Another Elmal Story

From: Carlson, Pam (carlsonp@wdni.com)
Date: Fri 25 Oct 1996 - 03:03:00 EEST


Elmal stories:

Nick - I liked your story- particularly the part about the synchophants!

Here's my Elmal story. It would probably be from somewhere in Southern
Peloria, maybe even Vanch. Ernalda may have a different name there, but
y'all get the idea.

Paul Heinz is working on another.

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How Elmal Brought the Last Light (a tale told in Vanch or Scylilla)

Long ago, when the Great Darnkess was at its blackest, Ernalda
Earthmother was held prisoner in the Hellcourt of the Evil Emperor.
Because he cared for no one but himself, the Emperor held all land
goddesses as his concubines. Although the Emperor was no stranger to
base lust, he gave the goddesses no love or respect. They were
miserable.

One horrible day, Serpent slithered down from the Surface. She carried
messages from the people above. The people were cold and starving, and
they begged Ernalda to return. Ernalda ached to help them, but she knew
she could not escape. Instead, she went to the Emperor and conceived
with him a son. The godling+s name was Elmal. His mother raised him to
be generous, compassionate, and clever.

Even the Emperor was proud of his son. He taught Elmal to ride and
shoot, and gave him his own Sky Steed, which could fly to the stars.
Then the Emperor took Elmal to an ancient treasure room of his former
palace, a place called the Hill of Gold. The Emperor proudly showed his
son the riches he had hoarded: gold and ivory, silver and jade. Then the
Emperor showed his son the things he had spitefully taken from the
Surface after he had been slain: the the Heart of Fire, the Arrows of
Light, and another treasure, which even Elmal was denied. But Elmal,
ever keen of eye, saw the treasure even inside its heavy adamant box;
the Ray of Truth! The Emperor had stolen Truth and then locked it away
so that he could ignore it.

When Elmal returned to the Hellcourt, Ernalda told him of the sufferings
of the people above. She told Elmal to go above and to return light and
fire to the desperate people. Elmal was a good son, and loathed to
disobey his father. But he could still hear the Ray of Truth calling
to him, begging to be set free. Finally, the misery in his mother+s
eyes convinced him.

Elmal mounted his Sky Steed and flew to the stars. He circled around,
eventually finding the Hill of Gold. Because the top was too small for
his steed to land, they landed at the foot and started to climb to the
top. Suddenly, the Darkwind lept out of a shadow and visciously
attacked Elmal and his mount. Elmal stabbed the creature with his spear
and drove it off, but the monster had crippled his Sky Steed badly.
Elmal was forced to continue alone.

As Elmal climbed the huge hill, his feet kept slipping on the piles of
golden coins. He often fell and cut himself on the sharp edges of the
jewels. As the hill got steeper, Elmal went even slower. Until now,
Elmal had never noticed how cold the Darkness was. He began to shiver.
He looked back down the Hill to see how far he had come. Not very far.

Elmal turned back into his climb, but found his way blocked by a tall,
pale, beautiful woman. She smiled invitingly at Elmal, and opened her
furs to take him in. Elmal gazed on her lovely body. He grew sleepy,
remembering the warmth and pleasures he had shared with the goddesses in
his father+s court. But just as he prepared to embrace her, Elmal saw
that this was no Earth Goddess; there was nothing but Cold and Death in
that body. Instead, he shoved the Demon aside and ran up the hill as
fast as he could - anything to get warm.

After running as far as he could, Elmal grew very tired. He stopped to
rest. He sank to his knees among the piles of rings which the Emperor
had been given, but had never given away. As he gasped for breath,
Elmal noticed that one of the rings was changing. It began to writhe
and squirm, and crawled toward his knee. Suddenly the maggot opened its
jaws - which were bigger than the maggot itself! Then another ring
turned, and another... As Elmal jumped to his feet, the whole pile of
rings had become a writhing mass maggots, biting at his legs and feet.
Elmal stabbed them with his spear, but the maggots writhed past the
spear, unaffected. Elmal pushed down on them with his shield, and was
able to jump ahead a little. He staggered up the hill, swiping at the
maggots with his shield, and stomping them with his feet. But Elmal was
sorely wounded.

Finally, he reached the top of the hill. The doors to the room were
locked, but Elmal had learned the Words of Passage from his father. He
spoke them and entered. Elmal looked around, and spied the adamant box.
 He tried to open it, but it was locked tight. The box was too heavy
for Elmal to lift. He despaired. "Will I never free Truth?" he wailed.

From inside the box, a voice, quiet and deep, so slight that even Elmal
could barely hear it, said: "How would you use me?" Elmal looked at he
box in surprise. He could only speak the first thoughts in his mind.
"I would free you into the world, to share with all the peoples of the
Earth and Sky, the Sea and the Storm." The box opened. A bright light
filled the room, and the Ray of Truth shot out of the box and into
Elmal+s hand! Elmal gave a victory cry, and he seized the Heart of Fire
and the Arrows of Light.

Elmal+s trip down the hill was much faster. The maggots cringed back
from the Ray of Truth. The Heart of Fire kept him warm, so the Lady of
Winter dared not approach him. But waiting for at the bottom of the
Hill was a powerful, evil god, one chained in the service of the
Emperor. The cruel god roared that he would tear Elmal limb from limb
for stealing from the Emperor+s hoard.

Dodging a blow from a huge mace that flickered with dark magic, Elmal
compassionately offered to unchain the god and free him. But the cruel
god had no interest in freedom. Elmal generously offered to share his
treasures with the people, but the cruel god had no interest in people.
Elmal cleverly proposed a test, but the cruel god had no interest in
honor. The cruel god new no reason, and roared into the fight. Elmal
was still wounded from his fight with the maggots, and he was hampered
by the heavy firepot. Afraid above all else that Truth would be lost
again, Elmal threw the pot containing the Heart of Fire in the face of
the cruel god. The terrible god staggered back, aflame.

Elmal ran to his Sky Steed, who could still run. He rode off as fast as
he could with the Arrows of Light and the Ray of Truth, to share with
all the peoples of the world.

Pam

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