Yarnor

“Ravager take you!” was one of the most uttered phrases on Sangrar in every age, along with “Solare burn me!”  Every culture swears and these were two of Sangar’s best, right up there with “By the Stones!”though that one naturally fell by the wayside once there weren’t any Stones.  Kandol said it was easy to let go of that saying because it dredged up memories he’d rather let lie.  Besides, as a sacred oath, it was a toothless old thing, hardly of any use.  The few times he did swear by the Stones, it was instinctive and he regretted doing so immediately.

“Erlik’s Eye!” (“Holy shit!”) was another one, as was “By the Pits!” (“No fucking way!”),  both of which picked up steam in the Age of Man.  The Elder Races didn’t like using the Dark Lord’s name, or anything that even sniffed of One-Eye, not even to cuss one another out.  A few people had special ways of expressing themselves.  Indallar was partial to “By the foamy beard of Umbar!”, Nammath used to say “Humak’s Horns!” not that anyone heard him except his hawk and rabbit, and the Forge Folk swore by exclaiming “Pick and Axe”, which could mean just about anything.

The difference between “Ravager take you” and “Solare burn me” was easy to miss, particularly for someone from your world who doesn’t know the gods of Sangrar.  Solare and Yarnor the Ravager were both Elehu and gods of fire, but that’s all they had in common (I know, that’s a big thing).  Solare was part of the pattern of the seasons.  He was the Summer Lord, whose warm breath turned the spring planting into summer’s bounty.  He was a lord of creation celebrating the cycle of life and death.   Yarnor the Ravager though, was a god of destruction.  He represented the most primal aspect (I know what you’re thinking, but no, that’s not a shout out to Zuras and Majestrix) of fire and its uncontrollable nature.

Remembering that is your best clue to properly taking their names in vain.  “Ravager take you” is always directed at someone else, whether you’re clowning around or really pissed off.  No one ever said “Ravager take me.”  Conversely, invoke the Summer Lord to when you’re outraged or surprised or upset with yourself.  “Solare burn you” wouldn’t make any sense to a Sangarian, not that you’ll ever bump into one in an alley.  To put it in your terms, “Ravager take you” was more of a “fuck you” versus “Solare burn me”, which translated closer to “fuck me” or “no shit”.  (In the spirit of full disclosure, this explanation is also included in the Solare entry).

Just because Yarnor was a god of destruction, don’t make the mistake of thinking him a bad guy.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.  Fire is what it is, and Yarnor was true to his nature.  He couldn’t help it.  All the gentler instincts went to Solare, leaving Yarnor with those of a fire hawk.  He made his home atop Mount Xorada, a volcano in the Desert of Molten Fire.  Nyllen’s music had healed much of the world, but there, where Goldie and One-Eye tussled, the devastation was too great.  The forest would never return to the ruined strip of land separating east from west.  Crossing Sangrar required sailing and risking Umbar’s wrath or crossing a barren wasteland of steaming geysers, rivers of lava and clouds of ash.  It was definitely not for the faint of heart.  You think traveling post-9/11 is a pain?  It’s a cakewalk.  Trust me, I’d rather fly from New York to LA by way of Newark, Chicago and Houston with a TSA strip search at every stop than attempt Yarnor’s realm.

Yarnor was the Ravager and every so often, he just had to burn something.  He could travel by flame and when the urge came upon him, he’d jump into the lava, emerge from some far off candle or cooking fire and scare the crap out of whoever was there before setting something on fire.  His appearance depended on his mood.  Most often, he looked like Johnny Storm after shouting “Flame on!”, but if it was a Ravager day, you’d better hunt down the neighborhood water wizard before the pillar of fire in your yard burned down your favorite oak.  Yarnor and was at his most dangerous when bored and living in a volcano, he had many lonely days.

When Nammath started serving the Beast Lord, he had to hide in the west and Mount Xorada was his first stop.  He hadn’t planned on tackling the volcano, but after a small quake unleashed a new river of lava (a terribly common occurrence in the desert) he reconsidered his route.  Upon arriving at the lip of the volcano, the Ravager was waiting and told Nammath what to do if the Suns should ever fail.

Nammath didn’t understand everything Yarnor told him.  Some of it dovetailed nicely with what Humak had said, some didn’t, and some was downright misleading.  Not inaccurate, but misleading.  The Seeress wasn’t the only cryptic god, most were like that.  It’s hard to blame Nammath.  Yarnor named him the Sword’s keeper.  If you were keeper of something, wouldn’t you expect it to be in your possession, or hidden where you’d hidden it?  Ultimately, the Sword did land in Nammath’s lap, but centuries later.

[Un?]fortunately for Nammath, he had plenty of time to ponder Yarnor’s words and then, long after the Sword passed from Elras to Elnos, One-Eye escaped and it all became clear.  Nammath came to Elnos under the cover of unending night and the two of them far-traveled to Xorada (I told you that trick would come in handy), where Elnos thrust Caerycal into the Ravager’s hottest fires, making it the Twice-Forged Sword foretold in the Prophecies before taking the fight to the Dark Lord.  When the Sword fell from Elnos’s hand, Nammath was there to scoop it up and keep it well-oiled for the Warrior.

Yarnor was popular with the barbarians of Angrakor.  With a nickname of Ravager, resistance was futile.  A typical religious experience consisted of building a big fire, consuming huge amounts of whiskey, roaring at the top of your lungs and then humping the first woman you saw, or if none of them were around, anyone with long hair would do.  On the other side of Fanar, the Vanerum also sang the Ravager’s praises, albeit in a more civilized fashion.  Nestled between the Daladorn Mountains and the Briarwood, the kingdom of Vanerum extended north to the Northwind Ocean and southeast to the Sarhaven, the great inland sea.  The Vanerum were a doughty people, you’d liken them to Vikings, but they’d grown fat and lazy.

Several centuries after Hali settled Tyrnavalle, the Shadow Lord moved sent against them.  Dark Ones swept north from the Shadowgrim all the way to Jarlsgard, the capitol, in the foothills of the Daladorns, leaving a trail of death and destruction.  They battered down city gates and swarmed the streets, tearing down everything in their path, until they came to the king’s castle.  The old king waddled out and offered himself in exchange for his people’s safety.  The demon in charge, it was a rune-scarred Maldok from the Elder Days, answered by taking the king’s head.

The day looked lost until Borsin, a captain in the king’s guard rode down from the mountains with two companies of Vanerum knights and an equal number of armored Dwarves riding barded war weasels.  Riding at Borsin’s side was Valdarag the Eternal Warrior and a woman in red.  Dark Ones fell to Valdarag’s sweeping axe by the score and those that ran were caught on the knights’ waiting pikes.  Flames jetted from the woman’s hand, crispy frying anything that came close.  Valdarag fought his way to the Maldok.  When it died, a shadow lifted from the battlefield and fled south.  Then the Dark Ones followed suit, but most were incinerated by the firestorm the woman called down.  Valdarag shook his fist at the fleeing shadow and then withdrew to Garaspin to renew his vigil.

By popular acclaim, Borsin took the crown and his first decision was to abandon Jarlsgard and rebuild it on the western shore of the Sarhaven, where it would be much closer to the Shadowgrim.  Borsin did not want his people surprised again, or ever forget the need for vigilance.  The second was to marry Pyndora, the woman in red, and make her queen.  She was a priestess of Yarnor and I’m not sure who the people loved more, her or Borsin.  Thereafter, the Ravager’s popularity in Vanerum skyrocketed.

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