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

The iliū

The creation of the iliū

Mavordaguendu still survived, and called to his creator.

--O Iáinos, the ogres are defeated; but Almea has become a wasteland, and there are hardly any of us left. Will you make more Giants, so that we can be a strong community again?

Iáinos replied, --It is time to do something new.

--What do you mean?

--I made you Giants strong, but I gave you no way to bear children. In that way you are like the Einalandāuē, though you are not pure spirits. But with Amnās roaming, the world is a dangerous place for bodied spirits. Instead of making more Giants, I will make a Kind which can reproduce itself, as the animals do, so that there are many of them.

--It is good; we will help you, those of us Giants who are left.

Following the dream of Iáinos, Eīledan and the Giants made Iriand the first of the iliū, and Ulōne awakened him.

Compared to the giants, the iliū are small and weak, made of flesh like ourselves. But they are larger than men, stronger and nobler of spirit. Each successive Thinking Kind is smaller than the last, and lives for a lesser time, because the first ones were made by Eīledan alone, and each successive Kind assisted in the creation of the next.

Because the land was devastated, Eīledan created Iriand in the great Sea north of Sūās, and that is still where the iliū live. He learned to swim, and ate fish and the plants of the sea, and Ulōne was strong in him; his love of Iáinos never wavered.

The iliū are large and muscular; their skin is blue and their hair is orange. They are most beautiful in the sea, where they swim gracefully and the light speckles their skin. On land they are mighty; a man cannot knock down an iliu woman, and an iliu man is stronger than five strong men.

He came to know the Giants, and learned the Giantish language; but when he learned it he laughed and said,

--This will never do for my people! You are long-lived and imposing, and can survive with such a harsh and long-winded language, but we will have more to say and less time to say it in!

He therefore created the ilian language, Eteodāole. No human can learn this language, or even say a word in it; to us it sounds like music. It is said that all songs are fragments of Eteodāole, given to us by Ulōne as a consolation. We can't understand them, but only catch something of the feeling behind the words. By contrast with human languages, Eteodāole is like a living being, its eyes bright and its movements fluid, compared with the dead likeness of a statue. The brilliance of Iáinos, the power of Eīledan, and the love of Ulōne are in it. With their language the iliū do not merely communicate ideas, but share the depths of their spirit, and change things in the world.

The Einalandāuē said to Iáinos, --These are great things, which we could never have imagined before we saw them.

The wooing of Alāna

Iáinos intended for there to be many iliū, and so he conceived of Alāna the first iliu girl, and Eīledan made her, in the Deep Lake on the island of Dāurio.

Iriand came to meet her, and was very happy to see another iliu. He taught her Eteodāole, and they spoke in it all day long-- more than the Giants spoke when they first spoke, because the iliū always have much to say.

As they talked they walked and swam around the entire island of Dāurio. At first Iriand didn't understand that she was female, only that her body was different. They were naked, so that nothing of her body was hidden. But as they completed the circuit, he found unknown feeling stirring in his liver.

--O Alāna, he said, you are the second iliu, and my friend, and I thank Iáinos. But now I see as well that you are very beautiful. Your body doesn't look like mine, but I don't find it strange, only lovely. What does it mean? What are these differences for?

--Ulōne has taught me, responded Alāna. These differences are so that iliū, unlike the Giants, can mate and have children. The penis and vagina come together to exchange seeds, the womb is a room for the child until it's born, the breasts are to feed it, and your strong arms are to defend it. Haven't you seen the animals doing this?

--Yes, but they don't look like you; their organs are not beautiful, but only useful.

--Because they are made for each other, and not for us! But you and I are made for each other.

--I think you are the most beautiful part of creation, and from talking with you, you are wise and noble-hearted as well:

The orange flash of your hair is like sunrise,
like fire flying high in the night air.
The light speckling your skin as you swim
is like a starry night full of stars;
your swimming is skillful, like a dancer's,
and so swift that a shark cannot catch you.
Your breasts are like hills,
soft with grass in the early spring.
You move with grace, like a cat,
calm and beautiful even when hunting.

--You are beautiful in my eyes as well, said Alāna:

Strong and good, restful to my spirit.
Handsome in body, with golden eyes.
Your voice is a hymn, of lovely melody.
You have no fear; your bow is sure.
Your steps are stately, like a wolf
passing silently through the dark woods.
Swimming, you are strong and quick;
you know all of the sea's secrets.
Your kindness will be a home to me
and to our children, you will be a protector.

--O Alāna, Eīledan has made us for each other! Why should we not come together right now?

Alāna laughed. --Not yet, O Iriand. Don't you know that when we come together, we will produce a child? Do you have a home ready for it? Can you protect it against the lions of the desert, the sharks of the sea, and the malice of Amnās?

--No, I hadn't thought of that, said Iriand.

Alāna and Iriand loved each other, and now walked hand in hand through the meadows and forests of Dāurio; but they didn't yet come together.

Iriand wondered where to make a home for their child. At first he thought of the Deep Lake in Dāurio; but he felt that it belonged to Alāna, and he worried that it would not be secure enough. He and Alāna were the first iliū, so they were created already mature; but their child would be a baby, and defenseless. He knew that Amnās and Soxāeco were still roaming Almea, and he didn't know what dangers they might bring.

Finally he chose the Lake of Mists, Bérunor. It was protected by the mountains, and Giants still lived near it. And because it had been behind the mountain fortifications of the Giants, it was not as desolate as the rest of Almea; it was lush and pleasing to his eyes and to Alāna's. He made a house in the waters of the lake, and another on a hill overlooking it; and he brought fish to fill the lake, so that there would be food when their child was born.

Alāna was pleased, and now for the first time they kissed, and enjoyed each other's lips and tongue. Only the Thinking Kinds kiss; the animals do not kiss.

One day as Iriand was walking along the river Isrēica he saw a glitter of light, as if stars were caught amid the sand. He looked closely and found bits of metal in the sand-- pieces of gold.

He made a necklace out of the gold and gave it to Alāna.

--You don't need any gold to adorn you, because you are entirely lovely, he said. But beauty can add to beauty, and when you wear it you'll remember my love.

--O Iriand, it is lovely, and all the more so because it is made in love.

And she embraced him, and for the first time they enjoyed flesh against flesh.

Finally Iriand invited the rest of creation to sing with him to Alāna. The Giants readily agreed, and chanted to Alāna-- long, slow chants that took a full day to sing. The Guardians sang as well, songs clear and sharp as the light of the moons; and the Einalandāuē sang as well, the tinny distant voices of the stars. Iriand brought birds to sing as well, and bears and lions to roar, and strange ocean creatures to hum and whisper in the deep of the Lake of Mists.

For her part, Alāna gave gifts to Iriand: a bracelet of gems for his wrist, a quiver of arrows, and a garland of flowers for their house. And she danced for him, and invited the rest of creation to dance as well. The Giants' dance was made of tremendous leaps and crashes like thunder. The Guardians burned bright trails in the sky, and the Einalandāuē caused the stars to shimmer, and meteors to fall through the sky like rain.

This was the marriage of Iriand and Alāna, for now they came together.

First they touched each other, every part of their bodies from head to toe. Iriand found that:

Her skin was warm and tender,
Her breasts soft and inviting,
her nipples bursting on them like fruit,
producing milk as thick as honey
and as intoxicating as wine.
Her lips were purple, like berries,
and met his own with passion;
her mouth was sweet as oranges.
They kissed and tasted
every part of the other's body.

Her vulva was lovely as a flower;
he kissed it with reverence.
His penis was now strong and full;
she kissed it with joy.
Now they came together,
and he entered inside her.
His filling satisfied her greatly;
her softness enchanted him.
To come together with love
is a miracle of Ulōne.

For the first time the male and female of the Thinking Kinds loved each other in this way. The Giants were not made male and female; and the Einalandāuē, who are without bodies, can come together as spirit, with no intermediaries. Physical penetration is as close as bodily creatures can come to this communion of pure spirits.

Humans sometimes come together without any communion of spirits at all, wholly out of lust from the guts. It is never that way with the iliū, who are closer to the spirits than we are. For them penetration is both physical and spiritual; they come together in body and in mind.

The three lineages of the iliū

The seed of Iriand and Alāna met, and Alāna became pregnant, and gave birth to a son. Their son was called Ambretāu, and he was born in the Lake of Mists.

In the coming years they had more children: first Eruimed, then Urisama, then Nîiniōre, then Gorōdias, then Taileluē. They grew strong, and all of them lived to adulthood. Each brother came together with his sister; this is the origin of the three lineages of the iliū.

Ambretāu married Urisama, and theirs is the lineage of the Ambretagō, the royal third of the iliū. They are taller and stronger than other iliū; their hair is darker, and their chief dwelling is Atêllār of the Lords, and the seas of this continent. They are great in war, and close to the heart of Ulōne. The Ambretagō taught us about Iáinos and about many other things as well.

Eruimed married Nîiniōre, and their lineage is the Nîimedi, the Sons of Snow. They are paler of skin and hair than the other iliū, and are called the fairest of the sons of Iriand. Their chief dwelling is far to the south, in Asicondār, a cold place near the southern seas, which are also theirs. They are the great creators and artists of the iliū, close to Eīledan in spirit, and wise in healing arts; they are able to make images of nature that cannot be told from their models, and if they tell a story it is impossible to tell that it did not happen.

Gorōdias married Taileluē, and their lineage is the Gorōdigō. Their chief dwelling is across the sea, and is called Voruniê; it is the largest of the iliu lands, but no man has ever seen it. The Gorōdigō are the wisest of the iliū, seeking always to understand the ways of plants and animals, and the means of working with matter, the courses of the planets, and the Idea of Iáinos. They are wider than other iliū, and their hair is bright; they are the only iliū who may have beards.

The iliū grew and prospered, and they cared for the places devastatedby the wars of giants and ogres. They planted grasses and forests, and brought animals to places where they were missing, and raised great schools of fish to feed themselves with. Each lineage built a great city, and in the Lake of Mists was the house of Iriand, their king. He was hundreds of years old now, but strong and vigorous as a youth.

© 2002 by Mark Rosenfelder
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