The Sulevia Mythology

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They say before wars were fought, before the land was named, even before the desert was a desert, there was a forest, and a river, and a little girl whose beauty surpassed the heavens.

They called her Siul, because in her eyes was knowing and what she saw was truth. In her youth she was loved. In her youth she was admired. And in her youth she was innocent.

A child with hair so blonde it seared the skin and eyes so blue her stare burned away the sky. With her smile came laughter and with her laugh came joy. None lived in that tiny village where she was raised that did not love, did not cherish their Siul, their community daughter, their personal sun who brightened every doorway, illuminated every path and glowed within every beating heart. Siul was their treasure. Their personal trophy.

And what she saw was law.

In a village so small its buildings huddled together for safety, there were no rulers. There were no writs or laws or "I say so's." There was only Siul and Siul was all: beauty, forethought and foresight, bundled into one beaming, beautiful child.

And then Siul grew up.

Where once she inspired love and awe she suddenly bred lust and jealousy. Her beauty was no longer innocent. Her smile was no longer sweet. Her visions no longer truth. What once she lit she cast in shadow. Not a man breathed that didn't ache for want of her and not a woman bred that didn't want her to ache. With her childish appeal and implicit honesty ravished by maturity, Siul began to breed thoughts of greed, desire and black misdeeds.

If once her smile favored too long on one, another would hate him for it. Jealousy roiled in her wake, boiling blood and pitching thoughts into feverish dismay.

And through it all Siul smiled, refusing her destruction by the ill-bred minds which had once fawned over her glory and courted her kindness. No harm would befall her, could befall her, because the village knew she would see it, before they could even think it. They believed for a very long time.

Until one man killed for love of her.

In a village once fraught with blissful ignorance, blood supping on the earth made the wind rigid and the people sway in terror. Fright seized their throats and wrangled wails from each quavering body. And accusations flew on wings of anger, harrowing down upon Siul and muddying her bright hair.

She should have seen it coming.

She should have warned them.

She should have stopped it.

Fists flew after every bitter cry had exhausted itself on pale, trembling lips. Bruises swelled shut her honest eyes, blackening the blue and closing out the sky, mottling the truth where once it shone clear, eager, sought.

From somewhere came a torch.

From someone came a hurl.

From Siul came the cry of a terrified, burning girl.

And the mob of those who had raised her, loved her, loathed her, desired her, paused. Siul's demise blistered the air and the village crept away, slinking back with shameful steps, eyes averted, faces abhorring the sight of blonde hair crisping and sin scrawled upon every face.

Siul fought to her feet as fire licked her body with more fondness than any man had even dreamed in lust, and beyond the roar of crackling flame, she heard the rocky tumble of the river, churning through the trees.

In blindness, in searing pain, Siul ran for the water. Her people gasped and flung themselves away from the atrocity their beloved daughter had become as she barreled through, arms outstretched, mouth screeching more prophecy and sudden retribution.

Men and women wept as she passed, cowering from the burning evidence of what they had done. Sobs sharpened the air when Siul found the release of the river, a solid splash ending her torrent of curses.

But the fire did not drench. It spread. Flames raced across the river, running over the water as if it were oil and spilling over the banks, fingers reaching for the trees.

The little village keened anew as fire whipped across it, lashing the hands and faces of those who had scorned a little girl blessed with beauty and inestimable power. Fire devoured all it could for miles, churning up ash and leaving behind no evidence trees or buildings had ever stood. And once the fire consumed all it could for leagues, they say, the river inhaled, and every avenue of fire came crawling back, writhing upward into a column that ached to reach the sky.

Some say Siul could be seen weeping within the tower of flames, others say she glared, but the only two things ever agreed upon are these:

Where once there thrived a forest, only a desert of ash remained. And the river which had nourished life never ran cold again. Siul levied the weight of her people's sin, and that is how she came to be Sulevia. Where there is fire, she exists. Where waters run warm, she lives. And where the sun watches in the sky, she remembers. She remembers her past and she remembers your future.

Here ends the story of our Goddess and the making of our land.

Blessed be she who died so we may live.

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