Ur-Kanesh. Rhyme of the Shievren
This is a popular children’s rhyme in the city of Ur-Kanesh. It is chanted while the children run down the street on St. Arakis eve. The children are dressed in black shirts on this night, a tradition that runs back to the pre-imperial days. The children are “the heralds of death” come to fetch an old crone of the Shievren, a witches coven that has been rumoured to exist in the nearby forest, the Nebelwald, for several centuries.
Shiver withered Shievren Crone,
Skin of parchment, heart of stone.
Cackle miracle freckled skin,
Will you let us children in?
Now the forest old and cold,
Told you stories of the mold.
Will it claim you or let you rest,
Let this be the final test!
At this point the children will surround an adult, which has to give the children a coin to let them pass. Otherwise they “collect his soul” (They throw rotten fruit on him and run away).
Not all strangers to town cherish the moment when these strange kids dressed in black, surround them and yell demands in a language they cannot comprehend. The experience is not improved when the children bombard them with rotten fruit and run away…
Note: St. Arakis was a valiant knight from Ur-Kanesh, who ventured into the Nebelwald and supposedly put an end to the Shievren.