Spirits of Rock and Sky > Oaths and Myths of the Susyan

Feu's Life of Auritar

It was love of poetry that was to be the death of Auritar; his skill as a warrior was too great for Passage in battle. In the last exhausted cycles of the great and bloody Pathway War, Auritar traveled alone to present the greatest trophy to his father. Such was the custom of the times and warriors traveled as did he after each new battle, each new raid.

On the empty rock, mere wakes from his father's dwelling, Auritar met with the figure that would be his death. They spoke of ancient poetry and the beauty of words. They spoke too long, for the figure was none other than the Lord of Keepers, come down from the Fortress of the Eye in those cycles of blood and sorrow. Auritar felt death creeping upon him, realizing too late with whom he spoke. With his last breath, he found strength to slay the Lord before falling to the rock at his feet, Passing to reach for the Ancestral Sky Spirits.

Thus it was that the poetry of Auritar was heard no more in the communities of the Tribe.

[ Posted by Reason on March 22, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

On the Katar, from the Later Scrolls of the Ancestral Sky Spirits

It came to pass that some among the Tribe forgot our unity, forgot honor, forgot Law, and fell into bickering and infighting. The Ancestral Sky Spirits, our great ancestors, saw all from the Sky and were greatly angered with their descendants. The mightiest of Them wrested free a handful of the Sky and hurled it down to the World.

The Sky Fragment, burning with divine wrath, cut a fiery line through the Light of the One God. In the violence of falling, the Fragment pushed the very rock of the World away in ridges and flames to scorch and cover those who offended our greatest ancestors. All the World shuddered as the Katar was birthed in divine heat.

The great central Katar peak remains a permanent reminder of our powerful Gods. The spirits of our disloyal ancestors haunt the Underworld yet, trapped and locked away from Passage to the Sky and World Beyond as punishment for their misdeeds.

[ Posted by Reason on March 22, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Gean Speaks Candidly to an Initiate

They give you grudging understanding, Wohken, because you are an Initiate of the Order of the Provider, because the Lights of your God cast shadows on the open rock here beyond Tumnil, because I have traveled farther and longer and am known to their Lord. You in turn must understand that you have given offense to these Oathbound, to my traveling companions.

You have heard the tale of Tur and the Lord, perhaps? To give gifts is a responsibility in our Lightward communities, for great offense comes with a gift given in expectation.

Once it was that the Lord of Nadear wished something from Tur of the Divine. What is not said, and it is not important. Tur declined once, declined twice, for we are neither Wohken nor priests to be ordered here and there by those who bear great titles. The second asking was an insult, you must understand, but a Lord is a Lord and worthy of some respect regardless of his merits. Thus rebuffed, the Lord of Nedear brought six long ropes and twenty skulls of wood to the doorway of Tur of the Divine. For that great warrior, this false gift was too great a slur. He slew the Lord there and then with one deep spear-thrust, before demanding that the life-weighted rope and wood be taken from his sight.

There, and I have said what must be said.

[ Posted by Reason on March 25, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Laniah Tells of the Tsuroji

Foolish Itmos scare themselves with tales of Tsuorji - dry and old as ancestral bone on the open rock, they say. Childrens' stories from those who do not honor the ways of past generations, nonsense that tells of Tall Ones who trapped spirits in dark and shadow.

The Tsuroji Passed from the World to the Sky in the generations of legend, and so it is that chattering Itmos spread their foolishness amongst themselves and to the Wohken. Yet our oldest scrolls and the poetry of the Divine tell truth, and that is of greater import than any voice from beyond the Oathbound.

This, I teach: the Tsuroji were long, thin, wise and close to the Gods. They lay motionless in contemplation from birth to death, for to move was not their way. Each spirit in the Sky spoke to them as it passed above the World, and the Tall Ones knew more than even the Jentik in those times. The Susyan of legend gave respect and lent the strength of their arms, as was right and proper. But our ancestors turned from the Ancestral Sky Spirits and fought among themselves - faced with such selfishness, the Tall Ones sadly Passed from the World, no more to guide and advise our Tribe.

Remember this as you honor your Oaths. Remember this as you must choose what is right and proper with each new wake.

[ Posted by Reason on June 10, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Advice From Tasen of the Nekopis Wayhouse

Listen, warriors of Lord Merar, for I speak the simple wisdom of the Godward Cru. Listen and use my words as you will, for you are young and hot of blood and I am near to Passing.

Never raise your weapons if blood need not be shed. Threats, promises and compromise can carry you to the next wake - why risk more? The Ancestral Sky Spirits will not look poorly on you if you demonstrate strength of will over the prowess of club and ax. Both are marks of the true Susyan warrior.

Spare your enemies, whether or not they fight for honor, Oath or community. Would you murder to prove yourself Susyan, to prove yourself true to Lord Merar of this great community? Only those lost to wisdom fight to the death, and they are few and feared for their ways. Those who raise weapons against you are warriors, even if only for heartbeats. Respect their will, and show your own through mercy.

Be cautious and hold back your arm for each new enemy in raid or battle. You are unlikely to meet your equal. To spare the lesser and yield before the greater is the way of the wise warrior. Never face many enemies alone, for you will not be long for the World if you do.

Be wary of bow and throwing spear, for they are the threat that is the death of warriors. Never charge an enemy so armed, for they will be forced to use their threat. There is no dishonor in shying from bolas and arrows - a warrior who stands will be captured or Pass from the World for no gain.

Talking need not cease when bone and wood clash. You must learn the ways of speech and honesty between blows, for this is the rope that binds the skill of the greatest warrior. Triumph can come through convincing words and knowledge of the spirit of your enemy rather than strong blows and prowess. Surrender in the heat of battle lies in showing the honest heart to your enemy - and in the foresight to place a ransom of wood and flax in the hands of your Oathbound companions. The dead pass to the World Beyond to meet with the Ancestral Sky Spirits, while the living may fight again in wakes to come.

[ Posted by Reason on June 13, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

The Last Pathway War

I will set my spear down for the last time this wake, this I swear before the One God and the Ancestral Sky Spirits. My child is dead and the Oathbound I held most close are gone to the Sky, slain by the warrior Brotherhoods. To have suffered the Darkness was enough - why did the Gods allow this war? I am a woman made elder before my time.

This, I recall: in the midst of the Darkness, my Rite of the Warrior brought this spear of fine Uk wood to my hands. But it was nothing amidst the madness - the Halls and shrines burned along the Great Pathway and priests of the Dead God crossed the open rock to call the fearful to their side. No more than a cycle it was before I and my Oathbound come to the site of a great battle. I recall as though it were this very wake - for we feared those cycles would never end, and such fear marks the spirit deeply. The dead and their weapons lay all about us in the dark; no-one moved on that silent Pathway of bodies. The Darkness ended as the One God returned His Light to the World, but our spirits yet suffered. Perhaps that is why it came to this, to war between the Tribes.

The Pathway of the dead has not left me, for it has returned to me twice more. Of the second, I can speak - I stood alone amidst the bodies on the Pathway below the Halls of Nekopis, alone just as ten thousand others were alone. When the anger of battle and lust of vengence leave the heart, all that remains is blood and remorse. The blood on my hands and sorrow within my heart will follow me all my life and then to the Sky. The ten thousand who stood beneath the Halls of Nekopis could war no more, Wohken and Susyan, Brotherhood and Oathbound, Fathers and Lords. The Daughter of the Ancestral Sky Spirits, she who called for this great war against the Wohken, lay slain beneath the Ten Amrals of the Bone Ax Brotherhood.

Too many have Passed and too much is laid to waste, gone to dust and splinters. The One God should look away from the World once more, for we are not worthy of His gifts. The Lords of the Four Councils hurry to make peace with the Elder Fathers, but this is my Oath - that I set my spear down for the last time this wake.

[ Posted by Reason on June 14, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Met on the Path To Lasuten

Well it is we met this wake, you must sit with us atop the stairway and tell us what passes in Lasuten. We come from far Lightward Meraris over rough rock and open this past cycle - others of your order speak in the Wayhouses of Underdwellers and battles before the Wall of Lasuten and beneath the Guide Flame. Is this true? Is the Mouth of the Underworld once again active?

Master Sunten of the Meraris Wayhouse taught me well in my first generation. I recall his tales of the Last Pathway War with the Wohken, of the burning of Lasuten, all but the Library, of the fall of the Lord of Meraris alongside the Divine, atop the Hill of the Ten where the Guide Flame now burns. The Lord took up wooden club and bone ax for Lasuten in those cycles, as we do now. Our armor is as our spirits! Our Oathbound will not raid Wohken and Enierd while Glowing Ones come forth from the Underworld!

I have heard that others come from Lightward, to prove their worth and aid the Godward - for you have forgotten the true warrior ways and live under Councils, trade with Wohken, partner with Itmos. Even your children pass into adulthood without a full Rite of the Warrior! The warriors of your communities are not as ours. Yet you are of the Tribe and we are all children of the Ancestral Sky Spirits - against all enemies we stand together.

[ Posted by Reason on June 18, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Jora Speaks of Councils, Lords and Tribal Law

Our Councils speak of Tradition where Lightward Lords speak of Law. We respect the Three Lesser Councils and priests of the One God, where Lightward warriors pledge Oaths to the Divine of the Katar. Yet we are of one Tribe, ruled by the Great Council and granted the wisdom of the Son of the Ancestral Sky Spirits.

The Law Scrolls of our Tribe are guidance, inked by our ancestors to aid us - wise and great are our Traditions, but without the weight of Divine Will. The One God and the Sky Spirits watch over us, but we earn the respect of our Divine ancestors though choice and Oath, not blind obedience - such is for outcasts, Wohken and Dispossessed.

Respect Tradition, but not because you are told to do so. These are the ways of our Tribe, Godward and Lightward alike. Rightfully so, yes, but they are not as the rock of the World. Honor and truth are not to be found in ink, word or Law - they dwell in the heart, the clasped hand, the Oath.

Listen now, for I tell Tradition as set forth in the Law Scroll of our Wayhouse: First, that Susyan shall cause no violence and no harm to Susyan. Second, that Susyan shall not raid, nor covet, nor steal from Susyan. Third, that the Oath from Susyan to Susyan is binding until death. Fourth, that the Katar is the territory of the Divine Susyan alone. Fifth, that Susyan shall pair with Susyan alone, or none at all. Sixth, that Susyan hold the Rite to its place. These are small and simple words, yet great and broad as a mountain.

[ Posted by Reason on June 28, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

The Scholar Beri Tells the Tale of Gesun's Arrow

There exist World Fragments watched by the Ancestral Sky Spirits, Fragments that bring fortune to those who do not use them to anger our great ancestors. It came to pass that the smallest of these World Fragments was held by Gesun, a renowned warrior of the generation of Pathway Wars.

Gesun was beloved by Jentik, and so it was that he took the sharp World Fragment to the eldest Namekeeper, a scribe of great and divine secrets who dwelled atop the high stairway in those cycles. It was she who crafted an Arrow of the strongest Uk wood to fit the Fragment, she who foretold the Fragment would bring great fortune until the very breath it was used to shed blood onto the rock of the World. From that wake, Gesun prospered under the gaze of the Ancestral Sky Spirits.

Yet it came to pass that the Pathway Wars would consume even the fortune of Gesun. On the high rock of Mayet's Passing, surrounded by the Fifteen Brotherhoods of Club and Ax, every Susyan arrow was sent to rest in Wohken bone and flesh. Every arrow save for the very last, the Arrow crafted by the eldest Namekeeper. Wohken blood ran over rock like spilled water from a Gift of the Provider, yet still the Brotherhoods climbed to fight. Gesun nocked the Arrow to his great bow of sinew and Uk wood, and it leaped true to slay the son of a Father. The Wohken faltered for ten heartbeats, but the Ancestral Sky Spirits turned away from Gesun and so his fortune Passed. In rage and revenge, the Father and ten Amrals rushed at Gesun and slew him where he stood.

This took place many generations ago, yet Gesun's Arrow remains. The Sky Spirits will bring great fortune to the warrior who carries but never nocks the Arrow.

[ Posted by Reason on July 11, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

The Passing of Hesun

Lord, there will be need of strong words this wake, or I fear the Ceremony of Passage will see blood shed on rock and wood. Hesun was more than Oathbound these generations - he was the truest spirit, and I would rather Pass myself than see what is to come.

I hear your judgement, I acknowledge it - but let the Ancestral Spirits judge Hesun for swallowing inkberry poison, let that judgement come in the World Beyond, not here on the rock of our community. Hesun wished to journey to the Sky in the time of his choosing, wished so strongly that he came to this. Yes, his flesh and blood cannot be part of the Claiming Ritual, but will not Daren still Claim sinew for bows, to honor the wake in which he and Hesun showed aim more true than the Lord of Nekopis? Will not the Namekeeper come from her dwelling to Claim skin for the tales Hesun shared with Jentik from the High Plateau? Will not Tarey and Urtim and Johat claim ribs and arm bones for the weapons of raiding, so that Hesun's will watch the warriors he taught from his place in the Sky?

I care not that Hesun chose a Passing other than his own! He will still be Hesun to me! I will honor my Oath, and I will see his Ceremony is the Ceremony of a Susyan warrior! But this I know - ten warriors will step forward at the Claiming to Claim Hesun's Ax, the Ax taken from the bodies of a hundred Wohken in the Pathway War. The Ax was to be Claimed by Hesun's partner, and all understood as much, but the young of the community speak poorly of Hesun this past wake. They know nothing of his spirit! But they will spill blood and fight for his Ax, and by my Oath, I will not hold myself back if they do!

This I come to you with, Lord - a request for strong words at the Ceremony. Claim the Ax for the Lord's Hall and all will be well. This, I ask of you in Hesun's name, my own name, and for the Oath we shared.

[ Posted by Reason on July 17, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Tales of Wohken
Spirits of Rock and Sky > Oaths and Myths of the Susyan > Tales of Wohken

Dearn Recounts the Legend of Sleeping

Our ancestors, the first children of the Ancestral Spirits, would have lived in peace and harmony upon the rock of the World. But not all were noble of mind and body, not all could swear and hold Oaths. Those pitied, outcast Oathbreakers crept away to become the Wohken. In their jealousy the First Families of the Wohken gazed upon our ancestors and plotted. They tricked a long-Passed God into stealing the memory of waking from all Susyan and our ancestors, the children of the Ancestral Spirits, fell into a sleep of generations. In sorrow, the Ancestral Spirits returned to the Sky or Passed, leaving only their bones to watch over the Sleeping Place. The Oathbreaking Wohken rejoiced and spread their children across the rock of the World.

In time, the Passed God saw the true nature of the Wohken and relented. Jentik and Tsuroji came from the Sky to wake our ancestors from their long sleep and bring on a generation of war and revenge. Since that time, the Tribe has had good cause to raid and war with the Wohken. Yet not all were woken from the Sleeping Place, for there were many more of our ancestors then there have ever been Jentik or vanished Tsuroji. There, as is scribed in many ancient scrolls, lie the last of our ancestors, the last of the Sleeping Ones. I myself have held a cracked leather fragment depicting their divine coverings.

Such trickery, cowardice and envy stems from broken Oaths, from the Oathbreaking Wohken. The lies and actions of their ancestors have hidden the Place of Sleep from us; not even the honored bones of the Ancestral Sky Spirits point the way, yet I have heard it told that the God-King Himself gazed upon our ancestors and would not wake them. Great would be the rewards bestowed upon those who found the Place of Sleep, who woke the Sleeping Ones. The Ancestral Sky Spirits would look mightily upon them indeed.

[ Posted by Reason on March 22, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Master Tanmah of the Ussar Wayhouse on the Weight of Tales

Wohken, now, they grasp at lesser tales, at the tales of this wake and the last. The tales told by partners and between children - the Wohken grasp at small tales so hard that their Families grow large to hold them all. Our old foes look to the skulls of their ancestors, look to their Fathers, Families and Brotherhoods for guidance, because they forget the tales of true import. They forget the tales that carry weight with the great spirits and the One God.

Have you ever seen players perform in communities on the open rock between Gap and Realm? I have, in my wakes of wandering, a time ago now. You cannot understand without seeing, for all that many Masters of our order might disagree. We are Susyan, we Cru in this Wayhouse, and we know the true tales - of Auritar; of the Katar; of the Ancestral Sky Spirits; of battle; of the One God ... of our Tribe. We have taught these tales to the players and warriors of our Godward communities, as they in turn have taught these same tales to us.

Wohken, now, they cannot tell a tale in public without flame to cast shadow and flax to hold it. Wohken Brotherhoods tell their tales as warriors in battle, bearing the arms of their craft. In their shadow plays, the craft takes the place of the tale ... and without tales, the Wohken bow to ancestors and Families larger than the farthest Godward communities. This I put to you, is the difference between our Tribes.

[ Posted by Reason on July 14, 2005 | Permanent Link ]