It is the time of the Turning of the Great Wheel the Iron Age is Dawning and Chattii man spills out of their cradles to claim dominion over the world.
For the Daughters of the Silver Age it is a twilight time, One last refuge remains to them, a place to Laugh, Love and Raise Children. A place filled with Song and Beauty and Magick. As the wheel turns they return to their beginnings, to their most Ancient home, a Sacred Grove.
To a place called Anar.
I've been posting Stories set in Mura pretty to Salon pretty regularly now, and I thought I might post a small FAQ that might help anyone interested wrap their head around the very basics of the Milieu and get a little more out of the stories.
Alur: Frost Giant, God of Chaos, Ruler of the Northern Waste, the Ice God Alur is one of the great and feared powers in the world. The first great storm of any given winter is referred to as, "The Wrath of Alur."
Ara (The Ara): Goddess Queen of Anar, A Valkyrie, a Goddess of War who after a dream where-in she saw a "Mountain of Women, Generation up Generation; calling to her." gave up her Immortal Life to Walk a Mortal Path. She is the First Murian, Ilmatar, A Sacred Being - Our Stories are Largely set in the Time of the 7th Rebirth of the Ara.
Anar - Home: The Great Forest; What Anar Means to a Murian is really quite beyond words, it this their place in the world, their mother, their home; The Murian's view themselves as Stewards of Anar; and the relationship between the Murian and the Forest as a Sacred Marriage; it is important to understand that Murian's do not see themselves as owners of Anar, but as Stewards of the Garden of Horus; to a Murian owning land is a bizarre concept.
Anilla (The Nine): A circle of Nine Women, the Reigning, Guiding Circle of Anar or a Casade; each of these women has a specific role and esoteric talent; 1st Regina, 2nd of the Nine, Dream seer, 3rd, Midwife/Healer; 4th Mistress of Trees; 5th Runemal/ Astrologer; 6th Keeper of the Arts of Love and Beauty (Handfasts/Marries/Counsels); 7th Keeper of the Music, 8th Sister of Kur; Keeper of the Past Lives and Wisdom of the People: (9th never so named) The Silent One: The Keeper of the Verses; she who keeps the of the Poetry of Ki, and the Proverbs of Isis.
Anilla De Anar Great Circle of Anar.
Archer: Murian Battle Craft revolves around bonded pairs of Female Archers and Male Shield Bearers; The Archers are trained in Guerilla warfare, and being Murian woman use Magick to better hide themselves. In a copse of woods Murian Archers are all but invisible to Mundane eyes. Murian Archers practice a Martial art very akin to Zen Archery.
Aqueópel: A Lacquered Paper, used by the Murians to make their Armor, the Panels of make up the walls of their Casade, and many other things.
Bianna: - Soul Song, Source of All Murian Sorcery: The Bianna is a wordless song, in which the singers voice is used as a pure instrument. If you want to get some sense of this song listen to of Alan Parson's 'I Robot' from about 1 minute to 1:30 into the song.
Babe of My Babe, Blood of my Blood. Traditional Murian Blessing.
Blood of the Lady: Honorific reserved for a Birth Child of the Ara; although not held in quite the reverence of The Ara herself her Daughters are seen as very special (and by some Sacred Beings.) Our Stories Largely Concern Pandora de Anar, 4th of the Nine and the Ara's Oldest Daughter; and her Sister Claudia 3rd of the Nine, Midwife, Healer, Artist, and Archer.
Breid de Heimdall, Overlord of the City of Untermund. A greater Chattii Noble and one of the Richest Mortals in the Nine Worlds. While a Man of Great Wealth; Breid is actually a Benefic ruler who cares much more about the welfare and prosperity of his people and their city than about adding to his already impressive inheritance.
Casade: The Physical structure of a Murian great house, it is surrounded by a Palisade of living trees, which house tree houses for the Archers; at the center of which is a Great Hall largely made of Lacquered paper panels, the great columns of a Casade are living trees, grown in place for that purpose it takes about 100 years to prepare and build a Casade.
Casade: One of the 9 Great Houses of Anar, 8 at the Points of the Star Road and the 9th Casade Luna at the Center.
Casade Horus, at the Eastern Tip of the Star Road.
Casade Oso, at the Southern Tip of the Star Road.
Casade Luna, Sits at the Center of the Star Road, it is the Home of the Ara, and the Seat of Murian Power.
Comeco The Place of Beginning, the site of the First Tree
Comenco- The time of the Beginning.
Chattii or Chattii Man.
Iron Age Man, the New Men of the Dawning age.
Embraced by some Murians as the Little Brothers, and one of the Fair Peoples
Despised by others as "Chattii" and seen as rapists of women, and the land.
Depending on the Context to be called Chattii by a Murian can be meant as a grave insult. See Esa, See Orensa.
Chaos is a subtle concept in Mura, in that without the creative power of Chaos literally nothing would exist; the Dragon was born of Chaos, she created the Oceans out of Chaos, the Gods were born of Chaos and found shelter in the spines of The Dragon.
All that said, the constant Churning of Chaos is seen as a destructive thing, without the moderating power of the Dragon; the Nine Worlds would dissolve into Chaos and all that is good and fair in the world be swept away; at the same time Chaos not only births Isis and Ra, and the Fair Peoples, but the Foul as Well, Gnolls, Goblins and Kobolds; who seek to sweep away the works of the fair peoples, and ultimately the Dragon herself.
While Set is the Ultimate God of the Foul Folk and the Mortal Enemy of the Dragon, he is not The God of Chaos per se; if the great Sea of Chaos has a consciousness it can call its own, the Wise have yet to grasp it.
Claudia de Anar: Blood of the Lady, 3rd of the Nine, Midwife, Healer, Artist, and Archer. Pandora's Younger Sister by 5 years.
"Crossing The ...:
First River" The Death of the Child, the Birth of the Woman; a Life Changing Event that Marks a Murians acceptance into her Lodge as a Grown Woman.
2nd River" The Birth of a Woman's First Child.
3rd River" End of the Lunar Blood; Beginning of 'The Time of Reflection.'
The Dark Plow: The Planet Pluto, while the Murian's cannot see Pluto, their Seers can feel its slow passage across the sky, and they are well aware a Murian's life expectancy closely matches their 'Pluto Return.'
The Dragon - Mura - the Mother of All Things. The Isle Mura is believed to be the Body of a Great Dragon Turtle; not unlike Native American Beliefs.
When The Dragon Rises Again from the Sea: The last day of the World, The Dragon having retreated into the Sea after her terrible confrontation with Set on the day of their mutual creation will one day rise up again to challenge and destroy her ancient enemy; on this day all the that has gone before will be swept away and a new world rebirthed. It is believed by the Fair Peoples that this rebirth will be the Dawn of a Golden Age, and the new world will be a Pure Land; but the Foul Folk see in this their utter destruction and work relentlessly to delay this day; or best to Cause the Dragon Sink into the Sea, never again to Rise.
Daughter of Kur; Vampiric Daughter of Tsulsala, Nearly always a Turned Murian.
Lanshal Were-wolf, Male Equivalent of a Daughter of Kur, much more Rare.
Engaria: Captain of Archers of Casade Horus, An Orensa.
Esa: The River on the Eastern Border of Anar.
The First Archer, her sister Orensa was first Murian woman to be raped ever, she was raped by five Chattii shortly after the first Chattii clans arrived on the borders of Anar. Esa would avenge her sister. Later, Esa would plant the first trees of the Palisade, establish the role of the Archer in Murian Society, and Murian Battle Craft. Some Murian Archers who call themselves Orensa's number Chattii among the Foul Folk of Chaos and will slay one on Sight.
The Fair Peoples: The four peoples seen as Children and Allies of the Dragon in the Granguerra; the long struggle with the Powers of Chaos. Each of the Fair peoples is Gifted in one of the 4 Sacred elements.
: Elves, Air - Gift Intelligence.
: Bristlings, Earth - Physical Strength - (Dwarves)
: Chattii, Fire - Fertility, Courage, Adventurousness (Us).
: Murian, Water - Magick, Divination, Empathy, Song.
The Foul Folk (of Chaos): The Gnolls, Goblins, Hobgoblins, and Kobolds who inhabit the wastes of Kur and serve as the Foot Soldiers of Chaos in the Granguerra.
The Garden: for The Chattii, especially those of Tyre, The Garden (Allyana) has very special, almost mystical associations, their vision of Paradise is a Garden (as it often is to Desert Peoples); and Chattii of Great wealth via with one an other to recreate their Paradise in the World, through the Splendor of their Gardens.
The Garden of the Moon: The Garden of the Concubines at Untermund.
The Garden of the Sun: The Garden of the Wives (or Full Wives) at Untermund
The Garden of Ivy: The Third Garden of Untermund; It Is both the Nursery, and the apartments where Ynaikyn who have retired from performing the Beautifal Art Reside.
Flower of The Garden of the Moon: Woman of the Garden of the Moon.
Flower of the Garden of The Sun: Full Wife of the Overlord, a woman sworn to never lay with another man so long as she lives.
Handmaiden: A Ynai in the last phase of her training, she observes, assists, (plays music for, brings wine and food, ect) a Ynaikyn in the performance of her Art.
Handmaiden: A concubine bound to a full wife to assist her in the performance of the Beautiful Art, but also as her maid servant.
Ynai: A woman being Trained as a Ynaikyn.
Ynaikyn: A formally trained Concubine of Tyre, while these women are known to the Overlord and his Guests as Flowers of the Garden; this is not their name for themselves; Ynaikyn is a secret name, revealed only to those who give or receive the training; a Ynaikyn is in some ways like a Geisha, in that she will be trained in Song, Music, Dance and Conversation to better entertain her 'Akrotyo' (Audience); unlike a Geisha her favors cannot be rented; rather her bridal contract must be bought by a man capable of maintaining her. A School of Tyre would not sell the Marriage contract to a peasant who has scrapped his last coppers together; and this of course increases the value of their contracts.
A Ynaikyn sees herself as Artist; The Arts of Love are her Paints, the Bed her Canvass; A Poet whose verse is written in the sounds of Passion. Ynaikyn do not see themselves as akin to prostitutes in anyway, they see themselves as Magnificent Performers of "The Beautiful Art." (Oy En-Kaihny)
Katochos Ty Ynaikyn: 'The Keeper of the Women' Vizier of the Garden of the Moon; a man schooled in, truly raised to teaching women 'The Beautiful Art.' If a Ynaikyn is an Artist whose medium is Passion; a Katochos is a sculptor whose medium is women.
Gift of ....
Where we would say Renalta is Dgardo's child,
the Murian would say Renalta is Dgardo's gift (To her Mother.)
Gnoll, Half Wolf Half Man servant of Chaos, believed to be the offspring of a Lanshal and a Human woman.
Gran Caballo - A Murian WarHorse; rather close to a Clydesdale in Size and appearance.
The Green Gown, The Garment of The Lady, the Regina, or the First of the Nine; Murians have no Throne per se, and no Crown; the Ara can be identified by common Murians by her Gown. It is also the Role of The Nine to recognize a Rebirth of the Ara and Extend to her the Green Gown; and a Regina can be called upon to Surrender the Green Gown if she is found to have failed in her Office in, "The Wisdom and Judgment of the Nine."
Of course the Green Gown is in many ways a Uniform, just as no soldier as just one Uniform, the Ara does not physically have just one Green Gown; but each 'Green Gown' is in it's own way sacred; The Gown the Ara or Regina wears into battle contains cloth taken from the Garment of Esa the First Archer, and so on.
Guerrano: loosely Comrade, literally War Brother.
The Granguerra, The Long War, the Ceaseless War; the Struggle with Chaos, the Struggle with Kur.
Ilmatar - Murian word for All Mother, sometimes applied to the Ara, Usually reserved for The Dragon.
Horus: God of the Harvest and the Garden, Ara's Husband in her first Mortal Birthing; Father of the Murians.
Isis: First Among the Gods, Mistress of all Magick, Ara's Mother as an Immortal before her first Mortal Birth.
Ki: The Goddess Ki, Earth Goddess, 'Heart of the Dragon' her life force is intimately tied with that of The Dragon. She Rules Fertility.
Ki: A Murian Woman's "Ki" (Ki Time) Occurs sometimes between her 30th and 150th year; While Murians have very long lives; they generally have all their children in a brief 10 year period referred to as Her Ki. The only real way to know that a Woman's Ki is upon her is that she becomes pregnant.
Kur: The Great Western Wasteland, 'A Dutchy of Chaos'.
Lady: Noble Title a Woman who is One of the Nine, or the Lady of a House.
The Lady: the Great Lady, Honorifics reserved to The Ara, see also Blood of the Lady.
Lady Oya, The Lady of Casade Osa; the Southern Most Casade in Anar, most of Anar's trade with outside world takes place through this Casade and thus a Safe Distance from Casade Luna, Comeco, and the most Sacred Sites in Anar;
Lady Oya is responsible for most of Anar's dealings with the Chattii, and does most of the Ladies Business with them, but she is secretly an Orensa, and deeply despises the Chattii in her heart.
Lodge Brothers, and Sisters: Both the Murians and the Chattii in our stories largely live in lodges which are dominated by a large common area, and perhaps 3 semi private familial area's; both peoples embrace the concept of the Lodge Brother/Sister, who while not always a blood relative is considered as close, and often closer than a blood relation who does not share a given individuals lodge.
The Midwinter Rites:
Strictly speaking a great celebration that takes place on the Eve of the Winter Solstice, Celebrated by the Murians, and Many Northern Chattii Clans, but not those of Tyre. During this Festival the women don Feather Masks, and may approach any man they desire, leading him to the Mistletoe to Kiss; if he returns her kiss he is in fact accepting her offer to Share Bliss; and they will slip away together.
More Loosely, Sharing Bliss while the Sun is in Sagittarius, a time during which sharing Bliss with a someone other than ones Bonded Partner is Generally allowed.
Child of the Mid-Winters Rites: A child conceived on Mid-Winter's Eve (or under Sagg.) Because "No one should know just Who lay with Who on this most Sacred Night of the Year' these children are considered most special and favored gifts of the Ki.
Murian: A Daughter of the Silver Age;
In appearance Murians have very much a Classically Spanish look about them, Porcelain skin, and Raven Hair; They range from Six to Seven feet in height but favor the taller end of that range.
"Tall, Long Lived, and Strong like the Trees of Anar." Their life span matches one Pluto return, or 240 years; but in that time they will only have 2-3 children, because of this long slow life cycle Murian women are not tied to birthing and raising children most of their lives and actually lead their society and their unions.
The Murians are a Matriarchal People; Murian Males seldom figure in the stories because their women lead their society, but they are Overwhelmingly Loyal to the Ara, Honor her Divinity, Honor Murian women as her Daughters; and see themselves as Champions, Protectors, and Helpmates of The Lady and her Daughters; they should not be underestimated because of their supporting role.
Murian Moon: the Murian's do not consider the Dark of the Moon the New Moon, as we do; Instead they consider the first night of the Waxing Crescent a New Moon; Which they call the Murian Moon, or the Moon of Lorith ... See Sharing Bliss.
The Mardii: the rare Child of a Successful Murian/Chattii Union. Remembering Murians are no more Human than say an elf would be; because of the elemental imbalance between these two peoples they are all but incapable of making children; A Murian Male seldom has Fire enough in his nature to light a spark in the womb of Chattii woman; while the seed of Chattii male will scald the womb of Murian woman and render her barren for life. While this may seem odd from a 'Modern' point of view, it is in fact a vital part of the Milieu. Mardii Children tend to favor the Murian appearance but a Chattii elemental balance, and can safely take Chattii partners. Some Mardii do retain the Murian gift of Magick, in the context of the Milieu the Romany might be a Mardii people.
The Nammu: The Great Ocean of the World in which the Isle of Resides, it's narrowest point is The Straights of the Nammu between Mura and the Great Northern Wastes.
Momma Nammu, the Divine Spirt of the Great Ocean.
The Nine Worlds:
The Great Realm of Mura is composed of Nine 'Worlds' Mura the Central World, Kur the western Realm, Tyre the Eastern realm, The Northern Wastes a realm of Ice home of the ice god Alur; besides these Realms that can be reached by Sea, Thebes, and the Great Abyss of Set are mentioned these can only be reached via Magick. No Southern realm is named though it is assumed to exist while not playing any part yet in the stories.
Oak and Elm, Apple and Ash: Traditional Murian Blessing/ Invokation of the Spirit of Anar.
Oona: the Eldest and most powerful of the Daughters of Kur.
Orensa: Sister of Esa, the first Murian woman ever to be raped; shortly after she gave herself to the waters of the river and died of grief. Her memory is precious to the Archers.
Orensas: Murian women usually Archers who do not recognize The Chattii as one of the Fair Peoples. They wear distinctive feathered braids in their hair; these braids are marked by the red 'Blood Stones' that are worked into the Braids; an Orensa will kill a Chattii as soon as kill a Gnoll or Goblin, and will not willingly have dealings with them.
Pandora de Anar, 4th of the Nine, Regina in waiting, First born child of 7th Rebirth of the Ara. Her name means, she who will reveal the Mysteries.
The Prophecy, The Prophecy of the Ara:
In the Time of the 5th Rebirth of the Ara, the Great Lady did see the destruction of Anar in a Great Burning; so will the time of the Murian end; the remains of the people scattered; To the Fair Peoples this is seen as the first trial in the time leading to the Dragon Rising again from the Sea; to the Servants of Chaos it is seen as a Marker on the road to their triumph that the Murian will finally be destroyed and that great obstacle to the will of Set removed.
The Murian's refer to the destruction of Anar simply as "The Burning."
Regina de Anar: Between Rebirths of the Ara, or if she is absent from Anar for some reason, the First of the Nine in that moment is referred to as the Regina de Anar and reigns in her place and her name.
The Seasons: Mura has a Northern European Climate in that it has a short growing season and long terrible winters.
The Seasons are,
The Season of the Ki, (spring)
The Season of Ra,.... (Summer)
The Season of the Wolf (Mother), First Winter
The Wrath of Alur, or the Season of Alur; 2nd Winter, A season of Ice Storms and blizzards.
Set: First among the Gods of Chaos, Shadow of the Dragon, Enemy of the Fair Peoples.
The Span of Seven Generations is Sacred to the Murian, it is the time between Rebirths of the Ara. A Regina is not only responsible for what happens in her life, but for the Seven Generations to follow; When Ara says to the Chaos Witch, "Not in my Time, not for the Seven Generations that Follow." she is quoting a sacred formula to the Murians.
"Seven Generations of Men":
Anar is such a Timeless place that when the Murian's first became aware of the Chattii, they found themselves simply amazed how quickly time passed for them. In the space of a Single Murian life great Chattii tribes might be founded, or fade, Empires rise and fall; Learning be discovered, or lost, or both. As Seven Generations of Chattii Man is slightly longer than One Return of the Dark Plow, and Murians are loathe to mention the Dark Plow; the Expression Seven Generations of Men became part of their language, and spans roughly 280 years.
It should be noted here that while Seven Generations of Murian pass between Rebirths of the Ara, there is no expression such as 'Seven Generations of the Murian' but rather it would be said, "In the Time of the 2nd Rebirth of the Ara." Or "The Time before the 3rd Rebirth of the Ara."
Sharing Bliss: the Murian Expression for Love Making, because Murian's have no history of, or real comprehension of Chattii idea's of Paternity and the ownership of women that goes with it, they see Love Making primarily as a Sharing between loving partners.
On the first Night a New (Crescent) Moon, A Murian Moon as it is called, the Murians believe Isis (the New Moon) Lays in the Arms of her Consort Lorith (the Old Moon); and all Murians who can will share bliss with their partners. So Murian Lodges on such a night are filled with couples sharing bliss; these are not Orgies in anyway; each member of each couple focusing the whole of their attention on their partner, so each couple actually enjoys a great deal of privacy, as their neighbors are themselves utterly preoccupied
While partners will of course be peripherally aware of the other couples, there is no sharing of partners, or rude commentary between them, such as an adolescent Chattii might make, but a Murian would find baffling..
Shield Bearer; Bonded Mate of an Lady or an Archer.
: A Male or Group of Male Warriors Bound to a Casade.
: Any Male Warrior Trained for close combat.
: Any Male Murian, used by common women as a term to honor their mates as their protector.
The Star road, an 8 Legged Highway centered on Casade Luna, legendary for its almost perfect straightness of line; the Star road if seen from a great height would look almost like a great Christmas Star in the forest of Anar; the stretch from Casade Luna to Casade Osa being far longer than the other legs of the Road.
Wolf Mother; Goddess of Death, Queen of Hunger, Keeper of the Dark Mirror
: Regina of Kur Ilmatar of all creatures of Chaos.
: Vampire, Were-wolf, "A Terror as Great as Any in the Nine Worlds"
: Ara's Twin Sister.
Tsulsala is no passive 'Goddess of Death' she goes out into the Nine Worlds and hunts to feed her relentless hunger.
Tolz: Largest of all Chattii Cities, Home of the 'Invincible Overlord of the Chattii.'
Tyre: The Main City of the Great Eastern Desert Realm, a major shipping center and Major Trade Partner with Untermund. The Culture is Proto-Phoenician, the Major God is Samael.
Paseanta de Cerca: A Fence Walker, A Murian Archer.
Paseanto de Cerca: A Fence Walker, A Shield Bearer.
Child of Marta Daughter of the Red Star. (Mars Demigod of War.)
Child of Marte Son of the Red Star.
Untermund: Richest of all Chattii Cites, Located at the base of a sheer cliff on the straights of the Nammu, Untermund is most famous for its banks, whose vaults are located well up the cliff face of the Mountain, making them nearly impregnable to raiders, pirates and other sources of mischief. This has made Untermund very popular with the Merchants of Mura, and it has grown from fairly humble beginnings to the greatest trading center in the Nine worlds, the City is the Most Cosmopolitan in the Nine worlds; and embraces a very open, pragmatic, Libertarian Ethos.