First: The Heavens

In the void there was a seed
so rich in its own truth that
it took root in itself and
sprouted. Earthen vines grew in
cascading tendrils about
the seed and themselves until
the world was formed. The void was
pregnant with jealousy and
bore passionate volcanoes
within and without itself
forming the heavens. Yet one
of the stars burned bright beside
the world and became inspired
with inimitable love.
So great was this love the sun
wept and gifted to the world
water to fill every nook
and the ability to
make more earth with volcanoes.
Pleased and grateful, the world bloomed
with the first flowers erupting
seeds for planets and pollen
for moons to all the other
celestial volcanoes which
burned to love as does the sun.
So it was that love embraced
the void until there was no
such thing as nothing and all the
universe celebrated
with cosmic dancing the gift.
The dancing turned the stars and
planets and moons to the great gears
of a clock whose unknown hours
grace the manifold blessings
of day and night upon the
worlds and their inhabitants.

Second: The Living

The sun rose on the first day
and the flowers fell into
the sea. There they merged with the
ebb and flow of the cosmic
dance and the waters were filled
with life. By sunset there was
an abundance of sea plants
and creatures and beings with
the gift of thought. It was these
first thinking beings who knew
the world had neglected to
make herself a moon when she
enriched the heavens. So they,
knowing the blindness of night,
decided to make their own.
Sunrise on the second day
signaled the start of their work.
The most iridescent shells
that could be found were gathered
and bound into a great disc
which they wedged into the mouth
of a submerged volcano.
Pressure built until sunset
when a mighty eruption
shattered the bindings of the
disc and sent the shells flying.
Yet the outpouring lava
created a new island
which caught up the shells as they
fell back to earth. Some heard the
sound of their landing and
groped their way onto the
shore, dragging sea plants and
creatures behind them. The third
sunrise dried the beings and
creatures and persuaded the
plants to take root. So the land
became inhabited. The
beings of the sea saw this
and grew envious. They wished
to walk on land and gather
again the shells for the disc.
Yet every time they leapt for
the shore they fell back upon
themselves. Again they leapt and still
they fell. So came the waves to
the shore which sometimes caress
and sometimes take those who stand
upon the shore. The second
thinking beings, able to
walk upon land, regathered
the fallen shells and again
bound them into a disc which
was again wedged into the
now landlocked volcano. Few
stood upon the disc to hold
it together as it flew.
Again the volcano burst
at sunset. The land beings
who stayed behind gasped a breath
of wishful thinking. This breath
became the first wind. The wind
wrapped itself around the disc
and its travelers, turning
them into beings of the
air. Propelled into the heavens,
they found a place for their moon
whose bindings had been weakened
by the volcanic outburst.
So, for half the month, the moon
falls apart piece by piece and,
for the other half a month,
the air beings build again.
To ease the monthly mending,
the wind gifted flight to some
of the land creatures, prompting
the growth of tall trees for their
homes. Yet only the noble
bees remained faithful to their
task of locating fallen
shells. So, they were awarded
the ability to make
the necessary binding
wax and the abundant
sacred honey of living.

Third: The Divining

The dawning of the fourth day
warmed all the world with knowledge.
Beings of the sea, land, and
air each bore a memory
of that first seed of truth which
inspired the all-consuming
love that sparked creation. So
the Creator was revealed
in the living creation.
Veritas, the seed of all.
Virtus, Her daughter and proof.
Called Veritas or Ma’at
or Aletheia or some
other name that can be found,
the Creator wishes all
to walk the path with Virtus.
So came the name of Virtues
to those who are of the air.
So came the name of ManKind
to those who live upon land.
So came the name of StarFish
to those caught up in the waves.
So the final daylight hours
of creation saw the Three
Houses name their respective
plants and creatures until
the sun set on the fourth day
and the moon first, truly rose.

Fourth: The Limiting

It was not long before the
Virtues realized that there
was something unforeseen which
weighed heavily upon them.
They saw in every shadow
a memory of the void
and growing cold at the thought
that the weight in their hearts might
mar the grace of the infant
universe, they reached within
themselves and gripping their fears
bound them all together so
that they contained themselves in
what is called the Pravitas.
Yet just as the void could not
exist without that one seed
which gave birth to all, so too
the Pravitas had a seed
of hope called Spes, or Elpis.
Though this seed made its home in
the darkness, Spes yearned to feel
the warmth of the sun and called
to Curiosus, for whom
a great affinity was
felt without ever meeting.
Pietas had been charged with
guarding the Pravitas and
asked Concordia to keep
the peace over the Virtues
in their council regarding
whether Curiosus should
answer the call of Spes. Their
concern was not unfounded,
but they no longer knew this
having forgot the reason
for the Pravitas because
they had enclosed in it their
collected memories of
the primordial void and
so were left with only their
collected ignorance to
guide them. Fortuna stood by
Fides in taking a chance
on the ray of hope in the
darkness. Clementia desired
only to please and support
her fellow Virtues and gave
Curiosus her blessing.
The Pravitas was opened
and before Spes was allowed
to feel the warmth of the sun
the world was flooded with a
darkness cold and wet. Spes saw
her former home begin its
rampage of woe and disease
and flew out into the world
to help its creatures. Those who
were reached in time were gifted
with Patientia and
Fortitudo, they survived.
The Virtues came together.
Curiosus, Pietas,
Concordia, Fortuna,
Fides, Spes called Elpis, and
Clementia knew their wrong.
They had ignored the darkness
within themselves and put all
in peril. They decided to supply
the earth with a people who
could lead the survivors to
a future which actively starved
Pravitas to feed Veritas
and walk the path with Virtus.
So were born from StarFish the
Daughters of Clay bearing the
gifts of Prudentia and
Temperans, while the heavens
sent the Sons of Fire with gifts
of comparable Justus
and Fortis. Many among
the survivors were wed to
such, but one true-made pairing
would make clear the path for all.

Fifth: The Revelation

Though the Pravitas had been
unable to destroy all,
by the grace of Elpis, its
darkness had brought more than woe
and disease to torment the
survivors. Pravitas had
laid the foundations and built
the walls comprising all the
barriers of language and
culture which have since caused much
unrest among all peoples.
It falls upon all those born
of Clay and Fire - and all the
descendants and students of
such - to reunite under
Concordia and her twin
Clementia all peoples,
no matter their sight or word.

Next Chapter: The Virtuous Chants