The Daughters of Karekh
Being a fragment from the Kargish creation myths, attributed to Hathil of Hupun & translated by Firerose
In the beginning Karekh divided the land from the waters. And first from the waters rose the mountain, and Karekh hallowed it. And after rose the land, and the land stretched from the holy mountain in the utmost east to the frozen wasteland in the north. And Karekh flew over the waters of the west, and where her dirt fell there islands grew. And so it was and it was so.
A thousand years passed and a thousand more, and Karekh bore three daughters, and their names were Akarath, and Turith, and Edra. Now Akarath the first born was crafty with her hands, and with them she devised many things. And Turith was subtle in her thoughts, and in them she understood many things. And Edra, Edra the last born, she was neither crafty with her hands nor subtle in her thoughts, but she flew over the waters of the west and sang out her joy upon the winds.
A thousand years passed and a thousand more, and the three sisters were full grown in mind and stature and beauty, each in her own way. And Akarath the first born spoke thus: Let us make offerings to Karekh our mother, each in secret. And Turith and Edra agreed. Akarath laboured long over her offering, for she wished Karekh to be pleased with it. Turith laboured long over her offering also, for she likewise wished Karekh to be pleased. And Edra, Edra flew over the waters of the west and sang out her joy upon the winds, and if she laboured long to please her mother she never mentioned it to her sisters. And the day appointed for the offerings came, and the three sisters presented Karekh with their gifts.
Said Akarath: Accept this humble gift, mother, as a token of my love and respect for you. With it you will always know how much time has passed. And she presented a device with wheels that turned and spheres that fell, cunningly wrought of silver and gold and encrusted with all the gemstones of the earth.
Said Turith: Accept this humble gift, mother, as a token of my love and respect for you. With it you will always know the names of everything in creation. And she presented a scroll inscribed with runes embellished in gold and red and decorated with pictures so lifelike they almost seemed to move and grow.
And Edra was dismayed for, if truth be told, she had long forgotten that they were to make offerings, and she had naught to give. But to her foot clung a little sprig of sweet-smelling rosemary leaves from one of the islands she had perched on during her travels, and she pressed it to her lips and held it out to her mother.
And Akarath looked upon the offerings of her sisters, and she said: Which offering pleases you best, mother? And Karekh chose the gift of her lastborn child, for she who created time has no need to measure it, and she who gave the creatures their names cannot forget them. And Akarath smiled and spoke fair words to her youngest sister.
And one day Akarath said to her sister Turith as they stood upon the holy mountain: Come call unto our sister Edra, for I have something I would say to her. And Turith for all her knowledge knew not what was in her elder sister’s heart, so she called to her younger sister upon the wind. And Edra came.
And Akarath said naught but drew forth a sharp knife of steel and slew her sister, and her blood spilled upon the ground. Swift as death came Karekh, and Turith repented her part. She wept over the body of her sister, and her tears mingled with her sister’s lifeblood. And Karekh cursed her firstborn: Let her be dumb like the animals! But Akarath flew from the mountain, taking the scroll written by Turith her sister.
And Karekh struck the holy mountain with her great tail, once, twice, thrice, and fire spewed from the mountain, the earth writhed and the seas boiled. And the holy mountain was sundered from the land, and the waters covered the greater part of the land. But Akarath flew fast upon the wind, and not fire, not earthquake, not crashing wave could stop her, though her body burned black as night and her wings so torn and tattered she would never fly again.
Though a thousand years be passed and a thousand more let the name of Akarath be accursed across all the lands of the east!
When earth again stood still and the waters ceased to rage, Turith caused her sister’s fire-black teeth to be set into the ground where her lifeblood had flowed out. And both name and knowledge she renounced, and bound herself to her earthly body, vowing to honour her sister’s tomb for this life and for all her lives.
And Edra, of Edra it is said that her spirit flew ever over the waters west of west singing out her joy upon the winds.
And so it was and it was so.
edran: dragon, drake
25 August 2005
Keywords: Firerose, fanfiction, fanfic, Earthsea, Ursula Le Guin