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Spectra's Birdbath


by Gordon Johnson

It was not long after Malevex, god of war and wrath, had been spited by the backstabber Ulfur once again that he went to call upon his cousin Spectra for her comfort and advice. Spectra lived with her mortal husband Serbin on a farm, and myriad mortals as well as gods came to her often for her gentle words.

On this particular day Serbin had just recently carved Spectra a beautiful marble birdbath, and Spectra happened to be working her divine enchantments on the object when Malevex arrived. He came to stand by her as she worked, watching her fingers dip into the silky waters of the pool and the successive ripples turning the water into a vibrant sway of colors and images.

by Gordon Johnson
“Whatever does it do?” he asked her, curiosity briefly stealing over his prior concerns. Spectra smiled, and Malevex saw first a swath of darkened storm clouds, and then a hulking cat-like figure, flit just underneath the surface of the water.

“It is an object of both divination and truth,” she told him. “It shows the monsters that come to harm our farm, so that Serbin and I might know of their presence and even work to drive the vile creatures away.” Spectra stepped away from the birdbath and bid Malevex walk with her to see Serbin.

She frowned as they made their way back to the farmhouse. “There is one creature that has been attacking our sheep at night, killing them in twos or threes. I am hoping the water will soon reveal it to me.”

“It’s probably Ulfur who is killing your sheep,” Malevex told her, because of course Ulfur was a most vile god and creature himself. Spectra scoffed.

“Ulfur would not come and kill our sheep,” she said. “He is our own blood, and I don’t believe he would do such a monstrous thing without reason.”

“No?” Malevex felt his ire for Ulfur surge back once more, and eyed Spectra in earnest. “I know for a fact that Ulfur has been attacking your sheep. I will even prove it to you.”
— Spring Mythos

Spectra agreed in the hope that Malevex would help put an end to her farm’s nightly attacks, and after a short snack of tea and toast Malevex bid her farewell and went to find Ulfur. The sky now bled into evening, and Malevex soon found the bastard god hidden in a dank cave on the other side of the globe.

Now, Malevex was no fool and knew that Ulfur was not the one attacking Spectra’s farm—he reckoned it was really the mountain lion that he had glimpsed in the water—but what sweet opportunity to place blame on the other god.

by mirescosmo
“Ulfur?” he called into the cave, and Ulfur’s beady eyes soon came into view through the darkness. “Ulfur?” Malevex said again. “I have come to make amends. I have found for you a farm with many dozen sheep to eat.”

“Oh?” Ulfur said. Ulfur often spited Malevex, and Malevex was a brash figure anyway, so he did not think much of Malevex’s sudden change of heart.

“Yes, the best sheep in all the world!” Malevex told him. “But you must go tonight, for a panther will soon attack this farm, and eat all the sheep himself."
— Spring Mythos

Ulfur, of course, agreed and immediately set off for the farm that Malevex spoke of in the hope that he would get his fill of tasty meat before the mountain lion came to claim the sheep for its own meal. The backstabber god did not know it was Spectra’s farm, and no doubt he wouldn’t have killed the sheep if he had known; nonetheless, he was ignorant of such details and so he went.

The next morning Malevex went back to the farm and saw that not only had the sheep all been slaughtered, their flesh and entrails gnawed deeply upon, but the farmhouse itself had been attacked as well. The windows were smashed, the walls gouged with claw marks, and the curtains sliced to ribbons. Spectra and Serbin were nowhere to be found, nor was their wagon—evidently they had fled the farm and sought shelter elsewhere.

Disappointed at not getting to see Ulfur caught by Spectra in the monstrous act, Malevex turned to leave the farm. As he did he passed the birdbath and stopped to see if Ulfur’s image would appear in the face of the water. However, the birdbath’s divine magic seemed to have fled along with Spectra herself; all Malevex saw in the water was his own muddled reflection.


Spectra's birdbath is referenced several times across the Pyramisic mythos, as well as in early versions of the Doctrine. Its exact origins are not known, but there are a number of myths with similar allegorical elements.

Malevex is generally a controversial god, both because of the controversy surrounding his father Axen as well as war and ire holding very different connotations across the globe. This is a unique story in the sense that it paints Malevex in a more negative light while presenting Ulfur as more neutral, making it even more difficult to theorize from which historical culture the story might've originated. The best guess is it being Jzarmillan, or a combination of Cravven and Jzarmillan syncretism around the time of the Wars of Liberation.

Several stories in the mythos that involve Ulfur, including this one, are thought to serve as commentary on the nature of evil and monstrosity. Ulfur is generally described as being a beast or monster, consequential of his cursed fate, however stories such as this—while still explicitly describing him as a 'vile creature'—tend not to paint him as the primary monster in the overarching story, and highlight more underlying currents of sinfulness.

Spring Mythos

The Spring Mythos is a collection of Pyramisic myths that are considered fables or allegorical 'lessons'. It was originally written for Ethanian and Beourjen finishing schools, and so glosses over some of the more morbid aspects of the mythos, as well as presents the narrative in a way that's easier for adolescents to digest.

This is the singular full telling of Spectra's Birdbath in modern times—in most other places, including the Pyramisic Doctrine and New Doctrine, the story is only alluded to.
  Malevex is the son of Axen, and is primarily known as the god of war and wrath. He is a minor god, and his preferred form is thought to be a griffin.
Character | Dec 15, 2022
Ulfur is the son of Eava, and is primarily known as the god of betrayal and revolution. He is a minor deity, and his preferred form is considered to be a vaguely wolf-like creature.

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Water as a Revealing Visage

Water is often used as a symbol of revealing truth in many pyramisic myths. One of the main questions at the end of the tale is of whether the birdbath still held any arcanic power at the end, or if it was just normal water after Spectra left. Scholars have argued for or against both ideas, but modern consensus is that the answer itself doesn't matter because Malevex would've seen his reflection either way.

The Rape of the Imperium

Spectra's Birdbath has been used in comparison to a number of historical events, but most infamous was the Obsidian Journal including the myth in its Reserves edition following the Rape of the Imperium.
We shall not name names or point fingers, foremost because we don't have absolute authority to do so, and yes, this children's fable may seem oddly placed in a journal predominantly known for more risque subject. However, The Reserves has an obligation to the political and social spheres as well, and I believe we'd be remiss if we didn't use this opportunity to put in a critical word about the tragedy that has just recently occured.
— Head Editor Pike Feiston, 1294

Other Myths and Stories


Please Login in order to comment!
2 Sep, 2022 07:41

Hi Mirescosmo, please check asap, because you are one of the winners of the prizes I sponsored for Summer Camp. :)

2 Sep, 2022 20:00

Ah, I thought I filled the form out, but my brain has not been working lately so I probably never sent it. Also, thank you so much for sponsoring, and for picking my article!

3 Sep, 2022 04:36

This was just a reminder to all the winners I picked. The form responses have not been checked yet, so I do not know who responded and who didn't :)