Arros' Tale chapter one

From: Ramos-Tavener, Doyle Wayne (st670@Jetson.UH.EDU)
Date: Sun 12 May 1996 - 00:22:43 EEST

The followining is an attempt at Gloranthan fiction that I have been working
on for a while. It written as if it were the first chapter in a novel.
However, It is one of those projects that I do not know if I will ever
finish. Keep this in mind as you read this. I would consider this a first
draft or rough second draft out of maybe three to four drafts, as there are
many elements that should be expanded (as opposed to could be). Some of the
"flow" seems akward as well. (by this I mean an irregular rhythm to the
sound of the words, as well as some plain akward phrasing). Words in <>
indicate thoughts, ideas or words that I am really unsure about. I would
appreciate comments of all sorts, though comments of the non-Gloranthan sort
should be restricted to private e-mail. I am particularly interested in what
people think of the discription of Sorcery that Arros gives.



       It is said of my people, that we would endure any insult and
undertake any dishonor, so much do we value our own lives. Yet I know that
this is not so, for the stories told to me in my youth are filled with those
who thought to save themselves or others by violating custom (thereby
gaining death) only to learn that their sacrifices were in vain. You will
note that I wrote the word custom instead of honor. This is because there
are many words of my people's language that have no exact equivalent,
despite the claims of the Buseri of the infallibility of translation. Honor
is not among the words of my people, and the closest word that could apply
would be custom, or perhaps Correct Action. Locassa <Logic?> is the word for
this idea. When children ask me nowadays (because of my rather dubious
notoriety, I suppose) what fantastic sights and creatures I have seen in my
travels, I have a tendency to bore them quite quickly. I have always
preferred to speak of the strange words I have heard, having found them
infinitely more fascinating than any freak of nature or chaos' largess. Now
that I have lived most of my life among those who are not my own, I believe
I can say with some confidence that it is the fallibility of translation
that has led to so many misunderstandings between my people and the outside
        So it is through language, through the telling of a story, that I hope to
explain much of what not only has happened to myself but also to present my
people, who seem so different to those who have never met them. There are,
of course, other reasons for this text. Many whom I have befriended since I
left the City of the Ten Thousand have implored me to tell my tale so that
all the Empire shall prosper from the knowledge. Though well intentioned,
such advice is, I believe, fruitless. Only those who have been different,
and felt the stain of loneliness, shall gain any measure of comfort these
words. Frankly, my advice to those who respond in this way to my work is
that they refrain from being different. More to the point, several who will
read this text will do so in the hope of finding some plunder among the
dross. Their hopes will be broken, for I reveal no secrets that I have not
already betrayed.
        I was born in the <number> year of the Logical Place, in a province of that
place. Those outside my province call it the God-Forsaken Place, for reasons
having to do with our rejection of worship, I suppose. The Name that my
"mother" gave to me was Arros, which means line, in our tongue. There is
also a connotation of obedience associated with the word. This was
considered somewhat shocking by others, owing to the circumstances of my
birth. I was engendered on her unwillingly by a reaver of a nearby province,
and she elected to bear the child, in variance with Locossa. She acquired
her first graying in this manner, though of course I always remember her as
the age she had when I was young. My "Grandfather" was a member of that
class that were masters of magic (I heartily dislike many of the
connotations of the words used to describe the class in the outside world).
He agreed to raise me in the manner of his class, and so I was inducted into
it. My reader might find such an action compassionate, but I have never
known Delan to act in such a manner. I often questioned his motivations
during my instruction under him; eventually his blows silenced all such
interrogatives. During the six years of my instruction under Delan he taught
me much of magic, as well as the responsibilities of our class, which
frankly seemed the more arcane of the two. I would study and repeat the
Precepts until my head rang, yet I could rarely satisfy him. Others to whom
I have related this tale seem surprised at my distress, and have commented
to the effect that all Masters seem so, so as to strongly motivate the
student to learn. Yet my recollections are clear in this manner, more so
than others by reason of the magic that I studied so intently. This clarity,
though not without a certain pain, is nonetheless objective enough for me to
realize that Delan genuinely despised me. Only later was I to learn why.
        I feel that I must take a moment of my reader's time to explain the manner
in which we perform magic. There are many tales about how it is
accomplished; most of which are in astonishing variance with the facts of
the matter. As do many of the so-called "western" peoples, we acknowledge
the existence of the Creator. Yet for my people the Creator is little more
than an acknowledgment of a natural process, albeit the prime process. "In

the beginning was the Creator, and he looked upon nothingness." This primal
action of the Creator is to be understood on several levels. The most
important is that this act signifies the generative force (or compassion,
according to some) that set the world in motion. This force, whose nature is
often debated among outsiders, though never among my people, is often
compared to light, and so is often referred to as The Radiance. The
Radiance, interacting with Nothingness, brings about the created world. This
single Precept, though concise, does not do justice to the world we
perceive, though it must seem elegant to philosophers. The fact of the
matter is that the Radiance continues to act on Creation, generating new
permutations constantly. Thus the precept, "<blah, blah>." Yet knowledge of
this phenomenon alone is not enough to work our magic. One must be able to
sense and manipulate these forces as well. This is accomplished by the study
and <unknown word> of the Runes. The Runes are the reflection of The
Radiance interacting with Creation, and through study the will can impose
these interactions on the material world once more. A Rune is not a static
concept. It is essentially always becoming. Study of the world around us
allows the worker of magic to enforce his will upon the world by imposing a
Rune upon a particular subject. This exercise of will is effected through
certain gestures, stances, imagery and words. All these actions channel the
will to the imposition of Runes upon a subject. If I were to desire to raise
a fire, I would choose the Clarnen stance, which is associated with change.
The gestures I would use might include the Dance which signifies fire or the
Fist which is associated with destruction. I might call upon Yilm, that
notorious sorcerer of fire magic, etc. Once the presence of the Rune has
been invoked, concentration and further imposition of will is necessary to
form it to my purposes. The formation of Runes through this method must be
sustained or altered or combined with other Runes in order to achieve a
particular effect. All this takes time, and an application of will that can
leave one exhausted. As you can see, I had little time for other activities
besides my studies. Because of this, the time I was able to steal away was
all the more precious. Until the time of my late adolescence, this involved
        I first met her during my tenth summer, before Harvest. The leaves had not
yet begun to turn, but mists from the ocean were far more common, as I
recall. I had taken string and hook to the small lake several miles from our
village, in hopes of trout. Though I was astonished by her appearance, I
understand now that she must have been in my presence for several minutes
before I realized she was there. Her hair was unbound, and drifted from her
head to the shore of the lake. She did not seem to realize, or care, that
it was becoming wet. I stammered a greeting, and then she turned and looked
at me. At that first glance, the gaze she possessed nearly broke me. I was
certain that she would look upon me with disdain, even hatred. And yet she
smiled. And this was not the last of her compassion.
        Among my people such intercourse is considered sad at best, and something
akin to bestiality at worse. But I was young, very young and such thoughts
did not enter my mind. Yet, as I returned to my mother's room, later that
night, I knew shame. I understood intuitively that I had violated Locassa.
I thought perhaps that this was due to my father's influence, whoever he
might of been. As you might expect, my mother did not ever speak of the
experience. Despite the shame, within the week I had returned to the lake.
Soon, it was a regular occurrence. No one ever questioned my lack of trout.


End of Glorantha Digest V2 #558

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