Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Tale of Hérazha

Watch that wind blow those cherry blossoms around. Hooray for wind! Hooray for Hérazha! She's the most beautiful, wise, and good of all the goddesses and today's Her holy day! Hooray!


The wise and beautiful goddess Hérazha lived Her early years racing back and forth across time, flowing wherever and whenever in the universe Her heart desired. She rode Her magnificent horse through time like the wind through a field. She was the horse. She was the wind.

Eventually, Hérazha’s wanderlust dissipated slightly. She decided to settle down, and yet Her heart remained drawn to the ride throughout the rest of Her life. Her heart was also drawn to Voro, God of Hearth Fire. He was full of goodness, light, and warmth.

Together They created a race of human beings, rekindling the flame of humanity after Kérasa, High Goddess of Water, had nearly wiped mankind from the face of the earth with Her floods. Kérasa had done so to spite Zhíanoso, High God of Fire, Who had created human beings, but Kérasa had since retreated to Her mountain and was no threat to the Children of Hérazha.

Hérazha’s creations did face danger, however, in the form of the Children of Kara, Goddess of Soil. Kara was one of the ancient gods, Who dealt with primordial magic and evil powers. Her children were a dark and malevolent race of demons. The Children of Kara lived deep in the ground, creeping forth -- usually at night -- to cause endless troubles to the Children of Hérazha. Murder, rape, theft, and vandalism were their handiwork.

One day, the Children of Hérazha called out to their mother. Their queen had fallen ill and had not yet produced an heir. Both maladies were certainly caused by the Children of Kara. Hérazha took a look at the queen, but there was nothing obviously wrong with her. Thus at a loss, Hérazha transformed Her appearance to match Kara’s demons and dove into the earth to discover their diabolical plans.

Deep under Kara’s soil, there is nary a gust of wind. Hérazha felt completely out of place. She entered the demons’ lair, an entire labyrinth of a city twisting with tunnels and caverns. She made Her way to the demon king’s castle and reported to him that the human queen was ill. Hérazha, still disguised as a demon, then asked for orders on how to proceed.

The king of the Children of Kara huffed a cloud a smoke out his nostrils and snapped that he had already ordered the human queen to die a painful death from poisoned potatoes. Seeing the king’s anger, Hérazha gusted out of the castle and up through the earth back to Her children. She promptly told the queen to stop eating potatoes, for they were from the soil and poisoned by the Children of Kara.

The queen stopped eating potatoes and quickly recovered. As winter turned to spring, she gave birth to a healthy boy, the king’s heir. The Children of Hérazha celebrated with a huge festival in Hérazha’s honor, renewing their pledge to always honor and worship Her.

And so, with Her wisdom and love, the Children of Hérazha prospered through the ages. The light and goodness of the wind continued to triumph over the dark, evil beings from the earth. With the demons failing to halt the prosperity of mankind, the earth goddess Kara decided to try a different tactic to ruin Hérazha’s life.

Kara had long known that Her grandson Sozho, High God of Air and King of the gods, lusted after Hérazha. He found Her beauty and shape-changing abilities so very alluring. Kara knew that Sozho would eventually give in to temptation and force Himself upon Hérazha. And so, to cause the wind goddess endless grief, Kara told Sozho that She had a vision that Hérazha’s children would quickly become smarter and stronger than Their father. Kara told Sozho that He had to stay away from Hérazha, lest He be supplanted as King of the Gods.

Much as everyone knew, Sozho could not stay away from Hérazha forever. One peaceful morning, while Hérazha was riding Her horse down a river canyon, Sozho swooped down and pulled Her up into the sky. Hérazha struggled to free Herself, but Sozho was the strongest of the gods. No matter what form She took -- whether bird nor horse nor the wind itself -- She was unable to break from Sozho’s grasp. With His clouds binding Her immobile, Sozho raped Hérazha.

Sated, Sozho released Her. She floated away on a breeze, shocked and powerless.

Before Hérazha could recover, Sozho recalled Kara’s warning. In order to keep His powerful position, He needed to stop Hérazha from giving birth. He quickly though of one way to do that. Sozho chased after the passive Hérazha and grabbed Her again. He shoved Her into His mouth, swallowing Her whole.

By the time Hérazha recovered from the rape, She was trapped inside Sozho’s stomach. There was nothing She could do. Several months later, still inside Sozho, Hérazha gave birth to a daughter, Vítí, Goddess of Ice. Despite Kara’s prophecy being entirely invented, it was also entirely true. Vítí was indeed both smarter and stronger than Sozho.

Hérazha taught Vítí everything She knew about weaving, leatherwork, and metalcraft. Vítí learned quickly, fabricating a full suit of armor, sword, and shield from bits of iron that Sozho had inadvertently swallowed while eating too fast. Soon, She was full grown. Vítí burst from Sozho’s head, hacking Her way out with Her sword. Blowing like the wind, Hérazha trailed right behind Her daughter.

Sozho healed His head, but not before the goddesses were gone. Neither Hérazha nor Vítí sought retribution against Sozho. They were focused on the future rather than the past. They were too wise to upset the hierarchy of power just for Their own personal advancement.

The beautiful Hérazha returned to Her horse, riding the length and breadth of the universe in time, galloping through the ages, fighting for good and light against the dark and evil Children of Kara.

We are all the Children of Hérazha. We all have the light inside us. Listen to the wind and you, too, will hear the call to arms. Defeat the demons, wherever they may lurk!

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