Torkanii foundation myth.

From: s.lucek@ic.ac.uk
Date: Tue 07 Oct 1997 - 14:08:12 EEST


Torkanii foundation myth
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Maurice Beyke says that the Torkanii appeal to him. I certainly find lots of
potential in this tribe. They have an interesting geography, from memory, the
Hill of Orlanth Victorious, Humakt's hill, as well as being close to Prax,
Troll forests etc. I postulate that the Torkanii are a suspicious lot,
propitiating the local spirits, so that would give them quite mixed traditions,
Orlanth, Humakt, Argan Argar. I also imagine that you might have a tradition of
a few proud warriors worshipping light, Elmal, seeing the appeasement of
darkness spirits as a weakness.

To explain this violent mix of cults and traditions, a little while ago I wrote
the following foundation myth. My apologies that it is rather long and not
very good, but since Maurice was asking about the Torkanii, I thought someone
might find something useful buried in it.

Old Man Torkan was mighty in magic. He mastered all spirits, and in his
strength he said that only the weak worship the gods. He brought up his sons
in the old ways.

The first son was born to Torkan in lands far to the south, where darkness men
roam freely and the knowledge of the spirits of Dark runs deep. Torkan taught
his son his magics and the language of the spirits. His son grew to be mighty
in his magics, and listened to the whispering of the spirits and learned their
secrets of darkness. So it was that he grew to worship the gods of Darkness.
Old Man Torkan was saddened by this.

There was great oppression in those days for those who followed the ancient
ways and would not worship the Pharoh. But Torkan was mighty in magic, and none
could prevail against him, and so his folk lived in peace. But one day the
first son came to Torkan and tried to convince him of the power of the gods of
darkness. In sadness and anger, Torkan said to his folk 'The spirits of
darkness have turned the heart of my son against me, I can not abide to live
amongst them any more'. And so his folk sadly packed and left their land of
peace and plenty. Torkan asked his son, 'Will you come with me, or stay with
your gods?'. The first son replied, 'You are my father, and none can compare
with you in might, I shall follow you.'

Torkan lead his folk to the Dragon Pass, but their way was barred by the great
curse of the dragons that sealed the land from any human. Torkan talked to the
guardian spirits of the stones that marked the line which no man could cross.
Mighty was Torkan's magic, and he discovered the safe path through the curse.

Torkan lead his folk to the high passes of the Quivin peaks. There the spirits
of Storm are strong and wild, and Torkan made his abode amongst them. Here a
second son was born to Torkan. Torkan taught his son his magics and the
language of the spirits. His son grew to be mighty in his magics, and listened
to the raging of the spirits and learned their secrets of Storm. So it was that
he grew in wisdom and came to worship the gods of Storm. Old Man Torkan was
saddened by this.

After Torkan had broken the magics of the dragon curse and entered the pass,
others followed. But they were not mighty like Torkan and perished. Some by
their wiles got through. All craved the magical lands of the heights of Quivin
peaks, but Torkan was mighty in magic and drove them all away. But one day, the
second son came to Torkan and tried to convince him of the power of the gods of
Storm. In sadness and anger, Torkan spoke to his folk 'The spirits of Storm
have turned the heart of my son against me, I can not abide to live amongst
them any more'. And so his folk sadly packed and left their land where the wild
Storm rages strongly. Torkan asked his son, 'Will you come with me, or stay
with your gods?'. The first son replied, 'You are my father, and none can
compare with you in might, I shall follow you.'

And so Torkan led his folk through the wilderness, and came to a land where
darkness men roamed freely. They made brave war against Torkan and his folk,
and summoned their ancient spirits of dark, fearsome in their power. But Torkan
was mighty in his magic, so that the darkness men could not stand before him.
He summoned great spirits of light, which drove the dark away, and burned the
land of its ancient forest, so that no shadow might linger to threaten his
folk. The third son of Torkan stood by his side and supported him in his
magics. When they were done, his son had learned much of the spirits of light
and fire. As the years passed after the great victory, this son listened much
to the spirits singing, and learned their secrets of light. So it was that he
came to worship the gods of light. Old Man Torkan was saddened by this.

Old Man Torkan was old and frail. His son came to him and tried to convince him
of the power of the gods of light. In sadness and anger Torkan spoke to his
folk 'The spirits of light have turned the heart of my son against me, I can
not abide to live amongst them any more. I go now where none may follow me.'
Torkan had one last son, and he took him aside and whispered great secrets to
him. And so Torkan left the world. The last son became wise in the magics
and mysteries of death.

The sons of Torkan hated each other, as the gods they worshipped hated each
other. They fought and fought. As brother fought brother, so amongst the tribe
of Torkan kin fought kin and clan fought clan. When the last son saw such kin
slaying, he said 'These are no kin of mine that kill each other so. I forswear
my kinship with them'. And so it was that the forth son came to know kinless
Humakt, and worshipped him becoming strong in battle.

And so it is that the Torkanii have never known peace for they have for ever
fought fiercely amongst themselves. Since they are always divided they have
never been strong and have never prospered. But this their weakness is also
their strength, for none are more brave or savage in war than the Torkanii, and
no bard can match a Torkanii bard in tales of blood and woe, of kin slaying and
dark deeds.

Stephen Lucek.

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