moment. I knew you would be trouble from the day I delivered you from your poor mother. Hmmmmm where was I?
- TALL PJIRE!!!
- OK! OK! Hmmmm, How should I begin? Well…..Once Upon A Time there was a man called Pjire Fickie. He was a member of the Villoré tribe of the Tokrem tribal nation and was born not far away from here, on the southern foothills of the Pagra Mountains. As you all know, the Pagra Mountains are the southwesternmost boundaries of our holy lands – Ros Crendor. The Doben-al desert starts there and it lies close to the eastern border of the Lands of the Acubon. Does everybody know that the Scorched Plains lies not far from there? Ooohh I could tell you some stories of the Scorched Plains. Nasty place with….
- YES! WE KNOW!
Alright! OK! Well…..as Pjire was the son of a Ros Crendorian prétess, he was left with his father to raise him. We prétesses always choose the men we wish to have a child with. It does not matter if they are married or unwilling. If Terrameer has chosen, we have no saying in the matter. As you know we only keep our daughters, who are the only ones that are strong enough to continue our calling. Pjire was therefore never told who his mother was and his father took the secret to his grave. However, when he got older Pjire did hear rumours among the tribal elders that his mother's name was Eiram. He actually spoke to me on one occasion and asked if any of the other tribe's prétesses was known to that name, but I could not answer him as I was sworn to secrecy. Anyway, his mother had long since left his fate when she trained in LiManch where all prétesses go. Have I told you about the marvels of LiManch?
YES? OK! Alright! Anyway…..Pjire's father, JeanPen, was a GranKree of the Villoré and was sadly returned to the womb of Terrameer before his time. This happened when Pjire was only a couple of turns of Ebba old.
Tell us how it happened! Tell us about the crugar!
- Hmmmm……yes the crugar. They are a vicious lot. A nasty, flee-ridden, clawing, flaying, spitting lot. At that time JeanPen had accompanied tribesmen from a neighbouring tribe to a trading cliff in the Doben-al. I remember it as it was yesterday. There they traded with the crugar until JeanPen accidentally bumped into the crugar leader who fell over like a drunk, old dothobider deer. Although it was an accident, the crugar felt humiliated and fed by the frenzy of aruik leaves the crugar drew his wicked sword and cut off JeanPen's arms. Humans and crugar shot to their feet and drew their weapons but before anyone could start killing each other the crugar leader once again stumbled backwards. This time JeanPen's young son has slashed off three of the crugar leader's fingers and his wife had kicked him in the chest. Now, treating a crugar leader like this called for vengeance and all the humans except one were killed by the crugar. It was Gaston Swiftfeet who managed to outrun the crugar and return home to tell the tale of how the crugar leader Rauwga Sandrunner with his bare hands and claws gouged the eyes out of the sockets of JeanPen before killing his wife and child.
Ehhh?? You seem a bit scared there, Vérin? Well you should be. The crugar are a nasty, vicious lot and you wouldn't want to meet them without some kind of pointy stick in your hand. Coming to think of it…there was this time when…
- PJIRE! WHAT ABOUT PJIRE?
- Yes! Alright! Pjire! Well….. Pjire was less than a year old at that time and remained safely with the tribe. When word of his father's death reached the tribe he was given to Miriam Collavin who had lost her son at childbirth. Pjire grew up safely, but learning early to hate the name Rauwga Sandrunner – crugar raider of the Doben-al. Pjire's tribe followed the seasons, the scarce water and the beasts of the land. They wandered, just like we do, deep into the Doben-al and high up into the Mountains. During the dry season they rarely stayed more than two or three weeks in one place – all tribes joining together in mid-mullin in Lotubain to celebrate, trade and marry away sons and daughters. Pjire might not have been the brightest tarro of the pack and certainly no Sajantist material, but he had a bold and true heart. He might always have had a bit too much interest in limilates and other substances that should better have been avoided, but was always loyal to his tribe. Terrameer held her hand over him and he passed safely and swiftly through the stages of farsé.
- What is farsé, Meer Reverans?
- Farsé is how Terrameer tests us. She strains our body and our minds when we pass into adulthood and only the strong survive. In this way we are special and different from other men who cannot learn to respir and see the breath of Terrameer. It is a dangerous time and children have been known to return to the womb of Terrameer when their bodies go through these changes. Anyway…..Pjire never had any problems with farsé and became very adept at respir. He grew tall and strong and learnt how to pull the mighty boolanj to become a man. At the age of 17, Pjire was already known as the tribe's most fearless and skilled hunter.
- Tell us about the crugar! How he killed the crugar!
- Yes! Yes! All in its time. A story must be told the right way you know. Hmmmm…..yes, the crugar. At the age of 18, Pjire's lust to explore the lands around him became too much. He was finally given permission by his chieftess to travel with the traders of the Tokrem tribes for three years. He learnt how to trade with the Stone House People of Khodre, the men of the Coastal Kingdoms, the acubon of the lakes and the calmer crugar of the Doben-al. And although he never learnt how to count all of his fingers and toes, Pjire somehow learnt the ways and languages of these foreign people. During his travels he slept at the Pel-Akuta Fallos, bathed in the holy subterranean lake of the Torain Cave and prayed at the Obelisk of Dobharah. He also avoided Vucian slavers, raided the funny and weak priests of Podrola and fought crugar raiding parties that tried to steal their goods. At these times, Pjire always stood tall and defended his companions and his flying axes and boolanj became feared among the crugar.
- Were the crugar raiders of Rauwga's tribe?
- Yes! Yes! Calm down! One of the crugar raiding parties was led by the now aging Rauwga Sandrunner. The crugar raiders were many and vicious, so Pjire and his fellow traders had to flee them by abandoning their goods. However, when Pjire learnt the name of the crugar chieftain he became so filled with hate that he rallied all the traders to help him return their goods and avenge his father's death. Early one morning, when the crugar slept hard after too much rishma, the traders attacked the crugar camp. They slew many and then retreated to a ravine where they had placed many traps. Enraged, the crugar fell into all the traps and many more were killed. The last were slain by boolanj arrows which where guided by the windchildren of Terrameer straight to the evil hearts of the crugar. Only Rauwga remained, injured but alive. Pjire told him who he was and spat into his face before he killed him.
- THE EYES! WHAT ABOUT THE EYES?
- Eyes? Nonsense! Not all parts of a tale are true.
- GranKree Lascarre says its true, and he's seen them, he says.
- Bah! Well….it is said that Pjire found the eyes of his dead father at the crugar camp. Rauwga had preserved them in a glass jar.
- But it's all nonsense! Why would anyone keep the eyes of someone you killed?!
- Tell us about the watermen. How Pjire killed the watermen!¨
- Hmmmm…..yes the acubon. One day Pjire went to the lakelands of the acubon to trade metal tools and weapons for beautiful coleel gems. He had learnt how to behave and rest his eyes so not to offend the strange acubon, who are actually less human than the crugar. One time I met an acubon who….
- WHAT DID PJIRE DO?
- Pjire? Well….alright…yes…..Pjire had lost his gaze upon a coleel that was more beautiful than anything he had ever seen. This somehow offended the old acubon that owned it and he attacked Pjire without a warning or change of his face. Pjire backed away but stumbled. When the old acubon fell upon him Pjire accidentally managed to hold the crystal studded knife he wanted to trade with in such a freak way that it settled in the old acubon's throat. It was deadly silent for a moment and Pjire thought that he had repeated his father's accident among the crugar. However, the other acubon just muttered the word “Hikau” and continued their talking.
- Why didn't the acubon kill Pjire and the others? Where they afraid of him?
- Afraid! Of him?! No! The acubon are strange and you cannot understand them. They are not like us and do not follow Terrameer's guidance. I think the old man was one their Hikau priests. These are known even among the acubon for their evil ways.
- TELL US MORE!!!! Tell us about the Dreamlords! How Pjire killed the Dreamlords!
- Now hold on! Don't you go around thinking that Pjire killed everything he saw…..well he didn't kill EVERYTHING he saw at least.
- TELL US ABOUT THE DREAMLORDS!
- OK! Yes! Very well! Then you have to cuddle up and hold each other's hands – for this tale is grim and terrible to hear.
- That goes for you also Annabelle. You can hold one of the other girl's hands for a change and leave those poor boys alone. Hmmmmmm………how shall I begin. Yes……it was the beginning of crith and the Villoré were living in their winter homes on the slopes of the Pagra Mountains. It then happened that strangers from the Stone House People came to the Blistered Valley and disturbed the sleep of Gaurrroch – one of the mightiest Dreamlords. Now Dreamlords are terrible fiends and enemies of Terrameer. They came from beyond this world, a place where there is no life, no laughter and no warmth. They hated the Earth Mother and sought to destroy her flesh and enslave all her children. They could enslave and twist the flesh and the mind of all they encountered and built great cities of stone that scarred Terrameer's skin. They built artefacts that stole her breath and bred beasts that ate all she had born. This was before we were adopted as her children and the tales have been told to us by the Blind Weavers who hold infinite wisdom. Through the combined efforts of the Blind Weavers, all the endangered children and the elemental spirits, Terrameer was aided in overthrowing the Dreamlords. But even though their bodies were destroyed, their evil spirits lived on in their deep underground tombs. From there they continue to this day to ensnare the living by invading their dreams and stealing their will and soul. It is thanks to our efforts as guardians of these lands that the Dreamlords do not emerge again. It is we, the servants and daughters of Terrameer that lay the Dreamlords back to sleep. It is thanks to us prétesses that venture down into the deepest bowels of the earth to face unthinkable horrors that you can sleep safely. Now you might think that crugar are evil – but it is nothing to the horrors of the Dreamlords. I once saw a possessed man with skin blackened from unholy fires that howled against the night sky and tore the flesh from the living with his teeth. The Dreamlords corrupt and destroy. Mainly men, whom we know are weaker to their desires and temptations.
- Aww!! Stop crying Timul. Prepare yourself to be a man and hold your tears. Tears will not help you against the Dreamlords.
- Hmmmm……now where was I? Yes…the strangers had awakened Gaurroch in their greed to find his treasures. Gaurroch himself had led them there through one of his possessed servants and was now preparing a body for himself. Thanks to…..well me…..and other prétessess, Gaurroch was sent back to his slumber again. In this great underground battle Pjire distinguished himself along with the young prétess of his village, Jaqueline de Montluc, and saved the day. The ground shook and heaved and noxious fumes spilled over the land. Pjire fought the foul beasts of the underground while Jaqueline coaxed dread Gaurroch back into his tomb. Some of the strangers aided Pjire in this and showed that their hearts were true and their souls blessed by Terrameer. After the battle Jaqueline was entrusted with the returning or destroying of Gaurroch's Staff – a great and dangerous artefact that had been stolen by greedy, evil Stone House People. Pjire swore to follow his prétess and joined her search. They journeyed through all the lands of Ros Crendor. They travelled the lands of the Korrum, Manjere, Mayne and Uritay tribal nations and faced many dangers. Their search took them to the Forbidden Dreamlord City of Obiss and deep into the underworld that touches the realm of the Dreamlords where there is no life. But they finally defeated the evil and destroyed the staff so that it would harm Terrameer no more. As a reward, Pjire was allowed to stand before Mother herself.
- Pjire met Mother???
- Yes! Yes he did! Have I not told you this?
- NO!! TELL US MORE!
- Well…..Pjire met Mother in Ro-Obiss, Terrameer's incarnation and daughter of the flesh. There he was given a quest – a terribly hard and daring quest. A quest that only a true hero could undertake. Mother's words have been retold to me. Hmmmm…..how was it she said?....Yes….
”Times are changing and a darkness is descending upon us. We, the guardians of Ros Crendor will be tested the hardest. I am going to send my daughter Jaqueline into the world and she will observe and learn how far the evil of the Dreamlords has spread outside of our lands. She will go with the foreigners - they have Kree and are pure of heart. They have fought the Dreamlords and are destined to do this again. You will go with Jaqueline and watch over her. You will be her shield and the arm she can rest upon when her mind is tired. So go out into the world, Pjire, and remember also that when you speak, you speak for our people. Honour Terrameer, always!”
And Pjire went out into the world where he and Jaqueline still today battle the Dreamlords in the most strange and foreign lands. Maybe one day they will live happily ever after.
- No off to bed every last one of you! That goes for you to Vérin Scraggerpants or I swear I will give you a good walloping!
- YES, MEER REVERANS EIRAM!.
A few comments on limilates and their use:
Yes, well it has happened that I have used som limilates and some other types of home made brews on a couple of occasions. When I say a couple I mean frequent occasions......more than twice a week.
Yes....well......the most common brew I have drunk is probably the limilate the Priestesses give you, which they call Traq. It is a little bitter to drink and makes your tummy upset. Its supposed to protect you against the Dreamlord's attempts to possess us. You get strange dreams after you've taken it.
Another limilate I have taken a couple of times is Arrigish. Well, I've taken it rather a lot of times actually. Prétess Jaqueline says its not good to drink too much arrigish. It tastes bad and giges you a sore throat after you've drunk it. Its quite hard to come by and you have to part with valuable gemlinks to get it. Prétess Jaqueline claims that overdosing arrigish caused the lump I have on my neck and the thick, hard skin I have on my shoulder. Yes, according to her, all strangely and incorrectly healed wounds I have are caused by overdosing arrigish. She calls it “accelerated tissue regeneration” and “blasphemous tempting of Terrameer”. (Terrameer is the Earth Mother in Fransei if you didn't know...) Honestly, if you've taken more than one of these limilates at a time, it feels like it itches or tingles all over the skin – or rather, further in, under the skin. This strange feeling gets worse the more arrigish you take. Some times it has felt like something has been crawling around inside me.
Another favourite is Aruik…hmmmm….when you take one of those it feels like Terrameer runs through your body and you feel light like a muadra. After one or two of these you feel strong as a bronth and braver than a crugar with his pack behind him and you understand the wanderings of the moons just as well as a muadra as the respir gets stronger. The effects are long-lasting, but unfortunately it tastes like Lunnica and you get the runs – so don't eat more than one. Sometimes you might even get itching and sores on your elbows and knees.
Runroot is similar to aruik, itsa root you chew. It tastes just as bad and you get a terrible hangover. However, you can run for miles without stopping or even feeling tired. The effects last a long time. We won't talk more about the hangover though….nor the 10+ hours of sleep after a good 10 mile run. When hung over, you get weaker than a muadra and heavier than a bronth…and sick.
Keether is disgusting. When you've taken this limilate you feel all empty inside. Sometimes you have to take one so that Terrameer's eyeless children can't see you.
Hilc….always check that you have hilc with you. Doesn't taste much, but you can get very ill if you don't drink it or mix it with your food.
Serrl is a root you chew if there is a high sea. He, he…once when we were at sea in a boat, Nod got terribly seasick….he threw up everything that he'd eaten the last month *snigger* then he fell into the dark, cold, wet sea. He nearly drowned. If he'd eaten a serrl this would never have happened. But, Nod is a bit weird. He can solve the hardest riddles, speak all languages and even write letters – but he can miss buying serrl before an ocean voyage.
There is a stem that the crcugar use called Rishma. Jiiiihaaaaa!!! Eat it and you'll feel sweet! You feel good all over.
Alshana-Launtra is a nice flower. You chew it and your eyes sting – just as if they cramp up. This feeling will quickly go away and then you can see in the dark.
Mirlaine is a powder I have seen Jaqueline use. The bloke who got it was unaware at the time, but he became so randy he nearly frothed around his mouth and his crystal split his trousers.
Jaqueline also has a little bottle of Goseen. Beware of this…..Jaqueline has told me that you can't use your crystal for anything else than passing water for a whole week.
Well….yes, I told you about Aruik. Its worth mentioning again. Well, yes it does burn your throat but the spirit of Terrameer will run through you. I bet you are closer to Terrameer than anywhere else. It has happened that I have drunk more than one. Then you have to be careful not to charge windmills and attack waterfalls. You have to be carefull with this limilate, as it is hard to get by. Its best to always make a detour to Thantier when out travelling, as it is easiest to find there.
Strange things about me
Over the last few years of heroic fighting and bleeding for cause, I have noticed some strange things about me......about my body......I don't know if its normal....if all boys my age have them.......? Prétess Jaqueline says I am tempting Terrameer with my use of restricted substances. She says I should rather take it like a man.....and bleed.
If you recognize and of the following, please don't hesitate to contact me and tell me what it is.
Lumpy, thick skin (like a thombo) and horribly visible veins over left shoulder
Crater-like hole in right upper arm. Wound healed, but just didn't close up.
Large, uncomfortable lump on neck (No! Its not my head I'm talking about - seriously, this worries me!).
Oh no! Not another one! I have just seen that I have no left eyebrow anymore. Instead there is a large growth over my eye, where I got the arrow. I'm starting to look ugly here.