Every child in Ayda knows about its origins. Their knowledge isn't complete, but it goes like this.
Hundreds of years ago, there existed beyond the Eastern ridges of the Kshitidarr, a land called Halyian, one that was more bountiful than Ayda, thirteen times its size, with a huge sprinkling of people. The world of Eywa was not known in its entirety then. And before then, nothing is known, except that people loved what they had, hunting game and perfecting the fine art of growing seeds into food that fed their clan. They settled in Halyian, at the time when the Great King united their clans into one common brotherhood.
The kingdom flourished, but like every thing else, all good things must come to pass. There came a wave of destruction and death, so forceful and unforgiving, that the Great King had to flee. And away they moved to the mountains to escape, where two fears crossed. They feared to step on the mountains, for the Gods they did worship dwelt there. But, overcome by fear fed by evil, they did decide to make the traverse over the Eastern ridge. At what cost, they were to lament, for all the seasons to come.
On the lower reaches, they waited. Much to their relief, the reconnaissance party that had gone ahead had found a pass, dangerous but not insurmountable for the strong and able. Some of the weak were to be left behind. On the next day, the Great King and his best horsemen started first, with prayers of forgiveness on their lips for stepping on the abode of the Gods. Little did they know that pleasant weather was soon to give way. Storm clouds whirled over the mountain in a matter of painful moments engulfing the royal party. When the weather finally cleared, all movement that could be noticed from below was an eagle that circled close to the pass.
Led by their Queen, the remainder of people who made their way to the pass the next day saw below them, in the depths of the mountain, the remains of twenty horsemen who had fallen to their deaths in an icy lake. The storm had blinded the Great King and his best men to their fall. Saddened, but spurred on by what lay behind them, the party pressed on with their march into the unknown. They moved very slowly, weary from hunger, cold, wind, and fear.
The marksmen guarding the rear were the last to make the traverse. When they finally joined the party, they brought with them the news that all those who were left behind were never shown the mercy of death by those whom they were fleeing.
One more day passed, till all could finally rest. When they did, they made a cairn just below the snowline on the other side of the mountain, in memory of the dead and all whom they had left behind. The Queen decreed on that day that no man, woman, or child was ever to cross the cairn of the Great King, for evil lay on the other side. And the noblest of the royal family, no less, would stand guard. From the highest foothill there, as the mist lifted, they sighted Ayda, and they were indeed the first men to do so. They felt a strong warm wind in their faces, one which gave them some relief from despair. It was from a sea, which they did later discover and name Valle Annar.