Teor & Tarr Myth in Outspoken | World Anvil

Teor & Tarr

The Gods of the Great Twin Rivers

"Even if it takes tears enough to fill an ocean, we’ll meet again. I swear it by the Twin Rivers."
Caillte to Pip


In the first era of the gods, as the world burst into being and the gods first began to shape the land like clay in the hands of a master sculpter, a love story for all time was blooming between Fòmhar and Cuimhne. The gentlest and most nurturing of the gods fell for one another as they brought the world to life, filling it with greenery and warmth that would sustain Èirigh's people for eons to come. Surrounded by the new life of their creations with eyes only for one another, these fate bound lovers were wed in a quiet ceremony from which the tradition of Handfasting comes.

Cuimhne adored Fòmhar's stunning creations, each more beautiful than the last, and longed to help them grow strong and thick enough to cover all the world with a soft green blanket. Inspired by their parents, great Cior and Cal, Cuimhne took up their loom, and from the strands of Fòmhar's most cherished memories they wove the twin water spirits into existence so that the plants of the earth would never go thirsty. Their children were beautiful, every curve and hollow perfectly designed for the task Cuimhne created them for. Satisfied, they named them Teor and Tarr, and presented them before great Fòmhar.

The god of the harvest wept tears of joy at the sight of such fine children, and this new memory wound itself through Cuimhne's carefully woven threads, imbuing the twins with remarkable power. So remarkable were they, in fact, that together the twins' strength rivaled that of Raidhse themself. But Raidhse is a jealous god, and did not take kindly to this challenge on their domain as god of the ocean.

As Teor and Tarr strained to carve a path through the mighty mountains Sliabh and Cruach, Raidhse gathered their loyal uisgeach, preparing to strike. When the exhausted twins finally broke through the stoic mountains of stone, the uisgeach attacked in numbers so great that Teor and Tarr could barely hold them off.

Seeing their children in such desperate straits, Fòmhar donned their finest armor and challenged the fearsome god of war to combat. For seven days and seven nights, as the twins fought valiantly against the uisgeach that steadily chipped away at their already exhausted forms, Fòmhar and Raidhse were locked in a terrible, ferocious battle. But though the god of the harvest refused to back down, pouring everything they had into every carefully placed blow, they never stood a chance. At the dawning of the eighth day of battle, Fòmhar fell, too battered, bloodied, and exhausted to go on.

Raidhse raised their great war hammer of legend, fully prepared to smite their sibling god. But in that split instant, just before the god of war could deliver their death blow, Cuimhne appeared in all their fierceness, bearing the only thing that could stop Raidhse in their tracks.

In Cuimhne's left hand, they held a shimmering silver chord -- the very chord that contained all memory of Raidhse's beloved Fìrinne. In their right hand, Cuimhne summoned the fire from every hearth that has been and will be, all crackling and burning. But even these remarkable flames were no match for the sparks raging in Cuimhne's eyes. There was no question what they threatened, and no doubt that they would follow through if need be. For perhaps the first time, Raidhse felt true terror, and their face blanched with fear.

Without a word, the gods stared each other down for one long moment, the earth itself seeming almost to hold its breath. Then, mighty Raidhse lowered their head in surrender, their hammer falling to the ground. Cuimhne had defeated the god of war for the sake of their children, a feat no being among gods or men has replicated before or since.

But despite their victory, Cuimhne's heroic act came too late.

At the base of the mountains, war raged on. Alone and scared, their energy spent, Teor and Tarr were overcome by the uisgeach. In one violent, decisive strike, the twins were severed from one another. Raidhse's water spirits dragged them away, too badly wounded and weary to resist. Teor they dragged to the west, Tarr the east, until the whole of Èirigh stretched out between them.

In the very moment that Fòmhar fell, the uisgeach bound Teor and Tarr to the river beds, ensuring they could never find each other again. Stripped of their power, their family, one another, and even their godhood, all seemed lost -- and in many ways, it was. The magicks of the uisgeach are as old and dark as the void before time, unbreakable even by the god they serve.

Victorious Cuimhne carried their wounded lover home, expecting to see their beloved children waiting for their return. Instead, they found their home amongst the stars empty. Panicked and confused, Cuimhne rushed to find the poor twins. The shattering of their heart resounded throughout the worlds of god and men sharp as the rolling thunder, and at the sound of its deafening crack, the twins at last began to weep. And weep. And weep.

Days, weeks, months passed, and still there was nothing could staunch the overflowing tears of Teor and Tarr. So heavy were their tears that the banks Raidhse's uisgeach had bound them to could not contain them, and the twin rivers gradually overflowed. When still their weeping did not cease, the waters broke free of their banks entirely, racing onwards to the east and west, slicing through the earth with shocking speed, until at last they burst into the ocean itself.

Raidhse, ashamed of their actions and desperate to prove their sincerity to heartbroken Cuimhne, took pity on Teor and Tarr. With a flick of their wrist, the god of the ocean created a riptide stretching from east to west. While such strange currents are only possible on rare occasion, this act of mercy allowed the forlorn twin river gods to meet once more in a warm, flowing embrace.

by Jamie Curd on Unsplash

by Claudio Büttler on Unsplash

See Also

The Many Gods of Èirigh: A Religious Primer
Myth | Dec 28, 2021

A brief overview of the spiritual practices of Èirigh.

Myth | Dec 31, 2021

The god of the harvest, the plants, and medicine.

Myth | Jan 1, 2022

The god of the hearth, the home, and memory.

Myth | Dec 31, 2021

The god of the ocean and of war.

Myth | Dec 31, 2021

The god of the moon, illusion, and truth.

Worship and Ritual

While Teor and Tarr no longer hold the power or position of deities, they are still treated by many children of man with the respect due such spirits. The Conradh Cloch Path, which runs along the banks of the twin rivers, is littered with offerings to the twin rivers. Few souls dare venture beyond the solid ground of Èirigh without leaving some small gift for the spirits that were once gods.

Many believe that the waters where Teor and Tarr meet are sacred. According to legend, drinking a draft of these waters can restore memory, or even provide healing to those most in need with the blessing of Fòmhar. Leaving a beloved token from someone you've lost at the place where the twin rivers split ensures that they will never be forgotten, and an entreaty to Cuimhne or Fòmhar in these holy places is likely to win you their blessing.

Though Teor and Tarr are no longer gods and therefore are unable to return to their parents, Cuimhne and Fòmhar look kindly on those that honor their children, and especially on those that endeavor to reunite their family once more. Followers of the twin rivers or their parents make a yearly pilgrimage across the length of the kingdom to collect water from Teor and Tarr, placing it in the same cup in order to let the twins mingle. This cup is then placed on the hearth upon the pilgrim's return home, allowing this broken family time together once more, if only for a moment. Such a pilgrimage is often undertaken by those seeking safe passage overseas, or those in need of healing.

The Festival of the Broken Hearted is held every year in towns claiming Cuimhne as their patron. On this heavy day, a vow of silence is taken by all within the town to honor of Cuimhne's endless grief, and to hold space for others that may be mourning some great loss.


The tale of Teor and Tarr has been passed down for generations nearly unchanged in most places of worship, but there are two popular variations in certain areas of the kingdom. The first is that after Cuimhne's threat roused them to their senses, Raidhse was sorry for their actions against the twins, and sent their uisgeach to expand the banks of Teor and Tarr to the ocean, intentionally reuniting them. The second is a very different tale altogether, with the role of Raidhse being played by Scrios in disguise. In this version of the story, Teor and Tarr accidentally create the ocean with their tears, and are reunited as the gods of the ocean.

Cover image: by Mohamed Nohassi on Unsplash


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Jan 2, 2022 20:07 by Luca Poddighe

This legend is beautiful and splendid, but I like most the "worship and ritual" paragraph, since it tells how myths affects everyday life. Well done!

Jan 2, 2022 23:36 by Maybe Stewart

Thank you so much!

Jan 16, 2022 23:21 by E. Christopher Clark

It's heartbreaking to see the twins torn apart, but I like that—whichever version of the tale someone believes—they find a way to touch each other again in the end.

Now it's time for the awkward wave.
Jan 24, 2022 21:43 by Maybe Stewart

Thank you so much! I was really happy with how this one turned out.

Jan 17, 2022 09:37 by Stormbril

Omg Maybe, this is beautiful and heartbreaking <3   I really really loved the myth itself, it was told in such a way that felt real and complete, like something from our own history on earth. And I agree with Luca, it was so fascinating to see the way you connected the tales of the myth with regular every day life, and how they might worship the gods from the myth itself! Really amazing work!   So good that I had to include it in my reading challenge article!

Jan 24, 2022 21:44 by Maybe Stewart

Thank you so much, Stormy! It really means a lot ^_^ I took a lot of inspiration from Celtic, Norse, and Greek mythology, and I'm really happy with how this one turned out.