The world, full of carnal, selfish beings.
The heavens, home to the gods who created them.
A delicate balance, in which hung the existence of all. The gods, living, watching, and man below. The gods did nothing to affect the lives of man, for intervention would bring weakness and instability. Humankind must learn, and to do so they must experience existence. And so the gods above watched, curious and trusting. Man would learn, in time.
Then came Taeril. A god who despised man and their weak state. He looked down in dissatisfaction at the way they lived, and beheld his own power, so much greater than theirs.
Reaching out with his near infinite power, Taeril touched the hearts of man. He could feel their souls, glowing subtly with their puny slivers of god-power. And he twisted the good in them, satisfaction mingling with alarm as he saw his power over them.
The results of his tampering were miniscule. The man Taeril had touched was corrupted, and he lashed out in pain and confusion, attacking those around him. One man was killed. One out of billions.
Taeril tried again, this time establishing a smaller connection with their souls. Then, feeling his god-power glowing within, he gave a portion to man. Their souls flared with life, and Taeril knew they had tasted of godhood.
The power he had given stayed within them, glowing brightly.
The select few who he had chosen reacted well to the gift. They did not attack, they did not harm other men. They had seen infinity, and the glimpse of eternity had granted them a greater understanding of life.
They saw that their fellow man was weak, and to provide the correct way—the strong way—to live, the god-men became the rulers of man. They would provide a way to live, a stronger way.
The other gods saw the rulers, these god-men, and knew something had changed.
They knew that Taeril had interfered, and that he had forever changed the history of man. They ordered him to change the souls back, to break the connection he had created.
Taeril refused. He had made man better, stronger. He had set a plan in motion that would move faster, accomplish more. And he would not ruin what he had made.
The other gods chastised him severely. A punishment would soon follow, if he would not take back his power. Still, Taeril refused to ruin his creations.
The gods met in council, and decided on one course of action. If they took Taeril’s god-power from him, the connection would be no more. His power would leave the hearts of men, and humanity would return to what they had been.
A small number of gods sympathetic to Taeril heard of this plan, and warned him. In preparation of this, he learned how to preserve a small part, tucking it away where even the strongest gods would be unable to reach. In the recesses of his heart, Taeril hid a small part of his god-power.
So the gods stripped him of his power, casting him out, sending him to the world of man. With him went the other gods loyal to him. Their power was taken completely, while Taeril’s god-power was only diminished greatly. And what remained of it was nothing but evil. A corrupted mass of power—bright, yes— but glowing a deep unnatural red. The separation from the god-place changed the power, and so it changed the bond with humanity.
It changed man’s power to match Taeril’s own. They became corrupted like him, ruling the people with power, intelligence, and cold cruelty. The world seemed to cry out to the gods, asking to know why these things were happening.
The gods above turned a deaf ear. They would not intervene again. Not like him.
They felt inexpressible fury. Taeril had outsmarted them, but now they could no more change his link with humanity than they could destroy the god-place in which they dwelt.
The fallen god’s connection to man remained, an evil token reminding all of the power wielded by the gods.
And even now, the ripples of Taeril’s actions still move forward. Though time has passed, his actions will not be forgotten. He was the one who threw the world into chaos. The one who destroyed the long-held peace they had built. Years will pass, and still men and women will teach their children to hate him.
He changed their lives forever.
And mankind will not forget.
Author Notes: This was inspired by a thought I had one day: Most of us think that WE have it right. We usually have good intentions at heart. Our definition of "right" is built by our beliefs and traditions, and we sometimes need a reminder that the people we interact with may also believe that they are right.