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Author Topic: ABANDONED The Creation of the Kalta'hnk and the Kura'thun  (Read 6940 times)
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Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« on: 27 December 2010, 09:25:22 »

ENTRY ABANDONED

Please see here for why.

Overview: This old myth tells the story of how two semi-sentient monsters were created and subsequently almost wiped out during the war of the Titans. It should be said that scholarly opinion considers the Kalta'hnk mythical, although the Kura'thun are, in the words of one Altario Shialt-eck-Gorrin, Compendium expert on the Ice Tribes and the Kura'thun, "real. Absolutely verifiable - their existence is beyond doubt." It may seem odd to some that the Kura'thun, creatures of fire - which is traditionally associated with chaos - should have more of a structure than the Kalta'hnk, whose very forms are solid ice, but when the Compendium inquired, we were told that "just as people have two sides to their nature, so do ice and fire. Flames may be chaotic and unpredictable, but fire only burns where there is fuel, whereas while ice may be solid there is no reason behind the way it spreads across the ground."

Prevalence: A minor part of the lore of the Twelvern, this myth is recounted either as part of the tales of the war of the Titans or as an explanation of the origins of two fearsome northern monsters, and can vary in its telling depending on which focus is more important. A southern storyteller, to whom monsters of the north carry far less import than the war of the Titans, may linger not at all on the description of the monsters themselves, but dwell with relish on the extreme hatred that the Titans bear for each other. On the other hand, if the tale is being told by one who lives in an area where tales of the beasts permeate the mythology, the Titans may be nothing more than a throwaway detail, or at best a conduit for these fearsome beasts to enter the world. So it can be seen that even in areas where the lore of the Twelvern means nothing, traces of it can still be found, without mention of the Gods, or with different Gods substituted according to local customs. It is not in fact known which version is the original - whether the Titans were inserted into the initial northern myth by devotees of the Twelve, or whether the myth of these devotees was adopted and changed by the northern tribes whose mythology and culture contains these creatures.

Importance: This myth is used to convey different meanings in different places. For those who have a body of myth relating to the Kalta'hnk and the Kura'thun, it is a very important creation myth - a starting point, almost - while for those who do not, it is merely another chapter in the recounting of the war of the Titans. The Compendium has tried to keep the version told here the most balanced one possible, while retaining the feeling and, in most cases, the phrasing of the story as it is told. This version, therefore, is based on many recountings of the tale from all over Sarvonia, wherever it is told, and not a transcription of one telling.

The Tale:
Már'estár and Efér'estár were waging war, each on the other. The Titans have fought since they were begotten of the Gods, but Efér'estár long nourished a deep loathing for Már'estár, a loathing born of fear. Not all Mód'estár's rockfalls nor all Avásh'estár's winds could extinguish Efér'estár's fires one half so well as Már'estár's waters. Only one fear had Efér'estár, and this was his brother. And so he increased his efforts against him, and for every strike that he sent at Avásh'estár or Mód'estár he sent two at Már'estár. Már'estár knew this, and he reacted even more fiercely than before, and the rivalry of Efér'estár and Már'estár transcended their natural-born hatred.

Then the Gods saw what had come about from their carelessness and they lamented, for that which they had made could they not unmake, and Ava now dreamt the Titans as truly as the Gods, and the races of the world, and the world itself. And the hearts of the Gods were heavy and they wept. Then spake one of their number, Seyella Goddess of Fate, who said: "O my brothers and sisters, the Titans fight and do not weary of fighting. We know that we may not unmake them; let us instead bind them apart, that they may never meet again: for truly their natures are too opposed for any hope of peace." The other Gods thought well of this idea, and they caused the Titans to be bound at the furthest reaches of the earth, or deep underground.

Már'estár and Efér'estár were furious at this. Their natural rivalry and supplementary hatred were too strong to be separated by merely the will of the Gods. So Efér'estár began to work. Deep in the lava pools, he worked, forging a likeness of himself from lava and burning rock. A huge demonic figure it was, fully half the size of the gigantic Titan. And Efér'estár spake to his creation, saying: "Behold, I have formed thee from lava and burning rock to be my tool in my perpetual war against my brother. Again I say behold! for thou hast been formed in my likeness and shalt be first among my generals, thou who containst all my power. A third time I say behold! for these pools are wide and none hath measured them. Therefore thou shalt fashion many more in thy likeness, as I have made thee in mine, and thou shalt name them the Kura'thun, the denizens of the molten pools, and they shall be an army to us in our conflict. But attend! for you must fashion the best first, a round half-dozen of them, and let them be thy generals. Then instruct them, as I shall you, in the secrets of their making, and let each make his own inferiors, that the structure of our army may be the more readily controlled. For if thou makest both the general and the mindless Kura'thun, wherein lies the distinction? Instruct thy generals that each shall form a dozen lieutenants, and each lieutenant his own Kura'thun shall make." Then in a voice of doom and burning rock Efér'estár's creation spake these words: "I hear and obey, O Titan my master. But wherefore dost thou do this thing, when thy brother, icy Már'estár, hath no force with which to fight us? For surely we may not attack a Titan?" Efér'estár was at first wroth at this perceived questioning of his spoken command, and made to smite his servant, but stayed his hand and spake.

"Verily, it seemeth me that thou art right. For I shall not send my Kura'thun to meet my brother; nay, I shall not." Bending to the ground, Efér'estár once more fashioned a servant of lava and burning rock, and spake unto it, saying: "Go! Find my brother, Már'estár, and tell him that my Kura'thun march against him. Warn him that my armies cause the earth to tremble and the ground to smoulder. Warn him to fashion soldiers of his own, lest I destroy him." The beast, eight legged and fiery, sped to do his master's bidding.

Már'estár stood alone in the frozen ice of the north, by the rushing sea, and time had no meaning to him. He was bound by the bonds of the Gods; stronger than any chain they bound him, impotent. He yearned to destroy his brothers no less than in the first instant that he had learnt of their opposed natures, and none more so than Efér'estár. Thus it was that Efér'estár's messenger found the Titan of Water.

"Hail, Már'estár, Titan of Water," it proclaimed. "I bring unto thee a message from thine enemy, thy brother Efér'estár. He says to thee: O mine hated brother, I send thee tidings of my armies, beings of lava and burning rock. The earth trembleth under the tramp of their feet, and the ground doth smoulder and blacken under the scorching heat of their bodies. Be wary, my brother, and fashion thyself soldiers to meet mine army. My Kura'thun march, and thou must prepare. This is the message of thy brother, Efér'estár, whom thou hatest and who hateth thee." Upon hearing these insulting words, Már'estár was mightily wroth and smote the messenger of fire with his vast spear of ice. Stooping to collect the fragments thereof, for his brother's servant had caused it to splinter, Már'estár took heed of the message he had received. He should form an army to oppose that of Efér'estár, and he should fashion them of ice. Then he shattered his spear into many fragments and let them fall to the ground, and he infused each shard with his hatred and his will, that they might move and be Kalta'hnk, the Ice Biters. Már'estár's malevolence filled each shard, and they became minds bound to his own. Then Már'estár formed many icy statues, just shorter than half of his height, and placed on the chest of each a sliver of his spear. These slivers merged with the statues, and thus he caused each one to be moved by a will as evil as his own.

When Már'estár had thus fashioned his army, he sent them against his brother; a tide of icy warriors, whose only loyalty was to their common creator, the Titan of Water. The air froze where they marched; birds fell from the sky in that lethal cold; plants froze and died; rivers and lakes solidified in a heartbeat. Some even say that the snowy wasteland of the North was caused by this army.

But lo! Efér'estár sent his Kura'thun to meet them; and at the head of his army marched Gragach'or, Lord of the Kura'thun and servant of the last son of Jeyriall and Armeros, and his generals, and their lieutenants. The ground blackened where their fiery tread struck, and bushes ignited in the heat which hung thick about them.

At last, the horde and the ranks met; the flame-streaked aura of the Kura'thun lashed at the frigid air around the Kalta'hnk; flame met ice and ice met flame. As beings of flame and burning rock clashed with beings of ice and pure hatred, new rivers formed of the remains of slain ice giants, and just as quickly turned to steam in the loathing-fuelled flame which surrounded Efér'estár's minions; yet as ice extinguished flame, so each of the Kura'thun, fighting not, as the Kalta'hnk, for itself, in its discipline relit its fallen fellows and formed a wall of burning, sentient rock that could not be breached.

But here and there, the numbers of the Kalta'hnk began to tell; no longer could the Kura'thun support all of their force. As combatants of both sides fell in droves, the rabble of the Kalta'hnk could not prevail against the wily mind of Gragach'or, who directed his force against any momentary weakness before recovering his forces; but neither could this cunning find a way in which to overcome the sheer numbers of the Kalta'hnk. While each Kura'thun may be able to overcome a Kalta'hnk, and with the support of its fellows even more, they could not do so fast enough; and so the battle continued, in a perfect balance, a meeting of elemental forces. Flaming air streaked with ice surrounded the combatants; whole clouds formed of steam, and hills of fallen rock. The land itself froze and cracked under the feet of the Kalta'hnk before softening and blackening in the heat of the Kura'thun.

And the Gods looked upon this and were angry, for they had not foreseen this; or if any had, they had concealed it. So they stood in council once more, and all agreed that the Titans should be bound the more firmly for this breaking of the ban. And thus Armeros, Lord of Conflict and Father of the Titans, held out his palm above the world and spake; and the power of Már'estár over his icy demons was broken; and they fled the conflict, moved only by the remnants of his evil will. Then Armeros spake in loud voice to Gragach'or, and bade him desist from this conflict. And so the first and last great battle of these fearsome beasts and servants of the Titans ended. Now dwell the Kura'thun in the molten pools, and legend says that the Kalta'hnk still wander the north, seeking their ancient foe. And the Titans are thrice-bound and thrice-entrapped, and seven times abjured to their prisons, and may never escape nor assault their fellows, nor create again such armies as once strode the earth.
« Last Edit: 14 March 2011, 01:47:53 by Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: 28 December 2010, 23:27:14 »

A couple of notes on this piece:
A prevalence section was added but I failed to add it to my original and my iPhone didn't save the changes properly. General frustration at having to use a three-inch screen means that I may not write it again for a little while, but both Prevalence and Importance will be done. I'm just suffering a crisis of motivation.

Also, I want to get Azzy's opinion on how this sits with her vision of the Kalta'hnk, and Alt's for the Kura'thun. I mentioned it in the entry, but this is the realisation. Knowing how close to accurate the Kalta'hnk entry is as it stands would be helpful.

Ath
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« Reply #2 on: 29 December 2010, 00:31:55 »

Ok, motivation has been found (A borrowed computer) and the entry now has Prevalence and Importance, and is ready for comments (I hope)

Ath
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« Reply #3 on: 29 December 2010, 07:05:51 »

Hi Athviaro,

This is a really well-written text. Everything flows, everything is clear - and your use of archaisms (spake, thou, ...) fits well. Importantly, you also manage to sustain the same "atmosphere" and "voice" throughout, which I find important for any entry, but especially important for stories and myths.

Also: I like how your story brings out that two who hate each other actually have quite a lot in common, and in fact may engage in quite a lot of collaboration to satisfy their respective desire to destroy one another. So I say: well done!


I'm sorry that I can't comment on details of the Kalta'hnk and the Kura'thun, and how they fit into Sarvonian reality and/or mythology - I'll leave that to the experts.


There is one consideration I have to offer, though: I found myself rather short-changed at the end. You do a lot of work to create suspense, you write a brilliant story that makes the reader look forward to the big battle that surely awaits at the end - but when finally the armies clash, the story is over after one short paragraph.

I say: That's not fair! Where are the battle scenes? Where do we learn how ice and fire meet? How the ice giants melt, and the fire giants are extinguished? (Or what else happens to them as they fight?) Does the battle create such a din that no god can sleep while it lasts? Does the water from the melting ice giants create a flood that sinks a hundred cities? Do the marching fire giants leave behind them a trail of scorched earth? These are just a few ideas, of course. You may have others.

Also: You make much of the contrast between the disorganized rabble of the ice giants, and the strict hierarchical order of the fire giants. I like this contrast (even though in my intuition, fire would be the chaotic element, unpredictable and uncontainable, while ice would be associated with order - think of the structure of ice crystals - but that's just my idea, and doesn't need to be so in Santharia) - but I was rather looking forward to a description of how this contrast would play out on the battlefield. Not just an acknowledgement that it did  play a role - but a vivid description of it. Don't just tell us that the battle took place. Show us the battle, as you showed us, for example, the creation of the soldiers.

In short, I think there is scope to make this story longer, and to follow your brilliant build-up with an equally brilliant climax of a battle of fire and ice.


Finally, a little detail:

Quote
"... Instruct your generals that each shall form a dozen lieutenants, and each lieutenant his own Kura'thun shall make."
... thy ... (to remain in character, no?)

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« Reply #4 on: 29 December 2010, 08:02:16 »

Well thank you kindly for your long and detailed comments Shaba. I confess to not being one hundred percent happy with the denouement, but general frustration at typing on an iPhone led me to put it on as was. If I can get to a computer I'll do my best. And the your issue is a slip. I was originally inconsistent and fixed most of it - but not all!

Glad you liked it.

Ath
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« Reply #5 on: 29 December 2010, 15:41:02 »

Hmmm... as stated in your other entry, I have specific plans for the Kura' thun, which I created in response to Azhira's Ice Giant idea.  I had no intention of farming them out.  Perhaps a Bellring to me asking if they were up for grabs might have been prudent?  I apologise for the inconvenience this poses.

Perhaps we can salvage the work you have put into this, but certain facts will not be able to stay.  First, the Kura' thun are real.  Verifiable.  Second, they are located specifically on the Isthmus of Doom, therefore a good explanation will be needed for it being part of the lore of the Twelvern.  They will be linked to Doom Steel, and that is only found on the Isthmus.
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« Reply #6 on: 30 December 2010, 00:43:11 »

Will this do? Edits in brown. I quoted you, extending what you said. Sorry about the lack of a bellring. If I'd been writing an entry on them, I'd have researched who, if anyone, had them. As it was, no. Sorry. I hope my explanation works.
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« Reply #7 on: 30 December 2010, 10:17:43 »

Maybe this would work.  One thing we could do, is make this a more modern myth, instead of an ancient one?  Maybe not contemporary, but only a few hundred years old as opposed to several thousand.  Perhaps created by someone who has a theory that all the gods are the same to all people under differeing names?

Or am I over complicating it? shocked

BTW, an Aura for being so agreeable to my request about the Kura'thun. :)  It's appreciated.
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« Reply #8 on: 03 March 2011, 22:07:54 »

I think I have added some detail to the end, and also a little in a couple of other sections. Any comments on this little myth?
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« Reply #9 on: 07 March 2011, 03:51:11 »

Hey Ath, I'm sorry for not performing my task as cosm-mod and looking earlier  at your myth. My parents kept me busy and some work for the Nepris module. I promise to go over it at latest end of this week, when I'm back home, to check if it works. Maybe I find the time to do it earlier, but my antic mac at my parents house is probably as nerving as your i-phone. ;)
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« Reply #10 on: 07 March 2011, 06:58:17 »

Quote
Hmmm... as stated in your other entry, I have specific plans for the Kura' thun, which I created in response to Azhira's Ice Giant idea.  I had no intention of farming them out.

Ath, you can't do a creation myth for 'something' which somebody else has claimed for himself - you knew that. What , if Alt had already other things in mind?

I'll look into the connection of twelvern/titans and those northern mythical creations in the next days.
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« Reply #11 on: 08 March 2011, 03:58:23 »

Ath, you can't do a creation myth for 'something' which somebody else has claimed for himself - you knew that. What , if Alt had already other things in mind?

I'll look into the connection of twelvern/titans and those northern mythical creations in the next days.

Sorry about that; but in regard to your two first points, I have perfectly sound counterarguments.

1) I had no idea Alt had claimed them.

2) I'd have changed it.

Looking forward to your check thumbup
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« Reply #12 on: 12 March 2011, 01:08:21 »

Hello Athviaro, denizen of the North!

As Shaba said already, you have a great way to tell stories and I like the way this is narrated. (I sometimes envy people who are so gifted, but then, it is not my mother tongue, but then again I‘m looking at Shaba and think, darn, he knows how to write well also... )

However, *sigh*,  this is not enough. One has to master his enthusiasm about own ideas and check first, if something is possible, check it well.

This submission does not work out of two reasons: The first and more important:  The Kura‘thun were not free to grab, I‘ll explain this to you in a PM.

The second reason: I think the myth would not have fitted anyway, I will explain that now. Let‘s look at the myth about the Titans first. And keep in mind, that entries on the site should be considered as sacrosanct, more or less. Changes are only allowed where they are needed.

Quote
The Myth as related in the "Cárpa'dosía", Chapter IV. In the so called Great Year when all the other Gods made the skies, the stars, the mountains and the seas, Jeyriall and Armeros had to wait until they could begin their assigned tasks of giving life and war (in the meaning of fundamental contradictions) to the designed world. So together they withdrew to a beautiful green valley on an isle surrounded by high mountains Urtengor had made for their rest. As they were all alone with themselves the will to creation overwhelmed them and the Gods lay together, their love producing four children with devine qualities: Avásh'estár, the Titan of the Wind, Mód'estár, the Titan of Earth, Már'estár, the Titan of Water and finally Efér'estár, the Titan of Fire.

But as the four Titans awoke in the world of Aér'ai'chán and began to be aware of each other they joined the intentions of Etherus, the Treacherous as he was called lateron. Etherus told each of the Titans that he should seek to increase his power over the other Titans so that Avá would look with blessing upon him. And so a fierce battle of the Titans began adding more chaos to the world than Etherus himself was capable for. As Avá saw this she was grieved, but she knew also in her heart that the Titans were made out of love to the Mother of All and the creations she was responsible for and did not intend to destroy. She knew too that the destructive powers of Etherus and Queprur were part of her Toughts and so she decided to banish the Titans from the surface of Aér'ai'chán only, not to make them undone. Since this time the Titan of Earth is kept imprisoned deep down under the surface and the Titan of Wind is guarded high above in the skies by many of his brothers, the High Spirits. On the edges of the world the Titan of Fire and the Titan of Water reside, both having no other joy as to play with their elements (the Fire Sea to the southwest and the Adanic Sea to the northwest). The rage of the Titans to be imprisoned by the Mother of All can still be felt over the long centuries, resulting in earthquakes, ferocious storms, volcanic eruptions and floods.
[/size]
http://www.santharia.com/cosmos/cosmos.htm


1. The icetribes, and the Antislar also, have not kept the belief in the twelve Santharian gods, they may not even have known about them. The forming of the twelve may have well taken place at  time, where there ancestors had already migrated to the North. But when the gods became gods is in flow, so we can‘t say anything here, except that these tribes don‘t know the Santharian Twelve. So why should they know myths derived from them?

Look at the entry, it is all about symmetry and balance. Wind, Earth, Fire, Water. Each is as strong as the other, though they are tricked in fighting each other to prove themselves, an impossible task.  Introducing the element of ice, though it is water, would violate that balance, for what would be in the place of the ice when you look at fire, wind or earth?

3.  The entry states clearly, where to the four are banned:
Earth, deep under the surface
Wind, high above in the skies

„ On the edges of the world the Titan of Fire and the Titan of Water reside, both having no other joy as to play with their elements (the Fire Sea to the southwest and the Adanic Sea to the northwest).“

Here we see also, that this is a very Santharian myth, the Titan of Fire is banned to the fire Sea (=Burning Sea), the Titan of Water to the edge of the Adanic Sea (=Adanian Sea) - the edges of the South Sarvonian world, and NOT to the frozen wastes of Northern Sarvonia.

4. Symmetry/Balance: Were are the battles of the Titan of the Earth and Wind? And generally, why should, as you described it, hate one another more than his brothers? Yes, you invent reasons, but they destroy that symmetry, inherit in the entry.

5. Your Titan of fire formes servants  from lava and burning rocks - is that realm not belonging to the Titan of Earth? Remember, he sits somewhere beyond the vast ocean.

*********

Generally, to salvage part of it, I would propose to alter the story in this way:

Let all four titans fight against each other, fire against water, wind again earth. Then rotate the combinations, find  reasons! But never allow three to team again one for long, for that would be bad for the symmetry idea. (Keep it a Santharian myth, but be vague, otherwise you need to contact tribe-developers.)
--> Then the titans are banned to the edges of the world.

As they are not able to fight each other directly, they send, in the next phase, as you have described them, creations of their elements. Again, keep the symmetry. But you could team them up, creating your lava/rock monsters out of the forces of earth and fire. (But don‘t call them Kura‘thun) But then you need to invent something similar for wind and water.

I would not make them so different to give the one pair a hierarchy and the other two not. Again, symmetry/balance.

Then, change the pairs - until the gods are tired again and ban them ultimately.

An effect of that new titan-up-rise could be the great devastation which took place in the south of Southern Sarvonia after the war of the Chosen. If you want to go this way, tell me, and I give you some details.

Don't despair, I  bite only rarely! ;)

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Azhira Styralias
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« Reply #13 on: 12 March 2011, 05:10:31 »

if I remember right, one of my ideas was to develop a myth with a Southern Sarvonian interpretation of the Kalta'hnk. In other words, what would a Baveran cleric say would be a likely explanation for the Kalta'hnk legend? He would say that if the creature was made of ice, then it would be related to the mythical water titan of the ancient world.

Integrating the Twelvern for a Northern tribes myth would not be appropriate, of course, but if the myth/story has origins in the South for a North creature, then it would stand to reason that the original tellers of the myth would put a Southern spins and details in it. Of course, the North shamans and loremasters would see things differently depending on the tribe. The Kaaer for instance would probably say the Kalta'hnk represent their water goddess, Benapryl.
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No, I would not want to live in a world without dragons, as I would not want to live in a world without magic, for that is a world without mystery, and that is a world without faith. And that, I fear, for any reasoning, conscious being, would be the cruelest trick of all.
Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
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« Reply #14 on: 14 March 2011, 01:39:02 »



In light of Ta'lia's PM and post, and the changes needed to fix the problems she sees, I'm asking that this thread be locked. Anyone who wants more details of what has made me come to this decision can PM me - Ta'lia kept her issues private in a message, and I'm not going to post the whole thing on a public board after that.
« Last Edit: 14 March 2011, 01:48:12 by Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr » Logged

"I don't care what you did as a boy."
"Well, I did nothing as a girl, so there goes my childhood." - Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, The Gay Divorcee, 1934.
The Life and Works of Athviaro Shyu-eck-Silfayr
Kalta'hnk - My ramblings on anything to do with the Glandorians - The Glandorian Men (Proposal)
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