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Iunast

Iunást was a legendary culture hero of the Haradrim who probably lived in the Second Age.He was a simple goatherder who undertook a dangerous quest to destroy the body that Vâtra (an avatar of Sauron) was creating for himself in the Land of the Sun. He partially succeeded in his quest and at least delayed the return of Vâtra.According to legend Iunást later formed a realm known as Kingdom of the desert jewel.His self proclaimed heirs were the Diet of Iunást in Tresti, Far-Harad.


Iunást's tale

Many years after the fall of the gods' mountain city, there lived in Brîy-Miyeséc a man called Iunást. A goatherder, he lived his life by the letter of our laws. In his thirtieth year, he was visited in a dream by the goddess Ladnóca. She told him of a plan that her husband was bringing to fruition, an evil plan which would be the doom of all who walked the Bôzisha-Mîraz. In the lands of the mountain kingdom where he ruled in older days, guarded by the mighty warrior race of his servants, Vâtra was building for himself a body. If his project should be completed, no man could stand against him, and he would burn what little was left of Ladnóca's lovely land. She charged the hero to undertake a quest to the mountain realm, to destroy the body before Vâtra could enter into it. Iunást accepted without thought, knowing his duty. He gathered a band of companions and left for the North to find the [[Land of the Sun]]. Together they passed through innumerable hardships and trials, triumphing by their virtue and showing themselves to be true to the goddess throughout. In the end, Iunást came with his last surviving friend, a man known as Gatara (who was gifted with divine sight), to the door of Vâtra's temple high upon a charred and blackened mountain. The two drew open the great bronze-sheathed gate and saw before them an enormous, columned chamber bathed in darkness, save at the far end, where they saw a burning figure as tall as three men. It reclined upon a slab of black marble, and although flames licked about it, it was not consumed. Both men could see that this was the goal that they had sought, but within the great chest Gatara could see still more. There, in a fiery ball, Vatra had already placed his soul. It lay there, vulnerable in that body that was not yet able to move. On hearing this, Iunást could not be restrained. He drew his sword and strode toward the slab. As he approached, the heat grew more intense. The hero paid no heed, even as his clothing burst afire. When finally he reached the figure, he held aloft his blade in blistering hands and leapt to cleave the fiery flesh. For all of his strength, the heat had drained him. The blow cut only halfway through the orb at the body's heart. Throughout the land, men saw the sun grow dark, shadowed by the face of Ladnóca and showing only a fiery ring around her. For a moment Vâtra hung on the edge of oblivion, but with a great effort, he pulled himself back. In the mountain temple, Gatara saw his noble friend fall to the floor. He was not to rise again, but the Seer told him before he died that his blow had not been without effect. The fiery body was broken by it, and his sight told him that it would be many years before Vâtra could again attempt such an incarnation. Thus, the hero passed from this world, but he did not die in vain. Since that day, many warriors have followed the path which Iunást walked. In our days, we will see the moon move to overtake the sun as it did on the day of Iunást's fall. Perhaps it will pass near without effect, or if the hero is of great strength and strikes truly, the sun will be darkened, and one day there will be a warrior so great that he can strike the orb completely through. On that day will begin a new era, when the evil Vâtra will fall, and the Queen of the Moon will take his place. Then will our land bloom again and then will all the Bôzishnarûd live in the joy that only Ladnóca can bring.

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Notes

Original form in MERP:Junast

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