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Tyanis and her Daughters

I know quite a few people that hate this tale. Saying it paints Tyanis in a bad light. Of course, my first response is always, have you ever read a story about our gods? Then again if you had to endure what she went through, wouldn't you have lashed out in pure anger?
— Son, High Priest of the Order of our Earthly Mother
  - excerpt from "The Making, Unmaking and Second Making of Existence." -   Creation was long in the past and the Aridatea had slowly faded from the earth. Only through whispers, signs and prophecies did the gods still maintain contact with humanity. Oberon had isolated himself on the sun, steadily building new weapons for his final battle against Leechany. Nykara was still grieving the loss of her husband, betrayed and imprisoned under the earth. The other gods were either entertaining themselves with the massacre that was the Age of Wrath or indulging in the pleasures of Elysium. Then there was Tyanis who, sensing that there was no way to stop mankind from tearing itself apart, had laid herself to rest and the earth was as calm as never before or after with nary a quake or shake to interrupt the carnage above.   But her sleep was suddenly disturbed and Tyanis found herself consumed by pain. A searing maelstrom of many-coloured flames. Existence was pain. She could hear many of the other gods tortured screams. Could hear humanity cry out in fear before being suddenly silenced. She could hear the Oblivion Hour tear the world apart, but she couldn't care. Finally, after what seemed an eternity of agonizing entropy, unconsciousness claimed her.   When she came to, all around her was ashes. A titanic gash split the world and as the world was an extension of Tyanis so did it split her body from shoulder to hip, a jagged, bleeding cut. Trying to gather her senses, she stretched her mind, hoping to gain the simple comfort of knowing the other Aridatae alive. But as she retracted her senses, relieved at knowing them weakened but alive, she suddenly stopped. Three bodies, previously unnoticed, were lying around her. Of female form, but seeming younger than her, like children in a way.   One was of lean stature, burn scars covering one half of her body and what looked like frostbite the other. A sharp face, framed by grey hair and with piercing grey eyes starred back and the name Vardania echoed in Tyanis mind.   The next was smaller than Vardania and with a rounder body and rounder features. Her left was covered with scarred tissue, ugly forms of hardened skin stretching from head to toe. Innocent brown eyes were staring at her from a round face and Tyanis knew her to be Anidara.   Lastly, the tallest of the three. As large as Tyanis herself, her front covered with burn marks, but her back without a single blemish. Dark blue eyes glowered from a long face, but Tyanis could not focus on that, Her cheek had been ripped out, the fleshy opening looking like a second mouth or rather a maw. Scetia was the name rushing in her thoughts.   But as she gazed upon the three, a flash of pain shot, once again, through her. Tyanis could sense it. Each of them was tainted by that infernal energy that had tortured her so mercilessly. She could feel its ugly claws grasp at her again and the rift in her body echoed with the oh so detestable pain once again. Dark thoughts filled her mind at that and her soul screamed to wipe destroy what had brought her down, to banish this foul essence back to where it had come from.   With great rage Tyanis threw herself on the three girls then and only barely did they manage to escape. Across the earth, they fled and Tyanis followed, ever intent on destroying them. And the space around earth shook under her screams, equally filled with pain and hate.   After centuries of hunt, the girls collapsed in the shade of an apple tree. A fatal decision, for Tyanis, was soon looming over them, intent on removing their misshapen bodies from reality. In the last second then did another intervene. Aleanus, the god of the seas and apple trees, jumped in front of the girls. Normally he wouldn't have stood a chance, but Tyanis was still reeling from her wounds and the centuries of chase had taken a toll. Then Aleanus cried out.   "Tyanis are you bound by madness grip? Cease this insanity at once! You are not hunting some demonic abomination. Not some of Leechany's spawn. Its children you are tormenting! Look how they cower. How they cry and scream, fearing for their lives. Beauty incarnate they are not, but look past those scars and marks. Look into their faces and see yourself in them. Can't you see that these are your children?!"   And all the rage that possessed her a second ago had vanished. A cold numbness spread in her, as she gazed into their faces. Tear stained masks of fear, but indeed now she could not overlook it. All three looked like her. Then she realized why they had appeared around her. Why they appeared as scared as herself. That those eyes had looked at her with glee, not because they had enjoyed her torment, but because they had recognized their mother.   With a great wail, she collapsed, tears rushing from her eyes. Endlessly they fell from her eyes and filled the scar across her body and the scar across the planet, for Tyanis is one with the earth. And they filled it to the brim and we call it the Great Divide. And her pain and sorrow are its essences and this is the reason the Divide's waters are forever caught in violent movement, dangerous to beast and human alike.   As she grovelled before the girls, screams of sorrow mixing with violent sobs and cries for forgiveness, the three daughters slowly rose. While they no longer felt any danger from the goddess, they remained wary and for a long time, they kept their distance. Finally, after what seemed like days, Anidara stepped forward. She could feel the familial bond and grasping it she hugged the fallen woman. Vardania followed her but did not hug Tyanis as closely. Finally, Scetia moved as well and she only moved her hands soothingly across Tyanis back. There they remained for a long while, their souls and minds speaking.   While the shadow of Tyanis early actions still loomed over them, the four had gotten another chance. And where Tyanis once wandered the earth alone, she now has company. Like in the shadow of that apple tree, Anidara is closest to her mother, always at her side. A bit further away Vardania walks and furthest, still somewhat wary does Scetia follow. And slowly but surely the stain of old is removed...  
To be honest, this is perhaps my favourite of the sacred texts. Don't look at me like that! At least it has a happy ending! Do you know how rare those are? Vardanian Myth, dark and cynical stories from dark and cynical people.
— Henrik Cadera, Dioces of Siris
The Lands around the Great Divide
  The Three Sisters. Vardania and Anidara on the right, still a close part of Tyanis, with Scetia on the left, further away from her mother.
The Three Sisters   Vardania, Anidara and Scetia. All three parts of the endless landmass that is Tyanis. Yet, while all carved from the same stone, each of the sisters is unique. Vardania is caught between searing warmth from the south and chilling cold from the north. Her sharp, jagged features showing themselves in the towering cliffs of her southern coast.   Anidara is wider than her northern sister, but shorter at the same time. Her coasts are more rounded and her western half a rough landscape of small mountains and labyrinthine hills. Where Vardania is caught between two extremes, Anidara's climate is stable, even if a little dry.  
Considering all the other familial disputes among the gods, this one is on the harmless side.
— Unknown Cleric
  Scetia is the largest of the three. Defined by her second mouth, Scetia's Maw as the mortals call it, she is perhaps the most unfriendly of the three. The searing winds of her titanic desert, the sharp spikes of her mountains, the harsh summer storms, there is no shortage of things a human might consider uncomfortable here.   The three sisters are all considered continents of their own. Tyanis, once the name for the single enormous landmass that stretched endlessly from east to west, is in modern times used when referring to the whole of the world.  

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Cover image: by Jesper Friis

Comments

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14 Dec, 2019 00:45

Nice story! I'm wondering if the mythology is true or whether it's just a story someone in this world made up because it made sense to them that way.   When Aleanus is talking, he says 'look how they cover'. You might change it to 'cower' if that's what you intended.