The Making of the Storm Tribe

The Making of the Storm Tribe

By Robin D. Laws

Copyright ©1999 A Sharp, LLC.

This month’s myth is drawn from A Sharp’s computer game King of Dragon Pass.

Here is what everyone knows

Ernalda urges Orlanth, who is jealous of the Emperor and his Fire Tribe, to make a tribe to rival theirs. Orlanth overcomes various tests to convince rival clans to join together, and the Storm Tribe is born.

Here is what initiates learn

When Orlanth’s marriage to Ernalda was new, he spent much time enjoying the sweet secrets of his bride. But at length he grew restless, and began to think again of his enemy the Emperor. Ernalda saw that he was turbulent inside, and said to him, “You will never beat the Emperor by yourself, for when you fight the Emperor you also fight his tribe, the Fire Tribe. If you really want something to rival what the Emperor has, you must make a new thing, like the Fire Tribe, but better.”

Ernalda’s words troubled Orlanth, and he walked the world and let them rattle around inside him. The Doubting Wheel rolled towards him, and said that Orlanth should not make a tribe.

Orlanth captured the Doubting Wheel in a great net, and took it home to Ernalda, who cooked it up in a soup. “It is nothing to be afraid of now,” she said.

So Orlanth wandered again, until he found his brother Yinkin, who was chief of the Cat Clan. Yinkin said, “My clan is badly pressed by the Plant Tribe, which fights us for our hunting ground.” So Orlanth fought Rustling Veins and the Sharp Green, and bested them. He said, “Now you must join my Storm Tribe.” Yinkin agreed to make the Cat Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as this new tribe had a way of remembering its good laws.

So Orlanth searched for some good laws, and found the Knowing God, who was head of the Marks On Bark Clan. The Knowing God was trapped inside a great cube. He said that the Stone Tribe had put him in there. Orlanth ruined the cube so that it fell apart. Orlanth gave the Knowing God one of Yinkin’s old claws, and said, “Now you must join my Storm Tribe, and help us remember our good laws.” The Knowing God agreed to make the Marks On Bark Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as this new tribe had fierce warriors.

So Orlanth looked for fierce warriors, and found his brother Vadrus, who was boss of the Hurt Everything Clan. Vadrus wanted to go off to fight the Blue Tribe, and wouldn’t listen to Orlanth’s plan. So Orlanth said they should arm-wrestle instead. He defeated Vadrus, and gave Vadrus a lock of the Knowing God’s beard, and said “Now you must join my Storm Tribe.” Vadrus said that the Hurt Everything Clan would join the Storm Tribe, but not if Yinkin’s Cat Clan were part of it. “I will not attend a moot if he is there,” Vadrus said. Orlanth said nothing about Yinkin and went on his way.

Orlanth kept collecting clans. The Talking God agreed to make his Traveling Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as it had many cows with which to trade. So Orlanth sought out Uralda, who agreed that the Cow Clan should join the Storm Tribe, so long as there was feed for her clan-mates to eat. So Orlanth found Esra, who said that the Grain Clan would join, but not if the Traveling Clan were part of the Tribe, because the Traveling Clan was too anxious to share her with outsiders.

Orlanth brought them together into one big moot, and soon everyone was fighting and blaming him. “You said Yinkin would not be here!” Vadrus cried. “I will not moot with the Talking God,” said angry Esra. Orlanth was about to fight all of them, right then and there, but then Ernalda brought him items of tribal regalia.

She brought him the Chest of Torcs, with which he could gift the clan leaders. She brought the Hall of Understanding, where people would settle their differences by talking them out. She gave him the Crown of Authority, which made people respect his sacral powers and pledge allegiance to him. Most of the clans agreed to make the tribe, but there were still some who were stubborn.

Then warriors from the Night Tribe came and attacked the quarrelling clans, and everyone banded together to fight these hungry enemies. They saw that the night warriors could have destroyed any one clan, but could not destroy all of the clans massed together. The last of the troublemakers settled down, and named Orlanth their king, and so Orlanth made the Storm Ring to govern the new tribe.

Here is what devotees know

When Orlanth’s marriage to Ernalda was new, he spent much time enjoying the sweet secrets of his bride. But at length he grew restless, and began to think again of his enemy the Emperor, who had shamed him and deprived him of his rightful influence in the world. Ernalda saw that he was turbulent inside, and said to him, “You will never beat the Emperor by yourself, for when you fight the Emperor you also fight his tribe, the Fire Tribe. If you really want something to rival what the Emperor has, you must make a new thing, like the Fire Tribe, but better.”

Ernalda’s words troubled Orlanth, and he walked the world and let them rattle around inside him. The Doubting Wheel rolled towards him, and said that Orlanth should not make a tribe. “If you put yourself above all others, you will be just as bad as the Emperor. You will take freedom from the people, and make unjust decrees. People will expect you to tell them what to do, and in so doing they will steal your own freedom, which is the thing you value most.”

Orlanth captured the Doubting Wheel in a great net, and took it home to Ernalda, who cooked it up in a soup until it was small and silver. “It is nothing to be afraid of now,” she said. “Take it and use it to make the tribe I told you about.”

So Orlanth wandered again, until he found his brother Yinkin, who was chief of the Cat Clan. Yinkin said, “My clan is badly pressed by the Plant Tribe, which fights us for our hunting ground.” So Orlanth fought Rustling Veins and the Sharp Green, and bested them. He gave the small silver thing to Yinkin and said, “Now you must join my Storm Tribe.” Yinkin agreed to make the Cat Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as this new tribe had a way of remembering its good laws.

So Orlanth searched for some good laws, and found the Knowing God, who was head of the Marks On Bark Clan. The Knowing God was trapped inside a great cube. He said that the Stone Tribe had put him in there, because he tried to make new knowledge about them, and the Stone Tribe hated new things. Orlanth ruined the cube by creating a new poem, which confused it so that it fell apart. Orlanth gave the Knowing God one of Yinkin’s old claws, and said, “Now you must join my Storm Tribe, and help us remember our good laws.” The Knowing God agreed to make the Marks On Bark Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as this new tribe had fierce warriors.

So Orlanth looked for fierce warriors, and found his brother Vadrus, who was boss of the Hurt Everything Clan. Vadrus wanted to go off to fight the Blue Tribe, and wouldn’t listen to Orlanth’s plan. So Orlanth said they should arm-wrestle instead. He defeated Vadrus, and gave Vadrus a lock of the Knowing God’s beard, and said “Now you must join my Storm Tribe.” Vadrus said that the Hurt Everything Clan would join the Storm Tribe, but not if Yinkin’s Cat Clan were part of it. “Yinkin scratched me, and made my essence pour out, and I will not attend a moot if he is there,” Vadrus said. Orlanth said nothing about Yinkin and went on his way.

Orlanth kept collecting clans. The Talking God agreed to make his Traveling Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as it had many cows with which to trade. So Orlanth sought out Uralda, who agreed that the Cow Clan should join the Storm Tribe, so long as there was feed for her clan-mates to eat. So Orlanth found Esra, who said that the Grain Clan would join, but not if the Traveling Clan were part of the Tribe, because the Traveling Clan was too anxious to share her with outsiders.

Orlanth collected other clans on his journeys. Some of them we remember today. Others later left the tribe, or caused trouble, just like Vadrus’ Hurt Everything Clan. And others we have forgotten completely.

Orlanth brought them together into one big moot, and soon everyone was fighting and blaming him. “You said Yinkin would not be here!” Vadrus cried. “I will not moot with the Talking God,” said angry Esra. Orlanth was about to fight all of them, right then and there, but then Ernalda brought him items of tribal regalia.

She brought him the Chest of Torcs, with which he could gift the clan leaders. She brought the Hall of Understanding, where people would settle their differences by talking them out. She gave him the Crown of Authority, which made people respect his sacral powers and pledge allegiance to him. Most of the clans agreed to make the tribe, but there were still some who were stubborn.

Then warriors from the Night Tribe came and attacked the quarrelling clans, and everyone banded together to fight these hungry enemies. They saw that the night warriors could have destroyed any one clan, but could not destroy all of the clans massed together. The last of the troublemakers settled down, and named Orlanth their king, and so Orlanth made the Storm Ring to govern the new tribe.

Later, he asked Ernalda how the Night Tribe had known to come to the big moot, but his bountiful wife just smiled, and Orlanth thought about something else, instead.

Maker
Malkion

Parent: Mythology

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