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Book One

Mightiest, most ancient of all Man’s myths, his long-lost legends, mist-wreathed epics, bravely recounted, through ages uncounted, the tale, bequeathed from blackened book to book, is told, through times long ere the young Earth shook, of a void of vastness, a dread darkness, boundless swathes of timeless space, aeons beyond number, a depthless cradle of sightless infinity.
Unseen and unknowable strides of reachless, abysmal gulf span across the nameless face that is void; which is nowhere and all places. For in this time before all else there is no beginning and no end, nought has begun and nought has ended; in the silence already rages the noise, and in the blindness smoulders already the sight. These are the Endtimes before even the Beginning. Thus came the World through its unbreathing sighs into its breathless Being.
Not to see and not to say, such is a birth; it is the buzzing of a million flies that swarm within and without, unseeing yet seeing, unspeaking yet deafening. So the void is and is not, and cannot be known but as the crushing blow of silence, the dread screaming of a million unheeding souls, the mindless howling and braying of the beasts yet unborn, yet unformed, yet unconceived, even in the thought of God. For this is neither language nor sight; this is oblivion, all sundering, streaming tears through the thundering, shrouded in quickening shreds of misty lightning, stricken by the hollow bolts of chaos.
And no form could Man descry, even were it in his mind to try; nor any sound perceive, nor surface touch. For the order of that time was other, and none can know even one part of its broad reach, its unfathomed sweep.
Amid the lightning colours alone one scene takes form, one deed of being which gathers into a truth, a silent yet knowing presence which speaks out of the chaos and thickens into an idea. For one flank of this void is bounded by wall, rearing into the vacant depths and distance, outwards into infinity. A wall which rolls deep-bounded by massive blocks of rock and marble, a wall which stands against sight and knowledge.
Entered into being Dhàl, the First-Created; a mighty spirit, all-wondering, all beholding, beneath the sullen heights of this sundering wall.  
And here is beside the wall the newness of creation; for Dhàl in that time looks upon the void and the wall, and in the primordial sight of his youth he sees the deep darkness that teems about him and crowds into his senses, and the rough-hewn face of nameless stone which rears and plumbs beside him. And Dhàl wonders at his being, and seeks to know.
Hark! For is this immortal myth not the most ancient among all the tales of this mortal Earth? Through searing flame and smiting flood, through all the wearisome wars and vainly-spilt blood, this hallowed history of Dhàl remains still revered with those most glorious of the Hàhan myths, dark and baleful overture to all the greater histories that follow, later legends of gods and demi-gods, the entangled dramas of earth-bound Man. Yet like these younger chronicles, the tale of Dhàl is a tragic one; it passes from innocence to terror, from the purity of light to the confusion of darkness, from life to death. Thus, albeit the oldest tale on Earth, lo! do not close this time-polished tome; its fateful course is that along which destiny drags us too, and its end is that which awaits you.

© Copyright Paul David Holland 2017