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Library: The Giants, the Dwarves and the BAT

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Author: ursa
Date:Apr 21 2017

Genesis

In the Beginning there was only Darkness. And the Darkness was without for,
and void and moved upon the face of the waters. The Darkness saw that
something would be better than nothing and took its natural form in the shape
of a BAT. 

Not a small one you can see flying in circles or not even a giant bat, the
silent hunter of the night. A gigantic one. An Eternal Primordial BAT, which
had wings wide enough to darken a whole continent. Only there were no
continents yet. Just an infinite ocean.

The BAT slided through the air, over the vast ocean. It was minding its own
business, until it felt a need to relieve itself. So huge lump of guano fell
down to the ocean. It made an enormous splash and the eternal ocean was
changed forever. The quano had formed a continent. 

It wasn't much back then, just a huge piece of muddy land rising over the
waves, later to be named as the Northern continent. Even much later it would
be called Rothikgen. 

Over the thousands of years that followed, the continent started to team with
life, trees and plants would grow everywhere. And nobody would suspect its
humble origins.


Giants and Dwarves

There were giants in the earth those days. Nobody knows from where they
originated from, but it is known there were seven of them. The giants were
wise and powerful beings beyond what mortals could understand. They were
gentle creatures, who took care in the welfare of the lesser beings and
nature. Their names were Rog, Hul, Dhi, Guj, Mra, Dra and Tra. 

The giants had abilities that made them almost omnipotent, wisdom and patience
being some among those. A giant could build things, create simple lifeforms
and together they could even move mountains. But arts were what they were most
interested in, such handicrafts, music and sculpting scenery. They created
wild animals to inhabit the lands.

The most numerous inhabitants of the continent were the dwarves. They were
gifted constructors, who saw making and gathering nice things as their meaning
of life. They had come with boats from somewhere else and kept coming from
from time to time.

The dwarves often dedicated their lives into learning skills, building things
and prospering. They were not as skilled as giants or could not make as large
creations, but some of them were brilliantly skilled in their own ways. And
they liked to learn new skills from giants whenever the latter had time and
will to teach. 

And finally, there were the third race, the gully dwarves. Normally everyone
would want just to forget the existence of such small and ugly creatures. They
were to dwarves what kenders are to elves. No real dwarf wanted to acknowledge
?the gullies? being related to them in any way. And nobody knew or cared where
they came from. They just seemed to turn up and almost as often to vanish too.

The gully dwarves looked up to normal dwarves as their idols. It was polite
for dwarves to wish the gullies welcome as they turned up and started
gibbering. After greeting others the next thing the gullies typically did, if
they could even manage to talk, was to start questioning. They just didn't
seem not understand how things worked, not even the most simple ones. How to
eat, how to dress, how to move or navigate outside. It was generally thought
that the vanishing of gully dwarves was most probably due to their stupidity
and being unable to learn to live at all.

The gullies kept nagging the dwarves and even the most patient ones lost their
temper. It just felt stupid to sacrifice your time to teach them, because most
often they would just disappear the next day and the next one would want you
to start teaching from beginning. 


The Lizard case

And it came to pass after the giants and dwarves were settled in, that the
first catastrophy happened. The green banks of the Northern continent must
have been to sweet to look at, for there would be other being that would want
to claim them.

These were the fire lizards. They were ancient behemoths that lived under the
sea. But from time to time they would try to find nesting grounds on land and
crawl out. They were gigantic, clumsy but powerful monsters that cared nothing
of other beings.

In their quest of seeking nesting grounds they stampeded, knocked down and
destroyed everything on their way. Sometimes they would stop and breath out
fire, which would consume the villages or poor dwarves. The small dwarves were
powerless in front of those huge mobile blights.

After hearing of the tribulations from the dwarves, they giants decided they
would have to act. There could be no arguments  with a fire lizards, as the
latter ones chose to ignore all the habitants of the lands. Rog the Mighty
urged and united the giants in fight to repel the invaders.

When the lizards came the next time, they were in for a surprise. The giants
fought hard with their hammers. For hammers were the ideal weapons for
creators, both able to build and destroy. The bludgeoning damage worked well
against the stony lizards. 

The lizards soon learned that they would be assaulted as soon they crawled on
the land. They would try to snap the giants to their jaws or crush them under
their legs. But although smaller than the huge reptilians, the giants were
faster. And their hammers hit with enough power to flatten mountains, and to
break even the thick stony lizard skulls.

Guj the Gallant was especially skilled in the martial arts and proved his
worth in dozens of battles fighting alongside with Rog the Mighty and others.
In the next few years the lizards stopped coming. They were either dead or
learned to go to other places to live. And all of the Northern continent would
know peace again.

The largest of the dead lizard bodies were too big to be moved, but the
smaller ones were carried by the giants to the northern edge of the continent
and piled in a large wall-like mass facing northwards. The body wall would
also form a barrier to prevent cold Northern winds from blowing too hard on
the continent. 

The corpses gradually crumpled to boulders and formed mountain ranges. The
largest carcasses formed long mountain chains of their own, two of them almost
side to side in the south-eastern side and two a bit smaller in the
south-west-corner of the continent.

After defeating the lizards all of the dwarves celebrated the giants as their
saviours. From now on they would trust giants to solve their problems and
listen to their advice. Well, the gully dwarves didn't really understand, but
they followed the dwarves in everything, like usual.


Universal laws for almost everyone

The giants assumed the position as overlords. They carved mountain shapes,
built things and places and planted forests. They wanted to help the dwarves
also in civilizing them. With giants guiding them and teaching them new
concepts, skills and things, life would be better for everyone.

The society would work better with rules, decided the giants. Mra the Just was
the one who best understood the workings of the Realms and its Lore. He and
Hul the Vigilant took great care to device just rules for everyone. This meant
of course the dwarves and gullies. Giants naturally were always right and
above the law.

And so spoke Mra to the dwarves: Killing of others is to be forbidden, without
a very good reason at least. 

It was know that sometimes dwarves would each others from stealing their
things. Also was it rumored that some of the gullies disappearing was due to
fed up dwarves just finishing them off.

And Mra ordered: As for creating automatons, that is to be forbidden. Only
giants may create new beings. 

The dwarves were far from being able to create real life, but some were clever
enough to create mechanical beings to do the most simple work for them. This
was to be stopped.

Rules were written everywhere so that even gully dwarves couldn't say they
didn't see them. There were punishments for criminals, which meant everyone
who broke the rules on purpose.

The dwarves were not without a choice, however. They could either follow the
rules or be removed from the land. The latter meant a glorious hammer powered
flight off the continent, which usually led to being smashed and drowned. But
nonetheless it was a free choice.


Giant troubles start

The Dwarves obeyed. The dwarves were greedy by their basic nature, this was
also the force driving them to learn and make things.

So the dwarves would ask the giants for more. More skills, things, or
interesting places to visit. The most annoying were the comments about how
everything used to be better before some changes that the giants had lately
done.

Rog the Mighty in particular became quite soon tired to the constant whining.
He preferred the company of giants and seldom associated himself with the
dwarves. Some others like Dra the Gentle, Guj the Gallant and Hul the Vigilant
spent much of their time with the dwarves, listened to their pleas and even
arranged parties for them.

Guj the Gallant got easily interested in new ideas, no matter how crazy those
seemed and tried to bring those forward. Guj had a dwarf friend who often
companied him. One day the dwarf went missing and the other dwarves couldn't
find him. After a fair amount of searching the dwarves found out that Guj had
stomped the dwarf. Flattened him to the ground so that only a wet spot
remained. 

Other dwarves never got to know why this had happened and nobody was brave
enough to push Guj about why he did it. Everyone just had to believe that Guj
must have had a good reason to do so. After that any dwarf was always
frightened when Guj was around.

The most hard working helper for dwarves was Tra the Tireless. He was
especially talented in polishing things to working order. Tra had a good heart
and taught many things to dwarves, fixed their problems and gave his time
unreservedly.

Tra's dilemma was that he was younger and smaller than the other giants. This
meant that he was lower than others in the giant hierarchy. The others didn't
quite pay attention to his doings. No matter how much work he did, he was
considered just ?the little one? by other giants and he was not given as much
power. 


Dwarf problems grow

Over the centuries there took place several episodes where a benevolent idea
from giants would turn into a full size catastrophy by the masses of dwarves.
It was just extremely hard even for giants to estimate how things would go.

The case of Manic Mining had its origin in giants teaching mining resources
and gem cuttinging with proper tools. Seeing the lustrous glimmer of gemstones
the nature of dwarves drove them into mining frenzy for longs hours work with
pickaxes to uncover riches from stones. Almost everyone wanted to try it
quickly became a gem rush for best places.

There really were not so many precious stones to be found and the rush might
have eventually faded, if not for the gully dwarves. They saw what their role
models were doing and wanted to do the same. As usually they had more enthuism
than understanding. Soon many gully dwarves were digging around, and every
tale of someone actually finding something spread around as an inflating
rumor. 

Where one gully dwarf was performing dedicated digging work, others would
believe treasures could be found. Soon everyone within sight rushed there to
dig in the same place. The gullies were all digging and creating huge pits and
soil piles all over. This created lots and lots of holes in the ground. They
were everywhere, also on the roads.

Something had to be done before all the continent was full of holes. The
giants declared that gemstones were almost worthless and flooded the markets
with their own, which they could quite easily make in great numbers. Gradually
the mining madness cooled down. As the holes gradually filled with water, they
created the numerous small lakes that you can still today see in Rothikgen.


Recipes for progress

The case of Cultivation Crisis had its origins from the philosophy oriented
Dhi the Calm contemplating that introducing agriculture would benefit the
mostly hunter-gatherer society of dwarves to become more civilized.

He taught dwarves how to find some suitable wild plants for farming and which
herbs could be used for making different medical potions. These recipes also
happened to include information about fermentation and distilling. 

The wisdom after the events is obvious, but at that time there were high hopes
of dwarves using the information to advance their society. Instead they
degenerated into crawling and stammering intoxicated retards. The gullies
didn't understand enough about the process to make it, but most of the dwarves
wanted to enjoy the new potions.

The correction measures included the ban of alcohol sales in the shops, but it
wasn't enough. In the end giants had to also to sabotage the gardens to make
it harder to grow their ingredients. Gradually most dwarves turned sober
again.


Grouping for greatness

The final chapter of the failures was the Clan Catastrophy. It started from
Dra the Gentle's idea. Dwarves were to help more their smaller cousins, the
gullies. For this purpose he presented the concept of clans. Every dwarf
belonging to a clan would get extra training from giants, but every clan would
have to also take responsibility of some gully dwarves and teaching them how
to survive.

It need not be said that everything that happened didn't go quite as planned.
So far the gully dwarves had had a large turover rate, so to say. Normally the
gullies were with a fast rate, dying or disappearing to other planes of
existence. However after starting clans they kept piling up. 

The largest clans grew and grew, because there was no plan how to restrict
their sizes. With agriculture they could be fed at least until a certain point
and the growth in numbers was exponential.

With the increasing population everywhere on the continent, also the need of
help and problems increased, particularly where to get enough food. The giants
could simply not have time to solve the problems happening in the ever growing
clans and the gullies would keep complaining and asking for this and that.


The Return of the BAT

After time passed the masses were growing and the whining of the gully dwarf
masses was becoming louder and more irritating, and it was going on all the
time, day and night. It was so strong and it travelled even to the sensitive
ears of the BAT, which was still flying over the vast ocean.

The BAT preferred the northern ocean, because it wasn't too hot even in
summer. The huge Beast also liked its own peace, minding its own business that
no mortal creatures could ever understand. But the continuous cries from the
Northern continent were disturbing it, so it decided to get rid of that sound.

The BAT spread its wings. It embraced the Northern continent in darkness. This
caused an ever lasting night. Without warmth from the sun, the whole continent
gradually started to freeze. Clouds coming from the ocean snowed down on the
cold land. The whining as the gully dwarves and dwarves alike was gradually
quieting down as they were frozen and buried in the snow. 

The layers of snow packed into an ice sheet. The ice gradually grew into
glaciers. The largest glacier formed in the center of the continent, its
weight gradually pushing down a depression that would later be the bay in the
middle of Rothikgen and separating the southwestern part to form island.

The BAT saw that its work was done, it could once again take to flight minding
just its BAT-business. So it left the glacier covered continent behind.

And what of the giants, you might wonder? Before the BAT arrived they had long
since departed the Northern continent, considering helping the dwarves an
ultimately bad idea. It was a nice try, they all agreed, but didn't work out
on the long run. It just wasn't worth their time and there were more serious
things to do. No-one knows where they went, but it is said that their spirits
are still in the Reams today.

In the millenniums to come the ice age gradually ended and most of the
glaciers melted down, forming huge, slowly moving rivers and lakes everywhere.
And thus Rothikgen was empty when the first settlers from the Southern
continent, Laenor, arrived much, much later.


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