Saturday, January 3, 2015

Petty Gods: Three Old Stories of Followers of the Jale God

Three Old Stories of Followers of the Jale God


Hildagrum the Blindress

Hildagrum resisted the Jale God in various guises. One time, she saw ten bandits being transported to the gallows in a cart. Instead of lamenting their wickedness, they acted like animals, hooting and hollering and jumping about. Although no one else saw anything out of the ordinary when they glanced at the criminals, Hildagrum saw a multitude of spirits and devils prodding and poking the men, making them curse and blasphemy. Having compassion for the men, Hildagrum climbed into the cart beside them, stabbed each one six times through both eyes, and spat in the wounds. In this way, the Jale God gained twenty new eyes to look out upon the world.


Nurvoc
Nurvoc, a devout man of great piety, was an elementalist and master of a great landholding. Earth, wind, fire, and water were subject to him; he drove away plaguing spirits, unmuted dumb tongues, restored health to the putrid, and, on occasion and for the right price, resurrected the dead. He could walk on water, sleep on flames, and subsist on nothing but damp dirt for months at a time. Once, he was riding in a horse of flame, sweeping through the air above a city when he chanced to look down at the streets below him. The streets were broiling with devils and demons and spirits fighting among themselves, battling for control of various city boroughs. With a loud voice, he invoked the One Name of the Jale God and commanded the factions to settle their dispute and wipe the city from the face of the earth; to this day, nothing will grow in the Fields of Barrensburg.


Fladehem the Reluctant
One day, the Jale God transformed himself into a little barn swallow, which fluttered about Fladehem the Blacksmith and tweeted so sweetly that he was drawn away from his labors at the forge. Fladehem stripped himself of his clothes and threw himself on a hedge of briars and nettles, mangling his body so terribly that streams of blood ran down his body and pooled at his feet. Not to be stopped, the Jale God transformed into a buxom wench and attempted to help Fladehem tend to his wounds; Fladehem pierced through the illusion with a red-hot bar of steel and burned the body in his forge. When a town elder beheld the grinning skull in the forge when he came to collect a pair of hinges for his stable door, Fladehem was strung up in a gibbet for three days and harangued by packs of young boys throwing stones. In despair, he called out to the gods for relief; the Jale God answered in the form of a hawk which disemboweled Fladehem as he hung above the village green. As he died, Fladehem saw through the Jale God's veil once again and laughed, and all heard him proclaim "Iä! Jaash im raa!"