S&S: Guardians Of The Dead Part 1

In my last few writing projects, I’ve organized things as I go along, to facilitate creating a PDF later explaining how I got from point A to point B. On this new Sword And Sorcery deal, I think I’m going to wing it. For how I got here, you can browse through the S&S and Fantasy posts I’ve been putting up since around the 24th, when I finished my last novel. Here is the start of Guardians Of The Dead.


The ether snapped and crackled within her body, as the breath of god filled her lungs and returned her to life. She became aware, slowly, as if rising from muddied dreams, of who she was, and of the plight of her people. Her name was secondary, unimportant, ebbing out of a soft bubble in a sea of sludge, like a deer escaping volcanic tar, like a bear clawing its way out of its dirt-edged cave as the near-spring thawing began. Elynir, her name was Elynir.

For a time still, she would not see. Her body had been prepared for the Long Sleep, the Long Hibernation. Certain herbs had been ground together, first among them immortelle, mixed with honey, both of them to preserve her, rubbed over her entire body. Layers of old linen, the best her people could afford, were wrapped over her, seven layers in total, the holy number of her god, and in between them, finely crushed natron, and at the last, flat gems the size of her palm, of the powerful moonstone given to her people by god. All of it, all of her, cast a soft, chalky glow from the magic that had kept her sleeping, and alive, for so many years.

Elynir was not aware she was breathing, not until she felt the sensitive buds of her breasts graze on the coarse, old linen, as her chest expanded. She wondered how long she had been breathing, a few minutes or many, hours or more, she could not tell. Elynir’s thoughts crawled through her mind like ants, until she heard the chanting. Two old and crackling voices, she heard. They chanted in her tongue; it was called the Old Tongue now. She only knew this because she’d been awakened once during her Long Sleep, at a time when it seemed her people would recover from the devastation plaguing their lands. For only one season she’d been awake, in a time not her own; where the villagers that had been young with her had grown old, and weak, and stooped. Because of the chanting, she could think clearly now, could focus on the present.

She knew she would be bound for some time still.

“Upati Attajaloh, Upati Attajaloh.” The old women chanted. It meant Guardians of the Tree, except their lands no longer had her god’s tree on it.

“Ao’louk Attajaloh, Ao’louk Attajaloh.” They chanted. Guardians of the Dead.

“A’ke-in, A’ke-in.” The name of their god, a supplication. “A’ke-in, A’ke-in.”

Elynir grew worried. Matters had not bettered while she’d slept. They’d gotten worse.

“Manisti Iruht, Manisti Iruht.” It meant Seven Guardians, Seven Warriors.

“Ane-Ieh, Ane-Ieh.” No more, no more.

“Nehdi Tynatten Manisti.” They chanted. “Annem, Annem.”

Seven Have Lost One, and Go, Go.

In her linen wrappings, Elynir knew what this meant, and she cried.


I hope that first sentence had a good hook to it.

While researching the Ironsworn RPG, I came across the idea of Animal Companions. This led me to search for Scandinavian hunting dogs. One particular breed caught my eye because it looks similar to the beagle at my mother’s house. DD-Go image search for Finnish Hound.

Then, I thought, what is the Finnish language like? I don’t like to copy things exactly, but I do like to twist them around and reverse them sometimes. That’s what happened in this case. I took Finnish words, turned them around and created new words out of them to form a new language for my characters. (I don’t have 30 years to create a brand new language like Tolkien did!)

By doing it this way, if I need more words I can always go back to Finnish and repeat the process. Below are the words I’ve used so far. Remember, this is an Open World Project. If you can write a story based on anything in this writing project, Do It. I know a couple of poets read my posts. That would be awesome too, if someone wrote poetry through my the eyes of my characters, of what their world is like.

The story is 7 pages long at present. Sometimes, my stories trickle out, especially if I’m doing a lot of research like I am for this one. Other times, they’ll spill like coffee all over the table. Be sure to comment or like so I don’t feel like I’m the only one here. Post 2 will be up soon.

Huoltajat tai sitä puu – Finnish for Guardians Of The Tree

uup atis ait tajatlouh – reversed

Upati Attajaloh – Guardians Of The Tree, in the Old Language

Huoltajat tai sitä kuollut – Finnish for Guardians Of The Dead

tullouk atis ait tajatlouh – reversed

Tu’Louk Attajaloh – Guardians Of The Dead, in the Old Language

Soturi Seitsemän – Finnish for Warrior Seven

namesties irutos – reversed

Manisti Iruht – Finnish for Magnificent Seven, just kidding, Warrior Seven, in the Old Language

Seitsemän On Menettänyt Yhden – Finnish for Seven Have Lost One

nedhy tynattenem no namesties – reversed

Nehdi Tynatten Manisti – Seven Have Lost One, in the Old Language

Ei enää – Finnish for no more

aane ie – reversed

Ane-Ieh – No More, in the Old Language

Mennä – Finnish for go

annem – reversed

Annem – Go, or Leave, in the Old Language

And one last note. The god’s name of A’ke-in was derived from the Sumerian god Enki. That gives me a short cut, by using Sumerian mythology I mean, to create a similar cosmology for the people populating my story.

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