The Birth of Violence
Humans have always believed that it is bad luck to bring a new cradle into the house before the birth of the baby. This belief stems from the birth of Roch, god of Strife and Violence, which happened thus:
Sharess, goddess of love, lust and beauty, was punished for betraying her father, Torodin, by being banished from the company of immortals for a full century. While her father served his sentence of slavery in the Abyss, Sharess wandered the earth, lonely and weeping.
Seven decades passed, and the young goddess took comfort among mortals when she could. But their life spans went by so quickly, that Sharess found their company only brought her grief. She grew attached to these mortals, and grieved at their passing. Eventually, Sharess came to spend much of her time alone.
When Athelstan´s imps reported how vulnerable the beautiful goddess had become, the god of suffering was quick to take advantage of the situation. Athelstan mounted one of his nightmares and rode to the quiet glade in which Sharess sat crying. The goddess had buried her face in her arms, and was unaware of the evil god´s presence until he seized her by the hair and cruelly pulled her to her feet.
Sharess struggled to free herself, but Athelstan was much too strong. Laughing, he ripped off her clothes and threw her to the ground, preparing to ravish her.
The goddess of beauty thought she was doomed to suffer the same fate as her mother. Then the shadows around them suddenly deepened, and Torodin appeared.
"Father!" Sharess cried, believing she was saved.
Angry that Torodin would try to ruin his fun, Athelstan grabbed Sharess and held her in his vise-like grip as he turned to glare at the Shadowlord.
"What are you doing here, meddler?"
Torodin´s gaze flickered dispassionately from his teary-eyed daughter to his hated enemy. Sharess felt a chill seize her when she saw not the slightest flicker of affection or sympathy in her father´s eyes.
"Othniel sent me to fetch you," Torodin said calmly. "Your help is needed to create the latest batch of demons - baatezu, I think he´s calling them. Do join us when you´re finished here."
"No!" Sharess cried as her father vanished. "Don´t leave me!"
But Torodin either did not hear her plea, or was unmoved by it. Sharess wept as Athelstan raped her, her tears spilling to form what became known as the Lake of Sorrow.
After Athelstan left, the battered Sharess lay unmoving in the glade as night fell. She knew that she should seek shelter or risk falling prey to the monsters that roamed these woods. But she did not care if she lived or died. Eventually, she fell into a deep slumber.
In this sorry state, she was found by an elf named Niuetei. The compassionate, young elf was moved to tears by the goddess´ plight. He gently picked her up and carried her back to the simple cottage where he lived. There he nursed her night and day.
At last, Sharess awoke. Her grief and pain turned to surprise as she saw the beautiful, wide-eyed elf watching her.
"Greetings, beautiful one. I am Niuetei. You are welcome in my home for as long as you wish to stay."
Sharess, who had not felt welcome anywhere in a long time, burst into tears and embraced Niuetei. The elf held her and whispered endearments in her ear with his beautiful voice.
After many days of this gentle and compassionate treatment, Sharess began to feel like living again. She used her powers to heal herself, and accepted Nieuetei´s offer to share his home.
Soon it became apparent that Sharess was with child. Niuetei was astonished when Sharess burst into tears.
"Do not grieve," he said. "A child is a great joy, especially when that child is born to a mother such as you. The baby will be beauteous and loving, like his mother."
Sharess realized that Niuetei was right. And she also realized that she loved him very much. When she confessed her feelings, the handsome elf admitted to sharing them, and the two were married. Sharess was overjoyed. She felt she would never be lonely again. Her exile would last only twenty more years, which she would spend with her beloved and her child. Afterwards, she was certain that Soltana would grant immortality to Niuetei, if she asked.
As the birth of the child approached, Niuetei grew more and more excited, as if the baby were his very own. He filled the simple cottage with toys and baby blankets. And then he gathered wood from the forest and made a beautiful cradle. Sharess beamed with pride as her husband brought the new cradle inside and placed it by the hearth. She realized happily that her beloved would be a wonderful father.
But alas, that was not to be. Athelstan´s imps had continued to watch Sharess, and they had informed the Torturer that she carried his child. When the baby was born, a beautiful boy with blue eyes and fiery red hair like his mother, Sharess barely had time to hold her son before Athelstan burst into the cottage. He killed Niuetei and sped off with the baby.
Sharess was devastated. Unable to seek help from the other gods, the grief-stricken goddess scoured the world for the next twenty years, searching for her missing son.
On the morning of the last day of her exile she finally found him. Or rather, he found her. Sharess stared in amazement as a flame-haired warrior rode up to her on an enormous red stallion.
"I am Roch," he said. "Your son."
"My baby!" She cried. "Come, embrace your mother."
Roch sneered at her. Raised by his father to be the god of Strife and Violence, he had no use for his mother and her loving ways. He struck her down and rode off, laughing at her tears.
At last, the terrible day ended, and Soltana herself came to fetch her daughter. "Sharess, your exile at last is over. Come home, darling."
Sharess threw herself into her mother´s arms. Weeping, she told Soltana all that had happened. Soltana was horrified, and furious with Torodin for not coming to their daughter´s aid when he had the chance.
Soltana tried to bring back Niuetei, but his spirit was too long departed. In honor of the love he had shown her daughter, Soltana granted the elves many gifts, including a longer life span than humans.
This was small consolation to Sharess, who was horrified that her beloved child had turned out to be so cruel. Soltana comforted her daughter as best she could.
"Come home with me, darling. I know this is a terrible tragedy. But you will have other children, and the joy of raising them. And you will have the memory of your beloved for all eternity."
Sharess did as her mother asked, and found that her words were true. She did have other children, who brought her great joy. But mortals who pass by the Lake of Sorrow say that, on some nights, they can still hear the echo of her tears.