De Obscurité et Lumière
by Etienne Suarven Lorneau in Dark Ages
My small attempt to explain some points of Darkness and its counterpart, Light.
An Element above four
As we know, after the Four Elements were ruled, wizards wrought the Fifth Element, the one named Darkness, from which dark hearted beings came. How did these beings come to life? Were such beings summoned from another dimension? Or did the hands of unwise wizards create them?
Darkness, as an element in its raw state, has no form. It is like Fire: can not be touched, has no weight, no defined shape. What separates Darkness from Fire is the way each one is used.
Fire can be used for creation or destruction. Creation, when controlled by a skilled blacksmith, who will use its power to forge the iron and bronze, giving the metal life, shape, meaning. Destruction, when put to use by unskilled, ignorant or evil hands, who will unleash the energy of the Element without any care, letting it free to burn all that can be burned.
Darkness, like Fire, can be controlled; but unlike the latter, not completely. First, because it has no origin like Fire does (a lump of coal or a campfire). Darkness is not tied to any material body, thus making it impossible to raise its strength by adding more of such matter or lower its power by removing some of the nameless matter. This leads to the second reason: there is no way to extinguish it. Water will cause it no damage; Air, as breeze or hurricane, will not cease its existence; Earth, being inert, has no effect on it, nor can it be dissolved in Darkness like in Water to make it impure. However, the element Fire can harm Darkness, as it brings bound within it the power of the Sixth Element, Light. But being the Light bound in Fire not of divine origin, its effects are not as desired, thus most of the times making more harm than good at the end.
Completing the above said, Light of divine origin can, in a way, defeat Darkness. But allow me to remind the readers that by the time the dubhaimid were created, the Sixth Element had not yet been discovered or controlled. Being this so, Darkness was left with no antagonist for long.
Living lack of Light
Upon summoning Darkness, the unwise wizard attempts to mold the lack of Light into a material being. However, having no way to diminish or extinguish the Fifth Element, the wizard frees a power he can not consciously control. What happens, then, is a "self-modeling" by Darkness itself: having its powers free, it takes the first form it finds in its way. And this is the unconscious control of the wizard comes into play. Darkness freed will follow the summoner's mind and become something nearing what he or she had desired, but yet with its own will.
Please allow me to give examples. In the days where war razed the three kingdoms - Finach, Sarnath and Niara -, the summoning of Darkness aimed the raising of the strength of the armies. What the wizards had in mind was the destruction of their neighbors. So the dubhaimid born to this will were monsters of enormous destructive power. These monsters, however, did not always follow the commands of the wizard. This led to the death of many fool casters of weak will.
In the first experiments, though, the wizards did not have a clear idea of what they wanted the dark beings to do or be. Not finding a suitable shape to be born in, Darkness did not survive for long, leaving a dead monstrosity behind and returning to its original, immaterial state.
Some summoners, I should add, used the dubhaimid to other purposes. These dark beings were in fact helpful every now and then, as they did "jobs too hard or too low for humans", as is mentioned in a book from the library of Loures. But being dark in nature, even these dubhaimid had a tendency to turn against their summoners.
A little piece of history to illustrate my dissertation before entering the next part
Free by nature and in great number by human foolishness, the dubhaimid created the underworld, and its ruler Chadul. It is not known if the dark beings adored or served Chadul in any way. It is known, however, that many souls were taken into the third realm, causing Danaan to declare war on the ruler of the underworld. Defeated, Chadul was secluded in his domains. But souls continued to slip into the realm created by the dubhaimid.
A period of reconstruction through conquest began for the newly founded capital of Loures, followed by its fall into darkness. The lineage of shaman empresses somehow made the dubhaimid, who had been secluded in the underworld, struggle for return. History books are contradictory on this subject, but its said that the fourth empress, Ealagad, reunited the now divided kingdoms into a force stronger than the beings of darkness, which caused these latter to seek meanings of resurrection, thus creating monsters even worse than before.
It is said that seven spirits swore to protect Temuair from the Darkness. Battling for a century, the dubhaimid had the advantage, until wizards from Rucesion discovered the Sixth Element: Light. Using it, the beings of Darkness were defeated, and lamps were spread around the cities to hold the dark monsters behind.
Complete contrast... or not?
Is the relation between Light and Darkness like the one between Water and Fire? I would certainly say no. Darkness, as mentioned before, can not be fully controlled, and has a will of its own. It differs greatly, then, from Light itself, not only by being antagonistic to it, but also because Light can be created, controlled and extinguished. I use "created" here in a wide sense. Light can be "summoned", "cast", "ignited". The real creation of Light happened with the creation of the Universe.
How can Light be created? There are many ways. One already mentioned is through Fire. But this light is but a small consequence of Fire, causing more harm than good if not controlled properly, as also said earlier.
Priests invoke Danaan for Light. This Light is used mostly for healing purposes. Elementalists call upon the stormy skies to strike their enemies with lightning. Light in this form, although divine, is too destructive. Some might say that this light is, as in the case of Fire, a consequence of Air and Water, represented as the storm.
As Darkness, Light has no shape in its raw state. As Darkness, it can be summoned. And as Darkness, it is not affected by the four first Elements. But Light has something that Darkness has not. Goddess Danaan gave it to mankind. Danaan, on her turn, was created with the Universe, thus making Light a primordial element. Darkness, on the other hand, as an element, was created by wizards, out of greed and will of conquest and destruction. Darkness does not have a God of its own - Chadul is but the ruler of the underworld, and was not created with the Universe.
Being this so, Light was, since the beginning, "tamed". Danaan controls it, and she would not allow wizards to create beings of Light like they do with Darkness. The commonplace "Light is good, Darkness is bad" does not apply. Light can be used in destructive ways, as it was in the days where Danaan, for some yet unknown reason, would enlighten the greedy - fortunately those days are over, and the greedy have been punished. And the opposite stands true, too. Darkness can be used for good purposes, although not as well, as proved by the already mentioned dubhaimid that did little jobs, thus rivaling with some workers and working animals. But, repeating myself here, Light have Danaan to avoid its bad use; Darkness is free.
Light, a bird in our cages
As it is known, after the Shadow War, our rich cities put lamps around their streets to keep Darkness at bay. These lamps are the objects of discussion in this small chapter. What is the modus operandi of these lamps - how do they work?
One common method is by the use of Fire, which creates light, as said two or three times already. Burning some kind of oil, fire can last for long. However, it produces a large amount of smoke, and would require a large investment in oil and workers to keep the lamps of the whole kingdom lit. This leaves a question: are the lamps of Temuair really based on Fire?
Many suspect the lamps scattered throughout Rucesion and Abel are pieces of Light itself, made into matter. For the time being, I have been unable to tell for sure what they are. Indeed, they last for longer than any oil could burn. And I must add I am yet to see someone setting fire on them. This, however, does not prove the lamps are matter made of Light.
On the other hand, if such lamps are indeed the proof that Light can be made into matter, there is a high probability it could also be made into living beings, just like the dubhaimid. But, repeating myself, Danaan will not allow such a thing to be done, unless in an extreme case, like a full fledged war between mortals and Darkness, in which Darkness has a major advantage. This is so because, if such a thing is possible, once crafted into a living being, even Light could go out of control.
Etienne Suarven Lorneau