Spotlight: The Irvallath

svhoo.jpg

The Nine laborers of the creation were Rinshari, Ethis, Ulmhasa, Sarnoss, Imbakhao, Jukai, Baturach, Ruethas, and Senfaer.

Rinshari was the first to rise, an orb of beautiful flame that swept in the youthful air and boiled the sea. Of all the Irvallath, Rinshari was the most beautiful, and the quickest to employ others in her behalf. She first labored in Iltallach, where her fiery passion fueled the spirit of the earth and made it hungry.

The second to rise was Ethis, who is the daughter of Rinshari, a wanderer and a trickster. When Rinshari boiled the sea so that bulwarks of stone were exposed above the tide, Ethis delved deep into the earth, where her stony flesh melted into dripping fire. She burst holes in many places along the world's skin, sending showers of magma into the air. Rinshari ran about to contain the showers of Ethis, but her fires only further scorched the land, leaving Iltallach warped and charred. In time, Rinshari caught Ethis and brought her to Vinramar where they continued their labors.

Ulmhasa was the third eldest of the Irvallath. She sank deep into the waters of Morvugol, and did not rise to hear the call of Sowm until far later. Farthest from Salvendum’s light, Morvugol was a dark world, and Ulmhasa cooled almost to death as she slept submerged in the sea.

Her son Sarnoss bathed with her until the call of Sowm came, and then he rose to the surface and began to drink the waters of the Morvugol. When he had drunk his fill, Sarnoss plunged his hands into the earth, and sent forth seeds and roots to tend the ground and give it strength. But as he raised forests and gardens his dreams were tormented with the shadow of his mother, and all his labors turned to darkness and night. When at last she woke, Ulmhasa rose from the bottom of the inky sea to find a lush land full of rich, black trees and midnight flowers. Sarnoss was wroth and departed for Vinramar.

The fifth of the Irvallath was Imbakhao, Ulmhasa’s second child whom she bore after the departure of Sarnoss. Imbakhao is a vast serpent, made of the black magma of Morvugol. Ulmhasa gorged him on her own creations and the remaining dross that fell to Morvugol from Salvendum.

When Sarnoss came to Vinramar, he found Ethis burrowing and shaping the stone into soft, elegant forms. Her face was like the flame of creation itself, and her beauty infatuated him. Entranced he approached her, but while they lay with one another Ethis shed her mask, and the coarse plainness of the sand was revealed in her true face. Then Sarnoss knew she had not the beauty of her mother, only through the masks and false shapes she could wear. He departed into other lands of Vinramar, where he built jungles and palaces in the trees.

Ethis conceived and bore Jukai, the sixth of the Irvallath. Not desiring to raise a son, Ethis dashed Jukai against the rocks and left him a cripple. From that time his back was hunched and twisted, his face cloven in two. As he grew, he too learned to shape the earth, but his stone was clumsier and tougher than that of his mother.

Seeking his mother's affection Jukai followed Ethis across the land, but everywhere his path roughened her elegant magma, turning the mountains of Vinramar into crags of immutable rock. When Ethis saw how her work was spoiled she returned to Iltallach, where she perfected her craft and wrought her greatest works, safe from the marring of Jukai.

The seventh of the Irvallath was Baturach, the lady of death, who dwelt in the sky as a white light to Vinramar. Her throne is the Moon. Her work was to replenish the waters of Norahaltath. When Sarnoss drank from them, she lifted the seas again toward her white throne. When Rinshari boiled the waters with her flame and heat, Baturach sent rain upon the face of the earth to fill the seas and rivers again.

Baturach was always the shyest of the Irvallath, loathe to speak or be spoken to. When Salvendum’s light strikes Vinramar, Baturach counters to the farther side and hides so that none can call to her. At night she peeks out from behind the black of the Darkplane, growing bolder with each setting of the sun. When she is full, her hideous face can be seen in the light of the moon’s throne like an emblazoned skull until she again creeps into shadow.

Ruethas was the eighth of the Irvallath to rise. Angered that he had not risen sooner, he wrenched the worlds to a halt and finished his work while all else stood still. Once done, he watched the other laborers in secret as they toiled in their work.

As Ethis danced alone in Iltallach, Ruethas stole a mask from her and wooed her in disguise, but she would not give herself to him. The two danced and dueled across Iltallach until the rest of the Irvallath finished their work. Iltallach was thus left incomplete at the final call of Sowm, and wasuntil the coming of Forlorthaa barren land of strange rocks and fires.

The ninth of the Irvallath is Senfaer, the greatest in power. His breath drove the winds and encircled the four worlds with air for their protection from the void of the Darkplane. He was appointed by Sowm to oversee the others' work, and to delve into the Darkplane in search of all unreachable knowledge. He was Her messenger and steward to the Irvallath. He placed the stars in the midst of the Darkplane as waypoints to guide his servants safely through the Abyss.

After the death of Sowm the Irvallath’s numbers would increase to twelve with the birth of Zho-hau, the birth of Atiakha, and at the rending of Atiakha's soul in two.

— From The Labors of the Irvallath by Bram Genning