Ykinde: Detailed History

Back to Ykinde.

The Beginning Of The World

Lupos Creation Myth

In the beginning, there was an eternity, an infinity of nothingness - except for one bright point of light that burned insatiably. That light, who was Father Sun, felt the loneliness that any spirit feels when there are none to share the darkness. The darkness itself was Cousin Eclipse, but He spoke little and was naught but Father Sun's opposite. So Father Sun created Mother Moon to be His mate and to soothe His unending loneliness. After Their joining, Mother Moon gave birth to Sister Earth, and then to Brother Sky. Father Sun shone upon them all, His light gleaming upon the Mother's silver face and warming His daughter's body. Excluded from this family, Cousin Eclipse grew jealous, and He periodically hid Mother Moon's face from Her children, or even blocked Father Sun's light - but Cousin Eclipse was not as great as the Sun and Moon, and He could only bring the blackness to Earth and Sky for a little while before the light broke past.

Out of Mother Moon's love for Her daughter, She created the Lupos and taught them to honor the gods and the Sister's body upon which they now lived. Brother Sky created the Avans to be brothers to the Lupos as He was to His sister, and Father Sun created the rest of the life on Aahu to keep everything balanced.

Avan Creation Myth

In the beginning, all that existed was chaos. Flesh and flora and air had no shape; no creatures existed in this pool of infinity. Slowly, out of love for itself, the characteristics of beauty, perfection, and sensuality separated and condensed into what the Avans call a god. She called Herself Beauty, and she rose above the mire of unending potential and saw what could be, if only She shaped everything.

Beauty created Ykinde from the want to have a place to make Beautiful, and She created the Avans as the first and best race, the finest and most intelligent, the most refined and the most Beautiful. She then placed Lupos and humans into Ykinde to illustrate how favored the Avans were. Flora and fauna were created to serve and to please the Avans, who, in their gratitude, strove to live Beautiful lives in the way of their faceless, formless goddess. The Avan people developed four paths, driven by this creation story: the scholars to study the past, the world, and themselves; the warriors to fight for their right to live Beautifully and to make bloodshed a finely-honed art; the mages to manipulate the magic Beauty placed in the world to their own superior ends; and the naturalists to tend to Beauty’s lesser creations - the birds and trees, the fish and beasts - and to preserve nature, if only so that nature may continue to serve and fulfill the Avans’ needs and whims.

Panthera Creation Myth

(Note: Many Panthera believe in the Lupos creation myth and the Lupos set of gods. Only some still cling to their original mythos.)

There was no "beginning," and there will be no "end." Aahu has always existed; the souls of the trees and the spirits of the elements are ancient, immortal. The creatures on Aahu's skin come and go, moving within the cycle of life, death, and rebirth. Panthera were once only wild cats who hunted the depths of the world; similarly, Lupos were once wolves of the forests, and Avans once had wings to fly the highest skies. Even humans were once beasts, though they have changed so much that even Panthera cannot guess what kind of beasts they may have once been. Lupos, Avans, and humans became intelligent far before Panthera; and Panthera only became intelligent because Hunter - a faceless, unknowable shadow-god - chose a Panthera-cat for Its companion in the Great Hunt. When the Panthera-cat died in Its service, Hunter made its fellow felines intelligent and taught them of the Great Hunt. Ever since, they have strove to maintain the balance of life and death upon this world, never staying longer than they must to facilitate the cycle.

Human Creation Myth

(As recorded in the Book of Prophecies, written by Bahb.)

In the beginning, Taerh was barren and dead; there were too many suns around it to allow water to collect upon the surface and feed life. As eternity went on, one by one, the suns exploded, raining fire and ash upon Taerh's surface and spitting fire into the skies, where the candles of the universe were lit and glittered as stars. When there were two suns left, the second-to-last exploded, and fire ravaged the world in its entirety. The smoke from the fire rose and formed the sky, protecting the world from the last sun, and allowing water to fall upon the ash of the soil.

Creations sprang from the ash; some twisted and staggering, some malformed, others healthy and green. The creations that could move tore free from the ground and began moving, hungering, feeding on the green things that sprouted rampantly. As the fire of the suns burned in these creations, they changed and became transmuted over time, differentiating into the different creatures and races of Taerh. Likewise, the ash of the soil was different in some places, and so the plants grew diverse as well, and covered the world as the rain fell from the smoke of the sunfires. In an endlessly long age, the world grew its creations and found a balance to life and death.

The Beginning of the Elderwar

In ages past, the Lupos and the Avans were the two great races on Ykinde. The tribal Lupos lived in nomadic clans, whereas the sophisticated Avans preferred great, stationary cities. They were rivals, but there was no real hostility between them, even when they competed for the same resources or pieces of land. The two races had lived peacefully for as long as they could remember, despite the Avans' arrogance and the Lupos' aversion to changing their seemingly primitive ways.

The greatest Lupos clan was the Azrah clan at the time, led by Azrah Darkhowl. Darkhowl was a mighty brave, a warrior with no equal, and an alpha who was well-loved by his clansmen. The Azrah were the first clan to ever settle in one place and claim a territory; they chose the Six Lakes region, a lush, forested land. It was the Azrah that began to build Lupos culture into something truly magnificent; they crafted the fine weapons, the sturdy armor, and the efficient tools that Lupos have since honed, improved, and continued to use. Darkhowl was a hero to all Lupos for what he achieved for his race, and it was he who won the Avans' respect at long last.

The beginning of the Elderwar has two sides to it; the Lupos side, and the Avan side. However, the facts of the event are ugly, and simple. During an eclipse of the bright moon, Azrah Darkhowl took a party of his most powerful braves and rangers and, in the darkness, utterly slaughtered a group of Avans who were exploring the lands outside the Azrah clan territory. The battle ended at dawn, and Darkhowl allowed three badly-wounded Avans to escape on their gryphon steeds. After they fled, Darkhowl and his clansmen mutilated and dishonored the bodies of the dead Avans at the campsite, then returned to their territory. When a party of Avans came a few days later, they saw their kindred plucked naked of their beautiful feathers, dismembered, with their eyes stabbed out, their beaks crushed, their skulls on pikes. There was no end to the horror that they saw - the atrocities that Darkhowl and his warriors had committed. Still, the Avans tried to understand, sending an emissary to Darkhowl to demand an answer for his terrible deeds. The emissary's head was returned with no eyes and no head-crest. It was the final line drawn in the sand - the Avan forces engaged Darkhowl's braves in battle.

The sky darkened in a second eclipse, and the Avans - who had poor night-vision - were defeated. Only one escaped to bring news of the vicious battle to the nearest Avan city. And thus began the Elderwar, which has raged on until this very day between the races of the Lupos and the Avans. The Avans could not forgive or forget such unprovoked savagery, and the Lupos would not let their strongest chieftain and his clan stand alone.

Why did Darkhowl murder unprovoked? The Avans do not believe what the Lupos have tried to tell them as truth over the years; they do not believe in the Lupos gods. But, for the Lupos, they share a different store of the beginning of the Elderwar and what drove their finest chieftain to seeming madness…

Cousin Eclipse, a god who had ever been jealous of the closeness of the other four Lupos gods - Father Sun, Mother Moon, Sister Earth, and Brother Sky - hid the Mother's face one night and whispered to Darkhowl that there were enemies in the darkness that had come to slaughter his clansmen. Enraged by such a threat and never thinking to mistrust his own god, Darkhowl took his best fighters to crush the danger before Father Sun could rise and allow his foes to see the dark wolves in the dark forests. The battle was fierce and furious, as Darkhowl and his clansmen caught the sleeping encampment off-guard, and when dawn broke, there were Avan bodies littering the blood-soaked earth like fallen leaves in autumn. Horrified, Darkhowl froze, and three badly-wounded Avans escaped—and then Father Sun was hidden from the Lupos' sight again by Cousin Eclipse, who whispered malicious words in Darkhowl's ear. 'The Avans wish to kill you,' He said seductively, 'and they will crush your clan underfoot if you do not prove your strength to them now. Kill them, and they will not bring war to you.' Darkhowl was hesitant for a moment, until Cousin Eclipse added, 'They plan to kill even your pups. You are the mightiest Lupos alive! Destroy them before they bring violence to even your young and your old!' And so Azrah Darkhowl desecrated the dead to send a clear message to the Avans: do not come to my people to kill. He sent the same message back with the head of the Avan emissary a week later.

The other Lupos clans never knew that Darkhowl had attacked first, and Darkhowl himself was unaware that his own god had betrayed him and cast his entire race into a ruthless bloodbath. Darkhowl and his clan were crushed over twenty years after that first eclipse; then, and only then, did a few Lupos and Avans who still fought for an end to the war piece together what had happened. The few survivors of his clan's bloodline formed a new clan, the Kieran clan, which is now the mightiest on Ykinde and most active in the Elderwar, led by Kieran Whitestar. The story spread to the Lupos and Avan peoples, but it made no difference to them - the Avans did not believe in the Lupos gods, and the Lupos could not lay down their weapons and accept defeat and death. The humans, who before the war had been a minor race that leeched off the trade and benevolence of the other two races, began making a profit from the hostilities, acting as neutral traders and merchants. Those Lupos and Avans who sought peace were discreetly murdered by the humans, who made it seem as though the enemy had committed yet another act of bloodshed. By the time the two races found out that humans engendered the warfare, the neutrality of the traders was too important to risk by avenging those assassinated.

It is a sad story with no true end in sight. Even though all Lupos have disowned Eclipse and no longer call him Cousin, and though most Avans are aware of Azrah Darkhowl's reason for his violence, the Elderwar goes on. Some terribly few Avans and Lupos still seek an end to it all; the two biggest proponents of peace are the Tehar Lupos, led by Tehar Suncaller, and the Avan city of Irit-Ykinde. No side has a clear advantage; even with some Panthera aiding the Lupos now, there is no shift in power.

The Elderwar rages on, centuries after the first strike.

The Enslavement and Freedom of the Panthera Walkers

Until half a century ago, the Panthera race was an entirely nomadic one, scattered in tribes across the face of Ykinde. The other three races - Lupos, Avans, and Humans - considered them savages, barely intelligent if intelligent at all, and left them alone. For the most part, the wandering tribes stayed out of Lupos territories and away from Avan cities and Human towns; they often took the most dangerous, winding route through the lands. Some tribes took to following great migratory herds of elk or bison, and soon, these tribes were the largest and healthiest.

The Walker tribe followed a particularly massive herd of elk and, since the animals themselves took the easiest path through grasslands and sparse forests, the Walkers' numbers grew from lack of hard travel. Sixty years ago, the Walker tribe became the largest tribe of Panthera, numbering well over a hundred adults and a dozen or so children at any given time, except in the colder northern climes.

The head of a small, struggling Human business took note of these nomadic savages. A pragmatic woman named Eyvi had established her family in a particularly dangerous patch of land whose resources were often razed by frequent battles between Lupos and Avans. It was a small trading port, kept alive only by the half-dead warriors of either side who desperately needed resupplied to continue warring - and Witch Eyvi's business specialized in potions and other magical enchantments. Unfortunately, the town was damaged by battle too often to truly expand.

Witch Eyvi hit upon a solution: she would enslave the Panthera Walkers as guards and workers, safekeeping her small town and giving it the protection it needed to flourish. She was a bitingly clever woman, and her plan to capture the tribe succeeded, with very few casualties on either side. With a combination of magic, force, and death-threats to the very young or very old in the tribe, the Humans of Royalwood bound the Panthera Walkers to their family - and the town blossomed under the safeguard. The Walkers were taught the Lupos tongue, as Humans hid their own language zealously from the other races. It was assumed that the Panthera would flee to the Avans for help if they ever escaped - and, if they spoke Lupos, they would be identified as the enemy and slain instantly, rather than succored. And as a last measure to break the former nomads, any shred of their culture and magic and religion was taken from them.

The Walker tribe lost its identity and its oldest members. The handfuls of cubs born into slavery were educated in hushed whispers, but the Humans swiftly stopped the Panthera from speaking their own primitive language. Cloudmover, the shamanic leader of the tribe, died and was replaced by her apprentice, Ashsower, as heart of the Walkers. For forty-some years, the tribe was captured and rooted to the town of Royalwood.

After an immense amount of planning and sheer luck, a small number of the slaves escaped and fled north, into Lupos territory. They were six, Ashsower included; the others were two young females, two young males, and one older female. The fugitives met up with a hunting party of three Lupos and pleaded for the strangers not to reveal their location to their human pursuers. Since these Lupos were not from a clan that had ever fought near Royalwood, they had never before seen a Panthera who spoke their tongue. Both concerned and curious, the trio hid the Walkers deep within their territory, allowing them to regain their strength and tell their story. These three Lupos were of the Tehar clan, led by Tehar Suncaller, a young and ambitious shaman whose life and clansmen were dedicated to ending the Elderwar and establishing peace between Lupos and Avan. Without leaking the secret of the freed Panthera, the Tehar Lupos helped the Walkers rescue more of their enslaved brethren, bolstering their numbers.

After two years of this secretive aid, the Pantheran leaders - as of then, Ashsower and Plainstalker - approached Kieran Whitestar. Whitestar was the leader of the largest, most well-known, and strongest Lupos clan; the Kieran Lupos were directly descended from the survivors of Azrah Darkhowl, the misguided brave who had initiated the Elderwar. The Walkers asked Whitestar for a piece of her vast territory, near the Six Lakes region that bordered Tehar and Kieran lands, in order to rebuild their shattered culture far away from Royalwood. Now, the news of the Panthera's escape and unexpected intelligence swept the Lupos clans, and false rumors reached the Avans through the Humans that the Lupos had gained an ally in the Elderwar.

Whitestar inspected the Panthera, challenged them to complete tasks for her and the Kieran clan, tested their strength and hearts, and finally approved. She allowed them to have free run of the Six Lakes territory as a neutral neighbor, and the Panthera seized the chance to begin rebuilding a half-lost, previously-secret culture. The humans still hunting for the escaped slaves began raiding the area, trying to exterminate the Panthera - but the Tehars and the Walkers together managed to survive each battle. And soon after, the humans let slip to the Avans that the Panthera would build their numbers and then fight the Avans; and the Avans, too, turned their attentions to crushing the few Walkers that lived in Six Lakes. In direct response to this enmity, most Walkers ceased being meekly neutral towards Avans and aided their Lupos neighbors in battling them.

The other Pantheran tribes remained largely unaffected and unchanged by this enslavement and subsequent freedom of their largest tribe. And Kurajos, "Den," became the only stationary Pantheran dwelling, situated in the lush lands within the Six Lakes region and held by the members of the Walker tribe.

The Current State of the World

The Elderwar has raged on since anyone alive can remember. It must have been lifetimes ago that it started; at least ten generations, if not many more. Not all Lupos clans and Avan cities participate; some clans are so distant from Avan lands that they are never attacked, nor do they travel great distances to do battle. Similarly, some Avan cities are quite distant from the battle lines and thus safe, and others are too small to spare their resources to send troops to battle.

The strongest Lupos clan is the Kieran clan, led by Kieran Whitestar. Her bloodline is descended from Azrah Darkhowl, the Lupos chieftain who began the Elderwar, and so she upholds his honor by continuing to go to war. The strongest Avan city is Eyin-Ykinde, whose military forces are led by Generals Tenikki and Ytteril; they are hailed as brave warriors and tactical geniuses, and they direct other cities' troops quite often. There is no one strongest human business or trading post, but the humans have marshalled their arms to enforce their towns as a neutral zone; for a year or two, now, Avans and Lupos have come together in a human town and been forced to lay down their weapons in order to preserve the ability to trade goods with the humans equally. Panthera are still killed on sight in human lands, so the Lupos trade with them exclusively. Kurajos, "Den," has become a veritable fortress for the Panthera Walkers and only Lupos may come within the Six Lakes region without encountering hostilities from the many master-trainers who reside there. Human and Avan raids have been having less devastating affect when aimed at Kurajos lately; the Pantheran territory is becoming more well-defended. Only the Walker tribe has settled in one place and taken note of the politics of the world and the Elderwar; the rest of the Pantheran tribes have kept their nomadic, primitive ways.

One of the clans whose territory is closest to the southern Avan cities has begun an open movement for peace; the Tehar clan, led by Tehar Suncaller, a shaman, is seeking a way to end the Elderwar. The Tehars have many close connections with other clans, notably the Sillinter clan, led by Sillinter Heartlost, whose clansmen branched off from the Kieran clan a few generations previously. The Tehars are also close with the current leader of the Panthera Walkers, Plainstalker, and rumors have it that she and her kin have been involved in these peace efforts. One of the smaller, most distant Avan cities, Irit-Ykinde, has been discreetly making movements towards establishing a peace, as well. Some humans seem to be facilitating the meeting between a Tehar Lupos and an Irit Avan, but no solid plans have been made as of yet.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License