Creation Legend (Retold from the Ailu)

When the titan Ghan scooped out the Armhold Valley and built up the mountains around, he did so as a playpen for his three children: the twin brothers Thahn and Thahr, and their sister Eyyafel. But unknown even to the titans, who were still shaping the world as plants and animals spread across it, humanity was already living and dreaming in its homeland far to the northeast. Because the world was still taking its form and the gods had not yet created the walls within Dream, the dreams in those days were feral things, full of power and birth. From these early dreams came many creatures, and some, such as cats, escaped into the mortal world.

Among these came Mordok the Smog-Goat of Doom. The terror of this beast is beyond my knowledge, but it is said that the very air thickened and discolored in his presence; that animals and plants withdrew from him; that to gaze upon him was to look into the red eyes of the specter of Death. The titans were not of mortal stature, and were not bothered by this wayward dream – except for the trouble he caused to their creations, and except for the danger he posed to the very young, such as Eyyafel.

Knowing this, Thahn and Thahr decided to guard their sister while she played at planting forests in the valley. They could not watch the whole border, though, so Thahn wrote his sign over the river to the south and stood on the mountains to the east, while Thahr wrote his near the river-mouth in the west and stood on the mountains to the north. Thahn was calm and strong, so he made his sign to hold motionless all who saw it. But Thahr had come across the tracks of the Smog-Goat in his wanderings farther north, and was full of fear. He made his sign to kill all who looked upon it.

A week passed, and their father Ghan returned with the news that Mordok had been driven back into Dream, into its fragmented depths where he would surely hide until the last generation of titans had grown old and faded into the earth. So the brothers came down from the mountains to remove their signs.

Thahr went first, for he wanted to quickly turn north and see proof of the exiling with his own eyes. But when he came to his sign, he found that it was surrounded by piles of the dead. Birds lay fallen from the sky, and animals in their tracks, and even the fish that swam by floated and stank. Thahr was horrified at what he had done, and unwrote his sign. After that he went to live and work in the most barren places, because he feared that his fears would take even more lives. It is said that he threaded the Breathing Desert to the north with the blue sand that the nomads refine into metal.

Thahn tried to comfort his brother but, seeing that it was no use, he went to unmake his own sign. When he reached it, though, he found that it too was surrounded by death. True, there were animals held motionless and alive, but the freshly-caught were panting in fear, and many others had died from thirst. Birds flying by fell from the air, unable to move their wings, and fish in the stream were washed helplessly down to where predators or Thahr’s sign destroyed them in uncountable numbers. He unwrote his sign and sat on a nearby mountain, weeping, until a new branch of the river sprang from his tears.

Eyyafel went on to plant the great forests of the Armhold Valley, seeding them with mystery and life in infinite variety. There many wild and magical things, including perhaps some essence of Eyyafel herself, are said to hide in places still untouched by men and their dreams.

About Confanity

I love the written word more than anything else I've had the chance to work with. I'm back in the States from Japan for grad school, but still studying Japanese with the hope of becoming a translator -- or writer, or even teacher -- as long as it's something language-related.
This entry was posted in Setting, Short Fiction, World-Building and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Creation Legend (Retold from the Ailu)

  1. Pingback: Magic Monday – Sign of Thanh | landofnudotcom

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