Sunday, April 29, 2018

A Brief Tangent (from an existing tangent) on the Power of Haraal.

The Presence and the Gaze are the two most fantastical yet well-attested qualities which Haraal was said to possess.

The Presence was a potent aura which enveloped him and his immediate surroundings, a sort of outward expression of his latent force of personality and divine radiance. But rather than influencing people, this extension of his magnetism affected the world at large. Within Haraal's Presence, everything which was good, became better, and everything which was bad, grew worse, with the nature of "good" or "bad" being up to Haraal's own personal morality, of course.

Crops flourished in his presence if they were in some way beneficial to him, such as when the shepherd family's garden suddenly grew choked with engorged tubers and root vegetables after a light spring shower graced the hills. But if he visited the heartland of a man or people who opposed him, or whom he took a dim view of, the food he passed by would rapidly rot into a pungent melange of ashes and slime. Likewise, iron wielded by his own hand or the hand of one of his servants became sharper and more durable, but weapons leveled against him would be brittle and prone to breaking upon his bare skin. Treacherous or overgrown roads cleared themselves upon his arrival, only to regain their misintent moments later. The herds under his control would swell grossly in population when all else around them would grow sickly, to the point that it was said that "even Haraal's bulls grew heavy with calf".¹

The Gaze was what allowed him to enact his will upon other thinking, feeling observers. Under the man's smoldering look, the most powerful will would break like a twig or be molded like molten bronze.

If he willed it, he could make his enemies fall to their knees begging for forgiveness, or fall on their own swords sobbing apologies. His servants would often do the same, but while seeming far happier about the whole ordeal. All preexisting law and order among men melted away under his slightest mental effort, and rearranged themselves according to him. As a case in point, Haraal apparently married all half-dozen of the adult women in the shepherd family on the very same day that he announced his name, despite the fact that most of them had already been married. Indeed most of the husbands, sons, and other male relatives were apparently too busy swearing their fealty to him to object.

From that small holding at the feet of Yorl'di, Haraal and his newfound followers were said to have spread north. ² Spurred on by bits of lore told to him by the shepherds, and then immediately filling in any and all gaps or mistakes using his own unerring brilliance, Haraal quickly adopted Ersuunian ways as his own, and would announce to his growing camp of followers by the end of the summer that he desired absolute authority over those riders and their homeland. This statement was made with complete confidence and met with cheers and the kisses of boot-licks, as many such pronouncements would end.

Inexplicably, impossibly, and despite the oftentimes prodigious powers of the gods of modesty and decorum, he would achieve all of this and more.

¹ Verse 12,823, line 1 of the Histories of All, Yashka the Sage, 1284 BR.

² As argued in Mythinterpretations of History by our own late Berschut Groz, former Head of the Department of Comparative Mythology, the mountain peak or peaks known to us as Yorl'di are likely to correspond to the highlands of the southeastern terminus of the Pashels/Pach-Yul Mountain Range. This starting point allows us to place the first areas of Haraalian expansion close to the area between the eastern edge of the Ersuunian Basin and the highlands to the east, with the corridor to the coast of the far south having laid tantalizingly close as well as open, but never taken. It is for this reason that the south is so often maligned, or at least treated as beneath the notice of those "true" successors to the empire- a subject which I am somewhat more free to approach now that I am well beyond the walls of Deneroth, but which I would not be able to do properly while so many drunken fools and sloshing mugs are surrounding me at this juncture.

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