Saturday, December 25, 2010

Old Moroze

 During the long nights of the Frost Moon, claim the settlers of the Borderlands, the creatures of feyerie grow bold and mischievous. Goblyns, drolls, and tomtens are said to venture indoors, helping themselves to the table scraps and warming themselves by the hearth while the family sleeps, slipping away in the hours before dawn. These strange visitors are made welcome by the wise, for they can be destructive when offended, and may sometimes be quite helpful when they are pleased. Those who seek the favor of their eldritch neighbors will leave out an offering of beer, milk, and small cakes, most especially around the night of the solstice.

Sometimes the family will wake to find small chores done - animals already seen to, some cleaning or mending already finished, firewood split and neatly stacked. Sometimes other, stranger gifts may be discovered - dolls in the likeness of the family members or fashioned after folk of far-off lands, newly-woven hoods and cloaks, even fresh fruit. Such gifts are rare, and a household that has received such is popularly believed to have been visited not by the local faerie folk, but by Old Moroze himself.

The legend tells that Old Moroze rides through the Borderlands during the Frost Moon in a tiny sledge drawn by a silvery goat or caribou. He is drawn to houses where plants have been preserved indoors, for he lives all his life in the northern snows and sees little of living green. He is believed to be the kindest and most generous of all the fey visitors, and is an ardent foe of goblyns and frost giants. Some say that every year he visits but a single house, the most worthy house he can find, while others say that he travels wherever the snow may reach, and visits a new house each night - and sometimes several in a village. It has even been suggested that Old Moroze himself is responsible for turning the wheel of the year forward when it threatens to freeze in unending winter, dooming himself to renewed exile even as he ensures the rising tide of light and life.

None can say with any certainty what is the truth of Old Moroze. But here's hoping he visited your home this year, and left you with a little something to make your winter warmer.

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