The Tale of Archers' Day
Each year, on or about Archers' Day, folk began to recite the legendary origin of that day. As all know, Archers' Day occurs every 6 months, and all people partake in the Cowering in the Closet, the various Marking Games, and the Hunt for Erastil, who is said to run about in the forests on this day. None of these quaint traditions seem to be tied with the origin story, but told it is all the same.
In the times after the Quern of Change was broken by Rovagug the Destroyer, when all things stirred in the womb of unbeing, and only the dead earth gazed at the eternal stars, Desna and Gozreh were at war, for their fiery passions had been awoken by the turmoil of Time. Where Desna would hurl up a mountain, Gozreh would send his rains to assault it and break it down. When Gozreh would make a mighty ocean with no shore, Desna would fling up the very floor of the sea to become a great island. Then one day, Erastil sat in a forest, wondering if anything good could be had if there were starchy beings which grew underground and tiny films which could turn such beings into liquid fire, and whether such a drink would make the appreciation of the sun and sand of Desna's beach any nicer, a great storm passed overhead, sent by Gozreh to slay a huge crag erected by his foe, and Erastil was soaked with rain. Then Desna became irate, and made a huge earthquake which shook the ocean and spilled the lakes into the sea, and Erastil's comfy rock was overthrown, and Erastil went into the sand, so that grit stuck in his wet beard. Now Erastil became enraged, but he thought, "I cannot face the strength of Gozreh's storms nor Desna's lava. If I give battle, I will be broken. I will have to be more subtle with them." So Erastil went to Lamashtu, and told her of his plan, which she thought was good. Together they made a new servant, a gooey green thing that was too small to see. But the little thing could make many children, and the hoards of its progeny turned the whole sea green before Erastil could roll over in the sand. And then the children of the little green thing became strong and ambitious, as they had been made to do, and they moved onto land. Then Erastil came to the new thing, which was now a big and leafy thing, and began prodding it to enrage it. Finally, in its rage, the thing became poisonous to eat, and Erastil snapped it up from the ground, and all of its kin, and Lamashtu cleansed the sea of little green things, and the two put the leafy poisonous thing into water, and set the water to boil. In this way, the two made Tea, and Erastil invited the two bitter foes Gozreh and Desna to drink. As it happened, though they were at first furious to be invited together to taste the Tea, when Gosreh and Desna tasted the draught, they looked at one another and laughed. And then they took another drink, and wept, leaning on one another. Then they drank again and laughed, and they drank a final time and fell into sleep. Then Erastil gave Lamashtu his thanks, and the two went to find a beach where there would be no storms nor earthquakes, and sat to look at the sky, and wonder if starchy things would ever grow in the ground so that fire could be made into water. And now the two do this every six months, because Gozreh and Desna always awaken again and go back to their raging, but beaches never get any less pleasant."
Date of Setting
Sometime in the Neopalaeogenic
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