The Shaping of Dün

The following is a Legend of the Nami related to the world of Dün, the location of Swallow the Sea and the Flame of Tirinon Trilogy.

Othi shaped Dün to win the heart of Ina.

At that time the Nami were two, and they did not know they were World-Shapers. They lived alone on the great mountain Nam-ithai. Othi wandered the mountain over; where he stepped and where he touched, strange new things appeared—pools and hills and flickering lights. But Ina had only to sing and life sprang up.

Othi was enthralled by Ina’s song and desired her, but Ina thought only of the mountain and the wonders that came to be as she sang them. So Othi found a column of rock jutting out from a lonely place near the base of Nam-ithai, hidden from Ina’s sight. Atop it, he shaped a ball and set a brilliant flame spinning around it. The flame set the ball’s surface glowing orange and red. It was very beautiful.

But Othi knew this was not enough for Ina.

He hollowed out the top of the ball and filled the wide space with air. He poured water over the flat surface of the earth, and when the flame circled round, it dazzled the water.

But Othi knew this was not enough for Ina.

He pulled a pillar of earth from under the water, higher and higher, forming it into a peak; it was a mountain, like Nam-ithai. More mountains he made, but none so high as the first, and Othi began to understand what he was doing.

He was shaping a world.

He formed the whole land of Eastärna, spreading down from the mountains. He made rivers and deep caves. He carved channels through the sea-floor. He added tiny lights to the dome of the sky. He froze part of the sea and made it a land of ice. Othi called the world Dün, and he knew that it was unlike anything else he had shaped on Nam-ithai.

But still he knew this was not enough for Ina.

So Othi fashioned something more secret still, in the heart of the highest mountain. Bringing Ina to the world he had shaped for her, he began to show her all its wonders. Ina was amazed at what Othi had done; she thought, at first, to try the same and form a world of her own. But Othi led her into Mount Magorn and revealed the finest thing he had made.

It was a person—a tiny Ina. Othi had not yet awakened the tiny person, because he did not know if Ina would accept his gift. If she did not, he meant to destroy it at once. If she did not, he meant to destroy the whole world he had shaped, for he had poured his love for her into every rock and stream.

Ina gazed at the tiny person. Othi waited in agony. Soon he could no longer bear to look, and he closed his eyes.

When he opened his eyes, Othi gasped. Next to the tiny person stood another—a tiny Othi! Ina had shaped it. Then Othi knew that Ina had accepted his love, and that he had won her heart in return. Together they awakened the tiny Ina, whom they called Inina, and the tiny Othi, whom they called Benoth. They led the first humans through an opening in Mount Magorn’s western face into the dawn of Dün.

As Benoth and Inina stood blinking in the sunlight, Ina began to sing, covering the earth in trees and vines and flowered grasses. Then came all manner of other creatures, swimming and crawling, filling the land and the sea. Joy filled Othi, for now Dün was not his alone but the work of both the Nami.

“This place will stand forever,” Othi cried, “as a sign of my love for Ina and her love for me!”

“We will make it beautiful beyond all imagining,” said Ina.

And they did.