via Daily Prompt: Astral
In the beginning there was Chaos. Chaos was and knew nothing of itself but to perform infinite permutations and spew out infinite probabilities. Eventually, Chaos stumbled upon the permutation for Order and burst asunder. Into this order were born the Gods who were without form. Into this order were born the beings of Flesh who were without astral graces. One locked into the astral realm, the other to the physical. Each longed for the other.
The Gods found that each being of Flesh born took a small piece of each of the Gods with them and returned it when they died. Because of that connection the Gods found that they could influence and guide these base creatures, even cross briefly into the physical realm. The beings of Flesh found that they could transcend the physical for a time through communion with their chosen god and receive guidance. But there were many worlds and even though the Gods existed infinitely, they could only do and see so much.
The Gods were twinned, existing in both male and female aspects; they named themselves, names unpronounceable to the beings of Flesh for they had no sound; and gave themselves domains that comprised the essence of the Flesh to create a virtual form in the astral realm. They were the Gods of Blood, Heart, Spirit, Mind and Conflict. Earth and Sky belonged to the realm of the physical.
The beings of Flesh, existing in both male and female aspects, named themselves- different names for different worlds- and named their gods. Some chose to follow the Gods as they are, some chose to put one above all others or all into one, while others imagined many more. Still, some lost belief all together. And names changed.
Yet, there was still chaos in the universe; it was not gone, merely shattered and flung wide69. And there was that which was created before Order. From this came beings that could traverse both realms, unhindered by the laws Order set down, for they existed before and were not bound by them. From this there were the places where maddened creatures roamed, while in others were creatures of pure beauty and gentleness. Many times the two mixed. Chaos was still in everything, creating chance and instability.
The Gods were not perfect, but beings without flesh and thus made infinite. There were those that wanted to guide the beings of Flesh to find peace and happiness, freedom and free will. But there were those who wanted to control them, make them serve their desires, require worship and sacrifice in exchange for their guidance.
The Gods warred and split forcing Order to bring Good and Evil into the universe. As Order created balance, there could not be one without the other, so each domain broke from its twin and each aspect took a side that fit their desire; one focusing on force, led by the God of Blood; the other of free will, led by the Goddess of Heart. Each side gave themselves a name, unpronounceable to those of the Flesh.
And still they war.
It came to be that Order caused those of the flesh that died following the Blood Gods, returned all their astral parts to them; and those following the Heart Gods to them. But still, each newborn took from all, so it is that the power of one side growing greater than the other ebbs and wanes.
So they war for souls, through the beings of Flesh.
The Gods of Heart came to Ylinresh before the others, finding those of the Flesh in a savage and beastly state, beset by foul creatures of Chaos and warring with each other. They called themselves Ylin. The Heart Gods endeavored to raise these ylinnu up and guide them to civility, and the ylinnu gave them a name- the Ylinraewylra, or more simply Raewyl; Gods of the Selfless Path. And they gave each god a name- Ofaer, Goddess of Heart; Ryslan, God of Spirit; Galaea, Goddess of Blood; Jovin, God of Mind; Foenaea, Goddess of Conflict.
But the Chaos creatures were great in power and number, so the Gods created a great weapon forged in the bosom of Heart, tempered by Conflict, consecrated by Blood, imbued by Spirit, and Mind, finding the wisest and strongest among them, granted the Spear of Awakening- called in their tongue the KdeshniMareshkajovylin- to Beshmarr who carved the First Realm from the darkness and chaos for his people, guided by the these gods who brought ylinnu from beastliness to grace.
The ylinnu prospered, spreading far and wide over the Ylinresh, eventually forgetting their origins. As they spread over continents and across oceans the words of the First Tongue became lost, except those relating to the Gods. Languages became many and varied, and culture changed. So, too, the tools of their awakening became forgotten- myths in time.
With ylinnu being who they are, comprising astral parts of all the Gods, in time they fought amongst each other, yet it was not influenced by any god; it was pure nature. Still they dedicated themselves to the Gods of Heart so devoutly that these Gods held sway in the astral realm.
The Gods of Blood, seeing the power of their rivals sought out its source. Eventually they came to Ylinresh, infiltrating the ylinnu with false promises, lies, and deception, stroking those astral parts that linked them. The ylinnu gave them a name- the Ylinbekwylra, or more simply Bekwyl; Gods of the Selfish Path. And they gave each god a name- Yaezl, God of Blood; Kadlek, God of Conflict; Aggaruz, God of Heart; Lumidaea, Goddess of Spirit; Fireyl, Goddess of Mind.
They brought tools of conquest, too, but it was not a weapon of iron, stone, or wood. The Wyl had discovered Wyldaeng, Gods-using, by which they could channel their ethereal power through the bond with the ylinnu, who then could use this power and become Wyldaer. The Bekwyl learned how to chain the demons born of chaos, the Fraek, which crossed realms and this they taught to the ylinnu who followed them; the way of Yaewyldaeng, Blood-using.
The Raewyl taught Ofaewyldaeng, Heart-using, to ylinnu who followed them so that they could defend against these Fraek and other atrocities born of corrupted blood.
And still they war for the souls of Ylin.