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The Legend of the Four

The Deormic are not noted for their great intellects. They are usually considered banal to the extreme. However, they did manage to come up with a rather interesting variation on how our world was created. Interesting, in that we are all quite clear that our world originated in The Great Experiment and it isn't really necessary to come up with a creation myth.   Some people do like their stories, I suppose.

Summary

The myth goes something like this. The world was chaos, barely able to hold form, and within that chaos lived (among others of importance to the Deormic lore) four animals: a rhinoceros, a dragonfly, a salamander, and a badger.   They were all friendly, of course, sticking together in that primordial chaos. The rhinoceros was their leader, as smart as he was strong. The salamander was the creative one, crafting small things out of what was available, clever with her hands and clever with the things that were around to create with. The badger was the warrior of the little group, defending her friends with ferocious claws and sharp teeth. The dragonfly was the trickster of the group, darting from place to place, playing pranks on his friends but also keeping them well out of reach of their enemies.   For they did have enemies, because the forces that existed back then did not appreciate how the friends drew things out of the chaos. How they created things, how they formed a family.   It was the dragonfly who discovered the true nature of this hatred: that it stemmed from fear of losing that primordial force that allowed them to reshape the entire world at a moment's thought, however they chose. But ordinary creatures, like the four friends, could be part of that reshaping, and they did not like it so well. With the knowledge of the fear of the great foe, they decided to fight for their corner of the world, to make it into something that could last and could not be thwarted.   They underwent a long series of quests that I would explain but this part of the story changes from group to group. One city says that they had to travel to the depths of the sea first, another tribe says they started with the mountains. There are even some villages who insist that the whole thing was entirely a journey of the mind, while others say that the sole purpose was the actual physical traversal of the world.   In any case, the four animals underwent quests to gain four things. Again, the exact nature of these things vary from storyteller to storyteller, but the qualities do remain the same. The rhinoceros gains great strength, enough to hold the world that will be shaped. The salamander gains the tools needed to craft the world. The badger forges a weapon to hold off the foe. And the dragonfly comes up with the crucial piece of magic that will seal away the world from the chaos forever.   And so they do it. The salamander crafts the world, the rhinoceros carries it to its appointed place, and the badger holds off all comers. In a final act of sacrifice that usually comes as a wonderfully heartbreaking surprise when the tale is told properly, the dragonfly gives up his life to send forth the magic that cements this world into place, that prevents the chaos from ever truly reshaping it again.   The three remaining friends mourn, and chose to wander the galaxy, sending the people they find to the world they have shaped, a safe haven from the chaos that exists outside.

Historical Basis

To be entirely clear, there is no part of this story that is based in reality. It did not happen. Outside of Deorma, no one thinks it actually happened, even in Varios where you might think that the various pantheons would have come up with something. But no.

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