Spolite Queen

From: Smith Harald C (smith.hc@mellon.com)
Date: Wed 25 Feb 1998 - 15:45:00 EET


The recent discussion about Yolanela prompted me to dig out these two tales
regarding the original Spolite Queen of Sarenesh (who I do believe is
different from Yolanela, but definitely the woman whom Yolanela models
herself upon). These tales are pieces from a collection about the youth of
Verenmars, part of a larger work called Verenmars Saga that I've put
together.

The Curse of the Spolite Queen
When Sarenesh the Darvagarn [+foe of the Dragon+] declared his intent to
take
a Carmanian bride, a daughter of Nadar the Avenger, there were many who
opposed this. Amongst those who did were 2 grandsons of Samandar, Manacar
and
Mandaras, called the Black Haired Twins.

Now Manacar and Mandaras had succumbed to the Dark Dragon of Jealousy and
they
reasoned that the Emperor of Dara Happa would never take a bride who was not
pure. So they arranged to entice their cousin from her palace in Spol.
They
would take her to the [Forest of Rist] {Tarvadas Woods} and summon wild men
to
rape her there, forever destroying her purity and thus halting the marriage
they so hated.

Though Manacar and Mandaras kept their plotting to whispers and told no one
else, a small sparrow overheard their words. The sparrow carried the news
to
the Spolite Queen, but the Queen had already left for the Woods with her
black-hearted cousins. The Queen and her faithful maidservant were well
into
the [Forest of Rist] {Tarvadas Woods} when the sparrow found them. The two
women sat in a sunny glade where the cousins had left them while they
ostensibly hunted, but really sought the wild men. The sparrow spoke the
words then to the Queen and she was much afraid.

The faithful maidservant then told the Queen to hide high in a tree. She did
so, her feet guided by the voice of the sparrow. When she had gone as far
as
she could, she heard voices approaching below. These were the wild men and
even from high above she could see their lust. The faithful maidservant was
despoiled by the wild men who cared nothing for kindness. When their lusts
were sated, they left as they came.

The Spolite Queen hurried from the tree, her steps again guided by the
sparrow. When she reached her maidservant, the woman pulled the Queen down
beside her. The faithful maid tore the Queen's dress and rubbed dirt on her
face and body and marked her thighs with blood. Thus did Manacar and
Mandaras
find the two women when they returned from their 'hunt'.

The women were returned to the palace and arrived just as Saranesh himself
did. When Sarenesh asked what had occurred, the Black Haired Twins said
that
the two women were attacked and ravaged by the wild men of the [Forest of
Rist] {Tavardas Woods}. Sarenesh was outraged and sent men to find the wild
men. But his heart was filled with compassion for the two women and he
brought them into the palace and ensured that they were placed upon soft
beds.

Manacar and Mandaras felt their task was done and went to attend other
business. But the Spolite Queen asked that Sarenesh stay for a moment. When
they were alone, the Queen told him her tale. Sarenesh then left her, for
he
had to consider the truths of each tale. He went to face the light of Yelm
and in that light, Sarenesh knew what was true andwhat was false.

The next day, Sarenesh summoned all within the palace to hear him. Even the
Black Haired Twins came, for they hoped to hear Sarenesh declare his
bride-to-
be to be impure and beneath him.

First, Sarenesh called forth his warriors. They stepped forward and
brought
the wild men they captured with them. Sarenesh spoke his words of justice.
"You, who would ravage innocent and pure women, are no better than the
beasts
of the woods. Worse, you know no limit to your lusts. Therefore you shall
be
tamed. Your bodies shall be as the tortoise, slow moving so that all can
catch you if they please. Your necks and your legs shall be short, so that
you will forever see what you desire but can never reach it. Your sex shall
be hidden and forever concealed, so that you feel your lusts but can never
achieve them. By the glory of Yelm, so be it!"

And there before Sarenesh the wild men turned into slow moving tortoises,
condemned to their life of unattainable desires. The Black Haired Twins
merely smiled, for who could now speak against them?

Then, Sarenesh called forth the faithful maidservant. She stepped forward
into the imperial presence. Sarenesh spoke his words of justice. "You, who
gave your purity to protect your mistress, are better than the cruelties of
this world. Therefore, I call upon Ourania, Mistress of the Heavens to
restore your virginity and ease your pains with the Light of Gentleness that
only she can bring. And I would offer as well my own household, that you be
raised from your position and into the imperial court which can only be
blessed by your noble presence. By the goodness of Ourania and the glory of
Yelm, so be it!"

And there before Sarenesh the faithful maidservant was restored to her
purity
and given a new robe to denote her new status. The Black Haired Twins were
unmoved, for they cared not a whit for a maidservant and the Emperor could
have her for his toy if he so desired.

Finally, Sarenesh called forth the Spolite Queen. She stepped forward into
the imperial presence. Sarenesh asked her to speak and she spoke her
truths.
The Black Haired Twins cried forth in anger, saying that these were all
lies.
Sarenesh then spoke his words of justice. "Yelm has seen the souls of all
of
you. And I have seen the truth through the lies of these men. My Queen,
who
would be ravaged by the plots of these vile, I offer you judgment upon these
men, your cousins. Tell me know what you would ask and by the glory and
all-
seeing wisdom of Yelm, so be it!"

The Black Haired Twins tried to flee, but spears of pure sunlight descended
from the sky to trap them in that place and hear their sentence.

The Queen spoke then her judgment. "Those who would rob us of our purity
shall know what their lusts bring. [One of these shall be a vrok eagle and
one an avarna eagle. For one year they shall grapple with each other in the
skies and each other only, and they shall feel the tears of their talons and
beaks from the heat of their lusts.] {One of these shall be a wild boar and
one an angry sow. For one year they shall rut with each other and each
other
only, and they shall feel the pain their lusts bring.} When that year is
complete, they shall return here and I shall judge them again, but any child
of theirs shall be given to me."

Sarenesh cried "Done!" and so it was. The warriors chased off the [vrok and
avarna eagles until they were high in the skies and the cries of their lusts
could no longer be heard] {boar and sow until they were far into the woods
and
the grunts of their lusts could no longer be heard}.

A year passed and the [vrok and avarna eagle] {boar and sow} came to the
court and there delivered a son. The Queen received the child and spoke her
judgment. "This child shall be a warrior and guardian to my first born
child.
He shall be called Varmarmon for he will contain the great [glory of the
eagle]
{anger of the boar}, ever ready to unleash it to protect my child. But he
who
is now [a vrok] {a boar} shall be a lioness. And he who is now [an avarna]
{a sow} shall be a lion. For one year they shall mate with each other and
each other only, and they shall feel their claws and the pain their lusts
bring. When that year is complete, they shall return here and I shall judge
them again, but any child of theirs shall be given to me."

Sarenesh cried "Done!" and so it was. The warriors chased off the lion and
the lioness until they were far into the hills and the roars of their lusts
could no longer be heard.

A year passed and the lion and lioness came to the court and there delivered
a
son. The Queen received the child and spoke her judgment. "This child shall
be a warrior and guardian to my second born child. He shall be called
+Proud
Mane+ for he will contain the great strength of the lion, ever ready to
stand
before and protect my child. But he who is now a lioness shall be a hound.
And he who is now a lion shall be a bitch. For one year they shall mate
with
each other and each other only, and they shall feel their teeth and the pain
their lusts bring. When that year is complete, they shall return here and I
shall judge them again, but any child of theirs shall be given to me."

 Sarenesh cried "Done!" and so it was. The warriors chased off the dogs
until
they were far into the meadows and the howls of their lusts could not longer
be heard.

A year passed and the dogs came to the court and there delivered a son. The
Queen received the child and spoke her judgment. "This child shall be a
warrior and guardian to my last born child. He shall be called Ganaragar
[+Night Barker+] for he will contain the great loyalty of the dog, ever
ready
to follow and protect my child. Now let these two dogs both be curs and keep
them in the kitchens where they must fight for scraps with the other curs
until death finds them."

 Sarenesh cried "Done!" and so it was. But the 3 sons of Manacar and
Mandaras
grew to be great companions to the children of Sarenesh and the Spolite
Queen.

[Notes: There are two variations on this story. The first is of Sylilan
origin (marked with +[+ where it differs from the main text), probably from
the period after *Verenmars, but reflecting Sylilan fears of the dark woods
and the wild land of Carmania beyond. The second is of Terarir origin
(marked
with +{+ where it differs from the main text), from a later period (start of
3
Generations of War?) that reflects a growing hostility toward Dara Happa.]

The Spolite Queen+s Tests
Verenmars was born to a lowly [i.e. foreign] wife of dark [i.e. sorcerous]
ways. Though his father had been brother to the Emperor, the Spolite Queen
knew that Sarenesh would be eclipsed by his sons and set about to ensure
they
did so.

The Spolite Queen tested each son in different ways, but with Verenmars, she
went so far as to try to slay him. With the aid of dark powers, she bound
the
boy Verenmars to a reed mat and sacrificed him to the Serpent Demon, the
Devourer, the Cold Swallower, who devours the reed mats which bear the dead.

But a Water Dog [Sairdites say a spaniel, though Vanchites say a raccoon]
heard the
cries of the baby and struggled against the cold current to reach the mat.
The Water Dog, using only its nose, pushed the reed mat out of the current
to
the shore. Then, the Water Dog pulled the mat up the river bank and brought
Verenmars to safety.

Verenmars was raised in the home of the dog's master, an aged, but great
warrior. In the home of his foster father, Verenmars learned the secrets of
the 10 Dogs and the 10 Arts of Warfare. It was here that Verenmars first
fought, when the Shadow Lion sought him out for the Spolite Queen.
Verenmars
broke the teeth from the Shadow Lion and then stole its sinews. Crippled,
the
Shadow Lion limped back to court with its news. Satisfied with her son+s
performance, the Spolite Queen called him back to court and rewarded the
foster father with a castle of his own.

[Notes: this piece is probably of Sairdite or Vanchite origin and contains
DH
prejudices against Carmania.]

------------------------------

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