A study on Mhenuur history, by Andronius Giphorin
Few civilized people travel off of the mainland, fewer still wish to dig up religious tales of foreign races, but I am one of those that seeks to know this world's history, no matter how obscure or removed it is.
This chapter is on the race that dwells on the western half of the Kvurian Isles, the Mhenuur (perhaps in future editions, I will endeavor to journey to the east and brave the Jarvah society, but I like my head on its shoulders and my fingers intact, but I digress). A shamanistic and somewhat primal race of beast-people that are renowned in the area for their percision stonework and unusual craftsmanship. But we're not here to talk about trade gossip and commerce, so let us press on.
The Mhenuur have little written history, having a strong oral tradition and remarkable memory, for a beast-people. The only physical piece of history of their past is a single massive slab of rock in their capitol, Khor'Juhn-dro; it was carved with obscure lettering and pictures, the knowledge holders (what passes for a historical scholar out here in the rough) tell me that it is in fact written in the language of the Juhn-ra. Readers should know it took me many hours to even figure out what one was before setting out on an expedition into the mountains to find these hairy giants. Sadly, they are as unintelligent and brutish as they are tall, it wasn't until my bodyguards spotted numerous slabs of similar wear and tear as the larger one in the Mhenuur city. After, acquiring them for the greater good of scholarly pursuit, I spent days trying to figure out the crude scribblings. But it was worth it and the lesser slabs told of horrific tales of the the Juhn-ra's descent from a fabled "Rich Blood Age", something mentioned numerous times, often with awe. They also said a lot of the "Under-hoof mutts", something that quickly became obvious as to what they were referring to, the Mhenuur. It didn't paint a very pretty picture, but I wasn't to be detered and set out for Khor'Juhn-dro once more.
The knowledge holders seem curious in my work this time, even helping me drag the slabs into the main archive chamber where the massive stone was housed. They even helped me with some of the lexicon I had written, telling me that their language is derived from the Juhn-ra, but had diverged long ago; this peaked my interest. As I slaved on pages and pages, translating and transcribing the stone tablet, it became clear that this wasn't etched by the Juhn-ra, as it told of their brutality and savagery. After weeks of work and enjoying the exotic wares, I finished, and what I had was, the knowledge holders told me, the origin story of their civilization; of the first Mhenuur Shaman.
It read as followed:
In the beginning, Mhenuur were ruled by the Juhn-ro-Krim-da. They used us as their tracking beasts, as fighters for their enjoyment, and as food if they were lazy. But then he came, a lone Mhenuur who lost his clan, his tribe, everything thing.
He howled in anguished, he clawed at the earth and found nothing, but the unforgiving gaze of the sun.
But in the dirt, the earth spoke, echoes of its bones and it told him of the bounty of the land and all on it. It taught him to beckon the dirt, rock, and ore, to sense the movement of the land and its creatures, to stand firm, and to endure above all.
Then the Earth-bones led the lone Mhenuur deeper into it, to a hidden grotto, a paradise in the plains. There the water soothed him, teaching him of unity, that even divides are not forever, and to adapt. It told him how to bring life, to mend the broken, to nuture life in the world, and to drown the rage-corrupt of the world. The water told him her name, Lifeblood-water.
The Earth-bones took him further still, to the world's heart. In the world, the lone Mhenuur looked into the heart and it showed him the energy of life, its vitality, its warmth, and its ingenuity of controlling fire for creation. The Heart-fire also told him of the risk of power and how to temper his strength with patience, wisdom, and channeled fury.
He return to the surface, ready to war with the Juhn-ro-Krim-da, but was waylaid. It was the wind, it whispered of change, ot the ever constant game. It howled at him for his arrogance in attacking without thought of change. Humbled, he bowed before the Sky-wind and gave due reference to the wind. In the return, it taunted him, battering him with weather he had never knew, snow and ice, liquid fire and soaring rock, frost that burns and fire that freezes.
From this, he remembered the Earth-bones and endured the Sky-wind's onslaught
From this, he thought of the Lifeblood-water and adapted to the change
From this, he had faith in the Heart-fire and controlled the Sky-wind, besting him, and looking upon him as equal
The Sky-wind was pleased with mad delight and told him how to howl louder than thunder and summon his people, the beasts, and the land to him. And so he did.
And war was waged, the lone Mhenuur led his people and their land-elements to kill the Juhn-ro-Krim-da, large were their warriors compared to the Mhenuur, hiding the sun from their sight. The war continued for seven cycles, the sun and moon bearing witness to all, standing watch until the other rose to do the same, they kept the knowledge.
On the 7th cycle, the lone Mhenuur met the three War-king-lords of the Juhn-ro-Krim-da in the deep wastes, they spoke of peace, they talked of change for good, they laughed of unity with the lone Mhenuur's people.
It was a lie, they wanted the lone Mhenuur to break the mountains for the precious metals and untold secrets within, his head to be mounted after for generations to see, to despair. The lone Mhenuur didn't want peace, he knew that the War-kings only wanted Juhn-ro-Krim-da to live and to be above of all.
And he knew how to create-destroy at that moment, becoming spirit-anchor and the Spirit-elements knew the lone Mhenuur was no more. He destroyed the War-kings and create-changed them to stone of pure-earth. And so too did the lone Mhenuur die, becoming the earth, wind, water, and fire, to be reborn to his people as the First Shaman as they named him. His flesh stone, his breath wind, his blood water, and his heart of fire.
He led his people and taught them of the Spirit-elements' ways, and they built a new tribe around the War-king stones, naming the village Khor'Juhn-dro or "World-won strength"
And while the Mhenuur lived in peace, the Juhn-ro-Krim-da fled to the Mountains and lived in dishonor, taking their precious, pride-bound name and calling themselves the Juhn-ra or "The Strength-less"
An interesting piece, to be sure, if it wasn't for the primitive speech, but it tells us clearly of a time when these Juhn-ra had the power and the Mhenuur lived in oppression. I must find more on these Juhn-ra and find out if they have any connection to the similarly war-like Jarvah, which I'll try to cover in my next book
Until then, wait on readers, scholars, and world alike!