The mythical origins of China reveal people who fought with the gods from the sky who lost the power of immortality and flew in iron ships. What else do we know?
The first people on the earth had the bodies of snakes and the heads of men. Their descendants tried to enter heaven in an enormous, iron, flying ship but, alas, they were denied entry and crashed back down to the earth. Their fight against the Duke of Thunder, a gigantic winged creature with fiery eyes, had gone badly and it marked the end of the Stairway to Heaven, when it was still possible to walk from this world to the next.
The deities fought against each other in the skies and some gods and goddesses, mortally wounded by the powerful weapons wielded by the divine beings, fell screaming into the dark waters below; their passage was watched fearfully by the few people who dared to peep over the rocks to watch what was going on. This led to tremendous explosions and disasters for the earth, with great gouges of land carved away by the falling bodies and eruption of volcanoes; indeed, it seemed the earth and the sky had got out of kilter. Fortunately, a powerful goddess realised the dangers and restored the balance once more. Alas, this act of kindness alerted the attention of other, less compassionate creatures dwelling in the skies and they descended to the earth in five factions which fought bloody wars among themselves. It was at this time that the sky-dwellers began to introduce the habit of eating eye meat, which was living flesh grown in a vat and which took the shape of the vat itself, having no limbs or organs at all, only solid meat.
The divine beings took the practice of mating with human beings and their lifespans began to decline rapidly until they lived no longer than the people they still ruled by virtue of their weapons and their willingness to use violence. People whispered to each other that some of the gods still knew the secrets of immortality and that favoured people would be rewarded with rejuvenation but the truth of this was not established.
War continued until an even more powerful weapon was deployed and sounded with the noise of creation itself. The weapon destroyed forever the Stairway to Heaven and brought down to earth the Yellow Sovereign who ruled over all and who introduced civilization, agriculture and the art of living together peacefully. Since that time, the immortals from the skies have not lived together with human beings.