Nilenad Unetar – Chapter 2

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II

Of the Atanë and the Ilducarë, and the Shape of the World

Now the Atanë went forth into the world, and filled it with all manner of good things, and breathed the Breath of Life into the nostrils of all living things which they made. And as they went into the earth they arrayed themselves in forms visible, the better to find joy in the things of the creation of Eldë; for they found pleasure in the senses of the body as do the Second Children, who are of Eldë, and delighted in the touch of the breeze upon their skin, or the cool waters of the sea upon them, or the heat of the Sun upon their faces in the midst of the day.

The number of the Atanë of Erun is six all told, though in after days certain of them fell into darkness and passed away from before the face of Iorë, and rather served the Lord of Death, of whom more is spoken anon. These are the names of the Atanë of Erun: Callach the Firstborn; Elmë the herald of Callach; Orulas who is his lieutenant; Dágonath his minister; Túmar the Mighty; and Cafan who is called the Good; and the chief among the Atanë of Erun in those days was Callach, for he was the eldest among them, and was in those days wise and holy. And he ordered all things in the realm of Erun, and oversaw all things that were made by his brethren, be they ever so great as the mighty leviathan of the oceans, or ever so small as the smallest blossom in the meadow; and he loved all things that were in Erun, and cared for them as they were his own.

Now when the Atanë came first within the Circles of Navrun, and descended to the Kingdom of Erun, the world was yet bare and barren, and no living thing moved upon the face of it. Therefore they took council together in the place to which they had come, the great mountain which afterward they named Dathrun, for it stood at the centre of Erun and all things turned about it as it were a great wheel amongst the stars; and Callach appointed to each a task, that they might make the world very fair, and a fit place for the abode of Eldë.

To Cafan was given power and authority to make whatsoever living creatures he would, and to breathe the Breath of Life into them; to Túmar was given watch and authority over all the lofty places, the firmament within the Veil of Clouds, and the unbounded air, for he was the swiftest of all the Unorath, and could pass like thought from the ends of the earth even unto the ends of it; to Dágonath was appointed watch over all the mountains and hills, and the keeping of the foundations of the earth, and the ordering of all the fiery chambers in the depths of Erun, that they should not overspill their boundaries; to Orulas was given the care of all green things, and he was given authority to make such flowers, trees and plants as seemed good to him (yet he breathed not in abundance the Breath of Life, for the dominion was given to the birds and beasts and fish, and for this cause he afterward set himself against Cafan); to Elmë was given lordship over the mighty waters of Erun, and the ordering of the seas and the rivers, and the shepherding of the clouds in the fields of Túmar, that all things might be watered and kept in life; and Callach set himself as chief among them, and saw all that was done from his seat upon Dathrun, where he made his throne in after days, and his realm was the Void, even the vastness of Ënyo, that the stars be kept in their places and the Sun and Moon in their steady course about the world.

And when these things were decided the Atanë went out into Erun, shaping and building it so that it grew and flourished into a garden of exceeding beauty; and when Eldë saw the works of their hands he was greatly pleased, for their will was his Will, and they did all things in accordance with him.

Now when the labours of the Atanë were completed, and Erun lay as a jewel in the midst of the Void, Eldë descended from the courts of Nevrun with all his train, and made his dwelling in the East of Erun. With him came all the Firstborn Children who were not numbered among the Atanë, therefore they named themselves Ilducarë, the Aftercomers, and they were not bound to Navrun so strongly as the Atanë.

Then the East became fairer still, for the Light of Eldë shone out over its reaches, and the great river Niridor flowed through it from the slopes of Dathrun, and nourished its gardens and its orchards of trees, and all the creatures of Erun drank from it, and from it took their life. That region was called Nimlóth, and the realm of Eldë nigh unto the sea shore was called Nimlun, for it was filled with light unceasingly from the Throne of Eldë in Ildarien, which great and fair city stands still beyond the East, wither go the Second Children of Eldë.

Then certain of the Ilducarë went out into the world, and marvelled at all that was done therein, and wandered at will through the forests and the meadows, and through the mountains and the plains, and passed over the great circling sea that girdled all the lands of Erun, and came in wonder to the Veil of Clouds were it fell and met with the lip of the ocean, where the Sun arose daily in the East, setting the waters afire with his bright rays.

Now there was one among the Ilducarë who greatly loved to look upon the Sun and to go up to meet him as he passed above the earth; therefore he named himself Gilaeth, and took leave of Eldë, and departed from Erun to abide in the fields of the Sun amidst the bright flames of his burning. There he tended those furnaces constantly so that they grew ever hotter and brighter, and in time he took the form of fire upon himself, and clothed himself in a raiment of fire, and made him a great shield of burnished gold that shone abroad through the Void and lit the dark places with golden light.

And when his sister saw what was done she also took leave of Eldë to go out into the Void, and there made her abode with the Moon. Thither she went with a harp of silver, and sat beneath the pale trees and in the shadowed groves, singing songs of haunting joy that hallowed the night and caused the stars to join with her in chorus; and her name was Níra.

Many other of the Ilducarë did thus, and went to abide in the woods, rivers, glades and pools of Erun, that they might tend them especially; and Eldë blessed them, and they served him with gladness.

Now the manner of the Realm of Navrun in the Days of Bliss at the beginning of all things was this: outermost of all things was cast the Veil of Stars, Elid Nimlith, wherein burned bright the distant lights ordained by Eldë and tended by the hand of Níra: this Veil was cast between Navrun and Nevrun, and but one passage led betwixt the two, that is the Doors of Heaven. Wrap’t within the Veil of Stars was that great realm called Ënyo, for it hath no form and is empty, save for the gardens of the Sun and Moon that pass ceaselessly therein; and set as a jewel amidst the darkness of Ënyo was the kingdom of Erun, the greatest of all the works wrought by the Will of Eldë.

And Erun was divided from the darkness of Ënyo by another Veil, which is named the Veil of Clouds, Elid Elebrín; for Ënyo is ever hungry, and thirsts for substance to fill it up, but not all the things that are in Erun can fill its belly; therefore Eldë cast the Veil betwixt it and Erun, and set all life within the Veil, and forbade it to pass beyond into the darkness.

In the Days of Bliss the world was unmarred, and whole, and the gardens and mountains of Erun covered it in an unbroken span, girdled only by a mighty ocean which is named Tolandor, the Encircling Sea. In the very midst of the span of Erun rose the mighty mountain Dathrun, about which all things turned, for it was the very centre of Creation; and on this height was set a mighty throne and citadel wherein Callach sat and watched the ordering of all things upon the face of the earth. Now the name of that city was Aren Aród, for of all places upon Erun it stood the highest, and it was very fair to behold; the tower thereof was named Yar Nirith, which rose like a silver tree before the stars, and in the highest chamber of that fair tower was the throne of Callach, standing before the Window of the Sun and Moon.

Upon the western face of Dathrun there rose a great mountain-wall passing away into the West even unto the shores of Tolandor; and the mountains were named Lúan Elinor, for from them upon both sides, upon the north and the south, there ran many streams and rivers of white water that nourished all the green places of the West.

From the eastern face of Dathrun there sprang that might river which is called Niridor, flowing away into the East; whatsoever creature drank of those shining waters was renewed in strength and was made content, and there was as yet no shadow of death in the Little Kingdom.

Even to the eastern reaches of Erun flowed mighty Niridor, through the midst of the fields of Nimlóth unto the gates of that fair city Ildarien in Nimlun, where the high seat of Eldë in the citadel of Duinaeth looked West over all the lands of Erun; whose towers and spires rose high like golden ears of ripe corn in the glory of the sunrise, whence arose the sound as of many golden trumpets in the morning, proclaiming the majesty of the King of kings daily.

Thus were the lands of Erun arrayed in the Dawn of Creation, before the Shadow fell in darkness, and before the hand of Death came violently to blot out the memory in Erun of those high things forever.

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