To Stand Against the Red Moon
Orlanth Forms the Storm Tribe
When Orlanth’s marriage to Ernalda was new, he spent much time enjoying the sweet secrets of his bride. But at length he grew restless, and began to think again of his enemy the Emperor. Ernalda saw that he was turbulent inside, and said to him, “You will never beat the Emperor by yourself, for when you fight the Emperor you also fight his tribe, the Fire Tribe. If you really want something to rival what the Emperor has, you must make a new thing, like the Fire Tribe, but better.”
Ernalda’s words troubled Orlanth, and he walked the world and let them rattle around inside him. The Doubting Wheel rolled towards him, and said that Orlanth should not make a tribe.
Orlanth captured the Doubting Wheel in a great net, and took it home to Ernalda, who cooked it up in a soup. “It is nothing to be afraid of now,” she said.
So Orlanth wandered again, until he found his brother Yinkin, who was chief of the Cat Clan. Yinkin said, “My clan is badly pressed by the Plant Tribe, which fights us for our hunting ground.” So Orlanth fought Rustling Veins and the Sharp Green, and bested them. He said, “Now you must join my Storm Tribe.” Yinkin agreed to make the Cat Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as this new tribe had a way of remembering its good laws.
So Orlanth searched for some good laws, and found the Knowing God, who was head of the Marks On Bark Clan. The Knowing God was trapped inside a great cube. He said that the Stone Tribe had put him in there. Orlanth ruined the cube so that it fell apart. Orlanth gave the Knowing God one of Yinkin’s old claws, and said, “Now you must join my Storm Tribe, and help us remember our good laws.” The Knowing God agreed to make the Marks On Bark Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as this new tribe had fierce warriors.
So Orlanth looked for fierce warriors, and found his brother Vadrus, who was boss of the Hurt Everything Clan. Vadrus wanted to go off to fight the Blue Tribe, and wouldn’t listen to Orlanth’s plan. So Orlanth said they should arm-wrestle instead. He defeated Vadrus, and gave Vadrus a lock of the Knowing God’s beard, and said “Now you must join my Storm Tribe.” Vadrus said that the Hurt Everything Clan would join the Storm Tribe, but not if Yinkin’s Cat Clan were part of it. “I will not attend a moot if he is there,” Vadrus said. Orlanth said nothing about Yinkin and went on his way.
Orlanth kept collecting clans. The Talking God agreed to make his Traveling Clan part of the Storm Tribe, so long as it had many cows with which to trade. So Orlanth sought out Uralda, who agreed that the Cow Clan should join the Storm Tribe, so long as there was feed for her clan-mates to eat. So Orlanth found Esra, who said that the Grain Clan would join, but not if the Traveling Clan were part of the Tribe, because the Traveling Clan was too anxious to share her with outsiders.
Orlanth brought them together into one big moot, and soon everyone was fighting and blaming him. “You said Yinkin would not be here!” Vadrus cried. “I will not moot with the Talking God,” said angry Esra. Orlanth was about to fight all of them, right then and there, but then Ernalda brought him items of tribal regalia.
She brought him the Chest of Torcs, with which he could gift the clan leaders. She brought the Hall of Understanding, where people would settle their differences by talking them out. She gave him the Crown of Authority, which made people respect his sacral powers and pledge allegiance to him. Most of the clans agreed to make the tribe, but there were still some who were stubborn.
Then warriors from the Night Tribe came and attacked the quarrelling clans, and everyone banded together to fight these hungry enemies. They saw that the night warriors could have destroyed any one clan, but could not destroy all of the clans massed together. The last of the troublemakers settled down, and named Orlanth their king, and so Orlanth made the Storm Ring to govern the new tribe.
Text copyright A. Sharp LLC