The Arming of Orlanth


One day, at the Hill of Victory, Orlanth met with the Vingkotlings for a Property Celebration. There he planned to review his possessions, and those of his tribe, as was first done at Longhearth.
But the feast went poorly. First, Orlanth's wife was not present. This disturbed the god, as it always did, for the seat beside him was empty, and half of his conversations were spoken to empty space. And others from his household were gone, too, so that the beer was flat, the hearth was cold, and the food was no better than cold porridge. Furthermore, the feast was disturbed. Whenever some person was called upon to admire or present a tool, he was called away by some combat or other duty elsewhere. Often they did not return.

At last Orlanth lost his temper. "What is this?" he cried. "Not since Ernalda was borne away have I felt so angry. Where is the respect which is due me in this time?"
And they said, "It is with the Grand Order, Great Lord."
"And where is the Grand Order?" he demanded. And everyone agreed that it was gone, because the god of it had been taken away by the darkness.
Orlanth brooded so darkly that he made the Bad Rain. When clouds gather black, and do not drop their rain, and sink to the ground, monsters can come out of them. They did then, the first time, and Orlanth had to rise from his chair to drive Nasty Urain away.
"The world has fallen," he said afterwards, "when a chief cannot have peace through a meal. I will go and regain this Grand Order." He called for the Knowing God to come to him, and asked what the Grand Order was.
"It is a mirror of fire," said Lhankor Mhy. "It is not for everyone. Some are consumed by it. Others turn bone cold."
Orlanth asked where it was. "Past the edge of the world," said the Knowing God. "I do not know the roads myself."
"Then I will find them," said Orlanth, "and I will return with the Grand Order so that we can have a decent meal."

Then Heler armed Orlanth with all the apparel of war.
First he laced on a pair of greaves, and made them fast with dog-hide thongs.
He put over his lord's broad shoulders a shirt of the finest linen, cut sleeveless to show the proud marks,
and over that a stout sleeved corset of red and green.
Then over Orlanth's head he put the great coat of mail named Turnspear, which reached to his knees, and was so fine and supple that it did not make a sound when he walked.
Then Heler girded about his lord's waist a stout belt cut with magical figures,
which bore the sword whose name is Humakt.
On the right side hung Barbeester, his trusty axe.
He wrapped his long hair as a cushion, and held it in place with a ribbon from his wife.
Orlanth wore a stiff coif, marked with runes,
and then Heler placed the proud helmet named Spare Me, which was made by a lord of the dwarfs, upon his head.
Heler placed the shield of Arran in his left hand;
and in the right were the pair of swift javelins, called Lightning; and the stout Thunderbolt spear.
Then he called for his chariot, borne by the steeds called Crisis and Rage, and his driver, Mastakos.

Orlanth mounted, and before his clan he named a chieftain to command them while he was gone.
He said, "If you will swear to support me, and to remember me, and respond in the right ways when it is time, then we will never be separate, and our destinies will be bound together whatever we do." So his people swore to remember him and support him, and they made the Eternal Ring in their midst, and set armed men to defend it all around. This way, if he needed them, they could help their lord.
With these things," said God, "and my own Virtue, I will find the Grand Order again." And he departed from the Hill of Orlanth Victorious upon his quest.

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