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kalpa

Shor, son of Shor

Author: 
Michael Kirkbride

[BEGIN FRAGMENT]

"And the awful fighting ended again.

"Kyne's shout brought our tribe back to the mountaintop of Hrothgar, and even our recent dead rode in on the wind of her breathing, for there had been no time to fashion a proper retreat. Their corpses fell among us as we landed and we looked on them in confusion, shaken as we were by this latest battle in the [untranslateable]. The chieftains of the other tribes still held their grudge against our own, Shor son of Shor; more, they had united finally to destroy us and used skin-magic to trick us into disarray.

"Shor was disgusted with the defeat, and disgusted more when reminded by Jhunal that our withdrawal had been wise, for we were outnumbered eight to one. Shor took on the form of the [untranslateable] then, which he used to better shape his displeasure, rather than to shout it aloud and risk more storm-death. His shield thanes, the brothers Stuhn and Tsun, bowed their heads, collecting the spears and swords and wine-knives Shor threw about the broken pillars of the easternmost sky-temple. The rest of us looked away and to our own, not even to acknowledge the thunderclap that signaled our Queen's arrival, who stepped in from the tunnel of her own breath last.

"Kyne had taken the head of Magnar, the jarl that betrayed the weakness of our spear-lines and fled the field. Shor shook his scaled mane. "That isn't Magnar," he said, "Magnar, I fear, fell at sunrise and became replaced by mirrors. The other chieftains are using our forms to lead us astray."

"And then Shor walked away from his War-Wife to enter the cave that led to the [untranslateable]. He needed to take counsel with his father yet again. "Our chieftain loses heart," Dibella said, Bed-Wife of Shor, hefting another body onto the corpse pile some of us were making, "And so goes to the speak to one that has none anymore. Mirrors, indeed, and in that I see no logic."

"Tsun took her by the hair, for he was angered by her words and heavy with lust. He was a berserker despite his high station, and beauty followed battle to his kind. "You weren't made for that kind of thinking," Stuhn said, dragging Dibella towards a whaleskin tent, "Jhunal was. And no one should be speaking to him now." Tsun eyed the Clever Man who had heard him. "Logic is dangerous in these days, in this place. To live in Skyrim is to change your mind ten times a day lest it freeze to death. And we can have none of that now."

"Kyne could have stopped all of this but did nothing but stare at the crowd of Nords around her. Stuhn and Tsun were shifting and it was still uncouth to prevent this kind of neighboring. She looked on Jhunal and did not know if he should be spoken to or not. Rules were changing. Even her handmaiden was gone, and that lack of attendance was a transgression, but Kyne knew Mara was no doubt making treaties with one of the other chieftains, and the Pact still allowed for Tear-Wives to do that. After her husband Shor had forgotten to kiss her, a tradition among the War-Married when they returned from the field together, Kyne kept her storms to herself and knew there was no true understanding until the [untranslateable] was lifted."

[END FRAGMENT]

World-Eating 101

Author: 
Michael Kirkbride

These two texts come to us from the World-Eating 101 thread, and operate on the following premise: 

Assume "The Dawn Era was the End of the Previous Kalpa. The new Kalpa begins with the first day of the Merethic Era."

Then put on your lore-hats and start looking hard at the ramifications of that.

Besides being interesting in terms of chronology and myth, they also offer insight into the Nordic worldview. The original thread can still be found here

Fight One, "The Eating-Birth of Dagon"

Author: 
Michael Kirkbride

These were the days of Hoag the Greater, born in a boot...[Long after] the two bells [of the All-Maker's Goat] rang out their clamouring, calling the end of days again in Sarthaal and the world, and Alduin's shadow was cast like carpetflame on east, west, south, and north...[he was] epoch eater. For as far as any man's eyes, only High Hrothgaar remained above the churning coils of dragon stop.

And Alduin said, "Ho ha ho."

But, look! Seven more mountains remained through Mereth like Hrothgaar and the Leaper Devil King (a kindly leaper demon, to be sure, but their king) jumped across the nilphony swirl. He came to Alduin (who always eats Nords first) and said, "Wait, wait, wait! Wait! It is not time to destroy the world yet!"

To which Alduin roared and laughed and said, "King of Leapers, you always bounce up to me around this time (for you are one of the only spirits that can last til my last bite) and shout, 'Wait!', but I never do and I will not now. Leap up to Hrothgaar's top and wait awhile longer in little dignity. The two bells have went 'Gong! Gong!' and that means the kalpa has turned."

The Leaper Demon King knew all this was true but still he said, "Wait, first and last of spirits, the kalpa-turning is brought too soon and I can prove it! Look over there on top of Red Mountain. See the Greedy Man waving his arms?"

Alduin swallowed more of Mereth (this was the destruction of Njorvela and Teed County) and looked over. Indeed the Greedy Man was waving his arms as if to tell the time-eating dragon to stop. Alduin snorted gruffly (a few farms shot out of his nose but he caught them with his tongue and pulled them back into his mouth, for he eats it all) and said, "And the Greedy Man always waves his arms about around this time as if to stop me just like you. It is almost as if you two work together to delay me. Is that what this is? Is some other low spirit hiding portions of the world while you two do this thing? Is this why the kalpa-feast always takes a little longer than it did the previous time?"

And then Alduin looked hard into the eyes of both the Greedy Man (far away) and the Leaper Demon King (close up), one of them for each eye of his own, and he knew it was so. These two spirits gulped big, and were caught.

"Oh crap," the Greedy Man said, "He knows my bargain with the king of leapers, I'd better hide under my mountain!" but he thought and said all this too fast and, without thinking, hid under his mountain even though its base had already been eaten and so it wasn't all still there. (This is how the Greedy Man became trapped both in and outside of kalpas.)

"Oh crap," said the Leaper Demon King, "You have found us out, World-Eater! Yes, just after the two bells of the All-Maker's Goat sound the Greedy Man and I and our servants hoard bits and bobs of the world so you can't eat it all. And when the world comes back we sort of just stick these portions back on and so that's why it is all bigger and bigger for you to eat each time. But it wasn't my idea! The Greedy Man hates you so much and it was his idea to finally trap you one kalpa when it was all much too big and so you would explode out from your belly and die so that the world would never have to die again!"

Alduin (whose stomach was hurting because it was a little too stretched, which had never happened before, and now he knew why) grew furiously angry and boomed out, "You stupid little f*cker, do you even know what would HAPPEN if that happened, my dying and being unable to eat and the kalpa left to run forever? Why do I even ask, you who are a little low spirit whose only real power is jumping around? It is the Greedy Man I should really be mad at!"

And the Leaper Demon King saw a possible way out of this mess for himself but he nodded too eagerly, saying "Yes, yes, yes! Yes!" and the dragon knew that any mercy he might give to this little demon would not result in any true learning. So he cursed the king of the leapers, calling him Dagon, saying:

"The Greedy Man has already f*cked himself up good, hiding inside something that didn't exist anymore, but you: you I curse right here and right now! I take away your ability to jump and jump and jump and doom you to [the void] where you will not be able to leave except for auspicious days long between one and another and even so only through hard, hard work. And it will be this way, my little corner cutter, until you have destroyed all that in the world which you have stolen from earlier kalpas, which is to say probably never at all!"

Dagon (no longer a Leaper Demon King) screamed, "Please no! We have stolen from you so much and crammed it all back on in the craziest of places that it will take forever for me to regain my jumping kind of happiness! Especially if I can only come back to this world through auspicious days long between one and another that also require rituals! I beg you not to do this, O Aka! I beg you one hundred thousand and eight times!"

Dagon did as he said, begging Alduin Time-Eater to reverse his decision one hundred thousand and eight times, and halfway through this number Dagon shut his eyes tight to really mean it and then three-quarters through this number he began to shout his beggings to really, really, really mean it, but when he was done begging Alduin was not near the mountaintop he stood on.

In fact, after many looks east, west, south, and north, and seeing only the churning dragon stop around him, Dagon realied that at some point when he was begging with his eyes closed that Alduin had eaten him, mountaintop and all, and he had not heard the big chomp because he had been begging too loud. And he knew that the last world had been eaten entirely, except for its stolen portions, and that when the new kalpa began to form The Greedy Man (who never stayed trapped for long) would begin sticking these stolen portions back on in the craziest of places, and that he himself could never jump again until all was put back right.

He also knew that the name of "Dagon" would no longer be that of a kindly leaper demon but one who would destroy and destroy and destroy whenever he could find some small escape [from his home in the oblivion]....