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Myths of the Old Ones

Any Carja devout knows that the truth of the Old Ones is laid out plainly in the Articles of the Sun Faith. A twilight time came upon them, as is the cycle of things, followed by a long night, and finally our ancestors' birth in the new dawn. Since that dawn, Carja history has been writ in the path of the Sun, not the faded glories of those who came so long before us (even the Leaves of the Old Ones found by Araman are long since cracked and fallen to dust.)

Nevertheless, collected here for study are the colorful beliefs of the Old Ones held by other tribes, which may offer a small insight into those tribes' primitive views of the world.

Oseram, as might be expected, view the workings of the world as a device, one where all things behave according to mechanical rigidity and not the Sun's divine rhythms. The movement of the tribes, of the seasons, even the stars at night--all are accounted for by this interlocking and complicated mechanism. The Old Ones were the caretakers of this great machine, but they neglected their duty to maintain it.

The world-machine thus fell into disrepair, and the civilization of the Old Ones collapsed with it. Now the Oseram use their myth to berate the other tribes as negligent, and to hammer upon their own importance. How convenient that their tinkers and metalworkers alone might learn this mechanism's secrets, and improve upon it with their ingenuity!

As even more fanciful tale of censure comes from the Nora barbarians. They believe that the Old Ones turned away from the teachings of the Nora's female god, the All-Mother, and eloped with the machines to build their mighty cities. Having failed to tempt the Nora to join them, the machines rallied under a great 'Metal Devil' and attacked the All-Mother. In her vengeance, she stripped the machines of their wisdom, reducing them to the simple metal beasts we see today.

Without the assistance of the machines, the Old Ones were left to wander as exiles, never permitted to return to the isolation of the Nora and their strange feminine rites. From the survivors of this so-called punishment grew the other tribes, and this is why the Nora show distrust to all outside their borders: for we are descended from the 'faithless', and do not shun the trappings of the ancient world.

Surprisingly, it is the Banuk whose belief is most similar to our own, though their mythology is bizarre in many other ways. They believe the Old Ones grew complacent, thinking there was no challenge they could not overcome, and in their pride were undone. Hence the Banuk give them no more attention than any other tribe defeated by the harshness of Banuk land.

In fact, many Banuk hunters point to the absence of ruins in Ban-Ur as a sign that the Old Ones were never strong enough to endure its challenges. They claim that only the machines and the Banuk have ever roamed there, and so they have nothing to learn from the ancients.

The distant Utaru, however, believe that the Old Ones are still with them at all times. In Utaru ritual those who die are returned to the soil--nourishing the land, and living on through new growth. As long as the dead are remembered, they will contribute to the harvests and make them bountiful. Utaru see the richness of their territory, Plainsong, as evidence of this unique and disturbing cycle.

Finally, as there are few living scholars of the Tenakth, we are regrettably denied any insight from that tribe. From what is known, though, it seems they have little concept of a wider history at all. But, of course, this is what elevates a scholar of Meridian from a bloodthristy raider-- to be aware of all the Sun's light touches, however strange and unlikely the tales.

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