Author’s Note: Long before the realmwalkers ever came to Tiaera, Priestess Azurene V’Nae lived in the country of Sangrey and was a revered priestess and healer. During that time of her life, she made it a point to teach the dark elven children about the world’s goddess. It was important to her even though most of the dark elves felt that the goddess favored humans and light-skinned elves over their dark skinned brethren. This jealousy grew over the decades, but little could be done as Tiaera had only one goddess who often stressed she loved all her children regardless of size, color or race. This is an account of Priestess Azurene’s teaching for your enjoyment.
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At the appointed day and time, dark elven children of all ages and their parents entered the great cathedral of Espion and headed slowly down the long aisle. The priestess gestured for them to sit in the pews closest to the altar so they could hear and see her despite the shadowy sanctuary that smelled of incense and death. Acolytes entered from behind the altar to light candles around the area where she stood dressed in her long elegant robe. Facing her audience, Azurene waited until everyone was seated and quiet.
After a silent prayer, the lovely priestess smiled softly and began, “Welcome and listen well. I know some of you were reluctant to come today, but try to open thy hearts and ears to what I have to say. You all know the importance of learning about our history and about our faith, especially those of you who are so young and have thy future before you. Listen well and I will try to make this brief.
“Long ago, before the recordings of our people, there roamed a powerful spirit named Astria. Since she uses a feminine name and has appeared to us as a woman, we Tiaerans refer to her as a goddess. Our historians say that Goddess Astria danced on the stars above and visited many worlds until one day she came upon a world filled with such life and beauty she lingered for a time. This world had been made by a powerful god, known to us as the Hooded Man. When the two deities met, he welcomed her with love. He allowed her to roam and learn about his children and his creation. ‘Tis said this world was called Earth and according to her it was the 15th century, whatever that means. When she departed that realm a part of her lingered in the memories of the people who began to call her Astria Cloudborne. To honor them, she lovingly accepted the surname.
“Astria then took what she learned about Earth and traveled afar until she came here. With her power and magnificent body, she created Tiaera. Her hands stretched and broke apart to create the countries and her fingers spread to form the mountains and valleys. Her long hair became the oceans and rivers that provide nourishment and pleasure. ‘Tis said she used her eyes to make the two moons above, but witnesses have vowed they have seen her beautiful eyes amongst the clouds. Regardless what some of us think of her, Goddess Astria Cloudborne bestowed on us her essence, which we call magic and to this day she is known as the ‘Mother Goddess.’ to us all. Aye, even those who carry hatred and envy in their hearts.
“Let not thy pride and jealousy cloud thy mind over what is true: we belong to the goddess and owe her all that we are. She and Tiaera are one. This is our home and she is our creator. Serve with humility and love. Heed my words lest thy malice towards her leads you or thy loved ones to death without no hope of resurrection. 'Tis what healers call Eternal Death. Any questions?”
The priestess observed the uneasy silence of those seated before her and hoped with all her heart this would help quell the talk of rebellion and potential violence she had heard about. Only time would tell if her efforts to reach out to her people on behalf of the Mother Goddess helped, especially the young, before it was too late.