The Count of Years : 2    [ Commentary ] [1] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

The Giants / Bārumemaniciū

The creation of the Giants

Iáinos now conceived of the Bārumemaniciū, the Giants, and Eīledan created them. In this he was helped by the power of the Einalandāuē.

The Giants are the first of the Second Spirits, the Brosilandāuē; they are made of matter as we are, and live on Almea; but in power and nobility they are very little less than the First Spirits. Their flesh is harder than stone; to them rock is as malleable as clay is for us, and the minerals which grow in the rock are their food.

The first of the Giants was Mavordaguendu; he was created on the mountain called Sillêlicu, in the Eresso mountains. He cried out in delight at having been created, and took his first step, learning the use of his legs. He began to run, and, laughing, he ran down the mountain, all the way to the Isrēica, and drank from its waters.

--O Iáinos, he said; it is good.

He walked about Almea:

Bārumemaniciū ran across the plains;
he clambered over the rolling hills;
he waded knee-deep through forests.
Lake Bérunor was a pool for him to bathe in.
He reached up and, laughing, touched
the moons, Xlainari and Têllênari.
He watched animals playing at his feet,
mighty lions and bears hunting,
deer and horses swift as mice,
tiny rabbits, almost too small to see.

Many of the Einalandāuē had come to see the first Giant, because they were curious about him, and because they had helped make him. They asked him how it felt to have a body, and whether he felt confined.

--No, he said, it is pleasant. If I were like you, I would not feel the air on my face, and the soft trees against my legs, and the refreshing water from the river.

The Einalandāuē were greatly interested in these new things, and asked him many questions; they and the Giant were pleased to learn about each other's ways.

--Still, there are many of you, and only one Giant, said Mavordaguendu. There is no one like me-- there are no other Giants.

--Don't complain, O Mavordaguendu, said Iáinos. It wasn't my intention to create only one of you! I dreamed of you alone because I wanted to see how it went; and in recompense you are first of the Giants and their king.

Eīledan shaped the second of the Giants, Ecrêsetomurgo, following the dream of Iáinos. Ecrêsetomurgo stood up, felt his stony flesh with his hands, and looked around at the world.

--O Second Giant, I am glad to see you, cried Mavordaguendu, and ran to meet him. But Ecrêsetomurgo looked at him in surprise, and moved away.

--Don't be afraid! said Mavordaguendu. I am a Giant like you!

But the other Giant did not respond, and stared warily at Mavordaguendu.

--O Iáinos, what is wrong? Your Giant doesn't seem to understand me, said Mavordaguendu.

Iáinos laughed. --O Mavordaguendu, you don't yet understand what it is to be a being made of matter. You can speak to me and to the Einalandāuē, because we are spirit, and spirit speaks directly to spirit, without intermediary. But your companion is also flesh, and he cannot hear your thoughts.

Now Mavordaguendu wailed, because his companion could not understand him. And Ecrêsetomurgo looked at him in surprise and wonder.

--There, I have his attention, Mavordaguendu told himself. He can't hear my thoughts, but he can hear my voice. Iáinos spoke of an intermediary; perhaps voice would be a good intermediary. I will learn to render my thoughts into voiced words, and my companion will learn to render them back into thought.

Now Mavordaguendu spoke the first word. Placing his hands in the water, he said, Limatliscāiescîspāstirâx!

This is the Giantish word for water. Giantish words for common things are long, and short for uncommon, because for them the length of a word indicates its importance.

The other Giant watched closely, but did nothing. Mavordaguendu repeated his gesture and his word, and now the other Giant smiled. He also placed his hands in the water, and said, Limatliscāiescîspāstirâx!

Mavordaguendu placed his hand on the ground, and said, --Torûmbāuxrasurmêntāudeno, which is the Giantish word for earth. And this time the other Giant repeated his gesture and word.

They proceeded in this way, walking up and down the earth for days on end, naming the things that they found there, one alternating with the other. They never had to repeat a word, because a Giant forgets nothing that it has learned. Then they named colors, and sizes, and other attributes; and finally they named actions and states. They created the Giantish language, and after seven days they were able to speak to each other.

Finally Ecrêsetomurgo said, --O Mavordaguendu, you are my curarâlipoxronórivâssamalindāepēnaindorirebīliu.

This is the Giantish word for friend; and because it was the last word they created, it is also the Giantish word for their own language.

The Giantish community

Mavordaguendu and Ecrêsetomurgo now spoke together for twenty days on end. Their words burst like rain, because they had not been able to speak, and they had had no one else to share their own experience with. They could talk to the Einalandāuē, but these spirits without bodies didn't know what it was like to be a Giant, to walk on the earth, to feel the rain and the wind, to eat and drink.

At the end of the twenty days, Mavordaguendu was satisfied, and he left to wander Almea. After only a day, however, he heard a loud crying sound, and recognized the voice of his friend. He rushed back to where he had left Ecrêsetomurgo, and found him trapped under a mighty fall of rock, which had come down from a mountain and buried him.

He began to dig, and in a day and a night he had uncovered Ecrêsetomurgo. He bound his wounds, gave him water to drink, and laid him in a soft meadow to recover.

--O Ecrêsetomurgo, said Mavordaguendu , now I see that I can't simply wander around Almea as I used to. We should stay together.

--Very good, said Ecrêsetomurgo. I am pleased to have you as my older brother and my king!

Now Eīledan created many more Giants, and Mavordaguendu and Ecrêsetomurgo taught them the Giantish language; and they formed the community of Giants, with Mavordaguendu as their king. All the Giants that ever existed were created then, because the Giants are not made male and female, and they do not marry or have children.

The creation of Soxāeco

Amnās, the Einalandāua who had followed Ecaîas, observed the creation of the Giants, and he wished to create, and to obstruct the path of the Second Spirits.

First he created a helper, and called him Soxāeco. He was not as powerful as Amnās; his power was like the Guardians'. But where Amnās was created by Eīledan and had still some of the divine nobility, Soxāeco was entirely evil, and more malicious than his creator.

If Ecaîas is evil, Amnās is more so,
but Soxāeco exceeds them in malice.
When he sees something made, he wants it;
if it can't be his, he will destroy it.
If he has power, he wields it heavily;
deprived of it, he bitterly complains.
Is there a Lord who has this same nature?
Then he is worse, because not even Soxāeco
pretends to know Iáinos.

Amnās considered with his servant, saying, --What shall we do, my helper, to confound the Unbegotten? Shall we call up the fires of Ecaîas and burn up his Giants?

--Then we will have nothing, said Soxāeco. I have another idea, which will leave us not only masters of Almea, but with a victorious army besides.

--O Soxāeco, tell me about this idea, and we will do it.

The idea of Soxāeco was to form the Kind of Ogres, the Gauminiū, to oppose the Giants and contest the dominion of Almea with them. They formed them from the rock, and fed them on mud and sand, till they had a vast host. The king of the ogres was Bōexurgō.

The wars of the Giants and Ogres

Mavordaguendu, the king of the Giants, came upon Bōexurgō the king of the Ogres, in a desert in the south. They did not speak each other's language, so they spent a week learning, and finally they could speak together.

--I am Mavordaguendu, said the Giant. I was made by Eīledan and the Einalandāuē.

--I am Bōexurgō. I was made by Amnās and Soxāeco.

--I am happy to meet a new Kind, said Mavordaguendu . I have met Giants and Einalandāuē, but you are the first Ogre I've met.

--You are a fool! said Bōexurgō. Don't you know that we are enemies?

--I know that Amnās opposed Iáinos, but why should we fight? What do you hold against the Giants?

--To be honest, I don't know, said Bōexurgō. We are new to the world. But we were created to be your enemies, and we are loyal to our creators. We are as powerful as you are, and we will have to kill you all.

--Why did you spend a week learning our language, if you intend to kill us?

--We are Thinking Kinds; we do not kill with only growls and grunts, like animals, but go to war, and this must be announced and celebrated. Now go prepare, because we will come to war with you in one month.

--If it must be, we will be ready.

Mavordaguendu returned to the other Giants and warned them of the war to come, and Bōexurgō came to Soxāeco and told him of his conversation.

--O Bōexurgō, did I make you entirely without brains? said Soxāeco. Mavordaguendu is the king of the Giants; you should simply have killed him, to dismay the others.

--If I had killed him, he would not have known who it was that killed him, and neither would the other Giants. They would think that he fell from accident or disease, and no glory would come to you, O Soxāeco.

--Well, that is true. But in any case, now go with the other Ogres and attack the Giants.

--I told the Giants we would come to war in one month.

--Yes, exactly; that is why you should attack now, before they expect you.

--I understand, O Soxāeco. I will go immediately and tell the Giants that we will attack at once, instead of in a month.

--No, don't go to tell the Giants; gather up the Ogres and attack at once.

--I think we should tell them first. That way they will fear you for a month. As for the element of surprise, we don't need it, because we are as powerful as they are.

--You are stubborn creatures and there's no arguing with you. It doesn't matter, so long as you destroy them.

The war began on the day that Bōexurgō had set. All the Ogres came to attack the Giants. Neither side used weapons; swords would break against their rocky bodies; hurled rocks would hurt them no more than snowballs. Only their own bodies were hard enough to hurt each other.

The first battle lasted for seven days and nights. Giants and Ogres could hurt each other, but neither was easy to kill. Finally two Giants and three Ogres had been killed, and the fighters on both sides were tired.

--That's enough war for now, said Bōexurgō. We will come back in a month.

Before the next war, each side spent time preparing vast fortifications. The mountains of the West are the remains of the fortresses of the Giants, so that they are also called the Mountains of the Giants. The mountains of the East are the remains of the fortresses of the Ogres, and they are still called Gaumê after the Gauminiū (ogres).

The next war began after a year, and lasted for ten years. The fighting was fierce and without quarter:

Ogres strive to kill Giants,
Giants to kill Ogres.
They trample the trees
like men walking on grass.
Their huge bodies
clash like fighting bulls,
the earth shakes
whenever one falls.
They roar and cry out
like a thousand thunders.
They run up mountains
to reach their enemies;
they need no rest,
their fury is overwhelming.

The Ogres used the power of Ecaîas deep in the earth to shake their enemies with earthquakes and scald them with volcanoes; the Giants called upon the Guardians to burn their enemies with lightning and meteors.

The Giants suffered from the fighting, and Bōexurgō believed that one final battle would be the end of them. The power of Ecaîas raised up a volcano in Sūās, in front of the stronghold of the Giants, in order to destroy it. The Ogres waited on the mountain's flanks, ready to pour into Giants' stronghold. Fire from the earth poured out of the volcano.

But with the aid of the Guardians, Ecrêsetomurgo raised up an enormous wave from the sea to put out the fires of Ecaîas. There was an thundering explosion, which shook all of creation. The Ogres were killed by their own fire, and the fire was put out by the wave. The waters of the wave did not return to the sea, but remained at the location of the volcano, and were corrupted by the bodies of the Ogres, so that a deadly swamp remains in north Sūās to this day.

Ecrêsetomurgo perished as the volcano collapsed, and he was mourned by the Giants, above all by Mavordaguendu, since Ecrêsetomurgo had been the second Giant to be created and Mavordaguendu's first friend.

Very few of the Giants survived the ten years' war with the Ogres, and the lands of Almea were devastated.

We know all this, because the Giants told it to the iliū, and the iliū told it to our ancestors.

© 2002 by Mark Rosenfelder
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