Theya Story

From: Carlson, Pam (carlsonp@wdni.com)
Date: Fri 01 Nov 1996 - 08:21:00 EET


We'll see if this doesn't get lost again...

This is an account of the early Varmandi clan's trip to Wintertop to see
Kero Fin. (When a bunch of nasty Humakti who outnumber you 5 to 1 live
right next to you, and then they swear to enthrall your whole clan, you
get motivated.)

David Dunham has already posted an account from Korol's POV. Here is
Theya's, told the way she would likely tell the other clan women. Note
how _she_ thinks clan politics works. It also turned into a nice
beginning for the reputation of clan Varmandi.

Pam
___________________
The Journey to the Mountain Mother
Told by Theya Twomothers, a Godia of the Varmandi Clan

In the Storm Season of the year after the Great Fight with Malan the
Butcher, my kin and I journeyed to the holy mountain Wintertop, home of
Kerofin, Mother of Orlanth. The war with Malan Deathsthane was going
badly, so we Children of Ernalda hoped to make our claim of life to the
Land herself.

Golanth Heortsson had made such a quest once before, so the clan
performed his Ritual of the Elements to speed our journey. The clan then
presented us with sacred relics of the powers of the clan: the Blessed
Salt-Rock, the Medicine Bag, the Bag of Winds, the Power of Flight, and
the Shield of Stone.

My brother Illig knows some of the mysteries of Issaries Pathfinder -
but not many. The first day we wandered uncertainly through the untamed
forest of Stael+s Hills, and finally took shelter from the rain under a
small, rocky overhang.

The fire sputtered fitfully, complaining about the wet wood. The clouds
made it very dark. Suddenly, a DarkEater roared out of the night: "Give
me your horses, you puny humans, and I+ll eat them instead of you!"
Illig tried to reason with the creature in Darktongue, but the troll
said we were on his lands. I cast the Eyes of the Soul, and could see
the runt-trolls beginning to move away with our horses. I called out to
my kin, and even though they could barely see, they rushed the trolls!

I cast Eyes of the Soul on all my kin, so they could see to fight. The
fight was dangerous, but we finally killed the DarkEater, and the runts
ran off. Heorl led us all in a prayer of thanks to Orlanth the Warrior
for the victory. I started to lead a prayer to Ernalda Soulseer, but
Heorl scoffed and claimed that Her spells had been of little help! I
was shocked! I refused to heal Heorl of his wounds then, nor will I
ever aid him until he makes an apology to the Mother. I will not heal
him, though I would bury him if need be.

We spent some time trying to cross the first river. It was fat and fast
from heavy rains. Korol the Perpetually Stiff composed a love poem to
entice a water nymph to our aid. Not surprisingly for Korol+s poetry,
all he summoned was the Serpent of the River. It did not seem to be
overly fond of love poetry.

Korol fought the serpent, raised up by Orlanth+s Wind to keep him out of
the demon+s jaws! Illig, who has more bravery than brains, jumped in the
river to have a go at the serpent too. Without Orlanth+s magic, he was
helpless before the serpent. I saw the demon wrap Illig in its coils
and drag him below! There was little I could do. Finally, Korol tore
the demon apart, as Orlanth did to Aroka. Then he rescued Illig from
the rapidly calming waters.

At the second river, we were taunted by strange duckmen. Still, they
knew the Words of Orlanth, so we continued to be polite. They had built
a boat to cross the river. Baranthos offered them his sword if they
would take us across. The ducks wanted the sword, but refused to carry
our horses across. Poor sots. Heorl began to regale them with tired
renditions of Orlanth+s hospitality laws! Finally they relented, so
they wouldn+t have to listen to Heorl any more.

In the foothills of the Mountain, we were approached by a young horse
barbarian and his sisters. They were very shy. I think they wanted to
rob us, but we were too many. They seemed more like lost children than
savage slavers. I offered them some of our food, but they were too
fearful even to take that. Baranthos wanted to kill them for their
horses, because he is desperate to rebuild his herds. I told him that
just because he had been raided by the Orlevings didn+t mean he had to
act like them.

Soon we were climbing up steep meadows, and then up steep fields of
snow. The wind howled around us, and Korol swore he could hear dogs in
it. Suddenly, a KillingSnow broke loose from the slope and roared down
at us! I desperately thought of my Grandmother and how she had stopped
the SteepShoulder Mountain from sending the snow, but I have not yet
found those magics. Thankfully, Illig called on the Power of Flight to
carry us all up out of the path of the snow! The horses were all
swallowed, poor things, with all of our gear. But we were too close to
our goal to care overmuch.

By now we all felt the hand of the StormKing, lifting us up the
mountainside as gently as a father lifts a newborn babe. All around us
swirled the terrible storm kin of Orlanth - swirlstorm and thunder
spirits, savage warrior godlings and demons of Cold. But none touched
us. Orlanth protected us all the way to the Hall of his Mother.

A terrible surprise awaited us there. Kero Fin's hall, as with her
Lands below, had been devastated by Bad Dogs and Foreigners, Chaos and
other Unruly Kin. We approached the Great Mother with awe and
reverence. We laid our gifts at her feet: the Blessing of Cows and the
Power of Healing. We announced ourselves. We begged for her blessing.

"I have little left to give", she moaned, "but you may have it"-

Our hearts broke. Even Heorl, I think, was saddened. He spoke
beautifully of our willingness to aid her any way we could, as Orlanth
had. Korol carefully took Yinkin down from the wall where the Dogs had
left him, and gave Kero Fin+s Beast-Son his own fine cloak to replace
the pelt which had been rent from him. Illig, Baranthos and I spent all
our strength to Heal Kero Fin herself. The Great Mother, for I knew
that Kero Fin is but a mask of Ernalda, seemed to gain strength from our
love. She asked us what we would ask of her.

"To survive", I replied. "Our enemies are many, and they band together
to destroy us. We wish for the Varmandi to survive in your lands for as
long as Orlanth+s winds blow seed across them"-

"And so you shall", intoned the Goddess. "Here is your wyrd: The
Varmandi shall ever be known as the Slayers of Kings and Destroyers of
Peace. Your farmers will be Stead Burners, your lawspeakers will be
Truce Breakers, your warriors will be Killers and the Slayers of the Kin
of Kings. But your children will live here in my bosom, and your
grand-children and their children, too. You are mine."

Joy and exhaltation! I praised the Goddess six times, and swore we
would keep by her wyrd and her ways forever. I knew that the menfolk
saw this as a path of horror, but males are ever weak. The women of the
Varmandi will see that they keep true to Kero Fin+s wyrd.
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End of Glorantha Digest V3 #259
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