[Aurelius Rising] Sobeki Beliefs on the Place of the Ground
In the cosmology of the sobeki, solid land is a thin wedge floating between the unending height of the sky and the infinite depths of the ocean. The continents are not even and, like a weather-worn log, are strongly tattered at the edges. In some places the land dips and slopes gently into the water and gives the illusion that the waves belong above and not below solid ground. But in other areas the land juts into the air as steep cliffs before abruptly crumbling into the sea. This, says the sobeki, is because the continents are not anchored and drift as they are buffeted from each side. Sand, soil and other solid matter that belongs to the land eventually makes its way home and is deposited unevenly and upsets the balance, setting the ground tumbling over the millennia.
It is further proof, they say, that no matter where one is if a hole is dug sufficiently deep the bottom will begin to fill with water. This is the liquid seeping up from the primordial ocean, the salt siphoned out by the spongy rocks that form the base of the continents. They do acknowledge that in some places there are mines of great depth that are dry to the base; in response one can point to the mountains stretching so far into the air and ask why the ground cannot extend equally far below.
The most adventurous sobeki, ones skilled at water breathing magics, talk of flooded caves that stretch in the dark for many hours swim and how scattered throughout are sections where a rocky roof will raise and against the rock presses a pocket of air. Connections to the outside are rare in these breathing holes and yet the snatches of atmosphere exist. They consider this evidence that if one could dive deep enough to swim the crushing depths beneath the continent and tunneled upwards the tip of the hole would eventually fill with air as the gases seeped from above, just as water enters a hole dug from above.
Some ponder if a different species of people could live on the other side of the continents. Are there water breathers who would explode if dragged too far upwards, who dig wells to extract oxygen for their cookpots? Do they too seek magics that will compensate for the fragilities of their flesh and allow a brave explorer to cross a continent’s threshold and explore the other side? Would these distant kin – and kin they must be, for surely they too must worship the Twin Sisters, mirrors of the sobeki as they would be – fear also the day that their home’s balance may tip and usher in a disaster beyond reckoning?
There are some that even suggest the True Peoples alternate lives. One life as the sobeki, living in the air and forever drawn to the water; then upon death reincarnated as these hypothetical siblings, born to the deep and seeking sky at the edges. While the symmetry is pleasing the idea makes most sobeki uncomfortable. It strikes them as speculation based on what is known of the Sisters, and arrogance to claim to know them so well.