Hi there guys! Did you enjoy reading Circles of Arven? Hope you all like it. As you all may find out from my profile, I've said before that I may be planning to do an encyclopedia on the world of Arven. Well, here it is right now! :) Pretty glad that this finally came out. The world of Arven, however, was still quite in the phase of planning though, but I promise I'll do my best in introducing the fantasy world known as Arven. Anyway, hope you guys enjoy what I've got to offer!

XXX

Part 1: Lore of the Creator

Overview: This chapter will focus on Irunar and those who are only accountable to him. Mainly, this will cover information on the lore of creation, Irunar, the realm of Arvalond, the Hardis spirits, the seers, the four Elemental Lords and the dragons. Also, I'll be sharing with you guys my inspiration from all these ideas.

Lore of Creation

This was started by the great spirit of Irunar, The Creator, the Past, Present, and the Destiny, which is to come. Through his will, countless worlds were created and one would be the one and only gateway to other worlds and the sole sacred world, which was later known as Arven. The gods of the different worlds were also created, of all, the gods of Arven were fourteen in number. Later, one named Mylor would betray them and be defeated and thrown down to the Abyss. After that, a new god named Hiram took over as one of the gods. A new spiritual race called the Hardis was also created to aid the gods and the gods set to create the mortal races of Arven. However, the earth of Arven was marred due to the war the gods have with the betrayer, and thus, the mortal races, which were created by the gods, possessed a physical flaw or another. After that, the gods, knowing that once their powers were unleashed in full force again, will unmake the world of Arven, departed from the mortal world and into the realm of Arvalond.

Irunar

As mentioned above, he is the Creator of all the worlds in the universe, the Past, Present and the Destiny to come. In short, he is the one and only omnipotent being in the lore of Arven. But despite his powers, he chose to create the gods and let them have a free rein on the world of Arven. Also, within his will was knowledge of the fate of all the worlds in the universe, for all were under his spirit. Despite some scholars might argue, Irunar actually knew about Mylor's rebellion beforehand since he had planned the fate of all even before the worlds were created. Why the Creator never destroyed Mylor on the spot was actually because through the war with Mylor only can the gods realize that evil can always overcome any individual, even the gods included unless the individual possesses a true will of righteousness. Why would he choose to use this method, no one knows, for all who were under him knew that his thoughts and will was beyond the comprehension of all, even the gods. However, he did impart the knowledge of the past, present and future of the races in Arven to the gods, thus enabling them to know the fate of each and everyone of the mortal races. Despite this fact, Irunar instructed the gods not to reveal anything about the races' fates to them without his orders. This was due to the fact that Irunar wanted to create a world where although every individual's fate is predestined, but by not knowing his fate, one can have the right to fight for what he truly desires and what he think is right. In short, it means that every individual of the mortal races have the right to pursue their beliefs. However, one must know that while the gods knew the fate of Arven in terms of the races, they can't interfere in the affairs of the mortals unless Irunar wills it to be. And even then, they couldn't do so directly for the fear of unleashing their full powers, which may unmake Arven.

Arvalond

This is also known as the Realm of the Gods. And indeed this is where the gods resided after the creation of the mortal races. One thing to note about this world is that its boundaries are that of no limits. When Irunar created Arvalond, it is not only meant for the gods and Hardis spirits, but also that of the souls of those who worshipped the gods too, thus the extent of Arvalond, for it is more of a Plane of existence than a real world with boundaries.

The Hardis

They are the spirits created by Irunar to aid the gods in overseeing the world of Arven. Unto each god, five of them are bestowed. In short, how many Hardis spirits are in the realms of Arvalond is just a simple matter of mathematics. (i.e. Fourteen times five) Also, although they assume a certain form in Arvalond like the gods, they may assume other forms whenever they visit the mortal realm of Arven.

The Four Elemental Lords

There are four of the Hardis, however, who are not bound by the gods, but to Irunar himself. They are the four Elemental Lords who are bonded by the elements of nature.

Bonding

By his will, the Elemental Lords may bond themselves with any of the individuals in Arven through the soul, but the choice of individual must be done with extreme care, for the bonding is for life until death by the will of the Creator. Also, the individual cannot be bonded by more than one Elemental Lord and the power displayed by the Elemental Lord in Arven must be limited by the extent of the chosen one's willpower.

Introduction of the Elemental Lords

Titan

He is the Elemental Lord of the Earth and the leader of the four. He is wise in thinking. Of all the four Lords, he possesses the greatest compassion. Whenever he appears, he will assume the form of a muscular humanoid with his torso naked and short spiked hair. When he chooses an individual to bond with, he will go according the extent of the individual's wisdom above everything else.

Leviathan

The Lord of Water is also known in the lore of magic as the Wyrm Lord, for his chosen form is that of a dragon with a serpent's body. His nature is that of being most calm of the four. Of the four Lords, he possesses the greatest intellect. When he chooses an individual, it will go hand to hand in talent, both in the mind and magic.

Efreet

The Lord of Fire possesses the greatest offensive powers amongst the four. He is the only one going more into the side of impulsiveness. Of all the four, he is the one who believes in using sheer power to destroy evil and he will not hesitate to do that when the chance arrives. When he appears, he assumed the form of a warrior in flames. When he chooses the individual, he will base his judgment on the person's overall prowess in battle and magic.

Djinn

The Lord of Air is an unpredictable individual to say the least. No one except for Irunar really knows what he is exactly thinking until the time he chooses to reveal it. He is the most carefree of the four, detesting restraints and unnecessary rules. He assumes the form of a barefooted dancer whenever he appeared. No one knew exactly how he chooses the individual, except for the fact that personal preference plays a factor.

Seers

The seers are mortals who worship no one except of Irunar. They possess the gift of seeing into the future to a certain extent and are filled with wisdom. No one knew where they came and originated from. Some said that they reside in Arvalond. Others said their abode were somewhere in Arven beyond the reach of all. Irregardless of the theories, one thing can be said about them: They are indeed individuals, who will only appear when the Arven is plunged into unrest.

Dragons

They are the four massive guardians of Arven, which were created by Irunar himself. When the Creator created them, he gave them unparalleled powers in their breath and strength. Immediately after their creation, they were bound to eternal slumber in specific locations until one could break the seal on them by defeating the individual guardian guarding the seal of each dragon. This is due to the fact that the dragons' powers were beyond the limit of all powers in Arven, for they were indeed the greatest creations made from the earth of Arven. The guardians too, were also Irunar's creations, Hardis spirits, who like the four Elemental Lords, are bound to no one except Irunar. Unlike other races, however, the dragons have no physical flaws, for Irunar shaped the earth that was to be their bodies into perfection, which is the act that only Irunar is capable of. Here's the introduction to the four dragons and their respective guardians:

Ran

He is the blue dragon which resides in the forest realm of Eden. His breath was that of lightning and his guardian's name was Kyren. Ran is a peaceful individual who dislikes violence. However, when he is angered, demise will quickly befall his enemies. Kyren, who is his guardian, is quite the opposite, for he will not hesitate to maul or even kill any intruder who dares to disturb Ran's slumber.

Fafnir

He is the white dragon which took his resting place at the World Spine in the Northlands. His breath was that of frigid cold. His nature was that of a compassionate spirit, who will never hesitate to help others in need whenever possible. Even when he is forced to attack, his breath will freeze his enemies to death in an instant, allowing them to die as painlessly as possible. His guardian is Niriel, who also shares the same compassion as he does.

Vulcan

He is the red dragon taking his slumber in the mountains of Morania, the first homeland of the dwarves. His breath was that of destructive fire, devouring everything in its path. He is an individual who can be easily riled and has a short temper as well. Once he is angered, he will not hesitate to destroy his enemies and even everything around them. He is, however, extremely loyal to Irunar and should the Creator sent down any orders, he will be sure to obey without question. His guardian is Kahei, who not only act as his guardian, but also as someone who can keep Vulcan's outburst in check as well.

Gwyren

He is the golden dragon and leader of the four. His breath was that of blinding light, which can destroy all forms of evil. His abode was in Mount Synous, the sacred mountain of the Valia, the holy kingdom. He is wise in nature and whenever possible, will interfere in the affairs of the mortal races if the need arises. He is also slow to anger, being the most patient of the four. His guardian is Tydan, who also share his wisdom and patience.

Author's talk in the inspiration behind the scenes

Ok, first things first, I believe the so-called "Lore of Creation" had been covered in the prologue. Only reason I put it here again is because I think it would be a bit strange if I don't do it despite the fact that it's already shown in the prologue. Note that this kind of circumstances may repeat again depending on the nature of the chapter.

Now on with my inspiration… concerning the creation theory, I planned to take some references from Genesis of the Bible. This idea came to me when I saw how Tolkien made his creation theory. Of course I can't just take that down and put it here, thus I've put some twists of my own. But all in all, yeah, you guys are right when you all think it's similar to Silmarillion since I believe both my creation theory and Tolkien's stem from the Bible. Another thing I'll have to tell you guys is that Circles of Arven is written from my position as a Christian fantasy fan. Thus, I will want to make it as a work that draws a certain line between good and evil. Of course like I've said, I stemmed my creation theory from Genesis. On a side note, the mortal races possessing a physical flaw or two like other fantasy works had my own twists in the nature of the earth they were created from. (i.e. it was marred by the time the gods decided to create them from it. The lore of creation here and the prologue said it quite clearly if you remember.) It was actually meant as a logical explanation to the different flaws of each individual race.

Of course I'm not comparing myself with him since IMO, he's the greatest fantasy author ever lived up till now together with C.S. Lewis. No one comes close. Not even RA. Salvatore, who happened to be one of my favorite authors. Just face it, folks, if not for Tolkien's works, there might not be such a thing as "true modern fantasy". Simply put, I do believe that Tolkien was truly the only one, possibly with CS. Lewis as well, to make people truly stand up and took notice of the genre we all now know as "modern fantasy" during his time, which kick-started the whole fantasy craze we all see now. Basically, it's only a simple case of taking my cue from the great man of fantasy himself.

Now onto the second issue, and that is, the concept of Irunar. As I've said before, I took my inspiration from the Bible. When I decided on the concept of Irunar, the first I wanted to do is to make him as an omnipotent being, just like the Christian God. But at the same time, I want the gods to take centre stage at least where general worship is concern. That's why you guys get to see that the only mortals who worshipped Irunar are the seers.

For the concept of the so-called "destiny of all", I wanted to do it the Christian way as well. Then later, I pondered on the details of the whole concept. Basically, I wanted to make the concept as that in Arven, individuals are given a free choice in their lives, but at the same time, the gods knew what was coming for them. It's basically like the person has a choice to make in his life, but at the same time, the gods already knew what his choice was. Of course the issue on the gods unable to interfere in a general term was made to prevent any form of paradox that you guys may raise. But then again, I'm not sure how well I did that, so there may still be some paradox in the whole concept. :(

Concerning the idea of Hardis, I can only say it really comes from Silmarillion. As for the limit in numbers, I'm doing it just because it will make things easier IMO.

For the concept of the seers, I got the inspiration from the Bible as well where prophets are concerned. I really planned to create a group of people who act according to the Creator and relay his messages, prophecies and guidance.

As for Arvalond, it's an inspiration from Silmarillion as well in the form of the Undying Lands. Those who knew about Tolkien's works will know what I mean. But at the same time, the Christian heaven also plays a part. I really wanted to make Arvalond as a place where not only the gods and Hardis reside, but also that of the souls who died with their worship in a particular god for all times. Thus my idea of making it as a borderless plane of existence since if there are border limits, I find it hard for me to do the whole population containment concept.

For the concept of the Elemental Lords, it came out of my mind while brainstorming on the whole background issue. I planned to make some sort of elemental race(s) during the initial stages and that was what set the ball rolling. The first two names I had come up with were Efreet and Djinn since it's very easy to think up of their names whenever air and fire elementals are involved. Also, the shamanistic magic in the anime series Record of the Lodoss War played a part as well. The water and earth part were slightly more difficult. Finally, I settled on Titan for Earth and Leviathan for Water. Don't ask me how I came up with them. I just thought of it in the spur of the moment at that time. As for personalities wise, I'm just putting in human nature associated with these elements in my opinion. i.e. Earth means wisdom and compassion (Ok, guys, laugh all you want. I know the issue of earthquake is anything but compassionate), Water means calmness, Fire means aggressiveness and Air being unpredictability and freedom. One interesting thing that I've remembered is the outlook of Djinn and Leviathan. I'll have to say that the inspiration came from the air and water elementals in the D&D arcade game that came out a long time ago made by TRS and Capcom. One thing to note about the bonding issue is that I don't plan it to be something like making a pact. It sounds a bit satanic to me. Oo That's when I made it in such a way that it was a bonding rather than making a pact. An interesting part in the bonding is that it is based on the soul above everything. This is because I wanted to associate the bonding with the spiritual side rather than power. Also, the power of the Elemental Lords got to have a limit, right? That's where the willpower concept came up since I think that's the best way to do it after what I've decide on the nature of bonding. After all, these four guys are top tiered Hardis spirits in terms of power. :D

Lastly are the dragons. First thing I wanted to do with them was to make them as the good guys. I've seen a good number of fantasy works making them out to be baddies, trust me on that. So I decided to turn things around my own way that you've seen right now, which is their alignment. For the number of them, I don't want to make too many of them after much consideration, thus I've done only four. Originally, I decided to make a race with a certain number, but given their powers, I think that may screw the power balance storyline wise. Mainly the inspiration came from Record of Lodoss War and Warcraft. The slumber idea comes from the former, by the way. As for the concept of guardian, that was also an idea that came at the spur of the moment since I think someone's GOT to protect them when they're defenseless, right? Something worth mentioning is that I planned to add in a black dragon which was evil. But I soon scrapped the idea because I wasn't prepared for any storyline complications coming from it. For the personality concept, I decided to keep it simple. I planned to make Ran as a violence hater because I think it would be interesting to make one of this nature in a world of conflict like Arven. For Fafnir, his personality inspiration also stemmed from the same case. Vulcan… well, I guess it's a generic red dragon temperament. Gwyren, of course, is the leader, thus he should be the one with the greatest wisdom, which is pretty much the case for Titan as well. As for the nature of their breath, Ran is a classic blue dragon in D&D, Fafnir also being a classic dragon in D&D as well, being a white one. Vulcan the red… well, you guys should get the picture. Gwyren's breath came from Mycen of the Record of Lodoss War. (Again! Well, it seems I've been watching too much fantasy anime… XD) On a side note, those who are suckers for Norse mythology will know that the name Fafnir comes from the name of the dragon slain by the Norse hero Siegfried.

Well, with that, I guess this chapter's at an end. Hopefully, you guys like what I've presented for you.

XXX

Whew! After so long of waiting, it's finally done! Anyway, I dunno if you guys are satisfied with what I've got here, but hopefully, you all will like it. Anyway, R&R please!

P.S: If you are a new reviewer in terms of all my stories, I truly hope that you can review Circles of Arven as well since it goes hand in hand with this encyclopedia. Well, sort of at least… of course I'll be more than happy if you want to review the rest of my stories as well. :D