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(E)-Book of Fire - By Matt Quarterstein

Chapter 01 - T'zaan'g
Chapter 02 - Thermythes

Chapter 01 - T'zaan'g

The Universe.

A sea of stars and a swamp of gases suspended over the void. No one knows how old it is, or how it came to be.

We only know that it is there.

In the blackest, emptiest part of our universe, a lonely planet was born. It had formed off-axis and alone, no suns to give it orbit. Rather, it floated through space unhindered. It was a swirling mass of molten rock, melting, congealing and transforming, warped by the heat within it's belly.

A newborn planet, and like all newborn planets, it was in pain.

Seven years passed in darkness. The primal agonies this world felt became more focused, more tangible. The loneliness, the burning, the untapped energies within began to personify. They flowed forth from the core of the planet, glowing and sparkling. Their currents plaited together, twisting, merging, taking on a form.

Around this form the energies dissipated, leaving behind a living being.

That living being was T'zaan'g , the first of the Magma People.

T'zaan'g was as his surroundings. His body, his head, his hands were all made of molten rock. His face was smooth with no features apart from his two pale blue eyes.

These eyes opened, and T'zaan'g saw the World into which he was born before him - the blackened sky with static white stars, the magma that flowed under, around and through his body, and the curve of the world along the featureless horizon, a horizon without atmosphere.

The energies that had formed T'zaan'g had filled him with knowledge. He was aware of who he was and why he was here. He had taken in these first images and developed thoughts.

His surroundings were a source of wonder, yes, but there was nothing like himself. Nothing alive, nothing thinking the way he was. T'zaan'g searched and searched his World, but could not find company.

He was as alone as his planet.

Chapter 02 - Thermythes

T'zaan'g was the personification of the thoughts and feelings of the planet. He knew how he had come to be. He also knew what he wanted.

From him came the very first idea.

T'zaan'g traveled the surface of the World, along it and through it, searching for the energies that had created him. He bundled them up in his hands, into himself, and placed them into a pool where the passing currents kept them contained. T'zaan'g looked at his reflection in the glossy surface of the pool. Although it was not alive, T'zaan'g could already feel the presence of his brothers within. When he had gathered as much as he felt was needed, T'zaan'g reached into the pool of energy, taking out long, white spheres with his hands. He placed them one by one onto the surface of the molten rock, where they wavered only inches in the air.

T'zaan'g passed his hands over the spheres, giving them shape. He whispered to the forms, giving them colour. He embraced the bodies, opening their eyes.

When he was done, T'zaan'g stood the bodies before him. Each looked as he did, each was what he was. There were ten in all. As they began to think their own first thoughts, T'zaan'g caught their attention with his presence. Each of the newborn eyes focused on him as their creator spoke his first words.

"Welcome to the world, my brothers
From within it you were taken
Though you look as I do
Remember that you are each unique
Original, like the stars in the heavens.
Though, unlike those stars, you are not alone"

The newly created Magma People were confused and slow to respond.

"We do not know what you mean," one of them said. "We know not of the stars"

T'zaan'g was saddened. He reached out to them, touching their mind and body. He discovered that the energies of the world had only given his creations on quarter of the knowledge he had, and no more . As firstborn of the world, he had been blessed. He reached out and took a hold of their minds.

"I shall teach you everything I know, " he said. "everything I have been given, I shall pass on to you"

T'zaan'g had much knowledge and wisdom within him. Even fully focused, it took three years for him to carry it all across to his creations.

When these three years had passed, T'zaan'g released the minds of his brothers. Each of them now had his knowledge and thoughts.

"We understand now what you have done for us." they told T'zaan'g, "and we are grateful. But what shall we do with ourselves now that we have life?"

"You have your own will." T'zaan'g replied.

"But you are the one who shaped us," they cried, "It was you who taught and sustained our minds. You should be the one that decides what we do"

One of the creations, named Zaanbyn, spoke up for himself.

"Let us set T'zaan'g up as leader," he said. "Let us give our will to him"

T'zaan'g was not pleased.

"Why should I be your leader?" T'zaan'g asked. "You know as much as I do, and you look as I do. We are equals"

"But you are the first." his creations replied.

T'zaan'g thought about this offer.

"If I become your leader" he said. "Would you then make your own decisions?"

"If that was what you wanted us to do" the creations told him

So T'zaan'g accepted, and became their leader. He called his creations the Thermythes.

"Now you are our leader" they told him. "You shall tell us what to do"

"You are free to do as you wish" T'zaan'g repeated. "Wander the world as you please. Though you know of it from my teachings, it is still new to you."

The Thermythes obeyed, and left to investigate their world.

Rather than being a brother like he had hoped, T'zaan'g was become more like a father.

The Book of Fire is copyright of Matt Quartsterstein 2003. You can save a copy of this file for yourself, but all other rights are reserved.

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