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My Orlanth and Ernalda get married story (incomplete)


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Gavrening Orlanth and Ernalda story (incomplete)


[This story immediately follows a version of ‘How Orlanth Met Ernalda’ (http://www.glorantha.com/docs/how-orlanth-met-ernalda/). The Gavrenings are a Yinkini clan and therefore their ‘grandfather’ and their attitudes about men and women play a large role.]


Orlanth became silly with love, like Men do. But he was not her husband, after a few nights he walked home. He saw the many women of the Earth watching him and they seemed bemused.

When Orlanth reached the Wind Stead, he asked his brothers what he should do. They were wrestling in the barren courtyard.

Humath said that love is weakness, and he should not be governed by it.

Orlanth said he would not have faced the Emperor without love.

Urox said ‘You must use violence to drive away the other suitors’

The Other Brother said ‘You must hurt her and force her’

Vadrus said ‘You must seize her, and hold her captive’

Orlanth said that is what the Emperor had done. He wanted her to smile at him, again.

Kolat said ‘Only by bargaining can you get what you want’

Orlanth did not know what he wanted, and while intimacy was a kind of bargain, it was also something that was bigger when it was fairly apportioned. He told his kinfolk that he had written poems, had shown her his feats of strength, and he had freed her from her bad husband. But she went back to her mother and her sisters and would not live with him. He wondered if she wanted him to carry her away.

No one paid any further attention except the alynx and the one who was there only when the elder brothers were not.

Yinkin stared at his brother. ‘That is not how you woo a woman’.

Orlanth paused, though the elder brothers were making a lot of noise, and stopped to listen.

Yinkin said, ‘You must braid your hair and oil your skin. You must be clever and graceful and let her come and go when she wants to. When you get restless, you must slip away, so she is happy to see you later. Never give promises.’

Brastalos said to her brother. ‘You are moving too quickly.’

She was the quietest of the children of Storm. ‘You must allow her to woo you, also’.

The next time that Orlanth came to Dini he decided to ask the women there how to woo their sister. He let Yinkin fix his unruly hair, and wore a tunic of fine died wool.

The first person he met at the Earth stead was Maran, who was dancing. ‘What do you want?’ she said.

‘I am looking for your sister,’ said Niskis.

Maran looked him up and down. ‘Always men coming to see her. So many useless gifts!’

Niskis hid his surprise. ‘A gift?’

‘She likes them, maybe because they are so much trouble,’ said the dancing girl. She went back to what she was doing.

The next person he met was […]




Orlanth sat with Vela and told her why he was sad. ‘I have made myself beautiful for her, as my brother said. I have shown her my strength, and my desire. I have sung my poem to her, but she has many suitors, and they glitter, and they are strong, and they are older and surer. She has stolen my heart, but it is only a prize to her.’

Vela listened to Niskis and took pity on him. ‘Don’t be so sure.’

The breeze picked up.

Vela said, ‘It is not the same thing to be a lover as it is to be a partner. Sex is easy but marriage is hard. The Earth has many lovers, and she is older than the Air, but… her heart is not of stone…’


‘The one who helps when there is trouble. The one who cradles the crying child, who rides out into the night and thunder, who reassures by always coming home.’

‘Not like my brother’.

‘No, though he is delightsome,’ said Vela.




Orlanth did the […] dance. This time he looked at Ernalda, and caught her eye. He saw that she was smiling, and he kept dancing. Golden Harono made a golden laugh. But Ernalda was watching her lover.

Orlanth brought his black ram. ‘He makes the best wool,’ he explained: ‘he is strong and watchful, and he drives away bad things. He covers the ewes and makes many delightful lambs. I have raised him from when he first pranced on the green earth, and I am proud.’ ‘It is yours’.

Orlanth said he was lonely. ‘There are few women among us, and I want to keep hearth with one. There is only one whom I be so foolish for, and it is, you Great Queen. I rove and strive across the sky for you. Come and see my house. It is not so grand as this, but it has many pastures, and a sturdy roof.’


Ernalda said she would stay with him a season, in his house. Orlanth felt great joy. There was a roll of thunder. He offered to carry her, but she preferred to walk.

His brothers were astonished at what he had done. They threw stones at the house and kept up a racket to try to drive away the woman. Yinkin said that Orlanth had made promises – ‘like he always does’ – and this would end badly ‘like it always does’. Brastalos was inscrutable. 


When the season was over, Ernalda made ready to go.

‘Surely you can stay longer’ said Orlanth.

‘I have my house and sisters,’ said Ernalda. She kissed him and went to walk to Dini.

Orlanth ran down to the gate. ‘Stop!’

Ernalda slowed but did not stop. ‘You are enough, but your brothers do not love me. I have too many sisters and too many cousins whom I love there. When I am here, I am lonely when you are running in the fields. When I am here, the quiet wind, she judges me. I spin the wool and look south, where my heart is also. Surely you do not think my heart is made of stone.’

Orlanth stood in front of the gate. ‘Maybe Vadrus is right and I should keep you.’

Ernalda touched her belly. ‘My breath, you have given me something I need women’s help for. Soon there will be another god in the Earth’

Orlanth was taken aback. He touched her where she rested her hand. ‘I feel the hammering of his heart’. ‘He wants to be born’.

Orlanth looked at his year-wife. ‘Let Barntar be born here, by our hearth. I will fetch your women’. He asked Yinkin to keep his wife company while he flew to the Green Land.

Yinkin looked at the Green Woman. ‘Now this house will be full of women.’ He smiled. ‘Perhaps promises are all right’.

Orlanth appeared soon after with his wife’s women. ‘I don’t know what to do,’ he said excitedly. They had him go to Heler for some water.

There was a great trembling in the stead. This was the Earth giving birth. Maran did the ‘Labor Song’ with her sister. Asrelia was there, crowded into the room.

When Barntar crowned, he shrieked. Then he took a gulp of air. ‘He is my son!’ said Orlanth. The last bit of doubt was gone.

Afterwards Orlanth asked Ernalda if he could stay and help. He wanted to hold his son. That is when Ernalda said she would stay, after all. Many of her kin did too, but Orlanth’s brothers left. There were too many women, they said.

Edited by jeffjerwin
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21 minutes ago, jeffjerwin said:

I suspect there's a part about visiting his mother and asking for help as well. There are a few more sisters that Orlanth has to talk to, and the part where he makes his promises.

Yes, from his mother's side there's Inora, and probably Tara, the Lady of the Wild. The sisters at Dini only appear as a nameless and shapeless group.


Not sure whether Niskis is the right name to bring up here - the Niskis episode was when Orlanth in disguise replaced the exiled Storm King as Ernalda's lover. (And I wonder how many inhabitants of Storm Village were fooled by this...)

Tat and Tol are the two rather inexperienced if scoring lovers who explore the world, and I think that until the conception of Barntar we have to deal with Tat rather than Niskis.

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Telling how it is excessive verbis


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3 hours ago, Runeblogger said:

I like it so far.
But why did his brothers leave? I think some of them must return sooner or later...

Orlanth's brothers represent a purely masculine culture - the culture of violent youth - not married stability. They are the part of him that 'leaves' when he becomes a father. Some come back to live nearby.

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