meridian gods, vol. I: the goddess & the glacier
The rich spiritual history of Himalia can hardly be summarised in one brief tome, but that didn’t stop me from having a good go of it. What follows is a brief journey back in time to the birth of Himalia’s most widely practiced faith, and all the drama that came with it. Because as far as mythologies go, the sky Goddess Zephyr was the subject of a juicy one.
On the eve of each calendar turn, the people of Cloud Village arranged lanterns around the Floating Glade as a vigil in memory of the Glacial God. The story goes that the Glacial God ruled the mountain reach for a thousand years before the arrival of the sky Goddess Zephyr, who banished him to the Northern Wastes.
The mythologists of Cloud Village weren’t exactly known their originality when it came to origin narratives.
Legend had it that the great sky Goddess Zephyr was summoned from ancestral fires by the eight lesser Gods of the Mountain. Some people asked what fire had to do with a sky deity, but the metal workers of Cloud Village had already started the etchings and they had a deadline to meet so that, as they say, was that.
In honour of their new sky Goddess, the followers of Zephyr built a secret garden far and above the tallest tower of Cloud Village. At the centre of the garden they placed the Celestarium, a beautiful temple with an eternity flame burning atop its tallest altar and a throne made of pure cloud as its seat, so that the sky Goddess might have a fitting place from which to rule.
Zephyr must have had other things to attend to though, Goddess business most likely, since not once did She grace that painstakingly crafted throne with that divine behind of Hers. The cheek of some deities.
Late one summer’s eve, after a heavy night of, erm, worshipping, the head priest Rusko fell asleep against one of the temple fire pits. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you what happened next, suffice to say it wasn’t long before the whole temple was ablaze. Those who witnessed the fire from below claimed the sky was lit up with such an intense glow that for a moment it seemed that Zephyr had finally decided to make an appearance, until of course burning debris began to rain down on them all, putting an end to the spectation.
Despite never actually visiting the Celestarium built in Her honour — let alone ever giving any inclination She even appreciated such a grand gesture — its destruction was still a source of great annoyance for our friendly neighbourhood deity.
Not one to break the habit of a lifetime by actually showing up and having words, Zephyr instead elected to wait amidst the stars until such a time as She was prepared to exact Her retribution. When all the flowers and plants of the Valley turned to deep reds and vibrant purples, the prophecy claimed, then the Goddess would appear in a blaze of fire, burning everything in Her wake as payment for the destruction of what She imagined was probably quite a lovely temple.
Seems a little extreme, but you know how divine eternal beings can be.
Image courtesy of a passing glacial storm, opportunistically immortalised by Beltram Euhill
Meridian Gods, Vol. I: The Goddess & The Glacier. 1st Edition. First published on Midhaven in 73AC by Bharvale University Press
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