In the deeps of the Void sat a single being, with no visible form though much presence was felt. He was Eru, the One, called Ilúvatar All-Father by the Elves his children. Along he was, in his Timeless Hall. It was vast and indescribable for I have not seen it, but silence was the only sound. Yet Eru yearned for company, and long he contemplated his loneliness.
"Lo! I will give form and free will to those who shall be called my children, first of whom shall be born of thought!" he exclaimed after long reflection, and he drew forth the Imperishable Flame from which he had come, and which had come from him. Drawing forth several small flames, he set each apart; when he finished, he had many thousands of small blazes burning brightly in front of him. Taking the first in hand, he concentrated.
"Melkor I name you, and you shall have cunning beyond all others," he cried, and a spirit shone in front of him. Formless it was, yet it was beautiful; voiceless it was, yet it sang. Eru smiled in pleasure, reaching for another flame.
"Manwë I name you, and you shall share most in my thought and knowledge, and brethren shall be Melkor and thee!" he spoke, and a second spirit took shape. It was lighter in shade and more reserved in nature, yet nearly as powerful as the first. Again, Eru smiled and reached for another flame.
"Varda I name you! You shall create light in the Void for the comings of my following children!"
"Ulmo you shall be called, and you shall delight in darkness but be dedicated and just!"
"Aulë you are, and you shall surpass all in crafts and creation of beauty!"
"Yavanna I name you, and you shall cherish life and all creatures to come, great and small!"
"Oromë you shall be called, and you shall be destined to be the finer of my Firstborn Children!"
"Vána you are, fair to look upon and youthful in spirit, I name you the Ever-Young! Sister to Yavanna you are!"
"Vairë you shall be, and you shall be the keeper of records of the events of time."
"You shall be called Námo, and be the keeper of the spirits of my coming Children!"
"Lórien I call you, and you shall be the brother of Námo and Master of visions and dreams!"
"Estë you are, healer of all hurts, calm and graceful will you be!"
"Sister of Námo and Lórien, Nienna I name you, and you shall be filled with pity and mourning, and from such gain hope!"
"Tulkas the Strong I name you, for you shall outshine all in strength of spirit and body!"
"Nessa, sister of Oromë you are, and you shall delight in dancing and merrymaking, and be the most exuberant!"
Crying out their names and destinies as he called forth each flame, Eru created his first fifteen children. All were formless but beautiful, and voiceless but singing. Eru rested awhile before continuing, content to look upon his first children as they discovered their abilities. Over untold eons, he would fashion many more children, but none would be as powerful as the first fifteen, and none of them so much as Melkor (though that would prove ill for his later Children). At last he rested, content, and gathered his spirit-children to him, and bade them sing a great Music unto him. In that hour, Ëa, the World that Is, later called Arda, was given form in the Void, and his first fifteen children descended into it and became the Valar. Eru took his throne, satisfied in resting and patiently waiting for the Ages of Arda to pass and his later Children, bedecked in flesh, to join him and the Children of his Thought.