Adventures in Thargothras

Ivideme's Bronze

Excerpt from the Song of the Godforge, verse 11-16, as translated from Indosaian (Circa 497 AC) by Serben Vey in 912 AC for the use of the Cloister:


And on the plains the monsters dwelt,
Congregating in their herds to hunt the people.
And also on the plains dwelt the beast-men,
Hatred for the cities did fill their hearts.
Death came to the farms by beastly claws,
The King1 was made to know, and saw
The danger to all who lived between the mountains and river2
And prayed for the preservation of his people

For ten days and eleven nights the King prayed
To each god and all for deliverance from savagery
On the eleventh day he visited the priests,
To ask if the gods had heard his cries for help
Most had nothing to say, and hid their faces in shame
The King implored the priests of Satcotaar for guidance
But they only spoke against each other
Only one met the King's gaze and prophesied

"By Ivideme's command, you must build a forge
Eight sides shall it have, in the shape of your bed3
Each side ten times the length of an ox.
These will be lined with the molds for your blades.
In the center, a crucible of Obectian Stone4
More instruction will follow these words
Soon you will have swords for an army
To drive out the monsters that harry your kingdom"

The King thanked the priest, and gave praise to Ivideme
He promoted the priest to oversee the construction
The priest accepted, but gave a dire warning
"Ivideme's boon has a price and a cost5;
Two lives must be taken for each batch of bronze.
The first a monster anathema to order
the second a hero and scholar must be
Their blood in the metal shall carry her blessing."

The King swooned with horror at this revelation
Was his salvation worth death for his finest?
His armies to purge his kingdom of chaos
But the greatest among them lost forever?
"How can we replace our heroes if we kill them?
None will rise up without fear of the furnace!"
But the priest said "The whole of the kingdom is greater,
and a true hero fears no death that saves others."

"Bound to the metal, mortals no longer
The graves of the heroes will become their bodies
Protecting the honorable from the claws of the beasts
and cleaving the flesh of the enemies of knowledge."
The words of the priest moved the King's lungs6
He commanded that the foundation be built the same day
and the priest oversaw as it was built
And during his sleep the workers rested7


 

1) It is believed that this refers to King Trevess II, based on date and other indicators in the text. Any information supporting that this refers to King Lorien IV must be regarded as apocryphal. The origin of this divergence can be traced to the play "A Hero's Blood" by Muso Maya, which uses the same events but replaces the historical persons with fictionalized versions of the more popular historical characters from the same country of origin. The details in these and other verses are evidence that the events of this poem take place 68 years before the birth of the oldest character in that play. 
2) This line refers to the Eulum range and the Aqueras river, the national borders of Indosaia at the time.
3) According to artistic representations, King Trevess II's bed was octagonal. Artistic representations of the Godforge from that time confirm the same shape, lending further credence against Muso Maya, who correctly depicts the Godforge as octagonal, but replaces the bed with an octagonal table in his version. The bed is never mentioned or displayed in the play.
4) The "Obectian Stone" refers to violet or green jade, or a mixture of those colors. The stone was typically imported into Indosaia from Obectia, and is known to have a much higher melting point than bronze while staying physically strong. Natually, the purchase of a block large enough to serve as crucible for the Godforge was recorded by both nations, helping to accurately date the events of the epic.
5) A note in translation: While these words have similar meanings in our tongue, the words in the primary source are Vehk and Mishal, which I have translated to Price and Cost respectively, and have distinctly different meanings that are difficult to translate to Viridonian. "Cost" (Mishal) means the resources required to create something, and here refers to the cost of building the forge. "Price" (Vehk) means a person's end of a pact or bargain, typically an abstract or otherwise non-monetary boon or sacrifice.
6) The Indosaians of old believed that emotions resided in the lungs, and so use this symbol where we would use the heart.
7) This line, if interpreted through the context of Indosain law, reflecting the belief that supervised labor is the product of the taskmaster rather than the laborer (the law forbids punishing a laborer for shoddy work unless the labor was unsupervised), here is taken to mean that the work was perfect under the priest's supervision.

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