Laanx and Talad were Gods before the races ever existed in Yliakum. Laanx and Talad were beautiful and harmonious; they were inquisitive and always looking for new knowledge to enrich their eternal lives. Laanx was a tall and perfectly shaped female with long, white hair as silky as the threads of a spider's web. Her lunar skin reflected the azure beams of the crystal and refracted the light into hypnotic patterns as alluring as her dancing, ruby-colored eyes. A thin silver band clasped Laanx's left ankle. She was evanescent, cold and yet yielding, light and ethereal like the evening air.
Talad was like an ebony statue, with powerful muscles and long, proportioned bones. Thick black curls cascaded down over his broad shoulders and down his back, and a thick gold armlet clasped Talad's right bicep. Talad was solid, warm and determined, dense and impetuous as a river of molten lava.
Guided by an ancient and powerful god, named Vodùl, god of the future events, they discovered one quiet planet with a crystal column full of energy and mystery. Together, they explored the depths of the planet where the majestic obelisk has its roots, full to the brim and quivering with the azure energy.
Together, they reached the lower end of the column and discovering a rocky niche that contained the luminous and faceted extremity that now gives life- energy to Yliakum. Talad and Laanx realized the nature of the crystal and wanted to create a prosperous dominion with people to worship them. Other gods, older and more powerful than they, told them about great tasks they would have to perform when their worshipers became ready to follow their directions. Blinded by the possibility of creating a new world, the young gods Laanx and Talad didn't ask any other details, or pay much attention to the warnings. Therefore, they used their powers to enlarge the niche and created the huge cave comprised of eight levels.
They diverted the courses of the underground rivers to feed the fertile and rich land that they had placed on the rock to make it suitable for life. Everything was made to host the people that Talad and Laanx wished to create, but the land was still empty. They were unaware of a huge maze of tunnels present in the crust of the world, later called the Stone Labyrinths, where other creatures were already lurking in the dark.
Talad and Laanx prayed to Vodùl to lure some races from the other gods and to bring them to Yliakum. Vodùl agreed their requests, but in exchange wished for Talad to become one of his servants and Laanx to become one of his lovers. Laanx and Talad accepted the exchange, because Vodùl was a kind master and a pleasant consort.
After leaving Vodùl's palace, Talad and Laanx noticed that Vodùl had honored the promise, but a long time had to elapse before the people reached Yliakum and they were impatient. Laanx, young and very pretty, had fascinated the ancient Vodùl and he'd taught her that the energy of the crystal could be used to create life.
She wanted to make Talad happy, for he was more restless and found the wait more unbearable then she did. To surprise and amaze him, she drew the incommensurable power of the azure crystal as much as she could and, in secret, mimicked the rituals of Vodùl to give life to some creatures reproduced in her image. The new people matured and reproduced, they were nice-looking and had a quiet behavior, like their creator, and they called themselves "Lemurs".
When Talad discovered Laanx's creation, he was surprised and astonished, but he was also saddened because Laanx had her people and he did not, even though she insisted she had created the Lemurs for both of them. He harnessed power from the crystal too, going even farther than Laanx has dared. She thought that Vodùl had taught Talad the secret of the energy and let him work, because she trusted him and she did not want him to be sad. But she was wrong. When Talad, imbued with the crystal's power, came close to her to create the first creature of his people, a tempest of chaos burst forth from the god's hands and hit Laanx on her face, penetrating deeply into her body, and she became forever disfigured.
A new people were born from the rocks thanks to Talad, and they called themselves "Kran". But Laanx was not beautiful anymore and she fell down into a deep depression that shattered her heart like a mirror. Mindless of Talad's pain in causing her harm, she denied her being, her femininity, her people, and drove away the harmony from her heart.
She retired to wander in the Stone Labyrinths, and many Lemurs went with her. She dressed in a thick red tunic and shaped a mask without features to hide her features. In her exile, she wrote the Book of Names for, even if she was confused and her mind distraught, she did not forget her desire to be worshiped by the people. Hence Laanx, the Masquerade God, wild and inflexible, began to brood over what happened.
Laanx spent a very long time in the Stone Labyrinths trying to bring the serenity back into her heart. Then Talad tried to approach her, trying to recognize, in the red dressed figure what remained of the beautiful god. But he saw simply an empty dress, and this disturbed him.
-There must be a remedy. Come back and we will be One again.
Laanx spoke with a cold, male voice:
-You don't know what you did, Talad. It is not possible anymore to be One. I don't know you, and you don't know me. Go away and do not annoy me anymore.-
Many other times Laanx rejected Talad's entreaties to reconcile with him. Talad's insistence seemed insulting to Laanx, who was already annoyed in his painful isolation. Laanx forgot the millenarian friendship with Talad and sought the loneliness even more deeply in the bowels of the earth, heedless of the large number of Lemurs that followed him, worshiping and offering gifts to him.
Talad gave up any hope to be reconciled with the old friend and, now alone, turned his thoughts to the people left in the town they had created. He called it "Hydlaa", the name of the most powerful glyph, that Vodùl had revealed to Laanx and that led Talad to ignore prudence to satisfy his pride. Waiting for the day when the other peoples would come, he forged magical power into many shapes, suitable to be used by the mortals to help them to survive underground: he created the Glyphs.
After many generations of the Lemur had passed, Laanx wandered into a cave that was hundreds of times bigger than the one he created, where beings without a name dwelt. At the top he spied a huge stalactite that occupied one third of the vault, and which produced a thin rain of clear water. It was the conic block of rock that held Yliakum.
At the middle of the cave, he saw a deep lake full of life, whose shores were a fertile soil. The Lemurs believed that their god had led them to a new home. Their praises and thanks to Laanx echoed in the cave and many sacrifices were made.
In that moment Laanx became aware of the presence of his followers, and he was stricken by their faith and ingenuity. His heart became a little softer, and he gave his people many powerful and useful things to brighten the cave and make the lake and its shores a place to live. The Lemurs multiplied rapidly, built the ten towns of Kadaikos, and they became a prosperous and numerous populations.
For a period, Laanx ruled Kadaikos harshly, giving to the Lemurs inflexible laws and a strict hierarchy. After discovering the delight of ruling his people, the Masked God became greedy for power. He remembered the promise made by Vodùl to send people to Yliakum. They were supposed to arrive in few decades, and he decided to take them all, to lead them to Kadaikos and to become their god. Thus, he journeyed back to the Stone Labyrinths near Yliakum to await the arrival of the first settlers.
After the departure of Laanx, a black flame appeared in Kadaikos. Everyone believed that it was a part of Laanx soul and was supposed to rule his people till his return. The black flame was sentient and easily took control of the people in Kadaikos.
Taking care not to reveal his presence to Talad, Laanx observed Yliakum and saw with disappointment that some people had arrived.
Talad was more cautious and less restless after the catastrophic incident that parted him from Laanx. Under his guidance Hydlaa filled quickly: besides the strong presence of Lemurs and Kran, Ylians and Enkidukai arrived from the Stone Labyrinths. Talad sent his Incarnations in material form to spread magic and laws amongst them; thanks to this many altars made of precious metals were forged to pray to Talad.
Seeing this, Laanx became jealous of his old friend: Talad had the harmony that he had lost and at times Laanx felt the need to have it back.
Observing his regular and quiet face, Laanx remembered with nostalgia the time in which he was a beautiful lunar god. He got angry, cursing Talad and all Yliakum, and swore that, since Talad made him an unhappy and jealous being, he must suffer the consequences.
During his dull waiting, Laanx investigated the column of blue light above Yliakum, trying to find a way to increase his power by using that infinite source of magic. Since Talad wanted to have mastery on glyphs, Laanx would control the pure and violent power of the Crystal.
While investigating, he became aware of two remarkable spells that were created in the neighborhood of the city. He had never seen anything like them: these seemed to twist or tear holes in the fabric of the universe, creating portals or passages leading to remote and unknown places. The first was inside Yliakum, so Talad surely has already noticed it, but the second was located in the Stone Labyrinths. Laanx decided to study the unknown phenomenon and, after seeking the portal, he found himself in front of a liquid surface similar to a mirror that radiated blue light: an irregular and rippling mercury bubble, thin and vertical, surrounded by a powerful aura of magic. The god remained there for a long time to observe.
At the same time, Talad looked through the eyes of one of his avatars and saw that a curious being was emerging from the second portal, followed by dozens of creatures of the same race. The appearance was close to a Human or a Lemur, but the creature had horns and a tail and black, oily skin. The avatar realized that those beings seemed to be civilized, although their behavior was strange; their name was "Diaboli". After they passed through the portal, they though to have finally reached the "promised land", and they began to celebrate in a very noisy way, eating and drinking abundantly.
The Diaboli were lively and intelligent, although they were meddlers and they didn't understand the concept of "other people's ownership". They integrated themselves with the rising society of Yliakum, and discovered common features with Lemurs in their thirst for new aesthetics experience, and with the Enkidukai who were wild and instinctive. All the Talad's efforts to make the Diaboli his followers failed. The Diaboli were inclined to disappear whenever someone began to discuss about religion.
In the Stone Labyrinths, the Masked God realized that the two portals had been created by Vodùl's magic powers. Laanx asked himself if in future he would be powerful enough to create something similar, and ambition and greed persuaded him even more deeply.
From other tunnels in the Stone Labyrinths arrived people with copper skin, almond-shaped eyes and sharpened ears. They were refugees from a land called Dermoria, driven away by a horde of nomadic knights. They carried with them water, seeds and cattle, and they had been a nomadic race until they found a magic portal and decided to explore new, unknown lands. To prevent them from reaching Yliakum, Laanx sent one of his avatars to lead lure them into a cave full of water and game. He returned to study the portal, close to understanding its principle.
Time passed, and two big families of short men arrived. They had long beards and were solid and tireless. One of the two groups was called "Hammerwielders", the other "Stonebreakers". They decided to settle down in a place inside the Stone Labyrinths. These short men - or Dwarves - told stories about a group of tall men who dwelled in the Labyrinths and called themselves Xacha. Their skin was as white as chalk and they were rich in knowledge and traditions but too weak to live underground. In the Dwarves' opinion, they would be extinct soon.
Hearing this, Laanx went to these men personally; he didn't want to run the risk of loosing people that could be valuable. He found a few hundred of these people. They were desperate, almost without food, and resigned to ending the glorious history of their race in a moist alley. Laanx revealed himself of them and showed them all his power. The Xacha followed him without exception and he became their god.
Laanx was meditating intensely in front of the portal when its surface trembled for the first time. He watched a creature slowly rising from the portal. This creature was emaciated and translucent like a ghost, but seemed to solidify progressively. It seemed to suffer for passing through the portal, and it didn't seem to have noticed Laanx.
The being was bent by a spasm when it noticed the red-dressed person, hidden in the shadow, that was observing it. It stayed motionless, without stopping to scan the god, and it didn't seem frightened.
Laanx spoke, showing completely his true essence. - I'm Laanx - she said - and I'm your god.-
The creature gazed resentfully and silently, and then sat on a rock with its chin in its hands.
Seeing that the creature refused to follow his orders, Laanx became enraged and destroyed the creature by whispering a single word.
During the following days, many other Klyros passed through the portal. Each time, Laanx tried to impose his will. Many of them were corrupted, tempted in many ways, or were destroyed or tortured, but none of them yielded to the god's will. It seemed their pride did not allow them to bend to any god. Laanx saw inside them a splinter of the delirium that had taken possession of him and, even though he hated them for their indifference, he did not utterly destroy their race. Before leaving them to their destiny, he taught them the way to Yliakum, sure that they would create some troubles to Talad, whom he now considered an enemy.
In the City of the Azure Sun, the people increased their population and their knowledge under Talad's silent guidance. Many of them - except the Diaboli - slowly gave up the faith in their previous gods to worship the god of the glyphs. There were people already in four of the eight levels and soon there was not enough food for all of them. Many hunters thought to venture in the Stone Labyrinths to look for game. The first two levels of Yliakum - the only ones where it was possible to farm - were worked more intensely. On the first level, the stolid Ylians claimed the absolute ownership of the ground that they were farming, refusing to share with other races. They built fences and walls, and began to look at books about armies and armed defense. The Enkidukai that lived in the same area were driven away and this was considered an intrusion in their freedom. The tension between the two races increased, and some of them clashed, but Talad was able to control their anger and to bring back the stability.
Laanx observed with interest what was happening in Yliakum, and decided that it was the right moment to present himself again. He was sure that Talad would receive him warmly, and he would be able to take advantage of this.
For many years, Laanx observed in a subdued way what the Xacha were doing. Some of them, circumvented extinction and went back to their ancient traditions, while the others spontaneously created a clergy and faith based on the Book of Names. The head of this second group was a handsome young man named Galeran Tarbius, endowed with endless charisma and with an overwhelming will power. Laanx was immediately interested in him and one day he appeared to him. When Laanx left Galeran, his eyes sparkled with mystic fury, and his body glittered of the chaotic power of raw magic.
Galeran had the power to transmit his fanaticism to the most possessed of his followers. In their opinion, Laanx was the god that had given new life to their race and therefore had the right to claim their lives whenever it was necessary.
Talad was worshiped and welcome in the whole of Yliakum; therefore there were statues, representations and places consecrated to him everywhere. But never before that moment had Talad thought to build a temple or to encourage his followers to build one. When the Xacha began to build the temple to Laanx, Talad felt control of his people's hearts slipping away. Many of his people, curious and charmed by Galeran's power, began to worship Laanx and to forget what Talad had made for them. Talad retired to meditate and, with the power of his glyphs, to plan the most majestic fortress ever built, a building that would show the power of the glyphs and the strength of the stone, the element from which the Kran were created. After years of meditation, Talad created a tremendous wave of heat that melted the secular rock of the walls of the first level and molded this rock in the name of his chosen people. As it cooled, the wall formed a plethora of drawings and arabesques interspersed with shimmering crystals. These crystals still glow, illuminating the Temple with their light, showing the power of Talad.