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White Tatanka

The Legend of the White Tatanka

For as long as our people have struggled in the hills of the Cradle, so has existed the White Tatanka and the blessings that it brings. When those who struggle and are lost on their journey find there is no place else to turn, the White Tatanka appears to them, leading them along the path to what they desire most. This creature brings hope even in the darkest of places.

But the legend of the White Tatanka is not as simple as it seems. For one young man found the fabled beast, but his decisions and greed dictated his path, far away from the prosperity the Tatanka was leading him to. When the days grow long and the potential of a day is greatest, we storytellers share the happenings of the past so that others do not make this man's fatal mistake.

— Excerpt from the Legend of the White Tatanka
  Stories and their tellings are an integral part of the Clay Giant Culture, traditions rely on stories passed down through retelling after retelling during celebrations and hours of relaxation and work. Without these stories, the history of the Clay Giants would be lost to time, erased without the careful curation of their oral traditions. Storytelling is a way of life, but some stories have greater importance than others. Some are so ingrained in the culture that everyone knows the story word for word.   The Legend of the White Tatanka is one of those stories that everyone in the Cradle of Clay knows. Throughout the year, the story is told multiple times, during celebrations such as Storybrook to long days in the fields or traveling over the hills. Children know the story nearly word for word from a young age, reflecting on the teachings that come from such a story. Some may say it is just a fairy tale, a fable with some moral at the end, but to the Clay Giants, the story of the White Tatanka is a reality that can come true for those that have lost their path.   Over the years, the story has changed slightly, changing through retellings and as the landscape and animals changed. The message that one gains from the story never varies, hoping to teach the new generations to stray away from the greed and other thoughts that led to the lifestyles of the Giants. This story is seen as a way to keep the Clay Giants from following the horrific path of their ancestors, instead following the path of growth and progression laid out for them by the goddess Rerena.

Historical Basis

Numerous accounts of White Tatanka sightings have been noted throughout the centuries, often by those that were struggling with decisions that would greatly affect their lives. These sightings give some historical basis and truth to the story as many of the sightings were by Shamans or other people that had gained some notoriety in their tribes and villages.

Variations & Mutation

Although variations of the story have been noted, none of these variations have been recorded. It is believed that this story dates back to the earliest days of the Vollan Rue, very early in the history of the Clay Giants in the Cradle of Clay. The events of the story far predate the domestication of the Tante or the first breedings of the Tatanka so it is assumed that the creature was either a Tante or another similar creature from ancient times.   Little else seems to have been altered about the story throughout the millennia as the idea of growth and progression has permeated the Clay Giant Culture since their separation from the Hierarchy of the Giants. Variations are common in oral traditions as things often change over numerous retellings, although this story is special in that it seems little has changed in the retellings, especially since the story was recorded.

In Literature

The Legend of the White Tatanka is one of the few stories of such importance across Vóreios that is not written down. The Clay Giants prefer oral traditions as the Giant script can be somewhat troublesome for long written documents. This story is one of the many that are recorded through the work of Story Telling of Olden Rarities of Yesteryear and then stored in the archives of the Starlit Tower for future generations.   Recorded stories often have transcriptions but many in the Cradle of Clay have requested that this story not be transcribed as the written word cannot convey the feelings and thoughts as well as a well-versed storyteller. Only those practiced enough in one of the most important professions of the area are allowed to tell this story during celebrations to keep the magic and message of this ancient story alive.
Date of First Recording
Telling / Prose
Related Ethnicities
Related Species
Related Locations


The Legend of the White Tatanka is about a man that wished for power and stature that he believed was his destined right. To prove to the village Shaman that he was worthy of the power he wished for, the man was to find and bring back the hide of a white Tatanka, something that was deemed impossible. Throughout his travels, he found a White Tatanka that had been sent by the goddess Rerena to lead the man down the best path to his desires. The beast spoke of growth and progression, but the man did not believe he needed to prove himself anymore. Instead of following the beast, he smote the creature, taking the pelt and returning home.   Once the man returned home, his welcome was not what he had expected. His greed caused him to be thrown from the village, banished from the village and his homeland. For the remainder of his life, he told the story of the White Tatanka and the lesson he had learned from his experience so that others would not be tempted by greed as he had.  

Cultural Reception

There was a point in time when this story was often just told in passing, shared rarely, or only when someone needed to hear the moral of the story. As the events of the Eldritch War unfolded and more sightings of the White Tatanka happened, the story became more prevalent, being told more frequently as the belief in the beast was growing like a flame unchecked. People believed in the creature as an extension of the goddess, a messenger sent when most needed.   In the last three hundred years, it has become nearly impossible to find someone from the Cradle of Clay that does not know the Legend of the White Tatanka nearly verbatim. It is a story told much more frequently than others and one that people relate well to.

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Author's Notes

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12 Jan, 2022 00:31

I love how the value of the story being kept in its oral format is backed by the storyteller's strength because writing does strip away vocal tone, and not all onomatopeia have a ready spelling (if any are in the tale).   I also love how circumstances came about so the story could be told by nearly everyone and anyone, but the story didn't used to be so well known before those events.   The summary of the story itself is really nice in how it still feels like a story being told. Thank you for the delightful read!

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
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