The is not the story of the planet; there are stories before this one and ages beyond it, but those are far more secret, and neither men nor women know of them. This is the story of Hornhead's dream of the beginning of life on our planet before it had life of its own.
The Mother of All Things came to the wind-lashed stone in the heavens, aboard a screaming mote of light. She touched herself upon the ground and found she was not alone. A hornhead slept in the desolate land, and when she woke him, he expressed as much confusion as she, for when he went to sleep, there was a world, but it seemed the world had been unmade.
"So!" The Mother of All Things said. "Let us put it here. Sing this song I will teach you!"
And the sang together, and from the great trumpets of Hornhead sprang mountains and algaes and little bubbling things and armored things and soft things that swam in the sea.
"Let us see what else we can sing!" the Mother of All Things shouted. And she sang, too, and she sang clay into stranger things and hid them away under rocks, pointing to them and saying "When it is their time, also sing at these rocks."
So Hornhead and the Mother of All Things sang and danced until they were tired and could dance no more. However, she saw that her creations did not change, so she looked about here and there until she discovered the shattered pieces of a great many things that came before she had done, and took each of the two thousand fragments and made each of them into a maintainer or destroyer, to help her with the task of making a new world. Ymanu-Jela the Dreamer of Life was the name of one such being, and the Mother of All Things told him to dream of animals, and so he did. She took them from his head and put them around on the land. Another was named the Black-Haired Woman Who Mothers A Fiend in Her Breast, who was a destroyer being, and the Mother of All Things told her to dream of stones. She took those from her head and put them around, too. From there, she made the dragons and the angels of the earth and watched and waited.
This is where the story breaks, obviously. In other stories, specifically, in the orthodox version of the story, the Mother of All Things creates life first, and then creates the destroyers and maintainers to help upkeep her creation, creating the destroyers first, who were far too adept at their task of destruction and the maintainers second to create a trinity of balance. Of course, the One Thousand Eternal Things do not appear in the orthodox version of the story, either. In the most common variant of the story, the dragons and the angels of the earth are one and the same, with the earth-angels being mutations of the dragons that those beasts feared and hated.
The official (and most common) line is that she had set about rolling life into draconian shapes, where the earth dreamed, she followed its ideas, making beasts with scale and claw, terrible teeth and membranous forms. She fashioned for them a mind, and set them each to a task. With minds, she hoped they would think and learn and grow, taking after herself, for all parents wish for children who will succeed them, but there is more to the story that is told.
At this time, when the Mother of All Things touched the world, here mere presence spurred the dead rock into life, giving birth to the stromatolites, the living stones, which bubbled and churned. Thick mats of teeming life swarmed in the seas, created by her simple proximity, for where she walked, the earth awakened. As she created in the heavens and in the worlds beyond, the World of Three Ways swam with possibility, the planet groaning and stretching its new found pulse, and soon, clumps of sponges and cnidarians blanketed the bottom of the seas. All too soon, however, life began to move, to crawl over the bottom, and even as the Mother of All Things was giving out tasks to the first destroyers and maintainers, the simple worms beneath them were opening their eyes.
The result was an explosion of life; in the blink of a geologic eye, the world gave a heave of birth and spilled its multitudes across the sea. Worms became fish, scorpions, and crawling things with more legs than good sense would normally allow. Scorpions grew to the size of buses, and the Mother of All Things took notice. Those beings she was creating in the upper realms were left there as she watched, fascinated, and reached down to caress the new world. She molded the life like clay; she created from the whole cloth, copying and modifying, forming ever more bizarre creatures. The beings we call cryptids are such things, being life forms created from the whole cloth or modified from multiple creatures. Her intent, however, was not to create, though she did plenty of that. Her intent was to improve them.
She quickly discovered that, when not under her touch, her creations didn't expand or grow like the life that was spawned by her simple presence. So she let things be for some time; the current creatures had no potential at all, and at their rate of development, a change like that which she wished would come like the flash in a frying pan.
What she though was her answer came later than she expected; the fish needed to leave the water first, and many had legs and limbs long before they left. They eventually did, long after the plants and the insects had already conquered the world. In thick swamps and vast jungles they had prospered, at least until the amphibians came. Amphibians spread out, and in time, gave rise to myriad forms the ventured further inland, which was a good thing, since in this time, the legendary races of forgotten time had come to the world and built great cities, warring amongst one another, their enemies burning and blackening the land, transforming the world ever so slowly into a desert; the amphibians had to change or risk die out.
Reptiles appeared, and they fanned out over the thick deserts and cold plains, adopting a myriad of forms under the heels of the ancient races. When they began to diverge into a greater variety of shapes and the ancient races dwindled to near imperceptibility, the Mother of All Things acted. Like many things, this time is legendary, and it's not known whether she copied what was emerging at the time or molded the life of present creatures; either way, she produced the Kings, known as the Great Dragons. She fashioned for them a mind, and set them each to a task. With minds, she hoped they would think and learn and grow, taking after herself, for all parents wish for children who will succeed them, and with the great castes she had formed to mimic the layout of the heavens.
Her creations certainly did think and grow, but they did not learn or imagine. They could not dream or work outside of the tasks they were given. Only one or two in any generation could do this, and they were ostracized and killed or eaten by the jungles. The dragons simply ruled in their great kingdoms and only watched the world, wanting for nothing, searching for nothing, and becoming nothing more than they were. They warred over petty differences, making the things the Mother had set them to make, for they could only make weapons, meant to be tools to aid them in survival. She gave them the secret of growing crops, and they grew thorns and terrible venoms. She gave them the secrets of life, and they made diseases and poison fungi.
Saddened, the Mother of All Things continued her work, ever more despondent and uncaring even as the dragons tore at each others' hide, like predator and prey. The animals themselves grew to giants, swarming over the land, consuming and ripping and tearing, washing the earth red. She grew frustrated and left the earth to its own devices. The ancient Kings despaired, and when she wasn't paying attention, the earth made a deal to give them a second chance one day, and thus dreamed that a great stone fell from the sky and destroyed the dragons, washed the land in fire, and buried their animals beneath dust and rock, dragging them away into the earth-dream. When she saw the land, she wept, and her tears caused the plants to spring forth again.
This time she refused to touch the creations that survived, and the earth dreamed. The earth dreamed of sheep, of furred animals with razor teeth, of rats that swam like snakes and pigs that were terrible and great hunters. It dreamed of hairy, gangly beasts that sought out pacts with nature, and nature agreed, taking away the hair of the beasts and their toes, allowing them to stand tall and giving them small scraps of knowledge by the light of their first fires. They made a pact with fire to always protect them in exchange for fire's ability to consume them when they died, and the first people began to make pacts with the earth to grow their food.
When at last she looked back at the world again, the earth-dream had moved on, and there was an ape that walked and talked and created. It was garbed in skins that were not its own and carried a tooth that was not its own to pierce and rip flesh, or to dig the soil and plant crops. She marveled at this people, and presented herself to them. They recognized her as their grandmother, having been born from the beasts of the earth and having pacts with it instead of having been made from the whole cloth out of the scraps of creation.
Thus being natural a people spawned from the multitudes of life rather than from the hand of an intelligent agent, the first people learned from the Mother of All Things how to care for their land and their children. They could dream, create, hope, wish, kill, inflict pain, and yet they could still laugh and love. They were called the Golden People, and the earth made with them Promise of the Wheel, a bargain made that the land would never allow the people do die out so long as they kept to their parts of the deal.