The books were piled high on the desk, tucked deep in the recesses of the Archive's library. There were no candles allowed this close to such precious works, so the words had to be revealed with a special light. It was a small glass ball, emanating a honeyed glow like that of a candle. Muted, small, and unobtrusive. This light didn't flicker.
One of the students, an Apprentice, dropped another arm-load of books on his desk. The impact sent up a plume of dust that had settled on the shelf nearby. He destroyed the sanctum silence with a fit of coughing. A murmured curse and he claimed a seat, pulling open a weathered book. Strangely, the cover retained some of its former glory. White leather, as supple as the day it was made, had been torn and stained in some places. Still soft but tarnished. Bruised and abused. Like many old tomes, this one had made quite a journey until it was in the care of the Archivists.
This student eyed the cover, then the spine. Another curse. There was no name on the book, no title to suggest it may contain what he would have of it. But the faintly gilded pages had caught his attention and, for whatever reason, he had added it to his list of reading material for research.
When he opened it, there was a smashed feather inside. On a page of seemingly random choice, it had been flattened between the pages. On one side were words in an old script. Curious, the student pulled free his notes to decipher the script. It took a moment for the secret to be revealed.
One Without Worth
A curious phrase to own an entire page to itself. But there was a story opposite it. Script so beautifully faded, so rich in its personality, that this particular student decided to take the time to piece the story together. He could use the break, even if it would require more work.
Back before the Gods granted Light dominion over Darkness, at the cradle of creation, there were only the sky and the ocean. A never-ending darkness above the liquid unknown. Before the first humans and elves drew breath and began to harness the world as their own.
There existed angels and demons.
Creatures of the Light and monsters of the Darkness.
The angels were more majestic in this time than they are even now. They provided the light in this dark world. Harbingers of the Divine and a promise of the future the Gods would invest in. They scouted the surface of this eternal ocean so that they might pick the location of the soon to be land - nations - life.
It was their calling. To usher in the birth of the world, that they might guide mortals on the path of the Light.
So begins the fall of the One Without Worth.
When only the light of the angels visited the world, when only their white purity could be seen, he met a creature of the depths.
The Mother of the Depths had not been idle. While the Gods of Light dallied and planned, she birthed all manner of creatures to populate her darkness. Not demons, but creatures of the water. She cradled them in her liquid embrace and would not allow them air, for they were her children. Her creations.
The angels were not meant to know of them.
But he found her.
A Daughter of the Depths.
In this dark world, it was only with the angel's own light that he could begin to see beneath the surface of the oceans. And it was only in this occurrence did the two worlds catch a glimpse of one another. Where his light played over the soft expression of a woman, her deep blue hair framing her just beneath the surface. Her eyes were the purest cyan as she watched, fascinated. Never before had she seen a man of the air.
As he had never seen a woman of the water.
One chance in eternity. A glimpse never meant to happen, slipping through the grasp of Fate.
He would leave her then as the confusion of curiosity would taint his pure spirit.
And she would watch helplessly as the light of him would leave her.
In the coming time, unmarked by passage but flowing never the less, the sight of her would plague his mind. Idle curiosity as damning as the first Sin itself.
And she would look for him. Traveling the endless surface of her world, on the cusp of a realm she knew nothing of and could not experience herself. The Mother of the Depths would not grant her Daughter a moment of the air.
They would meet again. His light called to her like no other angel's and he would stay, to look upon the face of someone he did not know but could not cease thinking of.
That an angel would show such interest in anything other than their calling, than the Divine, was blasphemous. But this in in an age where the Gods were preoccupied with the creation of the World, they did not notice one of their flock starting to stray. Did not see when he hovered over the surface of the Depths, when his light bathed her in splendor, nor when he nearly reached for her.
They did not know his fingers brushed the surface of the Depths and that she reached for him. The Divines could not know what the Mother of the Depths would do. She was a world apart from their own.
And She, in her jealously, stole her Daughter from that moment. Darkness enveloped the Daughter and she was pulled from the surface in front of the angel.
He watched her struggle to him, reaching for a hand that could not save her. Could not help her.
The angel was of the air and she was a child of the Depths.
In that moment, the angel could have left her. He could have forgotten the too-blue eyes of a creature he never should have seen. He could have let slip, through the passage of time, that he had ever thought of someone other than the Divine. He could have lifted himself from the surface of the water and taken his light back to his realm of the Holy and carried out his charge as the Herald of Life and the Dawn of the Mortal.
He could have left her to the Mother of the Depths. To the world she belonged to.
Instead, this Angel of the Light, the son of Air, plunged into the Depths to save her.
He flipped a couple of pages past the last words, finding the rest of the book suspiciously blank. The end of the story was not an end at all, he decided. The student glared down at his translations, furious with himself at the waste of time. Such an interesting tale in such a strange book…and there wasn't even an end!
He mused on the words for a moment, debating whether he would trash the translation, before he decided he'd save someone else the trouble in the future. Let them know, right away, that the story held no real value. Imagine, he thought with a small smile, a time when the world didn't exist and all that existed was light, darkness, and water.
No creation story he'd ever read coincided with this tale. Some errant author must have created it and then, it such an infuriating display, either opted not to finish or never got around to it. The pages of translation were tucked just after the story and the strangely soft book was added to a pile he deemed useless. Books that didn't help in his alchemy research and could otherwise be forgotten as he began sifting through the rest of the pile.
The feather from the book fell from the desk, as forgotten as the story and the angel it was about.