Oak Leaf

  • All-Father

    Wednesday guided his wolf—now a huge and charcoal-gray beast with green eyes—over to Shadow. Shadow’s mount caracoled away from it, and Shadow stroked its neck and told it not to be afraid. Its tiger tail swished, aggressively. It occurred to Shadow that there was another wolf, a twin to the one that Wednesday was riding, keeping pace with them in the sand dunes, just a moment out of sight.

    “Do you know me, Shadow?” said Wednesday. He rode his wolf with his head high. His right eye glittered and flashed, his left eye was dull. He wore a cloak with a deep, monklike cowl, and his face stared out from the shadows. “I told you I would tell you my names. This is what they call me. I am called Glad-of-War, Grim, Raider, and Third. I am One-Eyed. I am called Highest, and True-Guesser. I am Grimnir, and I am the Hooded One. I am All-Father, and I am Gondlir Wand-Bearer. I have as many names as there are winds, as many titles as there are ways to die. My ravens are Huginn and Muninn, Thought and Memory; my wolves are Freki and Geri; my horse is the gallows.” Two ghostly-gray ravens, like transparent skins of birds, landed on Wednesday’s shoulders, pushed their beaks into the side of Wednesday’s head as if tasting his mind, and flapped out into the world once more.

    Oak leaves and ash, honey mead, wolf musk, a flutter of black feathers, and bronze fennel.

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  • Black Annis

    Vast talons, foul with human flesh, there grew
    In place of hands, and features livid blue
    Glar’d in her visage; while the obscene waist
    Warm skins of human victims close embraced.

    The blue faced hag of the British Hills. She lives in the Dane Hills, Leicestershire, in a cave called Black Annis’ Bower Close, which she dug out of rock with her own iron-strong claws. Dozens of huge cats prowl the Bower with her, and it is guarded by a great pollarded oak in which she hides so that she may catch lambs and small children to eat. She carries her victims back to her cave, where she flays them alive before devouring them. She drapes their skins on her guardian oak to dry. Her skirt is fashioned from the skins of her prey, and her bed is a high-piled bed of their bones.

    Black Annis’ perfume is a mixture of damp cave lichen and oak leaf with a hint of vetiver, civet and anise.

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  • Fuck You, Said the Raven

    “Hey,” said Shadow. “Huginn or Muninn, or whoever you are.”

    The bird turned, head tipped, suspiciously, on one side, and it stared at him with bright eyes.

    “Say ‘Nevermore,'” said Shadow.

    “Fuck you,” said the raven.”

    Glossy black, rough, and gravelly: violet-gilded opoponax, black patchouli, myrrh, and oak leaf.

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  • Stimulating Sassafras Strengthener

    Valuable in relieving the vapors and in reversing depraved conditions of the system. Doc Constantine’s tonics will make you happy, hale, and hearty.

    Sassafras, vanilla extract, oak leaf, CO2 butter extract and onycha.

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