Saturday, 30 May 2015

The Gor-Dun

The Gor-Dun, Gopher Hsunchen Of Pent

The Song Before Terror

The Land was good
The Land was full
The Trees stood thick
The Trees stood tall
The Sky fell
The Flames arose
The Sun dimmed
The Stars hid

Dajakkrieger vom Baramdistritt.jpg
Gor-Dun warrior, with chitin-plate helmet and chitin 'sword'
The Song During Terror
The Trees burned high
The Land was smote
The Ground cracked open
The Dark beasts came
Vile things followed
Vile change rent us
Vile Lord chopped us
Dark Fire followed

The Song After Terror
The Land recovered
Forever changed
The Trees were dead
The steppes open
Horse and rider
Sunfire Earthgraze
Vileness constant
Only the forms change

The Song Of The New Light

Riders chasing
Riders laughing
Gor-Dun dying
Skins flayed from us
Digging pit time
Snaring hoof time
Spearing horse time
Gor-Dun laughing

The Song of the New Start
Dark Ones trading
Bright Sun mocking
Ant and Gopher
Dig together
Strange moon risen
Riders leaving
Riders return
Strange moon triumphs

The Song of the Blood Times

Dark Fire returning
Dead Rider rising
Blood Rain all-drowning
Old Life returning
Strange moon now changing
Wind lords then blowing
Horned horse dancing 
Void sweeps all away 

What we may know from the songs

The pygmy people of Pent are alone among humans in their myths, not seen as kin but as prey and predator.  They have had some sort of relationship with the Uz, apparently with followers of Gorakiki who taught them to burrow.  This seems unlikely, but whereas the gophers of Pent are usually reasonably solitary, the Gor-Dun are gregarious, and it may be that it refers to the idea of a burrow community having been borrowed from the ants.

They see themselves as victims of Chaos and Horse-riders alike, and have a fondness for the 'strange moon' since it killed so many riders.  They feel exposed since the loss of the, possibly mythical, primordial Pentan forest, and long for the return of such cover.

What is never spoken of, except between shamans, is the end of time which - bizarrely - they refer to as 'The Coming Of The Almighty Durulz.'  There is no evidence of any contact between the Gor-Dun and the Durulz.
Palace plaque depicting warrior by Edo culture.jpg
Teshnan plaque depicting a
Gor-Dun chief in full armour

Their Culture
The Gor-Dun live in reasonably clean burrows, although the same cannot be said for those chambers where they raise food for the winter, which are stuffed with rotting rubbish and seething with life.  Clans never exceed 400 individuals, but split in two when that limit is reached.  Similarly, if they fall below 100 they will strive to join with another.  They have learnt that in numbers there is some safety, but also know that too many will attract Pentan attention.  
Gor-Dun are very musical, after their own fashion, enjoying flutes and whistles and a form of lur-horn, along with their shrill singing.  Stringed instruments are absolutely forbidden, and their players are subject to extreme torture if captured.  This is related to an obscure tale in which a rider strips a Gor-Dun naked, leaving him to die of shame on the plains.

Males and females wear furs and leathers, and their warriors wear glossy (preferably black) chitin armour from trading with the Uz. 

File:Neanderthals - Artist's rendition of Earth approximately 60,000 years ago.jpg
Rather fanciful depiction of the Gor-Dun, from a
Red Hair Tribal description.
Note the 'strange moon' in the sky.

Their Magic
They follow their Beast-kin spirit, The Great Gopher, and almost all clans will have picked up some other spirits along the way.

Gor-Dun Names
These are usually in the form of a two syllable forename and a two syllable matronymic, although bachelors moving between clans in the hope of finding a mate will frequently drop the matronymic portion, adopting a nickname instead.

Initial syllable
Por-, Han-, Fyl-, Had-, Zaar-, Zam-, Kar-, Gar-, Skof-, Hemm-, Fawr-, Dekk-

Male, terminal syllable
-ul, -di, -up, -um, -yth, -ynn, -ylt

Female, terminal syllable
-a, -in, ihnd, -ubs, -oll 

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