Everyone carries some sacred mission to keep the Fifth World alive.

The people of the Fifth World know that they live in paradise, but if the great tribulation of their ancestors taught them anything, it taught them that “paradise” does not describe a location, but a relationship. It means having a place in a more-than-human world. It means having a voice in the great community of life thriving all around you.

Living in a web of relationship might sound very pleasant, but it requires a great deal of work, as each relationship pulls you in different — and sometimes mutually exclusive — directions. Living in such a world means constantly juggling those relationships. How will you navigate such conflicting obligations and imperatives? How will you maintain the relations that give you life, when they all ask you for something different?

The people of the Fifth World honor their ancestors because they took the first step away from the brink of annihilation, renewed the ancient covenants, and rediscovered paradise. They each helped to shape the world that has given them so much. The work of creation never ended, though. Living in a web of relationship requires them to constantly renegotiate their place in the world, as the world keeps changing. They know that in time, others will look back on them as ancestors who shaped the world. Will they leave paradise to their descendants, as their ancestors did? So they honor the ancestors, too, for giving them the example for their own lives, of how to live a life of sacred mission.

Entropy constantly eats away at the edges of the world. They cannot think of creation as something that happened long ago, nor can they trust any god or ancestor to do the work for them. Every individual in the Fifth World carries a sacred charge to push back against entropy, to keep the world alive. They bristle with sacred songs, stories, and wisdom to accomplish their appointed tasks, honored with the titles and powers appropriate to their charge. Communities in the Fifth World knit themselves together with ties of kinship, but you’ll miss much of the point if you mistake them for people simply living together. They live together because they share a common mission and purpose — the work of continuously creating the world.

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