PROLOGUE

". . .And from the silver, newborn skies, the phoenix deity, Teirnova, came down in an omnipotent fury. Her valiant wings spread wide, forcing aside the mists of the sky as she plummeted toward the earthen soils. Upon the lands stood the deity of shadows, Kothru`Gal.

"It was a time for punishment, a time for retribution by the fiery talons of the great Teirnova, creator of all things. Kothru`Gal was marked for eternal damnation for his involvement in the destruction of Kyrban- Dalhurtran, Lord of the Dead. By his deathly cold whips of shadows, he struck the Lord down in bitter hatred and pleasure.

"Born from the voids of space and now claiming the world of Teirshard as his own, he stood firm on the crags of his new abode. Black smoke emitted from his thin, jagged, black exoskeleton. His whips of vacuity and gloom violently lashed about, with no physical command by its still and awaiting master.

"Teirnova continued her plummet toward her greatest foe who smiled with great malevolence. Kyrban-Dalhurtran, her most beloved son, had been slain by this beast. No longer was there any to look over the souls of the dead in their peaceful rest.

"The Phoenix Deity brought her wings in close, forcing her body into a violent, yet controlled spin through the clouded silver skies, throwing the mists in all directions. Her bright, gleaming red body passed through the maw to the heavens with great speed, Kothru`Gal, still anxiously unmoving, waiting for the moment when Teirnova would join the rest of the Deities who had passed from the material world.

"Closer and closer the Phoenix came, faster and faster her speed increased. The earth's crust began to shake and crumble under the great tension that was building up between the shadows and the light emitted from both powers. The winds became rapid and furious, the valiant silver skies shattered in brilliant green sparks of energy and dropped into an abyss of blackness. Flames spewed forth from the cracked soils, the planet's molten blood began flowing freely from the summits of the mountain range.

"In an abrupt instant, the winged goddess made a sudden halt, shedding a bright and burning light across the lands. When the warm aura dissipated, the shining bird was silent and still, hovering just to the fore of the Lord of Shadows. Darkness had returned and all the demon could see was the shimmer of the creator's bronze, silver, and golden feathers along her wings and chest as the billowing flames and lava reflected off of them in a dance of dazzling lights.

"The multiple tendrils of Kothru`Gal's whip snapped at the bird, yet the omnipotent divinity of creation failed to flinch. A snarl and a hiss of black smoke poured from every orifice on the demon as he pulled back his arm, poised for a strike on the great goddess.

"Another snarl and hiss of black smoke poured forth before the great whip of shadows was launched ahead, each of the multiple arms of the weapon ripping and tearing at the already blackened skies, slashing open whirling voids across the air. Before the poisoned tendrils of shadow could reach the great bird, a light broke through the cracks in the dead heavens. Piece by piece, the rotten skies broke away to make way for the radiance of the new born sun and flowing blue air.

"The demon, Kothru`Gal, was halted in his place as he stared at the child star, its light washing over him in a beam of warmth and life. To him, a Lord of Shadow and Darkness, this light of healing was but a bitter burden as it made his limbs as stiff as the mountains he stood atop. The smoke ended its constant flow from the deity's body, his exoskeleton crackling and still as it hardened into thick granite.

"The new light from the sky continued its growth, breaking through the thick blackness of shadows and healing the scorched earth around the damaged site. The luminosity passed around the Phoenix, its outstretched figure a simple silhouette to the eyes of the now dying god that stood in a constant stare below her.

"Teirnova's wings flowed gently in the cool breeze of the new day, the golden tips of her wings dancing across the light as she maintained her place above the doomed Kothru`Gal. Slowly, she opened her great and luminous beak, a twirling ball of pure radiance standing so peacefully atop her tongue. In a great flow of tranquil essence, the illumination spewed over the paralysed demon, encasing him in an egg of light. The egg grew dull, its glow fading into an insipid prison for the new Lord of the Dead to dwell.

"Teirnova languidly made her way atop the large egg, sitting upon it as it began its descent, deep toward the earthen core. The grounds shook with a crying howl as rock and soil was pushed aside, collecting once again at the surface as a new mountain range was born. Deeper and deeper the egg went, higher and higher the mountains became.

"After many moments of its descent, the egg stopped, Teirnova still perched on its tip in the blackness and shadowed depths of Teirshard. A great radiance filled the caverns, rising up and out of the mountain's peak where there was but a small remaining aperture. Teirnova made her way into the depths of space, the final opening of the rocky summit groaned as it closed and locked the eternal prison, and Kothru`Gal slept dormant in the depths below Mount Koth, the Home of the Dead."

-Alkunna, the Book of Teirnova