PrefaceThe following are a collection of legends and anecdotes collected by myself through discussions and festivals with the Yeti. Because the stories do not contain a point of reference in terms of time, I am including the stories to fit a rough order.
The CreationLong ago, before time was time, two brothers wandered the stars. The elder was named Yetin, the younger, Vibran. After a journey of such length that it could not be measured, the brothers decided to rest. They descended onto a barren land along the shores of an immeasurable lake. After their respite, Yetin resolved to explore the new land that they had come to. Vibran, who was less adventurous that his brother, stayed by the water.
While awaiting Yetin’s return, Vibran began to construct objects out of the clay he found on the shore. These objects he made in the many shapes created by his mind. His creations were of all manner of beast and bird, shrub and tree. He found it more enjoyable to make many things that were different from each other. By the time that Yetin returned, Vibran had filled the land by the shore with his creations. Yetin searched through the cold, gray forest for Vibran. He was found in a small clearing working on one of his figures.
Yetin asked Vibran what he was doing. Vibran happily showed his brother how to work the clay. Yetin was impressed. He had never seen the creativity of his brother so vibrant. Once again, Yetin left. This time he was not travel far, he went to create his own clay figures. Yetin was different from his brother in many ways. While he was more adventurous, he was also less confident in his creativity. Being less creative than his brother, Yetin focused instead on the variations of a small number of forms. He created two different figures. The first were in his image, tall and muscled. The second, he made in the image of Vibran. These he kept hidden and hoped to present them as a gift to his brother, once they were finished.
Eventually, Yetin finished his creations, and eagerly returned to Vibran’s forest in the hopes of presenting his gift. He found Vibran at the top of a high cliff, which towered over the water’s edge, staring off into the distance. Before he could speak, Yetin heard that which had captivated his brother. It was singing, though they were unable to make out the words. Then, from the horizon, came a blinding light and a woman walking across the water. The light seemed to radiate from her. The brothers rushed from the cliff to meet her.
They saw her standing in front of one of Vibran’s trees. The brothers stared in amazement, for the tree was no longer cold and gray. It was now green and bearing fruit. Yetin wondered if she might be able to do the same with his creations. That, he thought, would make a better gift. The woman, then, beckoned to them, to emerge from their hiding, for she had known that they were watching.
She was Elana, another traveler of the stars. Both Yetin and Vibran were smitten with her. However, Yetin, being the bolder of the two, was the first to emerge and approach Elana. Together they went, and he showed her the lands about them. Long did they spend together. Their affection for each other grew, and as it grew, so did Vibran’s jealousy.
Yetin and Elana began to go off together in secret, and Vibran began to follow them. He followed them to a flat stretch of land where Yetin had created the beings in his image. Vibran overheard Yetin ask Elana if she would be able to give his creations life. He then took her away from there to travel into the west. Vibran looked upon his brother’s creations and saw it as a great conceit, for he could think of no other reason why he should want life to be given to creatures of his likeness. In his jealousy and anger, Vibran mutilated the clay figures by breaking off all of their tails. Vibran felt satisfied, but his anger was not satiated.
Vibran returned to his forest, still full of anger. He decided that he would create his own beings, in his likeness. Alas, he had no love of subtlety and he quickly became frustrated until finally, he had created such hideous creatures, that he took them to a large cave to hide them for eternity. His failure to create what he thought Yetin had created with ease only fueled the contempt that he felt.
Yetin and Elana returned to the forest. They had returned to his creations, and seen what Vibran had done to them. Yetin confronted Vibran, asking why he had done such a thing. Vibran could no longer contain his anger and the two began to fight. Elana, who knew that Yetin was the stronger of the two, tried to stop them from fighting before they harmed each other and regretted it. Yetin’s attention was stolen by Elana and Vibran took advantage of his lapse by plunging his knife deep into his brother’s side. Elana gasped and Yetin fell to the ground.
Elana rushed to his side, Vibran could not believe what he had done. He gazed in horror at his brother’s body on the ground. Elana’s hair began to glow and a great burst of light issued forth from her in all directions. All around them, Vibran’s creations sprang to life. The light covered all the land, and life was given unto the world. It was not enough, though, to save Yetin. Elana began to weep.
As Vibran looked upon his brother’s lifeless body, a being emerged from the trees and entered the clearing. It was one of Yetin’s creations that had gone untouched by Vibran’s fury. Vibran saw that it was in his image and that Yetin had created it for him. Vibran was overcome with grief, and he fled from the clearing. He ran to the top of the cliff where they used to look out on the ocean and, from that place, he cast himself into the ocean.
Yetin’s creations retrieved his body and brought it to Elana. She was unable to give life to either of the brothers. She wept so long that the lake turned to brine and the life drained from her body. The creations of Yetin, knowing what they had done, gave these three Great Ones a special burial. The brothers, they lifted into the sky and became the moons, forever wandering to stars. Elana, their life giver, they too lifted into the sky. As they did, her hair began to once again glow and she became the sun, to forever shine down her life onto the world.
The Taming of GrenokLong ago, there was a clan leader named Enrick. He and his people had been forced from their homes by a bitter, lost war. They traveled to a new land to start over again. The land they found was rich and bountiful. The rivers and lakes were full of fish and the trees were heavy with fruit. The greatest abundance, however, were the great horned deer that roamed the land. They had never see beasts so large, even the horned deer that they knew never grew to such a great size. Here they decided to settle. Enrick proclaimed himself, king and built a great hall near the border of a large dark forest.
Enrick ruled this land for many years, and was not remembered as a kind or wise king. He was a greedy and ill-tempered ruler. His judgments were swift and his punishments severe. He continued to build additions to his hall, making each one more ornate than the last. He did this to display his wealth and power. Enrick quickly became known for his wealth.
Many years after the founding of his kingdom, strange things began to happen. At first they were minor, a fence was broken, an animal went missing, but none of it suggested malice. Later, the occurrences escalated, whole crops were destroyed in a single night, houses were being destroyed. Eventually, people began to go missing. When members of his house started disappearing, Enrick began to worry. His guard was doubled and they kept constant watch. One morning, some of the guards on patrol came upon a massacre. A dozen soldiers had been killed. They found a trail of blood and followed it to the edge of the forest.
Enrick sent messengers out to all corners of the land, calling on the greatest warriors and hunters. He offered a great reward to any who brought him the head of the beast that was ravaging his kingdom. Many came for the challenge, others came for the glory, and all were there to collect the reward. In all, one hundred Yeti came for the hunt. The night before the hunt, amid the festivities, came a banging on the hall’s great doors. All noise in the hall ceased, the banging echoed through the hall. One warrior, took up his axe, and approached the door.
He threw open the door and raised his axe, ready to swing. Standing at the door, covered in blood, was a small boy, no older than six. The child muttered, “Grenok” and then collapsed onto the cold stone floor. The warrior lifted the boy and brought him into the hall. When he awoke, the warriors eagerly awaited to hear what the boy had described as “the shadow”. The boy described a great horned deer black as the night and as tall as a house that destroyed his home and killed his parents. The warriors thought it ridiculous that a deer could grow that large. It must have been the child’s imagination. Now, though, they knew what they needed to look for. By dawn, the warriors were on the edge of the forest, ready for fame and fortune. Enrick had bidden them farewell from his hall, for he was not keen to go so near the forest.
The day passed and none of the warriors returned from the forest. Five more days passed and still none had returned. Then, on the seventh day, in broad daylight, he came. Never before had Grenok emerged during the day, but now he was angry. Enrick looked on the creature, fur of the darkest brown and antlers that could seat two full grown Yeti. Their eyes met and Enrick could see a fury burning in them. Then, Grenok turned, and strode back into the forest. For the next year, whenever one of the moons were full, Grenok returned, and destruction would follow in his wake.
At the end of that year, a warrior entered Enrick’s kingdom. He approached the hall and threw open its heavy, oak doors. He entered to find the king cowering behind his throne. He announced “I am Svenek, and I have come to slay the beast that threatens your land”. The king and his soldiers that came out of hiding laughed at this notion, for Svenek was a Yeti of small size and he was neither the strongest nor the fastest. He did, however, have a hidden skill that many did not posses. He had a keen mind and a bravery that was unequalled in the world. Then the king returned to his throne, he asked Svenek why he would seek death. Svenek only replied with one word, “Glory” and with that he left the great hall and entered the forest. Svenek knew that he would not have to look for the beast, the beast would find him. The sun had not even reached noon before he saw Grenok. He stood in a clearing as if he was waiting for Svenek to come.
Svenek gripped his shield and drew his sword. The beast charged. The two of them fought for several days. Every kick of Grenok’s hooves met the hard iron of Svenek’s shield. Every swing of Svenek’s sword was parried by Grenok’s massive antlers. Then, Svenek swung, Grenok blocked, and the two became entangled. Both struggled to break free and with a twist of his neck, Grenok cast Svenek’s sword deep into the forest. The beast then threw his head down at Svenek, who caught the antlers in his bare hands. Together, they stood there, caught in a stalemate, throughout the night.
By morning, Svenek began to tire. He faltered, and with a great wrenching of his neck, Grenok threw Svenek through the trees. Svenek landed on a large, mossy patch of ground. Tired as he was, he forced himself to stand. As he did, he looked around and was stunned. All around him laid countless headless carcasses. They were not of Yeti, but of great horned deer. Svenek understood the beast’s anger. He fell to his knees, knowing that he would not be able to defeat the creature against which he was set and understanding that the beast needed his revenge.
A tree burst, splinters filled the air, and there stood Grenok. He once again charged, but then he halted, seeing the weariness and surrender of the warrior. Grenok stood, staring at Svenek in confusion. Suddenly, Svenek leapt to his feet. The beast backed away from him, not knowing what to make of it. Svenek had a plan. He explained it to Grenok, who seemed to understand, and with that he left the forest.
Once again, Svenek threw open the great doors of Enrick’s hall. All who were inside stared at him, too surprised to make a sound. He exclaimed “I have succeeded, I have stopped the beast”. The king demanded that the creature’s head be brought before him. Svenek asked the king to follow him. He led Enrick to the edge of the forest. The whole countryside gathered to see the beast’s body. The king once again made his demands. Svenek replied “I have traveled through this forest and I have fought the beast. I have learned that it is in fact not a beast, but a great protector of the forest. Your king became greedy and took from the land whatever he wanted. He hunted the great horned deer of the forest to mount their heads on his wall. Now, this beast is one of the few that remain.
The villagers gasped at the news that the beast had not been killed. Svenek announced that he had come to a bargain with the beast. As he spoke, Grenok emerged from the forest. The villagers froze with fear, the king drew his sword, determined to kill the beast himself. But Grenok sank his large teeth into Enrick’s shoulder and carried him into the forest. Then, the beast returned with thirty of his kind. Svenek explained that because they were small in number, the villagers would have to be the caretakers and protectors of the great horned deer. Grenok approached Svenek and with his great jaw, lifted him onto his back and left.
Never had a Yeti and a beast been closer. Many adventures were before them and they were never parted. They traveled the land vanquishing evil and upholding honor. In death, the two guard the borders of Hallaer, where the honored dead walk once more.
The First and the Great OnesI was in the village of Klippebror with Boric for the traditional Machen Bachen, a festival to celebrate the harvest season. At night, the elders tell stories from their mythos. Boric and I had arrived late to the celebration and we only caught the end of the storytelling. It was an explanation of questions asked by one of the children. Here follows the account:
Child: What are the stars?
Elder: They are the lights of the Great Ones. Just as Elana gives her light onto us, so too do other beings give light to worlds of their own.
Child: Are they far away? Can we visit?
Elder: Yes, they are far away, too far away to visit. When Yetin and Vibran were traveling through the stars, it took an immeasurable amount of time for them to cross the void between worlds.
Child: If the Great Ones traveled between the stars, does that mean that there was existence before us.
Elder: Yes. The Great Ones spent uncounted eons traveling, giving life to the universe.
Child: If they gave life to the universe, what gave life to them?
Elder: It is said that the First, existed before the beginning of time and will continue after its end.
Eventually, the First became lonely and so created the Great Ones. But, like all children, they left home to explore the worlds about them.
Child: Are there anymore Great Ones?
Elder: No. They perished long ago. Legend says that the three that gave life to this world were the last of the Great Ones. The light of the stars is all that remains of them. It is said, though, that one day, the First’s Children with gather together, and join once again with the First. Since we are children of the Great Ones, we too shall join with the First.
Child: What will happen then?
Elder: Nobody is certain. Some believe that we will transcend and live with the creators. Others believe that life will simply end. My belief is that, we shall return to that from which we are made. And that when time ends, the First will again grow lonely and give life back to his children, who will once again leave to create the worlds anew. And then, we shall be reborn to walk the land once more.