October 4, 2012
As many people know full well, raising a child can be a trying and difficult undertaking. Children can be a veritable bundle of dynamite ready to explode at any moment despite one’s best efforts to diffuse them.Such is the same with the gods. The gods, too, sometimes have issues raising their children.
Take Carahil for example. Often considered a child himself, Carahil lost his heart to the Windwalker Mabsornath, the Cat Goddess of Zall 88 and they went off to the top of the Universal Tree and were wed. With marriage came children, seven of them in fact, four girls and three boys. Most of them were somber, thoughtful children, aware and weighed down with the burden and responsibility of being gods and the power the comes with it.
And then there was Atha. The youngest of the lot, Atha was an enigma to her parents in many ways. She most often chose to appear as a human instead of as an animal, as was the usual case: her brothers all appear as various types of seals, her sisters as wild cats. On occasion, Atha does appear as an animal, as a giant black snake, and, rarely, she appears as a cloud of smoke.
Most often, however, Atha chooses to appear as a human of changeable age, sometimes as a mischievous child and other times as a full-grown adult. In fact, she greatly resembles her grandmother, Lady Poe of Blanchefort, appearing tall and thin in a silvery gown and short platinum-blonde hair. Her one distinguishing feature–she always wears a pair of intricate, geared goggles as the ladies on Hoban often wear. The goggles are a constant feature whether Atha appears as a child or an adult, always perched on her nose covering a good portion of her face. Atha’s goggles are huge and protruding, rather like a pair of binoculars made of gold, silver and brass. It has been said that to see her eyes beneath the goggles is to go mad.
Atha shares much in common with her father. Atha keeps her word–if she promises something she follows through. She possesses his whimsy and unpredictable sense of fun and humor. She loves pranks and jokes, however, unlike her father whose pranks are always benign, Atha’s are anything but. She is selfish and self-absorbed, she is flighty as well, given to fits of rage and temper when things don’t go her way. According to various Hertog writings, she has a fascination with Vith heroes, both male and female, putting them through the wringer, literally torturing them (sometimes to death) with adventure and quest occasionally ruining their lives, and then, when she has had enough fun, she takes them into her bed and seduces them. Atha’s wanton promiscuity with the younger folk is well-known. In time, she became known in various pantheons as a goddess of mischief, of sex (and the misfortune of having sex) and questing.
Atha, also taking after her father, also has a habit as masquerading as other out-worldly entities, in particular, an entity known as the Shadow tech Goddess. Why she does such things is not known, though it is assumed such antics are for personal gain.
Carahil, though he loves his daughter, was beside himself and didn’t have a thought as to properly teach her not to do some of the things she often did. His solution to the problem was one many parents often make use of: he found Atha a “babysitter“, one whom he thought would teach Atha virtue and proper manners through deed and example. He therefore “dropped her off” at Castle Blanchefort to be taught by the people there and, with luck, her positive experiences would calm her down a little.
There she came under the tutelage of Maser of Blanchefort, his mentor and lover Laika of Stonebringer Tower, Sebastian of Tusck and Millicent of Blanchefort, a distant cousin of hers.
Would it do her any good–only time will tell.
copyright 2012, Ren Garcia and Fantasio