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Author Topic: Twilight Ramblings 5 - The myths of the Enarii and the Belog  (Read 1840 times)
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« on: August 26, 2012, 02:50:16 pm »

Another old rambling...

The following should hopefully give a bit of an insight into the Empire's religion, and also their view on the newcomers, the Belog. This was written by Beth, who has also written a number of other myths which can be found on the old site. I've modified a few bits of Bethar's commentary, but hopefully it still makes sense!

Feel free to ask any questions you might have!

An analysis of myths of the Enarii and whether they support the claims of the Belog, taken from the notes of Bethar.

While studying these newcomers, which we of the Empire refer to as Belog, it is hard to say whether they are truly the Enarii. The black clad priests have been hailing them as the gods, and we hear tales of individual Belog who go by the names of the Enarii, such as Roban.

We know that the Enarii were once mortal, but due to great deeds or accomplishments in their lifetime ascended to Enar on their death.  But we do not know how the immortals live on Enar, whether they study our lives, or ignore our inconsequential lives. They did not come to our aid when the Devanu enslaved us, and it is a matter of many arguments within the Empire as to whether this was the Enarii letting us suffer, or if it was all part of a plan to encourage us to free ourselves.

If the Belog are the Enarii then there are many questions: Is their great size a natural consequence of their growth throughout the centuries?  Or do the Enarii automatically take this form once they arrive on Enar?  We do not know how an immortal might age or develop; while Roban in at least this version of the myth dies while still sempa1, the Delgon have no trouble accepting the Belog kopa as Roban.  Perhaps the Enarii continue to age without dying, or perhaps they can even choose which life stage they wish to occupy. We must also ask why they have come to Anyaral?

Or perhaps these Belog are not what they claim to be.  They are named as our gods, yes, but it may be that the Delgon priests have had a hand in this.  I have gathered many versions of Roban’s story, and the following is the earliest I could find. This story may tell the history of the Belog Roban, or perhaps simply explains how the Belog Roban (by all accounts scarred, warlike and with unquenchable hatred of the Devanu) has come to choose this name.

Roban - Enarii of Vengeance (Glorious Retribution)

Roban was the third wife of the lampmaker who lived near the ancient city now named Orel.  The duty fell upon her that day to take her husband's oldest jenta, Yudessi, to a nearby settlement where they would meet with a respected blacksmith who was looking for an apprentice to take as a wife.  Yudessi was strong and able, yet also fair of appearance and respectful, and the blacksmith was minded to agree to the wedding. Roban and Yudessi set out for their home eager to bring the news to their family.  But as they reached their home town a feeling overcame Roban that something was wrong.  Their own dwelling lay at the far edge of the town, quite a distance from the others, looking out over the wastes that were inhabited only by feral tribes and wild animals.  As they approached, they nevertheless saw a number of townspeople gathered around the house and there was much commotion and disorder.  A neighbour called to them to hide their eyes, but Roban did not flinch.  She saw her husband lying wounded, and his other wives dead.  She saw the door smashed and the furniture overturned, but of the other jenta there was no sign.  The tracks of feral mounts led off into the wasteland, already becoming obliterated by wind where the ground became sand and dust.

While the elders of the town gathered to make plans and collect their weapons, Roban wasted no time.  Pausing only to collect a few items from her husband's workshop, she took the fastest enuk she could find and was about to set off when she found Yudessi at her side.  Unable to dissuade the young one, despite the dangers of the mission, Roban pulled Yudessi up in front of her on the mount and together they rode off into the unknown territory.

Following the tracks, and with prayers to the Enarii, at last they came upon the rough settlement of the nomadic Ferals.  The circle of tents around a fire was guarded by watchful sentries, and the tethered animals would stamp and holler at a strange scent or unexpected sound.  But somebody watched over Roban; her approach took her behind an outcrop of rock downwind of her quarry, and she was able to observe them clearly from this cover before they were aware of her presence.  Roban made preparations.  As she soaked her cloak in a strange liquid taken from the small bundle she had brought with her, she gave Yudessi instructions to recover the jenta as soon as it became possible.  Then Roban waited patiently for an opportunity, and was soon rewarded.  As the nearest sentry turned aside to deal with some commotion among the animals, Roban swiftly leapt on her own mount and charged straight for the centre of the camp, leaving Yudessi calling in alarm from the rocky hiding place.

Roban drew from a pouch at her side a handful of a strange powder that her husband had kept in his workshop.  This she threw on the campfire as she approached at full speed, ducking past the guard of the alarmed sentries.  Sparks flew up in all directions, and the Ferals fell into confusion, more coming out of the tents as they heard the shouts and curses.  Roban was pulled from her Enuk, but amidst the cover of smoke and sparks she regained her feet and slipped nearer still to the campfire.  A spark falling upon her set alight the very cloak she was wearing, and she blazed in a fury of fire and passion, and none could approach her.  The remainder of the fire liquid she threw at each Feral who came near, and upon the tents, and the beasts who had broken their tethers and stampeded in terror.  Soon the whole camp was blazing and filled with screams, and no one noticed as Yudessi slipped in from the shadows to lead away the jenta from their captors.

Even as the last Feral fell, his face contorted with his hideous screams, Roban stood to survey her victory, and smiled as the flames engulfed her.

As I have said, this is the oldest version of the story that I could find.  It is set well before the period of enslavement of the Fubarnii by the Devanu, as are practically all the myths and stories concerning the ascension of an Enarii.  It comes from a time when the Ferals were outcasts from the Fubarnii tribes, confined to wastelands and inhospitable areas and treated with fear and suspicion.  Nowadays, though the Ferals maintain a nomadic lifestyle in areas that cannot easily be farmed, they are much more accepted by the Fubarnii of the Empire and are important trade contacts.

It was fairly common in those days for childless Feral tribes to raid settlements for offspring to raise as their own.  More modern versions of this tale however, written at times where relations with Feral tribes were more cordial (though still set in the pre-enslavement period), record the antagonists of the story as Devanu on a raid for meat or slaves.  Naturally it is these versions which the Delgon favour.

Such myths are also interesting for the insight they give on our ancestors' social customs.  Before the Empire began to use the creche system, it was the job of individual families to negotiate marriage contracts.  Like today, this seemed to be done just before the jenta came of age, though the marriage itself would not happen until she had official Sempa status. 

Other versions of this myth describe the search through the Argoran Wastes taking a much longer period of time, in which Yudessi becomes Roban's consort.  This was forbidden by the rules of their society, both because Roban was married (and Yudessi engaged), and also because neither of them had been officially recognised by their society as having transitioned to the next life stage.  Although officially this is still the case, in practice the more cosmopolitan nature of the Empire means that it is not always enforced.  In those days, however obvious that the transition had taken place, without the official blessing of their society they would still have been seen as jenta and sempa and a relationship of this nature therefore completely taboo.  They could not have stayed together and returned to their home town, which gives Roban's martyrdom additional meaning.


1: The lifecycle for most creatures on Anyaral consists of three major stages: Jenta are immature children, then follows the Sempa lifestage (also referred to as the female lifestage) and finally the Kopa (or male) lifestage.

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