THE DHASHARMAHN - Part Three
Jaldrali guide my hand to success. This is a translation of the Dhasharmahn, one of the prophetic books of the Chardrakesh. It is dated later than the fearful Yajhanir, which foretold the coming of the Demon of the Lake, whose name shall not be written, but it is earlier than the sacred Glabhelain, which details some events unrelated to the rise of the Demon. The Dhasharmahn chronicles the events after Marik's defeat by the Demon, and in particular follows the deeds of Surik, Marik's shieldmate. It also makes some predictions of the return of Marik.
This is written in the year 1,997 of the Verentian Calendar, by the hand of the scholar Velhir of Rosphult. The blessings of Maldai upon you all.
PRINCES OF THE JALIN
Returning to the cities of the Albir Gulf, Surik finds an ally in the Zulin deity Anyesi. Surik aids the Zulin in their defense against the invading Mekkarans. Despite all his efforts, the Zulin lose to Mekkara. To make matters worse, Anyesi is destroyed by the Demon of the Lake.
Discouraged, Surik retires to the mainland. Since the Prulami still have bad memories of him, Surik makes his way to Cazria. At this time the Jalin1 are being expelled from that land. Surik teaches them to follow Marik and leads them over the mountains to the south of Cazria. In the mountains they are trapped in a dead end, with the Larhan Vili2 closing on them.
"The Larhan Vili will be upon us soon," said Gamon. "We will be trapped, and your powers are not enough to stop them."
"We must call upon Marik," said Tromos. "Only he can save us."
"Aye," said Gamon. He looked to Surik. "Do it."
Surik shook his head. "It would take a great sacrifice to produce the energy needed to summon Marik. All of our best warriors must give themselves up to him. And that still might not be enough."
"We must do what we must!" cried Tromos. "We will all perish now unless we act!"
Tromos drew his knife, uttered a prayer to Marik, and plunged it into his belly.
"Aye!" cried Gamon. "To Marik our souls!"
Then he too plunged his knife to its deadly destination. Other warriors of the Jalin followed suit. Soon the bodies of warriors littered the narrow defile. The women and children cried out in anguish as they watched the men fall.
Surik bowed his head momentarily, then lifted his face to the sky. "In all these centuries of service to you, O Marik, never have I given so much as these men! Have I done so poorly? Is my failure so obvious, so complete?
"All that I have done for you pales to what these men do now. I am ashamed."
Surik picked up a knife from a nearby fallen man. It was Gamon. He passed his hand over the weapon so that it changed color and began to glow. Then he went to where the family of Gamon huddled, his four boys rose to meet him.
"Danak, Bargesh, Ghurik, Voraz. You are the princes of the Jalin, when I am gone, you shall lead. Bargesh, you will take your clan west to the mountains of Basturan. Ghurik, you shall go east, to Lake Arenib. Voraz, you shall follow the Basturan south until you reach the sea. Danak, since your clan is smallest, you shall follow Marik into the great desert."
Surik then stepped away and cleared a circle. Then he plunged the strangely glowing blade into his chest. Instantly his body exploded and sent great gouts of flame skyward. From a distance, the Larhan Vili watched the spectacle and wondered.
From the flames rose Marik, and the Jalin screamed in fear. But Marik lifted the fear and sent it to the Larhan Vili, who fled in panic. Then he bent and gathered the dust that had become of Surik's body, and carried it in the helm of Gamon. At the place where he was reborn, Marik took the souls of the warriors who sacrificed themselves and set them as guardians. Now the mountains are called the Donnithi, Gate of Spirits.
Marik took the helm of Gamon, with the ashes of Surik inside, and gave it Danak. When this was done, he called upon Jaldrali, who soon arrived in his wagon drawn by rukha.
"Show them the way," said Marik. Jaldrali regarded the Jalin, who were to follow him. Nodding in approval, he turned and opened a pass through the mountains, then led the Jalin through it.
Danak's tribe was led to Kelkadh. They went on the pilgrimage to Cha Kelkorm, carrying Surik's ashes, and put them in Marik's place. Then they returned to Kelkadh as Kelberini.
Jalin: A nomadic tribe of Anphirai, considered bandits by the Cazrians
Larhan Vili: Champions of the Cazrian nobility.