The Drinking Giant’s Cauldron
The greatest treasure the gods took from the Old Gods of the Sea was the Cauldron of Ver, the Drinking Giant’s Cauldron. As long as they had the Cauldron, the Sea Gods could never be truly defeated; after every defeat they were replenished and stronger than they were before.
The Sea Gods would replenish themselves by drinking from the Drinking Giant’s Cauldron. That silver cauldron, decorated with the secrets of the ages, holds the bronze waters of Loka, a magical elixir of transformative power. The intoxicating power of Loka immensely increased the strength of the gods, although afterwards they were weakened for a while. Orlanth, as leader of the new gods, swore to take the Cauldron of Ver from the Sea Giants who sought to deny his people their rightful place in the world and keep everyone in submission. Armed with his three sacred thunderbolts, Orlanth set off for the Great Deep where Ver the Drinking Giant (called Daliath by some) made his home.
Confronting the Drinking Giant, Orlanth engages him in a series of contests and in the end, carries away their cauldron. As is typical with anything as fluid as air and sea together, there are many different stories of exactly how this was achieved. Some stories say Orlanth stole it, killed them, others that he was given it; in some Orlanth had friends and in others none; in some he was disguised, and others he proudly presented himself. The stories even disagree on the number of contests; most say three, some say five, and a few say just one. In most stories, Orlanth, filled with Loka, slays the sea giants who try to retrieve the Cauldron (but in others he is allowed to return to the home of the gods unmolested).
All stories agree that Orlanth took the Cauldron from the Sea Gods and it gave the gods the life renewing powers of water. It also caused a permanent weakening of the Sea Gods for they lost their renewal powers. Many hold that Nelat’s Bath, which “dissolved the last of Orlanth” (his bones) was revenge for this theft. The stories agree that Orlanth gave the cauldron to “the king of the nemiwi (ie-a being not woman or man, genderless), those men of stone, the haters of dwarfs, inside the Great Stone.”
Loka and the Cauldron of Ver
Drinking Loka from the Cauldron of Ver grants divine powers to mortals; speed and strength to warriors, excellent and righteous sons to those giving birth, insight to the poet, and spiritual power and knowledge to those who apply themselves to the study of the divine. A form of this drink is drunk by the Orlanthi men and women in magical ceremonies, after it has been “boiled out of the goddess” (distilled) by a special rituals. It is considered to be dangerous, and if done improperly, will dissolve the drinker’s skeleton.