Since its discovery, the land of Medenia has been shrouded in mystery. Rough and untamed, ruled by elemental spirits, it is a far cry from the refined and civilized lands from which Aislings hail. Even today, much of the land remains undiscovered by Temuairan natives, with vast stretches of pristine areas to explore and discover. However, the natives of this land tell stories which, by estimation, stretch back through the aeons to the sundering of Hybrasyl.
It is these tales that I bring to you today, passed down by word of mouth through countless generations, and perhaps for the first time, recorded on parchement.
Our first tale comes to us from Lenoa, a young Asilon girl who coordinates the caravans between Asilon and Noam. Lenoa tells us one of the many, but apparently the most agreed on, narratives of the creation of the world.
"Before what is now, there was nothing, save the spirits of the elements. Moving through the void, the spirits grew restless, and set their minds to a great task. The earth spirit stretched forth his hand, and called forth his essence. Shaping the raw earth, he smoothed it forth, flat and featureless, and found it was good. Seeing the work of her brother, the water spirit called forth her essence, surrounding the hard earth with water, pushing the void back further. Not to be outdone, the spirit of air summoned forth zephyrs, which gently caressed the works of her siblings. Pleased with their work, the three turned to the spirit of fire, and beckoned him to behold their creation. Ever capricious, the spirit of fire first called forth a great ball of flame, and placed it in the newly formed sky, shining light on the cold, hard earth. For a brief time, the spirits were pleased with their work, but the fire spirit grew restless, and mischievousness crept into his heart. Going in turn to each of his siblings, he whispered dark secrets in their ear, telling how each sought to undo the creation of the other. Enraged, the elementals clashed against one another, and there was great chaos. When all was done, and the treachery was unveiled, the elementals looked over their creation, and saw what they had wrought. Whereas perfection of shape and form was present before, the land made so carefully by the earth spirit was jagged with high peaks and deep valleys. Water which had previously only been found around the earth, placed gently by the water spirit, now collected in pools and drained off the earth back into the sea. Turning to their brother, the three elementals descended upon him, and bound him. Using small lumps of earth, the earth spirit formed small figures, wetting the hard clay with water from the sea. Once formed, the elementals descended on the fire spirit, and broke him into small flames, placing them deep within the figures. To bind him, the spirit of air breathed into each one, trapping the broken fire spirit in each one, and granting them life in the process. The three elementals then charged the creatures with guardianship of the fire spirit, and set them free upon the lands.
It was then that the spirit of nature, silent till this moment, stepped forward. With a gentle caress of the ravaged earth, she imparted her gift, that of the trees and plants which fill this land. Satisfied with their work, the remaining spirits retreated, watching from afar the progress of their creation."
(Editor's Note: I find it fascinating the concept of each living creature having the essence of fire trapped in them. Given the chaotic nature of fire itself, could it be that Deoch simply lessened the barrier around the inner fire in each of us, allowing the cleverness of fire to show through?)
Traveling through Noam, I came across this story from old Jelus, an elder of Noam. He related to me how there was once a great city, which crashed into the waves when its inhabitants turned away from the spirits.
"Ages ago, there existed a beautiful city of gold. Here in this city, life was fulfilled with ease, and no hardship could be found. It was a gentler time, far distanced from the harsh life we live now, where goodwill and love could be found for every man. A great many learned men contemplated the meaning of existence here, seeking to understand the purpose of life. With this search for knowledge, came the unwitting discovery which became the undoing of paradise. For ages, the people of this city worshipped the elemental spirits, paying homage to them for their protection and guidance. It was perhaps this attention to the elements which lead to the discovery of how the essence of the spirits could be mastered, and used to shape and mold the world. Innocently enough at first, the use of the elements went unnoticed, used for mere tricks and aid in common tasks. Here was opportunity to be found by the spirit of metal, long shunned by the other elemental spirits, to extract his revenge.
Donning the guise of a mortal man, the spirit worked quickly, bringing into this perfect city things before unknown. When the spirit of metal walked as a man, he left in his wake emotions and desires previously unknown. Sensing this change, many of the wise men of the city departed, unwilling to test their might against the spirit. Whispering sweet evils into the ears of the weak, he turned many of the city to abandon the worship of the elemental spirits, and instead, to venerate him. Slowly, the once perfect city began to sink into corruption. Violence broke out, and the elements were used for much deadlier purposes, resulting in the first death by the hand of another.
The other elemental spirits, who had been sleeping soundly to the soothing lullaby of the worship of man, awakened to find chaos and destruction done with their own essence. Enraged, the elementals unleashed their fury upon the city, sending it crashing down into the sea, and banished their brother, the spirit of metal, to the frozen north.
You may think my tale to be curious, but I assure you lady, that I and mine are direct descendants of those who fled the doomed city. For many suns my ancestors traveled, searching out a place to escape the machinations of the spirit of metal, and it was to here that they came, and it is here that we have remained."
(Editor's Note: Upon reviewing this story, obviously this man speaks of Hybrasyl. I admit, I was not expecting to hear this tale in this foreign land, and especially one that excluded Danaan from the picture.)
Traveling north, to the city of Noam, I was shocked to hear this tale from Kabok. He explained to me why the land of Noes was so barren, in a tale of strange familiarity.
"Long ago, Noes was a blush and fertile land, and the crops were plentiful. Here, in the city of Asilon, lived a young maiden by the name of Dana, pure of heart and mind. Sweet Dana, as she was called, was a special, special child; touched by the elementals, some say. Her eyes glowed with a soft light, and her hands had the power to heal ailments. Indeed, it was an idyllic time, one that, of course, was not to last. Tales of Dana spread, and with those tales, came attention to the then small town of Asilon. Travelers came and went, many more staying than leaving, to see this child of the elementals. Many took the gathering of so many to be a good thing for Asilon, and the city steadily grew in size.
One such traveler stopped in the growing city, but he did not stay for long. Upon seeing the maiden, dark desire burned in his heart. Presenting himself to her, he demanded her hand in marriage, resolute that the only answer she could give would be yes. Some say that Dana could feel the evil in him, and turned him away, not knowing what would ensue. I believe, however, that Dana knew her destiny, as one blessed as her would know. Swearing vengeance, the man left Asilon, and was soon forgotten; a mistake that would alter the very lay of the land.
Several years later, an army descended upon Noes. This was no army of men, as had been seen at times, but instead, an army of shrieking evil. Grey skinned figures lurched forward, feasting upon the dead, while black bat-like creatures filled the skies. At the center of this host, on a chariot of bone and fire, stood the spurned man, and the hatred burned deeply within his eyes. Anguished by the carnage, Dana prepared herself to meet this man, in hope of sparing the lives of those in the city. Her followers, and there were many, urged her not to go, but she denied them their voice. Striding forward from the city gates, Dana passed through the writhing horde unscathed, and descended into the very heart of evil.
There she stood, a small slip of a girl, facing this mighty master of demons. With a small voice, she pleaded for the lives of the city. Laughing cruelly, the man again demanded her hand in marriage, or the destruction of the city and every living creature within. It was then, that Dana transcended from a simple girl, to what had always been suspected; a child of the elements. Sighing sorrowfully, Dana extended her hand, as if to accept his proposal. In his lust for her, he failed to notice the soft glow which had enveloped her and the area around him.
Upon touching her hand, a great shockwave of energy came forth, scorching the very ground around the girl. As the wave expanded, the creatures which had ravaged the lands exploded into piles of grey ash, coating the ground with their foulness. Screaming in futile hatred, the man turned from her, and mounted his chariot of bone and fire. Swearing vengeance, he fled from her, hatred emanating from him. It was there her followers found her, sunk to her knees and softly crying. All around her, as far as the eye could see, the once fertile ground had turned hard and brown. Some say that the residue from the slain creatures polluted the very ground; yet others insist that it was the final curse of the departing warlord.
Gathering what few things she had, Dana prepared to leave Asilon, as she knew staying there would only invoke the wrath of the terrible warlord. As before, her followers pleaded with her not to go. Again, she denied them their voice, and instead asked that they come with her, for she feared for their safety. It was so, and she and her followers left Asilon, headed to the west and never seen again."
(Editor's note: The scope and magnitude of what this story may be telling is not a territory I wish to venture into at this time.)
So ends this first edition of my work on Medenia. I've collected several more stories and folktales from the natives of Noes, and have booked passage on a caravan to Hwarone. As fascinating as these tales have been, I assure you, the ones I've yet to edit are even more so. My hope is that these works have enlightened you on what seems to be the shared history between our world and this one.
~Arachne de Winter, Acolyte of Luathas