((W Cygni 5 C, Camp))
::The flames licked at the air, but could not escape the confines of their circle. While the planet wasn’t cold, the evenings had just enough hint of chill to make the fire pleasant rather than overwhelming. Orange and yellow danced over the wood with tinges of blue flickering here and there. Alora had taken a seat upon a blanket which had been spread out for sitting, her side pressed lightly against Saveron’s, keeping him close. Two more of her favourite people were with them, and one of them had promised a story.::
::Raissa sat cross-legged before the fire. The golden flames warmed her face and made the feathers and beads in her hair stand out. As she spoke, her hands moved in counterpoint as if to bring her story to life.::
Moonsong: This is the Creation Myth of the Lakota Sioux. It is called the Wind Cave story.
::Her audience gave her their rapt attention. Saavok particularly seemed intrigued by the idea of a fire-side story time. Although she listened to the story, Alora smiled in amusement at the keen interest on part of the young boy.::
::She paused taking a moment to set herself into storytelling mode. It had been a number of years since she had done this. But it had been part of her shaman training.::
Moonsong: In the beginning, before the creation of the Earth, the gods resided in an... undifferentiated... celestial domain and humans lived in an indescribably subterranean world devoid of culture.
::Well that didn’t sound pleasant, Alora mused to herself. Devoid of culture, which meant devoid of music. What a horrendous idea.::
Moonsong: Chief among the gods were Takushkanshkan. That means “something that moves”, there was the Sun, who was married to the Moon, with whom he had one daughter, Wohpe which means “falling star”.
Moonsong: There was also Old Man and Old Woman, whose daughter Ite which means “face”, was married to Wind, with whom she had four sons, the Four Winds.
Moonsong: Among numerous other spirits that lived there, the most important was Inktomi which means“spider”, the devious trickster. Inktomi conspired with Old Man and Old Woman to increase their daughter’s status by arranging a tryst between the Sun and Ite.
Moonsong: The meeting was discovered by the Sun’s wife which led to a number of punishments by Takuskanskan. He gave to the Moon her own domain, and by separating her from the Sun began the creation of Time.
Moonsong: Old Man, Old Woman, and Ite were sent to Earth, but Ite was separated from the Wind, her husband, who, along with the Four Winds and a fifth wind presumed to be the child of the Sun and Ite, established space.
Moonsong: The daughter of the Sun and the Moon, Wohpe, also fell to earth and later resided with the South Wind, the paragon of Lakota maleness, and the two adopted the fifth wind, called Wamniomni which means“whirlwind”.
Moonsong: Then came the time of The Emergence. Alone on the newly formed Earth, some of the gods became bored, and Ite prevailed upon Inktomi to find her people, the Buffalo Nation.
Moonsong: In the form of a wolf, Inktomi traveled beneath the earth and discovered a village of humans. Inktomi told them about the wonders of the Earth and convinced one man, Tokahe, which mean “the first”, to accompany him to the surface.
Moonsong: Tokahe did so and upon reaching the surface through a cave he marveled at the green grass and blue sky. Inktomi and Ite introduced Tokahe to buffalo meat and soup and showed him tipis, clothing, and hunting utensils.
Moonsong: Tokahe returned to the subterranean village and appealed to six other men and their families to travel with him to the Earth’s surface.
Moonsong: When they arrived, they discover that Inktomi has deceived them: buffalo were scarce, the weather had turned bad, and they found themselves starving. Unable to return to their home, but armed with a new knowledge about the world, they survived to become the founders of the Seven Fireplaces.”
::Raissa smiled at her audience.::
Moonsong: The cave Tokahe and his people traveled through is a real place on Earth. It is called, the Cave of Winds.
Saveron: Fascinating. I appreciate you sharing your people’s mythology Raissa.
::Whilst generally Vulcans preferred factual accounts, such tales held a wealth of cultural information and would no doubt be loaded with nuance for those with the background to understand them.::
::Alora pondered the similarities of that story to others in various cultures. Sometimes, they were a lot alike, and sometimes so different. In this case, she could think of a couple that shared at least a few things in common, though she didn’t know them well enough to tell a story like Ris had done.::
DeVeau: Do Vulcans have any ancient stories like this? Ones that predate Surak?
::She queried. Alora hadn’t even thought to ask before, but her curiosity had been piqued.::
Saveron: Affirmative. We had our own mythology and belief system, though they were already largely disregarded before the Awakening.
::Vulcans had been technologically modern in Surak’s time, already venturing into space.::
::Raissa took a sip of water. Her throat was dry from all the talking. She was better at listening.::
Moonsong: Many such story are rich in metaphor and often are used for teaching.
DeVeau: Sometimes the best stories have morals.
Saveron: I can relate a Nel Gathic foundation myth, if you would be interested.
::Such things were preserved for cultural interest.::
::Immediately, Alora perked up. She knew she’d get one story, but a second one would be even more of a treat.::
DeVeau: Please do! I love stories.
::Maybe Ris would tell another afterward.::
Moonsong: I would be interested to hearing one of your stories.
Saveron: As you wish.
::He laced his fingers together and focused on the fire, bringing the essence of the story to mind and translating it into something that would make sense in Federation Standard.::
Saveron: First, there was Sha Ka Ree. It be neither described nor comprehended by mortal minds, but from it flowed all of creation. From it too came the first beings, of the nature of creation and so able to alter it, as we alter the world around us. They were the first to walk on the world, to know it’s nature, to taste it’s waters and feel it’s winds. They carved the rivers, the seas and the land, they sowed life onto the world, and watched it grow.
Saveron: They guided the development of life, but not all were agreed in how it should proceed. Where there had been unity there became divides, as each shaped the land and it’s life to their own designs.
Saveron: It was Or who created the first peoples. In them Or imbued a little of their own ability to shape the world, and so aid Or itself in it’s efforts. The other first beings saw this, and became jealous, for they felt that it was an unfair advantage. The most powerful fell to fighting amongst themselves for possession of the peoples, raising storms and violent seas, powerful earthquakes and caused the very air to freeze and burn. But so evenly matched were they that they destroyed each other, and nearly destroyed the world in the process.
Saveron: When all was over, very little life had survived. The world was left harsh and dry, where once it was paradise, and the few remaining peoples struggled to survive in it. The most powerful first beings were gone. Only the lesser ones remained, and they lacked the power to undo the damage.
Saveron: But the peoples begged them for aid, promised the remaining first beings their faith if they would but help them survive in their hostile world. Each being agreed, but gave different conditions, and so the peoples fractured, each following the being or beings whom they thought could aid them best.
Saveron: Two beings, Ny’one and T’Priah, held domain in the south of the lesser continent. They had been particularly entranced by the plantlife of the world, and there they had preserved a small pocket of what had been lost. They drew their followers there to the more temperate climes, and showed them both this tiny paradise, and the great valley beyond it’s edge which. This land was kinder than the rest of the world, and still supported much plant life. T’Priah showed them how to care for and cultivate this life so that it would sustain them. She watched over their families and favoured their growth. Ny’one brought his life-giving breath to the land every evening, nurturing and caring with his own being, as he taught their peoples to do. And he touched each one, marking them body and soul in their connection to the land, that all might know these were their chosen people.
Saveron: These people they gave sacred trust of these lands, and they called them the Nel Gathic peoples. And to this day each bear’s Ny’one’s fingerprints.
::As he finished his tale Saveron pulled his collar down and turned his head, showing the spots on the back of his neck - actually capillary beds used for heat regulation - that were currently a pale green.::
::Alora resisted the urge to reach out and touch them. She didn’t know why, but she always wanted to do that, even though there wasn’t a particular reason. If anything, it simply gave evidence that she was just weird.::
DeVeau: And that is how your people came to the valley.
::She’d only seen it in holographic form. Hopefully she could see it in person some day.::
Saveron: According to our mythology. ::He agreed.:: Genetic investigations have traced the migration of the proto Nel Gathic peoples across the Voroth sea and along the coast of Han Shir. It does appear that they first ventured inland through what is now the T’ralorian Preserve. ::That was the area of deep ravines that preserved the last vestiges of the ancient ecology of the planet prior to the climate shift.:: You will note also that the story makes reference to the catastrophic change in climate on Vulcan, as recorded by primitive peoples.
::Raissa looked at Saavok.::
Lt Cmdr Saveron
SO and CMO
Lt. Commander Alora DeVeau
Chief of Science
Lt. Commander Raissa Moonsong
Chief of Counseling