The Binding of Oakfed

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Created On 10 January 1999
Last Updated On 10 January 1999
Copyright (c) Simon E. Phipp 1999

These stories were collected for Solarus Skywatch, king of Balazar in my campaign, who wanted to build a HeroQuest to defeat Firshala. He thought that a good way to do this was to adapt a HeroQuest of the Binding of Oakfed and sent out his Priests to find out how Oakfed was bound in other cultures. These stories come from Dara Happa, Pelanda (Old Carmania), the Oslir River, Caladraland and Pent. They are not complete myths but there are HeroQuests which are associated with each myth which I may or may not write up at a later date.

1. Dara Happa (Lodrili)

In the Darkness many deities rebelled and fought against the Empire. One of these was Oakfed, God of Wildfire, the Destroyer, son of Lodril our Master. Oakfed was raging through the Empire, destroying the land and people, so the Emperor ordered him bound.

As Lodril was Oakfed's father he went to bind his unruly son, He travelled to where Oakfed was, in a great hollow in the ground. Lodril then flexed his immense muscles and raised a great wall of earth and stone around Oakfed. When the god tried to flee he reached the wall and tried to climb over. However, Lodril raised the wall higher and wider until Oakfed could not escape. Lodril then pushed the mountain on top of Oakfed, burying and extinguishing him.

When Oakfed was buried, Lodril picked up the last ember and took it back to the Emperor. Oakfed was not dead, he was bound within the ember, ready to be freed whenever the Emperor wished.

From that day on, Lodrili could bind fire into clay vessels and carry the glowing embers around with them, keeping fire with them even throughout the Darkness.

2. Pelandan

When the world was dark and hope was lost, many turned to false ways. One of these was a destructive sun, a fire god called Oakfed who ran amok, raping, destroying and killing. His father Lodril, Lord of the Fires in the Earth, came to stop him but could not control the unruly god, so he asked the goddesses for help.

The Earthshaker came with her sisters and nieces and they trapped Oakfed on a great plain. They thrust their hands and feet into the ground as Oakfed charged them. As he grew close they raised the earth around him and made great walls to trap him. Oakfed tried to climb the walls but as he reached the top he was forced back by the daughters who threw earth on him with their sacred mattocks. Trapped, Oakfed raged, turning the earth into glass. Finally, Earthshaker threw the tops of the walls onto Oakfed, crushing him beneath the earth and knocking the fires from him.

Since then, our women can put out even the strongest of fires by covering them in earth.

3. Oslira's Cage

Oakfed was an enemy god, born of disorder, who attacked the allies of Oslira during the Darkness. When Oslira's friends asked her for aid, she gathered her daughter and went to where Oakfed was destroying a town. While Oakfed was distracted, Oslira sent her daughters around and behind him. One of the daughters attacked too soon and was turned into a cloud of steam.

Oakfed, now warned, tried to charge Oslira and her daughters, but they were prepared and had dug canals all around him. When Oakfed reached them, he was blocked by the walls of earth beside the canals. He tried to leap the walls but was wrestled down by Oslira's daughters. As the canals were wide, he could not leap across them so he retreated to the charred town.

After a while he ran out of food and raged at the waters still around him. Then he became hungry and begged to be freed. Every time he ran at one of the daughters, others moved their canals closer to him. In this way he became trapped in a tighter and tighter cage. Finally, when he was starving and weak, Oslira and her daughters leapt on Oakfed and quenched him, leaving him a clod shell. It took many years for him to warm up again.

4. Caladra's Trap

Once there were forests all over the world, but a mad god came and began to devour him. This god was Oakfed the Burner, God of Wildfire and Destruction. In many lands he burned the trees so that nothing would grow there. He even came to our land, where his sister lives in a great castle.

When he burned our forests, we were afraid and asked his sister for aid. She told us what to do, although she would not fight her brother. His weakness was that he was always hungry and became weaker if he could not feed.

We found where Oakfed was feeding and surrounded him. We spoke to the trees there and asked for their help. They sacrificed themselves for the good of the forest and allowed us to take our axes to them, felling and clearing the trees, leaving nothing but bare earth. When Oakfed saw us he ran to devour us, but as he crossed the earth he had nothing to feed on and became weaker. If he came close to us we beat him back with our brooms and bushes. Eventually, we cut down more trees around him, forcing him into a smaller and smaller area. Although he killed many of us, he was always beaten back eventually. HE tried to leap away but the space was too wide and he fell amongst us, so we beat him even more.

Finally, we pushed Oakfed into a single grove, where the dryad was dying of old age. She spoke to Oakfed and agreed to hide him from us so we would not kill him. He agreed but only if she would allow him to feed on her. She agreed to let him out if he was hungry, but that all he destroyed belonged to her and she would take the energy released and use it for the forest.

Upon agreeing to this, Oakfed attacked and devoured the dryad, hiding within the dryad's trunk and was seen no more. We cut down the tree, for the dryad was dead, and carried its trunk with us. Oakfed's brother came to us and, saddened by the sacrifice of the dryad, took its essence and restored it to the earth, making the land grow stronger than before.

From then on, we carry our fire trees with us, containing part of the mighty Oakfed. When he is hungry, we gather around a dead and decaying part of the forest and say our prayers before releasing the mad god. When he has devoured the grove, we beat him back and bind him into a tree once more. Sometimes he escapes and runs amok, but our shamans find and bind him. When the forest has been burned, mighty Aurelion renews the earth with the sacrificed energy, so new strong growth begins once more.

5. The Horseman's Tale

Once, when it was all Dark, we rode our mounts on the great plains. A powerful god came to attack our lands and to devour our grass and beasts. Sheng Seleris told us how to defeat this god of Wildfire.

We came to where he was and surrounded him. We used our swords and blades to cut away the grass around him, leaving nothing but a ring of bare earth. When he saw us, the Burner ran to us and attacked our folk, but we were too strong for him, beating him back with our mats and brushes. He tried to leap the bare earth but, once aloft, our Shamans blew him back into the ring.

As time passed by, he grew weaker with the struggle as more and more earth was revealed. He grew more and more hungry, for he could only fight while he was eating and we had destroyed his food. As the ring tightened around him, the mad god fought until he was a mere dot in the middle of the earth. Then our Shamans took the last piece of grass there and made him an offer - starve and die or be bound to the grass. As he had no wish to die, and he was our kinsman, the mad god agreed and was bound into the twist of grass.

Now, whenever our people want to light a fire, we go to the shaman who has a grass bundle containing a piece of Oakfed. If we pray hard we can get a tongue of flame to make our campfires.