The cultures of Ludos each have their own stories of how the world came to be.
“Many believe that fire is the spark of creation. What if they’re wrong? What if all that fire is, is destruction? What it leaves behind, from what it destroys is illusion: smoke. What if creation starts in water? The sea is the original place that all life stemmed from.
“What if creation starts in the ground? Seeds stretch up toward the light and bloom with the creation of life. What if creation starts with the wind? The musician blowing through an instrument or the sound of rain and rivers as they bring us sustenance.
“If creation and destruction are two sides of the same coin: one side is a flame meant to burn everything on the other side up.”
– Audia Solar, Mayor of Flower Rock
(Transcribed by Lorekeeper Rem)
An Account of Elders
From the journals of Wrenquill, Sage Initiate
“This is but one telling of the beginnings of our world. These things are like faceted gems, you see, not like etchings in stone. All sides will show you a new truth…
“In the times when no Before could be spoken,
for words were lost in a great roar and deeds could not be seen.
In times when no mountain rose, nor river flowed, nor tree gave cover,
for if any had, soon would it be broken and swallowed
by the heavy, dark sea which crashed upon itself unceasing.
“We have only an account of Elders, and of who came first, none can agree –
perhaps it was Karaclim, who found a music in the roaring, and a riddle in the churning,
or Bellitia, who saw hope and promise in the violent clashing waves,
or Praencasa, who delights in the tumult and detests the quiet places.
“But whosoever came first, grew lonely and forgetful after some time
and so built a gate by which the other Elders joined from their many veiled lands.*
The sea, whose hunger was unquenchable, tried then to feast on the Elders,
but each were too strong to be broken, and each too vast to be swallowed
so the sea instead devoured the gate, trapping the Elders within itself.
“But the Elders were undaunted, each having a love for fences and gates,
and each, having an industrious heart, began to build.
And from within their domains did they turn the sea to their natures –
from Catolep, did the sea become of glorious light and spirited flame,
in Latarem were the sea’s waves slowed, until peaks and valleys could be seen, trembling,
with Sienel’s clever ear, could the names of all things be heard in the sea’s roaring,
until at last, through the gentle hands of Mopax, did the sea find stillness and repose.
“Only Dolly, who had not industriousness in their heart, thought it best instead to drink the sea.
The sea rebelled and expelled itself from Dolly, but not before being changed in their image,
droplets now it was, writhing and unable to gather together again.
Dolly did not want to be caught in their misdeed, and so, unseen, plucked a bit of each of the Elders’ domains
and laid them over the droplets to hide them from sight.
“Thereby was the wild sea tamed. And Cienel looked upon what they all had made and spoke,
and through that first word did the Elders see a world before them, “Ludos”.
Great joy followed, and celebration. And in pairs they danced,
Catolep with Bellitia, Sienel with Karaclim, Latarem with Praencasa.
And each were astonished to find their revelries had created three beings** –
these were the first of what we call the Nigh deities,
for as curious children they would discover the blanketed droplets
and uncover there all the creatures of the world, and would hold closest to us, in what was to come.***
“Of these three offspring, no names could yet be spoken, for it was only through their deeds would names manifest.
And all gathered knew that this meant an age had begun, an age where things would unfold from other things –
an era of change, consequence, and becoming. And so began the story of adventure, the world of Ludos.”
* The now-lost Eightfold manuscript supposedly deals with these times. All that survives of this telling is included here.
** Some say that Dolly and Mopax also met in the dance, but of their child none know or none speak.
***For more details on these affairs, refer to Hudio’s Five Mortal Canticles.