The Poem-Song of Pyrax Prose in Stell | World Anvil
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The Poem-Song of Pyrax

The Parable of Pyrax

The Parable of Pyrax is a key allegory in most texts from the sects of the Church of Celvynas. Pyraxander, as he is known in all extant versions, represents sapienhood and its relation to the various aspects of Celvynas.   This variation of the parable is from the Forged Plates, the collection of metal tablets which act as the holy book for the sect of the Church who worships Celvynas's Aspect of the Forgesmith. In this version, the character of Pyraxander demonstrates the typical dangers of mouthing off to goddesses, but also highlights the virtues of knowledge and self-sacrifice in protection of others, traits that are valued in the Forgesmith denomination.  



From the Plates of Heroes, Stanzas 5-8
Rubidium Age Edition

In Culaan fair were mined twain birthèd kin.
Pyrethia, bright, was like a diamond press’d;
Her brother, Pyraxander, loved his twin,
Yet prone was he to marry jape and jest.
Once he down river’s winding path did make,
And chanc’d upon a woman wracked with age.
“Alas,” said She, “Mine Bones Doth Dropsy Ache;
Thy Youth And Strength Shall Help, By Mine Good Gauge.”
At length, the crone about the cure did spake:
A subtle bloom, beyond here wat’ry rift.
And ‘ere the ground could haply twice but shake,
Pyrax had cast himself into the drift.
For valour, props – yet virtue’s temper’d nigh;
For Pyrax, shafted poorly, cast to die.
  From yonder bank did Pyrax soon return –
With flowers scoured from the muddied trench –
But for his erstwhile efforts, naught but earn
A caustic slagging for his turgid stench.
The woman’s hammer’d words unto him stung;
He knew nary to voice what he but felt.
Yet mischief struck the anvil of his tongue:
“‘Tis they who dealt thine own be first to smelt.”
The maddened crone erupted into rage,
A brackish vortex on the vaulted breeze;
And fractur’d thus Her true form’s gilded cage:
Litaara, of foul vermin and disease.
“Thy Tarnish’d Tongue Hast Mine Countenance Vex’d;
Thy Kin Anon Shall Taste Mine Cursèd Hex.”
  Pyrax hasten’d fearful whence he had come,
To find his sister sickly, ill, besmirch’d;
Betwixt his own he held her fingers numb;
For remedies, in libraries he search’d.
At last! Our hero findeth what he seeks:
Forsooth, Celvynas’ everlasting flame.
Thus ventur’d forth to conquer Gishbar’s peaks,
To grasp the ceaseless fire’s essay’d claim.
At pitch’d midnight did Pyrax deftly steal
Into the Forge, but found himself bereft:
No torch had he; thus fainly did anneal
The fire to himself, to seal the theft.
His sacrifice, twas seamless n’ore in vein –
His burnish frame return’d, and eased her pain.
  Celvynas, Forgesmith, soon espied amiss
Her quenchèd foundry; embers within naught.
Yet vision of the brother’s love for sis,
Brittl’d the wrath that hath the Goddess wrought:
“Though Thieving Take’s Nay Action I Condone –
Wherefore, Thy Alloyed Kinsfolk Welds Thee Whole;
To Burn Thyself For Others, Thou Hast Shown,
Quite Verily, Thine Smokeless Heart Of Coal.”
The Wrightful Lady stoked Pyrax’s soul,
And from the cinders forg’d a balmy mail,
Pyrethia borne, twas soothing to condole,
The finish’d ash to brave Pyrax’s tale.
To lesson’s end – tis worthy of basalt;
To comprehend, tis shearly not thy fault.

Literary Analysis

The Forged Plates are all written in verse with strict meter and rhyme schemes, which reflects the structured order and rigid process of blacksmithing, but also allows for the flexibility in its artifice. Its metered verses are meant to evoke the pounding of hammers on anvils, and in fact many dwarves of the faith regularly recite poem-songs while working in their forges to keep time.   As with all Celvynian texts, the Poem-Song of Pyrax is heavy with its use of fire imagery, which reminds readers as to the source of Celvynas's power. The poem-song's use of smithing and mining metaphor, however, is specific to Forgesmith scripture; how and when these devices were introduced into the poem-song is uncertain, though religious scholars postulate its borrowed origins in dwarven mining song.


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