The Xenothicon is the holy book of the Valthemian faith. In its original form, it's basically the pages of God's lab notebook. When Valthemus began his tinkering with life algorithms, he kept notes. They were imprinted on scrolls that feel like cloth but are actually fine, woven strands of metal (comityte) that are indestructible. Valthemus had a hand in shaping life throughout the universe, but only actually created the Valthemae, thousands of beings in a wide variety of forms who made many copies of their creator's notes, some more complete than others. A number of these copies came to Earth with some of the Valthemae. The Valthemae interbred with a number of species including many humans. Their descendants are also called Valthemae. Only the Valthemae can read and understand the scrolls of the original Xenothicon. Some human Valthemae (many generations removed from their god-like ancestor) who have tried to read and interpret the Xenothicon have gone mad.
One of the Valthemae, a Persian named Aalquon born in the 1st century CE, was one of the only children of a human to have a complete set of scrolls. As a young man, Aalquon left home and travelled the world seeking other Valthemae to record their stories and learn the true meaning of the Xenothicon. He settled in Rome to prepare a manuscript that would be a useful guide for humans. His considerably more organized version of the Xenothicon that incorporated both Valthemus' original notes -- as well as stories of more practical applications of the knowledge they contained -- was assembled into the Text of Aalquon and was written in the language of the Valthemae. By this time, Aalquon had gained a reputation as a scholar, scientist and prophet and his followers came to be known as Valthemians.
Aalquon became aware of an ancient prehistoric battle between factions of Valthemae concerning the fate of the Earth and the Solar system. The battle was fought with a number of power objects and exotic machines, some of which still turn up on the Farset Peninsula of Western Europe. Some Valthemae wanted to share the life algorithms with the emerging human race, others wanted to keep it a secret only for themselves. Valthemus himself intervened in the conflict and brought it to an uneasy end.
The prophet Aalquon brought together parables and lessons others had gained from their encounters with the Valthemae. In his travels he fathered many, many children, all Valthemae themselves. He was the ultimate deadbeat dad.
Aalquon moved to Alexandria when scholars and followers persuaded him to create a translation of his text that could be read by laypeople. The Alexandrian Translation (in Egyptian) is considered the most accurate translation of the Text of Aalquon since it is believed Aalquon himself was involved in its creation. It is the parent document of all later translations (all of them confusingly referred to as "Xenothicons") starting with the Steppe Translation (in Old Chinese). Other important translations:
The Lake Book - An unabridged, not very accessible version. The first Latin translation. Typically used by scholars and Valthemian priests and priestesses.
The Mountain Book (holy book of the CENTURIATE sect) - A very loose translation that has almost nothing at all to do with Aalquon whom it barely mentions. The Mountain Book is a less than faithful translation of the Text of Aalquon. It is in Latin and was created around the time of Constantine. It focusses on promoting the devine right of kings and nobles and the evils of social climbing. Unlike other translations, the Mountain Book contains a number of prophecies, but only the most devout adherents take them seriously. It was specifically created to turn people off to Valthemianism in hopes they would turn toward Christianity. It became the holy book of the Centuriate sect of the Valthemian Order (there are only a handful of divergent sects). It has become a favorite of despots and dictators the world over since it glorifies a strict, joyless lifestyle for the poor who are to live to support their aristocratic betters. It twists Aalquon's stories into parables on the benefits of deferring to plutocrats and introduces a number of superstitions and rituals. For the wealthy, it offers a version of the "prosperity gospel." It's teachings for increasing your good fortune and invoking the Valthemae are just silly.
The Priestess Prayer Books - First English translation of the Xenothicon. Generally published as eight small volumes of verse and chants for guided meditation, friendly advice, affirmations and motivational stories that focus on clarity of thought and creating success through sharing and synergy. The sisterhood of priestesses, located near medieval Galloway, who assembled the books sacrificed accuracy in the text for accessibility and affordability.
THE STANDARD PRAYER (Aalquon's Invocation)
Adrift, we invoke the wills of the just
I beseech you, aid our cause
Spirits of our ancestors
Spirits of light and creation
Spirits of time and order
Masters of fates
Fosters of destinies
Muses, mind gods and marvels
Custodians of the Secret Sun
Direct us to the ready shore
I beseech you, aid our cause
A I B S S S M F S M C D I
Aalquon was educated in Persia as a youth. He left to walk the world and found work as a servant, a scribe and later as a historian. He saved enough money to travel in more comfort in caravans and on ships (sometimes as a member of the crew). He eventually moved to Egypt and set up a home in Alexandria. He continued to travel, but Alexandria was his base for a number of years. It was the one place where he avoided any romantic liaisons.
I wish you the blessings of the sage spirits
The blessings of the just
The blessings of the kind
The blessings of the watchers of the Secret Sun
May it be heard
It isn't clear how - or even IF - Aalquon died. There are reports (unverified) of people having direct interactions with him as late as the 3rd century indicating he lived for at least 200 years. This would not have been atypical for one of the Valthemae.
Folks trying to scam Centuriates often try to sell fake Aalquon relics.