The Narkarian epics tell the story of the beginning of all existence. In the vast sea of emptiness, sailed Ær, the Mariner. On his ship made of star-metal, he drifted across the black pools of nothingness, in search of something not even him knew. On a fateful day, he caught wind on his sails, intense, angry winds, that shook his boat of just one skipper. From the whiling clouds came the Great Dragon Bjargskyr. His scales were of pearly white, his wings raven black, the eyes glistening blue. Accounts differ: some say Ær and Bjargskyr exchanged gifts to one another; others say those gifts were attacks and parries, with words and weapons, in a fight to measure one another. In the end, those found the other worthy and parlayed. Bjargskyr offered to teach Ær where Natfroslor lay, but in exchange, the Mariner needed to keep the great wyrm’s two eggs safe. Blood and honor sealed the deal; with full sails, Ær followed Bjargskyr’s flight, until they reached the ash shores of Natfroslor. Ær roamed inland and foraged, as the great basilisk kept guard of his ship. The Mariner could not find anything to eat, and nothing was alive. He returned to his ship and its meager provisions. Upon seeing this, Bjargskyr shared his meal with the marine-man, a huge carcass of some marine animal.
Time past by, and the duo developed a strong connection. Ær sung about his voyages, the places he had seen, the names he had learned, from far beyond, where the sea boils, then freezes, and thrice more. In return, the great drake taught the seaman the ways of magic, the words of magic. With it, the wanderer conjured up all manner of things to populate Natfroslor: beast and plant, eagle and fish, rivers and lakes, wind and sun. And for each, he would write and sing a mystical ode, to his and his tarragon companion. The land became beautiful, booming with life and potential. Peace would be shaken when the eggs hatched. Out of them came Nyrdedgskyr, the Blood Drake, and his sister Aildrulgskyr, the Undying Sun. The siblings hissed and immediately attacked each other, with the mariner and the mother having to intervene to make bring the quarrel to an end. The Great Worm saw concern in the navigator’s eyes, and read his soul. She reminded him of his oath, and Ær felt great shame. He vowed to keep his word and to do all it would take to keep his surrogate family out of harm. To say it was difficult would be indeed unfair: Aildrulgskyr was good, but Nyrdedgskyr scorned everything. Nevertheless, Ær always delivered on his promise to his dearest friend. But fate would not agree with the sailor, and would test him one day, once the hatchings were fully grown.
Ær woke up one morning, craving for the sea. He told Bjargskyr of this, and the wyvern gave him her blessing to flying over winds and waves. And that did the Mariner do, his ship dashing faster than anything ever had and will be, the stern of his boat spraying foam any birds and sea life that tried to keep up with it. As he returned home, back to Natfroslor, his big, wide smile would die as he saw smoke rising from it. Nyrdedgskyr soared over the land, its breaths destroying all or Ær and Bjargskyr’s creation below. The sailor rushed to the nest, and what he found horrified him. In the middle of smoldering ruins, Bjargskyr and Aildrulgskyr’s corpse lay dead, half consumed by their cannibalistic relative, their blood soaking the glass red. A pain so violence tore Ær’s heart from his chest and crushed it in a million pieces. Until only hate remained. He went to his boat and seized his powerful javelin, to which he tied a strong line blessed with magic. With tears still falling, he climbed the tallest volcano, and waited for the murderous brother to fly by. Once he did, he threw his weapons with all his might, hitting it targets square in its black, heinous heart. With a powerful hank, he pulled it out, and the kinslayer was no more.
Commission work by Damian Handzlik
But that was not enough. Cursing it beneath his breath, Ær threw the black heart into the distance, so no one could find it regardless where they would sail. He would put Bjargskyr bones among the stars, singing bittersweet melodies of happy days gone, and how the dusk of life claimed all that once shone in Natfroslor. The mariner held Aildrulgskyr’s heart, which was pure and righteous, and whispered to it life. As be bestowed it inside her mother’s skull, the heart morphed to become Wanheim, the Halls of the Gods, where the just and the honorable could live forever. Reaching out to the Great Dragon’s heart, he felt all the promises, all the things they sung together, and it overwhelmed Ær. He carefully placed the previous heart into the rib cage and stood vigil for uncountable time, crooning and serenading it until his brain was empty. As his hymn faded, the world of Vandranheim came to be, safely help in the worm’s bosom. Having paid his final respects, the Mariner hopped back to his boat. Before he returned to his journey in utter silence, he would utter a final stanza to bring forth the end of Natfroslor. Unbeknownst to him, Ær had committed a dire mistake. In his rage he had forgotten to disentangle the line from the spear, and on its trajectory, the rope got caught on the vertebrae of Bjargskyr’s tail. From it, the black cesspool of death, dishonor, and vice that is the world of Ejiroghen, the Crevasses of the Dead, came to be. And that is how Ynchevyr, the Thrice-world, came to be, by the sung magic of a downtrodden Mariner and the skeleton of the greatest wyvern that ever lived.
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