Tales of Arathia: The Gorthaines

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 “Rage against all, dark

Bitter rage, hate for hate’s sake

Let rage leave its mark”

Word #44,666 from the Song of Dissonance

Not all the Taraines joined in the hymns of praise to Iaretar.  The world frightened some of them.  The sights, the sounds, and the smells that assaulted their senses shocked them.  Their voices wavered, and stones shattered, trees burst into flame, wounds opened in their flesh.  Pain added to fear and made hate, the first hate known in the world.  The singers sang of rage and fear, and things baleful and evil were born. Plagues, famines, and winters and wars came into the world. 

Worse, some of these singers took their feelings into themselves and became as ugly and deformed as their fear and rage.  Their flesh fed upon their loathing and they grew vast and cumbersome and brutal. Though each of them was twisted and malformed into a different awfulness all its own, they each knew as they roared in a dissonant choir that they were fair and lovely Taraine no more, for their hate now made of them a fell race of giants, the Gorthaines.

The Gorthaines fled the sight of the beautiful Taraines and covered their warped bodies with whatever fineries and jewels they could conceive of in their cruel imaginings. They hid in the hills and beneath mountains, their roaring songs hollowing out fortresses under cold peaks, hidden from the rainbowed eyes of the Taraines. They made cruel spears from the reeds swaying on the banks of rivers, turned the branches of flowering trees into sharp-bladed axes of blackened steel, and made wildflowers growing in meadows into barbed arrows that dripped venom instead of perfume.

The Gorthaines hated each other as much as they hated the Taraines, and could not unite into kingdoms, instead forming small duchies and baronies under whichever local tyrant had the power to control the mobs around his fortress.  They spread across the land in angry swarms, building their fortified cities in the dark hills and fens that were most inaccessible, the better to avoid prying eyes…


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