Creation myths across Ewlah Societies
Given the fundamental divide between Type One lifeforms, which are indiferent or hostile to human existence, and Type Two lifeforms which are central to our survival, it is not surprising that every Society has developed creation myths and stories to explain how and why this division occured.
A selection of these stories can be found below.
A Balhe Society creation myth
"They say the universe was created in a great explosion, and one day the Universe will tidy itself up into a little ball no bigger than a grain of sand that lodges in your eye. But nobody can tell me why the universe is as it is. Some say that maybe the Creator explained it to Giey, once, but neither Giey nor any of her daughters have gossiped the secret into the ears of the world.
"Anyway, the universe became and the Creator became with it - or perhaps the Creator begat the universe in one of His experiments, for He is always one for trying this and trying that. I've heard He made the sun by spinning in a dance, and gave it a skirt of planets and a veil of comets, simply because it pleased Him.
"But less of this speculation: who can know the purpose of the Creator? Not even those folks who perch naked on the peaks of the Vreski mountains can tell you the truth of the matter, however they may hint otherwise! Instead I shall tell you the tale of the two creations.
"After the Creator made the stars and planets, the land and the seas, He sat on the highest peak within the circles of mountains that are the Roof of the World and considered His great work. It was pleasing to Him, with wide oceans and tall waves, hot volcanoes and smooth plains, cliffs and beaches and valleys with rivers and waterfalls.
"And yet, after long thought, the Creator said: 'While this world is certainly my greatest work, I know I can do better! This place needs more colour!' And with the decision made, He set about casting together the rules of life - weaving together ash and water, air and fire until a heap of seeds lay at His feet. Then He took each seed in His hand and whispered a secret word into its core, and threw it across the curve of the world to land and unfold in the form of its own true nature.
"Time grew fat, and the world became bronzed and coppered and black, thick and twisted with ever-growing life. A time came when even the Roof of the World was matted and clogged, life covering the twisting pillars of ice and fire with its fecundity. Indeed, when the Creator woke from one of His many long naps He found that life had woven His pelt to the mountain rocks!
"'This cannot do!' The Creator roared, and hacking His way free from His bindings He took a new thought. From the fires that roared from the depths of the globe He grasped some dust, whispering to each mote a harsh word and releasing them all into the hurricanes of His anger. Disease came to the world, and decay, and unmaking. Soon the battle of life and death circled the globe, each side adapting new strategies and forms to defeat the other.
"But the Creator found Himself saddened by His actions. This was not the world He desired!
"Once more He took thought, lasting for so much time that continents grew up and grew old. And then He created life anew. This time, the Creator took two seeds and shared a secret word between them, before cleaving them together and casting them around the curve of the world. And from this sowing grew a second, more perfect creation!
"From one pair of seeds arose Thoel-sastrhivde the Corn Bird, and her companion Kaj-brhishne, who farms the winds beneath his great wings. From another pair of seeds - that fell at the Creator's feet - came Tarhose and Harhose, His great hounds. Pairs of seeds were scattered everywhere, and some grew while others - such as the Leaping Tiger and the Waily Fish - died soon after their birthing, caught in the plagues of war.
"Finally the Creator took the last pair of seeds, and to them He whispered His most powerful word before flinging them into the fabled Valley of Home. And from the tree that sprouted and grew from the cloven seeds stepped Big Man Sam, the first of men, and Giey, mother of all.
"And the creation was complete!
"Believe the truth of my story, a story that has passed from the lips of only the greatest storytellers. And take this truth with you as you depart this storytelling circle. Never let the Corn Bird steal the story from your head or your stomach. For this is your story; my story. Our story. The story of why we are here."
An Istran Society 'Starman' story
"You will have heard stories of Joes the Explorer? Joes was the captain who lost his way sailing the Northern Oceans, whose life was saved by his discovery of the Fire Isles long after his ship had run out of food and fresh water. And what a land he found! The Fire Isles are small, yet tall - fists of rocks struck through the blankets of the ocean's waves, with deep valleys of new-worn earth prime for cultivation. Many followed Joes - once he'd found his way beck to the Home Lands and reported his discovery - and a good living the sons and daughters of those fortunate folks now have!
"So the story of Joes is much the same as the story of the Starman. He, too, was lost, travelling the wastes of space on an errand long forgotten. Suffice to say, when he came to this fair world he found his salvation!
"Of course, there were differences. Joes took people to the Fire Isles who knew how to cultivate new lands, people who understood the rhythms and balances of both creations: the native, that was here first and always, creating the soils from the rocks and nurturing the essential minerals and chemicals without which no life can survive; and the human, which grafts onto the native and provides us with food and shelter. The Starman, you see, was not so blessed. He was the first person to set foot on this world, and one man alone cannot cultivate an entire planet.
"But the Starman survived well enough for him to recover his strength and discover a new purpose: to bring word of this new jewel to his folks beyond the exploding novas. And that's just what he did!
"Well, it's not been a bed of cabbages, I can tell you, and I'm sure we've all looked up into the stars at one time or another and wondered if the Starman could have made a better choice, perhaps. But then I see young Reisis dashing across the midnight sky, teasing old Jupis as he passes her, and I watch the comets fall from the Sparkling Belt, and in the morning I smile at the play of the waves criss-crossing Ma-Laj Bay - and I thank the Starman for forgetting whatever it was he was supposed to be doing, so he could stumble on this place that many, many orbits later bacame my home. And life is good!"
An extract from the Vreski Book of Holy Redemption
"Sin is the essential kernel and core of Humanity's being. We are Sinful; we are born of Sin and we die in Sin. Hear now the words of Keslease, a Prophet of God.
"We are the people who broke the mind of God. We are the doubters. We found fault in God's perfect design and from such doubt was our fall created.
"God is almighty. Praise God! Within the mind of God evolved the equations of the Universe that set the worlds spinning and the stars burning. Throughout the voids, the purpose of God was made solid, whole and complete.
"We are the deserved destitute. Within the stitches of God's light and God's time and God's rock we gathered. Of all shapes and forms we were at that time, and yet one thread bound us tight. We looked upon God's work and we questioned its worth.
"Oh woe for the stupidity of our Fathers, that infects us through the very sperm that makes us! For God is Light and God is Time and God is Rock, and even as we found mouths to articulate doubt, so did God know that we had corrupted the Great Work.
"We are sentenced to suffer; condemned to endure. Through suffering and endurance do we, the Sons of our Fathers, learn again and again the truth of God's wonder.
"This world is our prison, crafted by God to give us hope of redemption. This is the palace of torments! We are beset by poisons and disease so that we may endure and die, and in each death our Sin is tested. Those still with Sin are reborn in this world; those whose kernel of Sin has been stripped, consumed in the annealing fires of this hell, they are reborn in God!
Do not hate our punishment. Do not hate the life that God created to test us. God created a new life on this world to teach us of our Sin, to reach us beyond our folly.
Here is the truth of the Creations. The first and greatest creation is God's creation. Within its folds fish becomes worm and worm becomes tree and tree becomes fish once more. We are the lesser creation, the creation of doubt. And yet we are still God's creation.
Through our endurance can we learn the secrets of God's will as revealed in that which punishes us, the first creation. God is almighty. Praise God!"