The Germanic peoples of the north once told tales of a magic ring, a band imbued with the power to multiply the wealth of its bearer. This ring, however, was both blessed and cursed, for it would cast upon its bearer the shape and form of a terrible dragon. This ring was Andvaranaut, forged by the dwarf Andvari, and it would be one of the inspirations for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own ring of power.
Before there was Andvaranaut, however, there was Anadavarenu. Before there was Andvari, there was Anadavara.
Four thousand years ago, the Swart Elves had yet to come to their jungle home of Karoputaru. Indeed, they had not even settled the island of Sikeria. In those distant days they lived as disparate nomads wandering the wide wastes of the world. Rarely they stayed in one place for long, save for those who lived in small cultic sanctuaries tucked within deep forests.
Among those was the cult of Apatiyo- the Master Artificer, who no longer holds cultic significance among the Elves. In those days he did, and his chiefest sanctuary was hidden somewhere in what would one day become Roman Gaul. His high priest was Anadavara, who by forge-craft made many mighty gifts and bestowed them upon the surrounding tribes and communities.
His benevolence was not unending, and history does not record why he betrayed the god to whom he was so devoted. Poets and novelists are wont to create their own explanations for the sake of constructing a more complete narrative. Some of these are truly quite compelling, even if they are all mere speculation.
But Anadavara forsook the smith-god, seizing for himself the riches stored up by Apatiyo’s priesthood. Having claimed these goods as his own, the disillusioned Swart Elf hid them in mountainous caverns I dare not reveal. He heaped up the gold and riches in a mound that has since then been named Gold Tor, and in the heart of Gallic mountains he forged his final gift for the world. As he began the creation of this deadly ring, it is said he sang a chorus which still can be heard whispered into the ears of those who would wear it.
Apatiyo pašau gei metu
Keredai toa dolu ema
Medaso hanoši galaï
Baï karuke huša karuke
Šapeï didosi enaku
Šumaku gei he’eu anapu
Kešo abumo seko eme
Eruno hapaïma ema
Zeü pašau, teu eme.
Ine deuvu keïri epi
Ša’abari ’ne razau daako
Pa’aïrore tešu uše
Pa’aïrore razau daaku
Anepu wanakuši zeu
Gei banako baarusu
Translation: “I renounce [you] Apatiyo, and with your art I will forge my gift. To the damned it calls- a herald of fire, a herald of death. To its bearer it will grant power unmatched and woes unending. Hate [is] my only friend. Vengeance [is] my wergild. I defy you, my god. In the deep, it lies upon Gold Tor, adding to [its] splendor in the dark of the world, [where dwell?] the Unnamed Things, older than our gods, older than the world, [and] lords of the endless dark. The unformed shapes will seize and swallow [you] whole.”
This ring, Anadavarenu, he bestowed with both a blessing and a curse. When one wore it, always would it add to the wealth of the treasure hoard, and this promise of assured wealth no doubt tempted many more adventurous types to seek out the ring for themselves. This gift came at a cost, however, and whoever bore it would take on the form of one of Sikeria’s dreaded Erepši- the dread fire-breathing Dragons.
For most, this was truly a dire curse, for surely it guaranteed exile from society at large. For the militaristic opportunist, however, it presented an opportunity, one that was pursued even two-and-a-half millennia later when Europe stood poised to tear itself apart at the end of Antiquity.