Archive for creation

The Glorious History of Aathenaar, Part Two: The Birth of All Things

Posted in Shows, Unicorn City with tags , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by Greg Landgraf

The land was dark, a brown mass, devoid of life apart from Alatia. But she grew hungry, and as she had no other option, she tasted the dirt.

But the dirt’s flavor was painfully bright, and Alatia was forced to sneeze it out, and each piece flew into the heavens, forming the suns and moons and stars.

One of these stars grew dim, and it teetered and flickered in the sky before falling lifeless to Alatia’s breast. Alatia wept for the dead star, and she continued for a thousand days and nights, and when she finally stopped she discovered that the world was now possessed of rivers and lakes and streams and oceans.

Exhausted though she was from her tearful ordeal, Alatia felt she must do something for this fallen star still clinging to her bosom. And so she ran throughout the world, kicking dirt into mountains and valleys as she went, until she found a stream whose gentle burbling reminded her of all the songs yet to be written. It was here that she dug a shallow grave for the star, and buried it, and finally collapsed from exhaustion.

When Alatia woke, the world was covered in all of the plants of the world: tall grasses made the land bright, and tiny algae gave the oceans breath, and the flowering shrubs painted the world with joy, and trees–the mightiest of which grew from the spot where the star had been buried, provided it with strength.

Ravenous with hunger, Alatia feasted on the grains and fruits and vegetables and tubers and legumes until she was quite rotund with satisfaction. she rested against the star tree, pregnant with joy.

Within a few moments, her stomach began to rumble, and the contractions of labor began. She had turned one of the beans into a tiny lizard, which she delivered without pain. It coughed wisps of flame as it scurried toward a mountain to build its lair.

Alatia was still engorged with life, however. A sprig of garlic had grown into a fisherbird that sped out of her left earlobe. A pear became a baby rhinoceros that grew in her femur and charged out from between her toes. A lion roared out from her stomach, and a trout flopped out of her forehead, and a clam emerged from the small of her back. In this way, over the next several hours, were the animals of the world born–save one.

For in all of these deliveries, not once was Alatia delivered of a person.

She failed to weep at this sadness, which was more profound than tears could express. But the wise and true unicorn, the last of the animals she had born, understood. It trotted to Alatia, lowered its horn, and touched her stomach, and she was pregnant once again, this time with the twelve men and women who would found all of civilization.

Alatia smiled at the unicorn as it trotted into the forest, knowing she would not see this highest of creatures again, but also that its spirit would reside in all people forevermore.

The Glorious History of Aathenar, Part 1: Of Creators and Dreams

Posted in Shows, Unicorn City with tags , , , , , on August 19, 2010 by Greg Landgraf

by Repatia of Rookwood Falls, high bard designate to Baron Brange Aathenaar

Translated by Greg Landgraf

Translator’s note: Unicorn City takes place in a small village known as Aathenaar, on a world known as Coventra. We have discovered and translated this work, commissioned by Baron Brange of Aathenaar shortly before the events related in the play. Three Legged Race offers it here, in 18 parts, in hopes that those who attend the show will find it of interest to learn how the town came to be. The history should be valuable to scholars due to its wide scope–covering a period of time from the creation of the world to modernity–but the reader should keep in mind that as it was commissioned by a significant player in some of its events, certain stories may be less reliable than they would be if told by a truly independent historian.

One might, if he or she desired to dabble in abstraction, visualize the Universe as a great expanse of stone or brick or wood, stretching in all four directions to dimensions only limited by the mind’s conception. And perhaps one could stand–mentally, if not physically–in the center of this expanse, and wonder at its bigness, but one would not.

For this expanse is dotted by holes, some tiny and some massive, and it is the indelible nature of all persons to notice such holes, and to wonder what can and must be done to fill them. And in such way are all works, great and tiny, created, from the mother preparing a bowl of stew with love for her brood of children and pets, to the construction of mighty cathedrals, to the recording of great Histories.

If mere mortals may find these gaps in the Universe and do what they must to fill them, then why would we expect the Gods to be any different? The answer is simple: We must not, for we are Created in their image, and They in ours, and our minds are therefore intertwined like a black-and-redfruit tree and its slinkervine.

Our Gods, beloved Letitia and stalwart Harvey, conceived of our world Coventra in sadness. They lived for tens of thousands of years amongst others of their kind on a massive spinning dirt square known as Earth. Harvey had a deeply industrious nature, while Letitia was more light-hearted, so Harvey fed Letitia’s body, and Letitia fed Harvey’s soul, but Earth provided for both needs in abundance, and both knew joy.

But one day a God was found dead, and they all gathered in one tiny field to discuss this unprecedented event. The only agreement they could reach was that they must discover the perpetrator of this act, but none knew who it was.

The discussion lasted for sixty-seven hours, until one of the Gods named Ralph decided to speak. “I believe I know who did this to us all,” he declared. He pointed directly at Harvey’s eyes. “It was him, and let any contradict me who have better evidence!”

But none did, and the Gods immediately agreed that Harvey must have been the actor. Only Letitia kept any faith in her friend, but her cries were drowned by the roar of the rest of the Gods.

The Gods immediately decided that Harvey must be removed from Earth, and in an instant, he was. All was blackness and cold, and Harvey wept tears that did not fall and were not wet.

And then a tiny light appeared, and it grew and became blindingly bright, and from it burst beloved Letitia, for Paradise without Love is not Paradise, and so her choice was simple.

The light exploded with dirt, and our Gods spent many days assembling each grain into the World that we know. They created but one bit of life, however: The first person, Alatia, was the last of their works that we know of, and as they breathed life into her they disappeared into heavens of which we cannot conceive. But we know that Harvey and Letitia are still working, for they promised Alatia that one day they would bring her, and all of her children to Earth with them, where they could revel in all of its Four Corners.

And it is that which drives all of our actions today.