Once, there was nothing but swirling blackness. This blackness stretched as far as the eye could see in all directions, and in the center, it twisted and melted and crushed itself together to create a great monster, the giant Reo. He was simple, but large, and would spend his days laying on his back, staring idly at the almost invisible movements of the darkness.
The darkness made a second creature, a cow, and her milk would feed Reo as she chewed on the hair of his head as if it were grass. And in these early days, things were not yet separate, so that Reo was both man and woman, and the cow was also a bull. So it came to pass that Reo gave birth to a son and a daughter, and the cow gave birth to Inguo and Isto and Irmin, the first Gods. Reo stupidly allowed the young of both races to dance and play on his face, ignoring them like so much dust, and the giants and Gods became grown, and the Gods married the daughters of the giants and the two races flourished.
But one day, the cow stopped producing milk, no longer able to support so many young men and women. There was a panic; the Gods and the giants feared they would die of starvation and thirst. But Inguo had an idea, and gathered his brothers. “We will kill Reo,” he said, “and his blood will become water to drink and his flesh will become meat to eat.” And his brothers agreed, so they traveled through the mess of Reo’s hair and struck him over the head, and a great spring formed from the wound.
The blood from Reo’s head was too much, and threatened to drown all the creatures who lived on his face, and so the Gods fashioned a great pole, on which they propped him up. This being done, the blood from Reo’s wound ran down in rivulets, dripping over his face and chest, and became all the rivers and oceans of the world, and the Gods could sail down these rivers or climb down their pole to reach the worlds beneath Reo’s head, which they called Salihaim.
The giants were very angry with the Gods for killing their ancestor, and came to Salihaim bearing weapons. So Tiw, who the Romans called Mars, stepped forward, and said to them, “Was it not good that we killed Reo? Had he lived, we would have all died thirsty, but now there are many rivers of fresh water for us to drink.” And the Giants told Tiw, “we have nearly drowned because of your meddling, and we will not leave until we have had revenge!” Hearing this, Tiw went to Inguo and had all his brothers called to arms, and they drove the giants down to the bottom of the pole, and into the thick hair of Reo’s legs, and they called that Widuhaim and left it to the giants, who grew angrier with every passing day.
So it was that the Gods descended into the area of Reo’s belly, seeking to harvest food there. They tore deep gashes in his stomach and made them into fields, and grew many kinds of things. But they tired from farming, and from fighting back the giants, who were now building great fortresses in this land, and so they set to making allies. Inguo and his brothers cut two trees, and alder and an apple, and from the alder made a man and the apple a woman, and named them Aldar and Apaldar. They left the humans alone for a time, and upon returning found they had no sons, but three daughters.
Seeing this, the Gods thought it was no good, and so Irmin laid with the youngest of them, and fathered many sons and daughters, and sent them throughout the land. And Isto laid with the middlemost daughter, and had many sons and daughters, and sent them throughout the land. And Inguo laid with the eldest daughter, and had many sons and daughters, and sent them throughout the land. From them, all the men of the world descended, and the Gods called this world of men Bodohaim.
The Gods now went forth and taught lessons to the men. Inguo taught them how to fish the seas and till the earth, and to breed cattle and pigs, and those who learned Inguo’s lessons were among the largest part of all men. Donar came among the men, and from the farmers and uneducated both he taught them how to fight, and his made up the next largest part of men, and in this way Donar came to know both the world’s warriors and those who took lessons from Inguo. Finally, Tiw went among the men and taught them what was just, and when to make war, and how to pray, and the smallest part of men learned under him, and it was from these lessons the types of men were decided, and the descendants of Inguo, Isto, and Irmin chose kings from the smallest class on the advice of their ancestors, and created many kingdoms.
And that is how the world and the kinds of men came about.