Hy-Brasyl Warrior - Tale of a Scholar
(working title, "Story of a Lore")
21st July 2000

There are many things to be seen in Temuair that can take an Aisling's breath away. Seeing for the first time the sheer height of the rock-cliff faces cut into the earth at the Pravat caves can be for many a humbling experience. The golden red sunsets off the edge of the sea to the west of Suomi, as the dying light of Danaan gives fire to Deoch and birth to the moon, Glioca, can be such an experience of godliness that priests have been known to faint at the glory of it. The pounding, chilled surf that pummels Mileth's seaboard is shocking evidence of the harmony of nature, for as the sea crashes upon the cliffs, tiny baby sea birds sit dry and content in their nests only inches out of harm's way. The glory of Aisling magic is a sight to behold, for what other force could summon forth earth to smote a foe?

It is indisputable, however, that there is one Aisling-made sight which towers above all others in its awe-inspiring glory. That sight alone is the Hy-brasyl Warrior. Whether she strides down the muddy streets of Mileth, clatters on the pavements of Rucesion, or pads down the halls of Castle Loures, all stop to turn and behold her beauty, glittering in her finery, platemail gleaming, each finger delicately wrapped in gauntlets as perfectly fitted to her as lamb's skin. Every part of her body is carefully shielded in this rarest of materials, an impenetrable as a castle herself. And yet.

Warriors were not present during the rise, or fall, of Hy-Brasyl. It was only seventy years after Hy-brasyl drowned that the first warriors came to be. And yet, there are no Hy-brasyl staves or Hy-brasyl necklaces to assist in the casting of magic. Even ordinary leather belts are more suited to priests and wizards than those of Hy-brasyl materials, while gauntlets and greaves are of course better suited for the warriors of the Earth-Sea. Why have these vestments and armors, shields, helmets, and also those legendary swords and axes been given to the warrior's path and not those of the magicians, the priests and wizards?

It is this rogue's opinion that the armors of Hy-Brasyl are smithed from the smelted remains of those elusive Hy-Brasyl fragments, which are almost always found in the ancient Kasmanium mines south of Mileth. (The gauntlets and greaves are like all magically imbued items; they are the dying rewards of the dubhaimid, items taken from those warriors long acquainted with the icy darkness of Chadul's realm.) So what, then, makes up these fragments?

"Who could regret the golden streets, towers, or unspoiled fruits and meats," quotes the Seancheas Temuair. When I asked Leo, Piet's Jeweler, where he gets the gold for his fine strong earrings, he said that gold was the color of Hy-Brasyl, and that all fine metals and stones came from the Kasmanium mountain range, the same mountains into which the Pravat caves are carved. Historians and creag wizards have told me that the earth in the Kasmanium range is very old, and the huge smooth bouders which lay on the edges of the cliffs were worn smooth by the power of ard sal, the most powerful water.

It is entirely possible, then, that these rocks, as well as the minerals and gems within them, were washed down from the north and Hy-Brasyl, which is speculated to have been located in the area currently known as Abel. Hy-Brasyl, upon testing from the finest athar wizards of the land (air being, of course, the element of metals) is said to be mostly made up of gold, but also contains powerful magical vibrations unlike anything ever experienced before. Additionally, the gem contains fine fragments of a clear yellow stone known only as the true gem of Hy-Brasyl. The fragments which are found are an alloy, an unnatural mixing of metal and gem. Some magnanimous wizards I spoke to refused to touch the fragments, so strong was the resonance of magic even from several paces away. Finally, a master stonesmith confirmed for me what I had already suspected. He said that the particular fragment of Hy-Brasyl that I'd acquired had been a part of the upper tiling of a circular roof -- the golden towers of Hy-Brasyl.

But why warriors? Why not use this enchanted gold for a priest's purpose, or a wizard's? Why would the ancient people of Hy-Brasyl create these golden gauntlets and horrific axes if they knew no war? Certainly it was not to cut down trees.

- - - - -

I lay back against the old weeping willow tree, looking out over the edge of the river. Often I retreated to the forests between the Castle Dubhaimid and Rucesion to write, but this is the first time I'd chosen such a formal topic. I sighed softly, pulling one bare leg closer, crossing my booted feet beneath me. I sighed and put aside my writing book, an easier to handle canvas, I found, than the great heavy scrolls so favored by the traditional scholars.

The wind blew across the bay from Piet, hot and steeped in humidity from the fetid swamps. The hanging leaves of the willow bowed and danced in the soft breeze, whispering in the afternoon, shifting like a widow's veil. I reached for a baguette, chewing thoughtfully a moment before turning again to my pack. Leaning over to hook a finger over the edge of the worn leather sack, I tugged it closer. Sometimes the quiet tranquility of polishing gems helps to clear my mind of these sudden lapses in inspiration.

Gems spilled out across the grass around me, glittering a moment before disappearing in the soft blades of emerald. Cursing softly, I sat up and leaned towards the pack, rump high in the air as I nosed for the precious stones. I gathered the bright rubies and corals quickly, looking for the yellow beryl between the pebbles closer to the river's edge. There, a flash in the riverbed! I reached out for the glittering golden orb, realizing as I did that a fragment of Hy-brasyl must have escaped from my pack. I reached my hand towards the gem, my fingers closing tightly around the polished golden surface.


... I stood upon a golden terrace, my gaze swirling dizzily. I shook my head to try to clear my eyes of the blue mist, but quickly realized that could not be done with a simple gesture. I slowed my movements, staring suddenly at the vista before me. It was nearing sunset, the golden towers ablaze with light and glittering gems. Gems, everywhere, a city of them, studding the golden towers. Their flat surfaces were many-faceted and utterly perfect, clear and gleaming prisms of color, casting rainbows onto the windows of adjoining buildings. Before me stood the civilization of Hy-Brasyl.

My blue eyes grew wide to behold the sight. I could see others on terraces like this one, magicians and wizards and sorcerers calling down the elements from the heavens with power like I'd never before beheld. Lightning of pink and blue streaked across the skies from the ends of gem-tipped staffs, while wind whipped through the towers at a fantastic speed, carrying off the enormous summoned flames. These were the final moments of Hy-Brasyl.

I closed my eyes for a long moment, then, turning, turned my eyes to the sea. In the distance, I could see the wave coming. Through the darkened rainclouds and the lightning and the whirling tornado of flame, I could see it coming, higher already than the highest tower upon which the sal wizards gathered, their robes drenched and their eyes, I could see, even from here, bright with madness as their magic overtook them.

Desperately, I stepped off of the terrace and into the room. I stopped, suddenly, shocked to find myself in flowing white robes, instead of my comfortable corsette. I realized, then, too, that the orb of Hy-brasyl, the same fragment which I remembered. from somewhere. hung around my neck in an ornate golden amulet. It was beautiful, covered in runes and delicate carvings of fruit and complicated knots. Regretfully, I turned my gaze to all that around me, realizing for the first time that I was not alone. Other young women filled the room, upon their knees and crying to the gods. They were dressed just like myself, but without the same golden amulet. Candles and scrolls filled the room. I ran to one and let my eyes roam over it, trying desperately to make out the ancient words of the elders, words which I had never truly studied.

"Kadath. Fiosachd.cast out. Aosda.wanders." With a gasp, I realized that this could be the story every worshipper died for, the truth about what led to the god being exiled from the earthly home of the gods. I felt a rumble beneath me, feeling the power of creag for the first time. Small trinkets and candles toppled from shelves, alighting wax upon the floor, fire creeping up the purple curtains. A deluge began upon the tower's roof, the sky went dim. The water was coming.

With unforseen clarity, I realized that I stood in a room with the pure priests, those who refused to entreaty the otherworldly gods of Kadath. I dropped to my knees and managed only to cry out ancient Fiosachd's name before the wave struck....

Spluttering and coughing, I pulled my head from the water, gasping for breath. I shook my ponytail out of my face and opened my eyes, shocked to find myself sitting in the riverbed not far from Rucesion's gate. I could see the wrought-iron fence from where I knelt. My corsette was soaked, my knees badly scraped from the rocks of the riverbed. In my hand, I clutched the orb of Hy-brasyl. I stood, shaking slightly.

I whirled at a huge crash and splash beside me, my mind flashing to the collapsing towers of Hy-brasyl. Instead I came face to face with an indignant warrior covered in mud. Behind him, dry as can be, the other members of his party, a priest and a wizard already chanting his next round of fas nadur, tried desperately to contain their laughter. The warrior frowned and clumsily hefted himself up with his sword, clumping down the path without a word. His party members followed after, chuckling to one another.

I walked back over to my pack, which lay disheveled but fortunately undisturbed. I sat with a sigh and began to write.

- - - - -

One can only conclude that the elders of Hy-Brasyl, those who had fled the Elemental Wars and escaped the drowning of civilization as they knew it, watched as the path of the warrior crept up, as the last of the remaining children of Hy-Brasyl, wizened against magick, took up swords against one another in matches of strength and skill. They surely must have felt that this is a superior way, that the warriors of Hy-Brasyl, weak in magic, deserved the protection of their ancient culture.

And warriors, in their simplicity, could not use the ancient metal for evil, nor sense the magical vibrations that the earlier paths could. Wizards and priests, meanwhile, knew too much already, and to arm them with the ancient ways would be too dangerous, for never again could the elders bear the thought of such destruction. Warriors would protect the old ways, without ever knowing it.

- - - - -

With a sly smile, I closed my book. Let them have their armor, their greaves and belts and gauntlets. Let them be weighed down with vestments. The glory of Hy-Brasyl lies not in its armor, but in the knowledge gained. I slid the book into my pack and swung it over my shoulder before cloaking myself in shadow and heading towards the ports, the vision of that ancient parchment fresh in my mind's eye.

- Bren Malkier
Deoch 13


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