(and why talking about it is a good way to end up in a tavern brawl)
As to the beginning, what was before, why it stopped being what it was and became what it is, why any of this is here at all…well, take your pick:
- The people of Elbeth, famed for their love of travel (along with rock collecting and scrapbooking) believe that the Sun makes for a perfectly good source of creation and that looking for more is just gilding the lily. For the Elbeth, it was the Sun’s great primordial Kiss which created the Fairelands out of the void. And the dawn, they postulate, is nothing more or less than a snapshot of that moment which the Sun God takes out and gazes upon each morning, that he might relive the cosmic, carnal delight of the moment of creation. The noted Metaphysicist Ernst Halliday famously challenged this notion, arguing that he could not believe “in a universe where God takes selfies.”
- From the Faireland realm of Discorde comes the old whaler’s legend of a world of water, where men knew only a joyous life at sea. Until one day in that vast emptiness they happened across a raft which bore upon it a tiny sapling. Fascinated, they followed the currents, reconstructed its path and discovered the most wonderful thing they had ever seen. An island. A paradise. They moved in at once and have been miserable about it ever since as their vast catalogue of atonal sea shanties makes painfully clear.
- In the twin realms of Reed and Wissle we find the Holy Ice Sculpting tradition of Crystalosophy. Their basic idea of creation seems to be that whatever got the ball rolling in the first place, the ball doesn’t roll very far before it melts into a puddle. It’s all a bit cloudy but fans of Impermanence will feel right at home. Vacationing there during the all-too-brief winter is prohibitively expensive for many. But no less inspiring is a visit during the much more affordable summer season when you will find the best frozen Daiquiris in the Many Realms.
- If your taste runs more to the shadowy, consider the Coven of Yagamon. It won’t take long to consider them because it is forbidden for outsiders to know their stories, which raises legitimate questions about their marketing savvy. They are, however, the Fairelands’ leading producer of erotic woodcuts, which definitely settles the preceding questions.
But, you get the picture. There are as many stories of creation in the Fairelands as there are Fairelands themselves and that is a number that none can name.
The student of Comparative Religion revels not in the unending diversity of Faireland creation stories but rather in the recurring themes to be found therein. To them, these shared motifs form a skeleton key unlocking truths which the vagaries of time have secreted away. More cynical observers may argue – indeed they have argued – that the recurrence of certain images and symbols is more likely evidence of cultural contamination, if not appropriation. Such cynics call to mind the words of Hrothgar the Irritable who noted that some people “would complain if you cleaved them in half with a platinum battle axe.”
There is one story, however – and a very old one even by Faireland standards – that you will hear echoes of in many of the Many Realms.
The story is about a race of celestial beings. In text of the greatest antiquity they are called the Emba. Few Fairelanders today know that it is an embodiment of that long forgotten race to whom they pray when praying to the Fairelady. But in countless worlds you will find the shared belief that it was she who sang the first Fairelands into being.