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Elven Mythsby Greg Weatherup
Here's my draft of what the elven legends tell happened in the earliest time of the world (before the creation of the elves by Ordana). Note, its what elvish legend says happened, not what really happened...
'Elven cosmos creation myths' or 'What the elves believe happened BEFORE Ordana created the first elf' (or 'Where did Ordana come from?'):
Of the most ancient beings in the first generation of existence, only two pairs are known down through the ages: Idu (Ixion) and Mereshkigat (Hel), and Rock or Earth (Terra, the elvish language lacks a distinction between the two words 'Rock' and 'Earth') and the Amber Serpent (Ka). Idu and Mereshkigat represented primitive energy - heat and cold. Terra, or the Earth Grandmother represented rock and the Amber Serpent, or Grandfather Earth was minerals and other solids that were not rock. There was no air or water in this time. Whatever came before, if anything, is not known, and is likely not understandable. The struggle between Idu & Mereshkigat both beat upon the earth and the serpent. The serpent burrowed into the rock to escape this confrontation and while hiding and worming through the rock, fell in love with her and his burrowing loosened her and healed her stiffness and she inturn fell in love with him (The elven version of this tale is actually quite orgasmic i.e. Rapture).
Idu & Mereshkigat continued their conflict, and from their fight the flow of time began and from the beating and washing over the arena of their confrontation (that was the Earth Grandmother), the first fluids were created, first gas (air) and then liquid (water, more like molten lava). From this creation of Time and Water was created Manwara (Protius) the Guardian of Time and the Harbinger of Change, and he rose up between Idu & Mereshkigat, and diffused their tensions (absorbing vast amounts of both heat and cold - waters high heat capacity and cooling touch) long enough to get them to see how their raging conflict was hurting the others, especially rock. He prophesied that due to their direct harming against one another (both Idu and Mereshkigat against each other, and also the effect it had on rock and the on the serpent) their time was coming to pass and that others would become the prominent beings in existence.
Manwara was the first of the second generation of great beings, though some elven scholars instead have that he was actually an otherwise unknown first generation being, but whatever the case may be, He was not long to be the only one of the second generation. From the interaction of Earth Grandparents was birthed Mother Nature (Djaea), and she eagerly used these new elements of Air to breath with and water to drink with. From the great passion between Rock and Serpent also spontaneously arose Silenus, direct incarnation of that passion, now known as Faunus. Idu, having grieved at the harm caused to Rock attempted to make amends by very carefully giving just a drop of warmth to nurture Mother Nature, and gave just enough heat to Faunus to continually fuel his passion. Mereshkigat, feeling left out of this round of creation, and now unfairly outnumbered, from the coldest depths of her being painfully ripped a portion out and created Te'a (Thanatos) the embodiment of evil, death, and pain, nearly tearing herself apart in the process. The beings, both elder and younger, were amazed and shocked at the possibilities that this new 'creation' enabled, and the two generations quickly worked in various groups and pairs to create a third generation to join them. However, in this time of great creation Mereshkigat missed out because the creation of Te'a had been so draining and traumatic to Mereshkigat that she took a long time to recover and regrow from the painful birth and shock, and was much diminished throughout the cosmos in this time and thus missed out on the creation of the third generation.
Amongst the third generation Mother Nature and Faunus begat two siblings Ordana, the fairest of the ancient beings, took after her mother, Djaea, while the younger*, Ashanti (Valerias) took after her father**. Meanwhile the Amber Serpent and the Earth grandmother begat a clutch of great eggs, from which three great male serpent or reptilian entities sprang, three siblings***. The eldest of these, and most like his father was the Rainbow Serpent of the sky, the ancestor of the dragons (The Great One). The second was given to Idu to raise but Idu's heat burned up the creature, of course with it's immortality it was reincarnated. There is much debate over the identity of this "ancient being". The majority of elven scholars and theologians have identified him with Rathanos, while many other elvish scholars and theologians believe this being was in fact killed and not reincarnated (a dead immortal, or one departed from the Mystaraverse, or even an old one, if the elves knew about such a concept). Perhaps it is simply a more recent re-connecting, but it is now accepted by a slight majority of elven groups. Along with the speculation on the identity of this creature, there are many tales. Some see it as a parable about the day-night-day cycle (representing when this fiery immortal was alive, dead, and alive again), some extreme interpretations even have Rathanos as the ancestor of the kobolds, explaining some of the kobolds reptilian traits and how they are the only common humanoid not adversely effected (dazzled or just made uncomfortable) by bright (i.e. normal) sunlight. Once again Mereshkigat felt left out, so working together with Te'a they captured the third serpent, and the two tried to raise it as well but they corrupted it into a lizard (Demogorgon). The first generation of beings saw how their acts of creation had caused strife, and how it was mostly due to their activities, the first generation decided they must a) forbid the creation of any further truly eternal entities**** and b) the 1st generation had to distance themselves from the world so that their power and conflicts would not harm it. However, not all of the third generation had grown up yet, so arrangements had to made for their care. Ordana was already being cared for by Djaea (Valerias had run away) and so the Rainbow Sky Serpent was given to Manwara to raise, Rathanos was given to Faunus to raise (hence the male superiority complex), and Demogorgon was left to Te'a. Eventually even the second and third generations had to distance themselves somewhat from the world to keep from harming it and its mortal entities (though they did not retreat as far as the first generation). Though the elder generations still watch from afar, they rarely act on the world, leaving it for the most part to the newer immortals. It is around this time that Ordana creates the first elves, and we are familiar with the story from there (though many details are disputed amongst various groups of elves).
*= by mere seconds
**= of course Valerias is no doubt horrified that the elves think Faunus to be her father, so much so that she turned her back on most elves, other than the occasional individual, and of course the Belcadiz for whom she is a patron (Belcadiz elves are very different in their mythos in my version of Mystara). There are many parables about the rivalry between these two sisters, usually over silly things (like who's the more beautiful of the two, and while Ashanti is very fine, any elf knows the answer is Ordana) and usually perceived as being started by Ashanti, all used as various parables about how you should avoid sibling rivalry and such. There's also one tale about Ashanti in the wild (perhaps travelling with her father, or perhaps pouting after having lost to her sister in something) when she came across the first bull, and she became very fascinated. Most scholars believe this was an early snub at Valerias, though others wonder if there is a connection (or remnants of an early attempt at reconciling) with the Belcadiz mythos (a common older nickname for Valerias amongst the Belcadiz is "the Bull")
***= other, older, versions of the tale have that one or more of the other eggs gave birth to female humanoid beings and that they were the ancestors of rock giants, or Garls, even primitive brute-men/Neanderthals/beastmen, etc. Many versions give this being the name Ouranos, while other versions give names N'Grath or Urtson to some of the other eggs.
****= thus all future beings were mortal, and thus the elves view all newer immortals as a lesser, saint like, category of deities, but not "true, ancient, beings", hence why all newer immortals have mortal histories.
so in summary:
1st gen: Earth Grandmother (Terra) & The Amber Serpent aka "Grandfather Earth" (Ka). Mereshkigat (Hel) & Idu (Ixion).
2nd gen: Djaea is Mother Nature & Manwara (Protius). Faunus/Silenus. Te'a (Thanatos).
3rd Gen: Ordana is Forest Mother. The Sky Dragon or Rainbow Serpent (Great One, androgenous but slightly feminine). the Lizard King (a deformed Serpent tainted by Te'a and/or Mereshkigat? aka Demogorgon, completely androgenous hence the two personalities, male and female) The Blazing serpent (Rathanos, set aflame by Idu, originally androgenous but slightly male - opposite of his sibling the Great One, but after his burning and resurrection and then being raised by Faunus, came back definitely male)
Then since the Great Rain of Fire of the more recent elven & elven friendly immortals or those elven enemy immortals:
eldest: Ilsundal, Atzanteotl, Calitha
middle: Eiryndul, Idris & the Korrigans, Moon/Sun/Star Spirits, Chiron, Zirchev
recent: Mealidan, Yav, Lornasen
middle but effectively recent: Oleyan
Humans are believed to have the choice of following various paths, primary and paramount among them is the Zirchev (Elf-Friend, respecting nature, etc.) v. Rafiel routes (technology, dangerous energies, etc.) while Rad is sometimes seen as an attempt at a 'middle or balanced road', imperfect but better than Rafiel.
Because of the number of older immortals who were "born" as siblings or even triplets, such births amongst elves are blessedly extremely rare, and usually portent great things for one of the twins/triplets, but they are watched carefully to make sure the siblings do not become enemies.
Faunus aka Silenus represents youth, Sylvan races, Animals, sexuality
Mereshkigat aka Hel, opposite of Terra and especially Ixion (Odin does not figure in to elven mythology, or is seen as a lesser human immortal)
Manwara, aka Protius- Guardian of Time and the Harbinger of Change, represents water
Rafiel is the opposite of Zirchev, Te'a (Thanatos), Demogorgon?
The Rainbow Serpent and Rathanos are opposites and siblings (Demogorgon is another sibling of the trio). The Rainbow serpent created the Sun, Moon, and Star spirits (possibly before the ban on new immortal creation, or else the elves know that amongst the dragon hierarchy that those are merely 'positions')
Are there any other ancient Immortals I should tie in to the story?
I would like tie the "who's the more beautiful" remark into a Mystaran "Judgment of Paris" type of deal with someone tied/tricked/ or forced into judging between Ordana, Valerias, and one other female immortal (possibly Djaea?). But that in turn raises several questions:
A) Who's the judge? Only thought I had was to possibly tie this into the Actaeon or similar
B) Who's the third Immortal being judged? Djaea? Hel? The Great One? (Demogorgon in his/her female aspect? -- perhaps not)
C) What takes the place of the M-Apple of Discord? At first I was thinking the contest was simply brought about by (what the elves view as) Valerias vanity, demanding to known who is "the fairest in the land", but now I think that might be too Disney and I wonder if it couldn't be tied into a one of the RW "Golden Apple myths" or even the Idunn legends
D) What, if any, kind of bribes could the goddesses offer to compare to the RW-bribes (perhaps one or two or all of them don't offer anything?) and
C) Does the judgment cause some sort of M-Trojan War in elven history?