Myths of Origins: Teratai

by Derwen

     Teratai believe they are the oldest race. I am unable to ascertain the nature and dates of teratai oral history since little exists in written form and most of it is withheld from outsiders. Only the Gods know which race is the eldest, though the teratai qualify as one of the oldest races. Though teratai are amphibious, they prefer living in freshwater lakes rather than land. Their primary language is spoken underwater using high-pitched whistles and melodic calls.

     Teratai babies begin as tiny eggs that are nested in a thick membrane on the underside of underwater leafy plants. Legend holds that the Father God, Herodius, came in the form of a great blue heron to harvest teratai eggs in a wicker basket he carried in his claws. He told the teratai he would take the young southwest to the ocean, and when the babies hatched, they’d be able to breathe seawater, thus creating the first saltwater teratai.

     On the way, the longest feather on the Heron’s tail began to feel jealous of all the attention on the mortal teratai. With each new gust of wind, the tail feather reached down and brushed the side of the basket causing it to tip, showering eggs down onto the landscape below.

     These eggs hatched in air rather than water, and created air-breathing folk. The first rain of eggs landed on oak trees and hatched wood elves. The second dispatch of eggs landed on snow and rock. From these sprang the barbarians. Another shower landed on grasses in a meadow. Humans arose from these plains. The last of the eggs fell upon the vines of the jungle, creating the sade.

     When Herodius arrived at the southern ocean without his motherly possession, he was furious. He sent his mind’s eye back in time to see the offender, his own tail, ruin his plans. Herodius turned his long neck back, and plucked out the bothersome tail feather, which transformed and became the cruel Goddess, Valta.

     Valta, pleased with her mischief, wasn’t finished yet. She tried to disguise herself as a bird, so that she could fool the teratai into thinking she was Herodius. The best she could do was to transform into something with wings but no feathers, a black bat. She’d lost the power of the bird when Herodius cast her away from his magic. Instead of deceiving the teratai, she chose to hide in the black of night, and steal more eggs for her own design.

     Some say a hair on her body betrayed her efforts and created more races such as the stalkers, dwarves and lumen. No one knows for certain, but the end result of her campaign of thievery is the creation of her devoted worshippers, the dark elves.

     Teratai never blamed the children races for the neglect or deceit of their creation. Each race was judged by its behavior as a whole, by the acts of individuals, and by the long-standing values of order and tranquility. Each race is ranked and regarded properly through this means.

References: Teratai, Elf, Barbarian, Human, Stalker, Dwarf, Lumen

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