Defining sorcery and Earthsong was relatively easy compared to god-fire. With those other forms of magik, I had literally thousands of examples to draw from, directly or via Kandol’s memories. Both of those disciplines, though completely different from one another had one thing in common. They were more science than art and there was a system to how they worked. By the Spires, I even flow charted the mechanics for you!
There is no flow chart for god-fire. God-fire was the divine birthright Thar who was Umbar passed on to his heirs and as such, it was a godly power. How can you expect me, a mere mortal, to describe power that defies description? Okay, I may not be a mere mortal, Tarik never believed I was, but a god? Please! I’m as far from a god as a single cell is from sentient life. I’m a historian. I observe and record, that’s it. I wield no power beyond that of my pen.
The gods of Sangrithar were another matter entirely. Make no mistake about it, they were true gods. They may have draped themselves in familiar guises, and frolicked with Elder Races in the Elvetur, and loved and laughed just as you or I, but for all their familiarity, they were neither human nor Elder Race, they were gods and wielded power too great for any mortal. Even Kandol, who many thought god-like in his power (including yours truly), held but a fraction of a god’s power, though at the end when armed with Caerycal, he was as much a god as any of them.
God-fire came from Thar who was Umbar and that made it as godly as Moses’ stone tablets or Zeus’s thunderbolts. The first to wield god-fire was Averanda, Thar’s daughter and it didn’t manifest until Thar who was Umbar ascended to the Outermost Heavens with holy Raena. From what I’ve gleaned, it was as big a surprise to her as everyone else. From the moment they were born, it had been obvious that the future queen and her sister possessed greater than your typical villager. They were stronger, smarter and faster and could talk almost from their very first day, though admittedly only to each other for that first year or so. Both were destined for greatness, but even so, no one was expecting anything like god-fire.
How could anyone have predicted it? Sure, everyone in Sangrithar and the outlying areas knew Thar to be special, but not until Sudnar, as Arcanicles, restored his memories did anyone realize that a god had been living amongst them. After that, everything happened rapid-fire. One minute, he was Thar, leader of the free world, or at least the western half of Fanar, the next he was Umbar, Lord of Sea and Storm and then he was gone, baby, gone, as in taking a one way trip back home. The Sangritharians barely had time to know what had hit them before he gave the girls a kiss, waved goodbye and hightailed it back to the Outermost Heavens on a beam of starlight (courtesy of Celetran, it was her way of placating Sudnar, who was none too pleased with her role in Umbar’s long absence).
One of Averanda’s first acts as Queen was finding Rabyn’s lost pearl in Belgrith Harbor and fashioning her throne from it. She did this over Umbar’s initial objections (even the Firmament couldn’t keep Umbar’s fatherly gaze from spying on his daughters), and eventually with his help, as I’ve chronicled elsewhere. What I failed to mention in that other account was the god-fire. It was first seen when Averanda made the Pearl Throne. Had she been armed with just a chisel, the throne might have taken years to carve, but Averanda didn’t need a tool, not with god-fire on her side. After finding the Pearl, her father directed her to the crater. While standing on the bottom and wearing her father’s necklace, lightning flashed down from the Firmament and smote her, but she was unscathed and the god-fire was born. Averanda climbed out of the crater wreathed in blue god-fire and with its help, carved the throne with knives of blue flame in a matter of minutes.
With god-fire, a God-Emperor could accomplish virtually anything. It was only a matter of forming intent and then willing it to be, not unlike the way a Green Lantern uses his ring, but the God-Emperor’s oath, had such been necessary, would have been different. Instead of
In brightest day, in blackest night, No evil shall escape my sight.
Let those who worship evil’s might, Beware my power… Green Lantern’s light!“
It might have gone something like this:
In deepest depths, in bluest sea, nothing shall escape my ire
Let those who doubt my divine right, beware my power, beware god-fire!
No matter the words, the effect was the same. God-fire most often manifested as a halo of blue flames circling the God-Emperor’s head and with it, God-Emperors, and before them Priest-Kings, could make something from nothing, in complete disdain of Einstein’s laws. Limited only by imagination, they could form cloaks of god-fire, giant birds of prey with wings aflame, or fists of fire to pummel their enemies. Unfettered god-fire was strong enough to level mountaintops or raise a tidal wave.
God-fire wasn’t limited to creating physical constructs, it also granted God-Emperors awesome mental abilities. With god-fire, they could invade someone’s mind and lay bare their most secret thoughts. Until the curse struck, these abilities were rarely in evidence, but once shadow corrupted them, they wielded power without reservation, without conscience to guide them. No one could keep anything from the throne except the Lord Wardens, once Harrimin, Hali’s great-great-grandfather, learned how hide his thoughts. House Halvyl kept this trick a closely guarded secret for generations, not sharing it until Hali’s time, when Hali taught Avery the trick just before going into exile. The Seeress was certainly with Hali that day. Had he not shown Avery how to resist the God-Emperor, the resistance would surely have been exposed and the Pearl Throne might not have fallen.
Many confuse the Lord Warden’s compulsion with god-fire, but the two are not the same. God-fire was Thar’s divine inheritance, passed on from Averanda to her heirs. The compulsion was a spell, if you will, cast by Ataryl the First upon his son Halvyl. It might have been the strongest spell ever cast, a spell powerful enough to span generations, but it was just a spell nonetheless, meant to protect the people of Sangrithar and against any abuse of power from the throne. Ataryl had the best of intentions, but magik so strong should not be left untended for so long. The curse perverted his intent, twisting the bond into an instrument of the God-Emperor’s insanity.