A Creation in Three Parts
Before time itself, when nothing but nameless and formless Chaos existed, Order became manifest in what is known as Creation.
The First Creation was Spirit and the Spirit of Creation gave birth to the Realm of Eternity, a tower of Order rising from a sea of Chaos. Known by many names: the Eternal Kingdom, the Great Tower of Eternity, or simply Heaven; it was a Holy realm of pure spirit inhabited by Divine beings formed solely of Spirit, called Angels. The Realm of Eternity, and its inhabitants, were neither Good nor Evil, for these concepts did not yet exist. The Angels served no other motive or agenda than to establish and expand order while pushing back the endless expanse of Chaos. Upon the shores of their Great Tower, as Order and Chaos intermingled, they discovered a unique balance. This interface became the manifest universe and paved the way for the Second Creation.
The Second Creation was Substance. The Substance of Creation gave birth to all matter and physical form, across numerous Realms, but all stitched together by the Spirit. These became known as the Realms of Origin or Realms of Creation. The vast assortment of creatures and denizens of these realms were beings of both Spirit and Substance, though not always in equal parts. As the Realm of Eternity watched the Realms of Origin take form and develop some angels grew jealous that the Second Creation was not bestowed upon them. And so they rebelled and began to walk these new realms of substance and spirit in physical bodies. However they discovered that if their spiritual forms dwelt too long away from the Realm of Eternity they eventually ceased to exist. In order to prevent this, some among them found a way to merge their being with simple creatures of the Second Creation (animals and the like), becoming Abominations of Creation known as Demons. These new creatures had no place in either the First Creation or the Second Creation and so were cast into a new eternal realm, the Realm of Abominations (aka Hell, the Abyssal Kingdom), where they were to be imprisoned for all of time to prevent their corrupting influence on the rest of Creation.
The Third Creation was Soul, created and fostered at the heart of the Realm of Eden. The Soul of Creation was to bind all of Creation together, rendering it complete in the image of that which created it. While it did not give rise to new Realms until much later, it did create new three part beings, possessing spirit, substance and soul (who would eventually go on to become humankind, elvenkind, etc). The Soul bestowed great power upon these beings, allowing them to tap into the very fabric of Creation itself, limited only by their meager ability to comprehend it.
The beings and Realms of the First and Second Creations grew to view the Third Creation as the most beloved and gifted beings of all of Creation. Some, such as the Angels, sought to protect and watch over them, while others tried to emulate them. Some chose instead to despise them, and none so fiercely as the demons.
The Downfall of the Third Creation
Trapped in the Realm of Abominations, they could do little but observe as they were passed by on yet another stage of Creation. As they had coveted the substance of the Second Creation, all the more did they covet the Third Creation. From the depths of their prison they schemed and plotted how they could possess the Soul of Creation from themselves. Having first been beings of Spirit, before they became Abominations of Substance, they began to reach out with their Spirits, attempting to cross back over into the Realms of Origins in any way they could.
Some among the demons discovered a way to contact and corrupt the Spirits of beings among the other realms. While this loosed great evil upon the Realms of Creation, none were so grievously affected as the Third Creation. For the Demons sought to corrupt those most of all. Their strategy was simple, but it would change the course of all creation. The Demons taught the Third Creation the true nature of the Soul and the immense power it could grant them.
This realization fractured the fabric of creation, causing small pieces of each of the Realms of Origin to break away and intermingle, creating entirely new realms comprised of the essence of all the Realms of Origin. In the turmoil, many beings of the Second Creation were scattered from their Realm of Origin. Alongside them, the beings of the Third Creation were also cast out of their home in the Realm of Eden.
The Realm of Eternity, forever working to safe guard and protect creation, was the only Realm untouched by the downfall of the Third Creation. In order to prevent the unraveling of all of creation, Angels left the Realm of Eternity to patch up the damaged Realms of Origin, casting barriers around them so that they could heal and reform themselves. This left all those who had been scattered or cast out of their Realm of Origin cut off from the homes and their means of survival.
Seeking to yet save these exiles and refugees, the Angels and agents of the First Creation gathered up all that they could and brought them to the newly formed realms of intermixed spiritual forces. Through their efforts the doom of creation was forestalled, but not without great sacrifice. Many among the First Creation gave up their eternal lives in order to save so many others, spending to long outside of their native Realm and ceasing to exist all together.
While these new realms were in great turmoil and conflict from the opposing powers at work throughout them, the presence of a piece of each Realm of Origin meant that most beings could survive, if not thrive in their new homes. Among them, carrying with them the disastrous knowledge of their own souls the Third Creation had no choice but to inhabit these dangerous new realms, tame them, and make them their own.
By the subversive schemes of the Demons and the foolishness of the Third Creation, the harmony of the three part Creation was forever marred, ensuring that all creation would experience hardship and strife. Because of this, the new home of the Third Creation became known as the Realm of Strife.
The War of Souls
However, the Demons were not content with the destruction and suffering they had wrought. Despite their evil schemes, they were still trapped within the Realm of Abominations, left to eternally covet the Soul of the Third Creation. So they continued to reach out with their Spirits, and through deception and manipulation, the Demons convinced some among the Third Creation to willingly offer their souls to the demons.
As souls were secured and drawn into the Realm of Abominations, some among the Demons discovered that they could use the power of these Souls to subvert the laws of Creation and escape their prison in physical form. This allowed them to not only move throughout the Realms of Origin once again, but also to walk upon the Realm of Strife that they had helped create.
At first they remained cautious and hid their presence, lest the Realm of Eternity discover they had found a means to escape their prison. But as more and more souls were acquired, the demons sought to gain a foothold, to allow them to further corrupt the Third Creation. In doing so they amassed a vast army of Demons, freed from the Realm of Abominations, with the goal of eventually possessing the Soul of Creation for themselves.
With their armies growing so large, the Demons were no longer able to hide their presence. The Realm of Eternity responded in force, striking out against the Demonic armies and thwarting them at every turn. The Demons were no match for the Forces of Eternity once roused to war. However, victory was not assured. Unlike the Demons, the Angels and their forces could not remain in battle indefinitely, having to retreat back to the Realm of Eternity periodically in order to retain their numbers. This constant ebb and flow of victory and retreat birthed a perpetual conflict, an eternal struggle between Angel and Demon.
The War of Souls, as it is now known, continues to this day. A brutal and unending war, fought over the very Souls of the Third Creation. However distant and far off that conflict may be, you remain caught up in the middle. You have no option but to live out your life; hero or villain, champion or scoundrel, Ally of Angels or Thrall of the Enemy. This is the Realm of Strife.
“The body is the substance, the spirit is the conduit, and the soul is the prize for which all of Hell wages its sinister war.”