To Stand Against the Red Moon
Back in the Godtime, Illuvan and his people settled what would later become the Orlmarth tula. Illuvan was a great hero who did many great deeds and wooed Erane the Sky’s Daughter. They were wed, and their many sons and daughters wed the children of the Sky.
But then the Illuvani decided to build a great tower so they could walk into the Sky to visit their relatives. The Sky Gods grew angry about this, saying “You are people of the Dirt! We do not want you coming here.” And they demanded that the Illuvani tear down the tower. But the Illuvani refused. So the Sky Gods gathered together and said “What shall we do? If we allow them to go unpunished, the people of the Dirt will think they do not have to obey us.” So they decided to destroy the Illuvani, even though they were the kin of the Sky Gods. So Venebain the Lightfore and the other Sky Gods rained down fire on the Illuvani, killing them and creating the Starfire Ridges. This was a great crime.
When Illuvan married Erena, all the Sky Gods attended the wedding, and Vestkarthen forged a sword out of his own finger, known as the Summer Sword, as a wedding present, giving it the blessing that it would do many great deeds. But Venebain was jealous because he himself wished to wed Erena and so he spitefully added that every time the sword did a great deed, it would also fail the wielder. Despite this curse, Illuvan accepted the Summer Sword as a great gift, and thanked his wife’s kin 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.
But later, Orlanth confronted Venebain at the Battle of Thrinbarri Clouds and threw him down to the Cinder Pits and trapped him there so that he and his sons cannot leave.
When Hengist the Founder settled in the Nymie Vale, he met the ghosts of the Illuvani at the Starfire Ridges. They threatened to destroy him because they thought he was Venebain, but he persuaded them that he was not, and swore to always be an enemy to their enemies and to consider them his ancestors. Today, whenever the Orlmarth encounter the ghosts of the Illuvani, they repeat Hengist’s Oath, and the Illuvani let them pass in peace. Only the Orlmarth know this oath, and so only they and those they escort can safely cross the Starfire Ridges. But sometimes, the Sky Demons break loose from the Cinder Pits and must be driven back.