To Stand Against the Red Moon
Forging of the Summer Sword
When Illuvan first saw Erena, the Sky God’s Daughter, standing in a high tower looking down from the sky, he fell in love with her and wished to woo her, but he did not know how to get to her, because the Sky was so far above the Earth. So he went to Vestkarthen and asked his advice. This was in the Storm Age, when things had begun to change. Vestkarthen was a wild and untamed god back then, who could consume anything, and had not been captured and enslaved then.
Vestkarthen gave him a horse-goad and told him, “Find a horse and use this horse-goad on it. Hit it hard and make it obey you. For the soft Sky Gods love horses and she will see the horse and take pity on it and will ask you to release it, and then you may woo her.” This was before Elmal had taught the people how to break horses.
So Illuvan took the horse-goad and did as he was instructed. He found a horse and struck it with the horse-goad and forced the horse to do as he said. And Erena saw this and was affronted. She came down from the Sky, radiant and shining, riding the Swan of Seven Colors, and she told Illuvan, “What you are doing is wrong! Stop goading that horse! It will never love you.” And Illuvan said, “If I stop goading the horse, will you love me?” And the radiant and shining goddess agreed that she would love him if he did this for her. And so he stopped goading the horse and wooed her and won her heart, and she agreed to wed him. Never before had a Sky Goddess agreed to do such a thing, and there was much consternation in the Sky.
So Vestkarthen decided to make a gift [for his sister’s grandson]. He decided to forge a sword from his own finger, because that would be a fitting gift for a great warrior. He gathered an anvil and hammer and a sharp knife to make the sword. He spoke to his assistant and told him that it would take much fuel so that his fire would stay hot enough to melt the godbone.
As Vestkarthen worked, he saw that his fire was cooling. “Feed me!” he shouted, and his assistant fed the fire so it would stay hot. But Venebain saw this and was angry, because he did not think it was right to make new things. So he sent a brightness to blind them so they could not work well. But Vestkarthen kept working and shouted again, “Feed me!” and his assistant fed the fire again.
But Venebain saw this and was angry, for he did not want to Illuvan to become a great hero. So he sent something to sting them so they would have to stop the work. But Vestkarthen kept working and shouted again, “Feed me!” and his assistant fed the fire again.
But Venebain saw this and was angry, because he was arrogant and could not stand to be thwarted. So he sent a beautiful goddess to distract Vestkarthen’s assistant. The assistant saw the beautiful woman and was distracted. So when Vestkarthen called out “Feed me!” the assistant was not able to feed him. If the assistant had been able to feed him, Vestkarthen would have forged the best sword every made. As it was, he made a great sword but it had a small flaw.
And so Vestkarthen forged the Summer Sword, and blessed it that it would do great deeds, so that it would help Illuvan be a great hero. But Venebain was envious of Illuvan, because he had hoped to wed Erena himself. And when he saw the Summer Sword, he saw its flaw and he cursed the Summer Sword, saying that it would always fail or betray its wielder.
Despite this curse, Illuvan accepted the Summer Sword as a great gift, and thanked Vestkartehn for it. Illuvan used the sword to kill the Red Snow Giant, but he was not fast enough to save his brother. When the Sky Gods attacked the Illuvani, Illuvan slew the Star Cats so that none of them survived, but the Summer Sword broke and Venebain was able to strike him down, and so all the Illuvani died. What happened to the sword is unknown.