Chapter: The Stone Dance of the Chameleon

Information relevant to the 12th chapter of The Third God

the sacrificial hollows
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Carnelian standing in front of in the inner face of one of the twelve stones of the Stone Dance of the Chameleon

the Stone Dance of the Chameleon

The Stone Dance of the Chameleon is a circle of calendrical stones located at the centre of the Plain of Thrones. The Dance of the Chameleon is a Quyan term indicating the passage of the seasons. The Stone Dance of the Chameleon is synonymous with ‘calendar’. It is on these stones that is carved the Law-that-must-be-obeyed.

the Stone Dance of the Chameleon in the Plain of Thrones

The Stone Dance consists of three concentric rings of stones: the 12 calendrical stones, the 12 ‘ghost’ stones and the more numerous commentary stones. There are also three pairs of gate stones that act as symbolic doorways into the system.

The 12 calendrical stones are immense stelae whose colours match those of the months they represent: so that there are 2 black, 2 green and 8 red. Inscribed on their surface, in Quyan glyphs, are the codicils and statutes of the Law-that-must-be-obeyed. The glyphs are considerably worn from milennia of exposure to the elements. The 12 ‘ghost’ stones are copies of the calendrical stones erected at some later date to preserve the weathered inscriptions in an easily legible form. The largest and outer ring contain the commentaries on the Law composed down the centuries by the Wise. The earth between the stones is an elaborately ridged and rutted stone mosaic; it is this that unifies the whole system. The ridges connect the Law to its commentaries in a way that the Wise can read with their feet.

plan of the Stone Dance of the Chameleon
the Kharon and their bone boats
a Kharon ferryman

The Kharon are a specialized caste in Osrakum, living in family units in boathouses on the outer slopes of the Ydenrim, as well as the shores of the cone that walls in the Plain of Thrones. These family units vary in size. The smallest may have but a single boat, the largest many. The kharon mate exclusively among themselves

A Kharon child has its right eye plucked out at birth

A Kharon mask is made of ivory or bone. These masks show a face in right-profile. Reading this as one would a glyph gives the impression that the steersman is gazing into the future

The first drawing depicts a steersman wearing the characteristic headdress: a nest of bone fragments at the heart of which is located a turtle shell—a symbol for the sky

Kharon bone boats

The second diagram shows rough sketches of the bone boats with which the Kharon ferry people back and forth across the Skymere. A galley with extremely tall prow and stern posts, a bone boat is propelled by oarsmen—more Kharon rowing beneath the deck. A bone boat is constructed and maintained from the bones of the dead of the family that operate it. Kharon are bound to their ancestral vessels in life and death

the Plain of Thrones