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Humakt and Malia

- Unknown Author

Background to the myth

We are told: "Pranjala is the mistress of defeating illness, whether it attacks body, soul or mind, and regardless of its Otherworld origin. When Malia became evil, a part of her revolted and pulled itself free. The evil portion tried to infect her twin with every known and unknown disease. Pranjala underwent the Hundred Trials, facing each disease in turn and defeating it. She could not heal Malia, for doing so would have destroyed her. Pranjala was the power of healing, not harming, and so she sought refuge instead with Chalana Arroy." From this I have assumed that Humakt and Chalana Arroy aided in the birth of Pranjala. Given that Humakt is is described as the great separator, he who separates good from bad in Storm Tribe page 90, it made sense that he was the one behind the separation of Malia into two different entities, one good and one bad. Given that he had separated his ties to his own kin when Orlanth stole from him, it made sense that he felt sympathy for Pranjala, but that his duty as Death and
Honor often prevents him from acting to help her. With this background I have created one story of one of the Hundred Trials that Pranjala underwent. Malias way of talking by saying the same thing twice but with different words is taken from the Finnish national epic Kalevala. Visually I have always pictured Malia's court like the eerie court of queen Beryl (I am not sure that is her name, but those who have seen the show know what I am talking about) in Sailor Moon minus the four uniformed generals. "He opened his mouth, spoke and said" is a recurring formula in Gilgamesh-epic.

Pranjala's 82nd victory: Melancholy

"Is there no one who will take up this challenge? Have I no servant who can undertake this task?" the mistress of disease said, but her halls echoed emptily now that Pranjala, her good twin sister had defeated most of her servants. The spirits that were still there recoiled in horror at the thought of being chosen for this task. Malia shuddered because she knew that Pranjala was now a strong healer and she had got stronger with the defeat of each of the eighty-one sicknesses that Malia had sent at her. Malia fear that Pranjala would cure her and thus would Malia perish. She did not realise that Pranjala would never do that because evil can never understand the ways of goodness.

A spirit materialised before her and said: "Mistress, I request to be sent against Pranjala" Malia opened her mouth, spoke and said: "I know you. To me, you are no nameless stranger. You are Melancholy, younger brother of Sorrow who was the thirty-nineth disease defeated by Pranjala. How could you hope to succeed where you elder brother has failed? How could you expect to prevail against the vanquisher of your of your mother's oldest son?"

The spirit opened its mouth, spoke and said: "Precisely because she has defeated my brother. When the great sadness by losing a dear one came over her, he told her everything was meaningless and that there was no purpose in being born. However she retorted by saying: 'If I were not born I would never have met my loved one. Our meeting was not meaningless and that is why I grieve.' Sorrow found that he had been tied into a knot and so he was defeated. On me, that will not work because I am Sorrow Without Cause, Grief Without Loss. Pranjala cannot uproot me without dying because my root is within her own heart.". Malia opened her mouth, spoke and said: "As you have spoken, so let it be. What you have requested, you shall have."

Melancholy came over Pranjala and he told her his first name and the name was Burden of a Heavy Heart. So a great weariness came over Pranjala, but she was not afraid, she had seen that before and she had defeated it. Melancholy revealed its second name to Pranjala and the name was Nojoy Greysight. So everything seemed grey, dull and joyless to Pranjala, but she was not afraid, she had seen that before and she had defeated it. Melancholy told her his third name and the name was Meaningless the Void. Everything seemed meaningless to Pranjala but she was not afraid she had, seen that before and she had defeated it. She tried to tie Melancholy into a knot like she had done to Sorrow, but Melancholy told her: "I am not grief for something you have lost. I am Sorrow without Cause, I am Grief without loss. You cannot uproot me without dying, because my root is within your
own heart." Pranjala's heart was immensely heavy with the roots of Melancholy and Pranjala no longer cared for what happened to her body and she longed for death.

Grim Humakt heard her longing and he came before her. Melancholy spoke to grim Humakt through the mouth of Pranjala: "When I grasped for you and gave you Nojoy Greysight, you accepted it, because it was the truth. But when I showed you Meaningless and he told you that everything was without meaning and purpose, you said that in that case you were born free to scribble your own pattern in this purposeless world. And through great discipline and strength of purpose you separated the honourable from the shameless, the strong from the weak and the living from the dead. You became the great separator and you had pattern where no pattern was before, had created meaning there none was before and when you looked at what you had created with pride, I no longer held sway over you. Such was your victory, such was my defeat."

"It was" said grim Humakt. "When Malia was seduced by Chaos, part of her rebelled, and the great separator saw that the good part of Malia would lose, because everything that is halfway chaotic will always end up being fully chaotic. Some chaos is all Chaos. Therefore the great separator separated the good part of Malia and thus was Pranjalas born. Humakt brought her to Chalana Arroy who healed the wounded Pranjala, but she had no purpose in life and she longed for her other half. Malia sent many great diseases into her body and Pranjala forgot about her lack of purpose and defeated the diseases. First she did so out of defiance, later she realised that she had found a purpose in her life, to heal the evil of her sister. No one has ever managed to find a purpose in existence, but it will come to you when you do not look for it. Now, however, Pranjala's purpose will come of nought. Eighty-one times victorious, it was I who came the eighty-second time and she was defeated. This will kill her and Humakt will be forced to take Pranjala who he himself had rescued, and all Pranjalas previous victories will be meaningless. This is a great defeat for grim Humakt and sweet vengeance for Melancholy."

"It will be, if you succeed" grim Humakt said and he saw Grim Duty lying at the feet of Pranjala in the shape of a mantle. He picked it up and put it on because no one else is fit to wear it. Then he remembered that many of Pranjalas cures were in harmful things, done with moderation and precision, and he understood what he must do.

"You cannot help her" Melancholy said right out in the air, because the mantle of Grim Duty had made Humakt invisible to Melancholy as Chaos and Evil can never understand the ways of honour.

"Yes, but I can harm her" grim Humakt replied and walked away. A death spirit was sent from grim Humakt to the evil Thed, who is rape. The death spirit spoke of the woman, helpless in the grip of Melancholy, abandoned by her friends and no longer caring what happened to her. Unspeakable lust rose within him and he soon found Pranjala. Evil Thed said to her: "Your friends have abandoned you, but I will stay with you for a while. The world seems grey to you and everything you do seems pointless, but you do not seem grey to me and I will do something to you that is not pointless to me. You no longer care what happens to your body, but I will make something happen to your body that I care for."

Desperation seized Pranjala and it throw out Melancholy and she shouted: "No" and she resisted him fiercely. But evil Thed was rejoiced because he much preferred it this way. He was not glad for very long however, because Humakt stepped out from the shadows and smote Thed so he fell.

Pranjala realised she did care for what happened to her and Melancholy could not come back to her. She embraced Humakt and her tears of relief and gratitude wet the mantle of Grim Duty, making it somewhat softer. Being what he was, what he had chosen to be, grim Humakt could not return her affection, but he was glad he had it nonetheless.

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May 2, 2002

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