The Sagas are here.
Written by Kevin Murphy
Edited by Seth Blaustein
Introduction to the Sagas of Saesland:
What are presented here are excerpts from Sagas of a fictional people called the Saes. They are intended to give substance and depth to the people from the island nation of Saesland and enrich the experience of the film. Here you will find some tidbits of history as to the founding of the country and the naming of its people. The Sagas also reveal a bit of the development, character, and strength of Saes warriors and a brief glimpse into Saesland's political make up. Pay close attention, as there are many details of this symbolically rich film that can be better understood with a foundational knowledge about this culture...
Warning: The characters and events you are about to read within these stories, although including actual historical personages and based on some real historical settings and events, are themselves creations of fiction.
Mountains of Northern Anlawath
Time of the Harvest Moon, 1066 CE
The sun was setting over the valley of Mongoin Haijai, the Dragon's Breath as it is called by the people of La-Wa for the perpetual mist arising from the valley floor. The rays and beams of fading light filtered down through the canopy of the ancient forest glistening off the mist. Satu Boongao walked among the Pine and Juniper trees of the grove on the Mountain of Ghosts high above the valley. He was in the final trials of his apprenticeship to his Arjarn, or his Master, Thicher Sumraboon, the shaman of the people of La-Wa. Satu had spent the last twenty years learning from Thicher the secrets of the way of the shaman. He began when the old man chose Satu at the age of nine and took him from his parents, who were exceedingly proud to have their son become the next shaman. But being chosen to undergo the apprenticeship alone provides no guarantee of success. After years of rigorous tests that every apprentice has suffered through, Satu was now walking the final part of the path that was begun ages ago by the Elders and passed on from master to apprentice. He was taught everything about the world he lived in, the plants for herbs to heal his people, the ways and movements of the moon and the sun, the planets and the stars viewed by the people of La-Wa as having association to their lives that if understood and interpreted properly, would assist in the daily lives of the people and guide them confidently into the future.
Early on it was imposed on Satu that he was responsible for everything in his world, his people, their lives and well-being, as well as protecting the forest that was their home. Satu had to sacrifice his Self to serve a larger good for his people and he was more than willing to give himself up for them. As his final test, Satu had to learn the way to communicate directly with the Unseen world, the world of spirits. It would be his task to converse with those spirits that were friendly and knew how to defend his people against the Evil Ones, as both inhabit that realm of the unseen part of the multiverse. He would need to experience the totality of worldly existence, whereas the untrained eye would see nothing. Where a villager felt a sudden breeze, Satu would see spiritual discontent, where a villager saw a peculiar frog, he would see a peculiar disturbance. Nothing is as it is without purpose. If he were successful in this final test, he would have completed his training. Unfortunately, this final test was also the most elusive and was the cause why many candidates failed to become a true shaman.
Within the trees, the land, the very wind that caresses the world are to be found the ancient memories of everything that has ever been permeating everywhere and through all times simultaneous. They are the ethereal whispers that can be heard by those who know how to listen. He was remembering the words of his Master, Thicher, "All that is in the world, both here and beyond the Unseen are connected. You are here with me now and also everywhere at the same time. If you knew how you could be at the farthest edges of the world and be there as you are also here. All that you see about you is an illusion and you must learn to perceive the true nature of what you see taste, hear, smell and feel. You must unlearn what you have learned. Everything that seems different is actually made from the same energy emanating from the One. You, me, the world you see, the stars, the sun and the moon are the same and if you touch that energy that binds everything together you could see beyond where you are now. Touch the tree, the land, feel the wind and be everywhere in the forest at once.
Satu had been on the mountainside for three days seeking the key to unlock the final mystery of his training. It was the most elusive of the skills he needed to be a true shaman: to be able to walk into different realms, see other worlds, know that the past, present, and future were simultaneous and to access those energies that bound together everything even the Unseen. Frustration. Anxiety. Fear of failure. Why can I not do this...I have learned everything else...
For three days now Satu fed sparsely on the herbs and fruits of the land. For three days, Satu remained awake, seeking not to find knowledge from respite into the unconscious, but rather to summon the unconscious upward from within. His hunger and fatigue were beginning to peal back the layers of his ego, allowing the primitive foundation of his psyche to reconnect with the natural world. Yet still, Satu knew that he was getting nowhere.
In the darkening twilight Satu placed his hand once more on an old Pine Tree and he closed his eyes, his fore brow furrowed with intense concentration trying to push his way into the unseen realm.
Suddenly Satu just let go. He stopped trying, allowing himself to release his own ego. It is not me...I cannot be me...it is all one, I am one...we are one...the world...me...the same...everywhere...just let go...
Suddenly a flash of light hit Satu's mind dropping him to his knees and both hands hit the ground. A warmth bathed over him as if he were embraced by a mothers love. The Earth welcomed Satu, her child. She let him step through the door. Suddenly he was everywhere, could see the whole of the forest at once. He saw old Tau pulling a fish from the river, he watched two foxes playing in the clearing above the Singing Rocks. He saw something he did not understand, a rush of men in armor charging against each other in a cold land far away in a raging storm in the heat of battle. He saw a pendant above the fray of entwined red and golden dragons and beneath were kings joined in battle...lightening flashed and a rack of thunder pealed and rolled into the distance... From within this tempest, a voice came to him from the void, a voice he knew well, "You are now like me. I give you the Passing Wisdom, my friend as it was given to me by my Master...I have now passed beyond this world...but I will always be with you as my Master was always with me. You are the Master and protector of our people now."
Suddenly Satu came back into the world of his people. The darkened, thunderous skies withered back to a golden twilight of La-Wa. The strange cacophony of armor clad warriors faded into the wind. The foxes and old Tau became a distant image, but all too familiar. And at once, Satu felt as though he were falling back, as if he had been embraced and then let go by the Earth itself.
Knowing something was wrong he stood and bolted down the trail towards his Masters home. As he got closer to the village he could hear the ritual chanting that he knew all too well, this was a chant for the dead, a serenade to the spirits to petition their acceptance. When he got there he found the lifeless body of Arjarn Thicher Sumraboon being wrapped by his daughter, Pook. The death chants continued in the twilight, and could be heard through the forest as the orange sun disappeared behind the trees. She looked up at Satu with tearful eyes. "He died last night in his sleep." She stood and handed Satu a necklace with a small blue pendant.
"He told me to give this to you..."