From the creation, or establishment, of a universal existence or world to the point of self-reference by a culture to that event is marked by a very sharp line. The line of historic vs prehistoric, or mythic times. Mythologist and historians walk that line and have contests playing on both sides. The evidence is one thing, but the implications of what is known about the earliest historic accounts tell an amazing story. Some people care/believe, some don’t, but for a writer, it is the mystery that needs plumbing.
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The Bottleneck Reckoning of Time:
Infinity – yawning before
Prehistory – mysterious before
History – interpreted before
Contemporary Record – empirical before
Going back to alpha singularity, the universe is setting to our bodies, but the evidence of being is interpreted in various lights.
|Photo by K. Mitch Hodge on Unsplash
Four “Takes” on Prehistory:
Telephone Game – Whatever story has been retold unfaithfully and so lacks integrity
Planetary Trauma – A record of cataclysm that survives climatological upheaval
Genetic Trauma – A dream or night terror which portents mysterious significance
Everything is Savage Rubbish – A hard de-emphasis of any “primitive” records
This debate revolves around the notion of an absolute, and also monopolistically owned, version of the truth by which all else may be rendered academically heretical. Even the lightest touch is tyrannical if it serves to close minds, and this goes triple for the writer of fiction. It is better to say I’m not sure, but my belief is that… This keeps minds open to an endless world-building, a reconstruction of reconstructions, as well as epochal designs, which otherwise might have been left unconsidered. A wiser man than me once said… It’s all about the process.
Secondary worlds need time to formulate for certain, but the starting line is known history, just as it would be for the star map’s known universe. History is basically a sales record or balance statements penned in blood, cut into flesh, measured by brick and bone. Myth is measureless, to some it seems to be worthless, while to others priceless, and of either no true value is actually assigned. Great mythologists and archeologists have found oaths in the stone, and paths into our myths and back farther into a utopian golden age when the masters served the servants. That kind age speaks of dreamscape or rapturous elsewhere, like a fairy mirror where our reflections see no shadow.
A perfection fading into imperfection is the typical formula, but if it be completion and not hyper-dimensional ecstasy non need to say. If your stars are merely an incomprehensible explosion that just happened to cause everything including this text, then that’s cool and well done. No one needs to micromanage cosmology, right? However, if one wanted to play with physics and ascribe attributes to existence that was not there, it would be best to set it up at the top. Prime Genesis. That place before everything where all is set spinning, and from which nothing can return once ejected.
This is the way of all seasons, from birth to name, from name to rename, from rename to death stone. Temples to gods, crypts to mortals, the world to its remote creator. One marks the other as if to say, My time is a shadow falling and soon that shade will pass over you. All you think is solid is already wind-blown ashes, washed away by tyranny, anarchy, and entropy. Impermanence is not a concept empires tend to love, nor intellectuals for that matter, but for the writer of fantasy it is the weathering of all thought in the rains time. A certain transformer of data and energy, to be marveled and studied. Study myths of earth, and see if your unconscious is not moved. Muse flashes come from mythological archetypes, processed by conscious data from an active relative obsession. The following is an example myth.
Of the Tower of Ages and the departure of the gods:
Scriptures of Ankhara by Efestolies the poet
At the origin two prima gods danced in and out of being, traveling in the divide between eternity and infinity.
These two are called Ebardib, he who is Ever, and his consort Moliaesh, she who is Now. They are the portioners of existence.
The spawn of these prime, those who were born between the deep seasons of wakefulness, grew into power during the slumber of their cosmic parentage.
So they assembled in the stellar places, taking up a dance, spinning to the music of vast sleeping breath which sends cycles and seasons.
There was contrived a throne from which all authority fell, if it were for survival or extinction, and this was reserved for the first son of Ebardib and Moliaesh.
The prime had many sons and daughters, and in legion they whispered as the elders dreamt. Whispered of their own dominions in visionary aplomb.
Brightest of all was Ezzel who is Life as well as light, and at his side stood darkness, Ezundro, he who wore Death for a cloak.
Where long Ezun lit that way comes always to doom. Yet not so for Ezeoth, Mother of all, with her daughters born to Ezzel.
Ayeoth the forest sister, and Zureoth the ocean sister ever dance round their mother’s swimming course, satellite faces made bright by a loving father’s eye.
To safeguard the realm and all its treasures, there came Ezsentri the Hunter, he who feared not Ezundro nor any doom which fell from Ezzel’s awesome throne.
A city called Ankhara formed around the throne, and this was a dwelling for gods and arose from a dream of dreaming parents who stirred in deep sleep.
Upon a time Ezundro’s power flared brightly and burned in him, to be shed and cast far away into stellar paths, so that a mystery bloomed before all the gods.
In a moment Ezzel felt the revelation of Zozish’s termination, ever after known as the god of those Slain, a victim of sacrificial slaughter at the hand of Gondrox, the Wandering Destroyer.
During that evil moment, Nahmahnei, The Glittering One cavorted with Gestriss the Protector, and they failed to safeguard Ezzel’s realm.
So war came to the city, and all the shining sons of Ebardib and vital daughters of Moliaesh fell upon each other in fury and violence.
Then Moliaesh spoke in sleep from the depths of her dreaming, and her power became dominant so that Now strove to dominate Ever.
So while in battle and slaying each other, the gods fell one by one into deepest sleep. Passing away from Everness into Now, the gods woke into cosmos.
Of the Waking of Ankhara:
Ezzel and all his court woke to the dreams of gods, which are as the lives of mortal Huma which dwell upon the mother world.
Ankhara hung above all the world, and in council were Five Sages bearing the five staffs of discipline, and so all wisdom.
Around these were formed the Five Schools of Ankhara, that which the base call magic. Magic, a force emanating from the god’s deepest dreams.
Three staffs for the High Ankhara disciplines, Pan-ele is Elemental, Pan-meta is Meta-mental, and Pan-stella is stella-mental.
Two staffs for the Low Ankhara disciplines, that of Smithwrights and all that they might craft, and the Warwrights, those who praise destruction.
Each was able to shape the elder’s dream by effecting the divine dream they were a part of, so when the stroke fell cosmic excellence became ruination.
Gondrox, the Wandering Destroyer, smote Ankhara as he made way around Ezzel’s realm, and the sun set over the mother world.
Ankhara plunged downward in fire and smoke, white-hot as stellar rock, into the sea it came to rest, sending earth, wind, fire, and water skyward.
Tower of Ages: rebirth of the gods
After the city fell into the sea, the gods were without form and moved about as disembodiments of their former wakefulness.
The city’s destruction released Ankhara, so that all the mother world became tainted, and all that creation was become trapped in Ankhara’s storm.
So what remained of the gods sought forms made of Ankhara, and they became flesh, and metal, and upper winds, and lower waters.
They became themes of thought and measures of will, and each heartbeat devoted to them became eternal.
Reborn gods of Ankhara:
Onorguthum – god of Nature – moves through the seasons, speaks through beasts
Awndrawl – god of Mystery – enigmatic force of haunting strangeness
Drau’iesh – god of Clarity – seen in mirrors and still pools
Mysquandi – god of Art – glorious goddess of shadow and color.
Undrune – god of Conquest – he appears in fire and blood
The only trove of theopolis Ankhara which survived undamaged were the five sage staffs, and these each held tremendous power of Ankhara and were said to be haunted by one of the newly reborn gods. Where the staffs go the gods are said to follow, and fate ripples in the wake of their passage, though unseen by mortal eyes unless revealed.
In Ezeoth the gods are potent but low-key elements in the story, especially when contrasted by my other work. I’m going for the background deific force as opposed to clash of the titans-esq free for all that is my usual yield.