She was Darkness, and that was her power.

Yáretá—her name meant the first darkness, in which was encompassed all things. Vensi, the Betrayer—her name meant the second darkness, the Darkness of the Void.

They had battled, once—long, long ago, before the first mortal children were born. Yáretá had been the victor—long, long ago.

The Black Queen, resting upon her black throne with the Scepter of the Goddesses in her hand, sighed. Nothing was the same. She knew she should have known that, but somehow, in the excitement of the Beginning, it had left her. And here she was, calling herself a goddess—one of the Twelve—the highest, no less! And the Eldest, and all those other titles: they meant nothing when nobody paid any attention to them.

Well, strictly speaking, people did pay attention to her. The dragons, her loyal Children, her followers, remembered her, talked to her, and reminded her of what was Before.

And the elves and sages—they remembered, too. But none of the others did. The ghosts—well, they'd realized that Akíná was there. And some of the others had figured out that there was more than one god, and more than one goddess. But those silly human religions—Kristinanity, was that it? Well, she ought to be grateful that Jáenho was worshiped there, at least. But most of them had forgotten her. Forgotten their Creator, who she was in part—hadn't she born the goddesses who created them?

But the main thing was that it was dull in the High House. Every now and again, she appeared at some coronation, or answered a prayer—but it was repetitive. Immortality seemed so useful to mortals, but for those who actually experienced it, it was entirely wearisome at times.

And so, Yáretá concluded, something needed to be done. She searched her mind to figure out the best way to create something interesting on the planet beneath the House. Silly mortals—they were like children, or pets, to her and her daughters—but most of them didn't know that everyday, they touched thousands and thousands of living, sentient mortals—most of whom were not even of their own species! What could she do that would be interesting, but not start another series of the Mortal Wars?

The Black Queen smiled. She knew exactly what to do. And she went and began to set her plan into action.

But if she had looked closely down onto her worlds—her precious Worlds—instead of glancing and noticing only that they had turned from her, any time in the last few millennia, she would have seen change. This change was not good change—in fact, it was the kind of change that seemed to be at first a spark, but if you blew on it would set off a raging inferno.

And because Yáretá did not look, did not see, even, this change, a new war was begun. It was not a war in which many civilians were killed—at least, not through Yáretá's eyes. But her plan was the breath needed for the inferno. Only when all the fuel was exhausted—and from the current state of mortals, they would just keep adding to the fire—would the blaze finally die down—and still, there would be many sparks left.

If Yáretá had looked, the war would not have changed the Worlds. There would have been far more peace, and many fewer lives would have been lost. If she had looked, she would have tried to repair the damage instead of aggravating the situation.

But she did not look, and because she did not look, she created a war, endangered millions, and formed a story.

Far away—or not so far, by theian standards—was a goddess, shining bright and golden in both mortal and immortal eyes. She, too, had a plan—but her plan, formed through careful observation of the Worlds and formed for her own sake, was an entirely different plan. She had begun with the elves. They were the second strongest of the twelve Kindreds, and far less likely to alert the Black Queen to her plan than the dragons were—though from what she had seen, Yáretá was unlikely to take a second look if anyone complained because of a war: war was all too common these days. And Yáretá was becoming senile anyway.

As she had sent her first group of spies, she couldn't help but feel a bit guilty. Raela had been one of her greatest friends, long, long ago. Was it a betrayal to take advantage of her friend's Children like this? She dismissed the thought. It didn't matter.

At that moment, there was a sharp vibration throughout the High House. The House didn't break—it was far too strong for that—but then a voice boomed through the halls.

"Hear, all, the prophecy of the dragon Tasari, daughter of Yavedi, daughter of Verida, the Ancestor!"

A prophecy, the goddess mused. Perhaps it would interfere with the plan...and perhaps not. No truly important prophecies had come for centuries.

"Behold!" the great voice shouted. The voice was neither male nor female, but it was powerful, strong, and loud. "The Wars of Light approach thee! Thou shalt not form them through evil; and yet they shall come. Darkness and Light both will strive for victory, and one shall win, because there shall be a betrayer at the cost of the vanquished. Great death shall visit the mortals, and yet they shall be strong.

"Each race will lose and gain much, but each shall give up one of their own, though they know it not. These shall be the Chosen of the Goddesses, and beyond this Time, they shall become the Twelve.

"These Wars shall forever be remembered! None save the immortals and these Chosen shall be strong in influence; indeed, those Unchosen will forget the Wars until they themselves are in the midst of battle.

"Be on guard for the Chosen! They must not be killed before they gather, else Time will begin anew and all immortals will have passed, and until the end of Times thou shalt wait.

"The Chosen will come, strong but divided, and the fate of Time is in their hands. Blessed are those who heed this message."

The voice dwindled, but the goddess's lip curled. A foolish mortal prophecy—what would that have to do with anything? It wouldn't matter; all mortals were ceaselessly ranting about fate. They didn't know of the guiding goddesses—mortals, any of them, were foolish.

She peered at the wall as if somehow it could help her understand the prophecy—words of false wisdom spoken by some raving, dying lunatic mortal. It was hard enough to understand the true prophecies, but crazy rants such as this made no sense whatsoever.

But it would be fitting—she smirked—if her plan were to have that result. And not killing the Chosen—for what purpose was that? They were only figments of some senile windbag's imagination. And what was their purpose? Most likely, it had something to do with ending this war. Well, she didn't need to kill a single person to implement her plan. She was not planning on killing, not just yet. She just planned on stealing.

She planned on stealing magic and light. They would be a gift to the stars, and the stars would raise her up, and she would lead them into battle as their queen. First to be conquered were the humans, and then the phoenixes and sprites and shapeshifters. And then she would go back up, overcoming the dwarves, the healers, and the dryads; the ghosts, the sages, and the elves, and finally, she would conquer the dragons. That was how she would conquer Yáretá. And then Light would rule, and she would rule as Light itself.

The goddess smiled. How wonderful it would be, she thought, and she set to work on the next part of her plan.

(A/N: theian: a word that I made up, from the(o)-, meaning "god" or "deity" and -ian, an adjectival ending. It basically means "of the god(desse)(s)", or "of the deities", or something along those lines.

I will combine this and the other prologue, making more of it, and more from the spies' points of view. The other prologue needs to be totally redone, I know, if it's going to fit with this part and the human prologue bit. This had to be put in because I don't know how many people would bother to read THOT (see below), and becausemy concepts of light and darkness are very important throughout the story.

If you're going to comment that I need to work on the prologues, you don't need to do that. I will be working on this. If, however, you have suggestions on how to combine them, that will be quite nice. I do have the characters already, and their personalities, so I can't do anything with that.

If you read the History of Táya (chapter two, which is not yet up), I think you'll get who the bright goddess is. But I'll have to get that up yet.

Remember, constructive criticism is like medicine. It might not taste better than candy, but it has a better outcome. And while I might not like to have to take concrit, it's better than fluffy reviews (not the three-headed kind) that say "Wow! This is great! Update soon!")

EDIT: I have taken down the second prologue, as I think it is too confusing with both prologues as the story stands. I will be editing it and putting it back up later.