Imagine if a woman was born in about 40,000 B.C.E. with an aging gene that stopped working at about eighteen. Despite the difficult conditions of an ice age, her perpetual youth would give her an advantage. At forty she would still have all the vitality of her youth. At sixty any person she had ever known would be dead.
She would want to help the members of her clan, her relatives, her teachers, eventually her children. So she would develop exercises to help them slow their aging process as well – stretches, callisthenics, muscle toning, and what not. Defenses from predators would be next, and so forth, until she had created the foundations for every major physicial, mental, and spiritual discipline on Earth.
Eventually her unusual genes would pass on to one of her children as well, and then another, and another. Even if her special genes only went to one in ten children, and even if she only had three children a century, the number of her children would multiply as the centuries passed. At the cusp of civilization they would be spread throughout the world.
And as with anything one practices, this woman would grow more expert as the years went on. A martial artist continues to grow in ability throughout his life, but the body does weaken over time. EVentually it reaches a point at which his mind can no longer compensate for the body’s weakness. But this woman’s body never weakens. She grows in knowledge of all her crafts but that gradual entrichment is never offset by physical degeneration. In time, she reaches a point where she can do things no person has ever managed. And still she continues to grow.
Her immortal children are taught her secrets as well. Spread across the world as they are they could have dominated human affairs from the beginning, creating massive empires of slaves. But they didn’t. They were all raised in the same environment as their mother, one of small clans depending upon each other for survival. So instead they nurture the human race as it develops technologically, guiding it to a similar end.
The ice age was difficult, but it was a world Xia had grown up in. The population of humans remained fairly stable. What happened after was devastating. Long periods of plenty were followed by drought. Much of ancient Egypt was under water at various times during the prehistoric millennia, and the area was not a desert until after that. The inconsistent conditions created large populations and then starved them. Entire regions became uninhabitable for any but the smallest of populations. And so, despite centuries of teachings, an alternative to Xia’s way came about, and the age of “civilizations” emerged. It began innocently enough. Regions with suddenly limited resources became battlegrounds as all the groups competed for them. Those who won were the most brutal, and so a pattern was set. By the time these groups came to the borders of areas with more consistent fertility, aggression was a behavior all of them were born with and raised on. It was only a matter of time before they conquered the world.
Despite the setback, Xia and her children have survived. Instead of being community leaders and healers they have learned to help in new and less publicized ways. They still hope to guide mankind back to a way of peace and mutual cooperation. They wait for the right set of circumstances.