Post by Char-Vell on Oct 29, 2018 7:48:01 GMT -5
Excerpts from the Karkana Fragments, a collection of fifteen partially complete clay tablets housed at the Tokyo National Museum.
It is claimed by some scholars they were translated to Greek from an earlier, proto-greek language from scrolls dating from 10,000 years B.C.E.:
… Thus did Nanossuss of Koth with fivescore and twenty spearmen drive headlong into the massed throngs of the Red Brotherhood upon the beach at Velathra.
Outnumbered twenty to one, and roughly treated by the archers loosing their arrows from the decks of some five hundred triremes thronging the bay, they smashed the pirate rabble and laid them low.
The retinue of Nanossuss slew until their spears were broken, then belabored the corsairs with sword and axe. The waves were stained deep crimson and the beach cluttered with all manner of human detritus.
King Aranthur was pleased with the defeat of the Red Brotherhood, for once again resplendent Velathra was spared its independence, but as praise and accolades were heaped upon Nanossuss and his mercenaries, a festering jealousy surged in the tyrant’s heart. Thus was his mood as he proclaimed a grand feast be held in honor of Nanossuss and his retinue.
Bidding Nanossuss to join him at his palace beforehand, on the pretext of bestowing some additional honor upon him, King Aranthur had Nanossuss killed, his body butchered as one might butcher an aurochs, and his flesh prepared for the table. The head and hands of Nanossuss where set aside and placed on a covered dish…
… A great throng of courtiers filled the great hall of the palace of Velathra. Aranthur sat upon his ermine-swathed throne at the middle of the table, flanked by his personal guard. Opposite were arrayed the retinue of Nanossuss. Before the king and his courtiers was set the flesh of oxen and boar, while before the mercenaries was set the flesh of their general. Midway through this foul banquet, the tyrant Aranthur sardonically enquired of the mercenaries how they found the meat. When they indicated they found it good, he bade the lid be removed from the platter bearing the head and hands of Nanossuss, saying:
“Behold the singular beast whose flesh doth grace thy trenchers this eve!”
Upon this grisly revelation the assembled courtiers gasped and screamed, while the mercenaries lurched to their feet, drawing swords and daggers. One above all acted with alacrity; Nanossuss’ lieutenant, a yellow-haired giantess from the frigid north called Sigyn. As soon as the grisly evidence was revealed, she leapt across the table and set upon Aranthur with such swiftness and fury that his bodyguard was unable to intercept her. Nor could they interfere after, for they came to grips with the retinue of Nanossuss, who were maddened with horror and lust for revenge.
The courtiers who could flee the hall did so, those who could not cowered along the walls and bore witness to what transpired. Aranthur and Sigyn struggled upon the tiles. Mightily they struggled, for the northron she-fiend was strong as any man, and Aranthur, while grown stagnant and diseased from years of indulging his appetites, was still formidable. The tyrant’s dagger pierced Sigyn’s flesh again and again, but did not land a mortal blow. It was the barbarians blade that found Aranthurs heart, and sent his lifeblood pouring out in a torrent upon the tiles.
Aranthur cried out that he was slain, then lay still. A hush fell over the hall. All of Aranthur’s bodyguard lay slain. And the number of Nanossuss’ retinue was reduced by half.
Sigyn rose. During the struggle the bejeweled golden circlet that served as the crown of Velathra had fallen from the brow of Aranthur and become entangled in Sigyn’s long hair. She struggled to remove it as the assembled courtiers stared in stunned disbelief.
Now, Tarquin, chancellor and seer for Aranthur, a scheming manipulator of the first water, saw an opportunity to exalt himself through this turn of events. Aranthur had become unpredictable and mercurial in his madness, and intractable. Tarquin saw in this barbarian wench a more pliable monarch. Thus he raised his voice to the assembled throng:
“Behold! See thou the will of Mitra! See thou the will of Ishtar! They visited the scourge of the Red Brotherhood upon Velathra in their anger at Aranthur’s decadent perversions, and at the same instant brought unto us this noble maid, to bring strong new blood to the throne of Velathra. Who among you does not obey the gods? Give praise unto the gods for their wisdom and hail thy new queen! Hail Sigyn, Queen of Velathra! Hail! Hail!”
The assembled courtiers took up the chant, along with the mercenaries.
It was later related by some who stood near her that Sigyn said them nay, and strove to reject the crown. But her protests were drowned out by the cacophony raised by the multitude…