Nol'fariiinze Vraii'iina's Grave

Follow the sacred tool of our founder, for it will show the true way. Stray not from the guide, and ignore the mirages.

And the deepest chambers of the desert's heart you shall be led to.   For it is in these chambers which our most high truly lies, his remains only to be found by the Flourishing Flower's greatest.   But beware the mirage. The guardian, a presence inconceivable. For only the chosen will be allowed to see past it.  
— Fajii'hasku Vensaa'n of the Haana'boshi Yu'jin


Discovery of the Grave

  When the first Vraii'jashuk, Nol'fariinze Vraii'iina's life neared its end, he wished not to die in a bed nor his sleep as most would. Instead, he wished for one thing: "to venture into the desert alone once more. I wish to see the majesty I saw the first time I made the journey." And he did. But Vraii'iina never returned to his yu'jin. It was presumed that as he wanted, Vraii'iina died in the desert. But his remains have been lost to time.   However, in the mortal year 3409 BCE, while searching for a lost gojeshka, Fajii'hasku Vensaa'n came across an oddity. Near the borders of Niil'vrai'kiin kii Jasaa'ad and Niil'vrai'kiin kii Nagiir he found a giibaka forged into a lone mountain now known as Zaakn'iir kii Vraii'iina. When he made the discovery, he touched the giibaka and fell unconscious.   Upon Vensaa'n's return to his yu'jin, he had claimed he found a lost giibaka and pleaded for his yu'jin elders to see for themselves. The elders saw the giibaka for themselves, and one in particular, Vanashka Sanaa'ha, recognized the giibaka as Vraii'iina's. Immediately the site was claimed to be the grave of Nol'fariinze Vraii'iina's grave, and Vensaa'n was credited with the discovery. However, it was clear that something was missing: Vraii'iina's body.

Vraii'iina's Lost Grave

  It was clear upon the discovery of Vraii'iina's grave that Vraii'iinaa's body was missing. Attempts at digging around the area yielded nothing. Mining into the lone mountain yielded nothing as well. The Hana'boshii Yu''jin, the founding yu'jin, set up a temporary settlement around Zaakn'iir kii Vraii'iina. For months, they attempted to find the whereabouts of Vraii'iina's body. They search far and wide, covering many miles a radius around the mountain. And yet, nothing was ever found.   It wouldn't be until the Haana'boshii were about ready to give up the search when something interesting occurred. Out of nowhere, Vensaa'n started to have ominous dreams and visions. He described them as "it is as if I am flying so fast everything is but a mere spectacle; I cannot make out what I see, everything moves so fast—quick visions of streaks of red, yellow, orange, and then rock. I can see the sky...sometimes. I feel as if I am being guided. And this guide always begins here at the giibaka."   The beginning of Vensaa'n's visions and dreams were always the same. Although they yielded little hope in finding Vraii'iina's true grave, the Haana'boshii decided to continue their search for just a little longer. But just a little longer yielded nothing. And when the yu'jin was about to leave the site once and for all once more, Vensaa'n began having new visions and dreams, this time much more vivid.  
Vensaa'n's new dreams and visions showed him a more "clear" picture of Vraii'iina's true grave. But the clarity was still very much a blur. In his own words, "I am like the saanjak, soaring over the sand with lightning speed. I feel the wind upon my body, cool and gentle relief from the infernal radiance. I close my eyes, and although I cannot see the path with my corporeal senses, in my mind, I can envision the path. The Giibaka and this mountain are a mere pointer in the way we are to go. Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir. We must go to Desert's Heart."   Soon thereafter, the Haana'boshi set out to find Desert's Heart, where Vensaa'n claimed they would find Vraii'iina's true grave. However, things quickly became apparent that there was still much to be revealed about the way to Desert's Heart. Multiple times did the yu'jin attempt to find the "correct" path, but ominously enough, every 60 days, they would find themselves back at Zaakn'iir kii Vraii'iina. And every time they found themselves back there, Vensaa'n would have a new vision. Among these visions, Vensaa'n stated that he was spoken to by a "mirage of desert shadow."    After the sixth attempt and already over a year of searching for Vraii'iina's lost grave, the Haana'boshi decided to finally give up the search. The search had taken its toll on the entire yu'jin and even more so on Vensaa'n. He would often awaken in the middle of the night in cold sweats and say he had a new vision. People doubted him, and they would have continued to had Vensaa'n not shown signs that the visions were taking a physical toll on him. In the short span of just over a year, Vensaa'n was said to have aged a quarter of a lifetime.    On the final night of Haana'boshi's stay at Zaakn'iir kii Vraii'iina, Vensaa'n had one final vision. This time, his vision was vivid. Come morning, Vensaa'n told everyone of his vision. "It has been made clear to me now. And as unfortunate as I have wasted our precious time, it pains me to say this: Vraii'iina's true gave is not meant to be found, at least not by anyone save a chosen individual. The desert shadow has told me this. That this was the final will of Vraii'iina. Whether I am this chosen or not, I am choosing to stay behind."    No one ever saw Vensaa'n ever again. Haana'boshii texts reveal that the yu'jin went back once more years later. But they found nothing. They lamented the presumed death of Vensaa'n and decided that they would spread the word of Vensaa'n's visions to the other yu'jin. It wouldn't take very long for Vensaa'n's visions to form the legend of Vraii'iina's lost grave. Zaakn'iir kii Vraii'iina also became a shrine dedicated to Vraii'iina. Vraii'jashuk would recite chants at the shrine, bring their own works of art, or ludicrously ask Vraii'iina's giibaka to show them the way to his true grave. Of course, the giibaka never revealed anything.    It wouldn't be until another 20 years later that the mystery of Vraii'iina's lost grave would have any sort of development. On a pilgrimage to Vraii'iina's shrine, a Vraii'jashuk by the name of En'jashiilik Boshku'she of the Nasha'jen Yu'jin came across a staggering find. A small letter that was written by Vensaa'n. In his letter, Vensaa'n claimed he found Vraii'iina's lost grave but that he was not the "chosen." He claimed that although he believes to have found Desert's Heart, that he could not see past the shadowy mirage that he "realized now haunted his visions." Vensaa'n's letter left vague instructions on how to find Desert's Heart. At the end of his letter, though, Vensaa'n issued a word of caution, not for the journey, but about something else he found at Desert's Heart. A cryptic message.    "As I lie here at the entrance of Jasaa'ad vol An'viilamiir, I witness something magnificent yet downright terrifying. Whether this is the work of the mirage or another force, I feel myself slipping. It is not the heat but something else. I feel my very essence slipping away with each passing hour. There is something else here, something beneath the sands. I can hear the deep rumbles and hums radiate through every grain, through to my deepest parts. It is like a rhythmic song, except every beat, instead of filling me with energy, depletes me of it. A song of death. The mirage is looking at me. Is it smiling at me, or does it frown in disappointment. Either way, this place is now my grave."    The legend of Nol'fariiinze Vraii'iina's Grave has been passed down to modern times. Every Vraii'jashuk knows it. And some Vraii'jashuk who feel adventurous try to solve the mystery behind the legend. Of course, no one ever solves it. But every now and then, someone claiming to have found Desert's Heart appears. And every time they appear, they all report the same thing; claims of seeing a mirage of desert shadow and the strange song of death that Vensaa'n reported. And interestingly enough, what these reports have said, has spawned numerous myths about Desert's Heart itself.

Cover image: Shutterstock image 280619771 by Derek R. Audette


Author's Notes

All images in this article are either by me or royalty-free via Shutterstock. All other images are given proper credit.

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