Friday, July 29, 2011

Research: first 8 lands and first 8 plagues

Still on the Zoroastrian kick. Looking at this document which talks about a creation battle between Ahura Mazda (good, omniscient) and Angra Mainyu (evil, not omniscient). Basically, Ahura Mazda creates various nice lands to inhabit, while Angra Mainyu creates plagues. Sixteen each (more or less), but I'll just go through the first eight of either side for now.

Interesting battle -- the nice god creates nice places for people to live in, the bad god introduces stuff to mess things up.

Let's check out the score card, shall we?

Round 1
Land: "Airyana Vaeja, by the Vanguhi Daitya"
Plague: "the Serpent in the River and Winter, a work of the Daevas"

Don't know much about the land, but it must be fantastic. Angra Mainyu gets away with creating two plagues here. Sneaky.

Round 2
Land: "the plain [Doubtful] which the Sughdhas inhabit"
Plague: "the locust, which brings death unto cattle and plants"

Nice land, a race that lives there. The plague of locusts is created to destroy sources of food. Nasty.

Round 3 
Land: the strong, holy Mouru
Plague: "plunder and sin [Doubtful]"

A holy land, excellent! I'm assuming the [Doubtful] tags reflect that the translator is unsure about the exact meaning, but the evil god gets away with two plagues again -- or maybe it's just one plague and the subtle connotations are lost in the translation.

Round 4
Land: "the beautiful Bakhdhi with high-lifted banner"
Plague: "ants and the ant-hills"

A beautiful land vs. ants (insects again, darn it).

Round 5
Land: "Nisaya, that lies between the Mouru and Bakhdhi"
Plague: "the sin of unbelief"

Hm. Mouru, Nisaya, and Bakhdhi are beautiful neighboring lands. I'd interpret this sin of unbelief to be mostly a plague on priests who -- it is assumed -- need faith to perform their duties.

Round 6
Land: "the house-deserting Haroyu"
Plague: "tears and wailing"

The land doesn't seem that great to have house-deserters, unless it's so comfortable outside that there's no need for shelter. The evil created -- crying. Loud crying. Well, it is annoying. Unless it means he created 'sorrow'.

Round 7
Land: "Vaekereta, of the evil shadows"
Plague: "Pairika Knathaiti, who claves unto Keresaspa"

A land with evil shadows from the good god, and... who knows what that is from the evil god? Guess I'd have to Google it, but I'm not approaching this as a scholar, just looking for material for a setting. But still, the last two lands don't seem that spectacular.

Round 8
Land: "Urva of the rich pastures"
Plague: "the sin of pride"

Whoa. At last a kick-ass land. Breadbasket of all the lands! But the evil god is worst here -- it's said that the sin of pride has toppled even angels...

More next time, but it seems that the sneaky evil god is winning in quantity. As for quality, well, the good god's probably very humble and lets his work speak for itself -- which is why we don't know that much about these wondrous lands. His followers probably do and think that they outshine all the stuff that the evil god made.

Let's hope so!

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