Secret conversations in the temple of Áfawarsal Document in Salan | World Anvil
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Secret conversations in the temple of Áfawarsal

As told in the Songs of Daursan and Kauteirin, a series of secret conversations happened in the Temple of Áfawarsal in Wasäkawakal, conserning the secret relationship between Kauteirin and Farinwél and Kauteirin's true gender. Because no contemporary written records of the conversations remain (they happened centuries before the invention of writing), the myths vary widely in details of what was known and by whom. This article summarises the views of the most popular myths.  


In order to join the Sisters of the Weaver, the mostly female monastic order of Áfawarsal, Kauteirin had disguised himself as a young woman. He managed to keep this a secret from all, except some of his closest sisters. After some years, a tribe of the Highland Army passed by the temple, and Kauteirin's beauty attracted the attention of one of the soldiers, Farinwél. They had an affair in secret, but eventually it was revealed to Farinwél's superiors, who encouraged Farinwél to marry Kauteirin according to their customs. Kauteirin was then left with two choises, either marry him, or reveal his gender to everyone. Either way, he would be forced to leave the monastery.

Who knew what?


In the beginning of their relationship Farinwél did not realise Kauteirin was a man. Kauterin eventually chose to reveal this, in order to explain why he was so afraid of his approaches, even though it could have possibly endangered his life.  


Some of the Kauteirin's closest sisters knew he was in fact a man, and were also the first to learn of the affair. The sisters lived in close proximity within the shared quarters, and it was not easy to keep any secrets in such conditions. The Sisters chose to keep Kauteirin's gender a secret from the pastors (spiritual leaders of the monastery), because they all had secrets that they did not want to come into light, and so there was a mutual trust between the sisters.  


The pastors were oblivious for years, however, it seems that in the end the Archpastor knew of both Kauteirin's gender, and his relationship with Farinwél.  

Generals of the army

Farinwél's superiors knew of the affair between Farinwél and Kauteirin, but seem to have been oblivious that Kauteirin was in fact a man. They learned only years later, when Kauteirin finally revealed himself. To them the marriage was a way for Farinwél to preserve his honour by providing for the woman, who might otherwise be shamefully sent away from the monastery. If they had known Kauteirin was a man, they would have probably drafted him as a soldier, or possibly executed him for escaping draft in a shameful way by pretending to be a woman.  


It seems, that after learning about the affair of Kauteirin and Farinwél, one of the sisters decided to tell of it to the pastors. Her ultimate motivation is unclear, but it has been suspected, that she had either some personal conflict with Kauteirin, or possibly was jealous of their love. it is not known if she initially revealed Kauteirin's gender too, or if it was revealed in the further interrogations by the pastors.

The pastors deviced a plan of getting rid of Kauteirin. They revealed the affair to Farinwél's superiors, but did not tell them that the object of his desire was a man. In this way there was a chance to get rid of Kauteirin, without revealing that a man was able to sneak into their ranks, and endangering the reputation of the sisters. They offered to give up Kauteirin for a marriage, and keep the honour of both of the parties clean.

It was thus left in the hands of the two men, whether they chose to accept the marriage, or lose their honour and face possible punishments for misconduct.  


Farinwél chose to accept the marriage, because he was afraid of the consequences that Kauteirin would have faced if he had revealed his deceit. It would have also been shameful to admit that he had not realised Kauteirin was a man. By marrying him, he also got to keep his lover.

Kauteirin decided to accept the marriage, because this way he could keep his prestigious position as one of the Sisters. He put himself in a dangerous situation by risking getting revealed in the fronteer, where punisments for misbehaviour were known to be severe, but he prefered that risk to getting ostacised and sent away from his community in shame.

Thus the two men were married according to the traditional rites, and Kauteirin followed Farinwél to the fronteer as his wife. Kauteirin chose to reveal his gender only much later, in order to save the life of his twin brother, but that story is told here.
by Tuisku (J.D. Beazley & Vassil, photos)
Kauteirin meets Farinwél in a forest.
Kauteirin is foraging, while Farinwél is hunting. Kauteirin covers his face to conseal his gender. The vines encircling them is a common symbol of love in Faren art.


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Jul 12, 2023 16:14 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I am so glad this ended up happy. It could have so easily been a tragedy. I love Farinwél and Kauteirin! <3

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
Jul 12, 2023 16:56

Thanks, they are the main characters of my current story, so I'm glad you like them ^^

Check out my Summer Camp 2023 wrap-up here!
Jul 13, 2023 05:47

A good story and legend.