The First Year Scar

Ephemera — The First Year Scar


In the first year of his search, Indrodar Greydog led his companions deep into the Marsh, on many raids against the dead, and they cremated many corpses, but always they were driven back. Finally, as he walked with them towards the Marsh for a raid, he found a group of pale women, placing a carved standard into the ground, and he called out to them, “You who are here, who do you serve?” and they called as one, “Delecti the Undying,” and as one they surrounded his band.

The sword Wrath flashed out its anger and the blades of his companions were not idle, but soon the beckoning and calling of the women had enchanted half of his band, and their sword-arms fell and the women came forwards to feast. Then from road to the West came hoofbeats, and a rider on a great horse came among them, her sword shining like the sun and her arrows slaying each dancing woman that they touched. When the full sunlight was on them, the pale women had no power, and they fell and retreated.

“Hail to you, our saviour,” called Indrodar, and bowed low, and his companions stood alert around him, but the pale women had fled to the waters.

“I am called Eneera,” said she. “And this my companion is Goldeneye. But although I have saved you, you have not spoken your name.”

Indrodar was admonished, and bowed his head. “I am Indrodar Greydog,” he replied, “Captain of this band, and we search for a single body.”

“I search for six stones,” she replied, “But they are not here. Will you come with me from this place, before Yelm’s great light fades and your enemies return, and we may perhaps find things we seek.”

So although Indrodar knew that his Queen’s wight was not in the dry lands, he went with Eneera, so there were swords about her, and there was sunlight about his band, and they travelled to the City of Clearwine, where they spoke with sages and priestesses of the Earth.

With one such fine woman, Yanioth, they travelled back to the edges of the Marsh. Along the way Havna of the clear eyes paid Yanioth much attention, and by the time they had returned they were very nearly lovers, only Havna dared not ask for a token, but Yanioth loved her nevertheless.

It was Eneera who spotted movement three miles from their camp, with eyes granted hawk-like vision, and she said she saw a standard being raised, where Yanioth said the Rune of Earth was strong. The band rode at speed, but Eneera rode best of all, and Havna stayed back with Yanioth, who rode slowly, and none who saw them complained, but all went to battle.

There it was that Eneera and Indrodar arrived first, and but for the sunlight that Yelm could send they would have been harder pressed, but even so by the time the band arrived Indrodar was wounded across the arm, and Eneera on the thigh where she had blocked a blow meant for her mount. Then Yanioth said there were stones, and she would dance to bring them forth, and the companions set themselves around the high ground.

A dozen times the pale women tried to reclaim their stolen place, and a dozen times they were driven away, until Yanioth said, “It is dawn, and the stones must rise, but they cannot be born into the world without love, for Death was born here. Ernalda will not give the stones to a loveless place.”

Then Havna said, “I love you, and with you will guard this place if you will,” and gave her a love token of plaited hair, and the stones rose. From that day Havna could use no power of Death in the presence of an Earth Priestess, and her later death was caused by her love, but Yanioth stayed with her until that day, and joined the Greydog Clan.

Then the band declared that Eneera had found the six stones, which she called her compass, but is called Indrodar’s Necklace in the land of Sartar, and Havna’s Token by the Ernaldan Priestesses of Greydog.

Indrodar had been wounded by a dagger with many barbs, wielded by the wildest of the pale women, and the cut scarred into a line on his left forearm, and later he called that the wound of the first year, and made many beside it.

Appendix 1: Fieldnotes from Ivanko’s study of Grazelander folklore

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Appendix 2: Related fragment of the Eneera of Ironhoof mythic cycle

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  • 1
    Bow of Dominion spell: Duration 15, Initiate, Touch. The spirit of Sagittus is channelled into the caster’s bow, transforming it into a devastating divine weapon for the spell’s Duration. The caster’s Critical range is increased by 2% for every point of Magnitude in the spell. Arrows fired from the bow ignore all mundane and natural armour (magical armour protects as normal). Source: Glorantha:The Second Age