The Zarlog Gods and the Curse of Damnation
Once upon a time, many hundreds of years ago, the proud and stern lizards of the Meridianlands humbly knelt before their own gods. It was a very long time ago and no one knows exactly where these powerful beings came from. The chroniclers of the world of Feo must therefore trust in the word of the shamans who passed on their knowledge orally. Legend has it that in the beginning there was nothing in Feo but water and darkness. Later, the shining star Mirrou shone in the darkness. Because of its heat, part of the water became hot steam and turned into clouds, and on earth the Meridianlands were formed, in whose sands lay seven huge eggs.
It took some time before the young gods began to leave the protection of the eggs. Each of them was captured by the rays of a particular star that was in the sky at that hour and the newborns were given a unique character and special magical powers by their stars.
The mighty Sar was the first to step onto the ground. The fiery rays of Mirrou, standing at the zenith, struck him and made him fiery and furious. He became the god of war, fire blazed in his incantations, shaking the earth, and the poison in his fangs was so hot it could even burn rocks. But at the same time Sar was open-hearted and honest, he could not be remembered as evil and held no grudges. He taught the Zarlog how to handle the different kinds of weapons and how to fight in life and death battles.
The goddess Shayat was born on a warm night when the star Imeshut emerged from behind the clouds, its light awakening love and longing in hearts and making the trees and grasses grow faster. Shayat was the patroness of lovers and mothers. She was prayed to when marrying and taught the lizards to grow edible roots and tubers. Her magic was unbearable and her poison first caused a sweet languor in the body, but this quickly drained the powers and a little later the life.
The goddess Schachs left the bowl when the rays of the moon silvered the waters of the sea. She became the unsurpassable huntress, her footsteps were silent and her eyes could discern prey even in complete darkness. Her magic sent silent arrows hurtling through the air and her poison paralysed the victims, whom she then lassoed. From her, the Zarlog learned the ability to track prey, set traps and hunt large animals in groups.
Sog, the god of commerce, was born under the double star, also called the twins. He was cunning, duplicitous and could see everything from different angles. Sog taught the Zarlog to trade, to exchange goods for shells and to seek advantage everywhere. His magic clouded the mind and his poison worked slowly and without leaving a trace.
Chisis hatched from the egg when the star Gerest shone down in the sky like cold steel and immediately began to craft something from the shards of his shell. He was the craftsman and showed the Zarlog how to make armour from sea creatures, weave bows from animal sinew and build dwellings. With his magic he could animate trees and stones, and his poison turned Dine into a statue as if they had been carved from an ancient wood.
Scheu was born under pale stars that some sages thought were simply a few clouds hanging in the sky at unimaginable heights. Their gentle light made Scheu the master of water - he taught the Zarlog to build boats and use fishing nets or harpoons. His magic caused floods and storms and his poison made the body swell, the bones lost their hold so that the flesh became increasingly flabby, similar to jellyfish.
The most mysterious of the gods was the youngest - Eshu. When he left the egg, the clouds in the night sky closed and Feo was swallowed by complete darkness. No one knew which of the stars was his patron. There are even shamans who claim that he got his power from the black image of Mirrou, banished from the sky and hidden in the depths of the earth. Perhaps that is why Eshu devoted himself to the sciences of dark magic and built himself an underground dwelling. At his command, the Zarlog began to bury their dead in graves and perform funeral rites.
All these gods lived together in the beginning in a friendly family in which there was no leader. They created the Zarlog from wet sand, breathed life into them and ruled like a council of wise men and gracious lords. Only Eschu was not content with equality and longed to rise above the others. Driven by a lust for power, he began to sow intrigue among the gods and set them against each other. By spreading false rumours, he almost caused a quarrel, but Sog was clever and guessed his intentions.

The gods came to their senses, extinguished the flame of hatred and decided to banish Eschu. He was to retire to his underground home, where he alone would study the nature of things and grasp the secrets of magic. His spirit left his body and wandered between worlds, even reaching the gates of the Shadowlands, ruled by the God of the Dead and the Damned. But even though the dead cannot find a way out of the sad lands, Eshu found it and learned to go back. Many secrets he revealed on the way to the Shadowlands!

For the Zarlog, the god Eshu was forbidden. Only the bravest shamans dared to sneak into his underground home. There they knelt trembling, and Eshu taught them that the other gods were stupid, vain and weak. An hour will come - he said - when the Zarlog could overcome their gods and wrest their power from them!

When the gods learned of his dangerous speeches, they planned to kill the treacherous god. Sog offered to invite Eshu to their table as a sign of reconciliation, to give him a poisoned drink there. All six gods put a little of the poison from their fangs into the bowl of intoxicating drink and mixed it with various spices to mask the smell. Eschu was the first to drink from the bowl and immediately understood what was happening. But by then it was too late and the poison was already mixing with his blood. His body weakened from one moment to the next, fever gripped him and was immediately replaced by cold, as if a snowstorm had covered a fire. Eshu stopped breathing, his eyes were closed, his skin turned black and his mind went into eternal darkness....

The gods realised that their plan had succeeded, but still cursed Eschu with their most terrible spells. They buried his poisoned body in his underground home and covered the entrances with rubble.

But Eshu did not die! His spirit reached the shadow lands and then rushed back so as not to be caught. He could return to his body, but not come back to life. He was transformed into a mummy, eaten away by the black spells of the gods. But not for nothing did he spend so much time in darkness to hear the whispers of the spirits in the afterlife. He was able to gain power over the spells of others. From the power of enemy magic and poison, he created a special substance - a poisonous filth with amazing properties, which the Zarlog called Shiass.

Shiass could take many forms and became the tool of Eschu - his hand of vengeance, poisoning his enemies via ghostly messengers and seizing the minds of living beings. In Feo, no one knew this strange element in which the rays of the seven stars were brought together, the power of the poison of the gods and the magic of Eshu, who knew the secret way by which one could escape death.

Shiass seeped through the earth and rocks that covered his grave and spread across the Meridianlands, bringing madness and death with it. The first victims were the six siblings of Eshu - they lost their strength and clarity of mind. They changed from protectors to cruel tyrants and began to hunt down the Zarlog and kill them just for fun. Then the shamans remembered the words of Eshu that their gods were weak. The Zarlog rebelled and the great war began....

All the adult lizards took up arms and the young and old brought new spears and axes, as these quickly became blunt on the hard skin of the gods. Hundreds of Zarlog were killed in desperate fights. Shaat had only to strike with her tail and a dozen fighters broke every bone in their bodies. Chisis swung his huge hammer and a whole group became bloody mud. The fiery waves created by Sar's roar went through the ranks of the attackers, of whom their inconsolable widows will find only ashes in the sand dunes. But the evil of Eschu not only robbed the gods of their sanity, their bodies also weakened and magic lost its power. Despite the many corpses of their fallen comrades, the Zarlog were nearing victory. The gods began to retreat and cover their bleeding wounds. They built a wall of fire and sandstorms, retreated there and fled....

Since that time, the Zarlog have been revered as invincible warriors. They have challenged their gods and put their opponents in their place! The scarred leaders proved their courage in many battles. Since then, there has been no shrine other than the altars erected in honour of the heroes of this war.

But the gods did not leave forever: it is said that they fled to a secret refuge, had changed their shape and completely lost their will. Evil subjugated them and they became devoted servants of Eshu - sick monsters waiting in the darkness for their hour. And perhaps that hour is not so far away - for the evil of Eshu continues to spread throughout the Meridianlands ....


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