Empires of Glory – The First Gift
The second in a series from Curtis Baum. The first Empires of Glory – Mythology – The Creation can be read here.
When Pyren and Wenin saw what their sister, Menea, had created they sought her aid in bringing their creations to life. Menea saw beauty in both of her brothers creations, but wanted to see what they would do with a living creature. She gave both of them a simple pigeon and asked them to change the bird into the most beautiful thing they could imagine.
Pyren took the small bird to his realm, the Disc of Light. He looked at the marble statues and grand columns that he had created. He considered the purity of his creations and the brilliance of the light that filled his domain. He held the pigeon in his hands and purified the gray coloring, cleansing it (in his eyes) of imperfection. When he was finished, he held a white dove in his hands. The dove, however, did not have food and eventually perished. Pyren was horrified with his lack of understanding of life and death.
Wenin took his pigeon back to his Pit of Suffering. Unlike Pyren, Wenin knew death very well. His version of beauty was a creature that not only survived but thrived when other creatures perished. Wenin took the pigeon and tortured it until it had lost most of the feathers around its head. He replaced the desire for seed with a desire for flesh. Wenin turned the pigeon into the first vulture and was proud that he had created something that could feed on the death and decay of other creatures.
When the gods returned to Menea to reveal what they had done, Wenin went first. His vulture, perched on his shoulder, searched around for carrion to feed upon, but found none. Menea was intrigued, but asked Pyren what he had created. Pyren held out his lifeless white dove, tears in his eyes for having not been able to keep it alive.
Wenin’s vulture swooped from his shoulder, plucking the dove from Pyren’s hands. Pyren and Menea both looked on in horror as the vulture devoured the dead dove. Pyren, in agony, collapsed to his knees. Wenin was filled with pride at his creation and couldn’t understand why his brother and sister were not equally impressed.
Menea took another pigeon and placed it in Pyren’s hands. She gently asked him to create another dove. Pyren choked back his tears and formed another dove for his sister. Menea had made her decision and agreed to help Pyren create a grand world on which they would place their creations. Wenin was furious that Menea had agreed to help his brother. As he left the Well of Life, he vowed vengeance.