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Origin of Libere

This is still a WIP, also I'm not sure how I feel about the myth in general.


It was in autumn that the traitor god Ulfur was cast out from the Eternal Feast, an unworthy god of all their companionship, and so it was in the autumn that he found his cave near the very edge of the globe, nestled deep in the mountains.

Through the winter he mostly slept. Sometimes he got up and would wander about through the craggy trails or hunt for game, but he didn't need to eat, given that he was a god, and the novelty of the hunt was soon overshadowed by his isolation. There were men down at the base of the range, of course, but men feared and hungered and they would not have taken kindly to the sight of a demented god as Ulfur. So he stayed in his cave. He huddled back in the warmth of his furs, and sometimes he grew a fire so big that he might feel its burn scald his eyes and snout even an arm's length away.

By the time that spring came, Ulfur was wearied by his loneliness, and yet had resigned himself to his fate planted on the globe, and in his cave. And he did not mind the cave so much, or even his exile from the heavens, but neither did he relish his being so bereft of companionship. Of his family.

He sat in the now-dripping cave and shed his winter coat. He turned around to see it, for he had never shed before—there were no seasons up at the Eternal Feast, and Ulfur had never imagined himself as a being that might be subjected to them. Still, there it was in a pile near reaching his waist, all the weight that he had carried on him through the winter and which had stayed him through the long nights. To feel its absence from his shoulders, as minimal as it was under the shadow of his desolation, was the first relief he had felt in months—years, perhaps—and he began to weep.

His tears were large and fat and clogged with the gunk of his sadness, and matted the fur as they rained down. By the time Ulfur had expended what he was able, the mass of fur was weighted and bloated. It was now as shoddy as Ulfur himself, and full of his own vehement fluids, and. . .

In a strike of desperate inspiration, Ulfur wiped the last leaking tears from his face and set about testing the mass with his palms, and then beginning to mold it. He drew out first the trunk of a body, ribs and a belly and a snaking spine to hold it together. Then he formed arms and legs, lanky things but that moved much more nimbly than his own extremities. He made the head last, akin in shape and feature to the heads of the men at the base. Yet it was more beautiful than any man's because it was not truly human at all.

For the face he sculpted his own eyes, and left the hint of his own snout amongst star-specked cheeks. He drew a mouth, young and uncertain, and curving ears.

By the finishing touches, the only discernible remnant of the mass of matted fur was the sculpted's hair, sticking at odd angles in some places, frizzy and knotted in others. Wild.

Libere, he murmured, and the mouth drew itself into a smile. The matching eyes blinked back at him softly. Libere shifted their limbs, and then looked around the cave as if seeing it for the first time. Which Ulfur supposed they were.

You have made me?

Ulfur nodded, suddenly uncertain, and coming to fully realize what he had done. He had subjected another life to his own predicament. There was nothing to do about it now, though, and so he told the young god how they had come to be and even attempted to explain why he'd done it. Libere, for their part, seemed unconcerned. They marveled at the interior of the cave, the wide firepit and the haphazard arrangement of bedding where Ulfur had spent the past several months.

Through the rest of spring and summer Libere settled into life within the mountains, and Ulfur taught them everything he knew of their strange inhabitance, their relegation to living like mortals despite the fact that they were still gods. And he taught Libere also the ways of the men down at the base, so that they might one day leave for a more gainful life.

That autumn Libere left along the trail winding down out of the mountains. Ulfur was saddened by the departure, and not so optimistic as to believe they would ever return after seeing how much there was outside of his snug cave. But it would've been selfish to keep the young god there with him for eternity when Libere, at least, might be warranted more among the mortals. And anyway, Libere did not grow a thick winter coat the way that Ulfur did—they wold not survive up in the mountains through the winter, were not meant for such climate.

Winter passed, a dull repetition of the year prior.

The following spring Ulfur had just shed his winter coat, and was debating over what to do with the new mass of fur, when Libere did return. They brought with them all sorts of goods from the base and stories of life amongst the men there, and it was so delightfully unexpected that Ulfur forgot about the fur as well as his own seclusion. He was overtaken by the sheer exuberance of the young god; it was astounding to him that one might have such excitement, and for such seemingly menial, earthly things.

Together they decorated Ulfur's cave with the various items that Libere had acquired, and spent much of the spring and into the summer discussing all that Libere had seen and done. Ulfur was surprised not so much by the stories themselves, but more by his own reception to them—he was warmed, somehow, by Libere's own understanding of it all.

By the end of the growing season, he found himself not dreading the impending winter quite so much. Libere would leave again this year, as they still could not bear the brutal cold for so long, but Ulfur held no doubt as to whether or not they would return again with the first thaw. And he had something with which to pass the long hours this year as well—the matted fur was still piled in the corner of his cave, and Libere had suggested that perhaps he make them a fur coat out of it, so they might visit him in the subsequent winters.

The years that followed thus fell into a pattern. Libere moved with the seasons and Ulfur mostly stayed about his cave, seldom making trips across the vast reaches of the globe. And while he did, in time, travel throughout the mortal realm, he found that it was often for the sake of his child's own appeasement. Mostly, though, he grew contented with the stories relayed to him in the shadowy den of his cave. Libere, in turn, brought what they could of the outside world to him, and while it was not the golden realm of the gods and it was nothing like the palace that had been his home years ago, for Libere it seemed to be more than enough.

It was enough for Ulfur as well.

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