The account of Talastar’s creation has many versions, but none so charming as the Courtship of Talania. The majority of the story told here is from Songs of Talania, sung every year during the Festival of Birthing.
Talania was as carefree as she was beautiful, content to frolic for the rest of her days. Many gods sought to marry her, but she would have none of it.
“You speak of me as a thing to be owned.
You boast of how you shall conquer me.
Could you hold the wind in your grasp?
Could you chain the sky, ever turning?”
Nraghar, however, was not so easy to dissuade as other suitors. He built great monuments to her, mountains that reached into the heavens. When she paid him no mind, Nraghar brought fourth the green things, plants and trees and flowers that bowed to Talania as she passed by. Then he made the birds of the air to sing her praises and plead his case.
The wind is free, but it wanders in loneliness.
The sky has no equal, but it is void and empty.
Home, home, for a place to call home.
Home, home, nevermore to roam.
Talania responded by creating the goats, who made their home wherever they pleased and ate every green thing in their path and trod their hooves upon the mountains. Nraghar, in turn, brought forth the bear, fierce and strong, to chase the goats. Talania answered with the deer, fleet of foot and subtle in color. And on and on it went.
In The Epic of the Seven, the Hero and the General come across a mountain thought to be one of Nraghar’s handiwork and engage in a brief debate on the events of the Courtship of Talania. In this version, Nraghar could work the rock, but his works, beautiful as they may have been, had no life. Talania, as a prank, breathed into his statues and they sprung to being, full of vibrant energy, and humbled the proud Nraghar. Scholars had thought that this was a later insertion by a powerful High Priestess until they found remains of of this account on the pottery of ancient villages. One shard tells of Nraghar’s reaction to the trees and animals:
“What are these things,
that move by their own power?
They are soft, of wood and flesh and air.
And yet they dance upon the mountains
and the stones weep in vain.”
Whatever happened, Nraghar could not win Talania’s approval, but he did pique her curiosity. So she devised a test to see whether his love for her was true, or was born of a desire to appease his own pride. “I am getting married,” she told him, leaving the name of the groom unspoken. “Make for me a veil to symbolize the blessed union.”
Nraghar was heartbroken. He was certain that Talania had rejected him. But he still wished for her to be happy. So he set to work on the veil. He used the most beautiful gems he could find, polished until they glimmered. And as he worked, the veil became streaked with his tears, which became diamonds.
At last, the veil was completed. Nraghar presented it to Talania just as she was braiding her long, dark hair. When he tried to leave, she took him into her arms and declared that he was the god she intended to marry. And she wears the veil he made for her to this day.
For Love was neither
a cage to hold
nor chains to bind
but the Union of two hearts
and the making of a whole:
The Earth and the Sky
He her anchor
and She his inspiration