Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Prano's Journey #4: The Gift.

Pator. Homeworld of the Minmatar Republic.

Gigaer stood on a mountain plateau overlooking a vast savanna.

In ancient times many Minmatar warriors crossed this vast plain on foot as part of a spiritual pilgrimage. The mountain at the centre of the plain was a dead volcano, and within the caldera was a small hidden temple where warrior monks resided. These monks never ventured into the outside world, and were constantly in one form of meditation or another. It was here that a warrior proved himself or herself worthy and received their kandjal.

After the week-long trek across the savanna, a climb up the steep sides of the volcano and proving his or her worth to the temple leaders, a month-long regimen of physical and spiritual purification took place, where several rituals meant to cleanse the warrior of evil spirits and poisons occurred. Many of these rituals were by no means safe, and were in actuality meant to test the warriors fortitude as much as cleanse the body and soul.

A warrior did not “receive” a kandjal exactly. The warrior had to learn how they were made and maintained, though certain secrets of their construction remain known only to the monks. The warrior gathered the materials needed to make the blade, extending handle (with all the internal mechanisms) and scabbard. The most important of materials was the metal called Tetralithium. The only place in known space it can be found was from within this volcano. When refined, folded and tempered, it had a mirror finish, was light and very strong.

Most unique, when quick motion was applied, tetralithium vibrated, creating whistling and humming sounds vaguely similar to a wind instrument. Every kandjal had a unique sound, as every imperfection and fold within the metal blade changed how sympathetic vibrations traveled. Those ever-changing sounds became a warrior's signature. The metal had no real commercial value, but was essential to the creation of the kandjal.

The volcano and the surrounding savanna was sacred ground to all Minmatar, and it had been untouched by technology and development as a result.

Gigaer saw himself standing on the border between old and new. It was his duty to revive the old ways for all Minmatar, but to accomplish that, some rules had to be bent. Matari society is now part of a larger galactic community, and as much as he would have liked to just turn back the clock, things were never going to be the same. Minmatar had changed, and Gigaer had to change the old ways to make them at least applicable in this new age.

Gigaer stowed the new kandjal in his pack. It was not his. The markings upon the weapon were not of the Prano clan. Gigaer made the trek and endured the rituals on behalf of someone else, which was forbidden in ancient times. Breaking such an important tradition was a thought Gigaer did not enjoy in the slightest. The monks were extremely displeased at Gigaer's plan, but as the sole carrier of the Prano name, he had right to force compliance in these matters. Gigaer had also convinced them to record a video showing the basic use and maintenance of the kandjal, while in the past such information was traditionally passed though personal instruction only.

“Things change, even things that were never meant to. Things that don't change, die. I won't let this die.” Gigaer said aloud as he set back down the mountain on his long journey back to civilization.

A week later, the kandjal and recording would but sent to its destined owner, Colonel Roc Wieler of the Tribal Liberation Force.



Mynxee said...

Ah, evolution. Even timeless tradition cannot resist its subtle manipulations. Having broken with tradition two times already, it will be interesting to see how Gigaer's integrity in regard to that is affected going forward. I would have thought he would have chosen to personally deliver the kandjal to Roc, but perhaps there are (as yet) non-obvious reasons for his not doing so.

P.S. It may have been intentional (in which case I should re-read for better understanding), but there are a couple of sentences with verb tense inconsistencies that were a little confusing.

PsycheDiver said...

Accomplishing certain things at the cost of historical and personal integrity is a line he'll be continually having to walk along. He's trying to make small concessions right now, but who knows if he'll be forced to do something bigger in the future.

The thing is that he can't rely on anyone else to bounce decisions off of. The Elders won't communicate with him right now. He's very much alone and he's starting to feel it.

I think the reason he didn't deliver it personally was to give Roc space and allow him to come to certain realizations on his own. He was very careful not to push anything on to Roc when they first meant.

I'll do a re-read later and see if I can find some of the inconsistencies. They're a product of bad grammar, not artistic license.