The Man of Iron

"And that's why we don't march our armies out when it storms"
The Man of Iron is an old myth from pre-invasion Zinruna that tells the story of Felthschild utilizing the Tear of Izada to fashion either a suit of iron armor or, in some versions, an entire being made of iron in order to mock the gods, specifically Izada, and claim that he could create greater things than them.


The most popular version of the myth is the version found in the Naz Sartazi. This version begins with Felthschild jealously observing the mountains, seas, and creatures of the world and wondering why it is the gods are able to create when he cannot. In rage, he journeys to the top of the highest mountain in sight and waits for a full moon where he demands an audience with the goddess Izada, whom the Naz Sartazi identifies as Izda. Felthschild claims that were he to have the same power as the gods, he could create far more wondrous things than they did. Izada, amused by the human's arrogance, offers him a test: She would grant him the Tear of Izada, which would allow him to create any one thing he could imagine. If his creation were indeed more wondrous than the gods' creation, she would grant him her place as divine and become a mortal woman, but if he failed she would take his life. Felthschild, confident in his genius, accepted the offer.   With the Tear in hand, Felthschild thought long and hard about what he might create. When he looked around for inspiration, he saw two armed men fighting with swords. He saw how the swords could pierce through their leather armor but would harmlessly bounce off the other man's sword. With his idea in hand, Felthschild created a full body suit made entirely of iron. Felthschild was totally conceited. He walked up to the two fighting men and dared either of them to attack him. Both men set upon him but neither could harm him as their swords bounced harmlessly off his armor. Felthschild soon challenged any in his town to try to harm him but all found that they could do nothing against his armor. Ambition and pride swelling within him, Felthschild went to the house of the king and challenged the king to a duel for the throne. As a false show of fairness, he even allowed the king's bodyguards to assist in the duel. The king and his guards were, of course, unable to harm the man in the iron suit and Felthschild soon proclaimed himself the new king of the land.   Confident in his creation, the new king marched pompously up to the mountain with several of his new servants to speak with Izada and claim his prize of divinity. Izada came down to see what the mortal had created. Felthschild sparred no expense in showing off the greatness of his creation; he ordered soldiers to hack at him, archers to fire their bows at him, and even horses to attempt to trample him. None of these things could hurt him. In his hubris, Felthschild then dared Izada herself to attempt to hurt him with his invincible iron suit, claiming that if she could not, it would be proof of his victory in their wager. Izada agreed that it would indeed settle their wager before sending a single slender bolt of lightning upon the arrogant human, causing him to cook in his armor for several agonizing seconds before finally dying. Izada let out a laugh and chose a young woman in attendance to be the next queen of the town before reclaiming her tear and departing back to the heavens.

Historical Basis

As there are no written records from before the Kosva invasions that survived the conquest of Zinruna, there is no way to know how rooted in reality, if at all, this story is and scholars have filled libraries with debates and arguments over the historical nature of this and other myths involving Felthschild and the Tear of Izada.

Variations & Mutation

While the version of the myth presented in the Naz Sartazi is the most popular, it is likely a highly edited version as most other variations, particularly those popular within the native communities of Zinruna, paint Felthschild as the hero of the story, either winning the contest outright or having no agreement with Izada whatsoever, simply creating the iron suit to show that he was a better creator than the goddess. These versions also tend to have Felthschild's creation be more akin to a golem than a suit, capable of walking around and fighting on its own. A popular pro-Felthschild version of the myth ends with Izada trying and failing to destroy the iron man with lightning, earthquakes, and even falling rocks before giving up, whereupon Felthschild simply summons a downpour of rain to cause the iron to rust and disintegrate, further humiliating the goddess.

Cultural Reception

The Naz Sartazi version of the story is very popular as a children's morality tale warning against hubris and blasphemy across Zinruna and even in foreign lands such as Demia and Cholate while the more pro-Felthschild versions remain popular with the indigenous peoples of Zinruna as a story of defying the Tosemuist gods and, by extension, the Kosva who conquered in their name.
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Cover image: by Chris Favero


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