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Daursan and Kauteirin

These are a cycle of myths that tell the story of the twin brothers Daursan and Kauteirin, the sons of the Hero Ásinnar and Knuckle the Giant. For more personal information of the twins, see the character articles!

Kauteirin was an unparalleled poet and a wise thinker, and Daursan became a war leader, who was instrumental in the conquest of the land of Fares (Silford).

Summary

Circumstances of Birth

Daursan and Kauteirin were conceived when the Hero Ásinnar lay with Knuckle the Giant. After giving birth Ásinnar left the baby twins to be raised by an old widow called Sasinfa Grayhair. The first son Daursan was violent and warlike like their father, while the second twin Kauteirin was eloquent and cunning like their mother.  

On the mountains

When the twins had grown up to adulescence, soldiers came to their village to conscribe them to the army. Daursan who was warlike was eager to join, but Kauteirin was afraid, so he fled to the mountains. He wandered the wilderness for a while, and then decided to join a monastery on the mountains to give the proper glory to the Gods.

Kauteirin lived a quiet life in the monastery, until one day soldiers were passing through the mountains and stopped to rest there. Once again Kauteirin became scared that they would notice him, a young man, and demand him to join them. So he came up with a plan, and dressed up in woman's clothing, and let his long hair be done. He became so beautiful, that not even his companions recognised him. But unfortunately he was noticed by a commander who fell in love with him. At night the soldier came to him, and demanded to lie with him. Only when he had rid Kauteirin of all his clothes, he realised that he was in fact a man. Because he had been tricked by the young man, he deviced a plan of his own, and demanded to take this fair maiden his wife because he had already lain with her. This is how Kauteirin was forced to become a soldier's wife, and finally ended up in the war.  

In the war

For the honor of his husband and himself Kauteirin could not reveal his true sex to anyone, but when the men were fighting, he had to stay in the camp with the other wifes and servants. Now he wished he had come by his own will, at least he could have been of use fighting, because he did not know how to do the wifes' work. He also missed his brother, and wished to see him once again. He filled the lonely days with his singing, and everyone who heard him were moved. But from his husband he learned of the war, and he became his trusted advisor in secret.   One day the men brought in captives from the battle, and Kauteirin went to see them. To his surprise he recognised one of the men - he was his brother. Then in the night in secret Kauteirin sneaked out to the captives, to speak in secret with Daursan, and maybe free him. But when Daursan saw this fair maiden approaching, he did not recognise his brother, but the captives thought one of the wives had come to sleep with them. Again Kauteirin was stripped naked, before his brother knew him. The two brothers wept and hugged eachother delighted to be once again united.   But this unity was not to last, because they were now enemies to each other. The war of the men of the highlands and the men of lowlands had turned brothers agains each other. Daursan and his mates were now destined to be slaves or killed. After learning this Kauteirin begged his husband to let these men go, because truely they should not be fighting each other, but unite in order to defeat the Giants, as their mother had tried to.  

Rope of binding

Kauteirin's husband the commander listened to Kauteirin's wish, but he did not know what to do. The men had been ruled over by the Giants for generations, and were powerless like ants in front of them. To seek for counsil Kauteirin prayed to Áfawarsal the Weaver. She created the Rope of Binding, a powerful weapon, that when bound around someone would always get the tighter the more the victim fought it. The giants who were powerful but dumb were captured one by one, and defeated.   Once Daursan was also captured and bound up, and he was almost defeated by the curse. But then, as he was faint of exhaustion, he prayed to his wise mother, and thus found the strenght in his human side. He gave up the fight, and was released from the rope.  

Founding of Silford

After the war the people were free for the first time, but did not know where to go now that their leaders the giants were gone. The brothers had to found a city to house them. But they could not decide which twin should be the ruler, Kauteirin the wise, or Daursan the strong hero of the war. This was already about to rip the people apart again, and the twins decided to ask an old man passing by to decide who should be the ruler. The old man thought for a while, and then said: "me". Because this was the will of the Gods, the old peasant became the first ruler, and this is why Fares (Silford) has always been ruled by it's people. [And even to this day, Silford is known and proud of being a birth place of democracy]  

Later years

The brothers' other adventures are mentioned in many tales, but not much is known for sure. Kauteirin is thought to have stayed married with his husband even after the war.

Cultural Reception

The story has commonly been interpreted to portray the importance of fullfilling one's duty, even when it goes against your personal interest. Truely important things will find a way to happen in a way that suits every individual.
Date of Setting
Time of Wander (before written history)
Related Species
Related Organizations

Historical basis

It is not known for sure if Kauteirin and Daursan were historical people, even though some families claim to be their descendants. However, the mythic cycle ascribed to them stores the oral memory of the War fought in the end of the Time of Wander, and of the settling of the first cities.  

In Art

The motive of Daursan and Kauteirin founding Silford is unsurprisingly a popular theme in the city. It can be seen on murals of many official building, as well as on everyday objects like ceramics.
by Unknown artist, Met museum
Daursan and Kauteirin on a ceramic vase. Kauteirin playes the lyre, while Daursan converses with a peasant woman.
 

Literature

The story of the twins is one of the most integral Faren myths, and even a millenia later it is known and told all around Salan. The oral myths of Kauteirin and Daursan were gathered early from the oral forms, and written fragments are already known from the early 3rd century AFS.   However, even at later times the myth is usually performed by singing. One of the definite versions of the epic (as pronounced by the Senate of Silford , the Songs of Kauteirin by Ván of Sankai is a lenghty musical play. It was first performed Silfordan Spring Festival of 705.

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