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Jeshra

Jeshra is thought by scholars to be the oldest known form of the modern Snow Warrior, and he and his pups have been noted in the oral lore of the Pass regions far longer than anything more detailed than a passing nod in more sheltered mountainous regions. Scholars now suspect that his pups hived off individually at some point as conceptualizations of different aspects of what makes Jeshra, Jeshra (the sole exception is Fire, who was discovered in the Sandibari Forests and adopted as an honorary Snow Pup, a process which is well documented in literature from the time).   Customs have formed around some of the Snow Pups (such as Fire, Hunter, and Migration, coincidentally the only three who are at least partially thought to have a function as opposed to merely "being"), which were thoroughly entrenched by the time of the earliest settlement buildings and have evolved and changed as Stenza society advanced into the space age.   Coincidentally, there is also evidence floating around of his actual existence. As the Snow Warrior, he surfaces on photographs and in film, and can sometimes be heard on audio recordings. Before such technology existed, there were accounts of several individuals at a time witnessing him, including a famous incident during the Battle with the Stone Menace where every child in the Greater Pass region wandered into the wilderness to ask for his aid. The event is commemorated by the clans of that region today.

Divine Domains

The indescribably ancient nature spirit is connected intimately with the Frozen Wastes. He allows life to exist there in small pockets, but also is responsible for the violent snow and ice storms that sweep across the Wastes, the Ice Flats, and sometimes almost as south as the Sandibari forests. In the absolutest sense, as far as the Stenza are concerned he controls the weather.   He is also responsible for the origins of the Stenza hunt, given that his realm is also home to such sturdy beasts as Basket Horns and others who survive by size, fur, or numbers. Originally the Stenza hunted them for survival, but the advent of food preservation allowed the hunt to take on characteristics of honor and rules (which had by this point fallen to Hunter; millennia later, a controversy began brewing over whether Humans count, for more: Leadership Challenge).   The Stenza dead are also placed into his care, interred in caves within his realm. The practice appears to date back to the days of the Proto-Stenza, if fossil records are to be believed, and coupled with the similarly ancient age of the Collective Knowledge, indicates that they, too, may have been aware of his existence or a being like him, although it is impossible to know with certainty. In the present day, the Caves of the Dead span miles across the Frozen Wastes and are subject to special rituals especially pertaining to Jeshra's home and entering so far within it.   Much less well known, however, is his patronage of child rearing. This is connected to the fact that he has children, but does not always click given the pups do not seem to age, and it is quickly and sharply eclipsed by arctic conditions.

Artifacts

The scant number of carvings in the archaeological record depicting Jeshra with any degree of certainty are found exclusively at a point close to the exact center of each Pass in which they are found (so far, they have only been found in the Greater Pass and the Low Pass, which indicates that veneration of Jeshra in these places specifically is incredibly old). They depict a range of objects from a Stenza face (sometimes with Proto-Stenza features such as an elongated nose and narrower eyes) to a structure thought to be either a rock or a chunk of ice (which linguistics believe to have evolved into the sign for "ice", both the Snow Pup and the word in general usage). In one case, the stone simply has seven dots on the right side and five on the left. This is the earliest known attestation of Jeshra's eye condition, which has persisted into modern folklore with marked rigidity.

Physical Description

Identifying Characteristics

Although it is rare to get a look at Jeshra's face, especially in the modern day, it has been said by those who have that he has seven pupils in his right eye and five in his left. Of course, not everyone notes this, suggesting an ability to conceal this feature other than by conventional means.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

"Jeshra" is the best-effort modern attempt to recreate an ancient word which is the root for winter (ḍæṣ), and which also survives in the name of Jal'sa droga and others in the Pass regions. The oldest known mentions of him, in oral history as well as scant carvings in the archaeological record, already have him entrenched as the embodiment of winter, harsh conditions, and the wilderness and mystery beyond the Ice Flats. He receives little mention, although customs which pertain to him, originating in the Pass regions and dating back millennia, abound. Evidence even suggests there was a time before Unification when many of these customs were widespread, and cultural attitudes in more metropolitan areas have shifted away since then.   At some point, it became apparent to Stenza, especially those who lived around the Passes, that Jeshra had companion spirits embodying specific aspects of the season in Stenza consciousness (Snow, Ice, Mist, Wind, Cold, Fire, Migration, and Hunter are the most common). These spirits find settlements and civilization much more inviting than their father does, and have a long history of poking around, testing hospitality, seeking play, and such like. It is unknown what form these spirits took in the earliest days, but details in oral storytelling indicate that the pup shape is incredibly ancient. (They may have been pups the entire time, similar to the lack of general change between Proto-Stenza young and Stenza pups.)   Additionally, he himself has changed. His name evolved into ḍæṣḍîⱱúy (Snow Warrior), and the armor he is reported to wear has gradually updated in correlation with advances in military technology. However, by the present, his form and identity, as well as that of his pups, has long been entrenched.
Related Legendary Figures
Snow Warrior
Snow Pups
Divine Classification
Nature Spirit
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Whose Voice is the Wind
Children
Current Residence

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