Spirits of Rock and Sky > Tales Told by the Enierd

Lat's Tale

I gathered frost with these broken hands, but no more, no more. The cold has taken my fingers and I cannot now lace leather nor carve bone as I once did - see these last works? The pain is nothing; I have been to the World Beyond and returned to tell the tale.

Sixteen wakes I was gone from my partner. Breaking hoarfrost from Tefa's Scarp in the howling air, climbing ever higher. No-one climbed the slopes at the edge of the World as I did, and none with any sense will again. The high air picked me from the rock and the shouts of my friends; it carried me far and into the depths beyond the Scarp. I may bear the blood of ancient Frost Gatherers in my veins, but the cold! I was more dead than alive when I returned, despite the thick layered leather you see there.

Many have come; my tale is heard in Fatek, Naskal and beyond, told at Meets by Chieftains of the Clans. Travelers have taken it further, and added much that is not true. The thin-boned Wohken send their librarians, weighted with ink and leather. Priests of the One God from their Great Temple come and go with nonsense legends and talk of divine material - I have no time for their kind. But the center of my tale has been heard across the World, and I must accept that in poor exchange for my hands.

The gates of the World Beyond opened for me beyond Tefa's Scarp. I lay amid frozen, dry bodies on sheltered rock, those who accepted the call and for whom the time had come. They were thin, ancient; not Enierd from the Clans. No ritual of Passing had been made for the dead beyond the Scarp. I could have risen up and set forth to follow the thin air, to talk to Gods where the Sky meets the mountains. My body would not obey me, and see the gates as I did, it was not my time to pass.

I do not know how long I lay there. I ate fallen frost when the time had come to move my limbs once more. My partner waited for me, my friends could not be denied their part in my Passing. Again and again I tried to climb the way the high air had carried me. Again and again I fell atop the strange bodies of those who came before me.

The cold numbed my mind and I heard spirits whispering on the wind. Trapped there, or come from the World Beyond to guide me I cannot say. The cold took me away from myself, and I recall little of what I must have done to lose my hands, my most precious tools. I know that I could not stay as the spirits wanted. My friends found me on the open rock beneath the Scarp, frozen close to death and ranting - so they say.

No, no, there is no luck. There is only will, frost, air, this tale and my broken hands.

[ Posted by Reason on March 20, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Bora's Tale of Ulur and Braikin's Tablets

I don't care what Retauk told you. She weaves more lies than I do seedgrass stems. It was Ulur, whose blood we all bear, who discovered the Tablets. You could ask him yourself were he still alive, and he would rattle your bones for doubting his word.

Yes, Braikin was one of the foolish elder priests at the Great Temple, but you have to admire a man who can get a God to do something for him. More than I've managed, I'll tell you now. It seems old Braikin became careless as the cycles passed and lost the prized Tablets. No, I have no idea what they said. I may have held them in these two hands, before the priests and their Temple Keepers came to take them away, but do you think I would waste good time to learn a hundred different characters for the word "God?" If you'll stop interrupting me, I'll tell you where Ulur comes into this tale, the important part! Quiet, I say!

Ulur was the bravest of all in his community, perhaps even all Clan Usone ... yes, you may all jeer, but have you raided the Underworld and returned with divine creations? No, of course not; the best of you could not compare. Strong Ulur, searching for a way to outdo his old rival Erumat, took the boldest step of all. He and two others - no, I don't know, but no one that Retauk has ever heard of - descended into the Underworld. Yes, and through the caverns of the Hollow Mountain not thirty kloms from where you seat yourselves.

The Glowing Ones fled in fear from the brave Ulur ... yes, mock all you like, I would have liked to have seen any of you face my grandfather at a Clan Meet. His arms were the size of your thighs, Meyas, three generations after the time I tell you of!

[ Posted by Reason on March 21, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Retuak's Retort and Gutal's Anger

Ulur was Bora's grandfather, you say? Is he still taking Uk wood in trade for those tired words? It surprises me that you haven't heard it already - it surprises me that the tale itself has not Passed to the World Beyond. Now, should you wish to hear what truly took place, I will tell you, but not this wake, nor the next. There are other tales to tell.

A better tale of the Hollow Mountain, yes. In the time of Gutal and Causi, a great number of Glowing Ones dwelled within the Hollow Mountain, many more than the six hundred and sixty six that poured forth in the Great Darkness. Those screaming, shouting ones overcame their fear of the Sky to raid, spoil and damage all that Gutal built. That great crafter, far greater than even Ulur I say, could not accept such ill treatment. Taking up club, ax and flame, he drove the Glowing Ones deep into the Underworld. The despoilers did not raid from the Hollow Mountains again for generations, so terrified they were.

Ha! A pity Clan Causi has few enough like Gutal now, few enough like Ulur. Show me better at the next Meet and I may listen to your boasts!

[ Posted by Reason on March 21, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Nadrea the Bonecrafter Tells of the Valley of Screaming Air

It is in Reti territory, between two mountains high and frost-covered at the very edge of the World. All of Clan Reti have the blood of Frost Gatherers, not just those who dwell on hoarfrost and war with the high air of mountain peaks to see into the World Beyond.

The air is harsh in the high terrority of our Tribe, racing to the World Beyond and laden with the spirits of the Passed, but it is harsh beyond measure in the narrow Valley of Screaming Air. With my hand on the tattoo inked by Fenas before he Passed, I tell you that the noise of it will make your ears bleed and the strongest of you fall to the rock.

The air screams for the Frost Gatherers of old, as it was there that they passed into the World Beyond to serve the Gods.

[ Posted by Reason on March 27, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Turen Guides the Youngest Enierd

Yes, hah! With a little more strength in your arm you'll be apprenticed to the bonecrafter and Meser will ink your first Clan mark. Let me look at you ... one of Presam's are you not? Ho! Her last had an eye for bone, I recall, and this from a fine warrior of a mother. Fine scars, fine ink she has! And you hand me bone, broken just right - you must get it from the father's blood. You know what you want, and that is well.

Hah! But let me tell you a tale - all you young ones, a tale of Resant of the highest community. A tale and then leave me to carving, for these Uk stairs must soon be taken out to the Crafters' Path to the high pass and roped into place.

Now I was as young as you when this came to pass. Ho! It was after the Still Sky, when our Clan go down from our high valleys to the Great Meet in Naskal. Resant of the highest Jatu had spent forty long cycles in journey to Tumnil, in trade and mighty work for Uk wood, and in the crafting of three great, perfect wooden throwing spheres. Forty cycles since the last Great Meet! Fine throwing spheres they were too, a full body in weight and of a single piece - and do you know the skill shown in a perfect sphere? Hah! You will when you grow to compete in contests of strength.

But, ho! Resant was ever the diligent crafter, better to finish late than to stop before he should. There is a lesson for you to think on! Mere wakes remained before tradition had the Great Meet commence - the highest of our Clan had long since left, past our community and down into the foothills. But there is no shame in failing, only in failing to try ... so it was that Resant took rope gifted by the eldest crafters of the highest community, those too old to travel, and he and he alone rolled and lowered and carried his perfect throwing spheres down the high paths. Slow and hard it was!

Ah, but the story is not over. For the daughter of a Susyan Lord had seen the Still Sky also, and thought to climb the high paths to raid whilst the Clans met in contest. This much the Susyan see as the craft of a warrior! Hah! Resant and his spheres met the Susyan and her companions at the Narrow Stair. Down he looked on their bolas and axes from the top of that scarp. Up the Susyan looked at Resant alone. Many fine words were exchanged, yes, for two warriors cannot stand side by side on the Narrow Stair - one and one behind the Susyan would have to climb. Resant hefted his first perfect sphere, and the Susyan shouted and threatened, but would not try the Stair.

Ho! Late indeed was Resant! The Meet was over, the contests won before the Susyan gave up in failure. We of the Clans would have more determination - but Susyan are Susyan; thin of body, thin of limb, thin of purpose. But what a tale! The crafters of the highest community met Resant on their return to the foothills, and promptly turned back to Naskal. One last contest they would hold with Resant's spheres, and rightly so!

[ Posted by Reason on June 9, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

A Contest of Crafters and a Priest Ignored

Ho! You have the look of one who talks to the One God in hope of an answer. You will find little of interest in our small community. Hah! Little indeed! Absee's Guesthouse will prove friendly enough, though I pity her crippled leg trapped with a priest under the same beams. Talk of travel - and only travel - and she may be of a mind to give easy trade, for she misses past cycles and misses them fiercely.

Hah! Busy we are in Tesam, but not to be listening to foolishness. Gods are Gods, of the Sky, of the World Beyond, and we have the World before us. Perhaps the young ones, for some have not yet seen a priest from the Great Temple, but not this wake. No, for look upslope, where we gather beneath Heku's Tower. It is the last wake of contest, the winner to craft the new highest beam for the Chieftain's Hall. And ho! See there, before the Hall and Lees' banner, the felled Uk that is to be the new beam. Fifty cycles in Tumnil would not trade for that much wood, and ten cycles would not be enough to engrave it - but there it stands, just as we put it, just as we brought it across the open rock, hill and mountain from the home of the Provider.

See there, beneath the Tower. Taral who crafted the anchor blocks of the Third Bridge and Mas, who crafts a new step for Vasen's Ridge Stair each and every cycle. They have wrestled, they have thrown the great spheres, and now they carve in wood and bone to show their prowess. Ho! A fine story for the young of Tesam, to say they have seen such crafters! We scarely have to leave our dwellings to see the very essence of a Clan Meet before our eyes!

This, and you not even of the Crafter Sect to send your acolytes to trade for the old, dry beam we will take down in cycles to come. Hah! A waste!

[ Posted by Reason on June 24, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Angering Nidri After the Contest of Warriors

I have two hands, I have no need of more! It is barely deep enough to be called a scratch! See now, not even bone at the deepest. What of the blood? Am I wood, to split cleanly? This rock has seen blood before, mark me well. No, not the flax! It will dry, and blood on flax will mark for cycles! Leave me!

See to the younger ones, see to the Servants of the Provider, I care not. Let Unat boast and stride - if he were half the warrior he claims, he would best me without ax blade and knife point ... as I would have for him! Let me alone, I say! I can hold awl and twine - see, I sew the first stitch myself!

[ Posted by Reason on July 6, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

About the Susyan
Spirits of Rock and Sky > Tales Told by the Enierd > About the Susyan

Pesa's Tale of the Susyan and Jatu's Bridge

Ho! It came to pass that the warriors of the Susyan Lord and the great hero Jatu faced each other across the Wide Chasm. The Susyan came to raid and Jatu sought to show his skill with the great bone club, made of the shoulders of ten ancestors.

The rift extended for twenty kloms Godward and twenty kloms Lightward. It was as deep as the Plateau of the Jentik is high. The warriors of the Susyan would have left unsatisfied, for they were lazy in the face of labor. They had no fire in their blood to match their bold speech and intentions. But ho! Jatu, he cut his own long hair to craft the rope for the first of the Three Bridges across the great chasm.

Thereby the warriors and Clan founder Jatu clashed, and the Susyan raiders were soundly defeated.

[ Posted by Reason on March 21, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

About the Underworld
Spirits of Rock and Sky > Tales Told by the Enierd > About the Underworld

Trare Tells of the Generations of Legend

The first crafters of the world were skilled in ways we cannot be. Gods and spirits were partners and teachers, joined with the Clans of those cycles, Clans whose very names are lost to time. With their bare hands, the first crafters shaped the very rock of the World as if it were wet leather. From the Gods came the divine materials, and these also were shaped by the first crafters.

But ho! Some crafters forced the rock apart and delved deep and long, searching for the heart of the World. They made ravines, chasms and great pits as easily as I craft the beams of a roof. The rock they did not desire piled into mighty mountain ranges, reft with valleys and high passes. Soon, these first crafters had made the Underworld in their quest for the heart of all. Hah! Then came their reward as they set free dark spirits and unknown Gods trapped beneath the deepest rock. So came the Time of Gray Death upon the World, and so passed the generations of legend.

[ Posted by Reason on June 15, 2005 | Permanent Link ]