Brennan Taylor (bar_sinister) wrote,
Brennan Taylor
bar_sinister

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Emergence

Listen. This is a tale of our People.

Once, First Man and First Woman lived in the First World. The First World was dry and small and black as the inside of a sack. Their children were the First People, but their lives were hard. The First People had to creep about from place to place because the sky was so close to the ground that they could not stand. After a while, the First People got tired of crawling around in this tiny world, and one of them, He-Forces-His-Shoulders-Through, decided to stand up. When he did, he punched a hole through the sky and created a passage up into the Second World. When he crawled up through, the rest of the First People followed him.

The Second World was much better than the first, but it was still dark and there was no water or food. Here, however, the sky was much farther above the earth, and the First People were able to walk about without stooping. Now released from the constraints of the First World, they became taller and stronger. After a while, the First People grew irritated with the Second World, for they still had no food or water and the darkness was still impenetrable. Because there was nothing to do, the First People began to fight among themselves, and contention grew and grew, leading to violence.

Remembering how the First People had emerged into this land, She-Throws-a-Rock-Through-the-Sky took a great stone and hurled it upward with all of her strength. When she did, the rock broke through the sky and created a new hole up into the Third World. Water began to pour down through the hole and fill the Second World. Soon, there was nowhere left to stand, and the First People went up through the hole into the Third World.

The Third World was large like the Second World, and it was full of water, but it still had no food or light. The First People grew angry, saying, “We are still hungry, and we must always swim, for there is no place to stand.”

He-Holds-Them-On-His-Shoulders spoke then, saying, “Stand upon my back, and I will lift you up. There may be a better world above this one.”

He took the other First People upon his broad shoulders, and they climbed up through a hole in the sky of the Third World and out into the Fourth World.

In the Fourth World there was dry land, food to eat, and water to drink, but it was still dim, like a starry night, for there was no sun in this world. The First People lived there for a long time, but after a while there grew to be a great many people, and the space of the Fourth World was filled up. Again, fighting began to break out among the People, since there was no room for new people to build their houses and plant their corn. At last, the boldest of the People, She-Climbs-to-the-Top, built a ladder and put it up to the sky of the Fourth World. The sky here was higher still than it had been in the previous worlds, so She-Climbs-to-the-Top rose, rung on rung, for many days before she reached the sky. There was no opening in the sky of the Fourth World, and She-Climbs-to-the-Top searched for some time before she found a small crack. She dug into the sky at this crack, opening and widening it until she could squeeze through. When it was large enough, she climbed into the crack and emerged into the hot light of the sun.

This is how we came to live here. This is how we came to live in the Fifth World.

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How We Came to Live Here is now available in ashcan form, for free.

Download. Play. Tell me what went wrong. Tell me what went right.
Tags: game design, how we came to live here, playtesting
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