Light and darkness had struggled for dominion over Vúnyeðel, and darkness prevailed. During all this time of his struggling, Vúnyeðel had not turned to Áronyeh for wisdom. After his parents’ fall, he had set aside his orlôav in grief, taking it back up on occasion but usually leaving it on his bed. It had become uncomfortable as his thoughts had turned gloomily to Arah’s destruction. So far had his mind parted from it, that the thought of carrying it with him to talk to the tree had not even occurred to him. And as he had left the stone, the stone left him and did not follow him.
And now the eldest son of Rayôn carried the elixir he had made by the direction of the tree, intent on contaminating his father’s food with it, and once and for all preventing the evil which would come from his father’s seed. The thought came to him that he should have had his orlôav with him before deciding to heed the oak, but he pushed the thought out of his mind immediately. The orlôav wouldn’t understand, he thought; its judgment would be too simplistic, as mine was at first, and it would not realize that this is necessary to prevent a greater evil. With such thoughts Vúnyeðel suppressed his conscience and hurried on his way.
Meanwhile, Shereynah sat weeping in her house. Her husband, her companion, her beloved brother had fallen. She had not seen it, but Áronyeh had, and he came and told her. Áronyeh held her, and gave her strength. “You must now come with me to confront him,” he said.
And so it was, as he approached the house of his parents, that Vúnyeðel suddenly saw Shereynah before him, her face still wet with tears. Her eyes spoke all – Vúnyeðel realized she knew what he was doing and she thought it was evil. Pride welled within him, and for the first time in his life he felt anger at his wife. But before he could say a word to her, Áronyeh stood before him, and Vúnyeðel cried out and fell on his face before his maker. He knew he was guilty, and he shook in fear. Áronyeh’s warnings came back to him:
Take care that you do not let yourself trust in the strength of your own wisdom, for your wisdom is my wisdom, and if you sever it from me it will become folly.
Vúnyeðel wailed and sobbed in grief. How long he writhed there, he did not know. Áronyeh said not a word – he had no need to.
Vúnyeðel knew he must die, and the torment in his soul was great. Kill me quickly, Lord, he thought. Then, he felt Shereynah by his side. “My Lord,” she said, “Please have mercy on him and forgive him!”
“This I have done,” said Áronyeh. “I see his remorse for what he was about to do, and I have forgiven him. Here this, Vúnyeðel: you shall not die now. Yet you have acted wickedly as your father and mother did, and so you shall join them as they wait for their death and their salvation. Behold! The promised one, who I shall send, who shall redeem you and your parents, will be a seed of your father’s children who have yet to be born, the seed you were determined to destroy forever.
“I gave you the task of preserving this world from the evil that would be inflicted upon it. Behold, Vúnyeðel, this task is still yours: but now, because of the evil intentions in your heart, you will see defeat; your efforts will not always meet success. Your seed will be few, and shall not be numbered as the sons of your father. You will endure much pain, and many of your sons will turn against you. And one day you shall die, even as your parents.”
To Shereynah, Áronyeh said, “This land will now be filled with evil, and if you remain in it you will see much sorrow; even though you are guiltless, you will suffer much with your husband, and even he himself will be a source of grief to you. If you desire, I will spare you from it, and take you away to the land where I sent Qeylen, where you will be comforted and live in peace.”
Shereynah stood, and lifted her husband with her. Tears still in her eyes, she shook her head and spoke. “My Lord Áronyeh, if it pleases you, I will remain. My place is with Vúnyeðel. I will be faithful to him and stand by his side, and I will nourish him and comfort him while he remains, whatever the cost may be for me.”
Áronyeh said, “This pleases me; you have chosen rightly to remain. Behold, Shereynah, you are blessed; for your sake, although he will die, Vúnyeðel will live long and not whither, but pass when his time comes, and so it shall be with all your seed – but the seed in your womb, who was conceived in Vúnyeðel’s righteousness –if he remains faithful he shall live, even as you live, and not die, until the day I come for him even as I shall come for you.
“And for your sake, Shereynah, the seed which you have yet to conceive to Vúnyeðel, though marred with his wrong, will continue to be a light to the sons of Rayon; a day will come when many will fall away, but for your sake I shall keep a remnant, and they shall walk in my ways.”
Then Áronyeh made a sign to set apart Vúnyeðel and his seed from the seed of Rayôn, and he set this mark on the ears of Vúnyeðel and Shereynah.
Thus, Vúnyeðel fell, but was blessed by his wife Shereynah and comforted by her. He had marred himself with wickedness, and was no longer as good to her as he once was. He was broken. Often he sat and wept over what he had done, but Shereynah would hold him and tell him that she loved him, and would sing to him of Áronyeh’s promise to redeem him. Thus she comforted him.
Vúnyeðel went to the tree that had urged him to do what was wrong. It was dead – its branches were broken, its trunk was split in two, its wood was dry and its leaves had crumbled to dust. Vúnyeðel realized that it had not been the tree that spoke to him – it had been Ordéash, or one of his servants of darkness, hidden inside and impressing his thoughts. This being must have killed the tree as well. He shuddered, and wept; he wept for the tree, and he wept for his foolishness in not bringing his stone with him. His stone, which was now dead – empty and void of light, as were the stones of his parents, which Ordéash had taken. The same stones Durfil was trying to recover – O, Durfil! thought Vúnyeðel. Why did you leave? Ordéash is too mighty for you! The stones, they are dead! Dead! It is vain! They are lost, lost! Lost forever. Do not be foolish! Do not fall as I have!
After these things, Vúnyeðel brought himself to speak again to his parents; now it was he who hung his head in shame before them. Rayôn and Qeyrah embraced their son and wept, and they were restored to each other. It was bittersweet – that out of such evil, their relationship was restored.
After months had passed, the time came for Shereynah to deliver and she gave birth to a son. She and Vúnyeðel named him, “Élonel,” meaning, “The Mighty One is good.”