Re: Ernalda Lightbringer's Quest?

From: parental_unit_2 <parental_unit_2_at_T5D0ysBlU1ZmuPQtGkKj4lSbh8qgLZZ3Rr4jnKvJiTqhQ2o7msFrSxscef73>
Date: Wed, 16 Jan 2008 06:44:47 -0000

> You may possibly be thinking of this:

Nice! That was the kind of thing I was looking for. As it happens, we did just make up a purpose-built fertility quest, which is at the end of this message.


FRUIT OF THE GRANDMOTHERS HEROQUEST Summary: Bear goddess gets a fruit from the Tree of the Grandmothers for fertility.\ y_tree.jpg


Back when the trees fed the people, Bear Mother awoke one winter to find that a terrible storm had damaged the trees so badly that they wouldn't grow anything. "People will starve next winter if I don't do something," she said.

So she set out to ask help from the Grandmothers who live in the earth, down through the Dark Spring tunnels. Mole came with her, and roared so loud that the Nightcrawlers wouldn't go near her. He hurt his voice, though, so moles can't roar any more.

Bear Mother became confused in the tunnels, because everywhere she heard loving voices calling her "Come this way! Come with me!" Finally she heard a voice that spoke true, and followed it to the right tunnel.

The tunnel was blocked by a big mound, so she began to dig. Out boiled ants to bite her in all her tender places and old wounds, but she licked them all up.

She came out in her old home, a big cave full of old women. Each time she asked one of the women where the grandmothers were, the woman responded with a riddle. Bear Mother didn't solve any of the riddles, but remembered them and shared them among the old women, and eventually learned enough to find her way through.

She found the grandmothers' orchard, presented them with a gift, and begged them to let her take a fruit to reseed the forest. They agreed, but one found an ant in the gift and was angry. She said, "You can grow trees for food, but they won't feed your people by themselves anymore. You will have to always come back to us for food." So now our women still have to dig up food, it doesn't just fall from the trees.

Possible Stations

1. Fight with darkness creatures, possibly aided by a guide.
2. Encounter with distractions (often former or would-be lovers).
3. Digging up things that are buried and cause pain or conflict.
4. Crossing the realm of old women through wisdom.
5. Bargain with the grandmothers.

Known Successes and Failures
Forest Swords clan now has spectacular acorn harvests and many pigs. Their hero took a live troll captive as a guide to get through the darkness creatures, and brought along the family-mother who showed the old women a trick that they had never seen before. A thief almost stole the fruit when the questers were returning, but the heroine heard him coming and hid until he was taken by a darkness thing.

Castle Hill clan now have the only peach orchard in Tesdalla. Their heroine held a huge feast for every man who she loved or might have loved and gave generous gifts to them and their wives, so she easily got through the tunnels of lovers. However, the heroine had to give up her ability to bear children to the Grandmothers.

Golden Ball clan's former lands are now the Dead Mounds, good for nothing but hunting, ghosts, and poisonous medicinal plants. The heroine's companions abandoned her when she dug up the skeleton of a child that she had secretly abandoned.

Pleasant Earth clan was founded by the heroine Instere, who quested for the fertility of her family and lived to see the clan founded entirely by her descendants. Her sons beat the trolls soundly on the surface and took the skull of the troll leader as a guide in the darkness. Instere brought the grandmothers some exotic foreign gift (people disagree what it was), but had to give up all the clan's cattle, forever (they do have fine sheep).

Sharp Peak clan died out a generation after their quest, although some were adopted by other clans. The questing party fell to fighting over some long-buried dispute, and the heroine ran off with a former lover in the tunnels. Only one of the remaining questers escaped the underworld. A violent feud with the lover's clan and crop failures then decimated the Sharp Peaks.            

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