Author: Alcraes Magnorin · Written 222 - 218 BNA
Vol. 1 - Nalashtannylor: Names and Origins
There are many names in which the deity known as Nalashtannylor is spoken across the world. Civilisation as we know it, that is, the two powers of the world - the Sovereignty of Dryada and Empire of Man indeed know of this being as Nalashtannylor despite the infrequency of worship in their walls, although it has always been elusive as to how the name Nalashtannylor came about to be spoken in the modern tongue. I believe that, through looking through endless manuscripts of nomenclature that dates back many centuries, that the name lies in northern origin. A common cognate word in the northern languages of the world, more notably between that of the elusive Eza'naerani and Névari cultures that live in the freezing deserts of the north is the prefix nal- which evidently derives from some specifically ancient language, though from what has been deciphered, this prefix nal- is translated as 'storm' in both of them. The rest of the name remains a complete and utter mystery, though I am led to believe it is perhaps the last trace of the ancient myths of the Phoenixes, as it has been argued that the languages of the Orichalcum Age descended from one, whole language that is according to legend, the language of the Phoenixes.
It is by no coincidence then, that Nalashtannylor, perhaps a name from the legendary Phoenixes, that across the world, he appears much like a great avian man, with the face of a bird, great wings and, like the eastern iconography of the man-god Pheonas, has the motif of two sets of arms. The most ancient of stories of our world, ancient beyond numerical account (though many have said perhaps thirty thousand years old or older), imply that the mythological Phoenixes that descended from the heavens to teach the first cultures of the world were of this similar stature - beings of a quality not too far removed from man nor bird, and, in conjunction to the many stories of Nalashtannylor, had the power to alter the fabrics of this world. It is by that lack of coincidence that perhaps Nalashtannylor was one of many of these venerated Phoenixes of whose name survives to this day.
It is curious to mention however, that a name exists in parallel to the name Nalashtannylor, of which is the deity known by name as Aethereus. Many have agreed that the name Aethereus is also synonymous with the Orichalcum Elf deity that we translate into the Common Tongue as Kaur-arān, rather literally, night-god. Aethereus and Kaur-arān are two names that were never interchangeable due to the geographical placements of the cultures that used them - however, it is clear that by drawing these correlations, these two deities are inextricably linked. Whilst we cannot, and possibly never will place a date to the earliest attestations of the deity Aethereus, the earliest attestation to Kaur-arān dates only to a few centuries after the death of the legendary Orichalcum Elf emperor Keleivel, of whose death is often dated approximately twenty seven and a half thousand years ago, following his mysterious illness after perhaps what is known as the first conquests of the world. It is often believed that during his reign, Keleivel's religious stance had forcibly converted the Orichalcum Elf Imperium towards a monotheistic belief in Aur-ārel - or more likely, Maharsan, the apparent successor of Keleivel of who only survives by name, had adopted a polytheistic belief in Aur-ārel, Kaur-arān and the even more mysterious Tlahl-arān - but the reasoning for this will forever remain unknown. It is only known of the prevalence of the belief in Kaur-arān as the more substantial evidence of the Castus Dynasties after the turn of the twentieth millennium before this one.
Belief in Kaur-arān had waned gradually and almost removed entirely by the sixteenth millennium, as the Micaelis Tyranny came into effect and had established their doomed imperial cult. However, whilst the religion in Aur-ārel was established once again halfway through the thirteenth millennium by the celebrated Emperor Marcus, Kaur-arān still remained a secondary, and even lesser known deity in this age - a belief that never fully matched that of the sun goddess, and by the turn of the fifth millennium in the Imperium's dissolution, belief in Kaur-arān was rather effortlessly stomped out by the tyrannical efforts of Constantius, who replaced the old religion in favour of The Adversary. Following this dissolution, no culture or diaspora of the Orichalcum Elf Imperium had used the name Kaur-arān, and thus belief in this deity no longer existed in such a wide number.
It is strange to draw comparisons with Kaur-arān and Nalashtannylor - two deities of vastly similar characteristics as what has been recovered from the ruins across the northern extent of the Orichalcum Elf Imperium on the tropic border. Kaur-arān bore no true distinction from the contemporary iconography of Nalashtannylor, which to reiterate; a being not too far removed from neither bird nor man. To even the most uneducated of folk of the world, there is no coincidence that Kaur-arān and Nalashtannylor, vastly similar in appearances are either the same deity, or perhaps are historical derivations of one elder deity - one could guess that Aethereus, the synonymous and enigmatic deity of whose name survives only in a handful of fragmented archaeological evidence across the north, may bridge that gap between our northern night deity and southern night deity.
Whilst Nalashtannylor, Kaur-arān and Aethereus are all names given to this night deity, there are indeed other names of which this god is so called. One that truly piques my interest is the Eza'naerani moniker of the Nine-Faced God, which alludes to the more esoteric knowledge that the Grand Collegium of Purity's Apogee has limited readings of. Those which have long since preceded my findings of the Eza'naerani culture, some of which is over two thousand years old and have not been explored upon since, agree that the Eza'naerani's Nine-Faced God is an allegory towards the nine legendary beasts that roam the most inhospitable reaches of the north, some of which have rather boldly claimed to be Storm Elementals. The Kharin-Eza and Nal-Rath are the only two of the nine names which have been recorded, and, to support my claims of the linguistic origin of the name Nalashtnanylor, the prefix nal- occurs in the name Nal-Rath, which is described as colossal avian beast. I am rather stumped however, as to whether the Eza'naerani believe that these nine legendary beasts are in fact the nine avatars of Nalashtannylor, or that they are by some governance the nine 'children' of Nalashtannylor, though there is no evidence to support either claim.
My theory of the allusion of the Nine-Faced God to the nine avatars is that these nine beasts are known to have varying degrees of behaviour - some are not too dissimilar from the more motherly forms of wildlife seen here, whilst others are chaotic-yet-immutable forces of nature. This is supported of the qualities of Nalashtannylor and the deities of other names, known for their qualities of purity and protection, though capable of unrelenting wrath.
Vol. 2 - Nalashtannylor: Magic and Culture
Unfortunately, there is little of what I can gather about the power of Nalashtannylor, or what magical schools one might attribute this deity to. It is known however, that Nalashtannylor is one of the Twelve Simulacra; a collective of rather well known entities that are worshipped across the continent; the Dalmiric beliefs in Zran Kar, and the Freelander beliefs in both Zran Kar and the death-god known secularly as Mortium are among the more significant Simulacra that perhaps the more civilised demographic of Koldenwelt believe in. Nalashtannylor is in fact, worshipped by the Freeland City State of Zalanque, of who use the honorific title of the Night-Father in conjunction with the Névari cultures of the north, though how this came about is extraordinarily mysterious.
It is not extraordinarily mysterious however as to how the Freeland City State of Zalanque came about to worship Nalashtannylor as their deity - it is well documented of a particular number of humans under the leadership of the Orichalcum Elf Imperium came to worship Nalashtannylor during the Micaelis Tyranny; something of which was punished for by death and had been described so in many graphic and rather brutal ways unfit for such a discussion as this. However, it is likely that the earliest of the Freelanders, evidently under the leadership of Zalanque, had come to worship Nalashtannylor as their one deity. As to how the nomenclature altered from the name Kaur-arān five millennia ago to being named Nalkush-Tanatl is rather unknown, though one could theorise it was perhaps out of a linguistic bastardisation on the part of northern cultures. One must point out however, that the northern nal- prefix is even present in the Freelander language, although I am at a loss as to how this translates.
To now digress back to the magical spheres of Nalashtannylor as the Freelander deity, and drawing correlations to that of Kaur-arān, it is believed that ancient magical theorem, thousands of years old, attribute Nalashtannylor to being the patron deity of the fundamental storm magic, one of the three foundations of the ancient trias celestis - or, known as the celestial traid in magical history. Storm, Sun and Darkness is what consists of the trias celestis, of where the primary deities of the Orichalcum Elves were indeed Kaur-arān, Tlahl-arān and Aur-ārel, and sometimes, to further expand upon this theory, a part of the quinarius celestis, or the celestial quintet, of which Dātana-varās and Evicān-arās - encompassing exceptionally ancient magical spheres of time and space, become part of.
By contemporary magisterial consensus however, the celestial triad and quintet, all but for the foundation of darkness, is considered an archaic and mostly insubstantial understanding of the magic of our world. Nevertheless, to further explain the magical quality of Nalashtannylor, such archaic and insubstantial understandings are necessary to pick apart. The storm fundamentals of the celestial triad or quintet are most concerned with magic said to be driven by the celestial body of our two moons, known now in our modern tongues as Kaurlus and Mehnot (which, rather importantly, Kaurlus is in fact named in relation to Kaur-arān and in turn, Nalashtannylor). To the ancient magical theorists that had devised the celestial triad or quintet, the moon was the deciding celestial body that drove the magical schools that have dominion over the water, air, ice, lightning, and to some degree, the earth itself. Rather interestingly, most cultures that still believe in Nalashtannylor, or a derivation or the same deity under another name, are all intertwined magically by at the very least one of the listed schools of magic.
I am rather curious however, as to the nomenclature of Nalashtannylor when it concerns the Névari and Freelander moniker of the Night-Father. In consideration of the name Kaur-arān as a translation to night-god, it is rather obvious that at some point in history, perhaps nearing the very beginning of the long and winding annals of the world's history itself, that Nalashtannylor was in fact treated, possibly under the name of Aethereus, as the deity of the night. Whilst I have referred to Nalashtannylor as a night god in a historical sense, it leads me to believe that Nalashtannylor's power, especially driven by the storm element of the celestial theory, that it has been driven indomitably by that of the cycle of night itself. This links specifically to perhaps one of the most ancient and truly legendary stories of the Orichalcum Elves; something known to few as the cosmic interplay - or, to better explain it, the nature between that of Kaur-arān and Aur-ārel - the moon and the sun, or sometimes, the night and the day.
It astounds me that, by the world that revolves around us, that Nalashtannylor's power is closely linked to and detached from the elements of this world. It is not improbable to say that, despite Nalashtannylor's status as one of the Twelve Simulacra, that perhaps this cosmic interplay - or Nalashtannylor alone if one were to assume so, is linked to Isiris - a being sometimes accepted as the supreme governing force of our magical power, and quite possibly the the will of the universe around us. The very cycle of the world around our sun - and the cycles of our moons around our world, and the endless cycle of day and night, and the shifting patterns of the stars above us, may lead some to believe that Nalashtannylor and Isiris are so closely linked that perhaps Nalashtannylor, Aur-ārel or the cosmic interplay is Isiris incarnate - the incarnate soul, or something of as great or a greater order to the earthly deities, or Colossi. Assuming rather correctly that the celestial triad and quintet were a great part of the cosmic interplay, that perhaps all five of these deities were incarnations, the derivations of Isiris - or perhaps, Isiris was the derivations of those five.
The most interesting qualities of Nalashtannylor however, derive from his status as a Simualcrum, and perhaps there it gives us the most two-sided opinion of this deity. Nalashtannylor is among the most benevolent of the twelve; I could only think of Harstag being of a similar ilk to Nalashtannylor, and it is known that Harstag and Nalashtannylor have strong followings in the north of the world. From what I can gather, Nalashtannylor's spheres as a Simulacrum consist of Purity and Wrath - something that is a consistent element of the personalities of Nalashtannylor, Kaur-arān, the Night-Father, Nalkush-Tanatl and the Nine-Faced God. It is known that Nalashtannylor's qualities almost make him appear of a similar order of beings to that of Aur-ārel and Pheonas, due to the lack of perceiving a dark quality in that of Nalashtannylor's spheres and magic - though, much like the names of Nalashtannylor represent, the sphere of Wrath is very intriguing.
Wrath is a common sphere between all twelve Simulacra, rather undeniably. However, to have Nalashtannylor named as the Simulacrum of Wrath implies that through his purity, Nalashtannylor is a god of divine retribution in magnitudes far greater than that of most. It is a rather strong comparison between all cultures worshipping Nalashtannylor - all maintain a rather stalwart and militaristic culture regardless of geographical location, and perhaps among the southern cultures, Kaur-arān was at a time revered as a war god. Many accounts over the course of history define that breaking a pact sworn in the name of Nalashtannylor is the most certain way to ire the deity into passing divine judgement upon those who betray his trust. It is perhaps by such indiscriminate and immovable forces of power that Nalashtannylor reigns over, that he is defined as one of the mightiest of the Twelve Simulacra.
As a final note upon the magical attribution to Nalashtannylor, it is intriguing to find evidence that Nalashtannylor is in fact associated with that of dark magic - an already exceptionally broad and endlessly convoluted school of magic that it is, the Vila Elves know Nalashtannylor also by the unique name of the Shadow Prince - often associated with both the night, and dark qualities of magic. Extremely vague stories of artifacts attested to Nalashtannylor from seemingly unknown parts of the world imply a transfiguration of a dark nature also, which may further support that Nalashtannylor is a god of both the ethereal elements of the universe, and of which includes that of the darkness that surrounds it.