Children Equally of the Earth and the Sky

"As the ancient Virtues discovered, we are children equally of the earth and the sky."


These words are the beginning of the story of creation amongst the Trill who dwell on the southern continent. Although modern Trill were a peaceful and charismatic race it was not always so... in the beginning when the planet was young, there were four Trill sisters; Passion, Patience, Courage and Humility. These have been referred to as the Primal Virtues.

Passion had a body made of fire, flickering and glowing with every desire under the sun. She was impulsive and reckless; she would be the first to rush off into an unexplored area of Trill Prime, although she usually came running back to the other three when some dangerous monster or other hazard was found. More often than not, Passion was the cause of all manner of trouble.

Patience was the oldest of the four and had a body of water. No matter what problems the four sisters found themselves in, Passion would be the last to lose her temper or become bored; she was focused and methodical and she was a planner and thinker, although she could be lazy, haunty and arrogant.

Courage was the bravest of the four sisters, her body made of iron. Nothing could ever shake her; she would often be right behind Passion in exploring the brand new world they had been given, although unlike her chaotic sister she only ever moved forward and never ran away. Courage was brave, certainly, but she grew easily distracted and bored.

Humility was the youngest and most timid of the Virtues and her whole body was made of air. Humility typically stayed at home when the other three went out to explore their brand new world, doing simple chores and keeping her thoughts to herself. Although she had never harmed a living soul and was kind and gentle, she occasionally allowed herself to feel very self-righteous.

The four lived in harmony for eons. They hunted, explored, fished and fowled without concern- they were differences, yes, but they were always solved peacefully. Even when the whole planet was explored, the sisters passed the time spinning tales of the fantastic lands around the far-away stars.

Then the fifth Virtue arrived.


His name was Joy, a man. Joy was handsome and tall- his shoulders broad, arms strong and toned. At first the four sisters were curious- something new, exciting and different... but they slowly grew jealous over the centuries. Joy was energetic like Passion, cautious like Patience, indomitable like Courage and kind like Humility. He seemed perfect... far better than each of the sisters individually.

Passion, as was her nature, made the first strike. She seduced Joy under the brilliant Trill moon. She came to him, using all her wiles; Joy was overcome. Passion kissed him on the forehead, her flames searing a dark spot onto his perfect skin. Crying in pain Joy tried to escape, but Passion's fire burned him; with each kiss a dark, scorched spot was branded into his form, thousands of them running from his head to his toes.

The three other sisters were horrified at what Passion had done, but none more than Patience. The water-Trill cut her finger, draining her essence out- the droplets became miniature versions of herself, swearing their lives to her cause. Her army marched across the continents in search of Passion.

But Passion saw what her sister had done and created an army of her own. She breathed out her elemental energy, each flicker of flame becoming a loyal fire-Trill. The flame soldiers marched against the aquatic constructs, but it was a stalemate. The fire-Trills evaporated the water-Trills, but the water-Trills quenched their enemies flames in return.

Passion sought an alliance with Courage. Passion offered her use of her flame- now Courage was able to mold her metal into whatever form she wanted. Together, Passion and Courage merged to form Loyalty, which is what happens when passion and courage collide. Their soldiers were made of steel and seemed invincible; the steel-Trills could not be quenched by Patience's water-Trills.

With the tide of battle turned against her, Patience sought out Humility. Humility, with her heart of air, was not certain what she could offer Patience- but Patience had a plan. Patience and Humility combined their essences, forming Honour. Their solders were the cloud-Trills... able to float over the battlefields avoiding the heavy steel-Trills of Loyalty, raining down upon them and, slowly, eroding their forms.

Now it was Loyalty who was on the back foot, but the two alliances were not to last. Patience grew lazy with her string of endless victories, while Humility could no longer stand to watch the destruction sweeping across Trill. Loyalty and Honour split, the four returning to their primal elements. The battles continued, with each four Primal Virtue struggling against the other.

After much deliberation, Patience eventually threw her lot in with Courage; the two became Sacrifice. The water-Trills and iron-Trills melted together to produce the blood-Trills, fearless creatures who could heal even horrific injuries. They were planners, schemers and utterly fearless. They began to overrun the mere air-Trills of Humility, hiding underground during the day and attacking them at night while they slept.

On the brink of defeat, Humility allied herself with her arch-enemy, Passion. The roaring flame of the fire-Trill and the calm, serene breeze of the air-Trill created Justice; a righteous, solemn bringer of wrath that had the raw power of Passion but the calming piety of Humility. The two formed the sun-Trills, burning high in the sky and dispensing flaming death from above.

The battles raged on and on, both sides even once again. Eventually Passion grew angry with Humility's cowardice, while Courage bored with Patience. The four elements split yet again, the whole planet for a second time falling into four-way conflict.

The wars raged on; the conflict was seemingly endless...


The scorched, dying form of Joy saw what had happened and despaired. The five of them were supposed to work together, not brawl amongst themselves! With his last ounce of strength he called all four sisters to a great meeting place, a vast circle of stones in the southern hemisphere. With his dying grasp he asked them what they were all fighting for; each had their own answers, telling centuries-old tales of betrayal and loss, but Joy did not listen to any of them.

"We are children equally of the earth and the sky," he told them, his voice barely a whisper. "Quarrel not, you are sisters... and I am your brother. We are separate parts of one being- join together... "

The four Trill sisters were humbled by Joy's words and touched hands. The four Prime Virtues came together, forming a whole new kind of Trill- Passion and Patience were the brain of the new creatures, while Passion and Courage formed the skin. Passion and Humility were the lungs, Patience and Courage were the blood; Patience and Humility formed the organs and internal workings of the creature, while Courage and Humility formed the bones, tendons and ligaments. Instantly the creature was complete.

"But what of you, Joy?" asked the flesh-Trill, her face saddened.

"I am too weak to join with thee," he admitted, his body so weak and frail. "But it is my wish that thee, flesh-Trill, bear the marks of what Passion did to us!" With a final groan, the burns on his body flew off and found purchase on the flesh-Trill. She shrieked in agony as the spots attached themselves, forever branding the species with a reminder of the consequences of unbridled passions.

The effort was too much for Joy. Finally dying, his body collapsed into ten-thousand worms which burrowing themselves underground and hid in the dark, sludgy pools under the surface of the planet. The worms were ugly and helpless, a reflection of their father's dying moments.

Every flesh-Trill to this day bears the marks of Joy all over their bodies. Passions are considered a weakness of the young- the memory of Passion's betrayal is still fresh in their minds.

And the fifth Trill, well. When a flesh-Trill finds one of those... they are complete. They have come full circle- they are at peace.

The southern-continent Trills do not exaggerate when they say finding a symbiont is like finding Joy.