Markel stared out the windows, looking in awe of the thunderstorm light show flashing and crashing over the steel skyscrapers of his hometown. He imagined each crash as gigantic gods fighting over good and evil, each blast of thunder a body thrown, each light flash, the spark of metal sword on shield.
"You should be in bed, son," said the boy's father from the door frame. Markel jumped from his window, his footed pajama covered feet nearly slipping on the linoleum floor in a mad rush to get tucked in by his father. Ororitz tussled the hair of his little boy as Markel snuggled into his bed sheets for a good night's sleep.
"Daddy...would you tell me a story before bed?"
"It's getting pretty late for a story." Ororitz said just as lightning flashed white hot, thunder boomed explosively, and the power cut out. Hearing Markel yelp at the storm's fury, he decided a story would be a good way to calm his son enough to get him back asleep.
"What kind of story would you like to hear?"
"Tell me about how the world started, Dad."
Ororitz cleared his voice, putting on the best narrator voice he could muster. Had to make this interesting, you know. "Well, about 4 billion years ago, the Earth formed from a disk of dust, the dust packing together into--"
"No, dad." Marken crossed his arms in overly melodramatic pouting. "That's not a story, that's science class. Tell me the STORY about how the world started."
Ororitz smiled, and picked a story he had heard from his own great-grandfather, supposedly passed down for generations. Maybe it was time he passed the story on.
"Alright then...the story about how the world began...."
In the beginning was the egg. And in the egg was a dove, waiting for its shell to crack and be free to spread its wings.
When it hatched, the egg exploded with such force that the sun was born along with the dove. With the dove was born six men who would tend to the egg the dove would leave behind, Tehr. And when Tehr was created the six men left to tend to it, ploughing its fields, nuturing its soil.
The dove laid another egg, Mes, but with no men to tend to it, Mes became lifeless and dead and is still seen in the sky overhead to this day. The dove flew into the darkness, joining its four sisters, never to be visited by man again.
Eventually, as the men of the dove nurtured Tehr, the egg began to crack. As the dove of Terr moved in it's shell, rivers flowed from the cracks with all the fishes of the sea following. The breath of the dove created the sky, with the plants springing up to savor the air. The dove's talons formed mountains on the shell, from where all the creatures of the earth overran the land.
The men of the dove counted all the fish of the sea, the plants of the land, and the animals of the mountains. And of all the fish, plants and animals, the men found the most clever and cunning to help tend the egg: Man.
The men of the dove took clouds from the sky, adding them to Man to give them thought and reason. They took the light of the sun, which made him pleasing and intelligent. And the men of the dove gave man a piece of themselves, which made his soul. And the soul gave them a name. The Arios.
The men of the dove taught the Arios of the fish in the sea, the plants in the air, and the animals from the mountains. As the Arios thrived, the men of the dove settled in the mountains of the Northwest. Man tended the egg on their own in the delta of the southeast. The Tehr fed man, and Man fed the Tehr.
As the time went on, the Arios forgot about the men of the dove. Among the Arios, a city formed made up of five clans of the Arios: the Ehrem, the Suunon, the Avah, the Tua and the Pera, with the original Arios in the center. The clans created towns of their own, tribes of their own, and clans of their own.
In time, a man came to the Arios, Livis, a man of the dove, King of all Men. But he was just one of the six from the dove, and his teachings spread only to the Arios, who were convinced he was a god. Unable to reach the other tribes quickly, Livis created an army of just the Arios to destroy the men of the dove in the mountains.
And yet the Arios trembled at the thought that they, as men, would go against gods. But when Livis flew into the air, and showed them his powers, he convinced them that as he was as one of the six of the dove, they were but six against thousands of the Arios.
On the night of the march to the northwest, the skies over the mountains trembled in fury, and the smell of rain tinged the air. Livis flew into the air, proclaiming that the men of the dove were preparing for war against them. As then a blue strike of lightning encompassed him, he fell dead breaking his legs.
The lights over the mountain continued for days, and the normally gentle weather became violent. The Arios were first fearful of the lights and rising waters, but as the hours passed, they mustered up their courage and sent runners to the five tribes, once clans of the Arios, to tell the tale and request more troops.
And yet the lightning continued, and the waters rose and became violent. The Arios gave up their plans for war, and began plans for survival, but the waters overwhelmed them and destroyed the town of the Arios utterly, sweeping them into sea.
The men of the dove came down from the mountain, and surveyed the damage. each remaining tribe recieved a man of the dove, who grieved the deaths of the Arios, allowed through the distraction of the Men of the Dove while judging Livis.
As one of them had directly provoked Man attempting to usurp their future for himself, they would no longer allow themselves to control man's future, and sealed this promise with the rainbow after a storm.
The five tribes of the Arios became alone, and with only sparse contact among them, the tribes attempted to rebuild the city of Arios. And while the city began to thrive yet again with the former clans of the Arios, the Pera could not be found. Soon afterwards, three sets of envoys to the Arios City from the Ehrem never returned.
And we, the Tribe of Ehrem, became lost
Neotia ended his story and saw his son, Ayrtos, was fast asleep. He readjusted the hide blanket over his sleeping forn to keep him warm. While the old yurt loaned to him by the leader of the Adhgye was adequate for his family and a few others in his envoy, it was drafty, especially with the cool winds coming in off the lake. he smiled proudly at his son as he tussled Ayrtos' hair. "Goodnight, son."
The sun had only just set in the West, but there was still much work ahead of him. He would need all his diplomatic skills to gain permission to have the Ehrem settle at the lake among the Adhgye. Winter was coming.