Image of a Rílin woman: Silin

Commissioned art of a Rílin woman named Silin. Free Image Hosting at FunkyIMG.com (Please click the image to see the full size version! It looks squished when I insert it here.)

Silin is a scount with the Sunulí guerilla militia. She spies on the Tosi encampments and is an expert tracker of the woods. Her home settlement was destroyed in the initial Tosi attack on Rílin border towns, and Silin’s husband and young son were murdered. She wandered for a few years and fled to the northern coast of Elinís̆. It was here she met Tsilu, another Rílin woman who had fled the invasion, and they became friends, and eventually lovers.

I want to write stories about Silin, but I have three WIPs going right now that need to be dealt with first!

Poem for a narēd

In Tosi legend, narēdi (singular narēd /’nare:d/) are fire spirits that seduce zuna (the species that Tosi are) into throwing themselves into lava flows and burning. This is a poem about a narēd. Her name is Sapof (which comes from the Tosi words for “never extinguished”).

~

the narēd

her bleeding eyes alight

with fires from ancient earth

weaving around the stones

from within a blistering cavern

hotter than the blinded stretches of the deserts

she claims those who gaze on her fiery glory

a death worthy of a queen

how sublime

to burn away

in the eyes of the narēd.

~

Mintaka

Voagry Treir

Moodboard for Voagry Treir :

Screen Shot 2018-08-27 at 4.37.26 PM

Before me stood a woman in a flowing green gown, with pearls draped at her breast like dew on a flower. Her eye seemed to glow in the low lamplight and the flicker of the fire cast orange shadows over her skin. She was pale, much paler than most people in norther Quarios, and I wondered where she’d been born. She could have looked Orikrindian if not for her great height. She was one of the tallest women I had ever seen. Her gold hair ran in a river down shoulders that were broad and stately. In her face was an incomprehensible peace, of such a nature that I was sure I had never felt so serene once in my short lie. At that moment, I felt a piercing pain in my heart, both sweet and agonizing, and it occured to me that this woman seemed, to my naïve heart, like a god.” 

Elucuna in Quarios

~~~

I am still working on Elucuna’s story, but I wanted to take this excerpt from the upcoming section to use for Voagry’s moodboard, because Voagry is one of my oldest OCs and one of my personal favorites. ❤

~

Also I promise to post more real content again soon. Grad school is starting up for me again and I have more work! I am going to keep worldbuilding, conlanging, and writing over the semester (as I always have) because it a great stress-reliever for me. And god knows I could use that.

Legend and Lore: The children of Hestaya (a poem)

In Orikrindian myth, Hestaya (the mother goddess, the goddess of the mountains and earth) bore 12 infants, which were conceived beneath the hardest rock in the earth, fathered by the fire god, whose life blood flows under the world as magma. The twelve children were born upon twelve hills that encircle the island of Orikrindia. In legend, the children were found by nomads of a group called the Lost Ones. The queen of this people, Crestellin, was the first to find one of these children, and then, one by one, she and her handmaidens found all twelve. She was a childless queen before this moment, but adopted the babies into her family and raised them as her own. According to legend, these demigod children grew into the founders of the twelve great cities of Orikrindia.

This poem is about Crestellin finding the first of the children of Hestaya.

~

Moving like a green snake

In the dewdrops

A fragmented line of tiny sighs

Blooming life along the dusty horizon.

 

Clinging still to mother

Unwilling to relinquish

That summer warm smell

Of newborns and flowers and vegetables

Singing in the sweltering heat

Humming with an old life

 

You know who they were

The ones who came before

The earthy faces digging themselves out from under hills and mounds

Stones in the dusk

In the distance,

They approached

Farther and farther

Until we heard their breath

Whispering and scraping in the evening air

Like leaves against your cheek.

 

We took them in

Opened our wings

And drew in these

Infants.

 

We gave them the instincts

We had left,

Pretending

To be mothers

Pretending

To understand beyond the eons

What we were doing.

 

The children of the stone

The babies found

In the earth                            

Creeping into humanity

Latching onto a nipple

They were lucky to find

 

Vines covering the tomb

An ancient space

Threshold to a world beyond

We remained and named the children

After the wish of the Mother,

Hestaya.

 

~

Mintaka

 

Orikrindian lore and legend

I want to do a new segment about Orikrindian lore and legend (which may expand to other cultures), small little blurbs about ideas that have been floating around my head for a while. They don’t really have a home yet so we’ll see what becomes of them.

~

Today’s is about the Song of Esala. The word is not originally Ori, but comes from a nearby language from the mainland of Ei to the west. The word was originally Ashal, but changed over time and to fit Ori phonology a bit more closely.

The Song of Esala is a song that is supposedly divine in nature, or at least somehow supernatural. It is said to be heard in the wilderness when one is completely alone and can neither see, hear, nor sense in any way another person. It is at this time that one may hear the Song of Esala. What Esala is or means is not clear. There are competing etymological theories, variously saying that it is the name of a person, a place, or a concept.

To hear the Song of Esala is a disturbing experience. The listener will think they are going mad and may run even deeper into the wilderness, always avoiding the proximity of any other person. It is thought that this leads them to wander permanently and live like a wild person until a certain, unspecified time before their death, during which they will be released from the hold of the Song and “wake up” from their fervor or delirium. This time is usually months to years after first hearing the Song.

The Song is thought by some in Orikrindia to be a curse of the goddess Moltirin put upon those who have displeased her in some way. Others, however, consider it a kind of intense blessing given by the spirits of animals in the wild that have found a soul that they deem kindred to their own and wish to draw it in amongst themselves. This view is the predominant idea in Behr Gehen (country of the Ei Lands, west of Orikrindia). Those who return from being held by the Song are considered holy and are given special treatment upon their return to society.

Whatever the nature of the Song of Esala, it is a part of folklore that is commonly understood as one of the many risks of venturing into the wilds alone for lengths of time, both across Orikrindia and the Ei Lands.

~

Mintaka

Working on the pantheon of Orikrindia. This is part 1, the first three members.

~

Orikrindian pantheon

Apyolus– Father God – God of Fire, Lava, Volcanoes, War, Season of Summer, the Sun (Worshipped as Force of Creation, as a Progenitor of all life, a driving mechanism of all living things)

Epithets: Ti-Hasterya Apyasye (The Light of Fire), Ti-Lyaya Iyutreseya (The All-seeing Sun), Yalus (Eye), Tetuya Huseya (First Father), Ti-Hupuse (The Knowing), Yoris (Watcher)

Apyolus is worshipped as a creator of life, a driver of existence. Without Apyolus it is believed all things would be as dead and empty husks, existing the likeness of life but without the crucial spark of consciousness.

The priesthood is Apyolus is all-male and open to those who have fathered at least one child. Their temples tend in be in cities, at the feet of volcanoes, and in the southern most reaches of Orikrindia. In the summer is the Festival of Fire, wherein people make material sacrifices to the fire in hopes of gaining such boons as: fertility/children, health good crops, warmer weather in winter, renewed physical and mental vigor.

Hestaya: Mother Goddess – Goddess of the Mountains, Air, Wind, Cold Weather, Snow, Ice (Worshipped as a stable force in the world, a protector, defender) –

Epithets include: Ti-Nimaya (the Mother), Ti-Nimaya Balnyeya (the Great Mother), Nimaya Coruni (Mother of Stone), Corus Cacalsas (Undying Stone), Crestenya Astersye (Kindler of Light [e.g. lightning via storms])

Prayer to Hestaya:

‘The solidness of the mountain

of stone

of ice

the movement of wind

the forbidding power of storms

the threat of winter

the protective blanket of snow covering the earth,

this our Mother

the Mighty

and the True

the One Who Covers,

The Kindler of Light

The Mother of Stone,

Undying and Eternal

Her light will find you

In the dark

Her stones surround you

Where no enemy can pierce’

Moltirin– Goddess of the Forest:also matron goddess of mysteries, vengeance, the past, memory, rebirth/reawakening, justice, lost things, women who have died in childbirth, dead children, men who have died in battle, storms, and those who have been wronged.

Associated with: birds of prey (especially ravens and vultures and other carrion creatures), wolves, snakes, spiders, vines/plants/trees, the color green/black/grey

Epithets: Ti-Roruya (The Dark), Cyentas Nastas (Wise Aunt), Emas Tin-Mulyurana (Woman of the Forests), Cyeltenalenya (Revenger), Murlinis (Raven)

Moltirin is equally feared and loved. She is the sister of Hestaya, who is married to Apyolus.

She inhabits all forests and is a very mysterious figure, rarely responding to the entreaties of humankind. When she does, though, it is with ferocity and sincerity. Moltirin may take the form of a young or very old woman. Prayers to Moltirin are given by those who have been wronged, those who are lost, who are pariahs, those whose honor has been destroyed (either by themselves or others). She is a protector of women and children, occasionally protecting them via deception or violence. She keeps the souls of those who die within her woods, as well as the souls of the drowned. These spirits are said to wander the places where they died, as it is there that they are with Moltirin.

Devotees to Moltirin often live in forests as hermits or wise women. They, like their goddess, are both feared and respected. Many work as apothecaries as well, specializing in both healing substances and poisons. In Orikrindia, one might visit a Woman of the Woods (as they’re typically called) to procure a less-than-legal concoction for whatever need.

Thoughts on Orikrindian vs Quariosian culture

It’s kind of difficult to me to say what Quariosian culture is, because it’s made up of so many things/people/histories. It is, by nature, multi-faceted. Quarios is, at the time of Elucuna’s arrival, a relatively new state. It was born, politically, of a merger of two countries, Gotêvi and Lomilin. Gotêvi also consisted of several different nations in its southern regions, such as the Teg and Phul peoples. From an early time, then, these two separate nations were not homogenous, but culturally complex. The first rulers to merge the two countries were Queen Inacaporia of Gotêvi annnnd…some other dude whose name I forget, who was the Prince of Lomilin. Anyway, I think they merged the country both via their marriage to each other and also by a mutually agreed upon pact that would combine their states into one. The process, as you could imagine, was not a quick one. It took years to carefully intertwine the countries into one new country, which now covered the whole of the continent. The name Quarios was previously just the name of the continent, but then began to refer to the new country as well.

The port city where Elucuna lands in Quarios, Naeglitan, is a Gotevian city. It is Gotevian in its cultural origins, the language used there is Gotevian (even though Quarios has two official languages, Gotevian and Lomi, only governmental documents, signs, etc. are required to be in both languages). Glohitan is culturally and ethnically Gotevian (the meaning of ethnicity here, is separated from physical identifiers such as skin color, as people in Quarios have differing skin tones/facial features depending on whether their ancestors came from the north or south of the continent–the northerners tend to be darker in tone, but this fact is not as culturally salient for the Gotevians as other factors of their origins may be), but he is multilingual, and speaks to Elucuna in her native Ori. He considers himself a Gotevian, but also a Quariosian. Many inhabitants of Lomilin would likewise say that they are Lomi, but also Quariosian. Members of the other nations of peoples of Gotêvi identify themselves as Teg, or Phul, or whatever, but also Quariosian. Some of these people would also use the word Gotevian to describe themselves, depending on their personal attitude toward the government/majority culture of Gotêvi.

So all of that is what’s behind my thoughts when I think, “What does it mean for Elucuna to be in Quarios? What is this culture she is encountering?” The thing is, her journey is just beginning, and she will come into contact with myriad aspects of Quarios, and will discover how different from each other they can be. She’ll also discover that what she thinks she knows about Quarios may not always hold true–still other elements of her new surroundings will surprise her. For example, I imagine that Elucuna is a skilled knitter and fiber artist. This is a typical kind of skill to teach girls in upper-class Orikrindian homes. She views this activity as deeply feminine and completely hidden from the world of men. In Gotêvi, however, there are artisanal guilds of fiber artists, and many of their members are male. This is something that both surprises and intrigues here. In Orikrindia, men habitually do not devote any thought or attention, and certainly not any admiration, to the private arts of women (when it comes to things like knitting, embroidery, etc., at least). In Gotêvi, I think she would feel almost overly flattered that a man would show interest in her work and her skills, even though to them, it is just a normal amount of respect as one would show to a skilled colleague whose work is interesting or worthy of attention. Perhaps one of these men who compliments her work or shows interest in it is slightly confused as to why she feels so honored that he would talk with her about it, as for him, he talks with his female colleagues all of the time and does not consider it particularly special.

I have all of these scenarios forming in my head about how Elucuna interacts with, and responds to, the differing cultural environments around her. I hope that my writing will hold tight when it comes time to put these ideas into the story.

~

Mintaka