Ephemera — Eurmal Crow
Eurmal and Yelm’s Bird
In the ancient times, my brothers and sisters, the Storm Tribe scratched its living as stalk people, for this was before the time when Oxen had been gifted to them. They reaped the corn, and placed them in loose weaved baskets, and much was spilled, and more was lost. And they paid tribute to the Emperor Yelm, but it was heavy, and the people tightened their girdles around their growling1Llewun’s Text here gives ‘growing bellies’ to indicate either pregnancy (amidst near-disaster) or bloating through famine. This is not the generally agreed read. bellies.
The Emperor sent his servants to gather grain in tribute each year2Notable that years have been established by this point, and one year it was his bird servant, Crow, he sent. Now, Crow was the most beautiful of Yelm’s servants. He had the brightest and most splendid robes, and the most melodic and enchanting voice, and all admired him, but his power made him selfish, and his magnificence made him cruel.
So3Lit: Hwaet, Crow came to the Storm Tribe, and with his voice, he called magic forth, to pull all the grain which had been spilled during the harvest from the ground and called it into a basket – of tight weave4From this story, we can understand why the Tight Basket of Ernalda was – NO. Ed. – which he stacked up before taking it to Yelm.
Now5Indicative of change, which would be within the Storm Tribe, naturally. As soon as a Once and a Now exist, we must understand that the Storm Gods will be experiencing change and freedom., this one time, Orlanth had a guest, who had been welcomed in, and fed, with what the Tribe could give. And his name was Eurmal. And Eurmal saw that occurred, and although he felt no obligation of gratitude, out of mischief he said, “I think I can amuse myself here6It is thought that Eurmal had not yet learned how to lie, for lies had not been invented, but he could still decieve with the Truth..”
And so he went into the fields, and saw Crow singing the grain into more baskets, and thought for two days and one night. And then he jumped and caught a fly. And he offered it to a spider, and in return was made a net. He took one of the crude baskets, and filled it with rocks, and then placed atop it the net, and on that he scattered what grain he had left from his breakfast. And he picked it up, and staggered under the weight, and carried it to Crow, whistling.7It seems that the gathering of grain was always a long, arduous task, but Eurmal has managed to catch Crow at a moment when much has been done and much remains to be done.
Crow was disturbed by the cacophony, and stopped gathering, and listened. After a while, Eurmal said to him, “Ah, it’s hot, gathering this grain under the Eye of the Emperor, isn’t it?” Crow acknowledged this was the case, and the two paused, and drank from Eurmal’s flask. But Eurmal’s flask was filled with the magic beer of Bantar’s household, which makes wise men foolish, and foolish men wise. And Eurmal supped it and smiled, and Crow drank deep, and laughed. And both agreed that the eye of Yelm was far too hot, and Eurmal took off his coat of black rags, and Crow took off his coat of splendour, and each thought it funny to dress as the other. And to make it funnier, each sang the song of the other, but Eurmal could not sing, so Crow lent him his song, so he could sing better.
After a while, Crow thought he should return to his master, but he had neglected his duties through drinking with Eurmal, and lamented this fact to Eurmal. Eurmal looked puzzled, but then said, “Well, my basket of grain is heavier than yours, so as you will get into trouble with Yelm, I shall let you have it in exchange for yours, and the loan of your song. You can pay me back, when you have gathered grain of equal weight, and then have your song back.”
Crow eagerly accepted, and flew off towards Yelm with the bag of rocks, and Eurmal took the basket of grain, and the song of gathering back to the Storm Tribe, and let the Storm Tribe feast with the grain, and taught them the song. But when Crow gave his tribute to Yelm, Yelm was furious, for he saw how Crow had been tricked, and struck him with his sceptre, and threw him back down to Earth. Crow came to Eurmal, and said, “You tricked me! Give me my song and my coat back!”
Eurmal laughed and said, “First you have to gather grain of equal weight, as you promised. As for your coat, you gave it to me, and you can have black!8It us understood (Garin, Altn 104) that Eurmal would have been bound by this, as a promise, before Lies were invented.”
So, since that time, my brothers, the Crow wears a black coat, and scavenges for food, hoping to fill the basket to swap back to Eurmal, but we use Crow’s song to bring in the lost parts of the harvest, so that the Storm Tribe may eat well! Eurmal kept the Crow’s beautiful coat, but he later lost it to Peacock, but that is a tale for another day.
Glean (also known as ‘Crow’s Song’ or ‘Eurmal’s Song’)
Earth, Movement 1 points, Ranged (5m), Duration (Song)
After the gathering of a harvest, Glean can be cast on a basket carried through fields, to catch dropped seed heads, cut but not collected wheat, and missed fruit. The caster must take the basket through the fields, following the path of sowing or orchard lines, and collecting the gleanings. Fruit and seeds will roll and jump into the basket without bruising. Glean only works after a harvest; an unharvested field will not give up bounty. If the Gleaner stops singing, for any reason, the spell ends. Otherwise it lasts until the next sunrise or sunset.
- 1Llewun’s Text here gives ‘growing bellies’ to indicate either pregnancy (amidst near-disaster) or bloating through famine. This is not the generally agreed read.
- 2Notable that years have been established by this point
- 3Lit: Hwaet
- 4From this story, we can understand why the Tight Basket of Ernalda was – NO. Ed.
- 5Indicative of change, which would be within the Storm Tribe, naturally. As soon as a Once and a Now exist, we must understand that the Storm Gods will be experiencing change and freedom.
- 6It is thought that Eurmal had not yet learned how to lie, for lies had not been invented, but he could still decieve with the Truth.
- 7It seems that the gathering of grain was always a long, arduous task, but Eurmal has managed to catch Crow at a moment when much has been done and much remains to be done.
- 8It us understood (Garin, Altn 104) that Eurmal would have been bound by this, as a promise, before Lies were invented.