Jaron Galarn

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Jaron Galarn was a tour guide of the Seolfar Strake (Lysierian Hills) in the Second Era of the Shadow World history, who made money showing visitors to the settlement of Velaskar the famed equines of Silver Valley. His fate was less than fortunate due to running afoul of a mining operation with a sorcerous headmaster named Muylari who probably served Lorgalis. He wiped Jaron Galarn's memory which eventually wore off by accident, and found that no one in town remembered him, or that Silver Valley even existed. Jaron returned to the valley to discover the horses in bondage to the mining crew.

Jaron Galarn was buried alive by the miners. His coffin supposedly fell through a subterranean chasm and may have woken up the dormant serpent demon in the process. His name is still relevant to a puzzle in the game today. Velaskar would not have survived the Wars of Dominion regardless, and would have been subsumed by The Dark Path, or destroyed by Bandur or else Lorgalis after 6521 S.E. It is worth considering the possibility, even the probability, that the great underground portal of the serpent demon was implicitly the gateway to The Broken Lands due to the similarities and location.

Heritage of the Horses

While the Shadow Valley itself has a silver equine statue that presumably was made thousands of years ago, The Monastery has chairs and stone tables with legs carved to resemble wild horses. Silver Valley would have originally been located in the vicinity, though the monastery would presumably have been built after its fall. The Monastery is a few years older than the Shadow Valley story.

[Monastery, Atrium]
This large room appears to have been carved from solid rock.  The walls, floor, and ceiling are totally seamless, leaving no evidence that stones have been fitted together to form this structure.  There are several high-backed chairs, also carved from solid stone, and several low stone tables.  Each of the heavy-looking pieces of furniture resembles a piece of art, having its own unique pattern of mineral deposits.  You also see a lever and some stone doors.
Obvious exits: west

>look chair
This large stone chair probably weighs several tons, having been carved from a single huge slab of granite.  The arms and legs of the chair have been styled to resemble wild horses.

>look table
This low stone table is polished to a mirror finish.  The legs of the table have been carved to resemble wild horses.

Behind the Scenes

The Silver Valley story has a heavy basis in "The Mound" by H.P. Lovecraft. Features include the spectral horses and miners, ominous herds, the unnatural immortality reflected in Muylari, the dust plains, valleys, the serpent demon ("wyrm"), partly phased mining equipment, headless body, the subterranean world, the eagle claws on the moaning spirits, and the legend pieced together from tales by local villagers. This story includes a process of ascents and descents that open up into an underground realm with sky and an illimitable plain shrouded in a glowing mist, with the last person to be there scared off by the sounds of the spectral horse things. The steep descent to the plain was strikingly loud, like the game puzzle, because it was otherwise so extremely silent. This was actually a Spanish conquistador searching for legendary huge deposits of gold, whereas for us it was silver, creating the implication that the miners were seeking out mythical underground realms (akin to El Dorado) of silver which were actually based on the demonic legends of Silver Valley (though there were silver mines later in the Seolfar Strake.) "The Shadow out of Time" and "The Call of Cthulhu" also matter.

"The Mound" had a phenomenon where time passed at different rates compared to the surface world, which is also part of the isles of transfer phenomenon. The settlement of Velaskar was abandoned by the time Selias Jodame returned to it, which may reflect the immortalized Old One race of the story, where outlying areas of the underground world became abandoned as people were subsumed. (It is possible they were reduced to chalk powder like the mine shaft as well, which would instead be an allusion to "The Colour Out of Space", with the horror as a cross of "the colour" and shoggoths.) The buried alive motif may have been influenced by "The Fall of the House of Usher", with a slain dragon in a palace with silver floors, as well as auditory hallucinations and some other similarities. The exit of Shadow Valley is probably an allusion to the end of "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath", where the quest seeker saves himself by leaping from a dragon-like shantak into the darkness to awaken from his dream. Since the word "wyrm" was used to describe the serpent, it is worth noting the Old English legends like Beowulf had them guarding burial mounds, filled with ancient cursed treasure.

Velaskar itself likely has some intentional linguistic significance, considering its apparent underlying ties with The Broken Lands, which was heavily based on numerous language games. "Vela" is Latin and is the plural form of "velum," meaning "curtain" or "veil." "Skar" is the past tense form of the Swedish verb "skära". "Skar" means "cut," "divided," or (in archaic usage) "purified." Velaskar, therefore, is the place where veils--such as those between planes, or between life and death--are cut, and the division between worlds, or between life and death, is not so clear.

The story also spelled it as "Valaskar", where "Vala" is the cave enclosing a Vedic serpent demon, translated as slaying a dragon which liberated the blocked rivers. The story releases the sacred cows of the goddess "Ushas" (trapped by watcher demons), conspicuously close to "Usher" and "Utha", who warded off evil. "Vala skar" is Old Norse for "prophet cutter".

"Watcher" is the meaning of "Muylari" in the Elven language of Erlini. Likewise, the Demon Lords were Ordainers, called "Death Watchers". The most powerful one widely known to exist was Maleskari. "Vela" also happens to mean "watch" or "sleeplessness" in some of the West Iberian Romance languages, the most notable example of this being Spanish.

Jaron Galarn is also a play on words. Jaron is a Hebrew word for shouting out praises to the lord, while "gala" means "to expose" and "break out (in quarrel)" (or Old French for "rejoicing.")

See Also