Well, posting a little bit of fiction worked. More random people found me than ever before. Interesting.
Let’s try another bit, see what happens.
I am fascinated by the classic four elements. This is hardly a surprise. Early attempts at rational, scientific thought suggested that they were irreducible building blocks of reality. Of course the Greek version is a bit different to the Chinese, and so on. Sometimes a fifth is added. Sometimes they are defined differently (hot/cold, dry/wet, sharp/blunt, subtle/dense, mobile/immobile etc.).
A thousand fictional universes have gone to this particular alchemical well for inspiration over the decades and centuries. Books, films, TV shows, computer games, comics, you know it. Naturally, each want to put their own twist on the recipe.
I am no different. At one point, years ago, I thought it would be fun to have a go at creating an elemental system myself. So, this is the creation myth I came up with. Something that would explain and justify four elemental powers, and the birth of the first mortal creatures.
Four elementals surveyed their empty universe, bored.
They decided to create life. Something they could observe, nurture, shape, and – most importantly – terrify into utter loyalty.
Earth was the first to step forward. He fashioned a body from clay, and set it down on the dusty ground.
The elementals watched, and waited, but this body had no animating spirit, and was nothing more than a statue.
Air knew exactly what to do. He leaned forward, placed his shimmering lips onto those of the statue, and blew a single life-giving breath into its stolid frame.
The statue lived, and was a statue no more! It’s chest rose and fell. It shuffled in place. But it was still a dull creature, with no wit or wisdom to speak of.
Water had a solution. With grace and delicacy she placed a single drop of pure water into the head of the creature, giving it a mind.
It turned its heavy head, looking at the elementals and the world around it. There was a pause.
Much to the horror of the gathered spirits, the creature began to rip and tear at everything in sight. The sombre hills. The ground beneath its lumpen feet. The thick clay of its own body. All with a curious, calm blankness.
With a start, Fire leapt forward and placed an ember into the chest of the poor, damaged creature.
The final gift – a soul. A conscience.
All four pieces of the puzzle were present. It walked, talked, lived and breathed. It dreamed and planned and wondered and built and mourned and wept and rejoiced and. It lived. It died.
It would not be the last.