December 3, 2011

Hari Ragat: the Fall of Namwaran

These snippets of history are extracted from the Song of Namwaran:

The twelfth of the Hari Ragats from Rajah Bayan’s line was Rajah Marawid, also known as the Sower King. A very handsome and charmingly eloquent man, he was popular with the ladies and knew it. One day as he was hunting on Mount Tambura, he encountered a beautiful maiden who turned out to be the goddess Lalahon, diwata of the volcano.

No one is sure who seduced whom, but it is known that Marawid from that time on was Lalahon’s lover. However Lalahon was tempestuously jealous, a trait that would later doom Marawid and his house. When she asked him to leave his kingdom and stay with her, he refused. At this Lalahon was angered, and cursed his wives with barrenness.

To shore up the power of Namwaran, Marawid embarked on a two-year-long royal progress throughout the Jangalans, At many of his stops he courted and became the lover of a princess of the royal line, leaving her with his child. By the end of the royal progress, Rajah Marawid had thirty sons, all by different mothers! By not marrying any of them, Marawid had gotten around Lalahon’s first curse.

It was then that Marawid put into effect his ingenious plan to unite the Vijadesans. Acknowledging all the sons as his own, he set a date on which all would meet on the island of Pailah to participate in a contest that would determine who would be the next Hari Ragat after him. In the meantime, the children served as ties between the fractious chiefs and the royal house of Namwaran.

At this time, Lalahon appeared before Marawid and for the third time asked him to leave his other women and be hers alone. She had already demanded this twice, only to be put off with sweet words. This time, Lalahon threatened to end Marawid’s line if he refused. But Marawid saw no choice but to continue his plan to bring the Vijadesan chiefs closer to him, and so, for the last time, turned Lalahon down.

Lalahon departed, and for years it seemed all was well. Then came the time of the choosing, when all of Marawid’s sons assembled at Pailah. The games were held, with many events from archery to wresting to declamation and chess, until at last Marawid and his advisors had the name of the winner. Then Marawid departed for Namwaran, to ready the capital for the formal announcement while his sons continued to got to know one another on Pailah.

It was then that Lalahon unleashed her vengeance. Mount Tambura suddenly erupted, burying Namwaran in rivers of lava. None escaped from the royal compound. In a single day, the greatest kingdom in the Jangalans was gone, and the secret of the next chosen Hari Ragat was gone with it.

2 comments:

  1. This is great! I have been enjoying all the background material you have been posting. Those Diwatas are not to be toyed with!

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  2. Thanks Howard :) I've been having a blast writing these too.

    ReplyDelete

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