Ill-Mannered Vengeance

Tritherion, god of justice and revenge, was the second son of Estereal and Soltana. His parents loved him dearly, and not without reason. Tritherion was a handsome god, with his mother´s long chestnut hair and his father´s size and strength. Although his good looks earned him quite a following among the goddesses, Tritherion did not become vain or pretentious. Instead he grew to be quite a hero among the pantheon, sharing his mother´s devotion to good causes and his father´s incorruptible nature. In time, he even acquired a measure of his parents´ wisdom.
But, like all the gods, Tritherion was not perfect. One morning, Estereal and Soltana discussed this very problem over a breakfast of berries from Wajen´s sacred grove and a bottle of Jvelto´s favorite wine.
"Really, dearest,"said Soltana, "you can not ignore this any longer. It may seem petty, and I will admit there are far greater flaws among the pantheon. But we simply can not allow our son to continue acting with total disregard for others´ feelings."
Estereal frowned. He was very proud of his son and somewhat blind to his faults. "Beloved, you over-state the matter. Tritherion is not uncaring. Just a trifle over-zealous."
"It is more than that," said Natanael, as he and his wife Briseis approached the elder gods. The newlyweds kissed their parents fondly.
"Father, mother, I love my little brother dearly. But he is not just over-zealous. He is rude."
"Rude?" said Estereal. "Do you really think so?"
Soltana fondly patted her husband´s arm. "My love, you of all gods must face the truth. Tritherion, bless his heart, is rude, tactless, inconsiderate, and pushy."
"Well, none of us is perfect."
Briseis sighed and elbowed Natanael in the ribs. "Tell them what happened."
Soltana looked at her son in alarm. "Is something amiss?"
"There may be, mother. You see, when love is scorned, even a wise heart may at times act rashly. I have often thought -"
"Natanael, my love," Briseis interrupted. Her husband shared his father´s tendency to be long-winded, and she did not want to waste the elder gods´ time. "Perhaps you should just explain what happened from the beginning, and allow your wise parents to draw their own conclusions?"
"Please, do," said Soltana, sharing a smile with Briseis.
"Very well," said Natanael, and began his tale.
Tritherion and I had been out hunting demons that were beyond the power of redemption - it´s his favorite hobby. Since our magical steeds had been eaten, we gladly accepted when Raaba happened by and offered us a ride home in her moon chariot.
Why Tritherion insists on collecting the heads of all his victims, I´ll never know. But we were having a perfectly pleasant conversation when he decides to take them out of his sack and show them proudly to our cousin. They were still dripping.
"Oh dear," said Soltana. She well knew that Raaba could not stomach the sight of blood.
Raaba became violently ill, and lost control of the chariot. We were all dumped into the North Sea, while the giant moon owls pulled the empty chariot away. We were all quite startled - a great disadvantage when the sea serpents attacked us.
Luckily, Uncle Jvelto scooped us out of the water and deposited us safely on the rocky shore. Poor Raaba was still retching, and the Oceanlord used his powers to purify her bodily fluids and calm her sick stomach. Raaba and I thanked Jvelto - we were very grateful.
But Tritherion leaped to his feet and, I´m ashamed to admit, he shoved our uncle. Or tried to. Jvelto is very strong, and stood unmoving in the face of Tritherion´s rude behavior.
"Why did you do that?" Tritherion demanded. "Those monsters have killed innocents. I was just about to punish them when you interfered."
"Interfered! " Jvelto bellowed. "Listen here you upstart little godling. That is MY ocean. I don´t want you splashing around in MY waters and chopping up MY sea serpents."
"Justice knows no boundaries," said Tritherion. "By land or sea. I have the right to pursue evil and exact vengeance wherever I please."
"Fine!" Jvelto roared. "Pursue it!" Without warning, he grabbed Tritherion by the scruff of the neck and tossed him far out into the ocean.
Then the Great Captain summoned a hurricane and flew off on the back of its terrible winds. Raaba and I clung to he rocks until the violent storm had passed. Then we stood and peered out toward the ocean, looking for some sign of Tritherion.
"Oh my," said Soltana. "Was he all right?"
"Yes, mother. Worry not - none suffered any lasting harm."
"That is a relief. Do go on, my son."
"Thank you, mother."
Raaba and I had just decided to go in search of Tritherion when we spotted him in the distance. He had given up pursuing the speedy sea creatures and had begun to swim back to the shore.
"This is going to take a very long time," said Raaba, for my brother was many miles away. "Should we help him?"
"No. Jvelto wanted to teach him a lesson. It is not our place to interfere. Let us sit here on the beach and wait for him."
"Very well. In the mean time, I shall telepathically summon my moon chariot."
We were both very surprised when the chariot arrived with Sharess inside. I could tell that she´d been crying.
Soltana nodded sadly. "She longs for her father´s forgiveness. But Torodin will not give it."
"I guessed as much, and I think Raaba did, too. I could tell she was not pleased to see Sharess, for the two have not always been the best of friends."
"That is an understatement," said Estereal. "They have fought like cats in the street - usually over Remiére. I have hopes that their constant bickering will end now that Raaba has announced her engagement to the rascal."
Natanael sighed. "I am afraid not, father."
All seemed well, at first. Raaba greeted Sharess kindly enough.
"Sharess, what a surprise."
The goddess of beauty gave her a wan smile. "Your poor owls were in a panic, and they got tangled in some vines. I stopped to help them."
Soltana nodded approvingly. "Her sorrow has made her more compassionate."
"Yes," said Natanael. "Raaba saw that, too. I think."
The moon goddess inspected her chariot for damage. Then she thanked Sharess. "That was kind of you."
"It was nothing. Why were they flying without you? I feared you might have come to some harm, so I came with them to find you."
"I became ill, and they spooked," said Raaba, and explained what had happened.
Sharess agreed to wait with us for Tritherion´s return. After a while, she shyly turned to Raaba.
"By the way, cousin. I´ve been meaning... I, uh, I should congratulate you on your engagement. I do hope you and Remiére will be very happy."
"Thank you," said Raaba. I could tell she was astonished, as was I. Sharess always acted as if she were in love with Remiére herself. But then, it is sometimes hard to tell with her. She is often very affectionate.
Briseis glared at her husband.
"Or so I´ve heard. Anyway, we talked for a long time. Raaba and Sharess were actually warming up to each other when Tritherion finally swam up and climbed onto the rocks to join us."
"Sharess, Raaba," he said, as he wrung the sea water from his long hair. "Greetings."
Sharess beamed at him. "Hi there, handsome."
Tritherion frowned at her. "Do not try your wiles on me, cousin. I was teaching Remiére a lesson yesterday, and I saw the claw marks you scored onto his back. 'Twas enough to slow the sword arm of the mightiest warrior."
Raaba shrieked in rage and fell upon Sharess. The two goddesses battled as savagely as Azkal and Athelstan. I was badly injured when I separated them.
Sharess protested that Remiére was only trying to get other women out of his system before the wedding, as he was determined to be a faithful husband. But Raaba would not listen, and tried to attack Sharess again. I was forced to detain the moon maiden while Sharess escaped.
"Did Raaba go after her?" asked Soltana in alarm. She disliked her offspring fighting to the death.
No. She remarked that Sharess would likely find a man to hide her. I am, of course, omitting a few colorful metaphors.
Since Sharess was safe, Raaba hopped into her chariot and went in search of Remiére. Before I could stop her (Tritherion refused to help, saying that Raaba was entitled to her revenge.), Raaba had banished her betrothed to the dark side of her moon. She won´t let anyone near. If someone doesn´t save him soon, Remiére will freeze to death.
Soltana sighed and stood. "I will rescue the god of fortune. Raaba would not dare to refuse me. Estereal, I leave you to deal with Tritherion. And do not be too easy on him."
Estereal was not easy on Tritherion. First, he summoned his son to the Halls of Truth and lectured him for many days on the value of etiquette and the folly of letting one´s cousins freeze to death in the name of vengeance. Tritherion was unmoved.
Estereal then assigned his son seven tedious and difficult tasks which took Tritherion many years to complete. Afterwards, Estereal again summoned his son and asked Tritherion if he learned his lesson. Tritherion was blissfully unaware that a lesson had been involved.
Finally, Estereal realized that, though he was first among the gods, he was not up to the task of teaching his son some manners. What was needed, he realized, was a new god who was dedicated to all that was polite and proper.
Estereal searched among his devout worshipers until he found the most well-bred among them. Her name was Princess Arienh, the third daughter of King Janus the Bold. Arienh was a soft-spoken, well-mannered young woman who had devoted herself to the study of decorum and gentility, and spent most of her time giving dinner parties at the palace. Arienh had become the standard by which all women of breeding criticized their daughters.
Arienh was surprised when The One approached her, but she maintained her poise and offered him some refreshments. Then she politely listened to Estereal´s tale.
"So you can plainly see," said the Lawgiver, "that Tritherion must learn some manners. Since this task will no doubt take many mortal life-times, I will make you a goddess if you agree."
Arienh accepted the offer, and was deified at once. She began her education of the reluctant Tritherion, which continues to this day. It is a matter of some debate among the gods whether or not Tritherion will ever learn his lesson.
As for Remiére, Soltana did rescue him. But she could not persuade Raaba to forgive him, and the wedding was canceled. To this day, it is considered bad luck for a man to propose to his beloved when Raaba´s moon is full.