Vainy the Yule Tider
Vainy the Yule Tider takes his name from the famous Vainamoinen of the Kalevala, although their connection seems mostly to be lost in the mists of time and legend. It is thought by some that Vainy and Lemm were the creations of their namesakes. But for what purpose these powerful wizard-warriors created the Yule Tiders remains unknown. Vainy, like his name sake, possesses powerful magic, and though he appears quite grim, he and his brother Lemm are thought to be the first of the Yule Sprites. Yule Sprites belong to branch of wingless sprites who favor the colors of the holly for their clothes- red and green- which is one of the reasons why these colors are often associated with Christmas, the season which both the Yule Tiders and the Yule Sprites are connected. Yule Tiders and Yule Sprites are among the many supernatural or magical spirits connected with and responsible for seeing that the Yule is being kept and properly observed. Typically, that time during the winter when Christmas is observed is referred to as the Yuletide, or the time of the Yule. This was a time when food could become scarce and the weather harsh and those who had nothing, or at the best very little, suffered most. It was a time for drawing close together, physically and spiritually. The Yule Tiders consist only of Vainy and Lemm, and from them the Yule Sprites were descended. Some think it was after both Vainy and Lemm each took one of the twin sisters who were the High Queens of the Sprites at the time as wives. Their resulting progeny became the Yule Sprites. The Yule Sprites, under the stern direction of Vainy and the jovial and festive Lemm, sought to encourage and inspire acts of generosity from those who had plenty towards those in need. Unfortunately, the hearts of many humans remained hard and their ears were deaf to the cries of the needy and the call of the Yule sprites to share their surplus with the deprived. Such selfishness and greediness on the part of those humans who had caught the attention of the Yule Sprites was usually punished, for example, by souring the milk, or infesting the grain with beetles and mice, or causing even the most carefully preserved meats, fruits, etc. to spoil and rot. Or, they would cause the next year's harvest to be poor or bad health would befall those people whose own spirits were so lacking generosity. Such punishments mostly fell under the jurisdiction of grim Vainy. However, those that were able to be generous and allowed others to draw close to the warmth of their own hearths, became the favorites of the Yule Sprites and were rewarded in as many ways as the wicked were punished, and this was the jurisdiction of jovial Lemm. Many Yule sprites later began to assist the most famous of all the Yuletide spirits, Father Christmas. This happened after Father Christmas earned the friendship of the king of the Yule sprites and first son to Vainy himself, King Rollo, whom Father Christmas had saved from band of goblins. In fact, the Yule Sprites' practice of rewarding the generous and punishing the greedy led to the legendary 'naughty/nice list' of Father Christmas. To this day Vainy, Lemm and King Rollo along with their Yule Sprites continue to work with Father Christmas, though fewer people are aware of them these days and their presence seems to have lost a great deal of its power.
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