Mai, goddess of fate and destiny, was created by Othniel from the foot-prints of passing souls. For many years, she served her creator faithfully, and drew her powers from the god of Disease. But Torodin befriended the mysterious goddess during his century of slavery in the Underworld. The Nightwalker seduced her, and when his century of servitude was over, he persuaded Mai to leave with him. Fate forever after gave her allegiance to Torodin instead of Othniel. She gave Torodin a daughter - Meda, goddess of Oracles and Prophecy, and allowed Torodin to give his followers the power to see the future and, when luck was with them, to change that which fate had decreed. Thus it is said that even Fate can be tempted.
After she had been tricked into helping Athelstan create the gods of murder, evil, and hatred, Soltana was consumed with guilt. Eventually, without warning the other gods, she decided that she must make up for this terrible deed. Sacrificing a portion of her own life essence, Soltana created Avidor, god of good to combat evil. She created Salome, goddess of healing, to try to save the victims of murder.
Afterwards, Soltana fell into a deep sleep. Estereal found her thus, and was horrified when he could not wake her. He summoned the pantheon, but none of the gods could help Soltana, and she slept for many years.
Finally, Torodin could stand his brother´s grief no longer. Remembering what Soltana had sacrificed on his behalf, Torodin decided to repay her. He took a small portion of the life essence of each of his followers - not quite as much as Soltana´s priests had given, for Torodin´s followers were favorite targets of Athelstan´s flock, and he did not want to leave them too vulnerable.
Torodin kissed Soltana, allowing the life force to flow into the sleeping goddess. When he saw that it would not be quite enough to wake her, Torodin gave his sister a small portion of his own essence as well. This would leave him a shade weaker than the other gods, but it was well worth it when Soltana opened her eyes and embraced her husband. The gods were overjoyed to have Soltana back, and Torodin never spoke of his sacrifice.
War and Peace
Dagon, son of Azkal and Wajen, was the god of war. Corryn, third son of Estereal and Soltana, was the god of peace. The two were forever arguing, but Dagon was frustrated by Corryn´s refusal to do battle and thus settle their disagreements. Tired of their constant bickering, Chesmu, god of competition, intervened. He approached clever Amayeta, second daughter of Estereal and Soltana. Amayeta, goddess of crafts, was sympathetic to Chesmu´s problem, and she agreed with his solution - Dagon and Corryn needed bloodless way to compete with one another. This would satisfy Dagon´s lust for conquest and Corryn´s gentle nature. Amayeta and Chesmu discussed the matter, and invented a new game. They created a board with sixty-four black and white squares to represent a battlefield, and playing pieces to resemble a mortal army. In honor of the god of competition, the game became known as Chess.
Singing before Breakfast
Harmonia, goddess of music, dance and poetry, was created by Soltana´s children as a gift on their mother´s wedding day. The lovely, silver-haired goddess was gentle and kind, and much beloved by the gods. Even hot-tempered Azkal enjoyed her ballads.
Once day, Harmonia was strolling through the forest and playing her magic harp when she spied a handsome, young woodsman named Adhamhnan. The young man turned and smiled in wonder when he saw the lovely goddess. Harmonia rushed into his embrace, and the two made love beneath the shade of a cypress tree until the sun set, and then they slept blissfully in each others´ embrace.
In the morning, the two lovers were very hungry. Adhamhnan declared that he would hunt for their breakfast, but Harmonia detained him. While she dreamed, she had composed a song to celebrate their love, and she wanted to sing it to Adhamhnan right away.
The love-smitten woodsman agreed, and sat down to listen to Harmonia´s song. The goddess played her harp and closed her eyes, singing with such passion that she was completely unaware of her surroundings. Adhamhnan, listening to her, was likewise enthralled, and neither one realized that the entire day was passing.
Just before nightfall, Chakra, god of Murder and Assassins, happened by while the lovers were thus unaware. Unwilling to resist an opportunity to bring grief to a goddess favored by The One, he sneaked up behind Adhamhnan and slit his throat. Then he sped to the Abyss, to gleefully report his latest success to his master, Athelstan.
When Harmonia opened her eyes, she saw her lover lying dead before her. The grief-stricken goddess carried his body to Soltana, but Adhamhnan´s spirit had departed, and no power could bring him back. Consumed by sorrow, Harmonia spent many years in the woods, singing songs of grief.
Ever afterwards, mortals have said that to sing before breakfast is a sure sign of sorrow before nightfall.
A Guttering Candle
Wajen was the wisest of the gods and the least intimidated by Estereal´s power. Yet she held a great respect and affection for her brother. Not wishing to offend him, the Great Mother kept her affair with Othniel a secret for many centuries. As a result, the two gods developed many signals to communicate secretly with one another. Whenever Wajen was with Estereal in the Halls of Truth, which was always lit with many candles, and Othniel wished to see her, he would cause the candle nearest Wajen to suddenly gutter and die.
Ever since, when a candle flame suddenly gutters, it is said to be a sign that Death is calling, and the person closest to the dying flame is doomed to perish before the next dawn.
Sylvana, mortal beloved of Torodin, was killed by a poisonous spider hidden in the petals of a white wisteria flower. Ever since, to dream of white flowers is considered a death omen for the dreamer. Flower sellers have been known to caution their customers against sending white flowers to a single woman, as such is popularly considered unlucky (and in some quarters would be taken as a threat).
Dagon, first son of Wajen and Azkal, was conceived as the two made love beneath the shade of a hazel tree. Azkal was so overcome by passion that he inadvertently set the tree on fire, and it was burned to ashes before Wajen could save it. To atone for the mishap, she planted a new tree on the spot and caused it to grow immediately. Before she and Azkal resumed their passionate encounter, Wajen placed a spell upon the tree to protect it from fire.
Ever since, hazel trees have been popular in various charms. A twig of hazel above the door is said to protect a home from fire. And eating anything made with hazelnuts is considered to be both an aphrodisiac and an aid to fertility.
Ivy and Dreams
Legend has it that Torodin foresaw a threat to one of his favorite worshipers, a good wizard who had dedicated his life to destroying hidden cults of Athelstan. Intending to send aid to the wizard, Torodin sent a vision to the closest of his priests. But the priest misinterpreted the vision, and traveled far away from the wizard.
Frustrated, Torodin searched for another means to warn the wizard. Then he realized that Wajen´s Day was approaching - the harvest celebration in honor of the Good Mother. It was traditional on this day for mortals to wear garlands of ivy and flowers in their hair. With Wajen´s permission, Torodin enchanted the ivy, causing it to give dreams of the future to all who wore it. As a result, the mage dreamed of the plot against his life, and was able to avoid it.
Ever since, the ivy plant has been used by shamans and primitive fortune tellers to divine the future, and those who want to have true dreams will wear garlands of ivy.
Souls for Every River
Jvelto loved his daughter Abebi, goddess of oceans and rivers, above all his children. Abebi was spirited, fun-loving and very beautiful. She was also very trusting, and one day she was tricked into selling her soul to a demon. Jvelto was furious, and beat the demon savagely. But he stopped himself from killing the creature, for that would not have saved Abebi´s immortal soul. Instead, the Oceanlord asked his cunning brother Torodin to strike a deal with Othniel, to whom the demon owed its allegiance.
Torodin did as Jvelto asked. He succeeded in freeing Abebi´s soul. In return, for the rest of eternity, Jvelto would turn over to Othniel a number of souls equal to every body of water in the world times seven.
As a result, it is said that each river and ocean must claim at least seven lives every year, so that Jvelto can pay his debt to the Soultaker.