Tag Archives: Katayanicum

Katayanicum III:2

To the most illustrious and invincible Highness, Prince Verethragnan, heir to the Throne of Unyielding Justice, I, Katayana of Amaranth, sends greetings.

You have asked me, my Prince, to describe for the benefit of your followers the Streams of Magic that exist in Kshiurana. Though I am unworthy of this task, I will attempt to comply with all the meager skill and knowledge at my disposal. I can only hope that You, in Your generosity, will forgive my missteps.

Nearly all know the children’s rhyme that describes the Five Streams. Nostalgia compels me to repeat it here, though of course its familiarity might be tedious.

To change nature’s guise
One needs loves or lives
Stone’s laws or sharp lines
Or lore of the wise

One interesting aspect of this poem that many others might not realize is that most languages have translated this poem into their language and it is taught to their children. Surely this is a sign of Your wisdom and generosity to allow all peoples, even those who have yet to worship you properly, to learn magic’s Five Streams.

In any case, with your permission, then, I shall explain the Five Streams individually, though this will surely be tedious for You to read. I humbly crave Your pardon.

The first stream in the poem is that of love. In truth, this stream, as you know, is the manipulation of all emotions. I am told those who manipulate emotions see emotions as tendrils emanating from humans and some animals. These magicians can then strengthen or modify these tendrils, and in some cases completely reverse, whatever emotions a person is feeling hence modifying their behavior.

The second stream is that of life. Those who can influence life can see a field of energy around all living things, allowing them the opportunity to modify the creature or plant. They can, for example, influence a plant to grow extremely quickly or heal a cut on a dog or person.

The third stream is that of the stone. Again, this name is somewhat misleading, as there always seems to be energy in all things, and those that can see the energy of matter can do many things with this energy. Some can even change light, though this is a rare gift.

The fourth stream talks about sharp lines. The lines referred to are those lines inherent in writing. Magicians of this type may also use symbols. They see power in the written word and in symbols, and can use them to influence people or do many other things. All religions use symbolic magic in one way or another.

And finally, the fifth stream is that of knowledge. Such magicians concern themselves with influencing the path of history. Their magic is subtle, yet in time as powerful as any. We, for as You know I have some skill with this type of magic, see potentialities in all things. We can then influence the path of events to increase the chances of a particular potentiality of resulting. Patience is our watchword.

I hope that this will clarify for those who follow You some of the most basic aspects of magic. In Your generosity, You have allowed me to put these words to parchment, though I know them to be unworthy of Your vision. Words cannot truly describe the glory of Your benevolence in allowing me to pass my meager understanding forward.

With great thanks, I remain Your dutiful servant,

Katayana of Amaranth

– Excerpt of the Katayanicum, Book III, Chapter 1.

Katayanicum I:2

To the most illustrious and invincible Highness, Prince Verethragnan, heir to the Throne of Unyielding Justice, I, Katayana of Amaranth, sends greetings.

You have asked me, my Prince, of the beginnings of all things. To my shame this is not something I can truly answer. My only excuse, my Lord, is that the answer was lost some time before the last of the Giants was slain. To prove that I, Your least of servants, is truthful in this claim permit me to digress for but a moment.

The name of our world is probably the greatest mystery in all the ancient study of etymology. Every culture we have met has named this world their language’s cognate of “Kshiurana.” From the farthest west there is Sciuren and from the farthest east Shikuran. Nor can we detect any distribution of this name from a singular origin that has spread out during the six centuries since the beginning of this age. Our earliest records, no matter what culture or language, all refer to this planet with this word. 

However, though we know the word, we are not entirely sure what it means. We may, however, use logical processes, that you are so skilled with, to determine a probable answer.

First, we must examine the implications of this etymological quandary, my Prince, that are surely obvious to You. Permit me, however, as Your tutor to lay these out clearly so that as philosophers we can examine them. We shall start by working from the assumption based upon the best evidence available to us that the idea of Kshiurana is a memory inherent in all cultures.

The implication is that this intercultural memory comes from a time that predates all of human history. History, as we have already discussed, is the recounting of actions of humans that have been recorded in whatever language and medium is available to the culture. It is true that Your line is the greatest of all royal lines in this, Kshiurana, and by extension the history of Your kingdom the most important in all the world. Nevertheless, it falls to us as philosophers to seek out and learn the histories of other cultures, even those as strange and barbaric as that of the Eleven Kingdoms on the islands of the Western Sea.

As I mentioned, each of these histories call this world their version of the same word, but what is also interesting to the philosophical mind are the origins of these earliest histories. As all men know, and You above all of them save Your father the greatest of all men, this age began with the final defeat of the Giants who had for so long enslaved our race. There, at the Battle of the First Kings, their evil was ended forever and many of the kingdoms of Kshiurana were founded.

The honor and glory displayed and earned on that field, as You know, led us to number all of our years from that date. Yet that battle was merely the culmination of a war that lasted decades and most cultures have histories written prior to what we now call the First Year. Our own histories, for example, stretch back some decades prior to that time as we carved out for ourselves the freedom to write words pertaining to ourselves as free creatures and not merely slaves. It is further proof of the greatness of Your line that our histories number amongst the earliest of all.

Yet histories of the Empire of Sabinia are attested to have been written but a scant few of years after our own. Even as we learn the limits of the Five Streams in this advanced and peaceful age, it would be difficult for one of us to travel that great distance in but two years. This is even more true of the histories written upon birch bark in the farthest north where frozen rivers are the only roads. Yet, as I have said, each of these texts agree upon the name Kshiurana.

Hence, we can only assume, as men seeking wisdom, that the name Kshiurana predates the end of the Giants.

Forgive me, Your Highness, for my tedious path to explain that which surely was obvious to You but for those lesser souls such as my own it is beneficial that we methodically proceed through the evidence.

It is this evidence that leads You to my obvious conundrum. How can I, a mere servant, succeed where no others have? For, as You know, we have no recorded history prior to these days for the Giants would not allow their servants this right. Letters they taught us so that we could copy their texts, but literacy they justly feared. All we have are the tales we told huddled in our cold homes and cells when they were not listening.

Those tales that have survived, as You know, are filled with mystery and wonder but not the details that a philosophical mind would require. We may enjoy them for their rough beauty and their soul of suffering and hope, but few indeed are the facts we may glean from them.

As You also know, we have recovered some few texts and inscriptions of the Giants when we finally defeated them. Sadly, I and my brethren have failed at this time to uncover the meaning in these remaining texts for humans were never permitted to learn to read the language of the Giants.

We can deduce the sounds of the letters, and across our world virtually every language uses a script that evolved from our regional memories of the Giants’ alphabet. However, though we at times can guess the sound, we cannot divine the meaning of the words.

Nevertheless, the Imperial version of Kshiurana “Shijuren” may offer a clue, as we think the Giants referred to themselves as the yuran, or something similar. Our best guess, then, is that the word survived from their language. Perhaps the original word meant “Giants’ World” or “Giants’ Home.” We may never know, for theirs is a language we have essentially lost. 

Forgive us our failure, but know, my prince, that my brethren and I will not rest until we have learned what these say. Should any of us die before can report our success to You, know that our successors will take up this banner and strive forever to unlock those secrets.

Hence, Your Highness, I humbly apologize that I cannot answer for You the question that You have asked. History, as we know it, holds not that answer. Philosophy instructs us, as is obvious to You, that there must be a start, a single prime movement or prime thing that from which all else is derived. To my greatest shame, I cannot put a name or description to that starting point.

Though I realize that I have but merely walked upon a trail that is brightly lit to Your mind, I hope that this exercise has not been without some worth to You. Perhaps, this methodical approach has highlighted something that You knew but had not previously considered in the limited time Your duties allow You to consider natural philosophy.

In such hopes, I remain Your dutiful servant, Katayana of Amaranth.

– Excerpt of the Katayanicum, Book I, Chapter 2.