New maps

I’ve been updating my maps and geography of Aeniith and decided to try new styles. These are made with Inkarnate.

 

Regional Map of Izoi: See Full Version here: here 

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I added rivers, a few lakes, and more features. The fortress of Ad Simel Tī is where Dark Designs takes place. Zūr Chi Lār Na means Tower of Death in Tosi and basically is the watch tower for the western seas, in case any force tried to invade from Keta (which no wants to, but the Tosi are nothing if not paranoid). You can see the eastern island that is shared by the Selupa and the Karkin. The Karkin just get the shit end of the island that are plagued by sandstorms and have fewer resources. 😛

Then, in the Rílin forest, you can see the respective regions where the Ríli went after the Flight (post Tosi invasion), with some fleeing north and building underground cities (the Lunauli) and living in the cold mountainous area, and some (the Sunuli) choosing to stay south and fight the Tosi. There is a steppe between the forest and the desert that is a kind of no man’s land but of course the Tosi claim it.

That chasm south of the mountains is filled with a poisonous gas and the Tosi send their really hated enemies there. It also might be kind of sort of haunted.

 

Unfinished full map 

Still needs fresh water bodies, more placenames, etc. And there’s too much ocean at the bottom of the map, hehe. But, it’s a start. Full view here.

 

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Mintaka

Gotevian wedding customs

I’ve been filling out cultural or customs “gaps” for Gotêvi, trying to balance it out and make it a little more “complete”. Here’s a blurb on traditional wedding customs:

Gotevian Marriage Customs

Marriage in Gotevi is a legal practice rather than a religious one, though religious marriage ceremonies can be held nonetheless. Weddings must be over seen by a magistrate (irftennir) in order to be considered legal. Usually they are held in a public building—some buildings exist constructed specifically for matrimonial purposes. Both parties usually invite their friends to the ceremony, sometimes even the entire neighborhood wherein they live will come, if only to eat and drink for free.

Traditionally, wedding clothing is bright yellow, for both bride and groom. Their clothes are similar in cut and style as well—usually shin-length tunics with long sleeves. The similarity of clothing symbolizes the binding and thus likeness of two people.

First, there is a party with food and drinks and often some type of music. Fervent dancing is traditional; this is perhaps the only case in which tradition suggests unruliness in Gotevian culture. It is considered appropriate that the woman and the man both socialize with their friends of the opposite gender to emphasize the trust of their partner. There are many traditional games played during wedding parties, including lots of gambling, though these are recent developments and are often scorned by the older generations.

After the festivities, the magistrate arrives and the people to be married sign a contract to each other. Everyone attending is technically a witness, but the magistrate’s presence is still required. After this, the couple is tied together facing each other with ribbons by their friends, and they must untangle themselves without any other help. This supposedly symbolizes the fact that now they must rely on each other to get out of trouble and have the ultimate trust in each other.

 

 

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

WIP: Crypt of the Mind

This is a short story about a Tosi guy named Kel whose older sister Koma decides to leave and join the war with the Ríli. Because Tosi society is a matriarchy, it’s not common for young men to be living on their own (especially in middle class homes like this one), and he feels abandoned by his sister and worried for her safety. Soon, he finds that the strain of being left alone is aggravating some mental problems he’d had in the past. Problems increase for Kel when he starts to discover some unsettling facts about his family’s past, and discovers that his ancestral home may be haunted by secrets unknown, both figuratively, and maybe literally.

Genre will be fantasy/scifi/paranormal with tinges of romance and adventure. Rating is at M for now just to be safe. Nothing to warrant the rating so far though. CWs for mental illness, mild violence, mentions of death, mild sexual themes, and paranormal scariness.

Feedback is welcome if you feel like reading!

~~~~~~~~~~

Continue reading “WIP: Crypt of the Mind”

Yet more places moodboards

This time for the Karkin (on Karkin Island, which they partially share with the Selupa), and Selupava, the land of the aforementioned Selupa. They are both of the zuna race but they are very different. The Selupa are probably the most technologically advanced group in Aeniith, having invented the steam engine and an early version of muskets, as well as currently toying with designs for simple underwater suits/masks (gasp). Their government is very secretive however, and all of their tech is a tightly guarded secret as well.

The Karkin have seven city-states ruled by different clans that are usually at war with each other. Beyond the cities, the land is rather lawless. Anarchy reigns in many places, and life is very tough. The central part of Karkin Island is also less resource-rich than the Selupa-owned regions, and most people struggle to survive. It is a harsh life amongst the Karkin.

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More places moodboards…

More moodboards for places in Aeniith. The Tosi Empire (mostly warm and arid, large, lots of military forts and castles and such, female-ruled society, imperialistic, etc), and the Rílin forests of northern Izoi (same continent mostly): cool, green, good for hiding, and actually toxic to most non-Ríli. The Tosi invaded them anyway for resources but the Ríli will eventually win this long war for their homeland, though not without great cost.

 

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Orikrindian pantheon (pt 3)

Next installment of the Orikrindian pantheon. This one focuses on the sea goddess and her half-mortal son.

One thing I want to note is the pervasiveness of the pantheon. These gods are recognized not only in Orikrindia itself, but also across eastern Ei. Some in Quarios also worship these gods, especially Orikrindian immigrants (such as Elucuna, of course). They did, however, originate with the native inhabits of Orikrindia (the island, rather before the “nation” itself was a thing), so they are referred to as gods of Orikrindia in Aeniith itself (as I will continue to call them in meta-documentation too). Worship practices do vary per region. My descriptions here apply to traditional methods in Orikrindia.

~

Lumaya

Lumaya is a goddess who has domain over water. Primarily, she is associated with the sea, although her influence extends over all bodies of water. She is said to be the younger sister of Hestaya and Moltirin.

In Orikrindian depictions, she has pale blue skin and hair of seagrass. Sometimes she takes the form of a seal, and it is for this reason that Orikrindians, unlike some neighbors, do not eat the flesh of certain species of seals.

One of the powers of Lumaya are her eyes, which appear like swirls of abalone and are thought to be able to enchant those who stare into them. This is the origin of Orikrindian belief that gazing into the sea for too long can be dangerous to mental health.

Lumaya has temples by the edges of the sea. They are usually decorated with items that reflect the local maritime life and culture: carved driftwood, sea glass, shells, pearls, and other findings from nearby the temple. The priestesses of Lumaya are known to be “sponsored” by the national navy of Orikrindia.

Prayers to Lumaya are offered especially during certain very strong tides. She is revered by all mariners, who usually have an altar to her in their homes. Since most mariners in Orikrindia are men, this is probably the one female goddess that is worshipped mostly by men in Orikrindia. The devotees of Lumaya are some of the most vocal and open, possibly due to the island nature of Orikrindia as a country. Naval military successes are frequently credited to Lumaya’s blessing.

Epithets: Halumaya (Lumaya the Great, lit. ‘Great Water’), Ti-Hendessaya Cacalsaya (’The Infinite Sea’), Tu-Hemas Heltasye Plesstolsye (’the Lady of the Cerulean Voice’), Co-Lyosyal Tun-Golinorisi ‘The Grief of the Weak’), Syalanyas Culimyenya (’Queen of Journeys’), Tu-Syalanyas Yalunt Tellened (’The Queen of Star-eyes’), Tu-Hemas Estolis (’The Blue Lady’).

Giessembe (demi-god)

This is the child of Lumaya, Giessembe, who has control over bodies of fresh water. He is often depicted as a small child, a demi-god, who was conceived by Lumaya with a mortal man. The story of their meeting and relationship is told in the Ori epic poem Ti-Clespes Endessonisye na Bestini (’The Jewel of the Great Sea and the Earth’).

Giessembe’s name means ‘calm fresh water’, with embe being the word for any general body of fresh water.

In Orikrindian legend, Giessembe was sent to prove himself as an adult divine being, since he was weak as a baby, despite being a half-god. He was challenged by Apyolus, god of fire, to quell the fires of the mighty Cetispeltaya, a volcano whose summit cut through the fabric of the heavens. To accomplish this, he asked his mother to cause the sea to evaporate into clouds above the world, and a great rain fell for ten days without cease, and filled the fresh water streams and rivers. He then called on Moltirin to cause the trees of the forests to lie on their bellies so that his waters could flow freely around the world. Peltas (of the Twin Gods) was asked to make time flow quickly along the rivers so all the waters would surge across the land. Thus was Giessembe able to seep his waters down inside the earth (with the help of Hestaya) and extinguish the mighty volcano from the inside out.

Giessembe used his method of extinguishing the fires as a living hymn and tribute to the gods who had helped him, impressing Apyolus so much that he granted Giessembe the greater powers that were due him as a fully grown demi-god.

Epithets: Tu-Plenis (’The Half’), Tu-Prastanes (’The Clever’)

~

Mintaka

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: The Horn of Ellessia

In the northern-most reaches of Orikrindia is a region called Ellessia. It is one of the six provinces of the county. It is known for its very harsh and cold climate, including bitter sea storms from the northern coast. The people who live there must be not only tough and resilient, but also extremely skilled and knowledgeable about the land and their environment. Along this frigid northern coat was found an ancient artefact, called the Horn of Ellessia. It is a battle horn from eons past, found in the burial tomb of a long-forgotten king.

Soon after the horn’s rediscovery, it went missing. The earl of Ellessia, assuming the horn belonged to some ancestor of his, put out a reward for its recovery. This led to a long and bloody conflict, however.

So great was the reward for the Horn of Ellessia, that many forgeries were made, and various dishonest persons tried to claim the reward money, subsequently ending up in the Ellessian dungeons for their trouble.

In fact, the forgery problem became so widespread, that the earl started to have his men invade the workshops of armorers and craftsmen who were even suspected of forgery. Properties were destroyed, people were injured, and a few even were killed. Thus was the brutality of the Ellessian soldiers.

This continued for a few weeks until a riot broke out in the main city of Ellessia, and even more were killed.

Finally, after much strife, the actual Horn of Ellessia was recovered, by a woman called Ecnasia. She sent a detailed painting of the horn to the earl, and such was her skill and the level of detail in the depiction that there was no doubt she was in possession of the real item. She claimed, via a letter, to have been the original theft of the Horn, and also claimed to have been the one who started giving instruction to various artisans to try and replicate the Horn in an accurate way—but just inaccurate enough that they would be sure to be caught. Thus, she explained, she eliminated many artisans and armorers who were her competitors in the market, as female armorers were not popular in Orikrindia.

Ecnasia agreed to relinquish the desired horn only upon condition that she be given full pardon for her crimes and that no word of her machinations be made public to hurt her business in Orikrindia. The earl, being possessed of cruelty but moreso of greed and a lust for glory to his name, agreed.

The Horn was returned to the earl and Ecnasia returned to her business, short quite a few competitors.

However, 20 years later, the Horn disappeared once again from the palace of the earl, and has not been found since. Rumors surround its disappearance, and people speak of a curse of the ancient king whose grave it was robbed from. No one knows where the Horn May lie today, but few are willing to speak of it for all the strife it caused before.

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