A previous letter here revealed the Ernaldan secret that Ginna Jar = Ernalda. [Note that the project will also have an article proving that this was the ghost of Larnste, and a third article lists some other entities who have been *proved (*through HeroQuesting) to be Ginna Jar.]
Orlanthi men know that Orlanth proved himself, was purified in the Baths
of Nelat, etc; and saved the world.
Ernaldan women have witnessed the story below.
Her House, Ezel
Ezel is the holist place in existence.
When the world was being born one family was the Earths, and one of the famous and powerful among them was named Asrelia. Many people lived within her realms, and she gave generously. Trees, wildlands, fields---they all grew because Asrelia turned was alive. People, herds, wild animals---all lived in abundance in Asrelia's land.
Asrelia lives at Ezel, "Her House." It is where she raised her children, and where she works in her garden. Anyone can go and talk to her there. <#_ftn1> At its earliest it is a group of leaf frond huts. <#_ftn2>
At Ezel, Asrelia lived with her six daughters. <#_ftn3> They shaped the earth. Hills, rivers, crags and fields were all made by these girls.
The Six Daughters were often together, and they had their favorite places. They went to them many times, so the spots were imbued with their ancient innocence, purity and power. These include places like the Stags Battleground, the Broken Grassground, the Talking Sinkhole, Wabo the Marsh, the island Graveland, Refuge Island, Top Top, Ashland and so on. Some of these became famous afterwards for other event, like the Open Circle, a dance ground where Syertus met and Ena met on midsummer, and where Erevelus was born in the following spring; or the Kitchen, which lies in the valley between the halves of the hill that Veskarthan broke. The Flax Day festival <#_ftn4> has always been held there.
Some places were imbued with power because individuals acted there. The Blue Hill is where Esrola and Uroth met in secret to make love. Every year she bore a ram and a ewe, but never told who the father was. Mero saw them, and told everyone, but they refused to stop meeting. <#_ftn5>
The holy places have sometimes disappeared as well. Veshkorgos took away the house of Lerena, and She Devourer ate the old Rolling Ground. After the Darkness no one has been able to find Pak's Throne, the Elephant House, Redberry and many others.
Her House was one of the holy places. Asrelia lived here. It was holy when she lived, and when people discovered what sacrifices were, <#_ftn6> they realized they were already giving sacrifices to the Old Lady. Like all the other holy places that existed in the Lazy Age, it acquired residents and grew. Like all holy places that existed in the Gods Wars, it was fortified.
When Asrelia was getting old she called her daughters to her, and their daughters, and granddaughters, and so on so that someone from every generation and every family was present. She told them she was going to retire, and thereafter everyone must bring all the Eldest Decisions to her daughter, Ernalda. She then gave the house to Ernalda.
Like all the others that existed in the Darkness, it became a temple where worshippers could contact their deities. And like all the other places that existed, it contracted towards nothing at the end of the world. But Ezel was the Dead Point. That's cause it was where the Great Creatrix slept. Asrelia slept there. Creator was dead, all existence was dead. Everyone had gotten together at the Dead Point to say goodbye to Asrelia. They were all crowded together into a little grass hut. Ernalda knelt beside the sleeping mat where her mother lay.
Unexpectedly, Asrelia looked up from her nap. The old lady looked up and said, "So nice of you all to visit. Ernalda, throw that rug over me would, you dear?"
It was threadbare, tattered, with fragments of a thought, an adventure, a being and other such exhausted concepts. <#_ftn7> But Ernalda tucked it about her sweet mother, and said, "Good night, sweet mother." Asrelia turned over in her bed and became a corpse. Her life went out of her. The cosmos wept, as one.
"Oh, daughter," said the old lady, unexpectedly. Everyone paid attention. She was alive again! "You are awake now!" said the Old Lady. "Start a fire again, will you, and wake up the rest." Because Grandmother said to do this, Ernalda tried. She made the effort to do the impossible. But as she prepared Ernalda realized she /was/ awake now! She chanted the words, breathed upon the remains of the ashes, and a tiny flame burst out. Voria woke up then and put some kindling on the flame, and then Orlanth woke up and he put on fuel. Veskarthan woke then, and took over the duties of the fire while everyone else began to thaw. Elmal woke up, and he woke his daughter, and she opened the door, and he went out. The sun rose in the east. Asrelia's sister was there too, and she sorted out all the dead things and put them aside so they would not be harmed by Elmal.
Ezel, Her House, was the first place to wake up after the Dawn, and people gathered there first. Many had been hiding nearby, and Roitina's family received them to Ezel and instructed them on how to pray and perform sacrifices. The divine flocks and herds woke up here, and Asrelia's Garden was here, and also Esrola's Field. Thus the people had plenty of food and help, and Ezel was no longer a grass hut, but a spread of sacred ground surrounded by settlements.
It is the preeminent sacred ground, for life began here, ended here, and started again. The Mistress of the Universe speaks here. The force of Life is so great here that the most powerful warlords known, including Palangio <#_ftn8> and Lord Dorvis <#_ftn9> have been unable to affect it.
This place has been a thriving city since the Dawn. It is sometimes called the Great Temple of Ernalda, the Field of Esrola and so on. But to worshippers, this is simply Her Home.
 <#_ftnref1> To speak directly with Her, one must put in several
hours of hard labor at Her Garden. If She thinks the visitor is lazy then they will speak only with one of Asrelia's kinswoman.
 <#_ftnref2> It is in the land which the Orlanthi call Sevid.
 <#_ftnref3> The Six Daughters are a group, and are variously
important separate They are the goddesses Esrola, Maran, Ernalda, Dela, Orana and Delaina.
 <#_ftnref4> Flax Day. Aka Goose Day and Harvest Day. The harvest
 <#_ftnref5> Now for the springtime rain celebration there the priest
and priestess have sex in public and afterwards the rain clouds come.
 <#_ftnref6> "discovered what sacrifices were." The point at which
mortals and immortals became separate. Roitina the Ceremonialist showed that if people sacrificed to the gods, then magical power was returned. Also, the gods discovered they would not ever die. (this assumption was in error, as the Darkness proved. But for the hundred thousand generations from this moment to the late Gods War, gods could not die.)
 <#_ftnref7> This is the blanket that Orlanth brought to Ernalda.
 <#_ftnref8> Conqueror of this land in the Dawn Age, during the Gbaji
Wars. He was immensely powerful, and swore he would take from this place the Bed of Asrelia, a mat where the Creatrix slept. He wanted it for his meditation mat. He never got it, but instead went home empty handed. He said, "A single night on the mat, with She who lies there now, was enough for me." The son of this union is Dejess, "lies," and especially lies concerning sexual prowess.
 <#_ftnref9> War Lord of Slontos, who invaded the sanctuary with the
sworn intent to rape the highest priestess. He was killed and his army died with him (cursed, some say; poisoned, say others)
-- Greg Stafford President, Issaries. Inc. Love without reserve, Enjoy without restraint, Live without dead time.
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