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【书籍搬运】The Story of Aevar Stone-Singer 石柱咏唱者艾弗的故事

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The Story of Aevar Stone-Singer

原文出处:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Lore:Aevar_Stone-Singer

无名氏著

s_sir翻译

这是一个口口相传的斯卡尔传说,讲述了一个斯卡尔青年为他的同胞重新获得造物主祝福的经历。 “安静地坐着,宝贝,认真听,我给你讲一个很久很久以前的故事。” “是讲什么的,爷爷?是关于英雄和猛兽的吗?” 祖父耐心地看着他的孙子,他正在成长为一个优秀的男孩,不久他就能领会这则故事中蕴含的道理,每一代斯卡尔人都曾从中得到教育。 “认真听,宝贝,让这个故事在你心里生根。” 在很久很久以前,当我们斯卡尔人刚刚出现的时候,大地上一片安宁,阳光普照,五谷丰登,人们沉浸于造物主所赐予的幸福之中。但是斯卡尔人却也因此变得自负和懒惰,他们视造物主的恩赐为理所当然。他们忘了,或者不愿去记起,魔鬼无时无刻不在监视着他们,魔鬼以折磨造物主及其人民为乐。为此,魔鬼降临到斯卡尔人中间。 魔鬼有着许多不同的化身,他有时化身为邪恶的猛兽或者致命的瘟疫。而在每年的季末,我们则称他为世界的吞食者——塔泰格(Thartaag)。不过在那个年代他是以“贪婪者”的名号为人所知的。 贪婪者(这是我们对他的称呼,因为称呼他的真名会给人们带来灾祸)在斯卡尔人中生活了许多时日,也许他本来是个人,不过在魔鬼占据他身体后,他最终变成了贪婪者,反正我们记得他就是贪婪者。 终于在某一天,斯卡尔人丧失了他们的力量。战士们的臂膀不再强壮,萨满们不再能够召唤兽群。斯卡尔的长者认为造物主被惹怒了,其中一些老人干脆声称造物主已彻底抛弃了斯卡尔人。就在此时,贪婪者出现在人们面前开口说道: “你们这些斯卡尔人已变得臃肿而懒惰。我业已盗取了造物主对你们的祝福,我偷走了水流,故你们将永远干渴;我偷走了土地、树木和太阳,故你们的谷物将枯萎死去;我偷走了野兽,故你们将陷入饥饿;我还偷走了清风,你们将无法再感触到造物主的圣灵。” “除非你们中的一个能够重新获得这些祝福,否则斯卡尔人将永远生活在痛苦和绝望之中。我是贪婪者,这样做是我的天性。” 说完贪婪者就消失了。 斯卡尔人开始讨论这个问题,日日夜夜。他们明白必须有一个人去夺回造物主的祝福,但无法决定派谁去。 “我不能离开,”长者说:“因为我必须留下领导斯卡尔人,并且教导人民什么是法律。” “我不能离开,”战士说:“因为我必须留下守卫斯卡尔人,一旦贪婪者重现,我的利刃将派上用处。” “我不能离开,”萨满说:“因为人民需要我的智慧,我必须留下辨识主的征兆并为人民解惑。” 此时,一个叫艾弗的年轻人开口说话了,虽然他还不是一名斯卡尔的战士,但却臂膀强壮,步伐矫健。 “我去。”艾弗说,斯卡尔人闻之哄堂大笑。 “听我说完,”这个男孩继续道:“我不是一个战士,所以我的利刃还派不上用场。我不能辨识征兆,所以人民也不会找我咨询。而且我尚年少,不知法律,也无法领导人民,所以让我去夺回造物主的赐礼,这样即使我失败了,你们也无需对我感到惋惜。” 斯卡尔人商量了一下,同意了艾弗的请求,他第二天早晨就离开村庄出发了。 艾弗先去寻找恩赐之水,他来到了水之石柱,在那里,造物主第一次对他说话: “向西走,直至海边,跟随游泳者,寻找生命之水。” 于是艾弗来到了大海的边际,游泳者就等在那里,那是一只黑色的三牙海豚(Horker)(一种类似海豹的两栖动物,性平和。译者注),受造物主派遣而来。游泳者一头潜入水中,一下子游出去好远好远,但艾弗也是个强壮的小伙,他奋力追赶,跟着游泳者游进一个洞穴。洞穴深入地下,水压也越来越大,艾弗觉得肺部快要炸裂了,四肢也筋疲力尽。终于,在一片漆黑中,他摸索进了一个有空气的小洞窟,在那里找到了生命之水。利用剩余的体力,艾弗拿着生命之水游回岸边。 待艾弗回到水之石柱,造物主说道:“你已替斯卡尔找回了恩赐之水,海洋将能重新孕育果实,斯卡尔人的干旱将得到平息。” 艾弗接着前往土之石柱,在那里,造物主又对他说话。 “到藏音洞穴去,去那聆听大地的歌声。” 于是艾弗向东北方向进发,来到那隐藏歌声的洞穴。进洞后,他发现自己置身于一个巨大的洞窟中,钟乳石从顶垂下,石笋自地耸立。艾弗侧耳倾听,听到了大地歌声,不过声音太微弱了。艾弗拿起大棒,合着歌声的节奏敲击地上的石笋,歌声顿时逐渐增大,最终充满了整个洞穴和他的心房,然后艾弗停止敲击,返回了土之石柱。 “恩赐之土又回到了斯卡尔,”造物主说道:“大地将再次变得肥沃,并开始孕育生命。” 此时,艾弗已经非常疲惫了,烈日炙烤着他,树木无法为其提供一丝阴凉,也没有凉爽的清风。但他还是坚持走到野兽岩石,在那里,造物主告诉他: “去寻找善兽,解除它的痛苦。” 艾弗在埃辛菲尔的森林中摸索了很长一段时间,直到他听到从一座山上传来熊的哀嚎。当艾弗爬上山顶,他看见了那头熊,雪精灵射出的箭矢刺穿了它的脖子。艾弗在附近的树林里寻找雪精灵,但一无所获(据说射箭的生物确是雪精灵,但也有人说不是)。艾弗轻轻地走近熊的身边,柔声抚慰道:“善兽,我不是来伤害你的,造物主派我来抚平你的创伤。” 听到这些话语,熊停止了痛苦的抽搐,它俯下身躯,把头靠在艾弗的脚畔。艾弗一把抓住箭矢,将它拔离熊颈。接着,艾弗用他仅知的一点自然法术治愈了熊颈的伤口,这耗尽了他最后一点力气。在熊的伤口愈合之后,艾弗疲惫地睡着了。 当他醒来时,发现熊直立的保护着他,而四周散落着许多雪精灵的尸体,艾弗顿时明白善兽在夜间保护了他的生命。艾弗起身返回野兽岩石,善兽也跟随而来,在那,造物主又对他发话: “你已经夺回了恩赐的野兽。再一次,善良的野兽将为斯卡尔人提供肉食充饥,提供毛皮御寒,并在必要的时候保护他们。” 此时,艾弗的体力已经恢复,他再次出发行至木之石柱,这次善兽没有跟来。当他到达时,万物之父对他说: “元初之木已经死去,它们必须被重栽!去找到树的种子,重新种活它们。” 艾弗再次踏上旅途,这次他进入赫斯棠森林寻找元初之木的种子,但一无所获。于是艾弗向林中树木的树灵询问,后者告诉他种子被一个雪精灵偷走了(因为雪精灵是魔鬼的仆人)。这个雪精灵把种子藏在森林的深处,没人能找到它。 艾弗穿行到森林的最深处,在那,他发现了那个邪恶的雪精灵,还有一些弱小的树灵簇拥着它。艾弗能够看出树灵们是被胁迫跟随的,雪精灵使用种子的魔力说出了他们的秘密名字,迫使其就范。艾弗知道自己还不能与这么强大的力量相对抗,所以他决定把种子偷回来。 艾弗从口袋里摸出打火石,并聚拢起一推树叶,在被雪精灵及其裹挟者碾踏出的空地边燃起了一小堆火。所有的斯卡尔人都知道树灵们痛恨火焰,因为大火会焚毁他们所依附的林木。果然,树灵的天性立刻起了作用,他们争先恐后地跑去扑打火苗。在混乱中,艾弗悄悄溜到雪精灵的背后,偷走了放有种子的口袋,并在这个恶棍发现之前逃之夭夭。 艾弗返回木之石柱后,重新栽下了元初之木,造物主对他说道: “赐礼树木已经回归。再一次,林木和庄稼将会生长茂盛,为斯卡尔人提供粮食和荫蔽。” 此时天空烈日炎炎,没有一丝凉风,艾弗感到非常疲惫,幸好还有树荫为他提供短暂的庇护。尽管双脚困乏酸痛,眼皮沉沉欲合,艾弗仍然坚持再次出发。当他来到日之石柱时,造物主又发话了。 “太阳舒适的温暖已被盗走,只剩下灼热的炙烤,去把她从半影大厅中解救出来吧。” 于是艾弗向西行进,越过广袤的冻土直至半影大厅。厅中的空气浓密而厚重,可视距离不超过手臂的长度,但艾弗仍然沿着墙壁找到了前进的道路。前行中,从远处传来脚爪拖拽地面的声音,艾弗料定此处守有邪恶的猛兽,将会撕裂他的肌肉,吞食他的骨骸。他蹑手蹑脚地走了几个小时,直至看到厅的尽头远远地射出一缕微弱的光芒。 那儿,隔着一层完美的冰幕,一道强光透射出来,艾弗赶紧闭上眼睛,以免照瞎了双眼。他伸手从看守阳光的恶兽头上挖出一颗燃烧的眼球,用尽全身力气扔向冰幕。冰幕上出现了一个裂缝,并逐渐变大。慢慢地,光线从裂缝中逸泻出来,撑大着缝隙,撕裂着冰幕。终于,伴随着一声震耳欲聋的轰鸣,冰幕坍塌成了碎末,光芒一泄而出,越过艾弗,穿过大厅。这时,艾弗听到了恶兽们的惨叫声,它们的眼睛被灼瞎,身体在燃烧。他转身追赶亮光,奋力跑出半影大厅,瘫倒在厅外。 当艾弗聚集力气重新站起来时,太阳已经恢复了往日的温馨,他对此很开心。艾弗回到日之石柱,造物主对他说道: “赐礼太阳再次回到斯卡尔人手中,她将给予他们温暖和光明。” 艾弗还有最后一个赐礼需要夺回,赐礼清风,于是他跋涉来到远在西岛岸的风之石柱。当他到达时,造物主说道: “去寻找贪婪者,从他那里救出清风。” 于是艾弗在大地上四处搜寻贪婪者,他在树林中寻找,但贪婪者并非藏身此处。同样,他也没有藏身于海洋的附近,或者深邃的洞穴之中。野兽们也没有在暗无天日的密林中看见过他的身影。最后,艾弗来到一座扭曲怪诞的房屋面前,他知道贪婪者就藏在里面。 “你是谁?”贪婪者咆哮道:“来我家干什么?” “我是斯卡尔的艾弗,”艾弗说道:“我不是战士,萨满,或者长者。即使我不能回去,也没有人会惋惜我。但是,我已经夺回了水流、土地、树木、野兽和太阳,现在我要夺回清风给我的人民,这样我们就能再一次在心中感受到造物主的圣灵。” 说完,他一把抓住贪婪者的袋子,撕开它的扎口。清风从中呼啸而出,将贪婪者卷上天空,刮出很远很远,远离这个岛屿。艾弗呼吸着凉爽的空气,感到非常愉快。他回到风之石柱,在那,造物主最后一次对他说话: “干得好,艾弗!你这斯卡尔人中的平民,但是你把我的赐礼归还给了他们。贪婪者已经远去,而且也不会在你的有生之年再祸害你的人民。你的主非常高兴。现在回去吧,记住遵循你的天性生活。” 艾弗踏上了归乡的旅途。 “接下去发生了什么呢,爷爷?” “你还想了解什么呢,宝贝?他已经回家了。” “不,当他返回村庄后,”孩子继续说道:“他成为一名战士了吗?或者像萨满一样指导人民吗?他曾指挥斯卡尔人作战吗?” “我不知道,故事到那里就结束了。”祖父说道。 “但那根本就不是一个结尾!故事不会这样结束的!” 老人笑着从椅子上站起身来。 “难道还没结束吗?”

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The Story of Aevar Stone-Singer
Traditional Skaal myth about a young Skaal's journey to recover the Gifts of the All-Maker


"Sit quietly, Child, and listen, for the story I tell you is a story of the ages."
"But what is it, Grandfather? Is it a story of heroes and beasts?"
The Grandfather looked patiently at the Child. He was growing into a fine boy. Soon he would see the value in the stories, the lessons that were taught to each generation. "Just listen, Child. Let the story take root in your heart."

In a time before now, long before now, when the Skaal were new, there was peace in the Land. The sun was hot and the crops grew long, and the people were happy in the peace that the All-Makerprovided. But, the Skaal grew complacent and lazy, and they took for granted the Lands and all the gifts the All-Maker had given them. They forgot, or chose not to remember, that the Adversary is always watching, and that he delights in tormenting the All-Maker and his chosen people. And so it was that the Adversary came to be among the Skaal.
The Adversary has many aspects. He appears in the unholy beasts and the incurable plague. At the End of Seasons, we will know him as Thartaag the World-Devourer. But in these ages he came to be known as the Greedy Man.
The Greedy Man (that is what we call him, for to speak his name would certainly bring ruin on the people) lived among the Skaal for many months. Perhaps he was once just a man, but when the Adversary entered into him, he became the Greedy Man, and that is how he is remembered.
It came to be one day that the powers of the Skaal left them. The strength left the arms of the warriors, and the shaman could no longer summon the beasts to their side. The elders thought that surely the All-Maker was displeased, and some suggested that the All-Maker had left them forever. It was then that the Greedy Man appeared to them and spoke.
"You of the Skaal have grown fat and lazy. I have stolen the gifts of your All-Maker. I have stolen the Oceans, so you will forever know thirst. I have stolen the Lands and the Trees and the Sun, so your crops will wither and die. I have stolen the Beasts, so you will go hungry. And I have stolen the Winds, so you will live without the Spirit of the All-Maker.
"And until one of you can reclaim these gifts, the Skaal will live in misery and despair. For I am the Greedy Man, and that is my nature."
And the Greedy Man disappeared.
The members of the Skaal spoke for many days and nights. They knew that one of them must retrieve the Gifts of the All-Maker, but they could not decide who it should be.
"I cannot go," said the Elder, "for I us must stay to lead the Skaal, and tell our people what is the law."
"I cannot go," said the Warrior, "for I must protect the Skaal. My sword will be needed in case the Greedy Man reappears."
"I cannot go," said the Shaman, "for the people need my wisdom. I must read the portents and offer my knowledge."
It was then that a young man called Aevar lifted his voice. He was strong of arm, and fleet of foot, though he was not yet a warrior of the Skaal.
"I will go," said Aevar, and the Skaal laughed.
"Hear me out," the boy continued. "I am not yet a warrior, so my sword will not be needed. I cannot read the portents, so the people will not seek my counsel. And I am young, and not yet wise in the ways of the law. I will retrieve the Gifts of the All-Maker from the Greedy Man. If I cannot, I will not be missed."
The Skaal thought on this briefly, and decided to let Aevar go. He left the village the next morning to retrieve the Gifts.
Aevar first set out to retrieve the Gift of Water, so he traveled to the Water Stone. It was there the All-Maker first spoke to him.
"Travel west to the sea and follow the Swimmer to the Waters of Life."
So Aevar walked to the edge of the ocean, and there was the Swimmer, a Black Horker, sent from the All-Maker. The Swimmer dove into the waters and swam very far, and far again. Aevar was strong, though, and he swam hard. He followed the Swimmer to a cave, swimming deeper and deeper, his lungs burning and his limbs exhausted. At last, he found a pocket of air, and there, in the dark, he found the Waters of Life. Gathering his strength, he took the Waters and swam back to the shore.
Upon returning to the Water Stone, the All-Maker spoke. "You have returned the Gift of Water to the Skaal. The Oceans again will bear fruit, and their thirst will be quenched."
Aevar then traveled to the Earth Stone, and there the All-Maker spoke to him again.
"Enter the Cave of the Hidden Music, and hear the Song of the Earth."
So Aevar traveled north and east to the Cave of the Hidden Music. He found himself in a large cavern, where the rocks hung from the ceiling and grew from the ground itself. He listened there, and heard the Song of the Earth, but it was faint. Grabbing up his mace, he struck the rocks of the floor in time with the Song, and the Song grew louder, until it filled the cavern and his heart. Then he returned to the Earth Stone.
"The Gift of the Earth is with the Skaal again," said the All-Maker. "The Lands are rich again, and will bear life."
Aevar was tired, as the Sun burned him, the trees offered no shade, and there was no wind to cool him. Still, he traveled on to the Beast Rock, and the All-Maker spoke.
"Find the Good Beast and ease his suffering."
Aevar traveled through the woods of the Isinfier for many hours until he heard the cries of a bear from over a hill. As he crested a hill, he saw the bear, a Falmer's arrow piercing its neck. He checked the woods for the Falmer (for that is what they were, though some say they are not), and finding none, approached the beast. He spoke soothing words and came upon it slowly, saying, "Good Beast, I mean you no harm. The All-Maker has sent me to ease your suffering."
Hearing these words, the bear ceased his struggles, and laid his head at Aevar's feet. Aevar grasped the arrow and pulled it from the bear's neck. Using the little nature magic he knew, Aevar tended the wound, though it took the last bit of his strength. As the bear's wound closed, Aevar slept.
When he awoke, the bear stood over him, and the remains of a number of the Falmer were strewn about. He knew that the Good Beast had protected him during the night. He traveled back to Beast Rock, the bear by his side, and the All-Maker spoke to him again.
"You have returned the Gift of the Beasts. Once again, the Good Beasts will feed the Skaal when they are hungry, clothe them when they are cold, and protect them in times of need."
Aevar's strength had returned, so he traveled on to the Tree Stone, though the Good Beast did not follow him. When he arrived, the All-Father spoke to him.
"The First Trees are gone, and must be replanted. Find the seed and plant the First Tree."
Aevar traveled again through the Hirstaang Forest, searching for the seeds of the First Tree, but he could find none. Then he spoke to the Tree Spirits, the living trees. They told him that the seeds had been stolen by one of the Falmer (for they are the servants of the Adversary), and this Falmer was hiding them deep in the forest, so that none would ever find them.
Aevar traveled to the deepest part of the forest, and there he found the evil Falmer, surrounded by the Lesser Tree Spirits. Aevar could see that the Spirits were in his thrall, that he had used the magic of the Seeds and spoken their secret name. Aevar knew he could not stand against such a force, and that he must retrieve the seeds in secret.
Aevar reached into his pouch and drew out his flint. Gathering leaves, he started a small fire outside the clearing where the Falmer and the ensorcelled Spirits milled. All the Skaal know the Spirits' hatred of fires, for the fires ravage the trees they serve. At once, the Nature of the Spirits took hold, and they rushed to quell the flames. During the commotion, Aevar snuck behind the Falmer and snatched the pouch of Seeds, stealing away before the evil being knew they were gone.
When Aevar returned to the Tree Stone, he planted the tree in the ground, and the All-Maker spoke to him.
"The Gift of Trees is restored. Once again, the Trees and Plants will bloom and grow, and provide nourishment and shade."
Aevar was tired, for the Sun would only burn, and the Winds would not yet cool him, but he rested briefly in the shade of the Trees. His legs were weary and his eyes heavy, but he continued on, traveling to the Sun Stone. Again, the All-Maker spoke.
"The gentle warmth of the Sun is stolen, so now it only burns. Free the Sun from the Halls of Penumbra."
And so Aevar walked west, over the frozen lands until he reached the Halls of Penumbra. The air inside was thick and heavy, and he could see no farther than the end of his arm. Still, he felt his way along the walls, though he heard the shuffling of feet and knew that this place held the Unholy Beasts who would tear his flesh and eat his bones. For hours he crept along, until he saw a faint glow far at the end of the hall.
There, from behind a sheet of perfect ice, came a glow so bright he had to shut his eyes, lest they be forever blinded. He plucked the flaming eye from one of the Unholy Beasts and threw it at the ice with all his might. A small crack appeared in the ice, then grew larger. Slowly, the light crept out between the cracks, widening them, splitting the ice wall into pieces. With a deafening crack, the wall crumbled, and the light rushed over Aevar and through the Halls. He heard the shrieks of the Unholy Beasts as they were blinded and burned. He ran out of the Halls, following the light, and collapsed on the ground outside.
When he was able to rise again, the Sun again warmed him, and he was glad for that. He traveled back to the Sun Stone, where the All-Maker spoke to him.
"The Gift of the Sun is the Skaal's once again. It will warm them and give them light."
Aevar had one final Gift he had to recover, the Gift of the Winds, so he traveled to the Wind Stone, far on the western coast of the island. When he arrived, the All-Maker spoke to him, giving him his final task.
"Find the Greedy Man and release the Wind from its captivity."
So, Aevar wandered the land in search of the Greedy Man. He looked in the trees, but the Greedy Man did not hide there. Nor did he hide near the oceans, or the deep caves, and the beasts had not seen him in the dark forests. Finally, Aevar came to a crooked house, and he knew that here he would find the Greedy Man.
"Who are you," shouted the Greedy Man, "that you would come to my house?"
"I am Aevar of the Skaal," said Aevar. "I am not warrior, shaman, or elder. If I do not return, I will not be missed. But I have returned the Oceans and the Earth, the Trees, the Beasts, and the Sun, and I will return the Winds to my people, that we may feel the spirit of the All-Maker in our souls again."
And with that, he grabbed up the Greedy Man's bag and tore it open. The Winds rushed out with gale force, sweeping the Greedy Man up and carrying him off, far from the island. Aevar breathed in the Winds and was glad. He walked back to the Wind Stone, where the All-Maker spoke to him a final time.
"You have done well, Aevar. You, the least of the Skaal, have returned my gifts to them. The Greedy Man is gone for now, and should not trouble your people again in your lifetime. Your All-Maker is pleased. Go now, and live according to your Nature."
And Aevar started back to the Skaal village.

"And then what happened, Grandfather?"
"What do you mean, Child? He went home."
"No. When he returned to the village," the Child continued. "Was he made a warrior? Or taught the ways of the shaman? Did he lead the Skaal in battle?"
"I do not know. That is where the story ends," said the Grandfather.
"But that is not an ending! That is not how stories end!"
The old man laughed and got up from his chair.
"Is it not?"

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