Excerpt from Die Primordia, On the Nature and Substance of the Unicorn

Dash Fire Diaries
3 min readSep 20, 2021

Excerpt from Die Primordia or An Exceptionally Abbreviated and Lighthearted Treatise on the First Appearances of Forms and Primitive States of Being of All Things on the Earth for Dilettante Polymathic Personages by Gottfried Wilhelm (von) Leibniz (written 1691–1693) p.658–659

…It is known that in 1683 a local woodcutter by the name of Klukvod fell down a hole in the Earth…which, upon further exploration, appeared to be a cave whose entrance was ploughed over by many generations of soil accrual. When interrogated at length…it became quite clear that the woodcutter was a man of sober disposition…and was respected by his colleagues, and not given over to tale-telling. His credibility therefore…like the quality of his wood…was unassailable. There found the woodcutter previously noted, by means of further investigation, curious and enigmatic mortal remains bearing uncanny resemblance to our common domestic horse. These creatures were…arrayed in various stages of incomplete development, some in embryonic or foetal stages of being…

The outlines of the skeletal structures closely resembled that of the equine bearing and yet…marked differences were duly noted. Where the astute and observant might have expected to see individual bones, there were intricate latticeworks of crumbling quartzite and other mineral structures. Another key difference between these specimens and the common horse was the presence in every case, of a pointed cranial protuberance emanating from the forebrow of the skulls. The structures were spiraled and were the only fully intact feature found. These “horns” were quickly deduced by our woodcutter to have value and unfortunately all but one were sold and traded away before proper investigation could commence.

I did not have access to this sole remaining example, but from it we may conclude that the ancestor of the equuis is the unicorn. The presence of this trait…speaks to the likelihood of violence in its nature or its habits. Indeed, from what limited observations were made by our woodcutter, it may be conjectured that the specimens herefound met their end in combat either with each other or with some foe external to themselves. Also discovered in the cave were the presence of numerous strange rocks found nowhere else, along with charred markings that bespoke the presence of a great conflagration. The source of these skeletons has never been discovered. It is possible that strange animals developed within and migrated from nether-regions in the Earth…in molten areas mostly inhospitable to life, and taken thusly, they would required thickened skins or rough armor in order to survive en extremis. Perhaps these feral, subterranean things then populated the surface of the globe, thereby shedding their toughened raiment, deeming it no longer necessary to the enjoyment of life in the temperate zones.

Taken thusly, it is obviously to see how immigrants of the interior terrestrial core might spring from the source of All That Is, and grope their way through tunnels, holes, cavities, lacunae, pores, and other vacuums in the Earth, towards fresh sources of aqua vitae, sustenance, or less obnoxious vapours. In time, succeeding generations of formerly “new” earth-dwellers might lose whatever bodily equipage, be that exterior hardiness or interior fortitude, required for living in extremis, and therefore would no longer be recognizable as former denizens of the Earth’s magma chambers. In this manner, First Forms and their morphological features become malleable, as when a blacksmith stokes his forge by means of his bellows, and almost nothing we see today contains aught but a mere husk of its former self. Indeed, all forms are changeable, even, one must assume, Man.

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Dash Fire Diaries

Envisioning a past that never was. Step through a surreal portal where objective truth, imagined history and satirical fiction coexist.