Mariposa the Hive Myth in Smallscale | World Anvil

Mariposa the Hive

"Mariposa ascended from the Earth, and from her cloak came the creatures that would build the world. From that hills grew mountains, and their gardens became the forest. Their fire and stones created the sun and moon, and from Mariposa's very own tears of joy, the rains came and filled the ocean."
— Translated from an Inscription on a Paruparo ruin.
Mariposa the Hive, is a deity worshipped by certain groups in the Bituin, particularly the ancient Paruparo tribe and the remaining descendants of them.


It's believed that in the beginning over everything, there was only flat earth, until the day that Mariposa emerged from the ground after thier metamorphosis into a God. From thier wing-like cloak, she birthed thousands of giant magical insects that terraformed the planet, creating the mountains, and forests and sky. Mariposa was so happy to see the planet blooming with life, that they cried tears of joy, which became the life giving water that engulfed the planet.   Soon other animals would be born in the lush new world that was created, and it was only then that the Hive of Mariposa were finally able to rest after ages of hard work. Mariposa immortalized their bodies in stones that would hold old of their remaining magic. Mariposa's final resting spot was inside the massive ant hill thier hive called home, which later became the massive volcano on Nawala Island.   It's said all living bugs are descendants from the hive, and if they are ever disrespected for their work, Mariposa's rage would cause the volcano to violently erupt and destroy everything they built.
Artwork by IbbyWondrous
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Cultural Reception

While the story was the basis of a loyal religion in the age of the Paruparo tribe, the story has become more akin to folklore after being passed down from generation to generation. The only people who still worship Mariposa are the new Paruparo tribe living on Nawala island, and the Miinu, who adopted the story and made their own changes to it. This includes a holiday they created known as the Festival of Community.  


When the Miinu adopted the story, it was mostly just a collective memory from the Fossil Stones. The miinu adapted the story to include the 'Precursors' which were what they assumed built the ruins they found themselves in. The Precursors were humans who used the power of the Hive to gain god-like powers, but over time their power fades, generation by generation, until all that was left were the small, weak Miinu.  

Historical Basis

Archeologists studying the Paruparo tribe found many inscriptions and shrines dedicated to Mariposa in the ruins of their city. While little is known about how the myth actually came to be, researches theorize that the myth stemmed from the tribe's discovery of insect fossils, many of which date back to the Carboniferous and Permian eras, where high oxygen levels allowed insects to grow far larger than their modern counterparts. This was likely compounded with the discover of Spirit Magic, and the ability to use the souls of once living creatures to cast spells. This likely cause many of them to believe the insects themselves were magic in some way.   The ending of the tale was likely added after evidence of volcanic rock and ash was found covering the bottom of some of the older structures, implying that there may have been a catastrophic volcanic eruption that rained ash and lava onto parts of the village. Perhaps it was interpreted as a violent outburst from their god as punishment.   Of course since not much is left of the tribe to confirm any of these theories, the true origin of the myth remains a mystery to this day.  

In Art

There are a few surviving art from the tribe that depict Mariposa visually, found manly on murals and pottery. The design of Mariposa seems to change over the years, but one asonishingly well preserved mural depicts Mariposa as a humanoid figure with wild hair and large butterfly like wings that form a cloak design around them. Their body is long and insectoid and they possess moth like anttennae. The mural also depicts them both crying and releasing the hive from their cloak.


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