Initial Essay pertaining to Book I of the Great Tome Of Our Ancestors.
Written by Professor N.Q.Davidson of Lektah University, Nue Praadmire.
Dated 24th o'Apris, 1569 p.r.
It is clear that the first Book of our great tome refers to the world as it was before the Great Evil Times (otherwise known as the Age of Light).
Let's break down the book into it's verses and study what they might mean.
This passage begins very clearly by telling us that at the time it was written the world was very different, and speaks of the strengths and power of mankind.
At that time the most powerful creatures on earth were sharks, alligators, lions, bears, etc. None of the predators we see today were around. Archaeological evidence suggests that all of these creatures were completely at our mercy... in fact many were endangered as part of the great extinctions of that era.
The passage also describes how the dust of the moon was crushed beneath our feet, which I believe means that the surface of the moon (which we now know to be a crumbling grey powder covered in craters and utterly uninhabitable) was actually walked on - perhaps even lived on - by mankind. Another interpretation used to be that the moon itself was part of the earth and was some how flung into orbit around us after or during the Great Evil Times, however we now know that the moon is far, far older than even mankind itself.
The reference to trembling Earth and lodes of Gold and Iron I believe refers to our prowess at mining. In those times the Earth's riches were still in the ground, and were extracted in huge mining operations... the scars of which can be found around the world. Astounding as it is, it was actually more efficient and less expensive for our Ancestors to extract raw materials from the Earth itself and smelt them into new refined materials than it was to recycle existing materials. The magic and power they had at their disposal must have been truly awe-inspiring, and yet our Ancestors appeared totally without love and direction in the way they yielded their mighty powers.
The passage then generalises about our might and superiority, speaking about our powers and magic and our total control over our environment, and observing that all this would change and we were not invulnerable afterall.
This entry is a particularly interesting one because it speaks about the actual trigger of the Great Evil Times, but the things it describes are very vague and difficult to understand.
It speaks how men were very war-like in those times (despite their incredible achievements and grand society), and that one of the things this war-like tendency lead them to conjure up was something referred to as a Stone Tree, or a Stone In The Tree, and later on a Great Tree of Stone (in a much later book). It is difficult to misinterpret this... it refers to a huge tree made of stone, which grew and blossomed in a very short amount of time (days, hours even?) and from it shone great light, heat, and ash fell from it. It also talks later about the great noise these stone-trees made, and how anyone that looked upon a Stone Tree in full bloom would instantly perish.
These Stone Trees must surely have been truly magnificent in their horror.
These Stone Trees were under the control of "Kings and Daemons" - who were the shattered rulers of the time. Men of power and influence who controlled individual nations. Presumably the Daemons refer to "bad rulers" or rulers of nations that opposed our own, at that time... the texts are non-specific about this.
The texts then speak about how these Stone Trees were so mighty and powerful that they caused great fear even in people that had nothing to fear, and the Trees grew out of control. It doesn't speak about blossoming or blooming or deaths from the Stone Trees, so presumably the seed reference means that only the seeds multiplied by the Stone Trees were never called forth by the "Kings and Daemons" but were used instead as some kind of threat or intimidation device.
Eventually they became so out of control and plentiful that the "Kings and Daemons" themselves began to be concerned by it, and seek help in removing this threat device from their world... presumably because of the death and destruction that would happen if they bloomed without the command of the "Kings and Daemons" (men of power / leaders).
This paragraph refers to the "saviors" that answer the call of the leaders of the world... it refers to this obscure group of men who possess particularly strong Magic of Old as a range of names, including "Men of Magic", "Sierncemen", "Sciencemen", and "Siencemen". We now interpret this as being unsure multiple spelling of the name "Science Men" or "Men of Science" - science being the name the Ancestors used for Magic of Old, at the time.
These Men of Science provide the leaders of the world with a solution for all of the yet-to-blossom Stone Tree seeds... they propose that they are used not for their heat and light (and death) but instead for their "great noise" to provoke a response from Earth Herself... using this great noise to look inside the Earth's soul. This has been interpreted a number of ways throughout the ages, but the most prominent interpretation is that the noise of the Stone Trees (a vast number of them, all at once) was used to look deep within the Earth in much the same way as a Grub Mouse taps a log to hear what is inside to hunt its prey, or a bat squeals in the night to see where it is flying. This is a type of sense that mankind doesn't have but which some animals posses, and it is proposed that the Men of Science were able to use this huge noise made by the Stone Trees to see inside the vast caverns of fire and molten metal that exist within the Earth. Why, exactly, is not specified in the Tome, and indeed the entire theory has been questioned in many different ways.
Almost all of the Stone Tree seeds were given to the Science Men, but a few were kept by the leaders of the world, so that they retained some of the fear of the threat of controlling them to bloom, by the sound of it. Men of power rarely give it up if they're not forced to.
The last verse tells how the Science Men took the Stone Tree seeds and buried them in south pole, which at that time was very cold and icy and uninhabited.