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Traldar

by Marco Dalmonte English translation by Gary Davies

Ixion - Light, sun, fire, strength, war, heroism, knowledge, balance
Valerias - Love, passion, desire, beauty, arts, fertility, protection
Halav - War, strategy, tactics, strength, determination, weapons, sacrifice, combat humanoids
Petra - Defence of the homeland, protection, courage, resistance, virtue, warrior clerics, besieged settlements
Khoronus - Flow of time, knowledge, history, authority, good government, patience, diplomacy
Grammaton (Odin) - Guile, knowledge, wisdom, magic, sky, storms, winds, air
Gorm - Justice, war, storms
Madarua - Women warriors, courage, natural cycle, fertility
Saturnius - Liberty, independence, adventurers, pirates
Mother Earth (Terra) - Creation and protection of all forms of life (animals and plants), balance of the life cycle, nature, birth, prosperity, fertility, earth, shepherds, farmers
Tyche - Luck (good or bad), chance, destiny, risk and hazard
Protius - Oceans and marine creatures, water
Asterius - Travel, trade, guile, merchants, thieves, messengers
Pater (Kagyar) - Crafts, metallurgy, sculpture, construction
Zirchev - Hunting, survival, sylvan races, animals, nature, outcasts
Faunus - Sylvan races, animals, instincts and sensuality, drunkenness, revelry, hedonism, poetry and music
Chardastes - Purification, medicine, health, healing, life cycle
Thanatos - Death, destruction, oblivion, decadence, corruption
Notes:
1. The Traldar live in the south-western region of Iciria, on the coast found between Azca to the north and Milenia to the south, a few kilometres distant from the Anathyan Archipelago and from the forests of the Kubitts. The Traldar are a people derived from a group of Nithians that colonised the area of present-day Karameikos at the dawn of the age of Imperial Nithia (1500 BC). After a generation, numerous calamities had fallen on the Traldar, which remained cut off from the heart of the Empire and unable to effectively face the problems of scarcity, thunderstorms, revolts and pestilence which were present there. In the course of a century, the Traldar Nithians regressed to such a point they faced extinction, but with the intervention of the nearby Hutaaka, they were able to recover, even if they became dominated by the more advanced (even if numerically inferior) Hutaaka. It was therefore by 1300 BC the Traldar civilisation was transformed, progressively losing the Nithian characteristics and assuming instead those of the Taymora (original inhabitants of the region) and of the Neathar slaves with whom they melded. The Traldar divided the region into autonomous kingdoms, each of which must nevertheless obey a Governor envoy of the dominant Hutaaka, which renamed the region Traldaras. The Traldar becoming a fierce and cultured people, began to explore the surrounding regions, to found colonies and trade with the Nithians, and developed a real veneration for the heroic figure and the myths regarding great epic deeds on behalf of mortals and Immortals. Unfortunately, when in 1000 BC the gnolls fleeing Nithia invaded en mass the Traldar land, they were unable to face the advance of the formidable humanoids, and were abandoned by the Hutaaka, which preferred to lock themselves in their valley and preventively isolate themselves from any attempt of assault. In the desperate fight that followed, many kingdoms capitulated, and while the resistance led by the heroic Halav, Petra and Zirchev tried to organise the defence of the cities that remained standing, some of the patrons of the Traldar (Ixion and Khoronus) transported many Traldar cities in the Hollow World in 990 BC in order to not risk the annihilation of this civilisation. From that moment the Traldar of the Hollow World have rebuilt their civilisation with stubbornness and pride, cherishing the myth of the Hero as inspiration for every moment of life, and have created a society in which there are no castes, and in which only who demonstrates true valour and bravery are able to emerge to become a respected leader. This unwritten rule is the only path that in effect permits the women to become leaders and gain dignity equal to that of the men, since normally the Traldar society forbids the fair sex from possessing land and ruling without a husband. All the Traldar (male and female) are trained since they are little to be skilled warriors and to defend themselves and the homeland, considered holy and inviolable, and this was because that within the Traldar there are both a number of skilled citizens and superior weapons than any other civilisation of the Hollow World. However, the fact that the Traldar lands are divided into independent kingdoms, rivals and often at loggerheads among them (as happened in the outer world), preventing this civilisation from building a true empire and impose their own military superiority on the neighbouring nations (Milenia to the south and Azca to the north), and also expose the coastal Traldar cities to the continual plundering by part of the Merry Pirates, which exploit their own superiority in the high seas and the inferior naval technology of the Traldar to their own advantage. Now and then, a charismatic leader is able to unite the kingdoms in order to react to a grave danger that threatens the entire region, but the rise of a High King is a rare event that is seen only in desperate moments (about once every 300 or 400 years) and currently the Traldar are not in this situation. The Traldar trade with the Milenians (who they respect) and with the Schattenalfen (of who they are however suspicious), and are in open conflict with the Azcans (who they despise) and with the Merry Pirates, which represent the only serious and constant threat to their cities.
2. Before they were transported into the Hollow World the Traldar pantheon didnít number Halav, Petra and Zirchev among its ranks, which have forcefully entered into their legends and in the memories of the surface descendents (Traladarans and Darokinians) only following the hunting of the gnolls in 940 BC and to the ascension of the trio among the Immortals thanks to their exploits. Halav, Petra and Zirchev had also been revealed to the Traldar of the Hollow World after having become Immortals: the first two have gained great acknowledgement thanks to their heroic exploits, and their culture is becoming more important than those of the more ancient and recognised Immortals, that the Traldar have taken from the Nithian and Taymora pantheons (ethnic groups from which they descended), while the cult of Zirchev has remained localised to the inhabitants of the wildest areas and to the sylvan creatures. In particular, according to the Traldar mythology, it was Ixion (undisputed leader of the pantheon) who inspired the deeds of the trio that succeeded to be a match for the beast-men and to guide the Traldar in the new world where they rebuilt their strength (thus the Traldar took the passage from the outer world to the Hollow World).
3. There are thirteen Immortals that make up the original nucleus of the pantheon of the surface Traldar. Ixion (associated with the sun) is considered the universal creator, as well as patron of strength, war and heroism, and he is the spouse of Valerias (associated with the moon), lady of life, love and courage. The divine couple have different parents that arranged the rest of the original pantheon. Khoronus is the wise father of Ixion who has left to his son the domination of the sky when he became too old, symbol of the flow of time and sign of the passage between the old Taymoran pantheon in which Khoronus commanded to the new Traldar pantheon. Grammaton is the younger brother of Ixion, an Immortal associated with the sky, magic and storms (of Nithian and Neathar derivation). Terra, sister of Valerias, is instead the wife of Grammaton, associated with fertility, chthonian cults, nature and life cycle and seasons. Protius (another Taymoran Immortal) is the third son of Khoronus and brother of Grammaton and Ixion, and according to the legend, when he saw that his father had given to Ixion the rule of the land and of the mortals, and to Grammaton that of the skies, chose to take part in the division of the creation: to him was given sovereignty over water and marine creatures, and dwelt in the ocean depths from which was heard his voice. Thanatos, the fourth and last child of Khoronus, remained outside of the division of the creation and out of spite is hidden in the bowels of the land and became the lord of the Afterworld, gained from the father the domination over the spirits of all those that died from cowardice or without having paid sufficient homage to the power of the other Immortals. Tyche is the mother of the ancient Immortals, wife of Khoronus, and the only one in a position to determine the fortune or the ruin of the mortals and Immortals. Because his judgements were not to favour of his children nevertheless, Khoronus for the sense of justice blinded them, so to guide them with the brain rather than with the heart, and for this Tyche never forgiven him and now lives separated from the rest of the Immortals, sitting on the highest mountain of the world from which she weaves the fate of the inhabitants of the creation. Pater (Kagyar) is the crippled brother of Valerias, disfigured in his features but given of great artistic and creative ability, such as to become the Craftsman of the Immortals. Saturnius, Asterius and Chardastes instead are the children of Ixion and Valerias: the first (Taymoran Immortal) is associated with freedom and independence, is extremely loved by the Traldar and represents the opposition to the rule and the youthful impulse of rebellion and adventure; Asterius instead is associated with the night, travel, cleverness and to both the merchants and the thieves as two faces of the same coin; Chardastes (of Nithian derivation), is the Immortal of healing, purification and medicine. Completing the list is Faunus, son of Grammaton and Terra, lord of the proud and instincts, great master of jokes and drunkenness, the one that amuses mortals and Immortals.
4. It is possible that Gorm and Madarua (heroic Immortals and patrons of warriors and fighters) have a following among the Traldar after having transported a group of Cynidiceans into the Hollow World before the fall of that culture derived from the ancient Traldar, and that in virtue of their predilection for the heroes, the Traldar culture has added them into the pantheon like they did with Halav and Petra, probably identifying them as children of Terra and Grammaton to who they closely resemble.