Friday, August 12, 2005

The story of the two creations

Part of the joy of conlanging and conculturing is that you get to invent stories to bring these things to life. I've written and translated a couple of these stories on my website, and thought I'd share a new one here.

Storytelling is a great enjoyment for the Gevey speaking people, and good storytellers soon gather a loyal audience.


"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 Jaakra(1) explained it to Giey(2), once, but neither Giey nor any of her daughters have gossiped the secret into the ears of the world. Maybe the secret is hidden in a woman's smile.

"Anyway, the universe became and Jaakra became with it. Perhaps Jaakra caused it in one of His(3) 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 Jaakra? Not even those folks who perch naked on the peaks of Illhush(4) 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 Jaakra created the stars and planets, the land and the seas, He sat on the highest peak within the circles of mountains that are Fuecuu Cohmpuun(5) and considered His great work. It was pleasing to Him, with great oceans and waves, hot volcanoes and smooth plains, cliffs and beaches and valleys with rivers and waterfalls. A good work indeed, but Jaakra was not yet satisfied.

"After long thought, Jaakra said: 'While the form and function is pleasing, and it 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 stosha(6) into its core, and threw the seed 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(7), thick and twisted with ever-growing life. A time came when even Fuecuu Cohmpuun was matted and clogged, life covering the twisting pillars of ice and fire with its fecundity. Indeed when Jaakra woke from one of His many long naps He found that life had woven His pelt to the mountain rocks!

"'This cannot do!' Roared Jaakra, and hacking His way free from His bindings He took a new thought. From the fires that roared from the depths of the world He grasped some dust, whispering to each mote a new stosha and releasing them all into the hurricanes of His anger. Disease came to the world, and death and unmaking. Soon the battle of life and death circled the globe, each side adapting new strategies and forms to defeat the other.

"But Jaakra found Himself saddened by His actions. This was not the world He desired!

"Once more He took thought, lasting for much time as mountains grew up and grew old. And then He created life anew. This time, Jaakra took two seeds and shared a stosha between them, before 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(8) and her companion Kaj-brhishne(9), who farms the winds beneath his great wings. From another pair of seeds - that fell at Jaakra's feet - came Tarhose and Harhose, Jaakra's great hounds. Pairs of seeds were scattered everywhere, and some grew while others - such as the Leaping Fish and the Whale Who Sang - died in their birthing, caught in the plagues of war.

"Finally Jaakra took the last pair of seeds, and to them He whispered His greatest stosha before flinging them into the fabled Valley of Home. And from the trees that sprouted and grew from these seeds stepped Sam-loivjarhe 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 - some of whom were women with smiles that maybe hinted at the Why of the Universe ..."

(1) - the given name of the Supreme Being
(2) - Giey, mother of all and the archetypal woman
(3) - Jaakra is an asexual supreme deity - feel free to replace He/His/Him with She/Her/Her or even It/Its/It
(4) - a particularly religious Land high in the mountains
(5) - translates as The Roof of the World
(6) - the archetypal name, secret to every organism on the planet
(7) - indiginous life on the planet can make use of all parts of the visible spectrum for photosynthesis, hence the photosynthetic "organs" and leaves are dark coloured rather than green (though chromatophores and pigment molecules add a bit of colour)
(8) - the corn bird, an archetypal bird
(9) - Kac of the Winds, the other archetypal bird

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