The embers of the fire floated slowly in the air, already alit by stars. The old man looked to the Flosian family, a mother, a father, two girls, and an older son, gathered around it with him. They had sheltered him for the night so it was only natural that he would return their kindness with knowledge.
“Do you know how the world was made?” He asked, resting his hands on his knees.
“No… But it was Path right?” the shorter of the two girls ventured cautiously.
“She is important, yes. But when the world truly began, there was only ocean and one tiny island. No one is quite sure how, but later on this sand island became the home of two people. One was a woman: young and strong, yet blind. The other was a man. He was old and frail, yet wise. The woman would try to find her way but found that she could not. So the man guided her but in his age, he had trouble moving on the rough surface of the sand. For this, the woman made him a path to walk on.” The old man began.
“So she was Path?” the boy asked.
“Yes, she was Path,” replies The old man.
“But what about the man?” The girl piped up again.
“He was knowlege, history, past. He is Path’s counterpart in many ways. They began to travel the land, first finding Sparr, although the deserts they found had no such name back then. The island they left behind eventually became Unda, imbued with the power they left behind. It is said that Path carved the once lush land of the Valley of the Giants into the current and amazing landscape. This display of power later drew the attention of man. She taught art to the people who came, while he, History, simply watched and listened, content to see and remember the Past.
“Having tested her power in the valley, Past then went to west where she raised the mountains, so high and steep that some say they are impassible. She raised mountains of sand in the east and started the river Liete through desert. When they entered the land of Flosi, Past recorded the upbringing of the land’s grasses and her other works of life. He carefully traveled through the hills and the grains as Path worked ahead. He feared they might become separated as soon the skies darkened in an eclipse, and time seemed to slow. But as they met and made camp, they were able to discuss what they had done, and what they could do, agreeing sometimes, arguing at other times. It seemed neither were completely infallible.” The old man paused to laugh at this notion.
“As they sat around the fire, Past also worked to create writing, in order to help him with his task. Path created birds to help her in hers. The Word and the Bird became their symbols. Fittingly, when you combine them you have a feather quill the symbol of Time. In the morning they once again continued on their journey toward Latt, where Path played with trees and Past decided to watch the rock that was created. He gave advice to Path as she started to create the mountains of Aera.
Eventually it is said that she then called great storms that began to thunder across Sparr for the next hundred or more years at the least; driving the peoples of Sparr out of the desert. But Path and Past were gone, of to another land some say. While we don’t know exactly when peoples eventually made it Unda we know it was long ago. But then one day Path and Past returned, always in that order, and set us on the Path we travel now. And here we are on Ohaku.
The girls smiled but the boy asked, “Why haven’t we heard of Past then?”
“Because Path is the future, but Past is behind us, sometimes forgotten. “ The old man replied thoughtfully.
“What does the valley of the giants look like?” The youngest asked.
“Marvelous, both the carvings and formations alike.” The old man said.
After a few more questions, the family headed to bed but in the morning Harbard was gone. All that was left was a book on the table. In it were a hand painted pictures of the mountains and rivers, desert, and the valley of the giants. And on the cover, was a feather quill.