Archive for myth

The Glorious History of Aathenaar, Part Seventeen: The Approach of Light

Posted in Shows, Unicorn City with tags , , , , on October 12, 2010 by Greg Landgraf

It is commonly claimed that the unicorn—that finest, most perfectly noble of all beasts, whose spirit did imbue Alatia to enable her to give birth to the first of the race of man—will only approach the most virtuous of maidens.

While we must acknowledge the comfort that this legend can provide the listener (for in a world where cruelty does exist and often goes unpunished, we ought to celebrate those situations in which virtue is rewarded), we must also insist that it is not strictly true.

Like most legends, however, this one is based in truth. Unicorns are not, in fact, particularly concerned for the sexual proclivities of those they honor with their presence, and while their contact with people is limited overall, that contact is not strictly limited to those of the female gender.

No, the unicorn’s sole concern is purity of heart. And that fact ought to convince you of the veracity of this seemingly shocking tale:

Baron Brange was taking a constitutional through the Jungles of Anaria, when suddenly he noticed a beautiful, gentle glow through the overgrowth. Drawn to it he was, and he approached it with due caution, but also an overwhelming sense of security.

In a small clearing, he discovered the source of the glow: It was a unicorn, and one that was every bit as glorious as the poems might suggest.

It noticed the good Baron and gazed upon him. What the unicorn might have been doing—whether examining the Baron’s manner, or his physiognomy, or perhaps performing its own magical arts to determine the Baron’s character—the Baron can tell us nothing, for he stood transfixed, simply cherishing this most rare of opportunities.

Knowing the purity of heart that the good Baron possesses, it is hardly surprising that the unicorn eventually approached the Baron (who would like it to be known that he has had a number of romantic partners that demonstrates his virility, tenderness, and mastery of technique).

And it approached him so enthusiastically that he needed not give the order for his party to deploy the ropes, nets, and sleeping drugs they had brought solely for defense against the aggressive owlbears known to stalk the area.

The unicorn nuzzled the good Baron with its horn, filling him with a sense of supreme well-being and joy. “I salute you, noble Unicorn,” the Baron declared, “and I thank you for allowing me to grace you with my presence.”

So moved was the unicorn by this speech that when the Baron gave his party the direction to turn for home, he found that the group’s number had increased by one: The unicorn was following him.

Having already demonstrated the generosity of his spirit, it is hardly surprising that the Baron’s response to this was to heartily inform the unicorn that “Of course my household has room for you!” But even the Baron could not overlook the differences in species that might make his manor house ill-suited for a unicorn’s domicile.

His response to this was to order the construction of a stable: A stable of such grandeur and luxury that this unicorn would never want for anything but could instead live a fulfilling life of ease and abundance.

The Glorious History of Aathenaar, Part Two: The Birth of All Things

Posted in Shows, Unicorn City with tags , , , , , on August 22, 2010 by Greg Landgraf

The land was dark, a brown mass, devoid of life apart from Alatia. But she grew hungry, and as she had no other option, she tasted the dirt.

But the dirt’s flavor was painfully bright, and Alatia was forced to sneeze it out, and each piece flew into the heavens, forming the suns and moons and stars.

One of these stars grew dim, and it teetered and flickered in the sky before falling lifeless to Alatia’s breast. Alatia wept for the dead star, and she continued for a thousand days and nights, and when she finally stopped she discovered that the world was now possessed of rivers and lakes and streams and oceans.

Exhausted though she was from her tearful ordeal, Alatia felt she must do something for this fallen star still clinging to her bosom. And so she ran throughout the world, kicking dirt into mountains and valleys as she went, until she found a stream whose gentle burbling reminded her of all the songs yet to be written. It was here that she dug a shallow grave for the star, and buried it, and finally collapsed from exhaustion.

When Alatia woke, the world was covered in all of the plants of the world: tall grasses made the land bright, and tiny algae gave the oceans breath, and the flowering shrubs painted the world with joy, and trees–the mightiest of which grew from the spot where the star had been buried, provided it with strength.

Ravenous with hunger, Alatia feasted on the grains and fruits and vegetables and tubers and legumes until she was quite rotund with satisfaction. she rested against the star tree, pregnant with joy.

Within a few moments, her stomach began to rumble, and the contractions of labor began. She had turned one of the beans into a tiny lizard, which she delivered without pain. It coughed wisps of flame as it scurried toward a mountain to build its lair.

Alatia was still engorged with life, however. A sprig of garlic had grown into a fisherbird that sped out of her left earlobe. A pear became a baby rhinoceros that grew in her femur and charged out from between her toes. A lion roared out from her stomach, and a trout flopped out of her forehead, and a clam emerged from the small of her back. In this way, over the next several hours, were the animals of the world born–save one.

For in all of these deliveries, not once was Alatia delivered of a person.

She failed to weep at this sadness, which was more profound than tears could express. But the wise and true unicorn, the last of the animals she had born, understood. It trotted to Alatia, lowered its horn, and touched her stomach, and she was pregnant once again, this time with the twelve men and women who would found all of civilization.

Alatia smiled at the unicorn as it trotted into the forest, knowing she would not see this highest of creatures again, but also that its spirit would reside in all people forevermore.