From the Journal of Queen Iricah of Cellinor.
This journal, found by an archivist, was believed to have been one of the first field guides of the queens, prior to her departure to the west. It is therefore of great value.
Figure 1: In this image we see an oftentimes dark depiction carved into stone. This is the image of the twin serpents Turenus, and Sherserak. He of gold, and she of green respectively from left to right. The green, associated with the feminine traits is usually I have found in dark contrast to the gold. This, unfortunately, highlights the possible validity of so many Celn and especially Silver Order tropes. I have been told that the contrast is also literal in that gold’s virtue is not to tarnish as other metals will. The Trebians, as I have found, believe that all things in the natural world have a dark nature. Even something as counterintuitive, such as gold, they believe can tarnish. When questioned, it is hard to get more than that from the elders here. Side note: The tale of ol’ Fafnir, the gift dragon, was once associated with Turenus. Yet, the comparison seems now baseless to me. More research is needed, but I would argue currently that it is, like so many things, a Celn invention stolen from the idea presented in a Trebian myth that the order does not want to see embed itself in our lore. Fafnir, being benign in nature, like the trope of the four heroes, remains.
Figure 2: The great tree of the [humanoid] races. Note to self. There is no word that describes all the races of humanoids, except that which Borindin, and his son Genoran, use during ceremonies which is “goodly folk.” The Trebian word is “han-bok” which means tribe of all people. The Trebians have spent much time telling us of great ceremonial centers which in ancient times were dedicated to their seven gods. This iconography of the tree, and the seven, is central to their creation myth story which I have written in the back of this journal. Interestingly, these centers are known as “places where gods walk”, however my elven guide suggests another translation, “place where gods created people” may be more accurate. If so, this is rather intrigueing as other lore of the Trebian tribes to the east claim that their gods sacrificed themselves, literally vanishing, so that “hanbok” could be created. The belief remains so strong in their priesthood, for example, that it has spurned the order and is much to blame for the ideological and often very physical warfare that exists between our two nations of people. Note to self: One elder, having a map much larger than any Trebian map I have seen, claims that these centers of ceremony did not just exist here, but also in a land to the west. He claims that the world being ripped apart during the creation of the people, separated the two worlds and that should one pass “still waters” one would find these centers far more easily than if one were here. He is a very old man, and we have noted he is prone to hallucination. It is possible that he has heard about the still waters from Celn traders and is looking for cheaper trade. I will press others on the matter should the opportunity arise.
Figure 3: This stone, now located in Cellione’s Museum of the Outwilderness, depicts a strange account I once heard a tale of. According to Trebian Lore, not as yet confirmed by my tribal visitations, the same tree that once gave humanity (hanbok) it’s rise would someday extinguish it when the seven lords returns. This was to be in a time of “darkness, pain, suffering and cruelty”. However, one of my guides, whom I trust, thought the translation may have been metaphorical. At night, he says, we are gods. When we wake, we are but mere humans once more.
I plan to inquire more of the story. Particularly, I wish to know if the gods created hanbok, or people, who would be present at the time of their end?
Figure 5,6,and7: Quennel, these three images,magically inscribed by Malorus for me, would bring our entire party’s death if they were discovered. This discovery is my single greatest to date, and has singlehandedly made this entire journey worth the many hardships and tragedies we have faced. I will detail this as best I can.
The quennel, of which the Trebians speak but do not explain to any insider (Trebians see Celns and the Alamadins of the east as people trapped in their own cities. For this, they consider us foolish), is a creature of legend. Ancient, mysterious and cunning, the quennel is said to be an ancient demon, a left over from the before time, the end days they call it, but they fear them still as if they still existed. Based on what parts of legends I have been able to gather from various sources I have put together the following accounts, which must see further study of course.
The quennel is said to inhabit many forms. Any beast, even man, could in fact be a quennel. The quennel does not feed as normal beasts do. When it kills, it takes the abilities of it’s prey and reinvents it for it’s own vile purposes. Last night during their feasted ritual, I observed a ceremony in which a quennel, dressed as a jaguar, could poison it’s prey as though it were part snake, or some other venomous beast. A single bite and the dancers thronged around the fire. The quennel waited for it’s quarry, an old man, to fall before pouncing upon him and devouring his flesh ritualistically. Then, I watched in amazement as the jaguar stood on two legs as though it were now part man.
Once more, Trebians both fear and revere half creatures. Unlike our Celn culture which views them, in general terms, as less than whole, even those who accomplish great deeds for the realm. To Trebians, the Arakokra,for example, are not less than a man, but more than one. They see that which halves are not as a corruption of man, but of nature taking man back into the natural world’s order. This iconography is manifested in the golden and green serpent as well. The green isn’t so much a tarnish of gold, it is simply the natural way of things.
Figure 8:The great serpent Turenus consuming the seven lights of mankind. Little more is known at this time.
Figure 9: The headdress of “Zakhahn”. A mystical artifact stolen, so say the Trebians by our very king himself. I have asked Gen myself and he assures me that the rumor is false, unfounded. Perhaps, it has arisen, as Celn rumors do too, as a result of Celn intrusions into Trebian lands. Of course, the Celns see this most recently as Trebian incursions into our lands.
Figure10,11 and 12: Malorus, the fool took it upon himself to enter the secret sanctum yester eve. For the safety of our party, we have decided to leave this tribe. I have much anger towards the mage now for I felt we were close to learning more about he ceremonial centers of the ancients. So that something other than ill can come of this, I will record Malorus’ findings. Note to self: This is my understanding of Malorus’ tellings. He may, as he often does, be lying.
This image is inscribed magically by the mage and exhibit traits of the four. As with Celn lore, the four in the sacred sanctum of the tribal elders each are considered embodiments of one trait: compassion,courage,curiosity, sacrifice.
This image, Malorus wanted me to believe must be the three. No doubt part of this is missing for if it were true it would be the first depiction of the three traitors I have heard of which are shown in the manner of light, instead of darkness.
Equally troubling is what Malorus believes shows all seven of the Trebian gods. It is the first depiction of them all together in a scene I have ever heard of, and perhaps is not accurate.Regardless, the four and the three are shown with traits similar to that I have seen elsewhere. Most importantly, it is the three, not the four, here that are leaders. The chief of the three, known to academia as the fates, is crowned in light. He leads the other fates and the four into battle against enemies not shown. Malorus insists that the representations are all male. This can not be as all depictions of the three I have ever seen are of female, as have been all we have ever found. It is my assertion then that Malorus is lying. But why would he do such a thing as this?
Finally, Malorus tells me that the central portion of the chamber contained an image of the wearer of the maskof Zakahn, and possibly Zakahn himself. I believe this may be true as it seems a likely place. In the carving, Zakahn holds back darkness, giving his life (literally turning into a pile of bones).
It is with a heavy heart that we must leave this area at first light. May the Light guide us back home safely so that I, and my colleagues waiting for me, may make sense of all that we have been given by these fellow hanbok of the outer wilds.