The Curse of the Great Silence Myth in Kingdom of Sorrano | World Anvil
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The Curse of the Great Silence

Ulmo Hogcollar was a young, brash Halfling who lived and worked on one of the many farms just north of the Village of Millfield along the Heart River. The month of Torog was drawing to a close, and the time of the Great Silence was nearly upon the land. Ulmo had been raised just like most others in the Kingdom of Sorrano to believe that the Great Silence absolutely must be honored, and that anyone who dishonored the time of mourning would suffer some awful curse to be handed down by the gods themselves. For twenty years, Ulmo did as he was told, and kept his silence, for the most part. The next year, however, Ulmo began to question nearly every rule and law that he had come to accept, and when the Great Silence approached, he had come to the conclusion that this idea of a curse was absolute nonsense. In fact, not only was he going to speak, but he was going to hold a celebration. Must to his parents' dismay and warning, Ulmo rented out the local hall that was usually reserved for weddings and other village celebrations. He invited everyone in the village to his party. The notices read:
"Ulmo Hogcollar cordially invites you to celebrate the death of the Great Silence from this day forward! Come to the village hall on the 1st day of the Great Silence at 7 o'clock in the evening for a wondrous celebration, complete with music, laughter, and more alcohol than you could ever hope to drink in one night!"
When 7:00 in the evening of the 1st night of the Great Silence arrived, Ulmo was in the meeting hall. Alone. He waited, deciding that everyone would just be fashionably late. 7:30 came and went. 8:00. 8:30. By 9:00 he finally realized that no one was coming, but he'd be damned if he wasn't going to have his party anyway. He poured himself a drink and sang as loudly as he could, so loudly that those who lived nearby could hear him in their homes as they mourned. Some of them ran to the meeting hall and pressed their fingers to their lips in an effort to get Ulmo to stop, but he just sang louder and danced about, drinking his beer and spilling it all over the floor as he became more and more inebriated. His neighbors gave up, and Ulmo was alone once more. Not long after, he passed out. When morning came, he woke and stood up, rubbing the sleep from his eyes and smiling. "See?", he thought to himself, "Nothing happened! I'm fine!", and he laughed. But no sound escaped his lips. He panicked, pressing his hands to his face, his eyes growing wide. He screamed. Nothing. No matter what he tried to do, he could not make any sound come from his mouth. In frustration he stomped his foot down on the floor... And it made no sound. "Oh, gods, I'm deaf!", he now thought, and he ran to the doors, throwing them open, but at once he was greeted by the sound of the wind blowing through the trees, and birds chirping in the morning sun. He reached down and grasped a stone, throwing it at the door of the meeting hall, but the stone made no sound as it struck the heavy wooden door. "Everyone and everything else makes sound, but I cannot!" He ran to his home and found his parents waiting for him. He cried, screamed, and made every effort he could think of to talk to his parents, but he could not hear himself, and they could not hear him. No one could. No matter what he did, Ulmo could make no sound, and Ulmo Hogcollar would come to be known as Ulmo the Silent for the rest of his life, and for all of time in the centuries since.


In the Kingdom of Sorrano, at the end of each year, comes a time of mourning known as The Great Silence. This period, lasting 5 or 6 days, depending on the year, is a time for all citizens to remember those whom they have lost. It is universally accepted that speaking should only be done if absolutely necessary, and never above a whisper. There are no festivals or celebrations held during this time. To pass on this tradition to their children, parents often tell them a story about a great curse that befell someone who did not honor the Great Silence.

Historical Basis

The story is a myth that may or may not have actually happened.


There is no one in the kingdom above a certain age who has not heard about the curse.

Variations & Mutation

There are some regional variations. For example, in the Town of Lunaris, the Elves have been known to replace the Ulmo character with an Elf who goes by a different, but similar, name. In the Village of Bholgalor, the Dwarves may replace the Ulmo character with a Dwarf to make the story more relatable to their children, just as the Elves do. In every corner of the kingdom there are slight variations in the details, but the gist of the story is always the same: Do NOT speak unless you have to, nor celebrate in any way during the time of the Great Silence.
Date of First Recording
The story has been spread through word of mouth for centuries, and no one knows exactly when Ulmo lived, if ever.


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