The Shattered Ring
Legends of Old Earth
“Listen, child. See the stars in the heavens above, a thousand beautiful jewels on black silk? That’s where they came from – The First, child. They crossed space in great ships, not brutish mules like Radagash makes but like beautiful birds, sailing through the night across the infinite void. Where did they come from? Well, nobody really knows, but they say it was a beautiful place – a heavenly realm, filled with beautiful things and wondrous creatures. Earth, they called it. How do I know? Why, child, my grandmother told me the story long ago… and she heard it from her great grandfather, and he from his grandmother, and I should imagine she heard it from her forebears too.”
From the elders of Heorot, the Lorekeepers of Atlantis, the historians of Lens and the whispered secrets of Jardin, one can find a few mentions of the Legend of Old Earth. A story told every so often to a child as a bed-time story, or unearthed in an ancient tome by a truly dedicated historian, the tale tells of how The First came to the cluster in great ships that flew between the stars like the wyrms of Heorot, the silver doves of Babylon or another culture-appropriate avian of considerable grace.
No serious historian treats these tales as anything other than purest fancy, as to travel directly between stars – without slipstream – is clearly madness. No reputable evidence can be found of this supposed journey, and no remnant of the first (save perhaps Atlantis) can substantiate the rumours. It’s a story for children, they say, and nothing more.
Still, there is a word that is common to all of the cultures of The Cluster, the roots of which etymologists agree lies in the ancient tongue of the first and the origins of which are obscure: