The Curse of Zor

In the Dawn Times, before the First City of Men was built, before the first alliance of Than and Kanqu and Dusha, before Men knew the gift of writing, but after the The Great Rheesh Conflict, and after the Wars Between the Gods, there was a canny Jhareesh named Yrrssialzzorrian, which in the True Speech means Mighty Hands In The Unliving World. Yrrssialzzorrian's special talent was for the manipulation of the base, unliving parts of the Great World.

Yrrssialzzorrian longed to expand its small territory in the Jhareesh Realm, and it plotted ways to bring great numbers of the coveted Men under its dominion. It decided to create powerful, beautiful Pretty Things to use as bribes for great Leader Men, so that these Leader Men would cause their Men Herds to worship Yrrssialzzorrian, instead of the hated Arreesh, and thus, Yrrssialzzorrian's Realm would expand and It would have many Men for itself.

So it was that Yrrssialzzorrian, after expending much kzzan, came to know how to create the Nameless Stuff, from which would be extracted the element which Men would call Godmetal. And it came to Yrrssialzzorrian's knowledge that in all of the Great World and the Chaos Beyond, in all of Probability itself, there was only enough quaos to create a very very small amount of the Nameless Stuff... enough, perhaps, to make only a very small number of Pretty Things. And Yrrssialzzorrian knew that, although It, and perhaps only It, in all of the Great World, was equal to the task of creating the Godmetal, It knew too little of the ways of Men to forge the Godmetal into pleasing Pretty Things to bribe them with. And Yrrssialzzorrian could not trust any other Jhareesh, of course.

So it was that Yrrssialzzorrian approached the Eldest, the Primal One, the Great Samaqel (which means merely I Alone), and bargained with it for a Creation. Yrrssialzzorrian needed a Creation that could forge the Godmetal into Things pretty enough to cause Leader Men to pledge their loyalty in exchange for them. Yet no mortal creation could forge Godmetal; the sheer chaos inherent in the molten state of the Nameless Stuff would Undo any that approached it save perhaps a Jhareesh or Arreesh itself. Yrrssialzzorrian required a Creation whose specialty would be the manipulation of Chaos. And of all the Jhareesh, only the Samaqel might devise such a being.

Through cunning flattery and the pledging of an amount of kzzan that very nearly bankrupted Yrrssialzzorrian, It accomplished its goal. The Samaqel set about the task and in due time (less than a hundred lifetimes of men; still well before the founding of the First City of Men by the Three Great Tribes, still in the Early Times, but by now the hardy Dusha had discovered Cultivation, the mighty Kanqu had discovered Metalworking, and the clever Than had discovered Writing) It created the Chaos Worker, a Great Creation whose inbuilt powers were the manipulation of probability itself. Yrrssialzzorrian was most pleased with the Chaos Worker, and gave it a True Name in the True Speech which few men in these days remember, but most simply call Zor.

Yrrssialzzorrian then set about the creation of the Godmetal. Yrrssialzzorrian had expended nearly all of its kzzan in the purchase of Zor from the Samaqel. To create the Nameless Stuff from the fabric of probability, it needed much more kzzan than remained to It. So Yrrssialzzorrian went to the Jhareesh known as Urrzikotokas (which means King of All Water), and Shaitana (which means Mighty in Life And Death) , and Eyavirillianias (which means Owner Of Large Herds), and Vendrikus Zarn Tllrrrknnnggolt (which means Do Not Try To Figure Us Out) and Aqalatazzarlitiniariusoranthianorlen (which means I Am Always Triumphant Because I Do Not Make Mistakes). And from them Yrrssialzzorrian borrowed much kzzan, with the understanding that if it could not be paid back, Yrrssialzzorrian would lapse back into Primal Chaos and accept the Final Death of the Other Ones.

Thus Yrrssialzzorrian gambled Its existence on a bold plan. If the Pretty Things brought a thousand Men to worship Yrrssialzzorrian, then It could pay back the kzzan and still have enough left to be a mighty mighty Jhareesh with a Great Realm, for these were the Early Times and even Eyavirillianias (which means Owner of Large Herds) had barely eight hundreds of Men in Its herd. Yet if the forging of the Pretty Things failed or the Leader Men would not worship Yrrssialzzorrian for them, then the cunning Jhareesh would forfeit the loans and must accept Final Death.

So it was that Yrrssialzzorrian poured Its borrowed kzann into the quantum rearrangement that brought the only Godmetal that could ever be into existence. And in its molten form so chaotic was the Godmetal that Yrrssialzzorrian was nearly destroyed simply holding it in one place/time. And then Zor, the Chaos Worker, went to perform the task it had been charged with by its owner.

(Now it should be understood at this point that Zor was created by the Samaqel somewhat of the stock of Men but greatly changed and imposed upon. Still the random and infuriating spirit of that Race, the Race of Men, which are all Children of the Rheesh, did live in Zor. Yrrssialzzorrian had understood that many lifetimes of man would pass while It borrowed kzann and finally created the Godmetal and for that reason commissioned the Samaqel to create the Chaos Worker as a long lived mortal Creation. So Zor was very long lived for a mortal Creation with the trickster spirit of the Rheesh in it. And the Chaos Worker was a wondrous creation, and many other Jhareesh longed for one, and so over the many lifetimes of Men between the creation of Zor and the final creation of the Godmetal, Yrrssialzzorrian had raised some small amounts of kzann by allowing other Jhareesh to make copies of Zor to breed. So by the time the Godmetal was created, several score of Jhareesh had small numbers of Zor of their own, although, as long lived mortal creatures, they were not fecund and did not breed prolifically. But this is the origin of the race of the Zor, the Chaos Masters, the most powerful of all Creations, the Enemies of All that Live.)

So Zor, the First of the Chaos Masters, filled with trickster spirit that is the legacy of all Children of the Rheesh, and the arrogance of the very first of the Enemies of All That Live, went to the pool of molten Godmetal to make it into Great Gifts for the Leaders of the Tribes of Men that were coveted by Yrrssialzzorrian. Zor understood that the Gifts should take the form of weapons, for these were the Early Times, and the Tribes of Men that lived outside the Jhareesh Realm lived in a state of constant battle with each other. So Zor the Chaos Master sent its will into the molten Godmetal and forth from that pool of incandescent chaos came a number of mighty weapons (all versions of this tale tell a number but those numbers vary depending on the Holy Number of the race telling the story, and in truth, none but Zor any longer know the true number, so call it 17 or 35 or 9, or whatever else most pleases you), forged of the Nameless Stuff, that once set and forged into one shape can never again be reset or remade or in any way reshaped, until the very End of the Great World itself. And these were the mightiest weapons that would ever be known to the race of Men, for the Godmetal never tarnishes or dulls, and the edges of the weapons made from it cannot be resisted, and the weilder of those weapons cannot be in any way affected by any known power be it Psionic or Magical or Divine or Demonic.

But the random spirit of arrogance and mischief came upon Zor as its will went forth into the Godmetal, and Zor became jealous that these, the greatest of all artifacts, should ever be wielded by any but Zor himself. And so the weapons were shaped and forged to fit the hand of Zor and Zor alone, and in the blade of each weapon, in the letters that Men used to write in the Herds of the Jhareesh that approximated the True Speech, Zor inscribed its True Name. And so they were useless as bribes to the Leaders of Men.

In his arrogance and conceit, Zor told this to Its master, Yrrssialzzorian. And Yrrssialzzorrian, understanding that Zor had caused all Its schemes and plans to fail and had in fact caused Its True Death, used the very last amount of its power and kzann to lay a great curse on the Chaos Master. In the True Speech was this curse pronounced, but in the languages of Men which this story must be told in, this is what was said -- "As you have caused my immortal life to end, so I shall cause your mortal life to never end. As you have made my greatest Creation into that which only your hand may weild, so your hand will weild them forever, but that is all in the Great World that your hands will ever weild or touch again, until the Final End. And these weapons you shall weild, but only at the bidding of others, never to your own will. I charge you, Zor, that whenever any of these weapons shall come into the lawful possession of any of your spiritkin, that they shall be able to command you by your name and their possession of your weapon to weild that weapon on their behalf, and you shall never be free of that command while that spiritkin continues to possess the weapon by which they command you. And you may do no harm to that spiritkin once they have commanded you. And as there are many weapons, so will you be removed outside the boundaries of placetime, so that you may serve wherever you may be called and so that you will never age and never die until the Final End Of All That Is." And the voice that the angered Jhareesh said this in spoke in the Earth and the Air and in all Unliving parts of the Great World, for that of course was part of Yrrssialzzorrian's Power, and so the Curse of Zor was known to all Jhareesh and all their herds.

And so it is that any mortal who comes into lawful possession of a weapon of Zor and who has the learning to read the letters of the True Speech may command Zor to wield that weapon on his behalf and Zor must obey that command for as long as that mortal has possession of the weapon, and may not in any way harm that mortal for as long as that mortal possesses the weapon. But few these days can speak the True Speech, and fewer remember the True Name of Zor, and most mortals, on finding one of the Weapons, cast it away or sell it, for only one mortal hand in a thousand can weild the weapon well. And when a Weapon of Zor, weilded by a mortal who has not commanded Zor, first tastes blood, Zor will come as quickly as he might from whatever task he might be doing, to destroy that mortal weilder before a lawful command can be issued. For Zor hates all those who would wield his weapons. So it is that some of the wiser scholars of men, learned in the ancient lore, know that to give a Weapon of Zor to an enemy who will use it to draw blood is a sure way to destroy that enemy, provided that enemy cannot read the True Speech or does not know the tale I am telling you now, or both.

And in the many many lifetimes of men that have come and gone since the True Death of Yrrssialzzorrian and the forging of the Weapons of Zor, those Weapons have been scattered the length and breadth of the Great World. Much has been forgotten by Men from the Early Days and now most of the Jhareesh are Gone On. Few there are who can read the True Speech or who remember the True Name of Zor, and even those who have some fragment of knowledge merely regard the Weapons of Zor as cursed. But those who know even that much are few and far between. And so it is that occasionally men hear of a warrior who has found a strange weapon made of a wondrous incorruptible metal whose edge can cut through the hardest metal like mere wax... but who only days after first using the weapon in combat is killed horribly by unseen forces; slashed to ribbons. Or more rarely men hear legends of a dancing blade bound to guard some treasure horde, or some passageway, or some priceless object, or some beautiful woman or royal child, and this dancing blade is indestructible and invincible, with an irresistable edge, weilded by an invisible, untouchable spirit that cannot be bribed, that never sleeps, that will not die...

And now my tale is told.