I found this link on Zoroastrian beliefs / teachings and learned how "Ahura Mazda Teaches Yima How To Save All The Best and Fairest In The World".
From line 46:
And Ahura Mazda spake unto Yima, saying,
'O fair Yima, son of Vivanghat! Upon the material world the evil winters are about to fall, that shall bring the fierce, deadly frost; upon the material world the evil winters are about to fall, that shall make snowflakes fall thick, even in aredvi deep on the highest tops of the mountains...
Of course, this could be the sanitized version. The original statement could be something more like this (assuming a D&Dish world):
"And God said to his chosen prophet, 'Some idiot went into Raggi's Death Frost Doom module (currently available in PDF form for only $5 on RPGnow) and foolishly unleashed a frosty hell-on-earth by doing things they shouldn't have. Good thing the dead don't travel that fast -- you've got time to build an underground city and move all your food and family and friends there. Don't worry; I'll help."
Seriously though, check out these lines:
(70) 'Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of men and women, of the greatest, best, and finest on this earth; thither thou shalt bring the seeds of every kind of cattle, of the greatest, best, and finest on this earth.I understand the seed of every kind bit, but what does the "seeds of men and women, of the greatest, best, and finest on this earth" mean? Since I know nothing about the actual religion, and am only using this as an inspiration for a game world -- could it be like a Noah's Ark, only with the best and the brightest people? When the word 'seed' is mentioned, does it mean the actual people? Certainly not their souls, because it talks about seeds of every kind of tree in #74. Or does it mean their genetic material, or something that can be used to reincarnate or resurrect or repopulate the earth?
I think it's also interesting to note that there'd be a whole lot of flooding once the evil winter is over.
(74) 'Thither thou shalt bring the seeds of every kind of tree, Of the highest of size and sweetest of odour on this earth; thither thou shalt bring the seeds of every kind of fruit, the best of savour and sweetest of odour. All those seeds shalt thou bring, two of every kind, to be kept inexhaustible there, so long as those men shall stay in the Vara.Hm. Seeds here seem to be actual seeds, leading credence to some sort of material in the prior line that should allow reproduction of humans from the best genetic stock -- like an ancient GATTACA. The divine power will render the fruit of these trees inexhaustible.
And there's an opportunity here to twist a little Garden of Eden riff.
(80) 'There shall be no humpbacked, none bulged forward there; no impotent, no lunatic; no one malicious, no liar; no one spiteful, none jealous; no one with decayed tooth, no leprous to be pent up, nor any of the brands wherewith Angra Mainyu stamps the bodies of mortals.
Ooh, you might think this line is talking about animals until you get to the 'no one malicious, no liar; no one spiteful, none jealous' bit. We're talking about people here.
Maybe when some folks were talking about the Master Race way back when -- if this was their inspiration -- they should've looked at some of these qualifications.
You could read this as someone saying, "Save only the best people from this terrible blight." Seems brutal, but you could argue that they're saying "we've only got space for so many, and they've got to repopulate the land after this thing blows over, so let's stick with the best for our best chances at good future stock." It's like the end of the human race here.
I also like the suggestiveness of the line 'nor any of the brands wherewith Angra Mainyu (the evil deity) stamps the bodies of mortals'. Reminiscent of the Mark of Cain and the Mark of the Beast if I'm remembering my Bible correctly -- sorry to any priests or religious folk out there, it's all mixed up with various conspiracy theories and horror movies.
Besides, I used to cry myself to sleep after forcing myself to read Revelations so that whole portion of the Bible is traumatic for me.