Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Tale of Rékaré

Happy Holy Day of Rékaré! Rock on.


Many years ago, back in the time when the universe was fresh and new to the gods Who created it, two siblings were born. They are Rékaré, God of Rock, and Rana, Goddess of Clouds. As soon as He could, while He was still quite young, Rékaré set out on His own, to help those who needed His services.

With His faithful servants, Zhokíhoníro and Sarékapohírané, by His side, Rékaré canvassed the earth, defending those whose land was invaded, whose fields were destroyed, and whose cattle were stolen. He quickly became known far and wide as the most even-handed and level-headed god of Them all.

Soon, all He had to do to settle a dispute and send the perpetrators running for the hills was to arrive at the scene of contention wielding His magical sword that Rívorí, Goddess of Wildfire and so much more, had forged for Him in Her deepest volcano. Wherever people want to stake out their land for His protection, they mark it with His symbol, rocks, either in stone columns or as walls. That way, Rékaré will know who deserves His defense.

Eventually, Rékaré returned home. Much to His surprise, He discovered that His sister, Rana, had grown up into the most beautiful, kind, and wonderful woman Who has ever lived. He immediately professed His undying love for Her, but Rana turned Him away, since Their mother, Rakazhazhíní, Goddess of Clean Air, had forbade Rana from going to bed with Rékaré. Furthermore, Rakazhazhíní had already arranged for Rana to marry Korutuzho, God of Agriculture.

Rékaré would not back down easily, however. This was no mere infatuation. To His servant, Zhokíhoníro, Rékaré promised His magical sword, if only Zhokíhoníro could convince Rana to give Herself to Him.

Zhokíhoníro readily agreed. At the gate of Rana’s castle, he was challenged by a guard, but Zhokíhoníro unsheathed Rékaré’s sword, and the guard opened the gate without another word. At Rana’s chambers, Zhokíhoníro spoke eloquently about Rékaré’s wondrous and loving nature. Upon hearing this, Rana readily accepted the proposal, despite Her mother’s arrangement with Korutuzho.

Rana went to Rékaré and fell in love with Him. They enjoyed each other in every way. Alas, She was still betrothed to Korutuzho. Rana and Korutuzho were soon wed, much to Rana’s dismay. At that time, Korutuzho was the King of the Gods, so She certainly had no choice in the matter.

A few months after the wedding, Rana and Rékaré couldn’t contain Themselves any longer. They had to see each other in private once again. Along with His servant, Sarékapohírané, Rékaré crept into Korutuzho’s castle and into Rana’s suite of chambers. He posted Sarékapohírané at the door to warn Them if anyone was coming.

Rékaré and Rana fell into each other’s arms in a passionate embrace. Their love-making continued for hours, with not a moment of slowing. Out in the hall, Sarékapohírané fell asleep.

Around that time, Píríuso, God of the Sun and Korutuzho’s grandson, happened down the hall. Píríuso had long been jealous of Rékaré’s virility and prowess as a warrior. Píríuso heard strange noises coming from within Rana’s chambers. He saw Sarékapohírané, who He recognized as Rékaré’s servant, curled up asleep outside the door. Píríuso hatched a scheme to embarrass Rékaré.

The sun god took an enchanted net and burst into Rana’s bedchamber, tossing the net over the active couple, completely entrapping Them fully intertwined. Rékaré struggled to break free, but He couldn’t move His arms, the net was so tight. Rana pleaded with Píríuso to let Them go, but He refused. Instead, Píríuso called for all the gods to come see the lovers in such a situation.

Everybody came running, but the goddesses deferred upon realizing the situation, staying in the hallway. The gods entered Rana’s bedchamber and burst out laughing at Rékaré and Rana’s condition. Hívo, God of Clean Water, chided Rékaré for not being able to break free from the net. Voro, God of Hearth Fire, commented in a quite over-the-top manner on the beauty and fine figure of Rana, declaring that He wished it was Him stuck in the net with Her, instead of Rékaré. Rékaré asked Voro why then was He staring at Rékaré’s body and not Hers?

Flustered, Voro left the room, just as Korutuzho entered, assisting His frail and elderly father, Sorosotuzho, God of the Atmosphere. Korutuzho, King of the Gods and Rana’s husband, was instantly overcome with rage. He ordered the lovers cut free and for Rékaré to be banished to the far reaches of the world, across the Southern Sea. Píríuso obeyed His father, cutting Them loose.

Upon His release, Rékaré’s first action was to transform His servant, Sarékapohírané, into a rooster, so that he would never again miss the first sight of Píríuso as He guided His sun chariot across the sky. Rékaré then left the land of the gods, as ordered. He longed for Rana, but He knew He couldn’t stay.

Rékaré traveled the southern kingdoms and beyond, never forgetting His love for Rana, but also never forgetting His mission to protect the invaded and guard all borders. He no longer has His magic sword with Him, since He had given it to Zhokíhoníro long ago, so Rékaré wields a club carved from the most dense and heavy rock He could find. He is still feared deeply upon the battlefield by all.

While He was gone, Rana gave birth to twin boys, Ténuzho and Vusuzho. They are as strong and skillful as Their father and as kind and beautiful as Their mother. When Ténuzho and Vusuzho grew old enough, They joined Rékaré on His travels, always fighting steadily at His sides.

Many years later, Rana managed to send a message to Rékaré with the help of Kara, Goddess of Soil. Rana knew She could not chance to see Her lover, but She still requested that He do Her a favor: defend the city of Tolo from invasion. He promptly agreed to do as His love requested. He and His sons raced to the city of Tolo.

On Their way there, Nuvíní, High Goddess of Earth, stopped Them and commanded Rékaré to aid the attackers of Tolo, the Rokíhoans, for they were the true victims in the war. The Toloans had invaded Rokího and stolen their cattle. Rékaré felt compelled to obey the high goddess, but He refused nonetheless. He had given His word to Rana that He would defend Tolo; Rékaré would stop the fighting mortals here and now, no matter what earlier provocations stretched back into history. He would protect the borders of Tolo.

Nuvíní understood, but warned Rékaré that many other gods were siding with the Rokíhoans. He had best be careful.

Rékaré and His sons arrived on the field of battle as the Rokíhoans were streaming forth from their ships. At their lead were Huro, God of Thunder, and Vítí, Goddess of Ice. The Toloans cowered inside their city walls, but Rékaré took a fighting stance, His stone club pointed at the advancing ice goddess.

Ténuzho and Vusuzho screamed battlecries, charging at the giant warrior, Huro. The thunder god swung His magic hammer mightily, but the brothers ducked and weaved, dodging effortlessly. While Huro swung at Vusuzho, Ténuzho lunged with His sword, piercing Huro’s side. The thunder god swiped His hammer at Ténuzho, and Vusuzho stabbed Him in the other side. Soon, Huro bled from a thousand wounds. If He were to continue living, He had no choice but to retreat from the field, which He did.

Meanwhile, the fierce and ruthless Vítí thrust Her enchanted spear at Rékaré. He easily deflected it with His club, but when He swung on attack, Rékaré discovered that Vítí was using the flexible and infinitely strong shield of Sozho, High God of Air. Knowing that He would never be able to land a blow using only His stone club, Rékaré still fought on. He had given His word that He would defend Tolo, and so He would.

Days gave way to fourdays, fourdays gave way to months, months gave way to years, and still the two gods continued to fight. Slowly but surely, Vítí advanced on the city. If only Rékaré had not given His sword to His servant, Zhokíhoníro, so many years ago, He would have easily defeated Vítí, even with Sozho’s shield.

Alas, love had overcome Rékaré when no opponent could. He had parted with His sword so He could be with Rana; He had given His word to defend Tolo because Rana had requested it. His undying love for Rana caused Rékaré to lose a battle for the first time in His life.

Yes, Vítí defeated Rékaré. Yes, Tolo fell to the Rokíhoans. But do not worry, for Rékaré still walks the earth, defending borders and helping those who require His immense skills. He will never lose again. Rékaré is the strongest, most skilled, most loyal, and most loving god in the universe.

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