Authors: David Eddings
for Leigh, my beloved wife,
whose hand and thought have touched every page,
and who has joined me in this making - even as she joins me in all that
Being an account of beginnings-and endings
Excerpts from The Book of Torak~
HEAR ME, YE Angaraks, for I am Torak, Lord of Lords and King of Kings. Bow before my Name and worship me with prayers and with sacrifices, for I am your God and I have dominion over all the realms of
the Angaraks. And great shall be my wrath if ye displease me.
I was, before the world was made. I shall be, after the mountains crumble into sand, the seas dwindle to stagnant pools, and the world shrivels and is no more. For I was before time and shall be after.
From the timeless reaches of Infinity, I gazed upon the future. And I beheld that there were two Destinies and that they must rush toward each other from the endless corridors of Eternity. Each Destiny was Absolute, and in that final meeting, all that was divided should be made one. In that instant, all that was, all that is, and all that was yet to be should be gathered into one Purpose.
#Editor's Note: This version, said to be from the dread Book of Torak, is one of several circulated among the Nadraks. Since only the high Grolims were permitted official copies of the work, it is impossible to establish that this version is authentic, though internal evidence suggests that much of it may be. A true copy of the complete Book of Torak is believed to be in the library of King Anheg of Cherek, but this was not available for comparison.
And because of my Vision, I led my six brothers to join hands to make all that is, in fulfillment of the needs of the Destinies. Thus we set the moon and the sun in their courses and we brought forth this world. We covered the world with forests and grasses and made beasts, fowls, and fishes to fill the lands and skies and waters which we had made.
But our Father took no joy in this creation which I had caused to be. He turned his face from our labor to contemplate the Absolute. I went alone into the high places of Korim, which are no more, and I cried out to him to accept what I had made. But he rejected the work I had caused to be and turned from me. Then I hardened my heart against him and went down from that place, fatherless evermore.
Once more I counseled my brothers, and we joined our hands and brought forth man to be the instrument of our will. We created man as many peoples. And to each people, we gave a choice to select among us the one who should be their God. And the peoples chose from us, save only that no people chose Aldur, who was ever contrary and discontented that we would not grant him dominion. Then Aldur withdrew himself from among us and sought to entice our servants away from us with enchantments. But few were they who accepted him.
The peoples who were mine called themselves the Angaraks. I was well pleased with them and I led them to the high places of Korim, which are no more, and to them I revealed the nature of the Purpose for which I had caused the world to be.
Then they worshipped me with prayers and offered burnt offerings unto me. And I blessed them, and they prospered and grew numerous. In their gratitude they raised up an altar to me and there made sacrifice to me of their fairest maidens and a portion of their bravest youths. And I was well pleased with them and again I blessed them, so that they prospered above all other men and multiplied exceedingly.
Now the heart of Aldur was filled with envy for the worship that was given to me, and he was driven with despite for me. Then did he conspire against me within the secret places of his soul, and he took up a stone and breathed life into it, that it might thwart my Purpose. And in that stone he sought to gain dominion over me. Thus Cthrag Yaska came to be. And there was eternal enmity sealed within Cthrag Yaska against me. And Aldur sat apart with those whom he called his disciples and plotted how the stone should give him dominion.
I saw that the accursed stone had divided Aldur from me and from his other brothers. And I went to Aldur and remonstrated with him, begging that he lift the wicked enchantment from the stone and take back the life he had breathed into it. This I did that Aldur might no longer be divided from his brothers. Yea, I did even weep and abase myself before him.
But already the evil stone had gained possession over the soul of Aldur, and he had hardened his heart against me. And I saw then that the stone which Aldur had created would forever hold my brother in thralldom. And he spoke slightingly to me and would have driven me forth.
Then for the love I bore him and to save him from the evil course which my Vision revealed, I struck my brother Aldur down and took from him the accursed rock. And I bore Cthrag Yaska away to bend my will upon it and to still the malice within it and quell the wickedness for which it was created. So it was that I took the burden of the thing which Aldur had created upon myself.
Aldur was wroth with me. He went to our brothers and spoke to them falsely against me. And each of them came to me and spoke slightingly to me, commanding that I return to Aldur that which had twisted his soul and which I had taken to free him from the enchantment of it. But I resisted.
Then they girded for war. The sky was blackened with the smoke of their forges as their peoples beat out weapons of iron to spill the blood of my Angaraks upon the ground. When the year turned, their hosts marched forth and onto the lands of the Angaraks. And my brothers loomed tall in the forefront of the hosts.
Now was I greatly loath to lift my hand against them. Yet I could not permit that they should despoil the lands of my people or loose the blood of those who worshipped me. And I knew that from such war between my brothers and me could come only evil. In that struggle, the Destinies I had seen might be sent against each other before it was time, and the universe be shaken apart in that meeting.
And so I chose that which I feared, but which was less evil than the danger I foresaw. I took up the accursed Cthrag Yaska and raised it against the earth itself. And in me lay the Purpose of one Destiny, while the Purpose of the other was affixed within the stone Aldur had created. The weight of all that was or will be was upon us, and the earth could not bear our weight. Then did her mantle rend asunder before me, and the sea rushed in to drown the dry land. Thus were the peoples separated one from the other, that they might not come upon each other and their blood be spilled.
But such was the malice which Aldur had wrought within the stone that it smote me with fire as I raised it to divide the world and prevent evil bloodshed. Even as I spoke the commands unto it, it burst into dreadful fire and smote me. The hand with which I held it was consumed and the eye with which I beheld it was blinded. One half of my face was marred by its burning. And I, who had been the fairest among my brothers, was now abhorrent to the eyes of all, and I must cover my face with a living mask of steel, lest they shun me.
An agony filled me from the evil that was done me, and pain lived within me, which could never be quenched until the foul stone could be freed of its evil and could repent of its malice.
But the dark sea stood between my people and those who would come against them, and my enemies fled in terror of that which I had done. Yea, even my brothers fled from the world which we had made, for they dared no longer come against me. Yet still did they conspire with their followers in spirit form.
Then I bore my people away to the wastelands of Mallorea and there caused them to build a mighty city on a sheltered place. They named it Cthol Mishrak, as a remembrance of the suffering I had undergone for them. And I concealed their city with a cloud that should ever be above it.
Then I had a cask of iron forged, and in it I bound Cthrag Yaska, that the evil stone should never again be free to unleash its power to destroy flesh. For a thousand years and still another thousand years I labored, contending with the stone that I might release the curse of malice which Aldur had laid upon it. Great were the enchantments and words of power which I cast at the obdurate stone, but still its evil fire burned when I came near to it, and I felt its curse lying ever upon the world.
Then Belar, youngest and most rash of my brothers, conspired against me with Aldur, who still bore hatred and jealousy within his soul toward me. And Belar spoke in spirit to his uncouth people, the Alorns, and set them against me. The spirit of Aldur sent Belgarath, the disciple in whom he had most wholly instilled his despite, to join with them. And the foul counsel of Belgarath prevailed upon Cherek, chief of the Alorns, and upon his three sons.
By evil sorcery, they passed the barrier of the sea I had caused to be and they came like thieves in the night to the city of Cthol Mishrak. By stealth and low cunning, they crept through my tower of iron and made their way to the chest that held the evil stone.
The youngest son of Cherek, whom men called Riva Iron-grip, had been so woven about with spells and enchantments that he could take up the accursed stone and not perish. And they fled with it to the west.
With the warriors of my people I pursued them, that the curse of Cthrag Yaska not again be loosed upon the land. But the one called Riva raised the stone and loosed its evil fire upon my people. Thus the thieves escaped, bearing the evil of the stone with them into their lands of the west.
Then I pulled down the mighty city of Cthol Mishrak, that my people must flee from its ruins. And I divided the Angaraks into tribes. The Nadraks I set in the north to guard the ways in which the thieves had come. The Thulls, broad of back for the bearing of burdens, I set in the middle lands. The Murgos, fiercest of my people, I sent to the south. And the most numerous I kept with me in Mallorea, to serve me and multiply against a day when I should have need of an army against the west.