Dr. Dana D. Eggebrecht’s field notes from June, 18XX

…that the split among the Ide is so acrimonious is odd given that it was so recent and brought about more by a question of policy than any true religious, geographic, or ideological divide of the sort that divides modern tribes or nations. Indeed, the Ide share virtually the same traditions and beliefs with a particularly interesting eschatology. My guide, from the Lower Ide, has brought me to what the settlers in Paradise Falls call “Splinterstone Cave” to show me rock paintings, hundreds or thousands of years old, made by his ancestors.

According to him, they detail events that will bring about the end of the world.

The painting shows a people as one, hunting and farming and gathering. They are then split by what looks like another group of ambiguous figures that could be other people or some sort of spirit or demon. One of the other figures, which are drawn in lighter shades than the dark ochre of the paleo-Ide, seems to cross over to their side. The others–Ide and interloper–then battle. The last area appears to show a variety of strange creatures intervening and carrying the darker Ide upwards.

My guide tells me that the story is so: A group of strangers will arrive sowing death and dischord, and one of their number will fall in with the Ide. In the process of reclaiming them (or perhaps to rob the Ide of what is rightfully theirs; my guide admits that there are multiple interpretations) there will be a massive war between the Ide and the interlopers. Both sides will have their lands ravaged and destroyed, but for their valor in the final battle the gods of the Ide pantheon will emerge to destroy the evil interlopers and bear the Ide to the rich grounds of the next life.

I will admit to some frustration with the Ide and their primitiveness, to say nothing of the stubborn townsfolk of Paradise Falls. But this legend is a dire portent indeed; in the eyes of at least some Ide, the arrival of the Paradise Falls settlers has set in motion a chain of events that will bring about the end of the world. In their well-meaning ignorance, the settlers are swelling the ranks of those who would battle them for that reason alone. For even if they will not fight for a prophecy, the Ide will surely fight to protect their lands.

I fear that events will soon unfold that will not only see an end to my work, but bring about an apocalypse of a sort for both the settlers and the Ide.

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