Monday, 31 October 2016

A Stranger in the Mountains of Heaven

Nicholas Roerich (see also my header image)

Increasingly I find that I am not that interested in the pseudo-Euro-Russian parts of the Vyrhrad setting I have batted about here in the past and am only really engaged with the question of what is east of there: of pseudo-Central Asia/Himalayas/Turkestan/Inner Asia/whatever, with significant hat-tips to Udan-Adan and Yoon-Suin. So, more of that from here on in. The existing Vyrhrad stuff I will incorporate or not as I see fit. I’m calling it Kin Tzeh for now (though I’m not quuuite happy somehow with that), and if I had to describe it in one overstuffed paragraph it would be this one:

Kin Tzeh. Fantasy Himalayas. Mountains and monasteries. The Roof of the World. High, clear lakes. Mountain dwarves with long spears and butter tea and ice crystals in their beards. Yetis. Prayer flags, prayer wheels. Yak-men. Impossibly ancient and wise dragons curled beneath pristine glaciers. Tiger-demons and eagle-spirits. Stupas. Salamanders. Mellified men. Shamanism. Sky-iron, sky-burials. Silk and bronze. Archery and martial arts. More valleys than you can visit in a life-time, and a new culture in every valley. Horses, mammoths, snow leopards. Mummies. Salt flats, blinding white in the glare of the unclouded sun, even more dazzling than the snowy slopes above them. Burial mounds and their inhabitants. Nomads. The king in his high-walled palace, his politicking ministers, the powerful monasteries and their silent succession struggles, the local warlords, the cave near the village, the creature in it, the tribute you pay to it. The spirits of the great mountains.

James Gurney