There were five gods in the time before the world, and as the seed of the world grew, they dreamt of what it might become. To better accomplish this vision, they created beings, like themselves in aspect and nature, but tied to the world in a way that the elder gods were not. With these they worked side-by-side to shape the world, raising mountains and carving marvelous caverns in the abysses below the waters. Each shared in the original bright hope for the world, and each creation added to the glory all about them.
In time, the world was completed – seasons brought about bounty and splendour, and there was ever the music of the winds dancing through the trees. So they dwelt awhile in the new-formed world, rejoicing in the beauty of the waters and the strength of the mountains. Still, in time, the dream of the elder gods renewed, and they determined to bring forth creatures to share in the world. Patiently they laboured over the whale, the fish, the krill – taking equal pride in each. Diligently they wrought the eagle and the shrew, finding each equally delightful. In time their dream was fulfilled again, and they rejoiced as the cry of the wolf mingled with the voice of the wind.
So the world abode in peace for some time, as life flourished.
After more seasons passed, the dream of the gods was deepened, and they discussed among themselves the change in their vision. The race of Man they discussed, and man’s place in the world they had created. The elder gods were hesitant of this branch of their dream, but so impassioned were the younger gods and so compelling was the dream, that they consented to shape humans to walk within the world.
After the creation of mankind, the older gods prepared to withdraw, content in the beauty of that which had been created. The younger gods remained, however, as the foundling race of Man held great interest for them. A few attempted to make new wonders to enrich the world – they brought about the unicorn, the winged horse, the brilliant phoenix, and other wonders. In their enthusiasm, however, they created also the basilisk, the chimera, and the dragon – and these and other unnamed horrors were corrupted, until they pursued the beautiful creatures into the corners of the earth. Thereafter, the unicorn and unseen wonders were rarely found by Men, and the winged horse and phoenix nested in mountains where mankind was afraid to venture. In the face of the chimera and other shadows, Men were stirred for the first time from their peaceful content, and they knew fear and death. Through this knowledge were Men diminished, and the shadow lay on their hearts.
Before then, there had been no war.
A few of the younger gods, saddened at the pride of their brethren and the change in men, drew apart from company, and retreated into the quiet places of the world. They associated no more with mankind, although as generations passed, some few would seek them out and become their disciples.
Those of the younger gods who remained called certain families to themselves, each picking traits they most admired. These families they blessed and protected. As time passed, the chosen families of each god drew more and more apart, until each of the younger gods took their followers and removed themselves from the company of the whole. Apart, each god’s followers prospered, and societies flourished where squabbles had distracted them before.
Of the families who were not chosen of a god or goddess, some set out in search of fulfillment, and though their wanderings took them to the reaches of the jungles and to the frozen wastes, they found no god of their own, and lived apart. Others remained behind, content to live godless, and they visited at times with the chosen of the gods. These godless ones blossomed, and maintained trade and harmony between the new-founded kingdom-states.
So generations passed quietly as each people grew in the understanding of their god and the world about them. They learned, too, of the elder gods who founded the world, though few learned of the vanished gods who did not ask.
The vanished gods, for their part, communed constantly with the elder gods, and were often gone from the hollow hills and high places where they dwelt alone. Consumed with the keeping and education of their people, however, the other gods spoke little with their elder gods, nor spoke often with their brethren.
As the families of the chosen grew and increased they expanded – and the wonders and horrors, created in error, drew back to more and more remote places, and the vanished gods with them.
Just an excerpt from some creation-myth writing I did not too long ago. My main interest lies with the gods of the hollow hills, and the few Men who seek them out. It might be developed further, at some point.