Eurmal's Escape

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Created On 17 September 1997
Last Updated On 17 September 1997
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1997

Eurmal was travelling in the North when he decided to go to Valind's Kingdom to seduce a Swan Maiden.[1]He was not afraid, for he had been to Valindland before.

After travelling for a while, Eurmal saw that Valind and his clan were in a very bad mood, for the skies boiled with thunderclouds, the temperature dropped and snow and winds howled around. Eurmal began to shiver, and not just with the cold, because if he were to be caught trespassing, Valind and his folk would eat him.[2]

The snows came heavier and heavier, so that Eurmal could not see where he was going, and he became lost and fell into a great snowdrift. He lay there shivering until a hand reached in and pulled him out.

He was placed into a sack and carried to a great hall. When the sack was opened, Eurmal began to tremble again, for he was in the hall of one of Valind's sons who would surely eat him.

"Who are you who visits Valind's lands" said the Great Cold One.

"Nobody but a tired and hungry traveller" said Eurmal as he climbed from the sack., thinking furiously. He put his hands to his mouth and began to blow on them.

"Why do you blow on your hands?" asked the Great Cold One.

"Why, to warm them up" replied Eurmal.

Ah, thought the Great Cold One, this must be a godling of the desert or the south who can breathe warm air. I will eat him later.

The Great Cold One moved to the hearth and began to pour some broth into a bowl. He looks a little scrawny, I should offer him some food, he thought.

"Here, take this broth, " he said, "it came from a Great Fire Spirit I have just defeated".[3]

Eurmal looked at the broth and gently blew on it.

"Why do you blow on the broth?" asked the Great Cold One.

"Why, to cool it down, for it is too hot" replied Eurmal.

At this, the son of Valind froze to the spot, for the gods of the south and deserts could blow hot air and his relatives, the gods of the North could blow cold air, but he knew of only one God who could blow both hot and cold air - This must be Orlanth himself, the King of the Storm Gods, here in disguise.

Now it was his turn to tremble, and he gave Eurmal many gifts and offers of friendship, escorting him to the borders of Valindland.[4]


[1] The Swan Maidens are descendants of Valind and of the White Swan, a kinsman of Valind. They lived in Valind's kingdom.
[2]Valind and his kin were the sons of Vadrus, who regularly killed his kinsmen.
[3]This God of Winter had obviously stolen fire powers from another God, thus able to serve hot food.
[4]This is sometimes used as the basis for an Eumali HeroQuest, allowing Eurmali to escape from the Deities of Winter.