Crossing the River

Another gust of wind kicked up sparks from the fireplace and the image faded. Abarhil stood up to stretch his legs – which were stiff after a long period of sitting – and walked around the fireplace which was illuminated by a dim light. Then he threw the last pieces of wood, along with chips and bits of bark, into the fire. He looked to the distant mountains in the east, above which, the weak haze of the rising sun had appeared.

„Well, the last day of our journey; we’re in Anghir in the evening. It’s time to wake up,“ he said cheerfully, and headed out to the tents to wake up each sleeper.

Before he had finished his round and before even the last of them – which was, as usual, the sleepy Frendin – had poked his head out of the tent, the sun had peered out above the mountain tops. The men quickly packed their tents and baggage, and after a quick breakfast, they set off. Walking was as difficult as it had been the days before. They skirted through rough areas, deep cracks in the ground and sharp igneous rocks that could damage their shoes in just a few steps.

In the afternoon they arrived at the ford across the Madrughin river. The river was lined with steep shores and in the middle was a few small islets. The water in the river was dark, almost black, because the strong current wore away the volcanic dust shores. It was as cold as ice, which reminded them that winter had almost started in the north. Reluctantly they took off their clothes, packed them into their big backpacks which they put on their heads, and slowly and carefully entered the ice cold stream. When they hauled themselves out at the other side, their jaws were chattering and due to their cold and numb feet, they did not even feel the sharp beach gravel between their toes.

Finally, they had arrived in Anghir.  

They started a fire and after they had dried out, warmed up and dressed, they climbed onto a long drawn-out slope consisting of a narrow belt of dunes. It felt like they had gone through a magical gate to a different world. Before them, spread out the green plains of tall grass and lone trees.

Abarhil turned to Oghlar. „Now I understand why you call it Madrughin, the Border River.“

Oghlar nodded and responded: „You are right. I did not know that the difference between the dead world of the lord of the underworld and the green of the Maghúr’s land would be this big.“  

Then he turned to their guide. „You, Chenlar, how far is the village of your relatives?“

„We’ll go northwest along the flow of the river and we’ll be there before dusk.“

„Is it large?!“ asked Abarhil.

Chenlar smiled. „Large, larger than any Nomghan village in Bôghir. Chenlar thinks that they have as many tents as there are fingers on the hands of eight men.“

Abarhil looked at Chenlar with surprise. On the way across the plains of Bôghir, he had become used to small temporary settlements of the nomadic herdsmen which only rarely had more than one hundred people.

He turned to Oghlar. „So many? That’s eighty tents. It will certainly be more than four hundred inhabitants. Can you recall seeing such a big village after leaving Súrwan’s hrin?“

Oghlar shook his head and looked at Chenlar. „Why do the Nomghans build such big villages in Anghir? It is not really good for cattle. Do you need to chase them away from the village?“

Chenlar nodded. „You are right. But in Anghir, the Nomghans can’t live like nomads in open settlements. Unfortunately, we’re only accepted here as unwanted guests. The Harghani people feel like lords of the Anghir, even though Nomghans have lived here for generations. We don’t like each other. The Harghani steal our cattle from us and we steal their horses in return. The life in Anghir is different.“

Oghlar turned to Abarhil and muttered in disgust: „I have heard about this. Unfortunate Anghir where they argue amongst each other. The Erighani argue with the Harghani, and those, as you can see, feud with the Nomghans. If that does not change, one day the Chyrrkhans will suffer.“

It had become dark when they saw a large settlement on a hill surrounded by a short palisade. The settlement consisted of two concentric circles. In between the outer and inner circles were fences for cattle, and in the inner circle stood tents and huts of the inhabitants. Chenlar cheerfully greeted the locals and introduced the strangers he had brought with him. The locals‘ welcome was warm; but in spite of their invitation to stay, the sailors continued their journey the next morning and headed northeast to the low hills where they hoped to find the summer settlements of the Harghani. They intended to ask for their permission to pass because they had been warned by the Nomghan people to not try to pass the area without Harghani consent. They did not have to wait long to meet the lords of the Anghir plains.

The next day a group of riders appeared on the horizon. Oghlar stopped the sailors and ordered them to make a defensive formation. They created a circle and waited for the riders to arrive. Oghlar believed they would agree, but they had to be prepared for any outcome. Soon it became clear that the group consisted of a dozen riders on small, differently coloured horses. When they approached the sailors, they circled around them a few times and then set out in a wide circle. From this close proximity, the sailors were able to see that the riders were young men dressed in long leather trousers. Their torsos were covered with leather armor, their bare arms were covered in tattoos, which were mainly red in color. The warriors held large oval shields, which could cover their whole body. In the same hand they held the bridle, and in the other, they carried long spears decorated with horsehair and long nargil feathers. Their heads were shaved at their temples and around the ears; the rest of their hair had been combed up and braided into several plaits, and these connected into a ponytail, which fell onto their backs. Their faces and arms were covered with black and red color.

One of them, an older-looking one, spurred his horse and rode closer to Oghlar, standing outside the defensive circle. He observed them curiously and then asked Oghlar: „What are foreigners doing on the territory of the great nation of the Harghani? Where have you come from and where are you going?“

„My name is Oghlar Mirolach and I come from the blood of your northern relatives, the Tighans, from the city of Nirruch,” said Oghlar confidently and turned to the group and pointed at the sailors. „These men are my companions. We sailed to the south, but our ship crashed and we were forced to walk to the north across the plains of Bôghir. Now we would like to ask the mighty nation of the Harghani for their permission to walk across their territory to the north to the Chermaghin river.“

The young rider, evidently astonished, measured Oghlar with suspicious eyes.

„You have come from Bôghir? That means you have passed the Drughar’s land? I cannot believe it! The lord of the underworld won’t let anyone pass through his kingdom.“

„Why?“ asked Oghlar. „After all, your relatives the Nomghans live on both sides of the Madrughin and they regularly walk across the Drughar’s land.“

The boy contemptuously curled his lips.

„I don’t know what relatives you’re talking about. Those savages that we tolerate in our pastures? They say they know the way across Madrughin. But no one knows how true that is. Only a handful of the Sharians have seen the dark waters of Madrughin and no one has ever stepped into the deserted land of Drughár. However, if you’re speaking the truth, then I have to take you to our chiefs to let them hear your story, because as far as our nation remembers, this has never happened before.“

Oghlar, in an attempt to keep the conversation friendly, smiled politely and bowed his head. „We will be happy to tell the story of our long journey to your chiefs. How far is your village?“

„Village you say?“ asked the man with surprise. It seemed that the word had amused him. „Nomghans build villages. I am Durghan, the son of Sorgan, the great dawigelar of the Sharians. His hrin stands a three-day journey to the northeast, in the mountains by the lake Meri Ochir, where the winter settlements of my people lie. There, the great dawigelar will decide about your request. In the meantime, consider yourselves our guests. Do you walk?“

„Yes. You know very well that the Nomghans do not use horses.“

„Of course! But in recent years that hasn’t been strictly true; they began to steal horses from our herds. Thus, the young warriors go south to get them back. Horses are sacred possessions of the Sharians.“

„But young warriors do not only take horses back, but also the cattle of Nomghans. Is not that true?“

„Sure, but that’s a revenge for their previous actions. How many of you is there? Ten! I think we’ve managed to get as many horses from the Nomghans. We will provide them to you and your companions to reach my father’s camp as quickly as possible.“

The sailors, however, were not good riders and the journey to the camp of the Harghani stretched from what was supposed to be three days to almost double that. The young Harghani warriors observed the embarrassment and ineptitude of the seafarers as they saddled the horses. First, they watched them with astonishment and later with undisguised contempt. Men who could not ride horses were, in their eyes, equal to old women or small children. The only one who felt confident on a horse was Abarhil and, because he handled the Chyrrkhan language quite well, they took him and Oghlar among themselves as the only equals.

First, they headed north, moving into a gently rolling land where forests and secluded groves alternated with grassy plains rich in wildlife. Every now and then they saw herds of small antelopes damri on the horizon or the great wild cattle called zedril. They even saw flocks of nargils that Abarhil had already seen on his expedition with the Korlans. Several times, they caught a glimpse of the large steppe wolves, whose massive bodies were very different from the animals of the same name that Abarhil knew from the native Plains. When he saw them for the first time, they reminded him of the great Korlan dogs and he was convinced that they must have the blood of these impressive beasts.

On the fourth day, they turned east into the heart of Niri Eraghrin, the Low Hills, which were outliers of the high Mountain Range of the Mountain lions which created the eastern border of Anghir. In the morning of the fifth day, when they had crossed the low mountain saddle, an impressive view opened up for them of a long valley with a lake spreading all the way from north to south, as far as they could see.

Meri Ochir, the Blue Lake, the native land and habitat of the eastern Harghani. As Abarhil learned later, the lake was a few dozen miles long and one or two miles wide. On its northern end, there was a river, which after a steep descent from the mountain slopes flowed into Birighin. The middle part of the river, where the trough was broken by wild rapids and waterfalls, gave the river its name of Bôghin, the Wild River.

Footprints

„I don’t understand. When I aim at a target, I hit it just like you. But when the target is moving, I can’t hit it. How do you do it, Nerúwan? What am I doing wrong?“

Nerúwan narrowed his eyes and looked at the discouraged Abarhil. Perhaps, he was contemplating which answer Abarhil could process. Abarhil watched Nerúwan’s narrow eyes and he spotted a slight smile on his lips. He was painfully aware of his discomfort, and felt angry at his clumsiness.

Nerúwan shrugged his shoulders. „I told you it takes a lost of practicing. Not even every Adiwan can do it. Your arms are tight but your mind wanders and strays. That’s why it cannot capture the right moment. When your mind stops, it will find the target. Roghídan must learn to be patient, then he will hit the target!“

Abarhil was upset with this response. Unable to control his anger, he spoke out of turn: „Your damned mysterious advice! One might go mad. You’re the same as your father and Oghlar. You’re all as clever as a king’s jester. Stop the mind! Can’t you just tell me how to do it?“ Abarhil threw his bow on the ground and dramatically put his head in his hands. „Now I hold it but nothing’s changed. Nothing!“ He looked at Nerúwan angrily. „Does it have legs to run around? But I know how it is,“ he said angrily and pointed at Nerúwan. „You have some secret trick that you don’t want to share with me! And you know what? Keep it. I’ll figure it out on my own.“

Nerúwan  watched Abarhil’s angry outburst with confusion. „Roghídan is angry for nothing. Nerúwan has told him the truth. The secret is in the ability to quiet your mind. Only then can it reflect the reality. When the arrow and the target is one in your mind, only then will you hit.“ Nerúwan’s face changed and he looked strictly at Abarhil with disappointment. With slight disdain he said: „Roghídan is raging like a little child who’s not getting what he wants. Know that rage is a bad helper!“

With these words, Nerúwan turned and silently left. Abarhil stood baffled in the middle of the trail. Only now did he feel ashamed of his outburst.

Cranky and out of sorts, Abarhil returned to Súrwan’s hut. When he stepped into the hut, he saw the brin talking to Oghlar, whose condition had improved. Although he was unable to get out of bed, he lay on a package of fur and talked livelily with Súrwan. Abarhil greeted them and silently went across the hut to his corner, he had no intention of joining the conversation. He sat down on his bed, put the bow and arrows down, and after some time of mindless staring at the brown walls, he lay down and gazed at the ceiling. Oghlar instantly spotted the unusual behavior, but he talked with Súrwan for a couple more minutes in order to finish the open debate. Only after they had finished, did Oghlar turn to Abarhil.

„What is it, Roghídan? Am I mistaken if I say that you are not in a very good mood?“

Abarhil squirmed as if he had lain on thorns, but he said nothing.

„Come on, what happened; tell me!“ encouraged Oghlar.

Abarhil hesitated, but then he sat up and the whole story poured out. Oghlar listened, and as Abarhil continued, he began to smile slyly and at the end he openly chuckled. He knew how proud Abarhil was of his shooting skills and he guessed correctly that today his pride had suffered. Súrwan sat and listened too, but unlike Oghlar’s, his face did not express anything.

„… well, and then, when I asked him to tell me how to do it, he made a fool of me and told me to stop my mind. Do you understand it, Oghlar?“ Abarhil sat on his bed with his legs crossed in front of him, but his hands moved constantly to express his grievance. He did not pay much attention to the faces of his two listeners and all of the suppressed resentment poured out. „It’s like telling a sailor to tug a cover when the wind’s not blowing. What’s such advice good for? He’s made a fool of me!“

Oghlar did not stop smiling and said nothing, he only looked at Súrwan sitting opposite to him. „My son was right. Roghídan has no reason to be angry because he, indeed, received the correct advice. The bow may be stretched with an archer’s arm, the eye may look for the target, but the arrow is shot by the archer’s mind! When the mind is restless, the archer can never hit the target!“

Abarhil looked at Súrwan with resentment; this was exactly the kind of response he did not want to hear. With an unspoken question he looked at Oghlar. Oghlar said nothing, he only nodded while smiling, and pointed at Súrwan as if telling Abarhil where he should seek his answers. The young man took a deep breath to control his upset soul and then turned to the brin who looked patiently at Abarhil with an unchanging face.

„Súrwan, I’m sorry for my anger. I suppose I don’t understand it. Can you explain what your son meant? Can you explain what stopping the mind means?“

Súrwan smiled and cheerful flames sparkled in his eyes.

„Just like Oghlar, just like him,“ thought Abarhil. However, Súrwan did not say anything and he stood up. When the brin left the room, Abarhil looked at Oghlar. He just nodded and said: „Get used to it. Brins do not speak much but when they do it is worth careful listening.“  

The brin came back in a little while and brought a large copper pot and a bag with water. He took the pot and turned it towards Abarhil. „What do you see?“

Abarhil looked at the bottom in surprise, and then at Súrwan. „What should I see? Nothing! The empty bottom of a pot.“  

Súrwan did not respond; he poured water into the pot and then waited until the water settled. He motioned to Abarhil to look in the pot once more. „What do you see?“

Abarhil looked at the water and in the dim light of the lamps he saw his own ratty face. „Well, what can I see; water. And also the face of one man who has no idea what’s going on.“

Oghlar laughed heartily. Annoyed, Abarhil looked at him and said: „Well, I hope you’re having a good time. It is certainly good for your healing; otherwise I’d throw something at you. I was hoping for an explanation, but now I see the performance where I’m the fool had yet another act.“

Súrwan forced Abarhil to look in the pot once again. „What do you see?“ he asked again as he hit the pot with a stick several times. The water rippled and the image disappeared.

Abarhil raised his head and uncertainly replied: „Well, what would I see? Nothing!“

„That’s it!“ said Súrwan and nodded his head. He laid the stick on the ground and motioned to Abarhil to sit across from him. „The pot is your body, solid and tangible, but empty until you fill it with something. As the pot is filled with water, your body is filled with your mind, only then can your body serve its purpose. The water is your mind, soft and inaccessible, it fills your body and only then has it achieved its purpose.“  

He interrupted his speech and questioningly looked at the young boy. He wanted to be sure Abarhil had understood. Abarhil nodded silently, so he continued.

„When the mind has settled, it reflects what is in front of it. When it is restless, it reflects nothing. And this stick,“ Súrwan raised the stick with which he had hit the pot, „is your rage, your anger or fear, for which you cannot see the reality. You are like a blind man who suspects what is about to come but cannot see it. Nerúwan can stop his mind and it then reflects the target he needs to hit. This is the moment when the mind and the target are one. The target becomes part of your mind as your image becomes part of the water surface in the pot. Nerúwan’s arm is not guided by his will, but by his empty mind which reflects the image of the target. Do you understand now?“

Súrwan finished his unusually long speech and bid Abarhil to respond. Abarhil sat in the same position and his gaze turned away from the brin’s staring eyes. His eyes wandered around the room as if trying to find help for his struggling soul.

„Does Roghídan understand it now?“ asked Súrwan again.

Abarhil hesitatingly nodded.

„Well, it’s clear to me what Nerúwan meant. But tell me, Súrwan, how do you stop your mind? And one more thing. What is the mind for when it’s empty? We have our minds to think,“ objected Abarhil.

„The stopped mind is an empty mind where no thoughts flow,“ was the brief reply.

„But what’s a mind with no thoughts good for? After all, it’s the essence of the mind to create thoughts. It’s its purpose,“ said Abarhil again. It had never occurred to him, and he had never heard, that the mind should be empty; and that the thoughts should be driven out so the mind could work correctly. It was something very new for Abarhil’s understanding and his knowledge refused it.

„Junk,“ said Súrwan, confidently and adamantly. He nodded his head to show that his statement was irrefutable. Abarhil again raised in anger. He admired his teachers, their knowledge and the abilities of their reason. It did not matter whether he had been taught rhetoric, mathematics, or cartography; he had always been reminded that reason must be nurtured, trained with frequent repetition and practice. Thoughts must be created and sorted. They must be understood. And now he stood face to face with a man who had no idea of the greatness of all the disciplines that his educators had taught him. Abarhil was being told that all that was just rubbish occupying his mind unnecessarily. He refused to accept it and his disapproval was more than visible. Oghlar, who knew Abarhil’s passion for knowledge, as well as his temper, suspected what was going on in Abarhil’s mind. Therefore, he joined the conversation for the first time to avoid an outburst that would break the rules of gratitude toward their host.

„Abarhil, calm down!“ he said with empathy in a common language that Súrwan did not understand. „I think there is a misunderstanding between you. You have to understand that Súrwan knows nothing about your education. He means it in a way that for archery, thinking is unnecessary. He surely did not mean that what you know is rubbish!“

Abarhil turned to the half-sitting Oghlar and opened his mouth to object. Discomfort and anger shook his soul and he needed to blow off the steam. Fortunately, he realized that both men were truthful. If he needed to hit the target, his knowledge of cartography and rhetoric was useless. He closed his mouth and took a deep breath. Then he turned to Súrwan and nodded slightly to indicate his consent. Súrwan had watched his inner struggle with considerable enthusiasm. He did not understand what Oghlar had said, but he could read in the boy’s face what had happened in him. He waited for a little bit and then he continued.

„A thought is like a footprint that helps trace the prey. Too many thoughts are like too many footprints. What benefits do you get when you find a tangle of footprints at the watering hole? How do you find out which to follow to trace your prey?“

Abarhil looked at him thoughtfully. The barrage of strong emotions had gone away but he still struggled to tame the tension. He focused on Súrwan’s words, whose meaning escaped him.

„Súrwan wants to say,“ the brin smiled kindly and with his arms opened, „that to achieve your goals, all you need is one footprint. The right one! Too many thoughts in your mind only create confusion! Then you are unable to decide. That’s how it is.“

A smile remained on Súrwan’s face even when he picked up the pot and took it out to empty it. Abarhil watched him and when he realized that the conversation had ended, he moved back to his corner and pondered what he had heard.

„To achieve your goals you only need one thought, the right one,“ he whispered as if wanting to burn the sentence into his memory. Hearing this, Oghlar turned, and with satisfaction he watched the thinking young man. He said nothing because their conversation had served its purpose. The fish had swallowed the bait and Abarhil’s teaching had begun without him even noticing.

The Anghirian Gods

The last thing that is necessary to mention is the Chyrrkhan pantheon.

The Chyrrkhans worship their Gods in sacred groves where they bring sacrifices. In Anghir and Bôghir exists a limited class of priests, the brins, who take care of those groves and lead the initiation ceremonies for young boys and girls during which a plant with intoxicating effects, so-called maghanai, is used.

The greatest god is the lord of the sky, Maghúr, who lives upon Maghrin, the highest mountain of Anghir. His opposite is his brother Drughár, the lord of the underworld. The gate between his world and the world of the immortals is the Drughnor volcano. Maghúr has his grove with each Chyrrkhan tribe.

It may differ for other gods; the one who is essential for one tribe my be easily unknown for another.

The Tighans worship Dargha, the god of sea storms, and his spouse Naiwel who is the goddess of all sailors and favorable winds. Those two are absolutely unknown to the Harghani living inland.

Adeghúr, the messenger of gods and the patron of all wanderers and Yallwel, the worshiped goddess of fertility and harvest are also among the most honored. Her spouse Zerlan, the patron of all craftsmen, is honored in Sirrach and Zerach where he has his only temple in Anghir.

Among the Erighani and Harghani, the goddess of herds and fertility Lónwelghi who is the wife of the wild and feared Astoghár, the god of war and warriors, is honored.

The goddess of forests and baby animals Lónai and her husband Roghár, the lord of forests and patron of hunters are worshiped widely among the Korlans and Nomghans. After all, he is also favored among the Harghani.

The last one who is worth mentioning is Lóben, the god of high mountains, who controls the wind and fog, snowstorms and is a worshiped god of the Sharians. In other places of Anghir, he is barely known.

The nations of Anghir

The nation that inhabits Anghir calls themselves Chyrrkhanril, the northern people. The Chyrrkhans themselves tell stories of their predecessors coming from the South in three waves. They call their ancient homeland south of Bôghir Schadarghir, the land of grandfathers.

When the first wave came to the mouth of Chermaghin, they found small settlements with a small population which the Chyrrkhans called the Teachers. The first Chyrrkhans, the Erighani,and especially the part of them that later parted, the Tighans, learned how to build ships, harvest plants, and basic crafts.

In the time when the second wave of Chyrrkhans arrived in Anghir, the fruitful and forested catchment area of Chermaghin had been already taken, so they began to settle along the upstream of Birighin. Later they proved to be great miners and blacksmiths who supplied the whole of Anghir with their bronze products.

Oghlar, one of the main characters coming from the tribe of the Tighans, called them Zerilansand their best-known city was Zerach at the Nobi Eragh, the Tin Mountain. These so-called southern Erighani were not as lucky as their earlier coming relatives. They also found indigenous people upon their arrival. Ancient predecessors of the Katawdos. They looked at the newcomers as intruders and soon after the Erighani settled on the upstream of Birighin, skirmishes broke out between the old residents and the newcomers.

Katawda-web
Katawdo warrior

The southern Erighani later managed to push the old residents further into the dry plains at the foothills of the Lion Mountains. The Katawdos, however, have never forgotten the injustice and during their robberies, they have come to the lost homelands for revenge. It is natural that the Erighani have always repaid with the same intensity, thus the hatred between these two nations have grown the more blood has been shed. 

The Chyrrkhans of the second wave who had stayed in the grassy plains of the downstream of Birighin later became the core of the tribal union of the western Harghani, the riders, although they acquired this name later after they had attained first horses from their eastern relatives. 

They lived for many generations as herdsmen, hunters and fishermen in their small families around a so-called fireplace, the hrin, which connected up to ten related families.

The eastern Harghani, they call themselves the Sharians in our story, came as the last, the third wave from the South and all that was left for them were the inhospitable grassy plains and rolling hills of Niri Eraghrin, the Low Hills. It did not take long before they discovered the picturesque, hospitable area surrounding the Blue Lake, Meri Ochir.

web-Sharian
Sharian warrior with his armour

The Sharians were the first who brought horses to Anghir which they had found during spying and robbing in the east beyond the pass Shari Kar. It was one of the few places where the Lion Mountains could be passed. These robberies, in particular, were the source of lasting hostility between the Sharians and their eastern neighbors the Orofantari (nomadic tribes of Nogaims called Aim il-shar).

The last, considering their numbers and importance, were the Nomghans – the herdsmen.

The Chyrrkhan nations live in free tribal unions led by an elected tribal chief who was the dawigelar. It is not, however, the case of the Nomghans who live in family villages led by the elder man, the shakhilar, and they have not yet progressed to creating the tribal union led by a chief.The last, considering their numbers and importance, were the Nomghans – the herdsmen.

It doesn’t apply to the Tighans either, who have always served as a bridge between the tradition and innovation that arrived with the merchant ships. They left the idea of the tribal system and are directly subordinate to the warden named by the king who is called scharughir.

The Cities of Anghir

The Chyrrkhans live mainly dispersed in small settlements. In the mountains, they have enclosed villages; in the lowlands and by the rivers, they live in big separate estates. This is the reason why there are so few settlements in Anghir we could call towns, let alone cities. All these towns are located within the area of the mightiest tribal union of the Erighani.

First, it is the only harbor of Anghir called Nirruch, which is the heart of a small area of the Tighans – the seafarers. Nirruch, however, is not a typical city. It has no walls and it is dense and asymmetrical town laid out on the side of a big mountain rising above a sea bay.

On the midstream of Chermaghin lies wooden Sirrach, the largest and the only real city of Anghir, which is, unlike Nirruch, surrounded by a continuous wall with a wooden palisade.

The last settlement that can, with a bit of exaggeration, be called a city is the famous town of blacksmiths and miners, Zerach, upstream of Birighin. Halfway between Sirrach and Zerach lies the above-mentioned king’s fortress Dowril Awrakh.

The Geography of Anghir

Anghir is an area clenched between a seashore and impassable hillsides of the Grey Mountains, that turn to the East, into the mainland. The Chyrrkhans call these mountains Erighi i Roghíril, the Lion Mountains, for the numerous population of the mountain lion.

The northern border of these mountains is created by the sacred mountain Maghrin. Two rivers spring at its base – Chermaghin, the Snowy River, and Urughin, the Eastern River, which disappears in the plains of Urughir, and legends say that it ends in the faraway eastern sea.

South from Maghrin, on the hillsides of Erighi i Roghíril, springs the longest river of Anghir, Birighin, the Red River, having its name given by the color of its waters. However, it gets its red shade only when it begins to erode the red soil of the plains of Anghir.

Upstream, Birighin passes a lonely mountain called Nobi Eragh, the Tin Mountain, at which stand the renowned workshops of the southern Erighani – the Zerilans.

Midstream, Chermaghin and Birighin come so near to each other that their riverbeds are less than a mile apart and only divided by a high rocky ridge upon which the city of Chyrrkhan kings stand, Dowril Awrakh. To the east from the city, clenched by those two rivers, rises a high plateau, the home of a small tribe of the Korlans.

After Birighin leaves the rolling foothills, it turns into slow, meandering river that, further down the stream, creates several islands which are the core of the area of the western Harghani. Its journey ends by the seashore with a short, but wide waterfall which continues over the coastal cliffs.

It’s necessary to mention that the entire shore of Anghir, except for the mouth of Chermaghin, is created by impassable rocky cliffs.

In the south, the border between Anghir and the wild Bôghir is created by the black stream of Madrughin, the Border River, which zigzags along the deserted and vast volcanic fields. Drughnor, the Hellish Mouth, is a volcano standing south from Madrughin and according to Chyrrkhan legends, it is the entering gate to the underworld. In the foothills of Erighi i Roghíril lies a large lake, Meri Ochir, the Blue Lake, from which flows Bôghin, the Wild River, which is the mightiest tributary of Birighin.

There is one more place that is necessary to mention for our story, the so-called Great Breakage, Darli Grot.

The plateau on the hillsides of the Lion Mountains first descends slowly into the eastern plains only to end with a steep slope where the only passable way is a narrow gorge eroded by the waters of Bôggur, the Wild Stream. At the mouth of this gorge stands the mysterious Great Eastern Fortress of the Sharians‘, Dar Uru Awrakh.

Anghir – the world in the South

The novel The Wayfarer which tells the story of Abarhil from the city of Merélos takes place in faraway lands of the South hundreds of miles away from his hometown. The locals have two names for this land – Anghir and Bôghir.

Anghir is an area clenched between a seashore and impassable hillsides of the Grey Mountains, that turn to the East, into the mainland. The Chyrrkhans call these mountains Erighi i Roghíril, the Lion Mountains, for the numerous population of the mountain lion.

The northern border of these mountains is created by the sacred mountain Maghrin. Two rivers spring at its base – Chermaghin, the Snowy River, and Urughin, the Eastern River, which disappears in the plains of Urughir, and legends say that it ends in the faraway eastern sea.

South from Maghrin, on the hillsides of Erighi i Roghíril, springs the longest river of Anghir, Birighin, the Red River, having its name given by the color of its waters. However, it gets its red shade only when it begins to erode the red soil of the plains of Anghir.

Upstream, Birighin passes a lonely mountain called Nobi Eragh, the Tin Mountain, at which stand the renowned workshops of the southern Erighani – the Zerilans.

Midstream, Chermaghin and Birighin come so near to each other that their riverbeds are less than a mile apart and only divided by a high rocky ridge upon which the city of Chyrrkhan kings stand, Dowril Awrakh. To the east from the city, clenched by those two rivers, rises a high plateau, the home of a small tribe of the Korlans.

After Birighin leaves the rolling foothills, it turns into slow, meandering river that, further down the stream, creates several islands which are the core of the area of the western Harghani. Its journey ends by the seashore with a short, but wide waterfall which continues over the coastal cliffs.

It’s necessary to mention that the entire shore of Anghir, except for the mouth of Chermaghin, is created by impassable rocky cliffs.

In the south, the border between Anghir and the wild Bôghir is created by the black stream of Madrughin, the Border River, which zigzags along the deserted and vast volcanic fields. Drughnor, the Hellish Mouth, is a volcano standing south from Madrughin and according to Chyrrkhan legends, it is the entering gate to the underworld. In the foothills of Erighi i Roghíril lies a large lake, Meri Ochir, the Blue Lake, from which flows Bôghin, the Wild River, which is the mightiest tributary of Birighin.

There is one more place that is necessary to mention for our story, the so-called Great Breakage, Darli Grot.

The plateau on the hillsides of the Lion Mountains first descends slowly into the eastern plains only to end with a steep slope where the only passable way is a narrow gorge eroded by the waters of Bôggur, the Wild Stream. At the mouth of this gorge stands the mysterious Great Eastern Fortress of the Sharians‘, Dar Uru Awrakh