XVI · LUTHORN LIGHTS A FIRE

Luthorn took many days to conceive his child, for he had not the means and so struggled. He could not labour a child into birth for he was of man, nor could he nurse one. Carrying the vial around his neck, he attended to the great temple at Nivitis, attended by vestal virgins of ages all young, there in secret so none could look upon his task. He took a bowl of curved gold from the altar dedicated to the All-Conceiving Mother and oil with which to burn, mixing it with the Mother’s blood. He set it alight on the temple floor and sent a prayer, not to the Mother who had done all She could, but to Being, who had brought Her to life but showed no face, spoke with no voice and moved with no progress, yet lived for sure within the world. There, knelt before the altar, cloaked and unseen by all who wandered through, the god Luthorn sent prayer after prayer, until he convulsed in agony upon the floor, crying aloud as half of his power was wrenched from his soul and tossed into the flames. The fire rose to the temple top, attendants gathering in wonder at the scene, unable to see their god, only the temple fill with fire. Tapestries caught alight in a heated gust and all offerings upon the altar.

Attendants cried aloud, “oh Great Mother, such anger,” said they, “what fury hath you brought down upon us? Oh, how hath we displeased thee? Harken please, forgive our souls!”

Then, from the flames there came a shape, a god grown already to a man – in need of no nurture – who bare-skinned turned upon the attendants in terror and set the hems of their dresses alight. They shrieked and scattered like birds startled from their nest, and so Luthorn appeared and extinguished the flames and faced his son. There before him stood the son who would in time lead those children of Nyalne, those prophetic ones called the Vana, who would worship him by one name alone: Eldnor.

The End

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