Second section of Crypt of the Mind (I won’t say “chapter”, since I think my chapters would be longer).
All feedback is welcome.
Second section of Crypt of the Mind (I won’t say “chapter”, since I think my chapters would be longer).
All feedback is welcome.
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”).
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
to burn away
in the eyes of the narēd.
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!
Moodboard for Voagry Treir :
“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.
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 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’).
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’)
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,
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
We gave them the instincts
We had left,
To be mothers
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,
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.
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.
A bit more of Elucuna’s story. She arrives in a new location with Glohitan and is met with the prospect of a new ally.
Morning had broken, and my fatigue weighed ever more heavily on me. It started in my eyes and spread outward, dulling the adrenaline of traveling in a strange land with a man I had never met before. Glohitan remained reticent throughout much of our journey, and I was hesitant to start any kind of conversation again, given his short manner with me before. I was surprised that the amsas weren’t tired, but they seemed steadfastly unaffected.
Continuation of Elucuna’s first days in Quarios. She and Glohitan meet a strange woman along the road outside of Naeglitan.
We took two amsas (1) to the edge of the city. My meager belongings were strapped onto the young female that was given to me. Glohitan called her Isma. I was unused to riding since it was not an activity considered womanly in Orikrindia, but I managed well enough given my inexperience. The mount was, thankfully, very calm and patient. Glohitan’s walking stick was tied to his back, wrapped in a saffron-colored scarf, and he rode just ahead of me as we made our way down a dark road near the outskirts of Naeglitan.