Thursday, June 30, 2016

Kai'us Creation Myth: The Second Cataclysm

And here is the final installment of the Kai'us creation myth.
I hope you've enjoy this little glimpse into Kai'us culture!
Head over here for the intro if you're just stumbling on this now.
Then there's Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3

To be honest, I can't say I'm 100% happy with how this section has turned out.  Since it's the "end" of the creation myths, it's suffered the plight of being written down the least amount of times, so it's not as solid as I'd like; but I've noodled on it long enough and now it's time to shove it out into the daylight, come what may. 

Something I do like about this part though is the nod to the past as far as Kai'us development is concerned.  Back in grade school I had tons of Kai'us races (then called "breeds") and some were pretty ludicrous ("Princess Ciusses"? Really?)  The events leading up to the Second Cataclysm let me hug those crazy races one last time (yes, even the Mermaid Ciusses), before wiping them off the face of the earth to make way for something a bit more realistic (as realistic as fanciful, horse-faced creatures can be anyway...) 

One thing I've neglected to mention thus far is the word "Kai'us" means "Person".  Hence why I never call them "The Kai'us People" (otherwise I'd be saying "The Person People").  That little piece of information will come in handy in this final section as you may have noticed: the Kai'us' actually haven't shown up yet in any of these creation myths!

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The Kai'us Creation Myth: Part 4

Now there existed among the animals beings called "Creatures" who were more than animals but less than People.  They spoke the language of the gods, but did not know how to read or write.  They used simple tools and weapons but did not live in villages.  They could hunt, but they did not yet know of agriculture.

There were far more varieties of Creatures than there are now People and they lived all over the world as best suited them.  For instance the Ground Creatures lived underground; the Tree Creatures lived in the trees; the Winged Creatures lived in the air, and so on and so forth.

One day the Ground Creatures were conversing with the Water Creatures about how the gods interacted with them.

"The God of Creation has taught us how to move the very rocks to make spaces for us to live in," the Ground Creatures were saying.  "And the God of Water has given you the ability to breathe both air and water."

"This is true," replied the Water Creatures.  "But we are the only ones who can breathe underwater; and no other Creatures can move earth as you can.  It is a shame such powerful abilities have been given to just one type of Creature or another."

"Yes, can you imagine how powerful we would be if all Creatures shared the powers of the rest?"

The Water Creatures were thoughtful, "We had asked the Goddess of Fire once to teach us to use fire in the way she has taught the Desert Creatures.  She laughed and asked what use have we of fire?"

The Ground Creatures nodded, "And we have asked the Goddess of Life to teach us to heal as well as the Plains Creatures; but she would not.  It seems obvious to us that the gods choose to give only small pieces of knowledge to each type of Creature so that one does not know all.  Perhaps they fear how much power we would have if we all had the same knowledge."

"Perhaps we would be more powerful than the gods themselves!" the Water Creatures replied in agreement.

The two types of Creatures then tried to teach the other their own abilities but failed.  No matter how hard they tried, the Ground Creatures could not learn how to breathe underwater; and despite their best efforts, the Water Creatures could now make the burrows and tunnels through rocks like the Ground Creatures could. 

This failure enraged them both.  "The gods have made it so only they can teach new skills! We must all gather together and demand the gods teach all creatures everything they know!"

So the Ground Creatures and the Water Creatures approached the other types of Creatures and told them of their plan.

The Tree Creatures were intrigued, but were dubious of the plan.  Still they promised to tell the Winged Creatures since neither the Ground nor the Water Creature could reach them.  The Winged Creatures turned down the plan outright.  "We have the air and are therefore the closest to the gods.  We have no desire to know anything else."

The Mountain, the Cave, the Plains, and the Desert Creatures were also completely against the plan.  "The gods have given each type of Creature the abilities that best suit their purpose and inclination.  Why should we have the abilities of all when there is no need for them?"

The Ground and Water Creature became increasingly angry as each type refused them. "Can you not see the gods keep our skills separate so we will remain weaker than they?  We could be greater than the gods themselves if we all had each other's powers."

And so to prove their own power, the Ground Creatures heaved up the earth; leveling tall mountains and changing the lay of the land.  The Water Creatures drained whole bodies of water and made them appear in other places.  Out of spite they moved river beds away from choice places and gathered up all the dew that collected at night.

"All Creatures possess abilities just as powerful!" the Ground and Water Creatures declared to the others.  "Join us in demanding that the gods teach us everyone's powers."

Instead of being awed, the other Creatures were frightened by the senseless destruction that had been wrought.  The Mountain, Cave, Desert and Plains Creatures used their own abilities to protect themselves and the other animals rather than to strike out against the aggressors as it never occurred to them to bring harm to other Creatures.

The Tree Creatures on the other hand were impressed with the strength of the Ground and Water Creatures and they decided to join them.  Their own powers were meager compared to their new allies however and they had little to offer them.  The Goddess of Fire was the matron of the Tree Creatures though, so they would shoot off balls of fire at any Creatures or animals who tried to stop the Ground and Water Creatures from their demonstration of power.

The Winged Creatures completely ignored the suffering far below them.  They were of the air and the actions of the land-bound Creatures was none of their concern.

The Ground and Water Creatures saw the Mountain Creatures diverting lava flows from where other Creatures and animals lived; they witnessed the Cave Creatures creating shelters for those who were frightened or who had lost their own dwelling places; saw the Desert Creatures finding water in the bleakest, most barren places so that others may drink; and the Plains Creatures producing healing medicines for those injured in the great earthquakes caused by the angry Ground Creatures.

These acts only enraged the usurpers more.  Could they not see they were squandering their single abilities and if they just worked together against the gods then none of this suffering would be necessary?

In their rage, the Ground Creatures lost all sense of reason.  They gathered together all their powers to one purpose and caused the very earth to swallow up the Plains Creatures, killing each and every one of them.

All the Creatures and animals were shocked by what the Ground Creatures had done.  Even the Water and Tree Creatures were appalled by this willful act.

The gods living on Shuko had observed all that was transpiring on the world below.  They allowed events to run their course to test the mettle of the Creatures they had loved and nurtured.  But with this last act of destruction, the gods could no longer passively sit back and watch, they mobilized and took immediate action.

The Ground Creatures hardly had time to gloat over their display of force, for they were smote at once from the face of the earth for the wickedness.  Not a single one escaped the wrath of the gods.  Then the gods gathered all the water left in the world into one place and turned it bitter, killing all the Water Creatures. (This was the creation of the world's single ocean.)

The Tree Creatures begged forgiveness, saying the uprising had not been their idea and they had simply been coerced into joining with the Ground and Water Creatures.  The gods held back their anger against the Tree Creatures and instead turned them into mova (a type of small, tree-dwelling animal), declaring they would forever be animals living among animals.

After the world had time to settle and heal from the corruptions of the Ground and Water Creatures, the gods turned to the remaining Creatures.

"Winged Creatures," the gods said.  "Out of your arrogance, you sided with neither the destroyers nor the protectors of the world.  For that you shall learn humility.  You will become People, but you will be larger than you are now, unable to to live solely in the air.  You will tire if you fly for too long and will need to touch the ground and hopefully will learn that the suffering of others should also be your own concern."

The Winged Creatures sadly accepted their lot and settled in the thick forests of the south, away from the other Creatures.  They eventually became the Winged People of today; aloof and still arrogant, but willing to help those who ask.

Then the gods gathered the Mountain, Cave, and Desert Creatures around them.

"All of you showed great bravery in the face of horrible destruction and loss.  All of you will become People."

The gods taught them how to build houses and grow crops.  They gave them written language, numbers and math.  The gods opened their mind so they could speak as readily with their thoughts as with their voices.  The new Peoples were taught how create fire and move things with just their minds.  They were shown how to make more efficient tools and hunting implements; how to tan animal hides and weave colorful fabric. 

From eating better foods and no longer needing to move from place to place, the People became larger than when they were Creatures.  They stood tall, yet they continued to care for all animals even though as People were even greater than them.

The God of Creation had always enjoyed the company of the Mountain Creatures and he continued to teach them his wisdom.  As People they became great story tellers and users of metal.  They learned to build their homes with stacked stones in a way that was stable even when the earth occasionally trembled, and kept them warm when the nights were cold and windy.

The Goddess of Life looked after the Winged People.  Though they were saddened by the ruling of the gods, they were happy to be made People.  The Goddess of Life taught them how to make medicines from the trees and plants they lived among as well as from various animal parts.  She also taught them poetry and great songs.  They became the best makers of musical instruments.

The Goddess of Fire looked fondly upon the Desert Creatures.  From her teachings, they lived happily in the dry deserts where few other animals cared to dwell.  Because life in the harsh desert was difficult, she gifted the Desert Creatures with another set of hands; making them the Spider People.  She taught them how to make bricks for building homes and how to glaze and fire clay to make light and durable vessels for storing food and water.

The God of Water took the Cave Creatures under his care.  He showed them how to live on the plains where the Plains Creatures had once inhabited.  They learned how to build houses with thatched roof so birds could live among them and offer their teachings as well.  When he asked what they wanted to be called as People they said that though they would no longer live in caves, they would be called the Cave People to remind them of their humble beginnings when they shared their cave homes with other animals during the devastation wrought by the Ground and Water Creatures.

And so the remaining Creatures became People and the world recovered from the Second Cataclysm.

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And thus concludes the Kai'us creation myth.

Happily I'm on a roll and will be returning next month with more fun information concerning Kai'us clan structure and racial genetics.  Hope to see you then!

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