The Book of Ryba



"There were in Heaven in those days rulers of the angels, and the rulers had rulers above them, and in turn, those rulers had rulers over them.
"More than half of the angels of Heaven were women, yet only some of the lowest of the rulers were women; fewer yet of those rulers of rulers were women; and none of the highest rulers were in fact women, nor even the Cherubim nor the Seraphim.
"The angels of Heaven were each like unto gods, and each could throw thunderbolts from a hammer held in her hand; each could travel vast leagues in chariot drawn by fire, either over the ground or through the skies.
"So when it came to pass that the angels of Heaven girded themselves for the battle with the demons of the light, those who were women asked this thing: For what reason do we fight the demons?
"The rulers of the rulers of the angels replied: We fight the demons of the light because they opposeth us.
"And the angels who were women asked again: For what reason do we fight the demons?
"They revere the light of chaos and they opposeth us, responded the Cherubim; and the rulers were sore affronted at the question.
"Still a lower ruler, an angel, yet a woman, bearing the name of Ryba, called for and answer from the Seraphim: the demons seeketh not our lands nor our lives, yet you would sacrifice our children, and our children's children, because the demons are not as we are.
"There can be no peace between angels and demons, not in the firmament of Heaven, not in the white depths of Hell, answered the Seraphim, girding up their loins and clasping unto themselves the swords of the stars that are suns and the dark lances of winter that shatter lands with their chill.
"You declare there can be no peace, when there has been peace, and you cannot yet answer why that peace mayest not continue. Thus persisted Ryba of the angels.
"And the Seraphim and the Cherubim were most wroth, and they gathered unto them all the angels that were men, and the white mists that tell of the truths that are within men and within women, be they angels or mortals. And they encircled all of the angels within the white clouds.
"Yet Ryba and lesser of the angels who were women broke from the circle and gathered themselves, their possessions, and their children unto themselves and unto their chariots, and they departed Heaven in their own way.
"The Cherubim and the Seraphim drew unto themselves all the angels that remained and armed all with the swords of the stars and the lances of winter, and carried destruction and night unto the demons of light.
"Across the suns that are stars, and even through the depths of winter between stars, the remaining angels pursued both the demons of light and the angels who had fled.
"But the demons of light drew unto their own ways and resources and built for themselves the mirror towers of blinding light that dispersed back unto the angels the energies of the swords of the stars and the lances of winter.
"The stars dimmed, and the firmament that contained Heaven and all the stars and even the darkness between stars shook under the powers of the Cherubim and the Seraphim, and the change winds roared across the faces of the waters and blotted out the lights.
"Yet the demons were not dismayed, and mounted into their towers and hurled them against the angels, and again the firmament trembled and tottered, and this time, the stars fell into winter, and Heaven was rent in many places, and smoke that poisoned even the angels rose from that burning, and the Cherubim and the Seraphim, and the host of the angels perished, as did all but the strongest of the demons of light.
"Ryba, the least of the rulers of angels, thus became the last of the rulers, and the angels, having fallen from the stars after the time of the great burning, came unto the Roof of the World, where they gathered the winds for shelter and abided until the winter should lift.
"Yet upon the Roof of the World, as a memory of the fall of the angels, winter yet remains.
"So in that time, Ryba sent forth her people unto the southlands and the western ways, and told them: Remember whence you came, and suffer not any man to lead you, for that is how the angels fell..."
			Book of Ryba
			Canto 1, Section II
			(Original text)

	(The Towers of the Sunset, 69-72)


The walled city that serves as the key to the Westhorns shall not fall nor sleep so long as her ruler holds fast to the Great Keep, and that keep remains girded in three layers of stone.
The fields of Gallos, the groves of Kyphros, and the highlands of Analeria shall support the same great ruler; they shall support that ruler until they are sundered by the mountains of fire.
A man with a sword of white shall lift hills from the earth; he shall set a road of stone down their spine, yet none shall see that road, nor ride it, save the servants of chaos.
From the blackness of the stars shall come one like an ancient angel, building unto himself tools such as those forged by Nylan that first vanquished the reborn masters of light, and he shall be rejected by chaos and by order; neither shall give him refuge.
He shall make a city of black stone in a place where none dwell, north of the sun and east of chaos; and the hand of every person shall be against him; his tools shall prevail and shall anchor the course of order.
Yet chaos will prevail west of the black city, north and south of the sun; and those in white shall serve light and travel the hidden highways; they shall attain richness and every favor for their pleasure.
Those of the black city and in that place where it dwells shall remain girded; their ships shall travel the oceans great and small, and they shall prosper so long as they remain in their land.
For in time, the double sun will wax in the high sky and sunder the servants of light; their towers shall melt like wax upon a forge; and their highways shall be lost; men and women will revile their names, even as seekers quest for the knowledge of light.
Never shall darkness nor light prevail, for one must balance the other; yet many of light will seek to banish darkness, and a multitude shall seek to cloak the light; but the balance will destroy all who seek the full ends of darkness and light.
Then shall a woman rule the parched fields and dry groves of the reformed Kyphros and the highlands of Analeria and the enchanted hillS; and all matters of wonders shall come to pass...
			Book of Ryba
			Canto DL [The Last]
			(Original text)

	(The Magic Engineer, 28-30)


           Never shall darkness nor light prevail, for one must balance the other; yet many of light will seek to banish darkness, and a multitude shall seek to cloak the light; but the balance will destroy all who seek the full ends of darkness and light.
           Then shall a woman rule the parched fields and dry groves of the reformed Kyphros and the highlands of Analeria and the enchanted hills; and all matters of wonders shall come to pass.
           In the fullness of time, both order and chaos shall rise again. Those who seek order shall follow chaos, and those who follow chaos shall seek order, and none shall know which path to tread.
           The sword called knowledge shall be unsheathed, and scholars and soldiers shall both proclaim its virtue and trumpet how it shall bring prosperity out of want, and plenty out of drought. Yet its blade will cut deep into the land and burn into the heavens, and many will turn from its terrors unto their own weapons.
           Terrible indeed shall be those weapons--one shall be like unto the swords of the stars that are suns, and another like unto the lances of winter and yet another like unto the mirrored towers raised by the demons of light.
           Dark ships shall speed upon the water, and destruction shall fall from the heavens, shattering the greatest of walls, and even the weakest of those who bear arms shall strike with the force of firebolts ...
			Book of Ryba
			Canto DL [The Last]
			Original text

	(The Death of Chaos, 144)


           Dark ships shall speed upon the water, and destruction shall fall from the heavens, shattering the greatest of walls, and even the weakest of those who bear arms shall strike with the force of firebolts.
           For every shield shall there be a greater sword, and for every sword, a swifter quarrel to bring it low. For every firebolt shall there be a higher wall of ice, and for every wall of ice, a ladder of fire with which to scale it.
           For every prophet shall come another who says the opposite, and whoever shall offer his words last shall the people follow, and they shall turn one way and then the other, for no road shall offer certainty, nor peace, nor rest. And none shall sleep easy.
           Men and women shall question, and so shall the angels. Yet for every answer shall they find a score more of questions, each with yet a score more answers, until their words and their reason be stopped with words whose meaning escapes even the highest.
           The dark ships shall cover the oceans, thick as sands upon the shores, and they shall come from the end of the earth to the city of black stone, north of the sun and east of chaos.
           Those of the black city will cover their faces and wail loud lamentations, claiming that they had ever stood against chaos, and the dark ships of the sun shall neither heed nor turn from their course.
           And on the shores of truth shall stand those serving neither order nor chaos, yet both, and without trumpets, without firebolts, shall they sow confusion upon the waters.
           From that confusion, shall the dark ships of the sun seek refuge, but neither the mountains no the oceans shall provide succor. Mountains shall be rendered into dust, and oceans shall be burned and boiled, and ashes shall cover all, and chaos shall die ...
			Book of Ryba
			Canto DL [The Last]
			Original text

	(The Death of Chaos, 352)


           From that confusion, shall the dark ships of the sun seek refuge, but neither the mountains no the oceans shall provide succor. Mountains shall be rendered into dust, and oceans shall be burned and boiled, and ashes shall cover all, and chaos shall die.
           Likewise, shall order die, and all manner of changing the way of the world, save through the tools of the hands, and the tools of the tools.
           For, as a woman shall sow, so shall she reap, not as she wishes or would order that seed, but as the sun and the rain see fit, or as the water and nourishment she may bring unto her crops with her own hands.
           Unto each generation shall the tales be passed, of how order and chaos once served, and how tools enhanced that service, and of how, in the end, order and chaos grew to such might as threatened the heavens, and were cast down.
           An, in the fullness of time, it shall come that the children of the angles will fail to heed those words, and come to believe that as one sows, so shall one reap, forgetting that once it was not thus.
           Yet neither order nor chaos shall be vanquished, but each shall sleep unto the generations, gathering powers until, near the end of time, each shall awaken.
			Book of Ryba
			Canto DL [The Last]
			Original text

	(The Death of Chaos, 475-478)


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