Friday, February 10, 2017

Saint Cryndwr Firebeard of Wealdvale

"Saint Cryndwr Firebeard of Wealdvale (St. Crinder, The Red Goat, Cryndwr o’Broagh)"

"Saint Cryndwr Firebeard began his life as a humble goatherd, tending his flocks in the heathery upper reaches of the Wealdvale. His goats were known in the locality for their tough meat, cantankerous attitude, and full ginger goatees, though their milk was richer than any other and always as fresh as dew on the heather (no doubt due to the blessedness of their master, which will soon be clearly evidenced)."

Basically EXACTLY one of St. Cryndwr's goats.

"It came to pass that, late in the season of Reaping, when St. Cryndwr commonly led his goats to root through the leaves and loam for mushrooms, that his flock began to unaccountably thin, with fewer goats in his fold each morning then there were the evening before. Incensed, the wily St. Cryndwr set aside the skins of strong cider that constituted his customary nightcap and instead remained through the night to watch his flock (as many goatherds are wont to do). Sure enough, in the dark of full night, St. Cryndwr awoke to find goblins emerging from a small tunnel into the enclosure of the fold!"

"He leapt up, and, taking up a mighty stone, heaved it onto the hole’s mouth, crushing one noisome goblin and sealing the rest from entering the fold he guarded!"

"Knowing the persistence of impudent goblins has no bounds, St. Cryndwr resolved to deal with their foul brood for good. Attaching an old axehead to his goatherd’s crook and taking up a broad butchering knife, he waited for morning before removing the boulder from the goblin burrow."

"When the Blessed Sun rose, he entered, fiery red beard lighting his way as he crawled through the cramped tunnel toward the pestilential goblin warren he knew would await him."

"Dispatching any lone vermin he encountered by using his crook to drag his foe down the tight burrows and into the reach of his sharp butcher's knife, St. Cryndwr Firebeard soon reached the noxious heart of the warren, where the tunnels connected with natural caverns in which he could stand high and use his axe-headed crook with both hands to deadly effect: what goblins didn't flee from this wrathful avenger with beard of burning flame perished by mighty arcing swings of his improvised weapon. Most of his foes were too sleepy (it being daytime above) or sick (lying next to half-eaten goat shanks, whining and holding their swollen bellies) to put up much resistance."

"Lo and behold, in addition to the skeletons and carcasses of various goats, St. Cryndwr discovered that the cunning goblins, no doubt finding the meat of his goats stringy and unpalatable, had begun keeping them for their rich milk, kept in skin bags in a nearby niche. Finding the now-fermented beverage to be both bracing and satisfying, the righteous saint headed home aglow with the blessings of the Mother and Father, leading his recaptured goats in tow."

"After he proclaimed his mighty deeds in the village tavern, St. Cryndwr’s compatriots rejoiced that he had slain the marauding goblins, who had sporadically troubled the region’s flocks and infants for several years."

"Suddenly, the ram’s horn of warning sounded from the slopes - the Winter Orcs had come, and earlier in the year than usual!"

"Brave Saint Cryndwr, aflush with the Father's power and with stout ale, roared with a voice that shook the Vale’s slopes: 'by our flocks and women, the foe shall fall as the dying leaves!'"

"An avalanche of boulders and mud tumbled from the Wealdvale onto the advancing horde at this resounding shout, and St. Cryndwr's fellow Valesmen took up claymore, pruning hook, and axe and followed the bold Saint into battle. It is said that as many orcs perished from his roaring voice and potent breath as from his axe-headed goatherd’s crook; soon, the orcish horde had fled in disarray, leaving the flocks and winter stores of the Wealdvale untouched."

"Legendary was the feasting after this heroic victory: ale and cider flowed like water, and Saint Cryndwr was made chieftain of the Wealdvale, as the old chieftain had died in the battle. He led for many years, hardy and vociferous even into old age, when he perished drunk and jovial in an unusual goat-riding incident."

"He is venerated to this day as a patron saint of Valesmen and goatherds, and is often invoked for success and good fortune when collecting milk, adventuring underground, or defending one’s home. His auspices are the goat or a horn of broagh, a hard cider mulled with fermented goat’s milk (which is the traditional drink on St. Cryndwr's feast day, [TBD])."

- From the Hagiograph of The Hundred by the Venerable Viebalde

(This post is the first in my The Hundred Saints series, updating Fridays from here forward. Pop Ars Magisterii in that RSS feed to stay tuned!)

1 comment:

  1. Heh, I bet goblins have a very different opinion of this guy.