Marun'sahanis: What Lies Within Desert's Heart

Have you heard it yet?   Heard what?   Elder Jensahan's' son finally returned. You remember him, right? He left the yu'jin four years ago in search of Vraii'iina's lost grave. Get this. He claims he found it.   You mean...he found Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir?   That's what he claims. And get this, I overheard the other night a discussion between the father and son. He mentioned something that made me shiver.   Shiver...out here in the desert?   Yes. He said he found...marun'sahanis.   Marun'sahanis, you mean...that thing that Vensaa'n found right. If he's found it, then maybe Vensaan's legend will finally be solved. But, if his tale is true then I wonder how he made it past the mirage. How did he not succumb to the song of death?   That's the thing though. The last thing I heard...was something about the truth of Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir. It's not what we thought it to be. We thought it a lost grave. But if the Elder's son is truthful, then what he described as "marun'sahanis" was is that it's an "ethereal ancient relic." Could it be, though, that after ages, the desert has finally guided the "chosen?"    
—Discussion between two Vraii'jashuk from the Noroja'anish Yu'jin

Niil'vrai'kiin Jo'saahish is a sea of myth and legend. The Vraii'jashuk tell stories of them under the desert sky. And every Vraii'jashuk knows the legend of Nol'fariiinze Vraii'iina's Grave. They know of the lost grave: Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir, where Vraii'iina's body is said to be truly laid at rest. And although no one has proven to have found Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir, there have been some that have claimed to have found it.   They all say the same thing: seeing the desert's mirage of shadow and hearing the song of death. The same experience as Fajii'hasku Vensaa'n, the Vraii'jashuk who claimed that Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir was even a real place. The ones who claimed that they've returned from Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir experiences have led to a variety of myths. But one of them stands out above all others. Marun'sahanis: What lies within Desert's Heart.

Origins of Marun'sahanis

The birth of the myth of marun'sahanis begun with Rensanirii Jensahan. In the mortal year of 768 CE, he left the Noroja'anish Yu'jin in pursuit of the legend of Nol'fariiinze Vraii'iina's Grave. In the mortal year 784, Jensahan returned to his yu'jin. He returned thin, weak and full of odd stories. Many of his odd stories were wild and full of far-fetched details. But one story he told caught the attention of everyone in his yu'jin. Of course, this was his story of how he found Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir. Jensahan claimed he found Desert's Heart and that he saw past the mirage of shadow. He claims he survived the song of death by singing along with it. Jensahan then claims that he found Vensaa'n's remains. He told the yu'jin that although only a skeleton remains, that it was in perfect condition. "The mirage preserves it," he claimed.   Jensahan's next part of his claim was uncharted territory to any other myths or legends Vraii'jashuk culture held. Jensahan claimed that there exists a vast network of caves beneath Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir. He explained that he explored this network while singing alongside the song of death as he delved deeper and deeper. He also said that the song got louder as he ventured further in.   When Jensahan reached the end of the cave network, he claimed that he "stood within the desert's majesty." However, he also said that this majesty was so great his own eyes became blinded and that his mind was filled with majesty. Jensahan describes his further experiences after this event with cryptic descriptions. But one thing he made clear was that what he witnessed was not of their world nor even from the Elders' time.   Jensahan says that after his mind was filled with majesty, that the next thing he could remember was waking up outside the cave network. Upon being awoken, he claims that he heard whispers in the sand telling him to leave. Then he said the song of death began to hum through the sand again, only this time, he says he felt something inside him being stirred. Fearful, Jensahan ran from Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir where he claims that, for months, the mirage of shadow haunted him.   Jensahan's yu'jin initially received his story as a result of him being delirious for being in the desert in solitude for so long. But, his story was also fascinating. There were a few who believed Jensahan and spread the word of his tale. Jensahan's story was the first that tried to explain the truth of Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir. The most interesting part of his tale was his experience in what he later called Jasaa'ad vol Oz'pashnuz, Desert's Soul. And when people questioned him what he had found, he never outright said what it was. Rather he always gave the same answer: Marun'sahanis.

Marun'sahanis in Modern Times

Over the ages, the Vraii'jashuk have passed down Jensahan's tale to the point every Vraii'jashuk knows of it. It became one of the Vraii'jashuk's myths. Even in modern times, Vraii'jashuk elders tell children of Jensahan's tale.   Even outside Vraii'jashuk culture, the myth is well known. Devils believe that Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir is an actual place, as many have made believable claims to have actually made it there. Jasaa'ad vol Oz'pashnuz is also considered real, as there is evidence of various underground cave systems in Niil'vrai'kiin Jo'saahish. However, no one other than Jensahan has ever made a believable claim to have found it, whether Desert's Soul is real or not, is left to skepticism.   Questions of whether Desert's Soul is even a real place is a common thought, but the Vraii'jashuk certainly believe such a place indeed exists. And they believe they will know when someone finds it. Before Jensahan's death, he stated," and the song of sand shall guide them to my sacred tool. For it awaits its champion, its time of reclamation."   Whether or not this location exists or not is still heavily discussed within Vraii'jashuk culture. But the question also remains, if the place did exist, then what exactly is Marun'sahanis.   Jensahan stated that Marun'sahanis was "what lies within Desert's Heart." Many have tried to explain what it was that Jensahan described. Some theories are wild and others logical. Among the most popular theories is that what is Marun'sahanis is one of two things. The first is what the Vraii'jashuk believe. They believe that Marun'sahanis is exactly what Jensahan explained in his tale: "an ethereal ancient relic." Cryptic and vague, they apply traditional and cultural reasoning to what they believe it to be.   The Vraii'jashuk believe that this "ethereal ancient relic" is a powerful artifact left behind by one of the Primordial Ancients. They believe it is an artifact left behind by the Demon of Gluttony himself, Niil'zinkuv. As to what this artifact's purpose is, it is up for debate. Some say it's what's creates the desert's majesty. Others say the artifact is a great tool capable of creating unimaginable works of art. And some even say that the artifact is majestic knowledge that could enlighten the Vraii'jashuk to deity levels of knowledge. Whatever it is, the Vraii'jashuk claim the artifact wants to be found, hence its song, but only by a chosen individual, hence the mirage and the song being one of death.   Of course, the Vraii'jashuk are people who love their myths and legends and tend not to apply science and logic to them. But, outside their culture, devils have another theory as to what Marun'sahanis is.   Marun'sahanis, to those who have applied science and logic to the myth, state that it is, in fact, an artifact, but not one of devilish nor even demonic creation. Instead, they theorize that Marun'sahanis is a hidden Gateway to The Crossroads. They believe this because of one major thing: the "song of death." When Vensaa'n described the song of death in his final letter on his finding of Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir, he described the song as eerily similar to Gateways's effects on living beings. And multiple people who have claimed to found Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir all claim to have felt the same effects: "a rhythmic hum through sand that deplete life's essence, instead of rejuvenating it."   It's believed this effect that is felt is actually mana neutralization. And if it is indeed true, this could hint at the possibility of a hidden gateway beneath the desert. However, there is a major flaw to this theory. Gateways do not have this effect unless they are opened in a realm foreign to The Crossroads, and this is only possible if they have an administrator.   But this begs the question. Who in Infernus could be this gateway's administrator, assuming it even exists? Some think that the desert's mirage of shadow is connected to the Gateway, going as far as to think that itself is the administrator. But mirages of shadow aren't exactly a lifeform, and if they are, even the Elders know nothing of it.   Vraii'jashuk who believe the Gateway theory have come up with a dreadful theory. They firmly believe the desert's mirage of shadow is an entity from outside Infernus, in fact, outside any known form of recorded life. Hardcore conspiracists within the Vraii'jashuk think this mirage of shadows and the Gateway aren't even tied The Crossroads.   They believe it is connected to a myth larger than Marun'sahanis itself, or any devil or demonic myth for that matter. They think that the Gateway leads to the Twilight Domain, and that the desert's mirage of shadow comes from such a place.   Is Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir and the hidden caves beneath real? Is Jasaa'ad vol Oz'pashnuz real. What did Jensahan see? What is the truth behind the mirage that everyone claims to see? And most important, what is Marun'sahanis itself? So many theories on Marun'sahanis have been born, but which is right?   So many theories on Marun'sahanis have been born, but which is right?

Cover image: Shutterstock image 280619771 by Derek R. Audette


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