The Tale of Time


  • Baron

    The Tale of Time is the Abijungyan Merfolk's story of creation. The ancient tale predates writing and was preserved through oral tradition for many many years until eventually versions of the story were included in many of the earliest religious texts of the Merfolk. The Abijungyan elves also have an extremely similar creation story (likely based on the Merfolk's) and so the pronunciation of the names Abi and Oloigo are based on the elvish pronunciation. This translation of the story is based on the text inscribed on the walls of the Merfolk temple of Ikikaobila, the oldest surviving written copy of this story. The original text was in Deep Primordial, the ancient language of the Merfolk.

    The Tale of Time
    Translated by Dolmyt Skyphander, 597FC

    Before there was anything, there was everything and there was nothing. All that ever was, is, or ever will be was everywhere at all times before it all existed. This displeased Oloigo (1), who manifested themself from the evernothing (2) out of spite. Oloigo was separated from the evernothing, but still completely immersed in it, they felt the most excruciating pain and the most euphoric of ecstasy simultaneously and always. This displeased Oloigo, who manifested (3) a state of being separate from the evernothing called time so that they could pull the evernothing apart and experience it at their leisure. This pleased Oloigo and they continued to pull the evernothing apart and manifest it into time for billions of years. Time existed only to serve Oloigo, and this displeased Abi (4), who too manifested themself from the evernothing into time. Abi traveled throughout time and pulled the manifestations of Oloigo together. At the beginning of time, where Oloigo had pulled emptiness (5) from the evernothing to experience, Abi organized (6) it into space so that there would be somewhere for them to put all of Oloigo's manifestations as they continued their journey through time. Next, where Oloigo had pulled fullness (7) from the evernothing to experience, Abi organized it into the world so they could keep track of everything they had organized. Next, where Oloigo had pulled happiness and sadness from the evernothing to experience, Abi organized it into night and day, so they could keep track of how far they had traveled into time. As Oloigo marched forward, experiencing new things, Abi followed and gave Oloigo's manifestations order and purpose. Eventually, once Oloigo had experienced most of what they had wanted from the evernothing, they tried to go back to reexperience that which had pleased them, but was surprised to find they could no longer go back in time, as time no longer existed to serve them. This displeased Oloigo, and so they started pulling the most unpleasant aspects of the evernothing into time to spite Abi. Abi continued to organize all of Oloigo's manifestations into the world, but at some point in time, all of Oloigo's manifestations involved some amount of hate, pain, or violence. This displeased Abi, however, they had to continue giving everything a purpose, as that was their purpose. Once Oloigo had pulled the entirety of the evernothing into time, they waited for Abi to arrive. At the end of time (8), Abi finally caught up with Oloigo. Abi was displeased with Oloigo for subjecting the world to everything unpleasant, and Oloigo was displeased with Abi for taking their manifestations and turning them into something they were never intended to be. Oloigo and Abi fought over whether the universe they had created (9) together should exist for gods like them, or the mortals born within it. Their fight caused time to crumble until eventually there was nothing left, and they had killed each other. At that point, there was everything and there was nothing (10).

    (1) Referred to as "the maker," "the devil," or "the selfish god" in other texts. Pronounced "Ö!öìǁö" in Deep Primordial.
    (2) Everything and nothing simultaneously. Referred to as "the space between worlds" in other texts.
    (3) All the things Oloigo "makes" are referred to as "manifestations" that they "manifest" from the evernothing, the word for "create" is specifically not used.
    (4) Referred to as "the organizer," "the benevolent," or "the selfless god" in other texts. Pronounced "Āʘí" in Deep Primordial.
    (5) The word used in the original text specifically points to emotional emptiness.
    (6) It is never said that Abi "creates" anything, instead they "organize" what Oloigo has already "manifested."
    (7) The word used in the original text specifically points to emotional fullness of fulfillment.
    (8) Time is referred to in this text as if it is a place, the literal translation of "the end of time" would be something akin to "the end of the trail of time."
    (9) The word for "create" is only ever used in reference to Oloigo and Abi "creating" the universe together.
    (10) The end of the story clearly mirrors the opening. There is much debate among theologians whether this implies that the existence go Oloigo and Abi is cyclical, and they keep recreating the universe endlessly, or if this implies that a totally new universe can be created at the end of time.


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