Storytime: The Solstice Pantheon.

December 24th, 2014

It is the evening again. The evening before the Night.
Do not fear, small ones. You are not the ones who will be summoned to the Knee this day. That year is yet to dawn in your days. But no longer are you mere children, who must lay out the stockings and scrub away the snow-prints! You are youth, and shall learn the songs. And before you learn the songs, you must learn the singers.
Attend! Attend! Attend!
-Recorded litany of a carolmaster of New New New Hampshire, approx. 2374 A.C.

One of the Elder Three Singers whose calls are endless to the ear. Appears as a great pillar of water turned solid, boiling away on one side, speckled with black earth on the other. He governs over Faith, Time, and the Cycle itself, and light and warmth are anathema to him – his priests lose digits to frostbite as a sacrement. Small children are his chosens. Each solstice a child is picked and is made sacred to Frossti, and that child receives all desires until the next solstice, when it is staked out in the sun until Frossti takes it away ‘over the hills of snow.’
The earliest Frossti myths make much mention of the hat. It is silk, or top, but it is always old, always old. The juxtaposition of elder hat with new snow creates Frossti, making the connection between the figure and its divine grip over time immaculate even before its eternal death and rebirth are known. It guards the path to the solstice.
If a hand is placed to ear in the strange deep places in the woods when the last ices are fading, it is said the listener can yet hear the thumpity-thump-thump of his passing, as he fades away under the sun.

King Wesslessness
One of the Elder Three Singers whose calls are endless to the ear. He has no form that a man has ever seen but bears a crown upon himself that is never removed. He governs over Abundance, yet only for himself; Flesh and Wine, yet none ever consume them; and Gifts, but the great-gifts made at the height of the sacred season are not his and he has no power over them. He lives alone in a perishing castle at the wend above the woods, and there he feasts alone with his page. The poor are sacred to him but they receive no aid; every solstice he travels the long woods with hot blood in hand and every solstice he is forced to turn back home by the gales to warm himself at his fires once more. Coldness in all regards is his anathema.
The King (eldest of the Elder Three Singers) is considered a paragon of convivial shared humanity, but he is left alone, in the far away past, in the deep wood. His feast is eternal and untouchable. Where Frossti is a promise of endless return, King Wesslessness is a forever-delayed, unshapable hope that will never be fulfilled. The present remains unopened, the feast is far away, and the plenty is as distant from reality as the summer sun is from the nights haunted by the King’s songs.
The land of Wesslessness is unknown and never has been known and never will be known.

One of the Elder Three Singers whose calls are endless to the ear. There is a great beast in the woods which few have seen, and Ruedolff resembles this beast save for his face, which is obliterated at all times by a blinding red light. He governs over Solitude, Hatred, and Triumph, and friendship is his anathema; to petition the priesthood of Ruedolff mandates that the applicant have no surviving family, and the final test is to vanish into the woods for one week. If on return not a single person inquires as to the applicant’s absence, the applicant is made holy. Lights are special, but only lonely lights in the woods that might guide travellers towards its lair.
The Red One is elusive even more than the King. Ruedolff is solitary as he, but his loneliness is mandated and involuntary, shaped by hatred and spite. Of the Elder Three Singers he is the sole despised; Frossti is feared, Wesslessness is looked upon with sentimentality, but Ruedolff is shunned, mocked, and castigated. So much as his name may not be mentioned in the partaking of merriment, lest he be summoned and derive some pleasure from sport or games. All year round the Red One is despised, and on the very eve of the long cold dark he is finally, grudgingly rewarded: the promise of love is offered to him, if he should but pull the slumbering sun from its cold bed.
Every year, he gives in. Every year, he succeeds. Every year, his deeds are praised quickly, forgotten immediately, and begrudged eternally.

The songs are done. The mantelpiece is set. Your part is through, small ones.
Now go inside and sleep. Let the visions dance and play, and do not resist them, but stay silent and still throughout your long nap.
Dash away. Dash away, all!

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