them again, and said, “Behold: I give unto you a little season wherein ye may create anew that which is not, that ye may make this world lovely and full of all manner of living things. Birds, beasts, and fish I charge ye to make; also trees, flowers, and hardy shrubs. Let the low places be covered with sweet-smelling grasses, and the high mountains with flowering blossom. Let there be forests, and mighty avenues of oak, ash, and beech; let there be hidden groves and hollows; let the thunder of hooves and the soft tread of many paws be heard in all places; and let all be filled with the sound of the singing of the birds. Only this I charge ye: that when the season of your works is finished, ye shall not make anew that which is not, nor give it life. For this shall be an abomination, and contrary to my Will.”
And they pledged this thing unto him, that they would keep his word in all points; and they made solemn vow before him on this wise.
Then said Eldë unto them: “Go forth: fill this world with the desire of your hearts, that it may be lovely in mine eyes; and keep thou it unto the day appointed when all shall pass away and be no more, for I have seen all that shall come to pass therein, and have written it in the Golden Book for a statute and a record unto that Last Day.” And they all with one accord were resolved before him to do this thing.
But the heart of Callach, the firstborn of the Children of Iorë, who was with that company, was greatly troubled at these words. Therefore he inquired of Eldë why these things should be. “For,” said he, “I look out upon the work of the hand of my Lord, and I see that it is very good. And when it is filled with the desire of the hearts of the Children of Iorë it shall be very good indeed. Wherefore then must these things be that thou sayest concerning the Last Day, when all shall pass away and be no more?”
Then Eldë answered him, saying: “Be wise, thou firstborn among the firstborn children of my thought, and know this: that before the span of days is accomplished, and yea before many days are passed away beneath the Heavens, a great Evil shall come into the world, and shall pass over it like a shadow before the Sun, a thing of great darkness and malice. It shall bring all thou seest to ruin, and cause it to fall into darkness; and it shall purpose to draw all things unto it, that it might rule all things and possess all things; for it shall be consumed by greed and pride, and it shall speak against my name, and disobey the words that I have spoken.”
And when all the Children of Iorë heard these things they cried with a loud voice, and mourned bitterly for the new world that lay before them, for they knew that it must fall and come to ruin.
(But Eldë knoweth all things that are written in the Golden Book, for did he not write them? And he knew from whence cometh the Shadow, and saw its issue in ages to come, and he knew that it must be; for he had written it for the good of his Second Children, that they might know him and love him beyond their first love, which the Shadow afterward cast away and destroyed.)
Then Eldë comforted the Unorath, saying: “Weep not, O thou children of my thought, but know this: that I shall in no wise leave this the work of my hands to wallow in darkness, nor will I forsake it utterly. For I shall send an one to cast down the Shadow when it ariseth, and unto him shall be given all things to lie in wonder at his feet, and he shall be upon my right hand for ever and forever. Yet the things which I spake concerning the Shadow must be, and until this one shall come which I shall send I charge ye to keep watch over this Little Kingdom, and to fill it with all good things so that I may come and dwell there; and guard thou it, and watch for the approach of the Shadow.”
And he gave then certain of the Unorath power for a season, and put the Breath of Life in their lips, and sent them forth into the new world to fill it with the desire of their hearts. And as they went forth Eldë blessed them, and gave them a new name; and he called them Atanë, for they were sent to keep watch over Erun and to guard it from the shadow to come.
: Next :