How Orlanth Wooed the Dark Woman
- by Wesley Quadros
From the Orlanth and
8. The Place
As he traveled,
Orlanth reached the Place of Strangers. There he found many people
he had not met before. Most were clustered about a dark woman and
were vying for her favours.
a man with a burning spear and wrapped about with a golden aura.
From this man's light, the Dark Woman cringed and it looked like
he would strike her down. Orlanth made his way through the crowd
and stepped between the two, like a storm cloud blocking the sun.
"Thy presence is offensive to the lady and I would that you
went elsewhere," the Storm Lord said. The man-of-fire shook
his spear at Orlanth and named him Rebel-son and No-goodling.
isn't known for his patience and his brow quickly grew dark like
Ohorlanth. His eyes flashed like Yavor's and his Fighting Winds
grew restless. "You will eat those words Sun-spawn." With
that, they fought and Orlanth extinguished the goldman's fires and
drove him from the Place of Strangers.
The Dark Woman
thanked Orlanth for his deeds but wouldn't speak with him further.
the snub, Umath's son called out seeking a challenger for a sharing
of tales. A blue boy with wavy hair and a curious, tinkling voice
responded. "I am Pitter-Pat and I would exchange tales with
you." In his voice one could hear the patter of rain on a pond.
Orlanth smiled and drew forth his drinking horn. "Come all,
and share of my horn for Minlinster never grows empty and has enough
for all." The strangers gathered eagerly and were greatly impressed
with Orlanth's generosity. For a time the two skalds traded tales
of the gods and demons of the world. In time though, the crowd acknowledged
Orlanth as a most masterful teller and Pitter-Pat but an apprentice
in his shadow.
Again, the Dark
Woman acknowledged Orlanth's success but would say naught else to
him. She wished the assembled crowd well and turned to leave the
Place of Strangers. Orlanth moved to stop her but a stony hand reached
forth and fastened upon his arm. "The Dark Woman is mine,"
grated the Golem. "Then surely you would engage in a test of
magic to keep her," Orlanth asked. The Golem agreed. "You
will not move me Windman," he said. Orlanth unleashed Heler
on Golem and the warm summer rains melted the clayman away to nothing.
Orlanth gently breathed on the puddle of mud and it dried into dust
that he then blew away with another breath.
Then the Dark
Woman spoke to Orlanth. "You have shown you valour and strength
of arms. You have proven your generosity and smoothness of tongue.
You have proven the power of your magic. But would you play for
at her and spoke thusly, "am I not Drogarsi?" Then he
played on his horn and danced a war dance for her. She was unimpressed.
"That is not music, but this is," and she sat down and
beat out a thundering song on her drums. Together they played and
made their music one.
The child of
their union was called Crushing Noise and it is he that one hears
when the Thunderbolt slashes across the sky and children cringe
under their mother's skirts.