The ancient Arbarians

"Arbarians are stupid, uneducated and warlike giants" - A typical prejudice of the ancient echyrians

On the trail of the "Arbarians"

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"Arbare" is the Echyrene term for the vast areas in the northwest, covered in ancient times by primeval forests, still beyond the Arros, then considered an uncivilised borderland. Its inhabitants, called simply "Arbarians" by the Echyrians, were considered uncivilised savages, little better than animals, in many ancient accounts from the Phalopos are also hard to distinguish from actual depraved animal-men. But who were the ancient Arbarians, whose only contribution to history for a long time were raids on Arroan settlements?

"The Arbarians" - they did not actually exist in antiquity, at least not in the self-image of the peoples and tribes who lived in and around the Bezilla forest, wrested land from the swampy Foslach plains or defied the cold Kulskirra.

It was not until the middle of antiquity that several clans joined together to form a tribal alliance, initially usually only in order to be able to invade the increasingly well-protected Arros together.
 It took until late antiquity for these tribes to form a more stable structure and to clearly distinguish themselves from other tribes. During the Classical period, the first tribal kingdoms were slowly formed, first on the Arroian model and later on the Arrosevian model.

But although the "Arbarians" never saw themselves as one people (the "Arbarian" people is a creation that was only forced in the period around the Magic Revolution, when the northwestern states wanted to separate themselves from the Echyrean south), they had more in common than that they joined together to form marauding hordes: a common language, a common mythology and a common social structure.

Connected through social customs

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From time immemorial, the society of the "Arbarians" consisted of Esger (sg. Asger, the "free man") and Treller (sg. Traller, the "slave").


A Traller was usually a prisoner of war living in the clan, or the descendant of one; only later did the "Arbarians" also buy slaves from southern slave traders. The Esger were members of a clan who were largely equal to each other. Although according to customary law they had more rights and different duties than the Treller, Esger and Treller were often hardly distinguishable from each other.

Within a clan, the Gemicher ("elder") enjoyed the greatest respect and can be understood as the clan head. In the early days, he was in fact the oldest man or woman of the clan, later the title became hereditary and passed to the men or women of a certain (sub)family, depending on the clan. Around this time, the designation also changed and we hear more and more often of an Arela ("prince"). The Arela then soon became more than just the profane heads of their clans and also became religious heads who led and held cultic rites that were important for the well-being of the entire clan.

 

When the "Arbarians" began to form tribes, the Arelas met irregularly to consult and, in times of war, to appoint an Arax ("king") from their ranks. The Arax was at first only a "war chief" appointed for a fixed term, but in late antiquity this title too slowly became hereditary, having initially been awarded for life.

 

"Arbarian" warriors already decorated their bodies with tattoos in early times, but this body adornment became increasingly complex in antiquity. Soon there was a certain arsenal of pictorial signs that not only provided information about membership of a clan and tribe, but also reported on the deeds of their bearers. This custom of the warriors then spread to other areas and soon they were the only reliable sign in many places to distinguish an Asger from a Traller

 

Connected through language

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Ancient "Arbarian", like most ancient languages, was of course characterised by dialects, some of which were very different, differing in the pronunciation of certain sounds, divergent vocabulary and grammatical forms that were only regionally widespread. Nevertheless, the "Arbarian" could be understood well enough by members of all clans for a common treasure of myths about gods, heroic songs and instructive fairy tales to spread throughout the entire settlement area early on - presumably by wandering „Sinners“ ("storytellers"). These Sinners are probably also responsible for the introduction and spread of a genuinely "arbaric" script, which initially developed in the form of scribal signs without the influence of southern writing systems.


Ancient "Arbarian", like most ancient languages, was of course characterised by dialects, some of which were very different, differing in the pronunciation of certain sounds, divergent vocabulary and grammatical forms that were only regionally widespread. Nevertheless, the "Arbarian" could be understood well enough by members of all clans for a common treasure of myths about gods, heroic songs and instructive fairy tales to spread throughout the entire settlement area early on - presumably by wandering „Sinners“ ("storytellers"). These Sinners are probably also responsible for the introduction and spread of a genuinely "arbaric" script, which initially developed in the form of scribal signs without the influence of southern writing systems.

Connected through faith

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The stories spread everywhere soon led to the formation of a common pantheon, which was supplemented locally by other deities, but always had a common core. All "Arbarians" worshipped Ertius, the Eldar Muder, Ruck, the Sturma Muder and Erkisa, who were everywhere thought of in animal form. The younger Dôdig Heljar was also widespread.


 Besides these deities, about which more will be told elsewhere, there were also heroic songs and fairy tales, which were told almost the same everywhere and were only rarely adapted to local incidents or events. 

The Arbarians did not build temples to their gods, instead they worshipped them at "Vivedi" (votive stelae) and "Gihorgi" ("altar", literally "pile of stones"). The shape of the Vivedi was as varied as the tribes that built them and the gods they were dedicated to. Sometimes they were just painted tree trunks or decorated with colourful ribbons, sometimes they were elaborately carved and garlanded wooden pillars, and sometimes even entire animal figures were sculpted from the wood.

The settlement areas of the Arbarian tribes around the middle of antiquity.

Arbarian culture & traditions

Hôl - The Arbarian longhouse

Lay-out and structure of a Hôl

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The longhouse, hôl, shaped the appearance of Arbarian settlements. Although there was no general plan, these linear, sometimes convex, structures, always longer than wider, were built by all tribes, both as individual structures and in village and even urban communities.

While some longhouses were only nine metres long, some even reached lengths of over 80 metres. The average width was something between five and seven metres.

They consisted of wooden support gates, hôlpeste, which were lined by the walls and supported the roof beams, hemilbjelke. The actual living space was around a hearth, magstad, while other rooms were separated from it by carpets or wattle walls. In most longhouses, these rooms also included a stable, fêburren, which housed livestock permanently or at least in winter.

At first, the outer walls of the longhouses often consisted of wattle and daub with mud throws, but a longhouse clad in wooden planks developed into such an object of status that even in areas where timber was a scarce resource, great efforts were made.

The Hôl in the context of its environment

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Longhouses in antiquity were often built alone and formed the core of a small community that often settled kilometres away from the nearest longhouse. Although the majority of these small communities were spatially isolated, they were linked to other communities through trade, kinship, friendship, alliance or feud, maintained common Harga, consecrated districts, or paruga, sacred groves, or formed raiding communities to prey in the Southlands.

By the Classical period, numerous villages were formed that could cover an area of up to four hectares. These villages, which were more common in the south than in the north, consisted of several longhouses, a series of smaller detached outbuildings.

These outbuildings usually included pit houses, which served as workshops and storehouses, but also small, usually round clay or earth huts, which were inhabited by Treller or served ritual purposes.

The Hôl and its inhabitants

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In the typical longhouses lived just under ten inhabitants who were connected by blood, work or intimate relationship. Whereas in early antiquity the typical household consisted of a man, a woman, their children, possibly some Treller, and possibly parents or other relatives to be cared for, towards the middle of Antiquity a longhouse community developed in the increasingly numerous villages, which was characterised by common work.

Thus there was the Hôl of the hunters, the warriors, the brewers, and so on. At the same time, probably influenced by the already gender-segregated cults, there was an increasing separation into male and female residential work communities.

It is uncertain to what extent the development of the work communities gave rise to the Horgersystem in the first place, or whether they first came into being in the course of a prevailing social change brought about by Horgerdom. However, both developments intertwined and promoted each other.

The cultural significance of the Hôl

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The magstad (hearth) was the centre of life in the longhouse. It was, of course, the room where food was prepared, but it was also the room where Urgameda, feasts, were held.

The place that originally belonged to the master of the house was soon given to the horger (or the oldest horger in a large longhouse); it was called the brôlot, the bear's seat, which preserved the old idea that the master of the house was under the special protection of the bear god Ertius. The brôlot was often the only chair in the entire longhouse, because while stools were usually used for work, wide benches, svenke, were provided near the magstad for the other inhabitants or the banquet guests, which also served as sleeping places at night. The great importance of these facilities is also reflected in the language: the svankbrûer or svankvesjer, the person who is particularly close to you, is originally the person who sits next to you in the often strictly regulated seating order. The svanker refers to a good friend who is not part of the household, but who visits frequently. The svank (masculine, as opposed to feminine for the furniture) denotes lively conversation. "ôm slonga svank stadon" ("to sit on the long bench") was a popular idiom for "making peace after a quarrel" or "talking about it again" not only because of the alliteration, but because it was so obvious in the imagination; just as "vir svank" ("by the bench") denotes "all of them", "all allies" (all as they sit next to each other). Or "svankin" - a circumlocution for sexual intercourse, which, because the bench being made to wobble was also thought of, extended to "wobble; sway".

The significance of the magstad itself becomes particularly clear from the fact that the heart was readily paraphrased in poetic language as the "magstad of the body"; and especially when referring to the biological heart that keeps the body alive.

Until well into Asiranisation, the fire of the magstad, the elda or magelda, also had great cultic significance. The old word for fire, elda, was probably already narrowed down by the middle of antiquity to the hearth fire and was only still used in reference to this, as well as to the Elda Muder, the fire mother, while in all other contexts one spoke of brasza in an onomatopoeic-taboo manner. The priestesses of the Fire Mother alone were allowed to light the magelda and were entrusted with regular ritual acts as fire keepers, during which the ashes of the hearth fire were scattered throughout the house and trampled on the floor (at least as long as it still consisted of tamped earth).

In the middle of the Magelda was a hearth stone, the Agmuder ("mother stone"), which was considered a sacred symbol of the fire mother, who unlike the other gods was never worshipped in animal form, but only in this stone form. It was this stone that was sworn at ("ôm agmuder") or removed in battle and feud to make the whole house "uninhabitable" ("ôragmudersamo").

Hôrgranger - The Abarian family

Overview

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Among the Arbarians, the Hôrgranger forms the core of social coexistence; it consists of one or more Horger and their apprentices and is always of the same sex; that is, a male Horger has only male Tiner and a female Horger only female Tiner. Tiner come into the care of a Horger at the age of 6 at the latest and their birth parents play no official role in their lives thereafter; unless two Arbarians want to have a child (see below).

"Kinship" is therefore very much focused on the relationship of an Arbarian to the Horger and his fellow-Tiners; however, since the Arbarians originally knew families in our sense, many kinship terms were originally intended for this purpose as well and were later transformed in their meaning.

The classical family (mother, father, child) is called Mirninger, but it is socially accepted only until the parents hand over their child to a Horger; should it continue after the child has reached the age of 6, this form of family is considered disreputable.

Origins

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The initiation rites of the Hunval and Rabsval led to the young Arbarians being given a new reference person (orignally Horger or Muder) in addition to their parents, whose importance became increasingly significant. By the middle of antiquity, it became increasingly common to then introduce oneself with reference to one's horger or rasbval-muder (soon also called horger) instead of giving the name of one's biological father or mother. In combination with a unique form of cohabitation compared to other peoples, the Horger system soon developed in which the biological parents were of little importance.

Horger

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Horger (Male/Female): The "trainer" and surrogate father/mother of a group of children/youth (Tiner).

Tiner

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Tiner (Male/Female): The "apprentices" of a Horger, who call each other Brûer ("brother") or Wesjer ("sister"). They call the adult "children" of their own Horger Arbrûer or Arwesjer ("big brother" or "big sister").

Suner / Diter

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Suner (Male)/ Diter (Female): These words originally mean "son" and "daughter" respectively, but are used to refer to the adult Tiner of a Horger who have completed their education and are legally independent persons. They refer to the current Tiner of their Horger as Bavbrûer/Bawesjer ("little brother" or "little sister").

Oter / Muder

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Oter (Male)/ Muder (Female): "Father" and "Mother" to designate the biological parents of an Arbarian, they play little part in the lives of Arbarians except when it comes to entering into a union to produce offspring: In this case, the two may not have the same Oter or Muder. A bodily parent is also called a Bresser ("birther"), the (bodily) sibling taboo is thus also called Rêkit Bressermirnis (literally "prohibition of parental love").

Nider

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Nider (male/female): "Child", the term for the bodily child of an Arbarian.

Arvoter / Armoter

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Arvoter (male)/ Armoter: Originally "grandfather" and "grandmother" respectively, these terms denote the Horger(s) of one's Horger(s).

Munder

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Munder (male): The Horger of the biological father. The munder is predestined to take on the male Nider of an arbarian and assumes the role of "oter" should the latter die (or otherwise fail) before a child comes into the care of a Horger.

Onder

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Onder (male): A Bruer of one's own Horger. If a Horger can no longer fulfil his role for whatever reason, his Tiner will pass into the care of an "Onder".

Umer

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Umer (female): The Horger of the natural mother. The Umer is predestined to take in the female Nider of an Abarian and assumes the role of "Muder" should she die (or otherwise fail) before a child comes into the care of a Horger.

Omer

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Omer (female): A vesjer of one's own horger. If a Horger can no longer fulfil her role, for whatever reason, her tiner passes into the care of an "omer".

Meder

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Meder (male/female): A Tiner (or Suner/Diter) of a Munder or Umer.

Veder

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Veder (male/female): A Tiner (or Suner/Diter) of an Onder or an Omer.

Enner

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Enner (Male/Female): Literally "ancestor"; the term for the biological parents of one's own parents or of one's own Horger; or the Horger's Horger. Arenner, "great-ancestor", goes back another generation; however, "Enner" can also be used to refer to "ancestors" in general.

Indorger

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Indorger (male/female): An Arbarian between 6 and 21 without a Horger.

Ingdôter

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Ingdôter (male/female): Literally "undead"; an outcast from Arbarian society; also the term for an adult Arbarian who has never had an Horger, or an Arbarian who has been cast out by his Horger.

Mirner

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Mirner (male/female): "husband" or "wife"; the term for the two adults of a Mirninger.

Gîmirner

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Gîmirner (male/female): "lover" or "beloved"; the term for a romantic partner; usually in the form of open or polygamous relationships.

Traditions

Hunval

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The social system of the Horgers, which became so important and unique, has its origins in the custom of hunval (the "ordination of men"). This ritual, which was already denigrated as paedophilia by the Echyrians early in ancient times, began with a man-stealing: an older warrior chose an adolescent (kir, a boy about 15 to 20 years old) and kidnapped him.

Before the kidnapping, he had to announce his intention to the boy's peers. They were not allowed to reveal the plan, because this would have violated the boy's honour; however, if the kidnapper did not appear worthy because of his reputation, they were allowed to intervene.

The warrior, originally called Ber ("kidnapper") but soon Horger ("instructor"), then took the kidnapped (tiner, originally "kidnapped", but soon understood more as "pupil" or " foster child") to a place of his choice, which was usually outside the village, often in the mountains or a secluded forest. There the two lived outside the clan community for a few months (between 2 and 6, depending on tribal tradition) and the abductee learned from his captor how to fight, hunt and survive in the wilderness. After these months, the abductor "released" the abductee in a small ceremony and gave him a chald (wraparound skirt) and a sug (mug), in some clans also a navern (bear wolf), making the boy a man. The chald was the visible sign of adulthood and was still the ritual clothing of men for a long time, even when trousers had long since become the norm in everyday life. The sug was the symbol of mutual love and attachment that usually lasted a lifetime between Horger and Tiner and was soon considered more important than the relationship between father and son. The navern was a symbol of loyalty.

While it was originally a special honour to have been a Tiner, this custom soon spread so much that it became a permanent institution for all Esger. Although the "Arbarians" did not develop prohibitions or taboos on homosexuality at any time and a sexual relationship between Horger and Tiner was not strictly forbidden, the tradition had no innate sexual components (despite the reports of Echyrian scholars);  in some attested cases of love between a Horger and his Tiner, it did not develop until years after the Hunval.

Rasbval

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The Rasbval ("consecration of women") went back to early fertility rites. The young girls were placed in the care of a muder (mother) who was often initiated into the secret rites of the goddess Kalma. This, usually older, woman instructed the girls for a few weeks in certain religious rites, but also educated them sexually and familiarised them with the course of pregnancies. The climax was the gela ("pricking") with the raka ("horn"), a wooden phallus dedicated to the god Arbas. The muder penetrated the girls with it to prepare them for union with a man and at the same time ensure their fertility.

However, this ritualised rape was increasingly rejected by the Arbarians themselves already in antiquity and is no longer attested since around the middle of antiquity. The Rasbval eventually approximated the Hunval and, apart from an sex education lessons, no longer contained any sexual components.

Mirnval

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The Mirnval, "consecration of love", was the solemn vow of two partners to love each other; part of the rite was that the two partners were enclosed in a hut, the Mirnhûs, on the evening of the feast day and remained together there for three or five days, depending on tribal tradition (of course, sufficient food, drink and also gifts had been brought to the hut beforehand).

Since the Arbarians lived separately in men's and women's houses from early on and this did not change after the Mirnval, this was often the only time when heterosexual couples were alone in a house. The Mirnval had no special meaning apart from a formal "we are together now" and could be ended quite informally. 

Gerliking

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Gerliking, a ritual dance in which the dancer performs amazing, seemingly gravity-defying figures on a vertical spear, staff or post anchored in the ground.

The ancient Arbarians performed dances on and around spears driven into the ground before battles to honour their Strediu Heljar, the god of battle, and to attract his benevolence and attention.

In the course of antiquity, these pole dances also became more common in the run-up to sporting competitions and were also increasingly performed as entertainment at feasts.

Tattoos

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In ancient times, the Arbarian warriors fought naked or semi-naked and while most of them used shields, their upper body played the decisive role in their recognisability. The Arbarians were known to decorate their bodies with tattoos, skinrittu, which said a lot about the wearer, his social status, deeds and skills, but they also played an important role for war - in combination with war paint. The warriors of an army highlighted certain tattoos in colour, on the one hand to represent their unity and on the other hand to serve in the function of a "badge".

The tattoos of the belly and back, esprittu and bakrittu, in other words the large areas, served to carry the "colour" of the army. They were often temporary, more often even only made with paint, as the ancient Arbarians often changed their allegiance.

The tattoos on the left breast, jerdrittu,  were the tribal or clan tattoos that provided information about the origin of an Arbarian. They served as the colour of the division, as ancient Arbarian armies were divided according to tribes or clans.

The tattoos of the right breast, krutrittu, were the marks of outstanding deeds, they carried the colour of rank in war.

The tattoos on the upper arms, tônrittu, were the markers of ability, and in wartime they carried a colour that made a statement about troop rank.

Body care

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The ancient Arbarians are known to have had a superstitious fear of water, and although they were not afraid of water per se, it was customary for them to wash themselves with oil instead of water. They rubbed themselves with the oil of the oil fir, which was often flavoured with other plants, and scraped it off their bodies with a scraper. This not only removed the dirt, but also cared for the skin and, moreover, gave it an aesthetic sheen.

The use of hair gel was also widespread among ancient Arbarians: The warriors set the hair with a mixture of lime, water and honey, shaping the hair into wild spikes or setting it up into cockscombs before they went into battle.

"Rokkas" played a special role in body care. An ointment made of red bark and fat, with which the Arbarians not only applied ritual paintings on the body, but the men also rubbed their limbs. This probably had several reasons, for on the one hand its slippery nature made it good to use as a lubricant, on the other hand it also served as skin care, which could protect the genital area in particular from sexually transmitted diseases, and last but not least it had a slightly spermicidal effect.

Toilet culture

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At the edge of the settlement there was a channel made of hollowed-out tree trunks, the Breureina, where the villagers relieved themselves. Like the large mjudehôl, which functioned as a village's meeting place and inn, the breureina was also a meeting place where people chatted ("breuin" therefore meant not only "to urinate" but also "to make small talk; to spread rumours"). Since most Arbarians had contact mainly with the members of their own Hôrgranger, the breureina was also a place to meet other inhabitants of the village or guests from outside; many an Arbarian found his "breuer", which literally means "pissing brother", but is rather to be understood in the sense of "good friend".

Similarly sociable were the Kakburren, "shitholes", over which the Arbarians squatted to do their big business. Here it was quite common for men and women to do this in pairs, so that one could hold each other while squatting and no one was in danger of falling into the privy. Dô bîde haukin bîaron - "the two squat together" - was therefore the term for two people who had a very close relationship.

The Arbarians invite you to the table

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Unlike the Echyreans, the ancient Arbarians were not crop farmers who cultivated large fields of grain, and unlike the Arroians or Ersevans, they were not gifted cattle breeders either. The "southerners" therefore regarded the Arbarians as primitive hunters and gatherers.

The most important crop of the Arbarians was the Agmeger, the "stone fruit". It was the nut of the tree of the same name, which the Arbarians planted in groves near their villages. Agmelge, "stone fruit milk", was obtained from the ground or crushed stone fruit by adding water, which was enjoyed cold or warm as a drink or used to prepare food. The nuts were also cold-pressed and ground to make Agmegnaig, "stone fruit flour", which was the basis for bread, Knaigamed, and other pastries. As a by-product of Agmegnaig production, the Arbarians obtained Agmegesmîr, "stone fruit oil", which was used for both body care and food preparation.

The menu was supplemented by Pfager (a type of bean), Arvîs (a type of pea), Gîknisa (root vegetable, a type of parsnip) and Grunnehauk (a type of leaf salad), which were mostly grown in gardens within the village.

In terms of fruit, the most common were the arbarian Meller, a more sour form of the southern Maile (a kind of apple), and Pflammer (a kind of plum), which were often planted in the same groves as the Agmeger.

From the Meller, the Arbarians produced not only Sûre (sour apple juice), but also Ekkida ("apple vinegar"), with which they pickled both fruit and Gîknisa to preserve them.

The Arbarians mainly kept pigs, Aiba, and chickens, Trotter. From pork, Koch, the Arbarians made Ruking ("smoked ham"), Kommed (cured and smoked belly meat) and Kochverster (roast sausages), while Veier (roast pork) was mainly served at feasts. Traditionally, dishes made of boil were served more during the winter and served as provisions, while chicken meat, Potter, was consumed all year round, both roasted and boiled. Melgepot, a stew of Agmelge, Potter and Gîknisa, was especially popular.

Kjâ, (chicken) egg, was both boiled and used to make dishes. Typical dishes were Kjâsmîr, literally "egg oil", for which raw egg yolk was seasoned with salt and Djiul and served with Knaigamed, or Klâr, salted egg white, which was drunk raw. Both were common, especially as breakfast. Boiled eggs were often eaten with a sauce of water, Ekkida and Kinnek.

In addition, game supplemented the menu, for hunting played a major role in ancient Arbarian societey. Although they worshipped most of their gods in animal form, there were rarely any dietary rules based on this. Especially Ford (red deer) and Haina (wild boar), but also various wild birds, were hunted. Only hare and bear meat was taboo.

While the ancient Arbarians were superstitiously afraid of the sea and waters, there were nevertheless some fishermen along the coasts and waters who added Uwo, fish, to the Arbarians' diet. This was usually salted and smoked, because both were said to free the fish from the influence of Kjahullir.

The Arbarians seasoned their food mainly with salt, Hêla, and various herbs; typical for the taste of many savoury dishes was Djiul (a leek-like plant, whose taste reminded very much of garlic, but also gave an oniony spiciness).

Kinnek, "honey", was used for sweetening. Especially in dishes prepared for a feast, Kinnek was used extensively. Kinneger, a seasoning sauce made of Kinnek, salt, Djiul, Agmesmîr and Ekkida, which was served with cooking Verster or Knaigamed, was also popular.

Although the Arbarians also knew some purely sweet dishes, such as Kimmelge ( Agmelge sweetened with Kinnek) or Kinnemed (sweet bread), most dishes were sweet, sour, salty and somewhat spicy due to the ingredients used.

Fermented Kinnek was used to make Mjud (a kind of honey wine), the most popular drink of the Arbarians, which was served in the Mjudehôl, the Mjud halls. The Mjudehôl was both a meeting house for the village community and an inn for strangers. For cultic purposes, there were special forms of Mjud, usually containing more alcohol, such as the Broermjud ("Bear Mjud") of the Ertius cult (which also had a slightly hallucinogenic effect due to the brew of certain mushrooms) or the Rukslûg ("Smoke Potion"), which was drunk at celebrations during the Ruk Slavun ("Smoke Nights").

In everyday life, the Arbarians drank mainly Sûrmjud, Mjudwandva and Krûtwandva. Sûrmjud was a mixture of Sûre and mjud and was usually drunk warm in winter. Mjudwandva was Mjud diluted with three parts water and often flavoured with Djiul. Krûtwandva was the decoction of various herbs and was drunk both hot and cold. Pure water was rarely drunk; it was usually called Vichterslûg, "hunter's drink", because it was mostly drunk by hunters during the hunt.

Slavery: Of Treller and Gessels

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Among the Arbarians, all slaves were originally prisoners of war or descendants of such; only in the course of the Classical period did the Arbarians also begin to buy slaves from Arrovelosia.

Especially in early and middle antiquity, most prisoners of war were those who came from neighbouring Arbarian communities. It was probably because of this kinship that most slaves, as so-called "Treller" (Sg. Traller), were unfree and immature, but otherwise lived in the community like other members of the clan. They were obliged to obey their masters and could be physically chastised, but it was generally frowned upon to kill them without reason and care was taken not to separate their families. They were allowed to move quite freely within the community, although they were usually not allowed to leave the boundaries of the settlements; in the course of antiquity they were even made able to join the cultic male or female societies. Since they were legally treated largely like children, it was also possible for them to be declared "adults" by their owners, making them free members of the community, "Esger" (Sg. Asger).

An exception to this very humane treatment were the "Gessel", prisoners of war who posed a danger to the community or were held as leverage against other communities. They were held in slave pits called "burren". They were often threatened with a fate as "Gessel blût", human sacrifice at the consecration of sacred sites. However, the status of the Gessel was usually temporary: If peace was made, they were usually released or integrated into the community as trellers.

You can't buy chicken in Arbaria

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Chickens were considered sacred animals of the Sturma Muder by most tribes, but no real food taboos grew out of this; in fact, in many places chickens were the most common source of meat.

However, chickens were not considered individual property, but a gift from the Sturma Muder to the community. As chickens were community property, they could not simply be bought and sold; and only initiates of the cult of the Sturma Muder were allowed to give chickens to other communities, as a gift, which was seen as a sign of generosity. The concept of buying or even selling a chicken was simply alien and unimaginable to the ancient Arbarians.

Gestures

👍

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Since early ancient times, the gesture has stood for the drawn weapon; held to the throat, it is a death threat, otherwise it is used as a conversational accompaniment to reinforce martial rhetoric and aggressive ways of speaking.

👎

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Related to the 👍 it means peace, the lowering of weapons and is understood conversationally as a gesture of appeasement.

👌

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The "burren" (hole) is to be understood as a wordless invitation to the sexual act; accompanying conversation it can express love and affection.

✌️

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With this gesture it is important whether the back of the hand points towards the interlocutor or towards the speaker. If it is pointing towards the interlocutor, it is a threatening gesture (the exact origin of which is unknown), if it is pointing towards the speaker, it is a gesture of farewell and parting ways.

🤟

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This gesture stands for danger, magic and the Otherdark, it can be used as a warning or threat.

🤚

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 This gesture stands as a symbol for protection and safety, but is also understood wordlessly as "Watch out!" or "Attention!"

👋

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This gesture indicates danger and is called a "wavering shield" (alum vinklengu).

Arbarian religion

From the dictionary of Arbaric Superstitions

When a badger roams through the village, war is coming soon.

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Among the ancient Arbarians, the badger was one of the sacred animals of Strediu Heljar, the god of war. The appearance of this otherwise shy animal in a settlement was seen as a "mustering of the badger" and interpreted as a sign of approaching war.

Whoever catches a crane has one wish free.

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The ancient Arbarians saw in the crane the sacred animal of the sky god Turanas, who in his curiosity learned everything possible and was almost omniscient. Whoever could catch a crane could supposedly receive the answer to a question as a prize for his freedom. Later, this became the idea that he would grant any wish.


Fiery secrets

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The ancient Arbarians believed that the Elda Muder could hear everything spoken in the presence of a fire and, as a gossipy woman, shared this knowledge with her priestesses, the fire-keepers. Thus, "fiery secrets" became a common word for well-known topics.

In the mist, the dead can return.

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 The mist was understood by the ancient Arbarians as an extension of the Nefelmal ("mist realm"), the realm of Erkisa, the goddess of death. During the Asiranisation, the superstition developed that with the mist the souls of the unburned dead (Asiranistic burial method) could return from the realm of the dead.

A bed of goose down facilitates childbirth.

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This superstition goes back to the goose as the sacred animal of the Sturma Muder. It was believed that the birth-helping power of the goddess was transferred to the woman giving birth through the down of her sacred animals.

Hare meat makes you impotent.

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The ancients saw the hare as the sacred animal of the god Karnas. This gave rise to the belief that a man who killed and ate the sacred animal of the god of male fertility and potency would be punished by the god with impotence.

Honey gives the warrior great strength.

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 The belief that honey gives the warrior power and strength goes back to the bear god Ertius and the observation that bears feast on honey. This led to warriors often eating honey-sweetened food and drink before battles, rubbing themselves with honey or modelling their hair into impressive hairstyles with honey water.

Whoever sees a robin may make a wish.

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This superstition goes back to the sacred animal of Dôdig Heljar, who was generally regarded as a helping god. It was believed that he would appear in the form of a robin and whoever asked him for help should expect to be helped.

When the wolf howls, it laments that it has been killed.

Wolf hunt.

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The ancients believed that the god Karillus transformed the souls of those who died in the wilderness into wolves. The howling of wolves near settlements was regarded as an accusation by the dead against the living that there was a murderer among them. This is connected with the "wolf hunts" in which a possibly innocent person was convicted of murder, sometimes with torture. Today, "wolf hunt" means to make a false accusation.

Holy Bear and Dead God - The Arbarian deities

Ertius - From bear to king

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Ertius was the bear-shaped god of the ancient Arbarians. He was a god of aggressive strength and war god of the elite. However, he was worshipped above all as a protective deity of the homeland and the clan. Only those initiated into his elite cult also worshipped him as a god who overcame death and promised them bodily resurrection.

The initiates worshipped the bear god in cultic male covenants, which were reserved for the emerging nobility from late antiquity onwards. These initiates had to undergo a duel, to the death, with an adult bear to prove their worthiness. Only in the late phase of its veneration was this replaced by a cultic fight against a priest wearing a bear mask. The original initiation ritual was a modification of the death penalty common in antiquity: the condemned man, while suffering from hallucinations caused by Black-Mantle spores, was sent into a bear's den; if he could defeat the bear in this state, he had proved his innocence before Ertius and the people - and became, as it were, an initiate of the cult. Only through this punishment could women also become part of the cult community, who were otherwise denied access to the male covenants.

In the Uryphas Mountains, probably since prehistoric times, a large bear was worshipped as Ertius incarnate and cared for by eight priestesses who celebrated wild sexual orgies at night with the warriors making the pilgrimage to the sanctuary. According to Echyrian sources at least, the priestesses threw the children conceived in this way to the bear god. The cult in this sanctuary existed until Late Antiquity, after which there is no evidence of its continuation.

In Late Antiquity, Ertius of the southern Arbarians merged with the Echyrean war god Arkos to form Arkos Arkothos (Arkos the Bear), after the Everiks settled in and around Arakleia at the instigation of Kyrenas Mossas and Pailas Everikos. This new syncretic cult united the two cults of the gods, although its outward appearance was very Echyrean, in the cultic sphere it was still strongly oriented towards its Arbarian roots. Until the onset of the Asiranistic missionary movement during the Classical period, the cult of Arkos Arkothos spread from Arakleia to other Arbarian tribes, where it was sometimes worshipped alongside the native Ertius. In Arros, Arkos Arkothos was part of the pantheon of Arroan state gods until the establishment of Asiranism.

In the Classical period, Asiranism slowly supplanted the cult of Ertius and Arkos Arkothos until it was almost forgotten in the Dark Ages. The memories of this deity led to the appearance of the legendary king of Artius of Phonarros in the Middle Ages. He appears in many literary works of the Middle Ages in different contexts and with different meanings. His domain is usually located in Bithylia, where he distinguished himself in battles against invading Jedes and Vettes. From the 12th century onwards, various stories about Artius were embellished in courtly literature and given their classic form, which has been taken up again and again in literature and film up to the present day.

Dôdig Heljar - The Dead God and Arbarian Asiranas

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The Dôdig Heljar (the "Dead God") was the merciful god in ancient times, to whom especially the Treller and poorer Esger turned, as he promised indulgence from the toils of labour. As the god of healing, he was especially revered in times of pestilence and his clemency was invoked in times of war and oppression.

The god depicted as a robin must have been a younger god, appearing only in the middle of antiquity. In late antiquity, various tribes are said to have kept embalmed body parts that were supposed to have come from the Dodig Heljar - according to the myth, he had been murdered and dismembered by fearful people after appearing to them in human form.

During the Classical period, the cult of Dodig Heljar quickly merged with the Echyrian Asiranas to form Asiranas Nygênimenos (the "reborn Asiranas") as the missionary work of the Asiranists progressed. This syncretic figure eventually became part of the Barytean Asiranas Church in the Middle Ages.

Elda Muder - Guardian of the Home and Mother of Spirits

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The Elda Muder ("Fire Mother") was the goddess of fire and guardian of the home in ancient times. Unlike the other deities of ancient Arbaria, she did not have an animal form, as she never left her house in heaven to show herself to people.

The Elda Muder was worshipped as the protector of the home and represented by a special stone in the hearth fire of a hol ("communal house"). She was the guardian of hospitality and domestic peace, and if the head of a hol was accused of having violated one of these commandments, he could prove his innocence by placing his hand on the Fire Mother's stone; this is probably also the origin of the expression "to put one's hand in the fire".

According to the ancient conception, the Elda Muder sat in heaven and tended the great heavenly hearth fire, which appeared to man as the sun. It was believed that when she stoked her fire and the sparks flew, this could be seen in the sky and sometimes glowing embers would fall from the sky - this was the explanation for meteorites and meteorite impacts burning up in the atmosphere.

According to legend, the Night Sun also arose from the fire of the Elda Muder. The god Ruck had tried to steal burning logs to give to the freezing people, but he got burnt and dropped them.

In the course of Asiranisation, the Elda Muder became increasingly less important, while her aspects protecting the home passed to Akame, the mother of Asiranas. Her aspect as a fire goddess, who at times threw off her maternal grace and lapsed into blind, destructive rage, she increasingly merged with ideas of the Primeval Igharnath until she became the Djevulio Muder ("Mother of evil spirits"). This malicious woman then also increasingly appears as a witch in fairy tales in the later Middle Ages, then mostly under the name Muda Divula - as in the well-known fairy tale of Harro and Garder, in which the Muda Divula lures the two runaway boys into her house to roast them in the oven and then eat them.

Kalma - The Great Mother and the Geikja Custom

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Kalma, who in ancient times was more often worshipped under her epithet Sturma Muder ("Great Mother"), was the great female fertility goddess of the Arbarians and thus the female counterpart of Karnas. In mythology, chickens, geese, rabbits and storks in particular were closely associated with her.

The Sturma Muder was believed to bring fertility to the land, but also to humans and cattle, she warned of dangers and was especially regarded as the protector of mothers, pregnant women and small children. The rite of passage, Rasbvîu, was also under her protection and later the Veller.

The cult of Kalma was only practised by priestesses, who were organised in women's cultic covenants and formed the female counterpart to the men's covenants of Ertius.

Geikjâ ("coloured eggs") was a ritual connected with the spring festival, which had its origin in the cult of the Sturma Muder. On the evening before the spring equinox, the young women hid boiled and coloured eggs in the village, which were searched for the following day by the young men. Each woman had a particular colour or pattern, which was initially known only to the women. Each woman was supposed to hide only one egg with her pattern, and the young man who found this egg at the spring festival thus acquired the right to have sex with this woman at the orgiastic fertility rites in the evening. It is said that the male god of fertility, Karnas, had fun hiding more painted eggs during the night so that more young men would be entitled to have sex with some of the women - but behind these tales is probably more the habit of men in the days before the festival to try to find out the painting of their beloved's egg and hide an appropriately painted egg themselves.
The Geikjâ custom remained a common one for a long time after Asiranisation, but shed its sexual component in the Middle Ages. Since then, the Horgers have hidden painted eggs, which are then searched for by their children. The memory of Karnas lives on to this day in the form of the Geikjâkarnin (the "Geikjâ hare").

However, as a result of Asiranisation, little more than the Geikjâ festival remained of the Sturma Muder after the Asiranas mother took it over in her role as protector of pregnant women and children. Her sensual, sexual aspects soon became close to the Primeval Thuakecho, and the great mother faded in the Middle Ages into the Stumada, a greedy vampiress who eats children, strangles young women out of envy and rides young men so violently in the night that they become impotent.

Erkisa - Mother of the Deceased and Death Hag

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The goddess Erkisa, often referred to simply as Veliu Muder ("Mother of the Deceased"), was the ancient goddess of death and night. Although she was part of many stories and was probably invoked early on as part of funeral rites, she otherwise did not receive any cultic veneration.

She was depicted as a lapwing whose "Kum-Kumbe-Kum" sounding call reminded the Arbarians of a beckoning "Come, Come with me" with which the Veliu Muder called the soon-to-die to her.

There were places in the moors that were considered sanctuaries of the Veliu Muder. They were marked like Arbarian forest sanctuaries only by stakes with scraps of cloth. These sanctuaries were used as burial sites until the late classical period, in some places even after Asiranisation. Today they are an invaluable archaeological treasure trove, as in many places the bodies and their grave goods have been very well preserved.

The home of the Veliu Muder was considered to be the Nefelmal ("kingdom of mist"), where the souls of the deceased also entered. It is very likely that the Nefelmal served from earliest times as an explanation for the Milky Way, whose modern scientific name Niphemale is also derived from it.

The Veliu Muder, who could be quite mild and merciful, allowed the deceased to visit their still living relatives every now and then - in the form of mice. Until the Middle Ages, these "ancestor spirits" were given small bowls of food. This custom was called Peleblût ("mouse sacrifice"); only the great epidemic waves of the late Middle Ages put an end to this custom.

Even though Asiranisation could not put an end to Peleblût for a long time despite repeated attempts, Erkisa herself quickly lost her rank as a goddess. Until well into the Renaissance, however, the Erkenrasbe ("Erken woman") was seen as an embodiment of death. The Erkenrasbe was imagined as an old hag wrapped in wide cowls, wandering through the countryside in the mist.  Since the late Middle Ages, horror stories have told of how the Erkenrasbe gives birth to pestilence-bearing rats that accompany her in swarms.

Karillus - Lord of the Wolves and Wild Hunter

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Karillus was the ancient god of the wilderness, especially of wild animals. He was considered a cruel, merciless god who ambushed people in the lonely forests. Hunters and others whose way led into or through the wilderness therefore made a sacrifice to him before setting out, in order to make him merciful.

He was depicted as a wolf, whose master he was considered to be. The ancient name of the wolf was Dodewulfir ("dog of the dead") because Karillus claimed the souls of those who had died in the wilderness and made them into wolves. From his claim grew the custom of leaving those who had died in the wilderness lying in place, because moving them or even bringing them back to the settlements was considered a sure way to anger the god. Whoever broke this taboo was cursed by the god: the sacrilegious person became a kariller (meaning "werewolf", probably an explanation for the corrupted Varwulfir) who madly killed members of his own clan - therein lies the origin of the modern Arbian word "kaller", which denotes a devious murderer.

Asiranisation brought him close to the Primeval Bogora-Ma until he merged completely with this monster. In the medieval legends, he also lived on as the Wild Hunter, who roamed the forests, especially on the nights of the dark year, to hunt down and kill unsuspecting travellers.

Mavunas - From the Alluring Jay to the Moon King

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Mavunas was the ancient god of travellers, youth, the moon and positive change. He was usually depicted as a jay or a stag.

The ancient songs describe him as the eternally young and beautiful god who was cherished by the other gods like a beloved son, but also envied for his beauty. The Mavunes Songu ("Mavunas Song") tells of a series of contests between Mavunas and Karnas that vary between mischievously amusing and homoerotic.

In the guise of the jay, he lured the young men from their villages with his call and sang of distant lands and adventures - hence the custom of wearing a jay's feather on one's travelling robe, which lasted until the Renaissance.

In the guise of Mavunas emer Friskir ("Mavunas the Eternal Youth"), he appeared as a love-struck stag and represented a kind of youthful male fertility god, in whose name numerous festivals were held for the young men. These were often accompanied by a sporting trial of strength and in their original form were often playful preparation for war and hunting; but sometimes they also contained (homo)sexual components.

For the ancient Arbarians, the moon was the mirror of Mavunas (Gad Mavunes), which is why his name was also used synonymously with Maho (the ancient Arbarian word for "moon"). The moon god Mavunas was considered the lord or causer of the seasons and many seasonal festivals worshipped him in this way. At the latest in the classical period, he was also regarded as the god of good fortune from his function as the god of positive changes - Mavuna gibitid ("caressed by Mavunas") was a common euphemism for a lucky person.

As a result of Asiranisation, many rites of the emer Friskir cult continued almost unchanged under the garb of Asiranas Axyresas (the "youthful Asiranas"), and many seasonal festivals also continued to be celebrated under the guise of Asiranism.

In medieval literature, Mavunas lived on as the mythical Mahinarax ("Moon King") under the name Mahunas. This Mahunas is a dreamy-mystical king who lived in an enchanted castle "on the moon"; he is considered the origin of the "Prince Charming" of modern children's fairy tales.

The physical-sensual aspects of Mavunas have been brought close to the Primeval Thuakecho through Asiranisation, which is why his name is disappearing more and more in classical literature.

Strediu Heljar - From battle hero to devil

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Strediu Heljar, "battle god", is the name given to the ancient war and tribal gods, of which each clan originally had its own. In the course of ancient tribal formation, these clan gods increasingly merged into tribal gods, which also increasingly converged in their mythology and essence. These gods were mainly depicted as red kites, but the figures of badgers, boars or even the animals wolf and bear, which were actually reserved for other gods, point to the original character of these gods as clan deities.

The late antique tribal god was regarded as a role model for warriors, who bestowed courage and strength in battle and despised cowardice and fear. He was believed to circle over the battlefield as a red kite to judge the worth of the warriors.

The names of the original clan deities have long since been forgotten, if they existed at all - in the sources we only encounter paraphrases such as Oteres Heljar ("God of the Father") or Lameres Reng ("Lamer's Strength").

The late antique names of the god of battle were:

  • Ardis among the Nivern
  • Berunas among the Erivaks
  • Erus among the Erauns
  • Ilturis among the Verdurgs
  • Nodis among the Kadurgs
  • Kranus among the Kinomenes
  • Renus among the Kundroses
  • Saras among the Sarases
  • Taris among the Ribonds
  • Toradus among the Everiks
  • Vossu of the Letons
  • Vud among the Garrags


During the Asiranisation, the cult of the battle god was the most bitter adversary of the missionaries. Although the red kite was to remain for a long time as a sign of war and warriors and became part of many coats of arms from the Middle Ages onwards, the Strediu Heljar in its various forms became so demonised that he was considered the lord of all the Primevals and led an army of djevuls ("evil spirits"). In medieval literature, he is the adversary of the good king Artius as the sinister King Vude.

Ruck - Helping Rat, Warning Swan

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Ruck was an ancient trickster god who played tricks on humans as well as gods, but was commonly worshipped as a helping god. He was primarily a god of the Treller, but later also of the poor in general.

Of all the gods, he was considered the most benevolent and friendly. Whereas the jokes of Karnas often showed a malicious humour, Ruck was a god who did not shy away from mischievous self-criticism in the songs. Since, according to myth, he burnt himself when he tried to bring fire to the people from the hearth of Elda Muder, he is often called Prinser ("The Burnt One") in the sources.

In his mischievous aspect, he is usually depicted as a rat or even a mouse, suggesting that he was probably originally a helping ancestral spirit.

Although he could take many forms, another important function of the god was linked to that of the swan: That of a warner of danger and helper in the greatest need. The white swan feather was an important talisman in ancient and classical times, which was supposed to secure the god's assistance in difficult situations.

Asiranisation could not diminish the god's popularity and he is encountered early in folk religion as the helper and friend of Asiranas, even if he lost his divinity in the process. Other aspects of the god were simply absorbed into the figure of Asiranas himself.

Since the Middle Ages, Ruck has been encountered as the gift-bringer who brought gifts to the poor and needy at the Feast of the Feeding of the Poor (originally celebrated on the day of the winter solstice, later fixed to the 1st of Xychastion). Even during the Middle Ages, when the initially extra-church festival was reinterpreted and the 16 (17 or 18) days of Xychastion became smaller feast days, Ruck brought small gifts on each day to increase the joy of the Asiranas' birthday on Achorion 1st; this custom spread to all Asiranistic countries during the Renaissance at the latest.

Turanas - The Curious One and the Oath Keeper

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Turanas was an ancient god depicted as a crane. It is possible that he is already in antiquity the remnant of a prehistoric personification of the sky or a locally worshipped sky god. As far as can be ascertained from the sources, he was already no longer cultically worshipped in antiquity and is only present in a few songs; nevertheless, his name is frequently encountered as part of oath formulas. Turanas was regarded as the overseer of oaths and obligations and is said to have struck oathbreakers with blindness (interesting in this context is the discovery of a blinding iron with crane figures).

The curiosity of the god, who circled in the sky as a crane and observed everything and everyone, is said to have disturbed even the gods themselves, according to a late antique song: The gods insisted that Turanas had to leave the lands of men every autumn and was not allowed to return before spring.

Although he had been a rather insignificant god in the time before Asiranisation, he was quickly identified by the missionaries with the father of Asiranas,Adeos, who soon adopted the crane as his symbolic animal. Until the Middle Ages, however, the name Turanas still appears in Arbarian oaths, sometimes in the form of Turanas-Adeos. After that, his name disappears for centuries, but has been "rediscovered" by security companies and insurance companies in the period after the Great War.

Murdinas - From soul robber to comic hero

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Murdinas was an ancient trickster god who was primarily depicted as a nightingale or magpie. According to tradition, Murdinas, in the guise of a magpie, stole souls that actually belonged to other gods. He used the stolen souls to blackmail the other gods and demanded to know a Gelstir ("magic song"), otherwise he would feed the soul to Kjahullir.

In the guise of the nightingale, he roamed the human world and the ancient songs tell that Murdinas must grant a wish to anyone who caught a nightingale with his bare hands.

Murdinas was considered a god of sorcery, but was not worshipped cultically. The Asiranists demonised him and conflated the ideas of Murdinas with those of the Primeval Sor-Tahot.

In medieval literature, however, Murdinas reappears as a wise old sorcerer and advisor to King Artius. Later, under the name Murdin, he develops into a prankster and joker, who initially still with, but later without his magic, engages in all kinds of mischief. In modern times, the mischievous Murdin first becomes a popular comic figure, who later also becomes the hero of various animated films.

Surta - imitator and evil stepmother

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Surta was an ancient goddess of deceit and deception who appeared as a lark and pretended to be Kalma or Erkisa to bring misfortune to the people. The ancient songs tell of how Surta's whispers caused envy and vanity among the people - to which the word lir ("lark"), which could denote a vain or jealous woman, also bears witness.

Asiranisation further demonised the already demonic goddess, but this only consolidated her role as an envious bringer of bad luck in popular religion. Since the Middle Ages, Surta has also appeared as the evil stepmother in various fairy tales, including the famous tale of Niwone, the king's daughter who had skin as white as snow (niwo). After Surta married her widowed father, she tried to kill the beautiful princess, but after several unsuccessful attempts she was pushed into a forge fire by Prince Mahian.

Kattir - jealous ancestor-eater and scheming boot-bearer

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In ancient times, Kattir was considered the jealous brother of Erkisa. After the gods made Erkisa the sole mistress of the realm of the dead against Kattir's will, he roamed the human world as a cat to eat the ancestral spirits returning as mice.

In the first phase of Asiranisation, the tales of Kattir disappear from the sources, but he reappears in the late medieval fairy tale of Breginkattir ("Puss in Boots"). After the death of his hoarder, a young man inherits only an old kattir (already the word for an old cat in this period), as the hoarder's older pupils seize all the valuable heirlooms. He wants to pull the skin over the kattir's ears to sell it, but the kattir begs for his life and promises the young man great riches if he will only let him live and buy him a pair of boots so that he can show himself among the people. The young man agrees to this request. With his boots, the kattir goes out and catches a nightingale, which he gives to the king of the land in the name of his lord. Later, Kattir lets the young man bathe naked in a lake the king happens to pass and when he notices the naked man, Kattir tells the king his lord was robbed while bathing. The king dresses the naked man in his spare clothes and invites him to dinner. On the way, Kattir has the treller greet the young man like a prince and claim to the king that the young man is their lord and all the lands belong to him. In return, Kattir promises to free them from their real lord, a sinister wizard called Murdis (presumably going back to Murdinas). Kattir seeks out the sorcerer and tricks him into turning into a mouse, which he then devours. This actually makes his young master a prince; but the king is so taken with the young prince that he makes him his tiner and the initially penniless young man later becomes king.

Kjahullir - The Monster from the Deep

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In ancient times, Kjahullir was a monstrous demonic deity lurking in the depths, considered to be the cause of all evil and a sinister adversary of the gods. He was depicted as an Kraken and seen as the sinister ruler of the ocean. Both the stormy sea of the upper world and the cold waters deep below the earth were his realm. The ancient songs portray him as the hereditary enemy of Ertius, with whom he fought fierce battles. Worms and snakes were considered to be the remains of the tentacle tips cut off in these battles and were therefore superstitiously avoided.

Ancient sources also describe Kjahullir dragging people with his tentacles into the sea or to the bottom of lakes to devour them body and soul.

The Asiranists associated him with the Primeval Bha'Thaza, and his name is still encountered in the Middle Ages as the sinister adversary of Asiranas and generally as personified evil.

Later, in fairy tales, Kjahullir becomes an evil king of an undersea kingdom who had seventeen daughters, all of whom had the upper body of a beautiful young woman but the abdomen of an octopus, and dragged the sailors down into a cold grave.

Nivin oter - The old one on the glacier

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Nivin Oter - Snowfather - was the ancient god of winter and was considered the outcast consort of the Elda Muder. The ancient songs say that he fell out with her over the death of the Dôdig Heljar, because he wanted to wipe out the people for this deed. The Elda Muder cast him down from the Shining Halls to the Toraja, where he found a new home on the highest peak of the world in the eternal ice of the glacier; close to heaven and far from men. He was also called Gemer ôm ledurimi - the old man on the glacier - and it was said that in the Dark of the Year he drove the winds of his glacier south to let the people perish in the ice.

The Asiranists recognised in him the Primeval Hosarth and further darkened the image of the already feared god. In spite of this, however, the Nivin Oter has reappeared since the Middle Ages as the grim old snow father in various fairy tales. The Artius legend made him Notter, the king of a midnight kingdom in the north.

The Creation of the world

accordring to the "Horgeres Sinnâ", the "Tales of the Horger"

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Even before primordial times, before time even existed, the gods made the world.

The Great Hall was still dark and empty, for the Fire Mother had not yet lit a fire and only the gods sat at a long table and kept silent, for they had nothing to talk about.

Suddenly the gate banged hard and a wanderer entered the Great Hall. It was the giant Nassar Kollsîptiri and he spoke: I am tired from the long journey and the cold has frozen me stiff, please take me into your hall. And so the gods did, they made him sit down at their table and the Fire Mother rose up and lit a fire to warm the traveller.

Then for the first time the light lighted up the great hall, and the gods saw one another for the first time; and they saw the giant whom they had asked to sit at their table, with his terrible countenance. And the gods feared and repented that they had let the stranger in.

So they took up their weapons and struck at the giant, and sparks flew when their blades struck the giant's stiff skin. The giant writhed and howled and writhed and collapsed, dying. But when the giant lay dead, the gods repented that they had so treacherously murdered the stranger they had invited to their table.

So they decided to honour the giant and made the world out of his corpse. From his stiff iron skin they formed a core around which they wrapped his flesh, which became our earth, and from the juices that flowed from his flesh became the sea.

The gods placed this world in the Great Hall, far enough away from the fire of the Fire Mother that the earth's flesh was not roasted, but close enough that they could see it from their table and it would not be lost in the dark expanse of the hall.

Then the gods sat and looked at their work, and they were neither full of remorse nor full of joy, but at peace with themselves.

And though they saw the world, when they looked up from the table they began to lose interest in the marvel. And they all had not yet noticed that the primordial  time had long since begun, for they did not yet know time and knew nothing to do with it. There the world was in primeval times and its sea of juices was empty and its flesh-earth overgrown with the forests that had grown from the giant's hair lay empty. But then Turanas, the most perceptive of the gods, discovered that the world was teeming with beings, humans and animals, which after some time had grown from the giant's blood and risen

accordring to the "Turranis Sôngu", the Song of Turran

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Primordial times were // when Turran[1] lived,
there was neither sand nor sea // not waves nor mountain
There was no earth // nor sky above
Darkness was there // and nowhere was grass
Until Neisar's[2] sons // lifted the land,
they, the Torjan[3], // created the mighty one;
the Ember Pool[4] shone from the south // on the stones of the ground
there grew out of the earth // green grass
The Fire Mother laid from the south // the mother of Mavunas[5]
The right hand // on the edge of the sky
The Fire Mother did not know // where she had her hall
The counsellors[6] did not know // where their home was
Mavunas did not know // what power he possessed
Then all the counsellors // strode to the Miunster[7]
The most holy gods // and consulted:
Night and new moon // they gave names
morning they named // and the middle of the day
afternoon and evening // to count the time
The counsellors met // on the Kjollnivar[8]
They piled up altars // piled them high
they prepared food // they forged precious things
They created weapons // and made tools
They enjoyed themselves in the courtyard // and were cheerful
They did not lack // gold
Until seventeen children // of the Djevuls[9] arrived
Very powerful ones // from Elarmark[10]
Then all the counsellors // strode to the ruler's throne
The most holy gods // and consulted:
Who should create the people // of Nauder[11]
From Terran's[12] blood and Kentur's[13] bones
Then Ailek[14] // of all men[15]
became the most excellent // and Nauder[16] the second;
Many human forms // they created
people out of earth // as Nauder said
Finally three came // from this crowd
powerful and well-meaning // counsellors came to the house
They found at the stand // hardly having strength
Arn and Emban[17] // fateless
they had no soul // they had no reason
Neither blood nor movement // nor good colour
soul gave them Ertius // reason gave them Turanas
Blood gave them Karnas and good colour
I know an oak tree standing // called Radharran[18].
A tall tree // showered with shining wetness
From there come the dew // that falls in the valleys
She stands ever green // above the fountain of knowledge
From there come boys // much knowing
Three from the water // that lies under the tree
Vart[19] they called one // the other Art
They carved wood // Virdin the third
They laid down provisions // they chose life
For the children of men // the fate of men
Remembered the first battle // in the world
When they thrusted Virvader[20] // with spears
and made him bleed // on the tree
Thrice bled // the thrice-born[21]
Often, not seldom // but he still lives
Then all the counsellors // stepped to the Miunster
The most holy gods // and consulted
Whether men // should do penance
Or all the gods // Should hide

Footnotes
[1] Turran - It is unclear who this figure is; his name appears only in this song
[2] Neisar - The father of the gods, who was not worshipped by humans but is mentioned in various songs
[3] Torjan - The world, the earth; here personified in the masculine ⮭
[4] Ember Pool- The kenning for the sun, especially for the one sun that was before Ruck's theft created the Night Sun, the second sun
[5] Mavunas - here in his role as lunar deity: the moon
[6] Counsellor - /geringer/ A designation for the gods, especially the gods during primitive times
[7] Miunster - The proper name of the lordly throne of Ertius, also to be understood as a pars pro toto for his hall
[8] Kjollnivar - A place of assembly of the gods, appearing in the songs sometimes as a mountain peak, sometimes as a clearing, sometimes as a field and sometimes as an island
[9] Djevuls - evil spirits; since the number of the Primevals is given as 17, these are probably meant here
[10] Elarmark - the Otherdark
[11] Nauder's people- in other songs this refers to the dwarves
[12] Terran - It is unclear who is meant here, the name only appears at this point; it is speculated that this is a transcription error and that the Turran mentioned in the first verse is also meant
[13] Kentur - Here, too, it is unclear who is meant, for this name, too, is only mentioned here
[14] Ailek - In other songs, the name of the first man
[15] Men- Why the song speaks of human men here, although it is about "Nauder's people", that is the dwarves, is unclear
[16] Nauder - Why Nauder, who otherwise appears as the ancestor of the dwarves, and who also appears as the eponym of the people, is created second, is unclear
[17] Arn and Emban - The names often used for the first man and the first woman
[18] Radharran - "horror slope"; among the western Arbarians the Gessel blût (the sacrifice of (war) prisoners) was performed on oak trees; otherwise trees do not play a major role among the Arbarians
[19] Vart, Art and Virdin - the three boys are literally called "(it) was", "(it) is" and "(it) will be"
[20] Virvarder - "helper of men", the name of the Dead God before he was killed by men
[21] Born three times - this is only mentioned in this song, the meaning is unclear

The Song of the Dead God (prose version)

Version 1

Created with Sketch.

Once a god decided to visit the people. He made himself like them and went to them. But the people did not recognise the stranger as the god he truly was and not as the man he claimed to be, and thought he was a djevul, an evil spirit. They seized him and tied him to an oak tree. They asked him his name. Three times they asked him. But a god is not allowed to tell his name to a man and so he kept silent three times. The people then thrust lances into his body so that his blood flowed out of him. Birds immediately rushed to quench the waves of blood with the feathers of their necks, but their efforts were in vain. Even today, the red spot on the neck of the trusting robins reminds people of the bloodshed of their forefathers.

But the people recognised that the blood of the slain had healing power and made the grain sprout from the ground and the trees bear fruit. They collected the divine blood and cut up the corpse to distribute the blessing-bringing power of the god to all the tribes.
But the gods were terrified because of the murder of one of their own. The gods' advice was, firstly, that from now on the leaves of the forest must turn red every year to remind the people of the bloody deed. Secondly, that from now on Kaller, the brother of the dead man, would take his place: so the second summer passed and in its place came the time of storms and cold, and the dying of the fruit and the departure of the animals and the aggressiveness of those left behind were decided by Kaller as punishment for the people for the murder of the beloved brother; even Ertius turns away from the people in Kaller's time and sleeps. Thirdly, it was decided that no god would be allowed to come among men as a man.

But the people repented of their deed and since then they have been imploring the dead God for help, mercy and forgiveness, especially when the year becomes dark and cold.

Version 2

Created with Sketch.

In primordial times, the Kraken was not yet in the sea and the forest stretched all over the land. People did not yet know wooden fences and stone buildings. They lived in the forest with the animals and were like animals themselves; they knew no words and no gods.

In the shining halls of heaven the gods lived and looked down on the human animals. Now and then they descended to visit the human animals and were indistinguishable from them. One of them, Vîrvarder, took pity on the human animals and wanted to give them a small part of the divine knowledge. He wanted to be their instructor and teach them to build solid dwellings, wanted to teach them words so that they could communicate with each other and with the gods.

He made his request before the council of the gods, but the other gods rejected his wish. But Vîrvarder disregarded the council and descended to earth. He wandered through the forests and after three days came across a group of the human animals. They had killed a stag and were feasting on its raw meat and were so moved by their feast that they did not notice at first that Vîrvarder was approaching them.

When Vîrvarder stepped up to the human animals, they startled and pointed their spears in his direction, hissing and screeching; protecting their prey from the stranger. "I am Vîrvarder," spoke the god, "I come in peace and will teach you to be like the gods." But the beasts of men, who knew not a word, did not understand the god, and only hissed and shrieked the more wildly.

Vîrvarder raised his hands and moved closer. "I don't want to harm you, I want to help you," said the god. But the man-animals hissed and shrieked and leapt wildly about. The god smiled at them, but then the leader of the human pack screamed loudly and thrust the deer-blooded spear between his ribs. And the other human animals also shrieked and thrust their spears into the god's body.

The god wanted to speak, but instead of words he spat blood. He staggered back and fell with his back against a birch tree. But the shrieking human animals continued to stab the god until a flock of birds flew out of the branches of the trees. The birds had recognised the god and knew that he was no enemy to the animals. They tried to staunch the bleeding wounds with their breast feathers, but their work was in vain. Vîrvarder died on the birch tree. The noble helpers were left only with their reddened throats as a sign of their forgiven kindness.

The human animals hopped and shrieked and continued to feast on the stag, breaking its bones and slurping its marrow. But when the stag was consumed and they were still hungry, they looked at the dead god and leapt towards his corpse, shrieking. As the first man-beast sank its teeth into the flesh of the dead god and its blood flowed down the throat of the man-beast, it paused. "Vîrvarder did this," the human spoke, "he was a god and he wanted to help us."

The others did not understand until they too had tasted of the dead god's blood. But then all the people realised what they had done and they feared the wrath of the gods in the Shining Halls of Heaven. They cut the body of the dead god into pieces and scattered. So that the wrath of the gods would not find them, but also so that more human animals would become human through the blood of the gods; for this was the last gift of Vîrvarders.

In the Shining Halls in heaven, Vîrvarders' absence did not go unnoticed by the other gods for long. Ertius, the highest and noblest of the gods, instructed Turanas to ask Okul's mirror about Vîrvarder, and in the mirror the gods in the Shining Halls saw what had happened on earth and were saddened. Some said: Man must die for what he has done; but others said: They were animals, they did not know what they were doing, now they are human beings and through Vîrvarder's blood they have become like us, it is not right to kill them.

There was a great dispute about this among the gods in the Shining Halls in heaven. The people on earth saw lightning flashing in the night sky for many days and were very afraid. Here and there the burning debris of the Shining Halls fell and made clearings in the dense forest; for the quarrel of the gods had become a war.

When the Shining Halls were desolate in the sky, Ertius threw down from the sky those who had started the war: Kjahullir fell down; and Kattir and Surta, and also the Old One, now called the Snowfather. Cast out from the Shining Halls, they made a home for themselves on earth, and because they were still angry with the people, they set about destroying them.

From then on, the Kjahullir lay in wait for them in the waters to drown them. The Kattir crept into their settlements to eat them. The Old One made the glaciers grow and the snow fall to cover the whole world in ice. The Surta whispered in people's ears to make them kill each other.

But the gods who remained in the Shining Halls looked anxiously into the splinters of Okul's mirror and saw how easily humans became a victim of the Outcast, the Earthbound gods. To honour Vîrvarder, they decided to help the humans. But the gods were afraid to show themselves to the humans, afraid to share Vîrvarder's fate. So Ruck devised a ruse: when the gods went down to earth, they should disguise themselves as animals with fur and feather, claw and talon; that way they could give help without running the risk of being recognised and killed.

Anthology of Arbarian Written Material

The song of the Dead God

Arbarian

Created with Sketch.

vôrgam ârt // vên Vîrvarder fârde

ind  mêd avan kjahar ârt // ind gôligin rekerû

ind hôga arnt // ind agmugôta

helvir ârt parôch // och indwort gesmengu

 

hêr fûrden vîrin // fûrden in parôchi

fêa arnt vîrin // sam fêa in parôchi

se vichtden se sôvden // se mirnden se fûrden

och înden ind talla // ind fîendo, ind hêljar

  

in hêmila arnt hêljar // in gemingin hôlim

ôm torjin se nidtrupden // nid tor lîmekon vîron

och ind far och ind fîda // och ind nag och naus se omrôbden

vîsden dô hêljar // sam vîrin ôm vîrom

 

nid vaidde Vîrvarder // nid vaidde od Eldin Muderes mâga

vaidde dô vîron // vallt hôrger îro âm

vallt hôrgôter îro âm // îrom gêvin pâstige hôle

îro hôrgtaller âm // se leisin dâs hêljatalla

 

dômo hêljara spîchde Vîrvarder // vartin vîrde dô vîron

u hêr dên gâr // dên ânige gâringer gâvden

och nidtrupde Vîrvarder // nidtrupde ôm torja

och ind far och ind fîda // och ind nag och naus êr omrôbden

Translation

Created with Sketch.

Primordial times were // when Vîrvarder lived
the kraken was not yet in the sea // nor stormy waves
there were no palisades // nor stone houses
the forest was everywhere // and nowhere was a clearing
 
there were people // living in the forest
people were animals // like animals in the forest
they hunted, they slept // they loved, they lived
and they knew not word // not enemy, not god
 
in heaven were the gods // in shining halls
on earth they descended // to visit the people
and not fur and not feather // not claw and claw did they reveal
the gods acted // like men on men


Vîrvarder looked down // looked down from Fire Mother's house
saw the humans // wanted to be their instructor
wanted to be their house builder // give them solid halls
be their word giver // teach them the words of the gods

 
to the gods Vîrvarder said // I help the people
even against the advice // given by wise counsellors
and down went Vîrvarder // down to the earth
and neither fur nor feather // nor claw nor talon gave him away

Ruckis Godi (Riddles of Ruck)

Arbarian

Created with Sketch.

I

sam gudnen dô berde dêra torjas? - dômo vîrom dâs torja, dômo gêringeram dâs leit, dômo giuderam dît vîrmâg, dômo djevulim dît burren, dômo helvenim dît turren

 

II

sam gudnen dô berde dêra hêmilas? - dômo vîrom dâs hêmila, dômo gêringeram dît mâg, dômo giuderam dît vêimâg, dômo djevulim dâs rad, dômo helvenim dît knîstihârb

 

III

sam gudnen dô berde dêra glôs? - dômo vîrom dâs glôs, dômo gêringeram dâr ainso stjaur, dômo giuderam dâr gesmukûm, dômo djevulim dît latten, dômo helvenim glêndenc

 

IV

vô ârt it, dît indnâl hêr wart, vort tû setin hûndes och dît tû hêr onnig iutra setin mâgse? - dît gâdbeldenc

 

V

vô ârt it, dît tû lugnin mâgse, dît tê onnig saminc slûrin mâgt? – dâr mûdo tên

 

VI

vô ârt it, dît ên enpâku veder ellôtt, ôchig bêde dôtu dô bîuser errûsen? - dâs inkkelt

 

VII

vô ârt it, dît ains urdo, asin ro och antasc chêro ârt? - dâs gûl

 

VIII

vô ârt it, dît in vodin lagi bûvt och ind locht, eve tû it hachon mâgse? - dît sponge

 

IX

vô ârt it, dît brîkt, eve it ind hachon vîrd? - dâr svorenc

 

X

vô ârt it, dît ê ellôt och ind tû, skê ê it kumbe tûm, nô ellôt ê ind? - dît gîmagenc

 

XI

vô ârt it, dît endi reggt och indnâl geddt? - Dît gemenc

 

XII

vô ârt it, dît tû vîdse och onnig ind vîcht, dît in bûga âb buddû, dîtsam mar lacha och ind mar kravicho tôt? - dît lakka

 

XIII

vô ârt it, dît tû emer hachon mâgse, ivô tû it dvormin gûvdes? - dît talla tên

 

XIV

vô ârt it, dît âv in tûm, môdichin hervârja, dâ drakni êst, eve tû kumbe skêdi tên it ekkrajon hânse? - dâs astraballa

 

XV

vô ârt it, dît dêmu vornû ellôtt och onnig ind in hêmilo ârt, dît in avô bâdin mâgt och onnig turro ârt? - dês vôrnis skêdu

 

XVI

vô ârt it, dît tû îma lison hûndes och iutra lisse, bêde it dît, tor iutkûmin, eve tû it iutra gudon vills? - dâr ôjo

 

XVII

vô ârt it, dît in gesmû evidicht och in marki dît? - dâr skêdu

 

XVIII

vô ârt it, dît tû emer trachse, ivô tû it indnâl drahon hûndes och dît tû indnâl châno odderin mâgse? - dô skin

 

XIX

vô ârt it, dît enpakin mâgt och ind antin, vô volgon antt dên enpakt? - dâr dôtu

 

XX

vô ârt it, dît nâsba toricha och in gemenci bava ârt? - dît kêrsenc

 

XXI

vô ârt it, dît skîcht, eve tû bard sîn tellse? - dît salenc

Translation

Created with Sketch.

I
What are the names of the earth? - To men the earth, to the Advisors the coast, to the gods Menhome, to the Djevuls the Pit, to the Helven the Dry

II
What are the names of the sky? - To the people Heaven, to the Advisors Home, to the gods Windhome, to the Djevuls Horror, to the Helves Starshirt

III
What are the names of the sun? - To the people the Sun, to the Advisors First Bull, to the gods Fortress of Light, to the Djevuls Blaze, to the Helves Shine

IV
What is it that has never been where you saw it and yet you can see it there again? - The reflection

V
What is it that you can swallow down, that can nevertheless swallow you up? - Your pride

VI
What is it that everyone possesses in the beginning, but most lose before death? - Innocence

VII
What is it that is first black, then red and finally grey? - Coal

VIII
What is it that dwells in damp cave and does not lie if you can hold it? - The tongue

IX
What is it that breaks if not kept? - The promise


What is it that I have and you have not? If I shared it with you, I wouldn't have it. - A secret

XI
What is it that only rises and never falls? - Age

XII
What is it that you see and yet weighs nothing, that in a bucket or sack, makes it lighter and not heavier? - A hole

XIII
What is it that you can still hold, though you gave it to someone? - Your word

XIV
What is it that stirs tears even in you brave warrior, when you made it bleed with your blade? - The onion

XV
What is it that belongs to the bird and yet is not in heaven, that can swim in the sea and yet remains dry? - The shadow of a bird

XVI
What is it that you heard before and hear again before it dies, to return when you call it again? - The echo

XVII
What is it that awakens in the light and dies in the darkness? - The shadow

XVIII
What is it that you always wear, although you never accepted it, and that you can never completely take off? - The skin

XIX
What is it that can begin but not end, that ends all that begins? - Death

XX
What is it that grows tall when young and short when old? - The candle 

XXI
What is it that disappears when you speak its name? - The silence

The song of Nauder

Arbarian

Created with Sketch.

vôrgam ârt // vên Nauder fârde
 ind mêd avan kjahar ârt // ind gôligin rekerû
 ind hôga arnt // ind agmugôta
 veren dô ûrime grûnâ // och veren mennâ

 

bêrde sluppen ind dîn reue // vên Nauder vâr
 ind berde agmer hûnden // ind berde dîn skirre
 ân bûrdit rên och nog // och glinava och ûrime
 vên Nauder vâr // och âr olderre vâr

 

ân ârela var // ôm agin drûnen
 mêd grachôm hôlen // od agmen gîslôgen
 kumbe illerne vlûr // och illerne denge
 och in gîda varnt// gillern kum renge

 

dît gesmu dêra gloses // och gesmu gîknistom
 ân grâfit in grâbin // od grisslon reune och trisse
 inbruvin bî mêrkom // och inbruvin bî vêjom
 se glossen dô emer // emer blîte och emer lisse

 

hêr arlste dunner ôm ômslaga slûgt // och stift dîn agmu trûgt
 hêr arlste in skine // dâr rôn rûnun ruttit
 hêr arlste dâr skîru och dît seler// ainarin tô falksom vûrden
 hêr arlste stôline skeppa // ainarin tô hârnom vûrden

 

hêr skurver skarvit // her mjatter mjirit
 hêr smîder smadit // her veder vidit
 hêr gull och illern och kalk // odrevon dêru torjo vûrden
 Nauderis veis imvergsamo var // vên Nauder ôm agin drûnen fâr

 

Och in sên dômono hôlio // brassit och dâr lîder minna
 dâr donner donnit dân donnu // sjunger sjongit skione sjûnga
 dâr sinner sunnit sên sintallâ // och likser liksit liksoma
 Nauderis veris svolsamo var // vên Nauder ôm agin drûnen far

 

Tau dausamo torja vûrde // olderre ârt dâr agin drûn
 Dît smîdabrass ârt uskrakulle // gêngin agmjatter ârt
 Ind donnu ârt donnon // ind sjûnga sjôngin
 Nauderis hôlle morkom ârt // botten dêmu ûrim omrûn och kalt

Translation

Created with Sketch.

Primordial times were // when Nauder lived,
the Kraken was not yet the sea // nor the stormy waves;
there were no palisades // nor stone houses;
the mountains were green and beautiful.

No name bore the river // when Nauder was
Nor did stones have names // Nor the land
He named stream and hill // too valley and mountain
When Nauder was // and he was alone

A king he was // on a stony throne,
in mighty halls// hewn of stone,
with a silver floor and a silver roof,
and at the gates were runes of majesty.

The light of the sun // and starlight
he caught in lamps // of crystal pure and clear
undimmed by shadow // and undimmed by wind,
they shone there eternally // far and bright.

There the hammer first struck the anvil // and the chisel split the stone
There first in the skin // the graver wrote the writing
There first the blade and the hilt // united to become the sword
There first iron scales // united became armour

There the miner dug // there the stonemason hewed
there the blacksmith forged // there the carpenter carpentered
Nauder's people were tireless // as Nauder watched from a stony throne

In its deep halls // the sweet music also emerged
The drummer drummed on the drum // (the) singer sang beautiful songs
The storyteller told his tales // and the dancer danced dances
Nauder's people were very merry // as Nauder watched from a stony throne

But the world became dull // the stony throne is desolate
the forge fire is as cold as ash // the stone hewing has died away
No drum is beaten // no song is sung
Nauder's halls are dark // forgotten and silent beneath the mountain

A modern Arbic tablet on the development of Nauder in art

The inscription is in New Arbarian, except for the text in the small scroll: this extract from "Nauderes Songu" (3/1-4) is written in classical Arbarian.

The grey caption reads "Development of Nauder", the underlined words next to the illustrations are the Arbic epoch names "Vorgame" (prehistoric times), "Gemgame" (antiquity), "Horgame" (classical times) and "Meidengame" (Middle Ages), below each the rough year numbers (the "<" is a sign for "about", the numbers are 1000 BEFORE, 600 BEFORE, 200 BEFORE and 500 AFTER).

Arbarian vows of love

Arbarian

Created with Sketch.

mên jerda kûmt hêr mâr

slava ârt, och jerda mên kûmt hêr mâr,
grun it mugit ind arn bî mêr,
blatt mâr om mâ krut,
so sam an stên, sokkt etrahin,
tôr mân mâr, och hêr ît andas rût

grun ê mâ mirn

grun ê mâ mirn, ê vâr slavas
tôr mâr gîkomd wildo och visksamo
och tôr mâ mê ind ômrûnin mûgis
ê hân mân saiwum kumdrahon
ît ârt bî mêr och trellt ermo mêr
vrô mêr mirn wilda och prinsama
ind heljar mâgt mâ lôsin

fêrin och mirnin

ûrleb, hunu, ôns fêrin och mirnin,
och lahin vir brôming
dôre gemeras, dô so sam îbe ît tôin
îbe gâven ind fîda hêrbir
kûm, mûgis mêr tûsind kokjâ gêvin
och anhund fort hertô

Translation

Created with Sketch.

My heart comes to you

It is night and my heart comes to you,
because it may not be with me,
Lays itself on your chest,
like a stone, sinks into it,
to yours, and only rests there

Because I love you

Because I love you, I came to you at night
to you, wild and whispering
and that you cannot forget me
I have taken your soul with me
it is with me and is all mine
from my love, wild and burning,
no god can detach you.

Live and love

Let us, man, live and love
and laugh at the hum
of the old who did as we do
we give no feather for it.
Come, you can give me a thousand kisses
And a hundred more

Ancestral invocation

Translation

Created with Sketch.

Mother of the Deceased, through the mist I call to you, I beg you: Hear me!

Mother of the Deceased, I beg you: let the ancestors hear my invitation.

Mother of the Deceased, allow me to call through the mist and strengthen my voice:

Ancestors, hear me: Of bread I give you and of good milk, come to me.

Ancestors, hear me: Of the stone fruit I give you and of the sweet honey, come to me.

Ancestors, hear me: Of turnips I give you and of spicy mushrooms, come to me.

Behold, ancestors, I prepare for you the meal of the living, that you may strengthen yourselves.

Veiled Mother, behold, I give you of my blood: let the blood-ancestors visit me.

Veiled Mother, behold, I give thee of my hair the braided plait: let the horger-ancestors visit me.

Veiled Mother, lift the veil and show the way to my ancestors.

Send, O Grey Mother, to me the ancestors of Blood Father and Blood Mother.

Send, O Grey Mother, to me the ancestors of Horger-Father.

Ancestors, hear my voice through the mist: Come to me, for I desire your counsel.

Ancestors, hear my voice through the mist: It is I who call you by name and remember your deeds.

Mother of the Deceased, hear, I have not forgotten those who were before me:

Let them, O Grey Mother, come to me.

Kundrosian baptismal vows

(Part Echyrean, part Arbarian)

Arbarian

Created with Sketch.

on hyertos syvekuta: gorspachse tû djevulim

 

ne echos pentiyeta: ê gorspach djevulim

 

hothe: och djevulio âru helin

 

ne echos: ê gorspach djevulio âru helin

 

hothe: och djevulio tônim helom

 

ne echos: ê gorspach och djevulio tônim helom

och Ertîusi och Karrîlusi och Kalmo

och Edaiêram helom arvotero och armotero mêno

 

hothe: anse tû Asiranas, asgengera têni

 

ne echos: ê an Asiranas, asgengera mêni

 

hothe hyere dosumanos: tû ârist asg vir Asiranasi

och hânse sâl vir mânigo sêni

Translation

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The priest pronounces (the following): Do you renounce the devils?

And he answers: I renounce the devils

This (priest says): Do you also renounce all fellowship of devils?

And he (answers): I renounce all fellowship of devils.

This one: Also all the works of devils?

And he: I renounce all the works of the devils.
also Ertius and Karrilus and Kalma
also all the gods of my grandfather and grandmother

This one: Do you know Asiranas, your liberator?

And he: I know Asiranas, my liberator.

 This one, giving the blessing: You are free through Asiranas and have salvation through his grace. 

The Morker's Song

Arbarian

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rasba gôrit in dên pârg 

ajê in dên grûnon pârg 

och vên kômit in  dôman glîna 

gâdit angam stâvenga: jâ 

 

grun in pârgi arnt dô morker

hê hâ hê hô dô morker

dô âs êszin valltin.

 

 

hô gâdit marko morker

ô rasba, ê vill tên êszin virdin

dît rasba gâdit: ê ind vill gîoszd virdin

och gâdit heljatalla

 

dô morker ûszun âs och pêne îre

hê hâ hê hô dô morker 

dô âs êszin hûnden 

Translation

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A woman went into the forest
Yes, into the green forest
And when she came to the deep valley
suddenly a voice called out: Halt!

For in the forest there are the Morkers
he ha he ho the Morkers
who wanted to eat her.

 Then a dark Morker called out
o woman, I will eat you
the woman cried out: I will not be eaten!
and shouted words of the gods

the Morkers ate her and her bones
he ha he ho the Morkers
who ate her

The Djevul with the Three Golden Hairs

(an Arbarian fairy tale)

Translation

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A long time before tomorrow, in a cave in the forest, there lived a Djevûl who was so furious and terrible that no woodcutter dared to go near the forest.

Since the Djevûl used to come out of the forest and roam wildly over hills, meadows and meadows, no one could settle in the vicinity of the forest. And when once settlers tried to found a village at the edge of the forest, the Djevûl raged so fiercely that the Helpful Ruck took pity on them:

He descended from the Golden Halls and went into the forest. He found the Djevûl raging wildly and boisterously in the cave. His words calmed the Djevûl and so they shared a meal and exchanged friendly words. Soon they were looking for the eels together, soon they were playing with the flowers.

Soon Ruck succeeded in pulling out a golden hair from Djevûl in the confusion of the meat. Then he felt the power of the Djevûl fade away.

When they met again and consecrated the sleeping place, Ruck plucked a second hair and soon the third hair as well. Then the Djevûl had lost all his power and became a simple woodsman.

But so that the forest dweller would never again become a djevûl, Ruck buried the hairs and soon forgot where they were, like a squirrel.

Faben and Sarila

or: How true love conquers all deceit

(an Arbarian fairy tale)

Translation

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A long time before tomorrow, the people of the village gathered for the marriage of Faben and Sarila. After the fire-keeper had pronounced the blessing over them and announced loudly before the assembled people that from now on Faben belonged to Sarila and Sarila to Faben, a great feast was celebrated. It was a lively party that lasted for many days and everyone wanted to congratulate the young couple.

When the number of well-wishers would not diminish, Faben took his Sarila by the hand and both disappeared under a pretext and ran into the forest, whose dense greenery soon muffled the noise of the celebration, soon silenced it. The two enjoyed the peace and the time together, but in their heartfelt joy they did not notice that they had gone deeper and deeper into the forest.

The friendly green had long since given way to a green blackness and the cool shade of the trees swelled into an oppressive darkness. Suddenly Faben caught sight of the wooden post that bordered the homestead of the old witch Surta and shock ran through his marrow and made him freeze. Sarila, who anxiously put her hand on Faben's shoulder, heard a sweet singing coming from the homestead. Before she was aware of it, she had joined in the singing and was walking towards the homestead with an increasingly hovering step, until she had become a lark in a rattling flight, still singing. Then Surta reached out of the house and pulled the lark inside. But Faben, still frozen, had to look at it as the lark and yet could do nothing about it.

Finally Surta came out of her house. Ancient law, still from the time when the gods were among men, said the witch, allowed her to keep any woman who saw her homestead. With a gentle gesture she took the rigidity from Faben and wanted to chase him away. She threatened to eat him if he did not leave and described how she would decorate the stake with his skull. But Faben did not run away. He fell to his knees and asked Surta to give him back his Sarila. Surta refused at first, but the deceptive cunning in her finally made her suggest that she lead Faben to her house and if he recognised his sarila among the larks trapped there, he might take it with him, but otherwise she would devour him skin and hair. Faben agreed. There were no less than 7000 larks trapped in the house, but against Surta's cunning he recognised exactly the one that was not a lark but his Sarila. Happily, they both escaped Surta's court and lived happily ever after.

The fate of fair Nivite

(an Arbarian fairy tale)

Translation

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A long time before tomorrow, the king's daughter Nivite lived in the valley and she was the most beautiful woman seen in the whole valley since people can remember.

When she was old enough to be married, her father made a deal with the other king of the valley and gave Nivite to him as a wife. But Nivite did not take a liking to the crude and cruel man, but because her father could not cancel the deal and wanted to force her into marriage, she fled headlong into the woods.

For seven days and seven nights she fled from the hunters who had been sent to catch her again, and in the process she lost her way in the depths of the forest. She wandered helplessly and grew hungrier and hungrier until she found a hut in a clearing in the forest, next to which a large charcoal kiln was smoking. Here lived six men who worked as miners and charcoal burners and were not subject to either king. They took Nivite in and let her live with them.

But her future husband was skilled in the dark arts of magic, and because he still possessed a strand of her white hair, he threw a powerful curse at her that put her to sleep for a thousand years.

The six miners then carried Nivite into their mine and laid her on a stone. Over the years, a crystal grew around her, preserving her beauty.

Even today, it is said, the six miners watch over the sleeping Nivite and they will continue to watch over her until the thousand-year curse is broken.

Alureng and Talhon

(an Arbarian fairy tale)

Translation

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A long time before tomorrow, not far from the city of Ailar lived a powerful man who was blessed with all kinds of goods. Not only was a large portion of the surrounding land his, but also countless herds that grazed there and a large retinue and multitude of servants.

He had in his care an only son, named Alureng, of whose beauty the fame went far and wide. The noblest courtiers of the land wooed him, but none had any luck with his application; those who moved in full of confidence and hope left the place quietly and sadly.

The mighty man, believing his son to be so long to choose the best, let him go and rejoiced in his wisdom; but when at last the richest and most distinguished, in vain, like the others, had tried their luck, he was enraged. He looked at his boy and said: "Until now I have left you free to choose, but since I see that you reject everyone without distinction, and that the best of the horsemen does not yet seem good enough for you, I will no longer be lenient with you. My fame diminishes with every day that you do not go into the care of a Horger - it is well known that children cannot learn anything from their parents. I will break your spirit! I will give you until the Night of Smoke, and if you have not chosen a Horger, I will force you to go with the one I choose!

Alureng admired a man called Talhon, who was as beautiful as he was brave and noble. He would rather die than go with any other Horger than this warrior. But because he was a Traller and compelled to serve at his father's court, he had to keep his wish secret; for his father was too proud of power, fame and wealth to give his consent to make him free and tolerate him as a Horger.

When Alureng saw his father's scowling face and heard his angry words, he turned pale as a corpse, for he knew his kind and did not doubt that he would carry out his threat. Without a word in reply, he went back to his silent chamber and thought and thought how he could avert the dark weather that was upon him, but he thought in vain. The Night of Smoke drew nearer and nearer and with each day his fear grew.

At last Alureng and Talhon decided to flee. "I know a safe place," said Talhon, " where we can linger undiscovered until one accepts the Hunval according to ancient fathers."

That night, when all was asleep, Talhon led Alureng out into the mountains. The Fire Thief lit their way and the ancestors smiled down on them. They had taken some clothes and animal skins, as much as they could carry. They climbed all night until they came to a lonely place enclosed by high boulders. Here Talhon led the tired Alureng to a cave whose entrance was barely noticeable. It was a narrow, low, black hole in the rock, but soon became a large hall reaching deep into the mountain. Alureng feared the Kjahullir lurking in the depths, but the fear vanished when Talhon lit the Gift of Ruck and the warm glow took the terror from the walls. And so they sat there, in deepest solitude, resting on the animal skins, far from all the world.

Talhon had first discovered this cave, which I still know where it is, and since no one else knew about it at the time, they were safe from their father's enquiries. They spent day after day, week after week and month after month in seclusion. Talhon went hunting and Alureng tended the fire. Sometimes he climbed to the tops of the cliffs, but his eyes wandered as far as they could over the deserted slopes of the mountain.

Winter came and went and with spring the meadows turned green and the leaves unfolded their splendour on the trees. Then one evening Talhon came with the news that he had recognised Alureng's father's men in the distance and that he had hardly escaped their notice. "They will surround this area," he said, "and will not rest until they have found us. Without wavering we must leave our refuge."

They descended the other side of the mountain and reached the shore of a lake, where fortunately they found a raft that some hunters had deposited there. Talhon pushed off and the raft floated out onto the lake. They had escaped their pursuers, but where should they turn? Behind them lay the land of Alureng's father and in front of them and to their sides only the barren emptiness of the borders of Snow Father's land. They could not stay on the lake, for soon the Kjahullir would notice them and reach out from the depths with his arms.

So they drifted, aimless and clueless, all night on the lake. And as the day dawned, the beach had disappeared around them and the mountains too, they saw nothing but the sky above and the water below and the waves rising and falling. They had not taken a bite of food in their haste and hunger and thirst began to torment them.

One day, a second and a third they floated in this distress and Alureng's fatigue was so great that he thought he heard the lapwing.

On the evening of the third day they finally discovered an island, of quite a size, it was surrounded by a number of smaller ones. Talhon immediately staked the raft towards it, but when he had come quite close to it, a sudden gale arose and the waves threw themselves at them like shield walls. He turned back, intending to approach from another side, but fared no better. As often as it approached, the raft was thrown back, as if by an invisible force.

"Ruck!" he cried, blessing himself and gazing at poor Alureng, who seemed to be starving before his eyes. But no sooner had the exclamation passed his lips than the storm ceased, the waves subsided, and the raft landed unimpeded. Talhon jumped to the shore and some shells he picked up on the beach strengthened and refreshed Alureng, so that he was soon able to leave the raft.

The island was overgrown with bushes and appeared to be uninhabited. But when they had come to the middle, they discovered a hut that only half rose above the ground and seemed to be half underground. Hoping to find people and succour, they went closer. They listened, but silence reigned. Talhon finally opened the door and they entered, but how astonished they were there: everything was fully furnished for habitation, although they saw no living creature. The fire was burning, a cauldron of fish hung over it, seemingly just waiting for them, the bedding was made and ready to receive them.

Talhon and Alureng stood there for a while, doubtful and shy, but hunger and tiredness convinced them to enter and they fetched the food and sated themselves and lay down in the warm skins of the bed.

Even after that, no one showed up to call the hut theirs, as if the invisible power had provided the house for them. They spent the following summer in perfect bliss and the island gave them what they needed.

When autumn came and Alureng had already learned the warrior's craft from Talhon, a large rat sat down on the dining table. Its eyes sparkled and to its great astonishment it began to speak. "Fear not," said the rat, "I am the owner of this house, and I thank you for keeping it so clean and well, and for finding everything in such order with you. I would gladly have come sooner, but it was not possible sooner." Then the rat shook soot from his fur and continued: "It is now time for you to leave the island again. You have done justice to the old fathers' custom. Get on your raft tomorrow and return home." Thereupon the rat dissolved in a billow of smoke, and thus convinced of the righteousness of their host, Talhon and Alureng did as the Cloaked One had bidden them.

The raft took them back to the lake in the mountains and they soon found their way to Ailar. As the Fire Thief had told them, they were accepted into the community and Talhon became a Horger, for he had honoured the old custom. Alureng's father soon reconciled with them and gave him a hall and equipment.

And when Alureng had fully learned, he and Talhon were the Horgers for many Tiners, and even today they are honoured.

How Ruck wanted to steal the honey

(an Arbarian fairy tale)

Translation

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Long before tomorrow, Snowfather had laid his white shroud over all the land, and the cold of his breath had hardened it, so that all the rock and all the trees, every belly and every pond sparkled as if all the world were made of crystal in the sparse light that Snowfather's beard shone down from the House of the Fire Mother.
 
Almost all the people and animals had wandered far down south from Snowfather's rage, where his beard did not reach so that he could not shake snow out of it there. Only the bear slept in his cave to make sure that the world would still endure when Snowfather had retreated to his mountain. A service that was well known to the people and for which they were so grateful to the bear that whenever Snowfather announced himself with his howls of rage and the tips of his beard could be seen in the sky, they placed honeycombs in front of the bear's cave so that he could fortify himself before he started his watchful sleep.

 The rat, who had spent a long time warming himself on Fire Mother's stove, now had a craving for something sweet - and he knew that the bear never ate all the honeycombs that the humans put out for him. So she put some glow chips in her fur and dropped them on the ground and trudged through the snow towards the bear's den. The bear wouldn't notice her, as he had pressed his ear to the ground to hear the threat coming. The snow father sent wordy curses across the land and shook his beard, he would certainly not notice the rat. And otherwise all the people and animals had fled - who would notice the rat's theft. But when she arrived in front of the cave and was about to eat the remaining honey, she noticed the robin sitting in the branches. She quickly climbed up and asked him: "Why didn't you leave with the others? Why are you still here when Snow Father's frosty cursing flies over the fields and meadows? Why didn't you go to the south, where people and animals can warm themselves by the glow of Fire Mother's fire and all the land has colours other than white?"

The robin looked at the rat, whose fur was still covered with the smoking embers, but which the cold gnawed on constantly. Then it said, "Because I am not like other animals or men who wander in light sense wherever time or fate drives them. If I were to flee even from Snowfather, who would oppose his curses? If my singing did not occupy Snowfather here, what would stop him from going further south and shaking his beard there?"

The rat was astonished, but then he asked the robin: "But how can you stay here? The land is crystal, the air bites, the ground grips, the water stings! I put embers from Fire Mother's hearth in my fur to keep from freezing to death, but even the embers are eaten by cold. You have nothing of the same, how can you live here?"

The robin looked at the rat, in whose fur the smoking glow chips were only stuck in small numbers, on which the cold had already gnawed quite a bit. Then it said: "You belong to the restless, rat, travelling, running, directionless. Those like you have never noticed the quiet glow in their own chest, because they have only ever looked for Firemother's fire in the distance. Eternal light glows in my heart and so it makes no difference to me whether it is day or night, summer or winter. Even under showers of ice, the light within me makes me sing the songs, proclaim my dreams, and so give myself comfort, no matter what pain afflicts me."

The rat was amazed, but then he asked the robin: "Does everyone have such a light in his chest? Can anyone stand up to adversity? Brave the snow father?"

The robin looked at the rat, in whose fur the smoking glow chips were barely stuck, for the cold had already eaten almost all of them. Then it said: "Light slumbers in every breast, for the Fire Mother gave it to every animal and human being when she lit her hearth fire at the beginning of all time. But under all the flesh and thought, only those who brave nights and storms and do not flee from the Snow Father can find it again."

 Then the rat was astonished and began to shiver, for there was hardly a single glow left in its fur. The robin's words had made an impression on it, but it didn't want to take the chance and freeze to ice under Snowfather's rage. So the rat quickly ran south. Under the warming fire of the Fire Mother, she began to tell the animals and the people about what the robin had told her.

Even after the snow father had retired to his mountain and the people and animals had returned home, they told each other about what the robin had said. And whenever one of them met the robin, he asked in amazement if what the rat had said was true and the robin confirmed it.

And so it came about that when the spikes of Snow Father's beard once again appeared in the sky and his howl of anger sounded from the mountain, some of them still remembered the robin and what he had said and did not go south. They stayed and trusted in the spark of light in their breast and began to sing as Snowfather breathed frosty curses over the land.

And when those who had gone south found on their return that those who had stayed had defied Snowfather, more of them stayed the next time. And because more and more stayed and more and more sang out to the snow father, he shook out his beard shorter and shorter over the land and less and less land froze completely into crystal and shorter and shorter time, he endured it.

And someone says that if sometime after the day after tomorrow all the people and animals stay in their homeland and sing, the snow father will stay completely on his mountain.