Of The Pact and the creation of the world!
Time before time
In the beginning, even before time, there was chaos. Great powers whirled in the formless void each trying to form it in his image.
Slowly two of the greatest, Light and Darkness arose, drove others aside and battled each other relentlessly. During this conflict, things both beautiful and terrible were wrought and destroyed. Out of the void new creatures and powers were formed. Many things perished but many endured. But still there was no life or death for time itself did not exist.
As the conflict raged, one by one all the other forces allied themselves with either Light or Darkness. The duality of the world was represented in everything. It was the first order of things – two sides in conflict.
And lo! Suddenly the chaos was no more and the void was no more and there was time. And because of time there was life, and for the first time in eternity there was something to lose.
In the eye of the storm
Shocked and surprised by the change in the nature of things, the forces halted. In this brief moment a fragile truce was made. It was decided that equilibrium should be maintained between Light and Darkness. The world and all things in it were divided equally and for that time all reluctantly agreed to this arrangement.
During this time of uneasy peace the first mortals appeared. Mere flickers of life compared to the nearly endless existence of the forces. They came in many shapes, some more and some less powerful. And like a rising tide they thrived in the peace and became mighty in their own accord.
Still there were both subtle hostilities and open conflicts. Forces changed sides and even the newly appeared mortals started meddling in this all-engulfing war. The order was threatened.
Not to undo what was wrought, not to lose what was gained and not to return to chaos, the forces stopped their struggle once again. This time they conceded that for the conflict to end, either Light or Darkness should be declared the mightier. To judge this, a neutral power was chosen. So it happened that both Light and Darkness chose young Ancalagon, the first creature of its kind and of many to come – a dragon.
Thus he formed The Pact:
I. One of the great forces is superior and keeper of the balance
II. The other of the great forces can challenge the superior one
III. The challenge can only be made once a year
IV. The challenge can be battled out only by mortals
V. The mortals can freely choose for whom they will fight
VI. The forces can only encourage the mortals, not aid them
VII. The winner is declared by Ancalagon
So it happened that the weakest held the fate of the strongest in their hands. It was their mortality that gave them the power. For even when all mortals would ally themselves with one side, they would still be short-lived and their children would have a freedom of choice anew.
Creation of the Battleground
In the far north, away from all the hospitable lands a battlefield was created. And once every year the best warriors of mortal lands are invited to come forth and allying themselves with either Light or Darkness to decide who will be the superior for the year to come.
Every year at the time of autumn equinox, when both Light and Darkness are of same strength, in the far north the Nordic Equinox is held. A great gathering of warriors and other mortals of power, this battle and feast is legendary.
Neither magic nor power of the forces can be used on The Battleground. Only the abilities granted by Ancalgon can change the reality that is governed by strength of arms and skill of words.
All the forces can do is to inspire the followers of their cause and hope to gain the loyalty of them and their children, in years to come.
But the choice is free and for the mortals to make - every year anew. Thus even when lost or slain, all mortals go to the halls of Valhalla from where they can freely depart either to their own lands or back to their comrades on the fields of Nordic Equinox.
No one wants to return to the formless chaos, with nothing to win or nothing to lose, only an eternity to battle. So with great difficulty the forces still agree to these terms.