Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sword and Sorcery Classic Free Download - The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories by Dunsany

 This is one of my all time favorite collections of Lord Dunsany . This book not only crosses the twin genres of sword and sorcery but also the dream like fantasies of many who would come later including HP Lovecraft and many luminaries of the genre. This collection of stories hits all of the right buttons though. 

The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories by Dunsany
Right Over

This is the third book in the linked collections involving The Gods of Pegāna.It was preceded by his earlier collection The Gods of Pegāna. This is one of my all time favorite collections of Lord Dunsany. 

A work from  the forgotten master Sidney_Sime whose illustrations of Lord Dunsany define the writer's worlds so well. 

According to Wiki : 
The Sword of Welleran and Other Stories is the third book by Irish fantasy writer Lord Dunsany, considered a major influence on the work of J. R. R. TolkienH. P. LovecraftUrsula K. Le Guin and others. It was first published in hardcover by George Allen & Sons in October, 1908, and has been reprinted a number of times since. Issued by the Modern Library in a combined edition with A Dreamer's Tales as A Dreamer's Tales and Other Stories in 1917.
The book is a series of short stories, some of them linked by Dunsany's invented pantheon of deities who dwell in Pegāna, which were the focus of his earlier collections The Gods of Pegāna and Time and the Gods. One of the stories, "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth," was afterwards (1910) published by itself as a separate book, a now very-rare "Art-and-Craft" style limited edition.
-Contents -
  • "The Sword of Welleran"
  • "The Fall of Babbulkund"
  • "The Kith of the Elf-Folk"
  • "The Highwaymen"
  • "In the Twilight"
  • "The Ghosts"
  • "The Whirlpool"
  • "The Hurricane"
  • "The Fortress Unvanquishable, Save for Sacnoth"
  • "The Lord of Cities"
  • "The Doom of La Traviata"
  • "On the Dry Land"

     The creations of Lord Dunsany  or his The Gods of Pegāna

In Dunsany everything has its place and fits together like a well oiled machine. The material is fresh and new even after all this time. The reason why its  so loved is because its both original and engaging. His divinities and background drive everything that follows in his work. Is it really any wonder that Lovecraft thought so highly of his work. A quick examination of his gods reveals some interesting details. File:Edward Plunkett, 18th Baron Dunsany.jpg

From wiki comes the following entry: 


The chief of the gods of Pegāna is Mana-Yood-Sushai, who created the other gods and then fell asleep; when he wakes, he "will make again new gods and other worlds, and will destroy the gods whom he hath made." Men may pray to "all the gods but one"; only the gods themselves may pray to Mana-Yood-Sushai.

Skarl the Drummer[edit]

After Mana-Yood-Sushai "made the gods and Skarl", Skarl made a drum and began to beat on it in order to lull his creator to sleep; he keeps drumming eternally, for "if he cease for an instant then Mana-Yood-Sushai will start awake, and there will be worlds nor gods no more." Dunsany writes that
Some say that the Worlds and the Suns are but the echoes of the drumming of Skarl, and others say that they be dreams that arise in the mind of MANA because of the drumming of Skarl, as one may dream whose rest is troubled by sound of song, but none knoweth, for who hath heard the voice of Mana-Yood-Sushai, or who hath seen his drummer?

The small gods[edit]

Besides MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI, there are numerous other gods in Pegāna's pantheon, known as the small gods:
  • Kib, The Sender of Life. The creator of beasts and Men.[3]
  • Mung, Lord of all Deaths [4]
  • Sish, the Destroyer of Hours. The god of time.[5]
  • Dorozhand, Whose Eyes Regard the End. The god of Destiny.[6]
  • Slid, Whose Soul is the Sea. The lord of all waters.[7]
  • Limpang-Tung, the God of Mirth and of Melodious Minstrels.[8]
  • Yoharneth-Lahai, the God of Little Dreams and Fancies.[9]
  • Roon, the God of Going.[10]
  • Hoodrazai, the Eye in the Waste. The mirthless god who knows the secret of MANA-YOOD-SUSHAI.[11]
  • Sirami, the Lord of All Forgetting [12]
  • Mosahn, the bird of doom [13]
  • Grimbol, Zeebol and Trehagobol, the three goddesses of the tallest mountains, mothers of the three (once) revelious river gods.

The thousand home gods[edit]

According to Roon, the God of Going, "There are a thousand home gods, the little gods that sit before the hearth and mind the fire--there is one Roon."[14] These home gods include:
  • Pitsu, who stroketh the cat
  • Hobith who calms the dog
  • Habaniah, the lord of glowing embers
  • Zumbiboo, the lord of dust (described as "little")
  • Gribaun, who sits in the heart of the fire to turn the wood to ash (called "old")
  • Kilooloogung, the lord of arising smoke
  • Jabim, the Lord of broken things
  • Triboogie, the Lord of Dusk
  • Hish, the Lord of Silence
  • Wohoon, the Lord of Noises in the Night
  • Eimes, Zanes and Segastrion, the (once) revelious lords of the three rivers of the plain
  • Umbool, the Lord of the Drought
  • Araxes, Zadres and Hyraglion, stars in the south
  • Ingazi, Yo and Mindo, stars to the north

Trogool, neither god nor beast[edit]

Trogool is the mysterious thing, sat at the very south pole of the cosmos and whose duty is to turn over the pages of a great book, in which the very history writes itself every day until the end of the world. The fully written pages are "black", meaning the night, and when it is turned, then the white page symbolizes a new day. Trogool never answers prayer, and the pages that had been turned shall never be turned back, neither by him nor anyone.
Trogool is the Thing that men in many countries have called by many names, IT is the Thing that sits behind the gods, whose book is the Scheme of Things.

Everything has its place in his universe and his gods each become not only a facet of their universe but the center as well as the framework. Adventurers and heroes here are going to have both small goings on and epic adventures at the same time.
Another lesson I quickly learned from this book is to engage the players early and keep em entertained.
After the first few paragraphs the reader is deeply invested in the world and creations of the writer. With a game like AS&SH the DM and players are going to be heavily invested in the background and the adventures. This could well effect the possibilities of the over all fate of Hyperborea or at least their version of it.
 As I write more of Accursed Terra and its environs many of the old favorites have been coming off of the shelf. This one happens to be one of them and I thought I'd share it with you. Its way too bad that not more folks know about 
Dunsany today. He seems to be a much beloved footnote in fantasy rather then a cornerstone. I was reading the 'Encyclopedia of Fantasy' today and looked at this really well written description of Dunsany. I wonder how many college kids today know or have read his works. Everyone today knows Tolkien and Middle Earth but Pegāna is left sitting on a shelf someplace far too remote for a movie or mention today. Kind of sad since the literature is easy to access, readily available on the internet, and best of all free.
This material can serve a DM finely as a blueprint to create their own divinities, adventures with a dream like quality, and simply to be appreciated for being one of the corner stones of Appendix N in the AD&D DM's Guide. As well as being one of the best pieces of fantasy literature out there.
Happy Gaming 

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