Dom (bateleur) wrote,
Dom
bateleur

The Mythic Epoch

On the ninth day there came to the mountain a small boat with a sail of silk. Upon the boat were three women, one dressed in red, one dressed in gold and one dressed in black. They came to the mountain and unrolled three scrolls upon which they had written their grievances.

“Oh mountain,” said the woman in red, “you have wronged me by taking the life of my father, whom I loved.”

“Oh mountain,” said the woman in gold, “you have wronged me by taking my coin, which was my living.”

“Oh mountain,” said the woman in black, “you have wronged me by taking my soul, and now I may not rest.”

The mountain was enraged by their complaints and breathed fire upon them. They leaped high upon it and, swinging their axes, severed the head of the mountain. With a great roar all of the fire at once escaped from the end of its neck and it did so with such force that the three women were hurled into the sky.

They did not die, however. The celestial shepherd, seeing that they had acted seeking justice, caught them at the last moment and set them in the Western sky as stars. They are still there to this day, and that is how the three sunset stars came to be.

mythic_epoch.jpg

The time before the age of wars in the epoch of kings is known to historians as the mythic epoch. The end of the mythic epoch is marked by the founding of the earliest settlement at Eyestone Hill, since that is the earliest date in reliably recorded history.

Many stories survive from the mythic epoch and they tell of a time when huge beasts walked the lands, when powerful secrets were wielded by gods and monsters and when kingdoms rose and were swept away. It was a time of constant change and none of the mortal races thrived amidst the clash of great powers that marked it.

Many traditions within the world speak of its creation, of the very first moment when something was formed from nothing. But the truth is that this moment - if indeed there was one - will remain forever unknown. The more distant past of the mythic epoch consisted of ever greater energies and ever more rapidly shifting chaos from which not even tales survive for there was no language then with which to tell them.




At the beginning of the Age of Exploration it was thought at first to be the case by the historians of the Lossanbrant that all civilization had spread outwards from Eyestone Hill. The lands distant from it were therefore assumed to still be in a wild state, with the marvels of the mythic epoch still to be found there. This theory was incorrect, but only partly so. Civilization arose gradually in a wide scattering of different places throughout the world, not spreading from a single place. However, it is true to say that it is in those remote places as yet untouched by its reach that ancient powers are most likely to persist.

There is no sharp dividing line between those powers and creatures dating from the mythic epoch and those commonly found in later ages. Nor is there any reason for powers to fade over time and for chaos to be replaced by order. Rather, these observations have an anthropic principle underlying them: that without this relative stability there would be no historians to observe it.
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