Monday, April 7, 2014

Slumbering Ursine Dunes and The Myth of Arctolatry

For years all my dungeon and wilderness keys have been nothing but the most ephemeral of affairs: a small, semi-organized mountain of stained and terse random bits of paper. My games for the most part seem to run fine with the occasional, jarring bit of discontinuity as the price.

At any rate, something has moved in me (all vain and seductive) to try and write all the various adventure sites I have run here in the last 5-6 years as something more publicly presentable. The Golden Barge adventure locale came easy and with that momentum I started fleshing out the surrounding mini-sandbox area of the Slumbering Ursine Dunes and related sites as a pointcrawl.

Punchline is that in a month's time I will most likely have the whole package out as some kind of cheap for-charity pdf (or bundle it up with the never-ending Live Weird or Die blog compilation booklet project).

So at any rate, this all has me feeling especially fine so to celebrate I wrote another eminently silly Hill Cantons myth.
It so came to pass that Marzana tired of her second life among the Foreign Gods. “My lover is feckless and my poses grow affected and languid,” the Queen of Winter exclaimed with a great sigh. “I shall cover Zem in the bitterness of my cold and start anew.”

And so the great mountains of ice drove Pahr and his family from the fields of paradise. With horse and wagon Pahr's clan divided amongst the three elder sons and wandered Zem. Stanko, the youngest and most broke in the head of the three, reasoned that the cold of the Northlands must be like the darkness before dawn and must surely give out to warm lands of milk and honey. Thus his followers made great coracles from udders shorn from Velesh's cattle herd and crossed the World Canal.

But neither warmth nor milk nor honey was to be found. For one hundred years they fought the blueskins of the North and the fell creatures of the boreal forest until at one great battle Stanko and all his kin but one were slain.

Sad and strong the boy Mirko was left alone and he said to himself, “I make peace with having no milk but warmth and honey perhaps are found with our kin to the south.”

And Mirko wandered and wandered the hills of the south enacting great acts along the way. Finally he came to the shores of the sweet-smelling sea and made content he rested.

Sleeping upon the sand he was visited by Old Bear. Old Bear had a great hunger and seized upon Mirko's leg swallowing it in a mighty bite. Mirko awakened and crying in pain “Sweet Svat” did battle with Old Bear kicking up great mounds of sand in the struggle.

With his spear he pierced Old Bear and laid him down. Hungered Mirko began to eat Old Bear. His belly full but saddened by having consumed such a noble foe he was approached by Younger Bear. “Why have you eaten the flesh of Old Bear?” Younger Bear asked. “He is not unlike you in that he yearns for honey.”

“Sometimes you eat the bear,” Mirko replied. “And sometimes the bear eats you.”

“Is that some kind of Northern thing?” Younger Bear asked, but Mirko only shrugged in answer.

Mirko was made sad again and though he had eaten and beaten Old Bear decided he would share what remained of his life with him as one.

So Mirko and Old Bear became Medved, the seeker of honey, ruling all bears and bearlings from the dunes thrown up in their battle until the world-dialectic turns again.


  1. Many of the best myths are eminently silly, so this has what the kids call "verisimilitude."