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Esrola, Heler, and Elmal

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This is the revised version of the Heler side of the myth. It's mostly just some cosmetic changes. 

 

The Contest between Heler and Elmal (Helerite Version)

 

            Once when Heler was out roaming, he looked down and saw the loveliest of all goddesses, Esrola, walking the land. The radiant goddess was stunning to him, with her golden hair in the Courting Braids, with a jeweled comb to hold it in place, and wearing her dress of Life. He desired to court her, but her beauty daunted her, and he feared to approach her. But he saw that she was suffering from Elmal’s oppressive heat. She was fanning herself and lamenting for all her children around her who were withering from Elmal’s relentless glare. 

            So Heler sought to cool her, in hopes that she would appreciate it and thank him. So he gathered his flock of clouds around him and led them toward her, to shield her from Elmal’s heat and provide her with a refreshing rain. But when Elmal saw Heler and his flock rolling in, he was angry, for he was seeking to impress the lovely goddess with the blaze of his heat. So Elmal called his thanes and with his fiery warband, he came roaring at Heler and his flock, striking the flock so hard that it scattered in all directions and sending Heler retreating from that place. 

            When Heler collected himself, he realized that his flock had been scattered, and there was no way he could comfort Esrola without first gathering his flock. And so he went searching for them. He put on his cloak Blue Misty and took up the unbreakable Hailstone Shield and armed himself with his spears Downpour and Torrent.

The blue god was unsure where to look for his flock. So he sought out his highest children, the Cloudhawks, because they are known for their keen eyesight, watching the world from the top of the Middle Air. Most of them were too flighty to have paid attention, and they could not say where his flock had gone. But one of them, Tolartora the High-Sighted, had watched Elmal’s attack and saw where the sheep had scattered to. She promised to help her father search them out. 

            First Tolartora took him to find Fog Lamb, the youngest of his flock, who is as quiet as the mist at sunrise. She had been captured by one of Elmal’s thanes, Roaring Maw, who intended to roast her and consume her utterly. Roaring Maw was so powerful that Heler could not possibly get close enough him to do battle. But when Roaring Maw opened his maw to swallow Fog Lamb, Heler threw his spear Downpour into Roaring Maw’s mouth, so that he could no longer roar at all. Roaring Maw fled, and Heler was able to rescue Fog Lamb. 

            Then Heler wanted to find Soggy Fleece, the wettest of his flock, who is as gentle as the summer showers. Tolartora told the rain god that Soggy Fleece had fled into the midst of the Tanglewood Thicket and had gotten caught there. When Heler entered Tanglewood, the Queen of Tanglewood was angry with him, because she felt that everyone was her enemy and that no one should enter her lands. She demanded that the rain god leave, saying that everything that came there belonged to her. But Heler showed the Queen that he was no enemy but rather promised to always be a friend to her and her people if she would allow him to reclaim his sheep. The Queen of Tanglewood agreed and allowed him to rescue Soggy Fleece, and since then Heler has always been welcomed among her people. 

            Finally, Tolartora led him to Thunder Hooves, the most warlike of his flock, who is as loud as the booming lightning of Orlanth’s storm. Thunder Hooves was being stalked by one of the Hell Hounds, Bargrau, who had three tails and six ears and teeth like spears. Bargrau was too strong for Thunder Hooves, who fled him but was unable to escape him. Tolartora swooped in to help rescue the thunder ram, but Bargrau caught the swift cloudhawk’s wing in his teeth and broke it and threw her down. When Heler saw this, he struck Bargrau so hard with his spear Torrent that it broke most of his teeth, sheared off four of his ears, and sent him fleeing with all of his tails between his legs. 

            Having gathered his flock to him, Heler returned to offer comfort to Esrola. First Fog Ewe crept in, and made it impossible for Elmal to see anything about him. Then Thunder Hooves raced after, making so much noise that Elmal’s thanes could not hear him when he called for them. Then Soggy Fleece came in, bringing with him a gentle rain that cooled Elmal’s oppressive heat and revived Esrola’s withered children. Esrola rejoiced at this gift that Heler had given to her, and she allowed him to court her, which he gladly did. The Life-goddess called him her Year-Husband and took him to bed and her children flourished and grew well, thanks to his cooling rains. 

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