Myth of the Month: Aedin’s Wall (2000)

Aedin’s Wall is the name of the wall that surrounds Orlanth’s hamlet

Aedin was a daimon who lived upon the slope of the Spike during the Golden Age. He was lazy and indulgent as the rest at first. When the troubles began he was among the restless who sought some piece of security.

One day Aeduin heard that Orlanth wanted to enclose his home with a fortified wall. Of course it had to be fast against giants, enemy gods and even powers yet to be discovered. Orlanth had declared that if someone could make such a wall then he would give any prize that was requested.

Aedin came to Orlanth and offered to make a wall, but as a prize he would take away Eneria. Eneria was Jewel, the most beautiful of the women of Orlanth’s family. Eneria always made anyone feel happy just with her presence. She was always invited to celebrations and ceremonies.

Orlanth said that he would do that, but the wall had to be tested before payment was made. Aedin agreed. He made the wall with blocks of stone made from the thoughts of the gods. They were mostali-strong but fire-light at the same time. As ordered, he made a single entry which was the Mouth of the Storm and was always without gates. It could close upon enemies who tried to enter. It was so tall that nothing could leap or fly over it. Its roots were so deep that nothing could dig under it or shake it. Upon its top were battlements where gods and heroes could gather to fight away anyone who tried to perform the impossible.

The wall was proved to be fast against giants when Ogin and Magin, Feka and Poka, Dardi and Erestomas finally lost their tempers and attacked. Ogin and Magin had been taunted so much they went crazy. Feka and Poka had been robbed again and again. Dardi’s kinfolk had been turned into dirt and rock, and Erestomas was turned into a girl. The giants were all killed easily. That was early in the Storm Age, when Yelm still ruled in his High Throne. It was proved stronger than gods when Urvairinus brought his burning army across the gods worlds and invaded Orlanth’s land. He was bent on revenge for the death of Murharzarm by Orlanth’s murderous hand. The army of fiery gods burned and pillaged everywhere and all the air of the storm realm was full of grey and brown smoke. The army had as much power as possible and tried four tricks to overcome the walls. Each failed, though it took some work by the gods at times.

The wall proved itself stronger than anything yet to come when the chaos army of Derenaki attacked it. Derenaki had a way to defeat every god and goddess that defended the wall, but did not have a weapon to overcome the wall itself. The chaos army was stalled, surrounding the city like a lake, before Orlanth armed his household with new weapons, taken form the highest storehouse of weaponry that was unknown to chaos. They attacked again and Derenaki was killed. Aedin then went to Orlanth and asked for his prize. This was in the Darkness, and Orlanth had already suffered great losses from his friends, herds and lands. Eneria was still the heart of happiness, and everyone in the stead found it tolerable because she was there.

Orlanth said he would decide on the morrow, and gave Aedin a chambter to sleep safely in. All that night Orlanth conferred with his Ring. They said that word had been given and honor invoked. Lhankor Mhy pointed out that it was not a sworn oath, however. Ernalda pointed out that Aedin was not kin of anyone of them in any way, and another answer to him might be death. Chalana Arroy pointed out that giving away happiness would be a great hurt to the entire tribe, and a lesser hurt to deny the mason. Issaries said he could easily say words that showed Aedin’s testing period was not finished yet. Trickster said he wanted to turn into a beautiful woman and divert Aedin.

But at midnight, when they asked Orlanth’s decision, he said, “I am Just. At this time I will give her to him with my blessings.” Ernalda then came to her husband, and she reminded him of the great pleasures they’d had together, and the long history and the shared family and tribe. Then she asked him to reconsider, and to keep the jewel in their house. When he said he could not change she reminded him how she had saved his life, given him love and received countless praise from him. Before Dawn, though, he had not changed his mind. Eneria herself then came to him and threw herself at his feet, begging to be allowed to stay. “My happiness is here,” she said, “to depart is to make me nothing. I will be only an empty prize of bitterness and hate for your son in law.”

“This is my nature,” said Orlanth, “This is not a choice.” And when Aedin came and asked for his payment, Orlanth had his most beautiful and no longer happpy daughter brought before the high seat, and put into the hand of Aedin. The daimon, pleased with himself, gave thanks and departed.

Hedkoranth and Vingkot swore they would return their sister to their homes, and they and the Aedinings hated each other afterwards. Hedkoranth, with new allies after Vingkot was killed, succeeded during the Darkness, and sent the Happiness Song to be sung among the ancestors of the Heortlings. Hedkoranth married her, but since Aedin and all his tribe were dead, even the jewel of happiness from Eneria was melancholy. She thus comes and goes as she pleases now. No one is happy all the time.

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