Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Teltelkes Heheces: A History of the People

As a gamemaster, there may be many origins and accompanying origin myths for your world and the peoples upon it. If you choose to use Teltelkes Heheces and the People, I offer the following as the "creation myth" of the People.

 

Here in their land, as the People's nature revolves about their Hearthstone, their daily lives revolve about the hearths of their homes. Those willing to house and care for others are well-respected and the 'giving of hearth rights,' that is providing room and rest space, a time-honored tradition. Most of the trade revolves about barter but the Innkeeper, a shortish burly fellow who smells like a bear, will accept the coin of all nations.

Long tables with benches, encircling half of the central fire pit, serve as the dining room. A rather large Wolf, whose dark fur is streaked with silver and grey, snoozes alongside the fire. He appears to be well known to the Keeper and all present. Dinner is abundant and hearty; mostly fish and local vegetables, breads and cheeses but deer, pig and fowl are available as well. Locals who dine at the Ley Slamet vary between their human and shared forms, some even switching during the meal. The place is noisy, smoky and feels like a home.

Once dinner is cleared away several of the tables are moved to the walls, the benches placed in a rough circle near the fire and the wolf, still snoring. Drinks are brought out, pipes are lit and someone strums a guitar in the background. "A tale for the evening!" someone calls out. "But which?" asks another. Heqtelt answers, "We have strangers from afar, let Slelex Toitoetoem 'Old Man Bird' tell of the beginning!" The crowd agrees and cheers. Slelex, a proud and old Hawk makes his way to the center and sits upon a rug placed on the floor.

 

As the crowd quiets, the bard begins, "There was time before the Ages of this world began. A time when the sky was full of stars and the Young People leap from star to star as a pup chases a butterfly. The world was revealed to those People and for the first time they met the Dwarves, enamored of dirt and rock, and the Elves, of land and life. There were those of Terrans who learned of our world and the Ancestors told them that it was special. The magicks, so rare across the stars, were here as well."

"And so they came, our Forefathers, and landed upon our world. They found kin among the Elves, for they too knew of the magicks, but the Dwarves were ignorant. For years they studied together, Shaman and Druid and Animist, for magick was but a trickle and elusive. Then came the Cataclysm and the world was swallowed by the Maelstrom but remained whole and viable. To their surprise the wise men and Elves discovered that trickle was now a torrent. The world was flooded with magicks and the gizmos and widgets of the Dwarves and others were overwhelmed and began to fail."

"This time, this First Age, was a dangerous time upon the world. For not all those who learned magick were of a good spirit. Magick was power and evil sought this power to wield against the good as well. The people were in danger and sought defense against the rising Darkness. We sought the knowledge of the Ancestors and learned that we might transform ourselves, become our spirit within and become people of two forms. Not just the temporary change of a magician or the flowing form of shape shifters, but people who were both Human and of the People."

"The first of the People studied, quested, and traveled the lands. After many trials and tribulations our new forms were gained. Upon the highest mountains arose the Eagle, across the wide plains ran the Lion, in the deepest woods roared the Wolf and Bear and," winking at Tosca, "in the corners of houses and barns, snuck the Mouse. As the First Age ended there were few of the People and they were scattered. When the wars of Light and Dark ended, and new Gods rose into the Heavens, a Second Age began. But magick was diminished and our people suffered. But they survived and once again time turned."

"The Third of the Ages was a rebirth of the magicks. The realms of Spirit gave access to our Ancestors and we found some of the new Gods of Light were the same as those of old. The People grew and expanded. Others joined our numbers, both those who sought a second shape and others who found a way to change their shapes. Falcon, Hawk and Gull joined the Eagle in the skies. Squirrel, Rabbit and Rat joined the Mouse in fields and towns. Tiger, Panther and Cat joined the Lion upon the plains and in the hills. Boar and Badger joined the Wolf and Bear in the woods and forests. We spread across Arda, forming Hearths in many places. Not as many as the Young Races but enough. For we survived the Fourth Age and grew again in today's Age." Slelex puffs upon his pipe and concludes. There is applause, roars and slapping of hands or paws upon tables. The Wolf yawns and rolls over.

 

Next article: Some places of Teltelkes Heheces