History of Muspar'i -- The Sun's Egg (book)
The History of Muspar'i -- The Sun's Egg
by Malasurath Ratoepus
Chapter One: The Tribe of Mhalush
To truly tell the tale of Muspar'i, the Golden Egg of the Sun, the Desert Jewel, we must go back further than one would think, before the creation of the city itself. Millennia ago, the S'Kra Mur people were created by Ushnish, and given their minds and tail by Peri'el and the Serpent God Hav'roth.
Once blessed with the gift of tail from Hav'roth, the S'Kra developed into a civilized people. The Book of Lovers tells us that three S'Kra brothers emerged within this early civilization as the leaders of their people. They were called the Sons of Hav'roth, and were named Zaarin, Mhalush, and Dhrakhh. Zaarin was the eldest brother, and Dhrakhh the youngest.
Each of the brothers fell in love with a young woman, she who was called Norayaz, the Maiden of Peri'el. She was the gentlest and most beautiful S'Kra, and it is said that when she sang... but that is not a part of our story.
The three brothers each wished to wed Norayaz. Zaarin, as the eldest and leader of the S'Kra Mur, possessed most of the tribe's land and wealth, and so in the end, he won out. There was a great ceremony, which the entire tribe attended, and it was to be the start of a Malk Akom, blessed by the gods as the Maiden of Peri'el wed the Son of Hav'roth. Mhalush was pleased for his brother.
But not so the vain and spiteful Dhrakhh. He could not be happy. The younger brother claimed to a group of the S'Kra Mur that it was an evil bonding, that it would bring down the wrath of Ushnish, and so Dhrakhh took up the q'zhalata. He would kill the woman and save his people from the curse. Or so he said. But Dhrakhh knew his true motivations. If he could not have the Maiden of Peri'el, then no one could.
Dhrakhh's q'zhalata failed, however, and instead of Norayaz sipping the poisoned wine during the Smo'kku'par Ceremony, Zaarin drank from it instead. The eldest brother, blessed of Hav'roth, fell over dead.
The earth trembled, then. It was the fury of Hav'roth. For Dhrakhh had violated his Ru'at, Hav'roth's own Ru'at. The furious god quaked and shattered the S'Kra lands, splitting them asunder. This was the birth of the Reshalian archipelago. And Norayaz was filled with the spirit of the warrior goddess Peri'el, and she drew Zaarin's sword and severed the tail of Dhrakhh from his body, naming him Smozh.
The fates of Norayaz and Dhrakhh after that point are the source of legendary tales, but it is not of those we shall speak. Our story follows the middle brother, Mhalush. Shocked at the split of his Ru'at and the near-destruction of his homeland, Mhalush donned the robes of the Silver Arm and led those who would follow him in a quest to find a new land chosen by Hav'roth.
Mhalush's tribe crossed the sea that now separated the S'Kra Mur homelands from the rest of the land, and they began their quest there. Mhalush was a shaman; nightly he would fill his tent with incense and ka'tamas and speak with Hav'roth through visions. It was through these visions that Mhalush would lead his people to their new home.
So up the eastern coast the S'Kra Mur traveled, further north, until they reached that which we know today as the Faldesu Bay. They rested at the bay for several nights, and had some dealings here with an isolationist clan of Elves. Mhalush's people formed an amicable relationship with the Elves, and the two groups traded some.
After some time resting along the Faldesu Bay, the S'Kra Mur began their journey once more. They followed the river, which they named Hekemhhg, to the west. They had no love of forests, and so they stayed close to the river's banks.
When the S'Kra reached a large lake, they headed straight north. And there, in a clearing, Mhalush suddenly declared that Hav'roth had ordered them to stop. The leaders of the tribe, Mhalush and the other Poho'adu, built a temple there. They also built a village, though it was a small one.
Chapter Two: Velaka
In the forests surrounding their new home (its name lost to the dust of time), the S'Kra Mur found a type of Troll wandering about. Taking the Troll people in, they gave them rudimentary teachings and trained them in manual tasks. Calling them the Gor'togs, the S'Kra Mur bred them into workers. Though one could toss zh'al'hhm at the S'Kra for our supposed evil here, the truth is that we took the Gor'Tog and turned them from unintelligent beasts into a noble race of builders and workers, with devotion to the tasks they set themselves to. We taught them communication and writing, building and storytelling. It was due to those efforts that what was merely a group of Trolls became one of the Seven Races.
The assistance of the Gor'Togs enabled the S'Kra Mur tribe to reach vast heights, culturally, though other works can expand upon such things better than this book. The people of Mhalush, now long dead, furthered their trade with the local Elven populations, strengthening their bonds.
When the Long Winter came upon the northlands from the dikka'staho'osson, the Children of Mhalush were devastated. The Poho'adu counseled their people to release the Gor'Togs; with the harsh weather and brutal conditions of nature, the S'Kra Mur would be unable to support them. So the Gor'Togs were sent away after being taught how to fend for themselves by the Poho'adu.
It was during the long winter that the Elven woman Sorril was abducted by Humans. The Elves called upon their S'Kra Mur friends for assistance. Promising food and coin to aid the S'Kra Mur through the winter, the Children of Mhalush agreed, and became a party to the war. Many of the Reshalian S'Kra, the tribe of Norayaz, also assisted, though they for less honorable reasons.
The Elven-Human War as it was called proved to be harsh on all sides, and eventually, despite the agreement, the S'Kra Mur needed to withdraw from the war entirely, before the endless battle destroyed them. The Poho'adu strongly encouraged the Elves to make peace lest they were to be doomed as well, and then bid the fighting farewell.
The war continued to go badly for the Elves and their other allies, lav'hashhgi, and their side lost utterly. The Dwarves, Humans, and Gor'Togs were victorious. Then the Gor'Togs, with their other friends, turned on their former teachers and drove the Children of Mhalush from their land, the land Hav'roth had set them in. The Mehath'Gamant was abandoned and the S'Kra Mur people were forced once again to begin their wandering.
For years after that humiliation, they wandered as nomads, facing further insult in the form of harassment from Gor'Tog and Human raiders that would occasionally attack them. The Poho'adu had no shaman like Mhalush had been, and this time, their wanderings were not guided by Hav'roth. This was a dark time for the S'Kra.
The Children of Mhalush were slowly driven further and further to the northwest where, in time, they came upon Velaka, a vast desert encircled by mountains. Exclaiming this to be the will of Hav'roth, the Poho'adu were sure it was their new home, for the Great Serpent God watched over deserts especially.
The wandering S'Kra Mur entered Velaka, following a tiny stream running through the desert, which led to a large lake. They found there a new group of Elves, the Sand Elves. Unlike their old allies, though, these Sand Elves were hostile, claiming that Velaka was theirs. Fighting broke out between the two groups, and the weary Children of Mhalush were driven from Velaka. Surely they had done something to offend the great Hav'roth, and this was his punishment.
They were forced to resume their wandering, aimlessly moving across the northern lands, waiting and hoping for the day would they would be able to enter the land of Hav'roth.
During this time, an Empire rose, begun by Humans. The S'Kra Mur became a part of this Empire, though the wandering tribe still never settled much. And one day, a girl was born under the sign of the King Snake, and she was named Shorka.
Chapter Three: The Resistance War
Shorka grew, and she became disdainful of the lifestyle of her people, saying that they had fallen far since the days when Dhrakhh, Mhalush, and Zaarin led the S'Kra Mur united. And so she left the clan and began a journey of her own. Shorka hoped to become a new shaman, like Mhalush, and speak with Hav'roth.
Shorka's wanderings were great, and they took her from Highhold to Leth Deriel, Throne City to Hibarnhvidar, Darkstone to Surlaenis, and even to Ratha, the city of Norayaz's descendants. Her religious beliefs changed drastically during this time, but never her desire to better her clan.
We know not where, or how, but at some point, the young S'Kra woman met up with a discontented Elf named Lanival, one on his own journey of discovery. The two became friends, oddly enough, and forged a bond with each other. Some time later when Lanival rose up in rebellion against the Elven lord Tiero, he called upon Shorka for assistance.
Shorka returned to her people and convinced them to side with Lanival in this war. The charismatic woman was certain that fighting this war would ensure a better future for her people, and she passed that belief on to them. And so, the Children of Mhalush joined in the Resistance War to overthrow the Empire of the Seven Pointed Star.
The S'Kra aid was invaluable to Lanival, as it was among the earliest support he gained. Shorka remained with Lanival during the course of the war -- she was brilliant, charismatic, and had a fine eye for tactics, and so she served as an excellent advisor. Shorka would later serve beside a Gor'Tog by the name of Uthmor, who became Lanival's leading general.
Though the war generally seemed in favor of Tiero's better-trained and larger army, and it seemed as though Lanival's resistance would be crushed, he did manage to emerge victorious, due to the people he gathered around him.
After the Empire had crumbled fully and Tiero had been beaten, the Imperial lands were in some degree of chaos. The leaders of the resistance set about forming new lands. But Shorka, and the S'Kra Mur tribe that now followed her, left. They wished to find a home.
Returning once more to Velaka, Shorka's people found the Sand Elves' numbers greatly decreased. The S'Kra advanced through the desert and found themselves once more at the crystalline lake within the desert. It was here they built their homes. And this is the founding of Muspar'i, the Sun's Egg.
Chapter Four: Shorka's Legacy and Muspar'i Today
Shorka built a great city within the desert sands! Nestled amongst the golden land, it was said that their new, golden city was born from the brilliant rays and harsh heat of the sun itself, that this city was the city of the sun, its child. And so it was named. Muspar'i.
It took years of effort to build the city, but it grew steadily under the direction of Shorka, now accounted as their queen. She proved to be an adept leader. The ancient zha'vazh between the S'Kra and the Sand Elves ended, and the nomads visited Muspar'i to trade. The two peoples allied, and would frequently fight together against the desert beasts of Velaka.
Trade routes were established from Muspar'i to Therenborough and Kwarlog, and the desert city soon became enormously wealthy, trading valuable desert finds with the outside world. Practicing the natural S'Kra alchemic arts, they found many precious ingredients in Velaka. The eyes, hearts, and other insides of many beasts were discovered to be fantastic components, as were certain desert herbs and powders -- all things Muspar'i took control of. Like Sraan Mhhg, the desert city became famed for healing poultices, perfumes, dyes, spices, and poisons, many of which are still exported.
Combining Dwarven engineering they had learned with their alchemic mastery, the S'Kra of Muspar'i developed a phenomenal forging process which enabled them to craft exquisite weapons -- weapons not only beautiful and incredibly sharp, but also light-weight. Precious silks and other cloths (especially when combined with unique dyes, many colors the S'Kra refused to sell to outside traders) become valuable commodities, as well. The people made beautiful pottery and other ceramics, and the jewelers of Muspar'i are nearly as famed as those of the Dwarven Darvagai Anliker.
Living in Muspar'i also allowed the S'Kra Mur to flourish culturally, advancing more than they had since the birth of the Gor'Togs. The magnificent sarhhtha was once again practiced by the S'Kra, and even improved upon. They developed a distinct style of beautiful poetry, practiced by such as S'zella, famed even among the other races. The Poho'adu built great temples to honor the deities that led them to their home, the gods of Muspar'i that birthed it and watched over it. The Temple of Hav'roth and the Temple of the Dragon are two pearls within the city.
Shorka herself resided in a great palace filled with gardens and fountains, a marvel in the wasteland the city was built in. She ruled the S'Kra as their Queen, and when she died, her son became king. Ever since the city's creation, Muspar'i has been governed by the Blood of Shorka.
Note, however: Though the nobility and rulers of Muspar'i are known as the Blood of Shorka, few, if any, are direct blood descendants of Shorka the Cobra. The Blood of Shorka is determined by a family's social standing, which in itself is determined by wealth, heredity, and exceptional deeds. The throne of Muspar'i is not always passed from parent to child, as one must always remember one of the most important S'Kra customs, the q'zhalata, which makes governing by promigeniture difficult.
Unlike Ratha, which has embraced the outside world, most of Muspar'i are traditionalists, following the old customs of the S'Kra Mur. The customs of q'alri are followed quite staunchly, and relationships of S'Kra with outsiders is looked upon quite unfavorably. The people generally clothe themselves in loose and flowing clothing, and wear a great deal of jewelry. The jewelry of the people can often identify many of their traits -- the person's wealth, their family, their social standing.
This concludes the tale of Muspar'i as it was, and Muspar'i as it is today.
For the eternal life of the Blood of Shorka,