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Mythology of the Oera'dim

Within these documents can be found fragments of the history of Arborell as recorded within the most ancient myths of the Oera'dim. Translated and compiled from the oral histories of the Horde they are a window into the long and brutal existence of the Hordim, and define the nature of their lives and beliefs. Remember that here is the record of a world whose traditions extend for one hundred millenia into the past, and of which most still remains hidden from the knowledge of Men. As new myths are uncovered so shall they be recorded within these pages.

For those who are unfamiliar with the history of Arborell a short review is given here.

Click here to download this new Sorrows of Gedhru and Aume PDF edition.

The Sorrows of Gedhru and Aume

Here resides the oldest story of Arborell, told by the Silvan Tree herself, as recounted by the Living Books of the Oera'dim, and translated from inscriptions found upon the walls of Traebor by the Maturi Hedj. Within this ancient tale lies the beginnings of the world of Arborell and the origins of EarthMagic, woven upon a dark tapestry of malice and betrayal. Provided in its entirety it is presented in both its English and Haer'al forms.

This new PDF edition includes a revised narrative, a new format for easier use on both desktops and hand-held devices, and comes with new full-colour covers as presented here. This PDF edition also includes the full, original version in Haer'al, as used by the Maturi Paderian Hedj as the source material for his famous primer for the Elder Tongue, the First Book of Haer'al.

To download this new PDF edition click here.

Click here to download this new Hamulkuk and the Moon Dragons PDF edition.

Hamulkuk and the Moon Dragons

In the darkest hours of the War of Tree and Leaf the Trell'sara stand on the brink of destruction. Overwhelmed by the companions to the Silvan Tree they must look to a new weapon, one stronger and more lethal than themselves. Into this world is born Hamulkuk, First Hresh in the world and first of the Oera'dim, a Being built for war and with much to prove to his new Masters. In this tale Hamulkuk is sent into the mountains of Ul'ashma to remove from the world the threat of the Moon Dragons. Within the setting of a world not yet despoiled by tyranny Hamulkuk must battle not only the deadly power of the Ell'adrim but also the forces of a world finding its way into a New Order.

This new PDF edition includes a revised narrative, a new format for easier use on both desktops and hand-held devices, and comes with new full-colour covers as presented here.

To download this new PDF edition click here.

Click here to download this new Hammer and the Darkness PDF edition.

The Hammer and the Darkness

For One Hundred Thousand years the rule of Aggeron the Great pressed hard upon the backs of his slaves, the Oera'dim. A creature of great power and unlimited cruelty, he dominated his world and built an Empire that saw all bowed before him. Sure of his manifest authority Aggeron ruled, but unknown to himself a rebellion lay festering, growing in the shadows and waiting for a leader brave enough to light the fuse.

In this tale of the Hammer and the Darkness can be found the origins of the Great Insurrection and the destruction of the Trell'sara. Told by the Living Book at Shalamai it is the story of Qirion'Delving and the fall of the Word of Command, and of the end of Aggeron, Utterer of the Word and Master of All. This story uncovers the nature of the Circle of Existence and tells how the Oera'dim found freedom at the height of the power of the Masters.
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Click here to purchase this new Ghered Who Found purpose PDF edition.

The Tale of Ghered Who Found Purpose

This is the story of the Architect of the Great Insurrection and his journey from nuulwch to Free Being. The Tale of Ghered Who Found Purpose stands as one of the most important legendary accounts of the Oera'dim of the Ancient world. From Slave to Arbiter of Souls this is the story of how a Being without purpose found his place in the world, found friendship and the fellowship of Beings such as himself, and in doing so was instrumental in bringing down a cruel Empire.

This new PDF edition includes a rewritten narrative, a new format for easier use on both desktops and hand-held devices, and comes with the new "parchment" full-colour covers as presented here.

To download this new PDF edition click here.

Click here to download this new Book of Scars PDF edition.

The Book of Scars

This companion to the Jotun of the West interactive gamebook series is now available for download in both HTML and PDF formats. Here can be found an account of the Jotun Underworld, of the perils and rewards that await any warrior who meets his End of Days. It is the first hand record of the True Witness, the only Oera'dim ever to stand before the halls of his ancestors and return to tell the tale. In his words can be found the dangers of Hallen'draal and the malevolence of the Dreya; of the pain-shadows that lurk in darkness and the oblivion that can only be found in Dissolution.

This new "Parchment" edition of the Book of Scars includes a revised narrative, a new format optimised for screen viewing and the provision of new full-colour covers.

To download this new PDF edition click here.
Click here for an older HTML version of The Book of Scars

Parable of the Unwary Traveller and the Maiden of Despair

Life in Arborell is never easy, and for one Chieftain's son an existence of hardship and frugality cannot be tolerated. With the Maiden of Despair the son of Braga finds that nothing comes easily and everything has its price.

Enkara - The Oera'dim Song of Regret

Here in its translated version is the Enkara - the Oera'dim Song of Regret. As a part of the culture of the Horde it is only a recent addition, having become a morning ritual for all Hresh since the end of the Fourth Horde War and the loss of their remaining southern lands to the settlement of Men.

Click here to download this new Mythology of the Oera'dim PDF edition.

Mythology of the Oera'dim

The Mythology of the Oera'dim is a compilation of lectures, oral traditions and translated works drawn from the long history of the Oera'dim in Arborell. From the creation myth of the Sorrows of Gedhru and Aume to the Enkara, the Oera'dim Song of Regret, what is held within these pages is a truthful retelling of the greatest stories of a race of Beings whose existence can be measured in the hundreds of millennia.

This title encapsulates all the mythological tales currently provided within the Chronicles of Arborell in pdf format, including The Sorrows of Gedhru and Aume, Hamulkuk and the Moon Dragons, The Hammer and the Darkness, The Tale of Ghered Who Found Purpose, The Book of Scars, The Parable of the Unwary Traveller and the Maiden of Despair and the Enkara. Presented with full colour covers, introduction and a short history of Arborell it is an insight into the world of the Oera'dim.

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A Mythology of Arborell

Excerpt from a lecture given at the Academy of Histories at Landfall in the Year of Settlement 419

If we are to understand the history of Arborell it is important to recognise that little written evidence survives. What we know of the time before Men made landfall upon these shores is taken mostly from the oral traditions of the Hordim, and the scant texts that can be found carved into the many temples of this world. What is clear is that the story is a long one, and it stretches back into a prehistory that is difficult for Men to comprehend. It is a story however, that is compelling, one that explains the state of our world today, and provides insight into the reasons why the ancient works of this world lie in such ruination.

For all that will follow it must first be understood that the Hordim believe in a world where the supernatural is as important, and as real, as anything found in their waking lives. The history for which I am about to provide a brief overview must be considered from the perspective that for our mortal enemies the world is controlled by three great Powers, and everything that has happened, or will ever happen, is their doing. How these Powers came into being, and how they are bound into a single existence is the essence of Hordim mythology. It is also where we must begin.

The creation myth of the Oera'dim, or Hordim as we know them, concerns the travails of two Creator-Gods, Gedhru and Aume. It is in their celestial home that their son Emur is murdered, and from his remains is fashioned the world as we know it. The tale of the Sorrows of Gedhru and Aume sets the foundations for a world of magic and betrayal that results in the creation of the First Power, the Shan'duil, and thence all the history that follows from it. It can be said truthfully that we have only scratched the surface of that history, but what we have so far uncovered alludes to a past littered with vast empires, ruthless tyrants and genocidal wars. It is quite a story and one that begins with the River of Life.

Long before the arrival of either Hordim or Men in the world there existed only the Shan'duil, the River of Life; and it alone wielded all power, its purpose to act as a good shepherd for all that breathed or grew in the world, intent on balancing the rhythm of creation as it is expressed in the relentless cycle of the seasons. For time unrecorded it stood in solitary dominion of the world, a pulsing life-essence that bound the fate of all living things together.

In the oral histories of the Hordim it is said that the dominion of the Shan'duil remained unchanged until the roots of a great Tree came into contact with the River of Life. Somewhere within the vastness of the Malleron forests a monstrous Oak delved deep into the bedrock of the world and touched the Shan'duil, turning the tree instantly to white stone. In that moment a new Second Power was born, a sentient, immortal Tree possessed of all the powers of the Shan'duil, that spread its dominion over all other trees. From that chance encounter arose the Silvan Tree, and under its stewardship the forests of Arborell flourished, spreading to all the corners of the world.

In this manner the balance of life was maintained; the Shan'duil continuing its dominion over the cycle of life, the Silvan Tree its stewardship of all the great forests. Within the boundaries of this quiet existence the Two Powers grew in strength, and together found comfort in the verdancy of their world. It was a tranquil dominion that lasted for untold millennia, until the coming of the Forgotten Ones.

It is not known who the Forgotten Ones were. There are no records of their origin, or carven images that might give hint to their nature. All that is known is that they lived in this world and then were gone, but their story is a turning point in the history of Arborell.

From a place beyond the borders of our world the Forgotten Ones arose, settling in Arborell and making a life for themselves amongst the great Trees. Theirs was an existence without material want, nomadic and simple in their desire to do no harm to the world they ventured in. In the course of their wanderings it was inevitable that they encountered the Silvan Tree, and not being creatures of greed or distrust gave their fealty to that Power. In return the Silvan Tree introduced them to the Shan'duil, and in that meeting the Forgotten Ones learned of the great energy that the First Power had woven into the world. This energy the Forgotten Ones called EarthMagic.

Time flowed on and the world, which had only known the quiet dominion of trees, became filled with the voices of the Forgotten Ones. Favoured by the Silvan Tree they flourished, and soon their multitude found homes wherever the trees of the forest spread their boughs. Of all things that found favour with the Second Power it was the voices of the Forgotten Ones that intrigued the Great Tree most. In all the long years of its existence it had never known the clarity of the spoken word, and given the opportunity learned the language of these peoples and bonded it with EarthMagic. The words of the Forgotten Ones became one with the life-force of the world, a key that could be used to manipulate that great power in ways previously unimagined even by the Powers themselves. The Silvan Tree offered this boon to the Forgotten Ones but they declined, leaving mastery of such magic in the custody of River and Tree. It was not for them, they said, to have such a boon for it would surely be their undoing.

In truth the Forgotten Ones knew the dangers of unfettered power, and rather than wield it themselves built great Temples, and gave homage to the Silvan Tree in gratitude of her offer. Each of the Temples was built near a tributary of the River of Life, and each delved far into the earth, their builders' purpose to find solace with the pulse of the world. These dorum grew in all the corners of Arborell and so the world again continued for many more millennia.

As is the way of things there came a time when even a great Power can fall into folly. Without the care that should have been given the Silvan Tree created a race of Beings it called Trell'sara, or Guardians. The Guardians were to be custodians of the trees, as selfless and caring as the Forgotten Ones themselves, but instead their ambitions proved both treacherous and destructive. In secret the Trell'sara planned a great war, their aim to tear down the Tree and bring violence and extermination upon her loyal subjects. In their plotting and scheming the world would have room enough only for themselves.

It is recorded as a part of the oral histories of the Oera'dim that in one night the Trell'sara betrayed the Silvan Tree, breaking it up then transporting it high into the western mountains of the world. There is was disposed of, thrown into a deep abyss and left to be forgotten by its traitorous creations. With the Silvan Tree gone the Trell'sara turned their malice upon the Forgotten Ones, and in that act of betrayal found themselves embroiled in a bloody civil war.

The War of Tree and Leaf did not go as planned. The Forgotten Ones proved themselves to be both doughty and effective warriors, and for some years held their own against the Guardians. Desperate to finish a conflict that had taken so many of their lives the Trell'sara searched for a weapon that might turn the tide and give them the victory they sought. In time they found it.

Out of the living earth the Trell'sara, who had been given the power to harness EarthMagic by the Silvan Tree, created the Hresh, vicious warriors designed as weapons of war. With a great host of these creatures they swept the Forgotten Ones from the world, and took dominion of Arborell for themselves.

But the Silvan Tree was not dead. In the depths of the earth the Tree struggled to survive, its tenuous grip on life growing stronger as it gained strength from its proximity to the Shan'duil. Far from the sight of the Trell'sara the Tree recovered its resolve and waited, mourning the loss of the Forgotten Ones and lamenting the folly of its actions.

In the light of day the Trell'sara knew nothing of the Silvan Tree's survival. Quickly they took dominion of the known world and began creating new creatures to meet their need for slaves. The Hresh were effective warriors but had no talent for the domestic, so the Guardians created the Jotun to serve as builders and engineers, the Morg as farm labourers and menial workers, and the Mutan to oversee them all. Only when all these creatures had been brought into the world did the Trell'sara create the Vardem, their personal servants for which little has been recorded.

Again the millennia passed as a flowing ocean of time. The slaves of the Trell'sara laboured hard at the behest of their masters, and no threat came to bother their dominion until the Silvan Tree had grown strong enough to act.

Such was the need for slaves required to meet the indolence and excess of the Trell'sara, that it came to pass that the balance of life and death in Arborell began to falter. All of the creatures created by the Guardians carried within them a small glimmering of the River of Life, and with that spark came sentience and a will to find a better existence. The Trell'sara were cruel masters and thought nothing of the loss of multitudes of slaves in the building of their great citadels and pleasure palaces. Such losses released these sparks of existence into the world, but they had nowhere to go, and soon the burden of such unrestrained energy began to weigh heavily upon the Shan'duil.

In the dark recesses of the abyss within which it had been thrown the Silvan Tree came to an agreement with the River of Life. The cycle of Life and Death had to be restored, and it could only be done one way. In that deep abode the Silvan Tree created a mirror-image of itself, a third Power of the world concerned only with Death, and the force by which the sparks of existence now roaming freely could be gathered up and returned properly to the Living World.

Such a tree was given the name Dreya, and its dominion became known as Hallen'draal. In its domain the sparks of Life were gathered and scourged, to be reborn as new Beings into the world of light above. The Dreya Tree took to its task with great energy and in doing so scourged the memories of those it brought into its Underworld. It was through the Dreya Tree that the Silvan Tree found its opportunity.

It must be understood that the Trell'sara may have been indolent but they were not stupid. They knew the nature of their creations and placed upon them all a Word of Command, a spell that kept their slaves submissive and controllable. Without it they knew they would fall prey to the unrestrained hatred of their charges, and ensured diligently that the Word would never falter.

In the darkness of the Dreya's domain the Word of Command was scourged from all creatures memory only to be reasserted when a Being returned to the World Above. On a few select Jotun the Silvan Tree assured that the Word of Command could have no effect upon them once they were reborn, and as was the wish of the Great Tree they laboured in secret to throw down their Masters.

Although it is unclear to the scholars of Men how the Great Insurrection started it has been recorded that the rebellion grew quickly, the Trell'sara caught unawares as they pursued their interests in sloth and excess. In a wave of violence and death the Trell'sara were themselves destroyed, their vast cities and palaces torn down stone by stone. When the slaves of the Trell'sara had finished, their masters had been scourged from the world and their empire laid waste; their memory lost to a world that did not wish to remember them.

In a world where there was no longer control the slaves found themselves without purpose and soon spiralled into violence. Within this great upheaval the old overseers of the Trell'sara, the Ah'mutani, or Mutan as they are known to Men, took the Word of Command for themselves and Uttered it again into the world. It was a cruel irony that Arborell now belonged to the slaves of the Trell'sara, and it was the Mutan that now ruled them all.

Eight long millennia saw no challenge to the power of the Mutan. The Oera'dim, as the slaves of the Trell'sara now called themselves, divided along a series of tribal allegiances that spread into all the corners of the world, and such was the power of the Mutans' Word of Command that no challenge could be made against them. Then came the arrival of Men.

Out of the great eastern ocean a ragged fleet of ships arose into Arborell. Settling first on the island of Dromannion the Nations of Men then made landfall upon the shores of Arborell itself. Neither Man nor Hordim, as we have come to know the Oera'dim, understood each other's nature and misunderstanding and mistrust soon turned to open warfare. The result has been centuries of warfare, and the untold losses that have been endured in those great conflicts.

And now this tale is almost done. Our part in the history of this world began with our arrival upon the shores of Dromannion, but the history of this world stretches far beyond the borders of our understanding. To this date four great wars have been fought against the Hordim and they remain an intractable enemy, one entrenched in a culture of violence we are yet to fully understand. We can only wonder at what the future must hold for all of us.

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Copyright (c) 2016 Wayne Densley. All rights reserved.