Introduction

Introduction

A Chapter by B.T. Lyons
"

Ende introduces the Felriver world and sets the stage for the stories and civilization analysis to come.

"

Within a carefully crafted folio of supple birch bark, the following pages are carefully stored:


Felriver

The Stories, Tales, and Scholarly Writings

of a Civilization

 As Collected by Ende of Braroco

 

Introduction by the Editor

Submitted for Review to Aloren, Lord of the Groves,

Skybirch Grove

 

       It should be established, first and foremost, that the domination of the Umil as the single dominant species on this world was nothing more than a fluke.

       Evidence of this simple fact surrounds us today in the Felriver Basin, and indeed throughout the known lands. In the present in which I write this, there are no less than 35 intelligent, hard-working manner of species that contribute to our region's politics, laws, and trade just in our region alone. It would be well within my estimation that were the Veil to be truly pierced as the priests and priestesses of the Greenmother claim is possible and creatures to come over from the other side, or if the Mahsta of the Pomats were to have created other beings on the stars in the sky as their kin believe, that we would find not one ruling race, but several living in harmony as we do.

       It is of the utmost importance that this be mentioned before all else, as the purpose of this collection of our history, mythology, and lives is to put in writing a clear and concise document for the readers of our own far future; which, if you are reading this now, I can only hopefully conclude you are a part of along with many others of various genealogy. The intent is to avoid the loss of history of this land that occurred between the disappearance - dare I say, destruction - of the Umil and the discovery of the Braroco.


 A Brief History of the Umil


        The term "Umil" is the common vernacular of the more scientifically correct terms "humans", "mans", "womans", or as it appears their own scholars referred to themselves as, "homo sapienses". "Umil" became coined in the very early stages of the discovery and excavation of the Braroco, when "human" became misheard in the traveling news and devolved into "Umil". Etymology aside, the Umil, by our best research, appeared to have been the dominant and most technologically advanced animal in our world for a span of approximately 100,000 seasons, though evidently they first evolved in their rudimentary state between one and two million seasons ago. Their civilization was not unlike our own, with a wide variety of cultures living in intermingled proximity of towns and collectives, and different theologies and political views either added to or detracted to their interactions, depending on your philosophy on such matters. Preserved imagery of a type that we cannot replicate shows that they were far more technologically advanced, but at a price; these same images also show a species constantly at war with itself.

       Due to our translation skills being terribly deficient at the time of this writing, I'm afraid I cannot offer insight as to how such a violence-prone race could have possibly survived for as long as they did. Perhaps their breeding rate far exceeded our own, or perhaps their intellectual gains were imparted through a hive structure as we theorize is done with many insects. Whatever their biological and philosophical secret was, in the end it could not save them.

       Again, we are woefully unaware of what exactly befell the Umil, making way for the eventual evolution of other animals to take their place. Umil only kept extremely detailed records for approximately 800 seasons, if our researcher's interpretations of their counting system for seasons is correct. Documentation that appears to be a daily synopsis of what was happening in their time abruptly stops in their "year" 2057, which we estimate to be around 250,000 seasons in the past, and the final reports show images of extreme catastrophe . . . thousands of dead Umil in their towns, Umil fighting with weapons, and entire cities ablaze. Though we cannot be sure until we are able to translate their writings directly, it is theorized based on this evidence that it was a massive battle of some sort that led to their passing.


The Birth of Civilization


       It is only in the past 100 seasons or so that we of our time have been able to begin to piece together our own distant history, thanks to the findings in the Braroco (the discovery of which I shall describe shortly, so as not to interrupt the timeline of this documentation). Thanks to the diligence of the Umil in working to preserve their own unfathomable history, we have discovered that the species we know in the Felriver Basin originally evolved alongside the Umil, yet never reaching even a fraction of their intelligence and ingenuity until after the Umil disappearance. After the Umil vanished, we - the Bukind, the Skirra, the Beorr, the Huuel, the Yoteen, the Pomat, the Gerlier, and all the other sophisticated (and sometimes, not so sophisticated) creatures were finally given the land and resources to take our current places at the forefront of evolutionary achievement. We now know for a fact that we did indeed evolve rather than just appear as we are, as our mythology had previously established and to this day, many still believe. However there is no doubt that the Bukind are direct descendants of a variety of creatures collectively known as "deer", Pomat and Gerlier are the distant children of what we suspect to be engineered animals known as "dogs", and Skirra are derived from ancient animals known as "chipmunks" and "squirrels", to give some examples. Analysis of historical images, their context, and obvious similarities have left absolutely no doubt in the mind of the scientific community that this is the case.

       It appears that not all animals that were prevalent during the time of the Umil survived after their disappearance; most significantly, the extinction of one major predator, whose bones and fossils have long been known, likely was a direct contributor by its very absence to the establishment of the smaller creatures in the center of technological evolution. This carnivorous animal, which appeared in many forms and sizes but is evidently known under the collective term of "cat", has left no descendants of any kind known to the species of today. Alternatively, not all creatures changed much at all from their forms at the time of the Umil's destruction. My own species, Arrtes, still looks exactly like ancient creatures known as "rats". And, interestingly enough, it appears that the Arrtes species has not far removed itself from our original lifestyle; imagery shows rats in several scientific and scholarly pursuits even in the time of the Umil, though during their reign our contributions appear to be purely as torture victims and experimental subjects to the whims of the dominant species. It is now a matter of great personal pride to myself and my fellow Arrtes that even under this subjugation, we still managed to remain strong and eventually reach the heights of intelligence and knowledge amongst civilized creatures today.


The Felriver Basin Today


       The Felriver Basin is a watershed containing one main water body - the Felriver - and several tributaries that empty first into the Red Saltmarsh before finally joining the ocean to the east. The Basin consist of seven major settlements: Highcanyon (the major trade and industry hub of the region), Fel Rapids (a major fishing and shipping port), the Spine Cliffs (tribal home of the Beorr), Soft-on-Paw-Pads (home to the Huuel), Arch Pass (a transient settlement in the gateway to our neighboring region, the Nightwoods), and Skybirch Grove (home to the priesthood of the Greenmother and location of the Braroco). To pass from east to west the width of the Basin takes a strong Bukind runner twelve days, and north to south is a distance of seventeen days. Our region is rimmed by tall mountain ranges and impassible gorges, with few routes outside to other areas, making our contact with those outside of the Basin minimal at best. However, we are blessed with an abundance of resources, relative peace, and temperate weather, so such isolation is not considered a burden.

       Our scholars have tried to no avail to match the Felriver and the surrounding geology to ancient maps discovered in the Braroco; it appears that since the Umil maps were drafted, the land has changed so drastically that no comparison, nor even similarity, can be found. While frustrating to our historians, this is a matter of great pride to the common citizens and religious faithful of the area, for it to them shows the veracity of their tales and myths of catastrophic earthquakes, floods, and in more than one version, a massive stone falling from space to shatter the known world. We, on the other hand, suspect that we simply do not have enough data to make a definitive correlation.


The Discovery of the Braroco and the Preserving of History


       As stated earlier, the Braroco was first discovered 108 seasons ago, with its significance coming to light a few seasons later. We suspect that the Braroco is not the actual name of this once incredible structure, but it is the best indicator we have right now of what it was called by the Umil; our civilization bestowed the name based on what appears to be some sort of official seal or crest found early in the excavation of the site. The crest was heavily worn and damaged, but showed the faint image of a bird of prey ringed by faint letters, the only ones of which we could decipher appearing as thus:

**BRAR* O* CO******

       Hence our naming of this fantastic site the "Braroco"; this seal may not even have anything to do with the location, but it is the best we can do with our limited knowledge to pay homage to its builders and scholars. For there is no doubt that it was scholarly haven indeed, and how fitting that it should have been found in the Skybirch Grove, home to our own educated and intellectuals!

       Excavations of the Braroco have unearthed an unfathomable amount of books, folios, and documents, miraculously preserved against the ravages of time by the brilliant people who obviously constructed parts of their retreat to preserve their knowledge and history. Oh, but if we could just READ these accumulated works! By some unknown miracle our own writing system is similar enough to that of the ancient Umil that we understand - or perhaps only think we understand - their lettering, but the words these letters form are an incomprehensible cacophony of noise when pronounced that make no sense to our modern eyes nor ears.

       It is my sincerest hope, dream, and desire, that this collected work of Felriver song, poetry, stories, scientific, and intellectual musings from the greatest minds our civilization has produced in this generation can stand the test of time and not only be understood by you, our honored reader from a future life, but also utilized as a historical and literary keystone to fill in gaps in your own past.


 With the most sincerest of reverence,

Ende of the Arrtes Tribe

Master Curator of the Braroco

Skybirch Grove, Felriver Basin

 

The following note is neatly clipped to the top page of the manuscript:


My Dearest Master Ende,

       Your life's work is most assuredly off to a remarkable start! However, as not all of the Greenmother's creations are blessed with your intellect and capacity for language, I am worried for the simpler folk who may find, yet not fully appreciate, your masterpiece and in their ignorance, neglect to give it the historical recognition it will most definitely deserve. As such, and I hope you do not take offense as I mean in no way to undermine your authority on such things, I am assigning my scribe to create an annotated version of your editor's comments. Stick has in the past shown a propensity for very simple and shall we say, blunt language, that I feel would augment your very technical writing style with something more suitable for a layman, should it be a people with a lesser education who discover this text.

       I'm sure that through correspondence and mutual review such as we are partaking in now, and with the grace, mercy, and protection of the Greenmother, this collected work that strives to encompass all that is Felriver will be a resoundingly successful endeavor.

       May the Greenmother bless you and keep you safe in this, your literary journey,


 Aloren of the Bukind Tribe

Lord of the Groves

Skybirch Grove, Felriver Basin


Crumpled and apparently shoved with haste under the clip holding the Grove Lord's note, the following page is smudged from being handled before the ink was dry. It also appears to bear stains from berries or some other sort of sweet, and margin doodles of Umil dying in very grotesque and cartoony fashions.


Dear Future-kin,

Since no one can honestly think you read all that crap the Arrtes wrote, I'm just gonna say enjoy the stories. If Ende makes them too boring I'll try to make them more fun.


Signed Stick, Skirra

Aloren's Scribe,

I'm supposed to put Skybrich Grove here but I'm really from

Highcanyon which is a lot cooler and isn't full of

stuck-up Arrtes and teachers who give boring jobs like

rewriting Ende's babbli


Stick's writing cuts off with a long stream of ink, as if the hand holding the quill was dragged off the paper.

Angrily scrawled in a different hand on the same piece of paper is the following, which is only partially legible due to shaking script and a large ink spill:


HOW DARE YOU (illegible) FILTHY LITTLE CRETIN WITH (long illegible scribble) SHOULD HANG YOU BY THE (ink spot) AND (larger ink spot)!!!!!!!!!! WHEN I GET AHOLD OF (five words that might be names crossed out and written over) I SWEAR I'LL (remaining text is smudged beyond recovery, the faint outlines of a hoofprint left behind in the ink)



© 2013 B.T. Lyons


Author's Note

B.T. Lyons
As my first upload here, please offer advice as to any alternative use of the WYSIWIG editor that might make this more pleasing for the reader. I am also interested in hearing opinions on whether this is too complex an introduction to an all-ages fantasy book, not complex enough, or needs more explanation in certain parts to clarify anything (keeping in mind that the bulk of the actual details will appear in the later stories). Thanks for your time and your critique!

My Review

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Featured Review

I've been looking over your writing, not just this piece, and want to say that it's very good and imaginative. Obviously, you put enormous effort into it. It's just my opinion, but I think the amount of information you present to the reader in a short span may be a bit too much. All the history and back story is great, but not everyone will want to read it in large doses. Don't get me wrong--I admire what you're doing and commend you for taking on such an ambitious project.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

B.T. Lyons

8 Years Ago

Thank you very much! Others have mentioned the length of the posts as well, and to me it came down .. read more



Reviews

I like your make believe world so far. I'll go over it again taking a closer look.

Posted 8 Years Ago


I've been looking over your writing, not just this piece, and want to say that it's very good and imaginative. Obviously, you put enormous effort into it. It's just my opinion, but I think the amount of information you present to the reader in a short span may be a bit too much. All the history and back story is great, but not everyone will want to read it in large doses. Don't get me wrong--I admire what you're doing and commend you for taking on such an ambitious project.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

B.T. Lyons

8 Years Ago

Thank you very much! Others have mentioned the length of the posts as well, and to me it came down .. read more
OK, I loved this. I loved the beginning with it's academic pretensions and I love how each progressive document gets less and less formal, until I laughed out loud at "I'm supposed to put Skybrich Grove here but I'm really from
Highcanyon which is a lot cooler and isn't full of
stuck-up Arrtes and teachers who give boring jobs like
rewriting Ende's babbli"

And now I can't wait for the rest of it.

Posted 8 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

B.T. Lyons

8 Years Ago

*laughs* Thank you so much. Stick and his rather frank style will be making many more appearances i.. read more

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Added on April 1, 2013
Last Updated on April 3, 2013
Tags: Felriver, Anthropomorphic, Anthro, Post-apocalyptic, Fantasy, Rat, Introduction, Historical Introduction


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B.T. Lyons
B.T. Lyons

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About
New young adult/fantasy writer and full time history/archaeology major on her third tour through college. Currently working on a fantasy book series called "Felriver", set 250,000 years after the dis.. more..

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