The Rebirth of a People [Lore]

Nearly a millennium ago, all of Janoa burned… massive fires and widespread drought ravaged the countryside, leaving only famine, destruction, and death in its wake. This was a battle the proud Janoan people could not hope to win, for there was no prey with which their hunters could target. As their lush rainforests and sheltered homes turned to ash before their eyes, hope fled from their hearts, for there seemed to be no end in sight. As cities fell and countless lives were lost, the Janoans were forced to turn to the only option left to them… Faedin, and ask the question of why nature itself had turned on its people.

In that time, Janoan shamans had a stronger connection with both nature and the spirit realm that shared our world, giving life to all things, and it was because of this bond that these shamans discovered what would become the greatest foe ever faced by any Janoan hunter… the Great Spirit Phoenix. Trapped within the Astral plane, a realm that bridges between life and death itself, a spirit far more powerful than any normal phoenix now roamed, it’s powers of fire and destruction spilling out into the realm of the living. Though this new terror was beyond anything the Janoan people could fathom, it also gave a new found hope in the hearts of its most skilled hunters, for they finally had a target for their rage.

In a valley on the edge of a river in the heart of what was left of the Janoan rainforests, now little more than a burnt wasteland, the country’s greatest warriors and hunters alike gathered with families as they prepared for what was to come. Shamans sat in pray and chant as the leader among them explained that the warriors would have to cross over into the spirit realm to combat the great beast. The shamans there would lend their power to these hunters to keep them safe from the flames of the phoenix and protect them in this battle for the life of all Janoa itself. The lead shaman raised his hands and as he did a portal to another world opened up before him, and in a flash dozens upon dozens of warriors sprinted into the unknown, led by the people’s own talar, hunting a prey like no other.

Stories have been passed down through the ages by those who were there to witness the events that took place that day, and though the tales told change with time, the heart of it all still remains true. Through that portal the people watched the hunt, the fearsome phoenix spirit more deadly than any could imagine, flames of blue tearing away at the warriors, as spear and arrow tried to find its mark. A massive talon tore into a warrior and as it did a shaman in the circle screamed in pain, blue flames pouring forth from his chest as the attacks of the great beast passed through the connection from that world to ours. One by one, warriors and hunters fell before the onslaught, shamans sharing their fate as they gave their lives trying to protect these men and women fighting for all Janoa.

The battle waged on till the sun began to set, fires now tearing through the fabric of reality itself, as the Great Spirit Phoenix used all of its powers to destroy those who sought to kill it. As the last rays of the sun dipped below the horizon, all but the lead shaman had fallen victim to the spirit flames, and in that moment he fell to one knee, the portal slamming shut as he did. He raised his head, eyes locking with a girl standing across the way, the child of the talar that had entered the spirit realm, the man that the shaman now protected with his own life. Tears ran down his pain stricken face, his body shaking to stay up, though a small smile appeared before one word left his dying lips… Myrkír. It has been lost to history what this word meant, whether this was the name of one of the warriors, the talar or even the Great Spirit Phoenix itself.

A moment later the shaman fell forward, blue flames tearing through his body, the last hope of a desperate people dying with him, replaced with a fear they were all going to share the same fate. But during this moment of dread a new sound could be heard, a shriek that reverberated through the hills and tore at a person’s soul itself. Behind the crowd of families, on a hill overlooking the river, the great phoenix itself appeared, its talons tearing at the ground, its head thrown back towards the sky, the shriek of a thousand deaths pouring out from its mouth. And in its chest, buried deep in its heart, the bloody shaft of a massive Janoan spear could be seen, a spear that all there recognized as the one carried by the talar himself. The great beast gave one last death throw before falling to the ground, only to burst into a pillar of blue fire so hot it burned the skin of the people watching and setting fire to the surrounding countryside, even though it was already ash from before.

It is said that the people left behind by those who died for their sake made a promise that day, to never forget the sacrifices made and to rebuild stronger than ever before. The young daughter of the old talar, now a hero of legend, set about building a new home for her people as their new leader, starting on the very hill where the phoenix had died, using its ashes as the mortar to build its foundation. The Janoan are a proud people and respect strength above all else, and it is because of this belief that not one survivor hated the Great Spirit Phoenix or the devastation it had wrought upon the land. In fact, those that had been witness to this great event went so far as to revere both the phoenix and the warriors that had fought in this battle. To them, this had been the greatest hunt of any Janoan, and the phoenix had been the greatest prey they had ever faced, a force of nature itself, and in that the upmost respect was given to all that had fallen that day, be it man or beast.

In time a city grew upon the banks of the river, taking the name Va’Myrkír, in remembrance of the last word spoken by the great shaman, though none truly know it’s actual meaning. The talar that followed the fallen hero took up a banner with the symbol of the Great Spirit Phoenix itself, to show the world what its people had overcome, to rise from the ashes of a burnt land no different than the phoenix itself. A new type of warrior emerged in that realm as well, one that blended both the physical realm and the spirit realm, a mix of hunter and shaman, taking on the form of almost a new religion itself, one that worships Faedin through the hunting of the most dangerous of beasts, in glory to the fallen heroes of the most dangerous hunt of all time. Even now, a millennium later, the ancestors of those fallen and those left behind have not forgotten, and grow ever stronger because of it, ready for the day that it should ever happen again…

9/17/2019 11:18:06 AM #1

9/17/2019 1:55:34 PM #2

Nice work, Mikhal!