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Gloranthan Folk Tales

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Moonie Madness

Carmanian Sources

Malkioni Scriptures

The first Shah was Carmanos the Lawgiver. He was son of Syranthir the Wanderer, who came from the distant lands of the West.

Syranthir was leader of a hundred Captains. Every Captain led a hundred men, and these Ten Thousand fought whenever he ordered it. Every one of them would have died for him, and some did so more than once. Syranthir had journeyed through all the lands of the West seeking his soul, which enemies had stolen from him. He never could find it, for all his ten years' wandering, though he sought as far as Hell in his quest, until he came to our beautiful Pelandan land.

All the land was oppressed by the Spolites, save for one free city that still resisted the armies of Enthyr. Alone, it could not have prevailed against the forces of the enemy.

Syranthir called assembly, and declared his opinion. The riches of this distant land were attractive to him, and he would gladly lead his army there. If the Ten Thousand were to join forces with these oppressors, they would gain little credit for their part in an expected victory; if, however, they drove off their assault, the gratitude of the beseiged would be theirs forever. By acting decisively, they could win their first friends in a new land. So the Hundred Captains resolved to free the Pelandan people from the oppression that was upon them.

The Army came to a lake that was between five hills. In the waters of the lake there swam fishes of five colours: black, blue, green, gold and silver. And steam rose from the waters in places. A fair walled city stood at the water's edge, and a shining citadel rose from its depths.

... beneath a cloud of roiling greyness. About it there milled the army of Enthyr, clad in ashen garb and mustered beneath the skulls of great oxen; at their head was a giant of a man who bestrode a huge black bull and wielded a weighty cudgel. The fine white walls of the city had been breached by the siege and the defending troops in disarray: it was plain that the city was doomed to fall. Pausing not one moment, Syranthir leapt to saddle and sounded the charge.

The Ten Thousand fell upon their unsuspecting foes with the force of an avalanche, driving all before them into headlong flight. The laughter of their battle-songs cut through the aura of despair that was their enemies' chief weapon. The turbulent darkness above was cloven and scattered by a lance of true, pure light. In single combat, Syranthir strove against and slew the enemy king . The citizens' lamentations were turned to cries of joy, as salvation unlooked-for came to their aid.

Note: I want to confuse the "mundane" (army liberates city) and "magical" (Syranthir woos Charmain) events here. The following section will describe how Syranthir does deeds similar to those in the original military action to liberate Charmain of Castle Blue.

...and at its gate there stood a woman. By her height, they knew her for a goddess, and her name was Charmain. Syranthir wooed her with words, gifts and deeds, and greatly pleased her by doing so. She was the mistress of that place, and granted him the holding-right as steward over the rich lands thereabouts: the green Oronin Valley between the Brass Mountains in the west and the Hills of Arir in the east.

Charmain =?= Anaitis, a watery river/lake goddess who comes to be seen as feminine sexuality and mystery?

Syranthir planted his standard there, in the city of Brinnus. The citizens gladly built a hall for their idols, and accepted without demur the dominance of the Western army in their affairs. Their noble chief divided up the farmlands between his men. Through great adversity, they had found their home in Charmain's land. In gratitude, they named themselves for her, forming a new whole. No longer were there Men of Akem, Lionskins or Cloudwalkers: rather, there was one people, the Carmanians, sharing all their ways under the Righteous Laws that Komos the Mage read out for them. Syranthir Forefront ruled them, more as chieftain and clan-father than as the general he had been before.

Those who know tell that Syranthir could not enjoy the peace of his new realm. He ached for the beauty of Charmain, and, disregarding the warnings of his council, sought her out. Their son, Carmanos, returned from the citadel of the lake, but he was ever silent as to his father's fate. Libations are poured to Syranthir Forefront each Rising Day, but his spirit has never returned to grace the halls of his people.

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