Dumnonian Legends



Valron Silvertongue

Visit Me'ira's Clip Art For Dancers, the source for this image.

Among the most common Dumnonian stories are those of caravans that were attacked by moving statues. These terrifying products of magic gone awry can be of any solid material, from stone to gold, from salt to wood. I personally did not encounter any of these marvels in my travels, yet I saw enough of the horrors magic has created in the desert to be convinced that such nightmarish threats are more than simply stories used to frighten children.

Creatures such as talking apes, however, are probably the product of some bard's fancy. The closest thing I saw to an ape during my sojourn in the desert was a trained monkey. Nor did I personally see the fabled Dumnonian sea coast, although I am convinced that such a coast exists. Almost all Dumnonian origin stories insist that before Corin sent them into the desert to care for the Dragons, they dwelt beside the sea. Elves and half-elves who helped to found the Dumnonian race might have recalled oceans from their homelands on the Southern Continent, and Daethians might have had memories of visits to Rashtar. Yet there is almost certainly another strain of humanblood in the Dumnonians, and I see no reason why it could not have been supplied by ancestors who lived near an ocean at the western or northern edges of the desert where the ancestors of the Bronzes made their homes before Corin altered them with his magic. Likewise dendans, marids, merfolk and sea horses have been spotted off the coast of Rashtar, and there is nothing to suggest that they do not live off the coast of Dumnonia as well.

Giants of all descriptions have been reported throughout Dumnonia. Most of them seem to possess a little magic, usually specializing in the control of earth, air or fire. Some giants use enormous eagles as mounts. Such riders often become the followers of dragonless warriors, helping Dragonriders fly cover over the caravans on the trade routes. While I did not see any of these marvelous birds, I did make the acquaintance of several giants in the King's Camp, many of whom entrusted me with messages to carry to their relatives in the Dragon's Back Mountains.

This image is originally from Midnight's Attic, which no longer seems to be on the Net.

Djinn, dao, iffrits, and janns, while depicted as fanciful monsters on many Dumnonian carpets, really exist, according to Dumnonian caravaneers. Such beings are usually met in the open desert. That is where the sahib who escorted me from the Daethian Border to the King's Camp introduced me to something that was either an excellent illusion, a magic-using giant, or an actual djinn. These creatures are not necessarily allied with the Dark One, and, according to my sahib, the clever caravaneer may enlist their aid for short periods of time.

Although ghosts are usually found in Cinnamar, an occasional stray has been rumored to have penetrated Dumnonia itself. Ghosts usually appear in the company of demons, and they reputedly have the power to use age magic against their victims. No effective means of dispelling them short of a miracle has ever been found. Hence, the wise caravaneer always includes a priest or priestess as part of his or her caravan. Fortunately our caravan encountered no such horrors during my journey, which my sahib attributed to unparalleled victories certain centuries were enjoying while defending the front line. I assured him that I had no desire to ever meet such a foul creature and that I wished the Dragons and their Riders continued success.

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Demons, devils and the like are the bane of caravans. Many a Dumnonian trader has been slain by such obscenities. Our caravan was beset by such a horde one night while we were crossing a harrat. The caravaneers fought them off, though not without casualties. That was how I learned that the Dumnonian practice of burning the dead probably developed among the caravaneers. Apparently the Dark One's forces delight in collecting body parts and giving them to necromancers to create ghouls, zombies and other undead horrors. After seeing a few of these monstrosities and the effect of their appearance on their former friends and relatives, I heartily encourage Rashtarians and our allies to adopt this Dumnonian funeral custom as a more sensible means of dealing with our dead.

Dragon Bar 2

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