Suuri Valotaja

Once, Forjorn was a haunted land. When we had nowhere else to go, from warring shores she sailed, in search of a sanctuary. Upon an untouched shore she landed, and slayed a great beast that called the isle its den, its great pelt her trophy, and on a tablet she carved a map. Those who saw the pelt of the beast feared the island only more, but as our villages burned, Suuri's map led us to our new home, though we followed with trepidation. For we feared we sailed from the claws of the enemy to the jaws of death. But here she gave us a home.
  Suuri Valotaja (often translated as Suuri the Mapmaker) is the quasi-mythical mother of the Forjorni people. Myth surrounds her birth, life, deeds and death; she has become a folk tale, more than a historical figure, but to her people she is as real as flesh and blood. She became the first chieftain of Forjorn, and founded the culture that thrives there to this day.  


Suuri was born around the 11th century, in one of the last great cities of the Valaunt people. Suuri is said by her people to be either the daughter of the ancient man Anenky, the snow god Eiif or the King Misanien. Her true origins are obscured by time. She was at the very least of a wealthy family, and born in a southern city on Kalord, the name of which has been lost, during the reign of King Misanien, last ruler of the Valaunt people.   By the time of her birth, the Valaunt supremacy of Kalord had begun to unravel. Their eight hundred year domination of the continent was slowly dismantled by an upstart group of slaves, led by a group of mages calling themselves the Ice Lords. They had conquered or burned many Valaunt towns in southern Kalord in the preceding two decades, and Suuri's people were in their twilight years.   Suuri was educated in the culture and traditions of her people, and as a young teen, joined the war against the Ice Lords as a soldier. The legends say she was recognised for her prowess in battle, despite her young age, after defeating many a veteran warrior in battle near the ancient city of Putkula.   Any success Suuri may have contributed to the war was far to little to late. The Valaunt withdrew to their capital of Ulaudo when she was in her twenties. Though Suuri was a decorated soldier with a command, she proved unpopular for her unorthodox living arrangement in a polyamorous relationship. With the war lost, her people shut themselves behind the automatons of Ulaudo. Suuri refused to despair so, and left her people - alone and with just a small ship - to seek out the legendary isle of Forjorn.   Said to be haunted by all manner of beast, it was the last refuge available to her people, before they were to be driven into the sea. Suuri's voyage took over a year, from the east coast of Kalord, to the far northern isle, and along the way Suuri was forced to stop often due to weather, and to gather supplies from the meager bounty of an icy, northern continent. She carved a map of her voyage upon a stone tablet, and once she reached her destination, Suuri slayed a great snow beast, and took its pelt as proof of her success.  

Exodus of the Forjorni

Suuri returned to her city expecting to be hailed a hero, but the Valaunt people were gripped with despair. They had watched their proud empire crumble, and they didn't it worth going on. For many, being asked to start again was an insult. Suuri was ridiculed during a speech to her people's elder council, and made a joke of in public. Her pushes for an evacuation of Ulaudo to the new isle she had found were ignored and derided, until the elder council grew impatient with her and they ordered her exile.   Suuri gathered her supporters, primarily from among the lower class and the priesthood of Eiif, and hired a ship. It is said she never looked back on Ulaudo when she sailed away, though she left her family and even one of her lovers behind. Yet she left copies of her map with those she trusted who chose to remain.   Suuri and her companions settled on the mythical island, and founded what would become the Forjorni culture. Ulaudo fell a scant five years later to the Ice Lords, and with the closing of the 11th century, the last great clockwork city of Kalord wound down.  


The Forjorni people have never regained the glittering wealth or success of the Valaunt, but Suuri's legacy was that they lived on, in peace and seclusion. She is sometimes worshiped as a lesser goddess in an informal manner, though it is more generally held that she was reincarnated. Skilled warriors among the Forjorni are sometimes declared Suuri's reincarnation.  


Suuri was atypical of the Valaunt people, and the Forjorni after them. In fact, her example shaped much of the Forjorni view of love and sexuality to follow. Suuri famously took four lovers, contrary to the Valaunt tradition of monogamy; her lovers included one male, two females and one Siulua. The Forjorni people are almost all polyamorous to this day, influenced by her example, and the term suri is now used as slang for polyamorous lovers.
Biological Sex


Author's Notes

Written for Lightning Challenge #34 "Great Women" to celebrate Janet's birthday.

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