T’lén’k’târi: The Earthmasters

T’lén’k’târi: The Earthmasters
First of all, the Ancients...

Well, we might as well begin at the beginning, with the first folk, if folk they were, to leave aught that still stands.

How do we know about them? Well, that's not easy, and the answer's a bit circular. You see, we know about them because their structures are still here, and we know their structures belong to them because they don't seem to belong to anyone else. Well, I suppose they belong to us now, to those of us brave enough to explore them, what with the original owners long gone. How long gone? Well, that's a tough one.

A friend of mine, a clever fellow he was, a scholar in Beréma he was, he told me that the Earthmasters left more than 10,000 years ago... Yes I know it's a long time, but you know, I think it might be even longer than that. When did they arrive on Kèthîra? I have absolutely no idea, but they must have been here for quite a long time. How do I know that? Well, I don't, but they built a lot of stuff so I think it's a good guess.

You've probably all heard stories about the Earthmasters; there are plenty about. Most of 'em are rubbish... Not all of them: I said 'most'.

Long before man or elf or dwarf came into the world, perhaps e'en afore the gods were birth'd... there came the Ancients, the Earthmasters...

Well, I don't know if it's blasphemy or not. I suppose you'd better ask a priest, but I doubt there are many who want to pronounce on this sort of thing. Some might even deny the Earthmasters ever existed, but we know better, don't we? Anyway, it's not blaspheming against my religion. What religion is that? Well, I don't think I'll tell you. Can I get on with it? Thank you, although if you thought the last part was blasphemy you won't like the next bit.

They were beings supreme, godlike, mayhap gods themselves. Yes, I did say...

The Sinái were the first to find their works, and they marveled at the majesty and power of their structures, and said of them,

O Mighty cones and shadow’d spires
That quell the living heart
That cast thy baleful unseen glooms
And tear the soul apart.

What daunted hand, what twisted fear,
Hath raised thy roof and wall?
Against what horror art thou wrought?
What power caused thy Fall?

No of course not... they said it in their own language; this is a translation. Why does it rhyme? I don't know, it must be a very good translation.

The world has changed ere the Sinái first found the works of the Earthmasters, forests now stand where once there were none, and men have planted crops where forests bathed in unchanging winds. The nature of the world is change, yet the works of the Ancients endure. Still, it is harder to find them, now, hidden away in the nooks and crannies of the world... avoided as they are, for they are works of power, artefacts of terrible magick.

No I'm not trying to scare you, I'm saying it as my Mum told me. Well, if you feel that way, go and listen to another skald... Well then, sit quietly.

There are many places of the Earthmasters in these lands. No I'm not going to give you a list. They are dangerous places where strange and frightening things are likely to happen. Wise men avoid them... and people who don't know where they are avoid them... I'm wise, and you're in the dark. Maybe I'll tell you more later. But, for now, go to sleep.

N. Robin Crossby


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