The Mystery of the Swords of Wayland ... Revealed
Note: I do not mind
sharing this research, but please credit it to Jae (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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Where did those names come from? Elidor, Beleth, Flaures, Morax, Solas, Orias -- and Albion, the names intoned by Morgwyn of Ravenscar in her diabolic cermony ... the names of the Seven Swords of Wayland the Smith, charged with the powers of light and darkness.
The names of the swords always fascinated me. They had a "sound" which was somewhat Greek, somewhat Tolkienish, and somewhat .... something else. I came across the source quite by accident while researching for a short story in another fandom several years ago. The names are taken primarily from The Lemegeton, or Lesser Key of Solomon, a book of ceremonial magic of which our earliest manuscript is 17th century French. It is probably of earlier origin -- but I doubt if it existed in Robins day, in spite of the authors attribution to King Solomon. The Lemegeton contains instructions for evoking the 72 spirits that King Solomon of Israel, according to legend, shut up in a brass vessel and cast into a lake. The vessel was discovered by the Babylonians, who mistakenly assumed that it contained a great treasure. They unwittingly released the demons, who returned with their legions to their former places of power -- except for Belial, who entered into a Babylonian idol and provided oracles in return for sacrifices. The spirits are of all classes -- good, evil, and indifferent -- which makes them an appropriate counterpart for weapons whose alignment depends on the intentions of the wielder. The opening Rites are of the diabolic sort -- Lucifer, Bal, Astaroth, et al, which Morgwyn would have been quite comfortable with in her ritual work! The first part is entitled GoŽtia (i.e., "witchcraft" in the medieval sense of the term).
The namesakes of the swords:
BELETH - "A terrible and mighty king, riding on a pale horse, preceded by all manner of musicians." He is a particularly dangerous fellow, and the instructions for summoning him are precise: he must be brought into a triangle or circle with the mages hazel wand pointed to the south-east. The mage must treat him courteously, while wearing a silver ring on the middle finger of the left hand. Beleth is credited with procuring love, and is of the Order of the Powers.
MORAX - "A great earl and president, who appears like a human-headed bull". He aids the pursuit of astronomy and the liberal sciences by providing helpful familiars, and knows the virtues of the herbs and of precious stones.
SOLAS - "A powerful prince, appears in the likeness of a raven and then as a man." Like Morax, he teaches astronomy, herbology, and the lore of precious stones.
ORIAS - "A great marquis, appears in the form of a lion bestriding a strong horse; he has a serpents tail and holds two enormous, hissing snakes in his right hand." This demon teaches the virtues of the planets and their mansions, and is useful for improving ones social and political station in life.
With a slight change in spelling:
FLAUROS - "A great duke, appears at first like a terrible leopard, but at the command of the exorcist puts on the shape of a man, with fiery eyes and terrible countenance." Flauros can answer truly questions about the past, present, and future; but unless commanded into a triangle of power, he will try to deceive the exorcist. He "converses gladly of divinity and the creation of the world, as also of the fall of spirits, his own included." He can be commanded to burn and destroy ones enemies.
ELIGOR - "A great duke, appearing as a goodly knight carrying a lance, pennon and sceptre." He can discover hidden treasure, cause war, marshal armies, kindle love and lust, and procure the favour of lords and knights.
And finally ...
ALBION - Albion is the "odd sword out" in this lot: not the name of a demon, but an ancient name for Britain.
Should you wish to invite any of these worthies into your own triangle, instructions can be found in:
The Book of Ceremonial Magic: Including the Rites and Mysteries of GoŽtic Theurgy, Sorcery, and Infernal Necromancy, by Arthur Edward Waite, Bell Publishing Co., New York, ISBN 0-517-129396.
But Im not suggesting that you do! (-:
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