The Watchtowers of Shadowgate Depths
The Two Brothers
In the beginning, there were two brothers, Giliath, and Sanenth. The brothers were ever engaged in the sport of one-upmanship. They would wrestle for ages, race for millenia, and engage in all manner of epic feats. Ever battling to be the greatest, one day, as they were engaged in an endurance race across the Void, when they came upon a wise old tree. For a moment, they paused and looked at each other in astonishment, for they had never seen such a tree. Together, they agreed to put aside their challenge and inspect the tree.
The Tree of Life
As they drew near to the tree, they could see that upon the boughs of the tree were many splendid fruits. Slowly they approached the Tree, and asked, “What manner of tree are thee?” The Tree responded, “I am the Tree of Life, for upon my boughs the universe was born, and upon my branches are the Heavens, and behold, my roots are thrust into the fires of Hell.” The brothers looked, and beheld that the tree’s roots were in fact embedded into the pits of Hell. And the brothers beheld that the fruit were the stars and heavens, and the Brothers asked, “What manner fruit is this?” The Tree pondered for a moment, and responded, “They are the seeds of life.”
The Brothers stood for a moment, and realized what an incredible prize they had discovered. Then Giliath turned to the Tree and said, “And at what price may we partake of such fruit?” And the Tree, being wise in years said, “The cost for partaking the fruit is innocense. For behold whom ever eats of the tree will gain knowledge of what they will become. Which of you is greater, for only the greatest of champions may partake of my fruit.” And Giliath responded, “I, Giliath, am the greatest of all the champions, for I have wrestled my brother, Sanenth, and have raced him, and have engaged in all manner of sport with him.” And Sanenth said, “I, Sanenth, am the greatest of all champions, for I too have wrestled my brother, Giliath, and have raced him, and have engaged in all manner of sport with him.”
The Great Evil
And the Tree said, “This will not do. For I can only give one of you my fruit. Whom shall I give it to?” The Brothers pondered for much time. Sanenth sat and pondered much upon the words of the tree, while Giliath spoke softly with the tree. Finally,after much thinking Giliath spoke up and said, “Sanenth and I are both the greatest of champions, but if only one of us may have the fruit, give it to my brother Sanenth.” The Tree was pleased, and gave Sanenth the fruit.
Sanenth took the fruit and partook of it, and he did change in an instant into the form of a great Demon. And Sanenth did perceive that the tree did conspire with his brother, and he did grow angry with Giliath and the Tree for tricking him into partaking of the fruit. And Sanenth did once again engage Giliath in great combat. This time, Giliath was no match for his brother, who had grown incredibly powerful in his anger, and He did slay Giliath, and did lay his broken body at the base of the Tree.
The Tree began weeping and asked, “What manner of evil have you done to your brother?!” And Sanenth did look upon himself, and did realize that it was only an illusion, that he had not been changed into a demon, and did stammer, “What manner of treachery is this Tree?!” And the Tree responded, "There is no treachery Sanenth, for the fruit thou partook of doth show thy true nature, and the evil that you have done, have you done by your own hand. Sanenth did stagger to his feet and did swear an oath, that upon his return, that he should destroy the tree, and that all life should die with it, for He, Sanenth, was deceived into taking his brother’s life. And by his own deeds, he was cursed, and became contorted and distorted in his own anger and hatred. And the Tree feared what Sanenth would do, and did cast him into the pits of Hell.
Giliath, The Guardian of Life
After Sanenth’s banishment, the Tree did turn to the fallen Giliath and did take pity upon him. And the Tree did take His body and did place it within the boughs, and Giliath was returned to life. And when he did come to, He asked, “Where is my brother? For I had a dream that he did slay me.” And the Tree answered, “Behold, they brother did slay thee, for there is great evil in his heart. And I have returned thee to life, but I fear that the anger that is within your brother hath consumed him, and he does even now plot to destroy me, and with me, all life.”
And Giliath did say, “I am Giliath, and I can not allow my brother to destroy that which giveth life, for I will be your champion, and I will defend thee.” Then the Tree saw that there was much good in Giliath, and did transform him into a great dragon, and he did swear to take his place around the great tree, between the depths of Hell, and the Heavens above, and he did make his lair in the tops of the roots of the Great Tree.
Then, Tree did sprout a new branch, and from that branch the fruit of the Tree did sprig many great new champions to defend the Tree, and thus began the Deities. But Sanenth’s taint was already felt within the tree, for when she cast Sanenth into the pits of Hell, she became aware of His taint, and it did make its way from the roots up into the boughs.
From the branch, seven new fruit did spring, and the fruit became the First Season Dieties. Four of the fruit were most marvelous, beautiful to behold, with brilliant colors and shapes. Two were suprisingly plain to behold, no more spectacular than an apple or orange. The last fruit was twisted and mishapen, ugly in sight, containing dull colors that faded and mingled. The Tree wept when it saw the last fruit, for it knew that Saneth’s taint was surely present.
When the fruit fell from the Tree, they did split, and from them came the twelve powerful champions the Tree had created to assist Giliath. The champions did gaze upon the tree, and did behold the fruit in the boughs there of, and one of them spoke to the Tree saying, “What manner of fruit is this, that is more splendid and spectacular than all the rest?” And the Tree responded, “That is Agea, the most splendid fruit of all, for from it’s seeds, all manner of life shall bloom.”
Isaetea, Merciful Goddess of Water
As time marched on, the dieties began to ask many questions of the Tree. One of the dieties, Isaetea, noticed that agea was covered in a splendid, gem like covering of the purest blues and greens. When she asked about the beautiful coloring, the Tree responded, “It is the oceans and seas and waterways of Agea. They will bring life and relief to the dry and thirsty parts of Agea. Sadly, Saneth will surely plot to destroy them.” Isaetea responded to the Tree, “If Saneth will seek to destroy them, then surely someone must guard over them, and watch over the sacred waters of Agea.” The Tree responded, “Yes, someone should guard them, but who will take on such a task?” Isaetea replied, “I will watch over the waters of Agea and protect them from Saneth and his taint.” “Very well.” replied the Tree. Isaetea was transformed into a giant sea turtle, and took her place among the waters of Agea.
Raz, the Gardener of Life
As the season changed, new sprigs began to grow on the Tree. Raz, one of the dieties, questioned the tree about the new growths. Raz said, “Tree, what manner of new growth is this in your branches?” and the Tree responded, “It is all manner of life, meant to fill Agea’s land, seas, and heavens.” Raz did take interest in the new growths and watched over them. As they began to bloom, he marveled over the variety and types of life he saw. He spent much time talking with the tree about the new varieties of life and the mysteries and secrets there of.
One day, the Tree said to Raz, “Raz, once this new life is placed on Agea, it will need a protector. Will you be that protector?” Raz responded without hesitation, “I will be the protector of life on Agea.” The Tree noded, and Raz did take the form of a giant silver oak. He kept much of his human form, and the tree created many other varieties of trees, sentient, strong, and wise to assist Raz with defending life on Agea.