Were you to meet a Narkarian, one of the aspects of their culture you would quickly unravel would be how highly they think of themselves. The self-dubbed Sons of Baldan, or the Chosen, carry themselves with the weight and grandeur of demigods surrounded by none worth their might. And while some of their egos are warranted (from their sheer survival tenacity in one of the harshest environments on Eyria), most of that narcissistic behavior comes from a naturally beloved and popular tale of old. It accounts for the first interactions between Narkarian and their gods, the origins of central cultural practices and rites in their own ruling system, and their disdain and overall patronizing attitude towards all non-Narkarian people in Eyria. Above all, in the average daily lives, this tale is a source of many adult-rated, jokes, innuendo-charged songs, and lewd-rebuttals. To the ears of non-Narkarians, it is a foul, xenophobic, and absurd fable that does not have a single shred of truth in it. What ever the falsehood in it be, of the many tales, both kept in runes and in song, no other captures the essence of being a Narkarian as well as the saga of the Coming of the Chosen.
Awoken by the desperate begging of Sshas’oklut’xan’mo, the Ice Troll shaman, Baldan had flown to Vandranheim, wielding Einarr the Smith’s hammer. In all his anger, he smashed the world in two, banishing the Fire Dwarves to the smoldering abyss below, and exiling the Ice Trolls to the frozen peaks Vnankjasopmpkeha, the Blizzard Peaks. Upon his return to Wanheim, his wives Jannah and Zayna scolded him for his inaction before and for his mercy shown towards both belligerent races. More so, his rage had all but eliminated all plants and creatures the denizens of the Mead-halls had created. To the God of Strife’s dismay and in spite of their disliking of one another, both Queens left the Godly realm and traveled to the mortal plane to help the other deities to breathe new life and rebuild. Riled, Baldan returned to his throne, where he attempted to resume the deep trance he had been shaken from. The deep meditation to unlock the nature and the name of all things, and the magical power to bend them to his will. The closed is eyes and breathed thrice. After exhaling the third time, he opened his eyes and had a long, thirsty gulp of honey-beer. Wiping his whiskers with the back of his hand, he forced his eye lids shut once more. Thrice more he breathed, and thrice more he drank. Alas, the misty veil of sleep refused to cast its shadow on him.
Defeated, he rose up and and waited for his queens to return. He felt his manly needs upon him. For how long Baldan waited is uncertain, but certainly long enough for him to be vexed enough to, quite literally, take matters into his own hands. In the privacy of his room, the god yanked away his frustrations, furious with how low the mightiest of all had sunken, giving in to the most primal of instincts. During his climax, he was surprised by the cackling laughter of his wives on the door jamb, who had arrived without his notice. Stupefied and distracted, he tried to cover his shame, to shield himself from the ridicule. But a few droplets fell onto Vandranheim in ten different places. From them, the forms of formidable warriors in Baldan’s liking rose, men and women stout and proud, bound only to honor. These started immediately to fight among themselves, killing and slashing, until only ten remained: Bromnar, Caiwyn, Foskvandyr, Jaumecyr, Kyradyr, Nasgarn, Njordur, Osghlyn, Tsevisek, and Wasluven. They all met at a now sacred hill for the final confrontation. Bodies took immense punishing, vicious blows that would had fallen all by the strongest, and resisted as much as they could, yet the very end saw the hulking giant Jaumecyr face the disciplined strategist Njordur. Blood flowed profusely, and with sweat it made their wind-swept skins glisten under the pale sun light.
SdJ – Viking Fight by Ardariel
Njordur’s sword was fast as lightning, precise and meticulous. Jaumecyr’s ax bashed with fire and relentlessness at his enemy’s shield and armor. At the endgame, the swordsman feinted an escape and lunged to try and pierce his rival’s heart, a high stakes’ move that would have beaten Jaumecyr if luck was with the bold that day. A fateful beam of sun dazzled Njordur at the eleventh hour. His eyes squinted, and the tip just grazed past the vital organ. In his last push, Jaumecyr used the opening to heave Njordur’s head off with a clean and decisive swipe. Victorious, the champion lay dying in the crimson snow, frail warmth caressing his face. From his balcony in Wanheim, Baldan had witnessed the whole affair and rode his fastest stead to the battlefield. With all his magic, calling to the names of all things he knew, he commanded:
“Rise my warriors, for you are my seed and soul! You are my children and are to rule Vandranheim and honor me. And when mortality takes you from here, I will be waiting for you in the Mead-halls Wanheim, for us to feast until the end of times!”
All ten warriors that had battled in the place (now known as Strumkyr) were returned to their feet, breathing life, ready to clash anew. To each of them he gifted a companion, a wife for the men, a husband to the women, with the instruction for them to multiply and rule. Of Jaumecyr he made King of Mountains and Snow, to lead all of Baldan’s sons and daughters. And to him he bestowed the strength of the roots Vnankjasopmpkeha. To Njordur, the Father of All made him the first Runemaster, and gave him the power of the language of stones and gods, to write down for the eternal crags of time. Before leaving, Baldan edited one final order:
You are not creatures of clay and straw, but God made flesh. Conduct yourselves with honor, fierceness, and tenacity always. To be alive, is to be under siege. To live, is to endure the siege. To survive, is to rule over the spoils.
And Baldan disappeared under the sound of thunderous hooves. Since that day, the ruler of Narkarn has been chosen by the Royal Melee, a bout to let the Gods bless the flesh and steel of those who would lead the Chosen. And since that day, the Narkarians have seen the remaining people of Eyria as little more than more intelligent cattle.
Cover picture: http://www.1zoom.me/fr/wallpaper/408397/z1459.5/
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