The Broken Dream of Wala-Kofa Myth in Shadowfire | World Anvil

The Broken Dream of Wala-Kofa

The Motu's great creation myth, tells of the birth of the world, and the ending of the DeepTime, that time of creation where the Motu lived in harmony with the world, protected within the dreams of their Goddess Wala-Kofa.  
"Our Mother is Wala, she who gives life. And she is Kofa, who takes it away. And as she sleeps she dreams the Ashtiri, the endless renewal. But since she awoke in fire, she cannot dream. And now, that which dies stays forever dead." - The ritual greeting of the Mothers of Motu

The Deeptime

The Deeptime was a time before the Counting of the Moons, and there was nothing but stars in the void and the Mother of All, Wala-Kofa who slept within it and dreamed vast dreams as she floated. In her dreams she longed for children to share in her wonder. She reached out with her arms and embraced the void, and drew to herself a million stars. She wrought them into a single star greater than all, which we call the Sun, and it gave her warmth and light. And when she was warm enough, she gave birth to the Motu, and the mountain folk, and the sea-folk, and the great birds of the air, and the serpents of the ocean's depths, and the great trees and all the myriad creatures of the world. She placed them on herself, and watered tears of joy to fill the ocean on her belly and water the earth.   When she was done, she slept. And while she slept she dreamt, and as she dreamed she turned in her sleep and night turned to day and the great cycle of her dreams was begun. This is what we call Ashtiri.  

The Children of Wala-Kofa

The Children of Wala-Kofa awoke within this dream, and were enamoured by the oceans and the forests and mountains, and all the life that surrounded them. Most of all they looked up in wonder at the many coloured and ever-changing skies above.   They wandered far, drinking and eating what they would, and lived many lives, and when they died their spirits were taken into the embrace of Kofa and given new forms by the dreams of Wala. In this way our ancestors knew eternal life.   But some grew bored of their life, and sought for new things. The called to Wala-Kofa, but she was asleep and would not answer. So they built many machines, and ate more and more of the world, and they erected huge towers, and they learnt to make war. They thought themselves Gods, and forgot about Ashtiri. They had become devils and swarmed across Wala, devouring her children and burning her body.  

The end of Ashtiri

And then Wala-Kofa awoke in pain, and in her wrath, she beat down upon her belly and she took the sun in her hands and burnt the devils away in the greatest fire the world had ever known.   But there was one, who we call Aetora, the first Mother of Motu, who had not turned from Ashtiri. When Wala-Kofa awoke, Aestora saw the fires raining down and all the people of the world dying, she sought to calm the Goddess. She found the greatest of the Mountain Eagles, who we call Hela, and atop its back flew higher than anyone had ever dared until she was face to face with the raging Wala-Kofa herself.   Aetora beseached her Goddess to spare the Motu, as not all had become like the devils who had turned their back on Ashtiri.   The two faces of the Goddess argued. Kofa wanted to destroy all that they had given life to and start again, but Wala's fury was calmed by Aetora's words and the fanning of cool winds from the wings of Hela. But even though the rain of fire was stopped, and the Motu survived, Wala could not restart Ashtiri - it was all she could do to stay Kofa's wrath.  

Aetora's vigil and the tears of Wala

Kofa turned from Wala and Aetora and fled to the west with the captured Sun still in her hands. It is she who keeps it there so that Ashtiri can never begin again. It is Kofa who keeps one horizon burning and the other forever locked in ice.   Wala's tears floated after Kofa through the void, leaving a path across the sky. She held her hands down to her belly to hold an ocean of water against the burning of Kofa: a protected place for the Motu to live.   And then, as she finally lay her head down down in grief for all that had been done, she said to Aetora, "Until Kofa's rage can be calmed, there will never be a true rebirth for our children."   Aetora took an oath as she soared through the dark skies, on the back of the mighty Hela. She looked down at the grief-stricken Wala and the surviving Motu she held in her hands, and promised to forever look over them. She would spend eternity if needed beseeching Kofa's mercy for them all.   And now - if we look up at the sky, we can see the two Moons - Aetora and Hela - both still circle the world, and the tears of the Godess light their way. Every month they approach Kofa in the west, but are burned away as they do. But they survive, and begin again, forever hoping to bring about the reunion of Wala-Kofa and the restoration of Ashtiri.

Historical Basis

The myth is the telling of the Destruction and the Age of Shadowfire that has been transformed over the thousands of years since the original survivors began rebuilding. The Goddess of two faces: Wala-Kofa, and the dreaming of Ashtiri are probably aspects of the Trinity that the Motu's ancestors worshipped before the Destruction, and that still hold sway among the Returned of the Protectorates.   It is not known who Aetora was originally, but many believe she was one of the early leaders of the Motu, when they first left the mainland and settled around Uferbrech sea countless years ago. Due to the way divine belief manifests across Shadowfire - there is no doubt of the very real aspect of her divinity now - as the healing magics of the Mothers of Motu and the divine fury of the The Talons of Aetora have proven.   The myth also explains the visible Cosmology and Time of Shadowfire through the creation of the two moons and the Nightbridge.
Character | Feb 5, 2024

The prime deity of the Uferbrech Goblins. She has two distinct aspects, that of creator and destroyer

Date of First Recording
The myth of creation has been passed down through the oral tradition of the Mothers of Motu since before memory.
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Cover image: by Midjourney


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Dec 15, 2020 02:28 by Cassandra Sojourn

Beautifully written!

Choose your poison:   Phasmatum: An Afro-Solar-Fantasy world created for my epic novels.
Adazuri: A shonen-inspired magitech fantasy world home-brewed for 5e.
Dec 15, 2020 12:13 by Ononomad

Thanks Cassandra - it was fun to write :-)

Dec 16, 2020 04:32 by R. Dylon Elder

OOOO i love your style, my friend. This has a beautiful, almost poetic vibe. It feeeels like a myth. Well done.

Dec 16, 2020 20:15 by Ononomad

Thanks Dylan! Lovely feedback. Yeah - it was a break from my my usual descriptive approach... i think I'll have to try include more narrative bits.

Dec 16, 2020 21:10 by R. Dylon Elder

Do it! I love narrative bits.

Jan 11, 2021 16:11 by TC

This was a really enjoyable myth to read! The style is awesome, and I love the description of Wala-Kofa as well as the symbolism. It really felt like reading about an actual myth, which is pretty dang neat :D

Creator of Arda Almayed
Jan 12, 2021 01:41 by Ononomad

Thanks for the feedback TC, very encouraging, and im glad you loked it :)

Sep 2, 2023 19:01

This is awesome, the Deeptime creation especially!