Authors: James Erich
Harmony Ink Press
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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of author imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Dreams of Fire and Gods: Gods
© 2013 James Erich.
© 2013 Paul Richmond.
Cover content is for illustrative purposes only and any person depicted on the cover is a model.
All rights reserved. This book is licensed to the original purchaser only. Duplication or distribution via any means is illegal and a violation of international copyright law, subject to criminal prosecution and upon conviction, fines, and/or imprisonment. Any eBook format cannot be legally loaned or given to others. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without the written permission of the Publisher, except where permitted by law. To request permission and all other inquiries, contact Harmony Ink Press, 5032 Capital Circle SW, Suite 2, PMB# 279, Tallahassee, FL 32305-7886, USA, or [email protected].
Library ISBN: 978-1-62798-380-8
Digital ISBN: 978-1-62798-378-5
Printed in the United States of America
(TAW-vohn), the language spoken in the kingdom of Dasak:
Note: In addition to the unusual characters ö (pronounced “aw”) and ü (pronounced like the “u” in the English word “put”), Tövon also differs from English in that there are no plurals. Whether an object is singular or plural is derived from context.
donegh (DOH-nehk): donkey, ass
dönz (DAWNZ): “of,” used in the context of family names, as in Sael
Menaük—Sael of the Menaük family.
ghet (GHEHT): a large, lumbering animal used in farm work, generally considered genial, but not overly intelligent.
gönd (GAWND): a game of chance, in which small wooden sticks and disks are cast upon the floor and the outcome of the “battle” is tallied up according to complicated rules.
kanun (KAH-nuhn): a tall tree with broad leaves and hard, round seeds.
kikid (KIH-kihd): a speckled, pheasant-like game bird that nests in fields.
kotzod (KAWT-zohd): smelly
makek (mah-KEHK): “chief” or “supreme.” The suffix “-makek” can be applied to most political or social classes to designate the highest ranking member.
mannet (MAH-neht): a flower with red petals and yellow anthers.
mat (MAHT): town.
nimen (NIH-mehn): “lover.” Sometimes “spouse,” but only in the context of a romantic pairing, as opposed to a spouse in an arranged marriage.
rawuk (RAW-uhk): an herb with mild analgesic properties, especially in the root. People often chew the pleasant-tasting root to relax.
stosam (STAW-suhm): an ale infused with herbs. The herbs vary from town to town, giving each region distinct flavors.
tekh (TEHKH): a long-legged water fowl generally considered to be stupid, because it’s easily captured by baited traps.
(OH-syeh), the language of the Taaweh:
is characterized by long vowels, in which the vowel sound is held for two beats.
does have plurals, but speakers of
tend to use the singular “Taaweh” to refer to both one Taaweh and multiple members of the Taawehnai.
chya (CHYAH): boy
iinu (EE-ee-noo): “cherished.”
iinyana (ee-een-YAH-nah): friends (the plural of iinyeh)
iinyeh (EE-een-yeh): friend or ally.
iinyo (EE-een-yoh): elder
Kiishya (KEE-ee-shyah): “ember,” what the Taaweh call their sun
Omu (OH-moo): “water drop,” what the Taaweh call their moon
tyeh (CHYEH): “greatest.” A commonly used superlative.
tyeh-areh (chyeh-AH-reh): “great mist.” The mist that marks the boundary between the world of the living and the world of the dead.
tyeh-iinyeh (chyeh-EE-een-yeh): “greatest friend” or “lover,” in the context of the person one is closest to. Similar to the Dasak word “
.” To the Taaweh, this is the closest possible emotional bond between two people.
tyeh shyochya (chyeh-SHYOH-chyah): “great joy,” a standard Taaweh greeting
shaa (SHAH-ah): “lord” or “man.” The male ruler of the Taaweh is the Iinu Shaa, the Cherished Lord.
shavi (SHAH-vee): “lady” or “woman.” The female ruler of the Taaweh is the Iinu Shavi, the Cherished Lady.
taaweh (TAH-ah-weh): “guardian.”
zouvya (ZOH-oh-vyah): “lake.” This word migrated into the language of the humans in Dasak as zovya (ZOH-vyah) and is used in many place names.
(TEH-tihn), the language of the Stronni:
Note: Tetin is a language of complex declinations and inclinations, but the pronunciation is fairly straightforward. Among the humans, only the caedan and tadu know some of the language, for religious purposes.
Paemnom ad Atni (PAH-ehm-nohm ahd AHT-nee):
The Supplication to Atnu
, a ritual prayer conducted at midday.
atnu (AHT-noo): flame, sun
caedan (KAH-eh-dahn): of Caednu, a priest dedicated to the god Caednu. In practice, they are also dedicated to his queen, Imen.
caednu (KAH-ehd-noo): fire
druma (DROO-mah): light, moon
imen (IH-mehn): air
pontu (PAWHN-too): shield
stronnu (STROHN-noo): warrior
tadu (TAH-doo): boy, this word is also used for an acolyte
of Day in the kingdom of Dasak:
The kingdom follows the temple practice of dividing the day into four “hours,” beginning at the following major phases of the Eye of Atnu (what we would call the “sun”):
These are of variable length according to the time of year. They are further bisected into “early” and “late” halves. There are also “hours” associated with the Eye of Druma (the moon), but they are only used by the
positions within the kingdom:
Since the Tövon words for different political positions and classes in the kingdom are unfamiliar, I’ve laid them out here, in general order of importance, though
are roughly equal in rank:
komük (KOH-muhk): emperor. The ruler of the entire kingdom. The position is hereditary, though dynasties have changed through assassination and wars.
vek (VEHK): the emperor’s regent in the East Kingdom. Though he answers to the emperor, in practice the isolation of the East Kingdom gives him immense power and autonomy.
dekan (DEHK-uhn): the ruler of a city or region dominated by a city.
ömem (AW-mehm): a woman allied to the goddess Imen, who is granted the ability to see anything illuminated by the Eyes and trained in healing magic. Ömem cannot foresee the future. The ömem also refer to themselves as the Sisterhood.
vönan (VAW-nuhn): a mage allied to the god Caednu and granted the ability to use fire magic.
caedan (CAH-eh-duhn): a priest of the Stronni. Caedan are primarily scholars and clergy with little magical ability.
tadu (TAH-doo): a boy chosen to one day become a caedan, an acolyte.
samöt (sah-MAWT): an assassin guided by the Sight of the ömem. Their larger organization is referred to as the Brotherhood. The word samöt means “dagger.”
Dedicated to Stacia
knew he was dying, and he welcomed it. The young acolyte was burned severely over most of his body, after getting caught in one of the firestorms two days ago, and he was in agony. A carriage had overturned in an intersection, and he had rushed to aid the driver and passengers. But he’d been too late. A fireball caught them out in the open and only Gonim had survived—barely.
Father Turs was the only ordained
left in the infirmary now, his staff reduced to a few acolytes like Gonim. All the other priests in Worlen had evacuated—those who hadn’t been killed when the temple was incinerated. The old
had done his best for Gonim, covering his burned skin in a healing ointment that relieved some of the pain and then bandaging him. But the burns were too severe. An acolyte had given him a potion to help him sleep, but they had little healing potion to spare for someone so far gone. Now Gonim’s head swam in a haze, the pain still with him, but somehow seeming far away. Father Turs had prayed over him, but eventually he’d been forced to leave Gonim to suffer in private, while the father attended to others who could be helped.
Gonim was at peace with his life. He had been devoted to the gods and his duties as an acolyte. His only regret was that he would die before being ordained. But no man knew what the Perfect Order held for him. It was enough to revel in its beauty and accept one’s place in the pattern.
A spark of light appeared to the young man as he contemplated this, drifting into his small room through the window on the midday light of Atnu. The spark grew in size, until the room appeared to be filled with its bright light. Gonim’s eyes had difficulty focusing, but it seemed to him that a beautiful woman with raven-black hair was walking toward him from somewhere much farther away than the nearby plaster wall. Her gown was made of rich silks, so sheer that they appeared to reveal much of her body, though cut in such a way as to not reveal as much as it seemed. Precious gemstones adorned the hem and neckline. The woman drew close and leaned down to look at him with a gentle smile, while her hand reached out to stroke his hair. At her touch, all pain left his body.