The Enclave > Folk > Datarii

Stonefolk

Strong as stone, gray as stone, stubborn as stone, Datarii have dwelt beneath the mountains of the Enclave for as long as those mountains have existed. The oldest of Datarii legends credit the Draugh with bringing into being such unnecessary things as open sky and falling waters. Before that time, all of creation was peaceful stone and ore, waiting for the Datarii to shape it. In their economic, ancient language, "Datarii" means "those who shape rock" or simply "the stonefolk," the act of shaping implied by simple association.

Thoughtful, considered, determined individualists for the most part, Datarii craft homes, halls and unending series of Unfinished Works from the living mountain rock. The stonefolk have little use for leaders or intricate laws, and seem - in stark contrast to the other folk of the Enclave - to live peacefully and well without either.

The Datarii distaste for water is well known. Only the most pragmatic or willful Datar ventures forth from the uppermost halls into the world of seasons, summer rain, mud, rivers, frost and snow-laden wind. The face and motivations of the stonefolk turned to the wider Enclave are those of the trader, the outcast, the unusual and the motivated. This subtlety is not widely understood by Ammanders and the descendants of Lost Magi living under the open Enclave sky.

[ Posted by Reason on December 22, 2004 | Permanent Link ]

Lost Amidst Unfinished Works

The Expected Smile - that most unusual of characters, an anonymous yet prolific sage - lived and wrote before the Vanishing, when Ammander folk still arrived in Port aboard Magi tradeships and Three Stones was but a village about the base of the Black Tower. The works of this hidden figure, a contemporary of The Denier, were fashionably popular for generations; widely copied, imitated, expanded and deconstructed. The Expected Smile has fallen out of favor in the present community of sages, but cultured folk are expected to show some knowledge of the more important works.

On the subject of the Datarii, The Expected Smile wrote that "the strangers who come from under the mountains in dry summers are born and age in the manner of mortals, yet do not die in the manner of mortals. When they return to their vaults and halls beneath the peaks they call 'Great Home,' these strangers create wonders. This is their purpose, uncaringly hidden and uncaringly noble, to endlessly draw beauty and mystery from rock. The greatest stonemason in all the Ammand would throw down his tools in despair if he could but see the least of what the strangers call 'Unfinished Works.'"

A mortal could travel a lifetime in the Crafts beneath Great Home - assuming they did not quickly become lost in the Farthest Halls - yet see but a fraction of generations of Unfinished Works. As a Datar ages, the body remains strong but the mind is whelmed by the weight of memory and purpose. Old stonefolk stray into forgetfulness, strange manners and deep thought, finally becoming uncommunicative and single-minded in their creations - lost amidst Unfinished Works both real and imagined.

The oldest Datarii vanish into the Farthest, perhaps by accident, perhaps by design. Deep in the Farthest Craft is the Power known as the Crafter, a being of visions and purposes, lost in his own self, a shaper of shapers, the origin of all things. In Datarii legend, all Lost stonefolk ultimately return to the Crafter, there to find their destiny in the Farthest realms of creation.

[ Posted by Reason on January 23, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

The Long Path to Ura Retii

Many great sculptings ago, when the Deep Hall of Draugh in the very center of Great Home was barely a sixth filled with the finest Unfinished Works, the Traveler first walked the path to Ura Retii. The Power of Farthest Vaults walked the difficult ways, the hidden ways to the Mountain of Distance Places. This he did for he knew that we would one day travel this path. To remind us of the path yet used, the Traveler took the smallest part of the mura beneath the Retii and made a gift of it to Ane, she who was Lost but then Returned.

Ane came to her craft once more from the Farthest Vaults when the Deep Hall of Draugh in the very center of Great Home was barely a fifth filled with the finest Unfinished Works. With the Traveler's mura and rare white stone Ane shaped the Map That Is The Way, a craft that spoke only to those on the very edge of the Farthest, those who have seen the Beautiful Stranger or who prepare their journey to the Crafter at the center of all Creation.

Mura yet lay deep in the heart of Ura Retii when Magi brought their gifts to our folk, when the Deep Hall of Draugh in the very center of Great Home was barely a quarter filled with the finest Unfinished Works. Mura shone in the Map That Is The Way, and we few walked the long path of the Traveler to shape the Retii vaults and crafts, deep and high, far from our folk. We spoke of the Mountain of Distant Places and Magi brought gifts to our deepest crafts to trade for mura, but the mura of the Retii is not ours to trade. It is mura of Powers, mura of ancient times when the Deep Hall of Draugh stood empty, mura that calls and speaks to each Datar who shapes Unfinished Works in the Farthest Crafts.

The Deep Hall of Draugh in the very center of Great Home is barely a third filled with the finest Unfinished Works, and we have made our home and craft of Ura Retii now, far from our folk.

[ Posted by Reason on August 8, 2005 | Permanent Link ]

Voice of Stone

All Creation has a voice, if you know the way of listening. Rock and earth tell tales of their past and the future they imagine, for they are as we are. But the Black Stone of the Draugh is old and has passed beyond tales; just as we who journey to the Farthest Crafts, it has become silent in itself. By silence we know the Black Stone, and in respect for the Draugh who were, we do not shape it.

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