The History of the Runes by tiqdreng | World Anvil Manuscripts | World Anvil
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Chapter 1

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Chapter 1

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THE BEGINNING

 

It was just another day in the office, work studio as the case was for Tra'Mak. The floor was coated in white stone and the tables had various tools arranged in order of most to least used. The small eddies of dust that followed his feet as he slowly strode into the center of the studio drifted lazily in the sun streaked air. It was always the same yet always fascinated him. It was a small part of joy that combined with the rest of the stone carving process that always dragged him out of his bed in the morning, and kept him from it after the sun started its retreat. He never could imagine doing anything other than being a carver, and he was good at it.

 

It had been one of his greatest honors when the Gurdu had come and requested the pedestal for his famed sword and shield to rest upon. Out of all the lands that the Gurdu reigned over, that he chose Tra'Mak for this work! The runes that Gurdu Lutgehr had asked for were interesting words to have upon the base of a weapon stand. All the same, the Gurdu had come to him personally and requested the work be done. It wasn't hurting that the payment was made in advance, and Tra'Mak was told to take his time. It was really a dream project for Tra'Mak. The design was left unto him alone as the Gurdu had claimed to have studied Tra'Mak's previous works in detail. This had embarrassed Tra'Mak to no end, and made Gurdu Lutgehr smile in a knowing way.

 

It had been three months since Gurdu Lutgehr had entered this studio, and Tra'Mak was sure that he would finish the pedestal within the next three days. He would be sure of the time frame by the end of this day, and would then send his daughter Feri to announce the day to the Gurdu so that he would know when to make arrangements for it to be delivered. As much as he longed to have this project linger, it was coming to a close. Running his hands along the stone, Tra'Mak felt warmth upon his skin that should not be there. Stone is a cold medium, and only in the proximity of a hearth should it retain any warmth for longer than an hour or two. He would have to investigate this particular marble. Perhaps it held onto heat better than others and he would be able to use it for hearth stones and yield better warmth to houses.

 

Walking to get his apron, Tra'Mak circled the pedestal several times to wrap the entire process back into his mind. This was his 'dance' as he tells his daughter. When she was younger she would just laugh at him when he said this. But it was true. This was his dance, and the only one that he was any good at. He would not pick up a tool until he had the piece he was working on in his mind, clearly in mind. Only then would he look over the blueprints, and once those two images agreed would he ever pick up his tools to start working. It has served him extremely well so far, and he was much too old to change now.

 

It was nearing ʒamor, the mid-day meal, and Feri was almost done preparing food for her father. She always tried to make something new and unique for him, since he never paid any attention to what he was sticking in his mouth when he was working. It was how she learned whether she was improving her skills. She enjoyed cooking, but Tra'Mak would never be honest with her if he knew it was something new. She knew it was because he loved her, but he spoiled her too much since her mother died. Tra'Mak had changed in subtle ways since that day, some good, others not so good. One of the not so good changes was his lack of eating when he needed to. Perhaps he would like this lunch more than the one last week.

 

As she walked out of the small villa, she had an odd feeling that something was... wrong? Not exactly right? There was a taste of excitement in the air, like the taste of electricity before a fierce storm. Looking around, all that Feri saw and heard was a clear sky and her father in the studio hammering away on the stone. As she passed by a window of the studio there was a low flash of blue. She stopped and looked around. Nothing was going on other than the hammering of stone. There it was again! Was it brighter this time?

 

As she reached the doorway, which was already open since it was a warm day with little wind, she started to ask what the light was. The voice was knocked out of her with the force of falling over the head of a horse and landing flat on your stomach. All of the air in her lungs was knocked out, and all that was left was a ringing in her ears. Dust swirled around her like flour during bread making. For several minutes she just sat there, trying to figure out who she was and what she had been doing. Then she felt the hands under her arms trying to help her stand.

 

Pain. That was all he could feel when he first came around. Disorientation set in after the pain. Why was he looking at the ceiling? There was a lot more dust in the air as well, just where was he? He struggled to move, but something was restraining him from doing anything more than cough. Turning his head, he saw his daughter... what was her name again? Why is she crying? He could not get his thoughts to join together to make sense of what was going on. Before he could think of anything else, blackness numbed everything and there was nothing.

 

The healers were alarmed when Tra'Mak tried to move. He was likely in shock and didn't know just what he was doing. So they laid hands on his shoulders to keep him from moving. It was bad enough that Feri was the one who found her father, but that was not something to worry about right now. Thankfully, she had not seen her father regain consciousness. That would make things very difficult to get Tra'Mak the care that he needed. As they were preparing to lift him onto a stretcher, someone slipped and touched one of his wounds. This caused Tra'Mak to dip back into unconsciousness, and the healers thought this was a good thing.

 

Moving him was very difficult. They did not understand what had happened to Tra'Mak, and the studio didn't have any clues in it either. When they had entered the studio, all they found was Feri crying over Tra'Mak who was against a wall. He was propped at an odd, unnatural angle and his head was limp. The healers truly thought he was dead when they first got to him. After they had moved him to a flat position on the floor, they started taking notes on the wounds that were visible. They would not tell anyone anything until they arrived at the hospital. Time was, if nothing else, critical in treating him.

 

It had been two days since the incident had occurred. Tra'Mak was stabilized, and was able to have visitors for an hour a day. This was Feri's second visit and she was eager to actually talk to her father today, despite being irritated that all Tra'Mak would say during her first visit was to bring paper and the blueprints for the pedestal. She had them, under arm, when she entered the room and gasped when she saw that he was sitting up and looking very good. The healers had done their work very well indeed!

 

Tra'Mak had suffered severe fracturing of nearly every bone in his body, the healers had told her. It was as if a god had clapped their hands in front of him and the shockwave of that clap just ripped through him leaving him severely damaged. It was a wonder that he had survived at all, and would take a while for him to recover. The healers that were in the room were certainly buzzing with activity as they discussed what was happening and how.

 

"Feri! Come here my daughter!" Tra'Mak called to her when he noticed her. When one of the healers started to protest he said, "I told you that when Feri arrived I needed to talk to her immediately, and alone. You said that you would allow it, please honor your words." And with that, the healers grumpily left the room.

 

Speaking softly and tenderly Tra'Mak continued, "Come here my daughter. I have need of your assistance and you need to hear what happened."

 

After giving her father a tentative hug, she arranged the blueprints across his lap, and then took up a chair next to him so that they both were looking at the blueprints. A momentary look of pain crossed his face, his eyes were distant and she knew that he was reliving whatever had happened to him.

 

"Fa?" she asked. "Are you alright? Do we need to do this later?"

 

Smiling he shook his head, both clearing the memory and answering her question. "No dear. Write everything that I am about to say. I need a record of it so that I can confirm what I have found!"

 

Taking up his hammer and chisel, Tra'Mak was ready to continue the pedestal. Moving over to a table in the corner, he had set aside some smaller broken pieces of the marble so that he could get the sizing correct for the runes before placing them onto the actual work. This was a trick he had come up with a decade ago or so. It had saved him a lot of time by reducing the amount of rework that he had to do when a rune didn't look right for whatever reason after it was carved. The three words that he was working on were not the most straight forward runic wise either. Wurba Orwa Gurlor. This was the ancient language of Sojngan. It loosely translated to shockwave. It was an odd arrangement for the stone, and Tra'Mak did not want to have it look ugly compared to the rest of the carving that he had already done.

 

After the first word was completed, wurba, Tra'Mak dusted off the runes to ensure that the depth was good and the lines were crisp at the edges. Everything looked good, so he blew on it and prepared to start on the second rune. This was the first indicator that there was something odd at play. The runes seemed to glow blue faintly.

 

"Wait Fa. You mean that they glowed blue, or just caught the light oddly and shimmered blue?" Feri asked.

 

"That's just what I thought as well daughter! How could these runes carved in stone glow? I felt that it was obviously a trick on my eyes, but apparently not. Let me continue."

 

Wiping his eyes with the back of his arm, Tra'Mak concluded that what he saw was just a trick of the early morning light. Moving on to the next word, he laid out the runes in ink before placing the chisel back to the stone. He was pleased with the way that the runes looked together. The spacing was good, and the depth was uniform. Blowing on the runes again to clear out the remaining debris there was no doubt this time that the runes definitely glowed blue. Not only was the light brighter, but the effect lingered for a minute or longer after he stopped blowing on the runes.

 

"There has to be something to this," he muttered aloud. "What is causing this, this light to be produced?"

 

It was here that Tra'Mak spent a long time playing with additional slabs of scrap marble. He would carve a rune, then blow it out only to have nothing happen. He blew on the dust that was created and still, nothing happened. He then replicated the first word, but in his excited state he made the runes not as uniform as before. When he blew these runes out, nothing happened. Comparing the two slabs to each other, Tra'Mak slapped his forehead in agitation. He realized that they were not identical since he rushed the second carving. He started a third slab.

 

This time, he slowed himself down and made sure that each rune was crisp and uniform. The depth was a bit off, it was slightly deeper this time, but when he blew across the runes they did indeed glow blue. He went back to the first slab that had Wurba Urwa already carved, he started on the final word. Gurlor. He was slightly anxious when he finished this set of runes. Yet he could not explain why. The hairs on his arm were raised in goose pimples, and there was a small voice in the back of his head that kept telling him that it was a bad idea to blow on the runes. He did so anyway.

 

There was a very bright flash of blue, and then wind without noise. It felt as though a fierce storm had just happened in the room, but nothing stirred. It was just a concussive force that knocked the wind out of his lungs. Or was that the wall that he was now leaning against? Tra'Mak tried to lift his arms only to feel excruciating pain at the attempt. The worse part was, he had no air to voice the pain he felt. Panic set in and he saw the room starting to dim from the outside of his vision. Then, nothing.

 

"And then I awoke here, in this room Feri. In pain, yes, but alive. And thankful that what had happened was not my last chance to spend time with my daughter."

 

Tears were threatening to escape Tra'Mak's eyes, and Feri stood and walked towards a window to give her father time to recover himself. It was not like him to cry, not since her mother had died. Hearing more composure in his voice, she turned back around and went back to the chair.

 

"Something has happened Feri. I don't know what, nor do I fully understand how. Something has happened to me. Something that is terrifying and exciting at the same time. I need you to help me figure it out. After all, we both know that the real intelligence in the family is in the women's side!"

 

This brought a laugh to her, even though she was trying to scowl at Tra'Mak. "Father, you know that you are just as intelligent as I am!" Looking back at what she had written, some thoughts were forming in her mind as to what might have occurred. There were also a lot of questions that could not be answered with her father kept in the hospital.

 

"When are you able to leave here father? Do they have any idea on how long it will take you to recover?"

 

Feri almost jumped out of her chair when he placed his hand upon her shoulder. It was more the squeeze that he had applied, a squeeze that was stronger than the healers had led her to believe possible. She looked from his hand up to his face, and saw that he was smiling and looked almost youthful.

 

"I think that I shall be leaving here much earlier than anyone thought possible! I will explain more when we are not in the confines of this place and back in the studio dear. For now, I think it is best that I actually listen to the healers and get some rest."

 

Nodding her head in understanding, Feri gave him a brief hug and a small kiss on his forehead. Saying farewell to Tra'Mak, she left the room and looked for the main healer for that floor. After a brief discussion with Healer Corrin, Feri left the hospital and returned home. Once there she placed the notes she had taken in her room, then went to the studio to replace the blueprints and clean the room a little.

 
 

Walking into the room, she saw the mess that had been left. It wasn't that there was more mess than usual, but the pattern of dust around the back table was very unique. There were rings around two footprints, her father's she knew, and they radiated around them like ripples in a pond. Wanting to capture this before anything disturbed it, Feri collected more paper and ink and went about making the replication in her notes. Tra'Mak would be very interested in this finding.

 

After she had made a detailed sketch of the room, Feri started to pick up the larger pieces of marble that were scattered across the floor. As she did so, she was drawn to the fact that the larger pieces all seemed to be a part of the actual runes. It was as if the force, of what ever happened, was generated under the runes inside of the marble. She made a mental note of that and collected all of the larger pieces onto one table that was not currently in use for any of the other projects. This process took the greater part of the afternoon, and the sun was low when she finally took a break.

 

As part of her break, Feri did what she normally would when ever she is in the studio. She looked upon the project that was almost completed. She was always amazed at how well her father could carve stone. Today, she was more interested in if there was any damage to the pedestal that would delay the completion even longer than it now was. Looking over every detail, she could not see any damage to the pedestal at all. She would relay this to Tra'Mak the next time that they spoke so that he wouldn't be worried about having to start over. As she was turning to head for a broom, something flashed and caught her eye.

 

Turning to look at the pedestal where the flash appeared, Feri noticed a word in that area. Geeʒarur. This was the word of protection. She ran her fingers along the runes and they felt warm to her touch. There was also a sensation that she thought that she recognized, but she could not place it. These were things that she would have to think over later when there was no longer any light to help with cleaning the studio. That was one thing that confused her about her father. As dedicated as he was to his job, he refused to have any light sources in the studio. No candles were allowed, and a very loud NO was the reply when an oil lamp was suggested. Tra'Mak did not want any wax dripping onto the floor or tables, and he did not trust oil lamps to keep the oil inside of them. Feri learned long ago not to argue, and until he was no longer with her she would honor his wishes for the studio.

 

As the sun finally reached a point where she was unable to see what she was doing, Feri walked out of the studio and closed the doors. She took several deep breaths and stretched out the soreness from the hours of sweeping and picking up various pieces of marble. After stretching a bit, and getting the last warmth of the sun on her back, Feri entered the villa to bathe and then prepare eemobea or last meal. She longed for her father to be home, but her spirits were lighter this night after seeing his apparent recovery after only two days in the healer's care.

 

Her eemobea was a light meal.  Light in the sense that it was mainly lettuces and other vegetables.  Feri was brought up that the heavy meal was the first meal of a day, and that the last meal was one that would not cause ill dreams while trying to mentally recover from the day.  Tra'Mak was not always of this mindset and would often be found eating a very heavy meal, only to pay for it with bad dreams that kept him tossing throughout the night.  Feri was glad that she stuck to this tradition since she was already having difficulties at night after the incident occurred, she didn't need to help those dreams on.

 

As she sat at the eating table, she pulled out her notes from the hospital and also the studio.  Then she started comparing the story to the cleaning activities.  Things started to link in her mind as she worked through the two accounts.  There were definitely things that she needed to talk to her father about.  Strange things that she didn't fully understand, but felt certain he was the key to solving them.  As she was cleaning her dishes from the meal, someone knocked at the door.  It was strange to have someone calling at this late in the evening.

 

As she looked out the front window, a gasp escaped her as she saw Healer Corrin... and her father!  Opening the door, both Corrin and her father took a step back.  Whether it was because of the force that Feri opened the door with, or the severe scowl that was on her face did not matter.

 

"Why, tell me Healer Corrin, are you here with my father whom is supposed to be resting and recovering in the hospital!"

 

Entering the villa, Healer Corrin looked very uncomfortable to say the least. Not making eye contact with Feri, he motioned for Tra'Mak to lead the way into the house. Tra'Mak, on the other hand, looked like he was on top of the world and was ready to take anything on. It was this exact phenomenon that had caused Corrin to come tonight instead of waiting until tomorrow. That and he couldn't have stopped Tra'Mak if he wanted to.

 

Tra'Mak lead everyone back into the kitchen area so that he could see if there was anything left of eemobea or not. Slightly crestfallen, he picked up a loaf of bread and some stiff cream to spread on it and sat down at the table. Feri, even though she was starting to become furious with the situation, went and retrieved glasses and a pitcher of chilled water. Setting these down on the table, she looked directly at her father and fixed him with a look that made him stop what he was doing.

 

"Fa. What are you doing out of the hospital? You need to recover and rest! What were you thinking?" No sooner had those words reached the air then she turned to Corrin. "And you Healer! You have let him leave! What has come over you two grown men?!"

 

"Feri... dearest... Let me explain, and don't interrup.."

 

"If you continue to treat me as if I am someone whom you can lecture... You had better get that foolishness out of your head right now father. I mean it! Explain."

 

Some of the color that had been in his cheeks left instantly when Tra'Mak realized how serious his daughter was. He always knew that she had the streak like her mother had, but he had always been able to side step it. Not today apparently.

 

"Ah.. yes dear. But please, let me finish in detail before you ask anything. Healer Corrin was against me leaving, he was. But just wait until you see what I have found!"

 

Taking a knife to the bread, he cut several pieces and then put the cream on one of them. Looking around, he found some spices and sprinkled a few on top. After finishing the small piece Tra'Mak lifted his left sleeve away from his wrist and took off a small band of stone. Feri looked in wonder at the band as she thought that her father only dealt in large carvings, not anything this delicate. Yet the marks from his tools were undeniable. This was definitely something made by Tra'Mak!

 

"Ah.. you recognize the tool markings don't you? I would have expected no less from my daughter. Now, do you also recognize the runes?"

 

Looking at the runes, she thought that she knew what it was, but it had been too long since she used the old language. The runes were easy enough to decipher, it was the meaning that she knew he was referring to. What did it mean?

 

Agy doi pur taisow taisy gy

 

"It says... something about healing and being worn... Heal who wears me?"

 

Clapping his hands Tra'Mak's smile informed Feri that she was close enough.

 

"Heal he who will wear me. Yes, that was close enough to the true translation! Well done. This took me several hours to carve at the hospital. Not like I had any peace of mind at all either! What with Corrin here constantly checking in on me at the slightest noise from my room."

 

"In my defense Tra'Mak, but I was right in my constant 'busy body-ness' as you call it. You were up to something, I just never caught you in the act." Corrin's deep baritone sounded close to what Feri always thought the stone people must have sounded like. His voice was so deep and filled with gravel. It was always pleasant to listen to, even when he was giving bad news.

 

"Yes, well. You have to admit, what I was doing was well worth it! Now then. Feri, you can see the marks but can you also see the... I guess magic is good enough. Can you see it?"

 

Taking the band in her hands, the first thing that she noticed was that feeling from earlier was present again. It was like the charged air in a storm. Now that she was rested and had no further distractions it was easy to recall the feeling this time. Turning the band through her fingers, every time that she touched a rune, that charge felt stronger. When she closed her eyes, the feeling intensified to a point where she could almost taste the iron in her mouth that sometimes occurred if one was too close to a strike from the storm clouds. Opening her eyes, she looked at the runes more closely. There she could see the faint glowing blue that Tra'Mak had described in his story earlier that same day.

 

"I can see the blue glow you described, but I can also feel the charge in the band.  Like that of the air during a storm."

 

Looking very thoughtfully, Tra'Mak took the band back and closed his eyes.  After a few minutes he sighed and opened them again to look at his daughter.  As he did so, he handed the band to Corrin for him to look at it while he talked.

 

"You are describing something that I cannot sense in the band.  But the blue glow, it is truly there.  It was brighter yesterday when I finished the band, but within mere moments after completing the band the glow had reduced to what you see now.  It was not until I put the band on that the effects were noticed.  Poor Corrin here thought that I was just a quick healing patient.  I didn't have the heart to tell him the truth until I could talk to you and explain what I have figured out.  This is what I have figured out..."

 

The three of them talked throughout the night and into the early morning.  At the end of it, both Tra'Mak and Feri had a firm understanding of what happened in the Studio.  Corrin had fallen asleep during the early hours of the morning and they decided to just let him sleep at the table instead of waking him up.  It was going to take them longer than just the few hours that they have spent on the runes to fully understand and reproduce what they have figured out so far.  But the opportunities that were going to be available to them were almost endless.  It was time to get to work.

 

Over the following months, Feri and Tra'Mak made countless notes and diagrams in order to fully document the magic in the runes.  Some of their original notes are said to still be out in the world, waiting for the right person to come and find them.  A lot of them have been sealed away in the attempts to keep the knowledge from ever returning to the world.  These are just rumors of course, and no one yet knows the real truth behind these whispers.  One day, it is the hope of this historian, the runes will be completely unlocked again and the power that flows through them will be brought forth to bring a change to this world.  Although... there is a rumor that the runes are what destroyed the reality of our world in the first place...

Once upon a time...

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