[Book] High King's Vedda (WIP)

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Tristior
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[Book] High King's Vedda (WIP)

Post by Tristior » Sat Dec 09, 2017 2:22 pm

This is intended to be the foundational Nordic religious text - six books in total - dating back to the Old Empire. Probably needs a title that's not as on-the-nose as "Nordic Vedas", so I'm happily taking suggestions. Also, I was going for something a lot less weird than, say, the 36 Lessons (because if everything's weird then nothing is) but if it's too banal then fire away with some suggestions.

Book One

I. LET it be known that all writing is but a reflection of the Voice, murky and warped. Kyne’s truth is in the throats of Her children.

II. The shape of the world is this:

III. The essence of life is Breath, Wind and the Voice, for so was Man breathed upon the land by Kyne and so does Man bear a fraction of that breath within their breast.

IV. Man is of the Sky, a child, whose truest expression is to be as the firmament: wild, mighty and all-encompassing. The Children of the Sky have a birthright to this land, and all others are interlopers. They were not breathed.

V. The shape of the world is this:

VI. There must always be Something, and there must always be Nothing, for which has meaning without the other?

VII. Something sits below, ever creating and the death of the wild spirit. Look farther down than you can, and consider the depth of existence.

VIII. Nothing rests above, ever destroying and the death of the living body. Look farther up than you can, and consider the vastness of oblivion.

IX. Their place of meeting is the Sky, and it contains all possibility. Look around at all that you can, and be joyful.

X. The shape of the world is this:

XI. All will be destroyed. ALDUIN is the Dragon, and the Dragon does not eat His tail.

XII. The cycle of the Kalpa, of destruction and creation, of Nothing and Something, is all that exists in perpetuity.

Meditate on this: Hope is eaten by the Dragon, and so there is no Hope. Act now, then, and with certainty forge the world.

Book Two

I. LET it be remembered that this land is Sky, the birthright of Man bequeathed by Shor. All others are interlopers.

II. As the last embers of the last world dimmed to ash, the gods stirred in the dark place that ALDUIN does not eat. This is Sovngarde, the place between the Kalpas.

III. Shor, Father to all, was the first to awaken in lightless Sovngarde. He meditated on the Breath of his War-Wife, Kyne, and learned of His savage death.

IV. Therefore Kyne, War-Wife of Shor, was the next to awaken in the darkness. She meditated on the Breath and learned of the fury of Her grief.

V. Therefore Mara, Brood-Wife of Shor, was the next to awaken in the darkness. She meditated on the Breath and learned of the misery of Her tears.

VI. Therefore Dibella, Bed-Wife of Shor, was the next to awaken in the darkness. She meditated on the Breath and learned of Her own beauty.

VII. Therefore Stuhn, Shield-Thane of Shor, was the next to awaken in the darkness. He meditated on the Breath and learned of the belief in the value of Mercy.

VIII. Therefore Tsun, Shield-Thane of Shor, was the last to awaken in the darkness. He did not meditate on the Breath, and learned nothing.

IX. This is the clan of the Hirser, the beams that hold up the world. Remember their names (Shor, Kyne, Mara, Dibella, Stuhn, Tsun) and their meditations.

Meditate on this: Like gods, the Children of the Sky know their own deaths. For all is eaten, and nothing survives.

Book Three

LET it never be forgotten: all things are for ALDUIN alone. Wretch! No other may claim sovereignty over the demense of the Dragon.

Thus the Hirser followed Shor through the vivid void of stars. Tsun’s bright Voice led the Children on their infinite march of reclamation. By dawn They were at Sky, that most sacred point, lights bursting all around.

And in that light They looked once:

Amidst Them and filled with the ashes of dead possibilities, ALDUIN, The World-Eater, The Twilight Dragon, slept. ALDUIN devours all, and sleeps. ALDUIN, The Fiery Serpent, Whose body is the circumference of existence.

They looked twice:

Beneath Them, shadowed shapes, lesser beings, not yet elves and their elf-demons. Helpless and ill-formed they lay.

At once They understood:

All beings - Man and elf, God and demon - are drawn to the shining interplay of up and down. The sacred height is called Sky. But the Breath of Kyne is truth: Sky’s light is for Shor’s Clan alone.

All will understand:

The building of the World at Sky is forbidden by tradition, and by the maw of ALDUIN. The void is that of ALDUIN, and the Kalpa lasts by HIS forbearance alone.

Shor is the shrewd God, and knows that although the endless void belongs to ALDUIN, World building is the true good. He has meditated on the Breath of Kyne, that glittering Voice, and does not listen to traditions, or Dragons. He knows His death.

Thus did the Hirser set to the building of the World, at Shor’s direction. Their bodies support Sky, which is an idea alone. The Children, we Children, will throng to fill it lest the works of the Hirser go without witness. This shining World is good.

Meditate on this: Everything is within the cycle of one Kalpa, the Breath held between the Dragon’s feasting and awakening. There are many kalpas, up and down.

Book Four

LET no Child say that elves and their frigid demons are not the greatest evil.

For in the bitter cold they watched the building of the World, and shivered in jealous admiration.

The World is a series of Breaths, a sustained Shout that fills the frosted void of ALDUIN’s permissive ignorance.

With Kyne’s first Breath, Snow-Throat was raised, and the elf-demons cried out in shame.

With Kyne’s second Breath, the chilled valleys were cut, and the elf-demons bit their tongues in despair.

With Kyne’s third Breath, the icy rivers ran forth, and the elf-demons cut their flesh in loathing.

With Kyne’s fourth Breath, sleet-flecked life covered the land, and the elf-demons debased one another in horror.

With the fifth and most sublime Breath of Kyne, the Children of the Sky were born mighty and free, and the elf-demons howled oaths of destruction. And the snowy elves, demon-thralls without number, swore upon death and marched in all directions. And with them did War come into the World.

There were many mighty battles in this War of the first frost. Shor marshalled the young Heroes of the old World, the veterans of Sovngarde, and led Them in great deeds. Tsun’s beserks, Stuhn’s slavers, Kyne’s tongues, Mara’s hearth-guards. But for all Their cold fury, the numbers of the snowy elves were beyond counting.

And so, despite every crushing victory of the Hersir, the Children died. If Tsun mauled them in the East, the Children died. If Stuhn captured them in the West, the Children died. If Kyne rent them from the North, the Children died. The tears of Mara’s love ran South and drowned the host, and still the Children died.

The Heart of Shor is not of ice, wherever it may be, and He does not bear the suffering of His Children. And so did Shor, most cunning Father to all, devise a scheme to save the Clan of the Hersir.

Mighty Shor stepped foward and stood tall, across from the damned army of elves, who capered in terror at His appearance. His brow burned with cold fire, His shoulders were His resplendent Shield-Thanes, His breast was filled to bursting with His Heart. He will kill death to spare His Children.

And the elf-host did fall upon him, and the demons tore at him, and though he slew twice their infinite number they still numbered three infinities. So it was that the demon king, whose form is a mocking likeness of ALDUIN, pierced and coldly stole the Heart of Shor.

And the demon king, whose form is mocking likeness of ALDUIN, raised the cold and broken body of Shor upon his standard. The Wives of Shor saw this with a wail, and screamed, and covered Themselves with songs of mourning. The Children beat Their shields and howled and knew sorrow for the first time. The grief of Shor’s Clan echoed through the Kalpa.

But the elves and their frigid demons are ugly and debased, and upon seeing the Heart were themselves pierced with shame. The demon king, whose form is a mocking likeness of ALDUIN, could not destroy the Heart and so hid it from World. As one, the host fled.

Such was Shor’s cunning scheme. For with His death He cursed the demons and their elves, that their lives would be of shame, and terror, and frailty. And He spoke to His Wives, charging Them with maintaining the slumber of ALDUIN, for He knew that the elves would sooner hasten the World’s ending than suffer the shame of their existence any longer.

Meditate on this: What worth is forebearance?
Last edited by Tristior on Sun Jan 28, 2018 11:38 am, edited 8 times in total.

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roerich
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Re: [Book] Nordic Vedas (WIP)

Post by roerich » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:03 pm

I like it!

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Re: [Book] High King's Vedda (WIP)

Post by urm » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:09 am

"There are many kalpas, up and down." is up and down used as "ahead and behind" here?

"Tsun’s beserks, Stuhn’s slavers, Kyne’s tongues, Mara’s hearth-guards." is beserks an intended spelling?

"So it was that the demon king, whose form is a mocking likeness of ALDUIN, pierced and coldly stole the Heart of Shor.
And the demon king, whose form is mocking likeness of ALDUIN" I see where you are going with this repetition, but I don't think it works here.

Overall I like it too, especially the firt 2 books. You mention there should be 6. Any reason for that particular number, and any ideas on what to fill it with? Atm I feel like book 4 is too long compared to most in game books. Maybe split it and rephrase to keep the same form of LET in tne beginning and a Meditate line in the end. A great spot for a split like that would be the "There were many battles" paragraph, but then book 4 would be a bit short

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Re: [Book] High King's Vedda (WIP)

Post by urm » Mon Feb 05, 2018 1:12 am

Speaking of the name, maybe something inspired by https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bardo_Thodol ? Either referencing the original name, or even something along the lines of "Nords' Book of the Living", or even "Bellow of the Living", due to the culture of thuum and shout - related beliefs

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Tristior
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Re: [Book] High King's Vedda (WIP)

Post by Tristior » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:20 am

Right, going through these:
1. It is, but playing on ideas of down-Anu and up-Padomay that I've written elsewhere. And just being a bit obtuse.

2. Yes, but if it looks too weird without the "r" then that can change.

3. Fair enough. This is honestly a fuckin' hard write, and there are lots of revisions to be made.

4. Hmm. Hmmmmmm. I know Book 4 is long, but in my first (shorter) draft it skipped along too quickly. The reason it's six books is because those are the key story beats I worked out - my plan is:
  • Nature of the universe (Wind)
  • Awakening of the gods (Dark)
  • Founding of Mundus (Light)
  • War for Mundus and Shor’s death (Cold)
  • Journey through death and founding of Sovngarde (Fog)
  • Alduin’s awakening and the world’s end (Fire)
If I split Book 4 there would need to be a new thematic angle for it, though I guess a whole book on Shor's death might work. Seven books is a more mythical number (although possibly a bit cliche?) but maybe there should only be five, like the breaths of Kyne? Maybe Kyne should have more breaths? Fuck knows.

5. I really like that - thanks for the link. I'm actually rather sold on the current title, but something akin to "Profound Dharma of Self-Liberation through the Intention of the Peaceful and Wrathful Ones" might be a good subtitle.

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Tristior
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Re: [Book] High King's Vedda (WIP)

Post by Tristior » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:20 am

But for realsies, thank you for the feedback. It's especially necessary here, and is much appreciated.

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Re: [Book] High King's Vedda (WIP)

Post by urm » Mon Feb 05, 2018 11:10 am

I'm not a fan of using non-English words as names, especially well known ones like Vedda or Dharma, it kinda breaks the 4th wall. I think it would be better to either reference the tibetian name which nobody would really recognize, or the way it's called in the west:Tibetean Book of the Dead

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