The Glorious History of Aathenaar, Part Four: The Twelve Children of Alatia
Alatia, the Mother of all creatures, was also a mother in the more traditional sense. She raised the twelve boys and girls to whom she had given birth conscientiously, and few could claim to have happier childhoods. But she also trained them diligently, for she knew that they were destined to populate the world, and they would have to do so without her constant guidance.
When her children were fourteen, she gathered them together. “My beloveds,” she began, “It is time for you to know your higher purpose. It is your duty to spread the race of man throughout the land.”
Her children all nodded, for while they had not been told this before, they were each possessed of intelligence and had suspected something like this.
The next day, after embracing their mother, and each other, the Twelve Children of Alatia set out. Rawz, the eldest, headed to the eastern forests to make her home among the trees, where her industrious nature could find magnificent raw materials with which to work. Zacharai traveled through those forests to the eastern shore, from whence he planned to stage great explorations of the seas. But he was as lazy as Rawz was industrious, and he never got further than dreaming while relaxing along the shore—a trait shared by his descendants. Cavin too settled along the shore, in the west; he made no pretensions of exploration, but instead established the beginnings of a thriving fishing industry.
Colm opted for the northern mountains, for he enjoyed wearing luxurious furs. Liekei chose for herself the highlands at the foot of Colm’s territory, which would allow her to appeal to her brother’s goodwill for whatever needs she did not wish to provide for herself.
Elba selected the inhospitable central deserts, for she enjoyed the solitude afforded by the harsh landscape and felt sympathy for the creatures that lived there and were so unfairly despised. Zoological pursuits also shaped Naiar’s decision to live in the southwestern jungle, for he loved all creatures, and nowhere else were there so many of so many types.
Quend claimed that the fertile plains of the south matched her flaxen hair, which was true, but she also had the greatest connection to the land and the ability to coax from it the greatest bounty. Anders was quite the least liked of the siblings, and it was suggested that he might find friends among the snakes and lizards of the eastern marsh.
The Salty Shemork Lake (named for the sound a female sprite makes upon discovering the pleasure of the touch of another female) in the northwest became the home of Uutra, who developed it into a peaceful idyll. And surprisingly, this feat was nearly matched by the western lowlands, which was made first habitable and then beautiful by a series of cunning engineering works on the part of Jaara.
But one region of the entire world was left, and that was the difficult territory of Aathenaar. Alatia called to her Marion, the youngest and most beloved of her sons.
“You will live in Aathenaar,” she said, “and you and your descendants shall make it great, for you are truly the finest of my creations, and so you are the best for the hardest job.”
Marion bowed in silent acknowledgment of this speech. When he got to Aathenaar he immediately began shaping the land, turning it into something hospitable, though even the fiber of the dirt tried to fight back.
Like all tasks worthy of effort, this one was greater than one man’s lifetime. It endures today, continued by the people of Aathenaar, with grace, fortitude, and aplomb.