Goddess Clairiel

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Clairiel du Vent Argent has long been hailed as a Goddess in the north Oaken region of the Middle Kingdom... how did this come to pass? The Goddess herself was amazed at the divine turn of events. Lady Madelaine Bouvier prepared the following account of the making of the goddess for a Cleftlands Baronial Championship, possibly in 1987.

The Making of a Goddess

In the year AS XV, during the second reign of Laurelen Darksbane and Ithriliel of Silverlake, a goddess was born. This is how it came to pass. In the March of Gwyntarian there lived a youth who hailed from the land of the Cæsars. His name was Rufus Eroticus Frontas (now known as Rufus the Short of Burgundy).

Now Rufus had been long away from his native soil and missed many things from home. He longed for the old glories of the Holy Roman Empire. He wished to be in a fighting unit like the glorious legions, or even like the one he had seen in Ostgardr that summer. He also missed the deities that influenced every aspect of life for his fore bearers. He decided to set about finding a remedy for these situations.

The first one was easy. The people of Gwyntarian had already set about trying to change their status from a mere March. They formed themselves into the Empire of Greater Gwyntarian (EGG for short) and made Graca their Empress and Keeper of the EGG.

[This is a joke at the expense of a movement to create a Barony of Gwyntarian. An effort that ultimately did not come to pass -Milesent]

Rufus then set about forming a fighting unit, The Gwyntarian Free Company. And of course a fighting unit needs matching tabards which symbolize what they fight for. The colors decided upon were gold and green, since they didn't care if they fought for gold or for paper money.

Next they had to find someone to make the tabards for them and to become their patroness. Joscellynn of Wellswood was their first candidate, but she settled for the title of Social Secretary of the Cosmos. Next they asked a lady named Clairiel du Vent Argent, and she agreed. She performed her task with such speed and skill that it revealed her true divine nature, and the Free Company had not only found a patroness, but a goddess to enlighten and inspire them. The colors green and gold were dedicated to her in recognition of her status.

The fighters were so in awe at being in the presence of a goddess that they fell upon their knees, and asked how they might invoke her when need be. She put her hand up to her forehead, palm toward herself, and groaned. This became her salute, accompanied by the invocation, "Hail Clairiel!" as supplied by Andrew Murdoch.

Andrew soon wished to make everyone in Gwyntarian a follower of the goddess, but some religious guidelines had to be formed. Clairiel's full title was the Official Blonde Goddess of the Gwyntarian Free Company. She was the goddess of love, death and beauty. She was also the patron goddess of cooking, since those who truly sought her could usually find her in a nearby kitchen. Because she was a shy deity, she often busied herself in this way, out of the public eye.

The rules of the religion were also set down at this time. They were very simple: eat lots, sleep late, and broccoli is the answer. To this day, people still search for an oracle to tell them what the question is.

Now, the time was ripe for the goddess's fame to spread. The following Spring, the Free Company challenged Cleftlands to a jihad (A holy war). When Clairiel was asked to bless the Company, she appeared in all her glory with two stars hovering over her head. The blessing must have worked, because the other Ohio Baronies decided to fight with the Free Company, and they won the day, much to their own surprise. When Clairiel was again sought out for her blessing after the battle, she was found in her usual place of worship-- the kitchen -- and grabbed a slotted wooden spoon to ladle out her favor upon the fighters.

Later that night, at the Imperial court, the goddess appeared in all her glory, wearing a green and gold gown that sparkled from her radiance. Some even say they saw stars dancing about her head.

Since Cleftlands lost the battle, they were forced to accept the goddess, and the Ohio Baronies soon followed suit. Another sanction for having lost the day was that Cleftlands had to tend Clairiel's shrine. Those who tend the shrine wear the shining stars and dust it with a pink feather duster. The honor used to befall the winner of the Cleftlands Baronial Tourney, some of the first being Aiden Elfëadur and Emmelynne Carithil o Gwynnedd.

[Note: Count Sir Pieter is quite proud of his status of being the very first Cleftlands Standard Bearer to tend the Shrine. Rumor has it he was presented with the shrine and a feather duster to re-enact this service at Pennsic War when he sat the Throne as Rex Mediteranni -Milesent]

As the years have passed, the works of this shy golden-haired goddess continued to amaze and inspire all who followed her. Never has a feast hall that she graced run short of food. Her presence on the battlefield continued to elicit a hearty "Hail Clairiel!" Long ago at Pennsic War was seen Clairiel's rock -- the rock she caused to sprout forth water by touching it with her slotted spoon. And of course the miracle of the parting of the clouds she performed at Pennsic XIII.

I have attempted to capture some of the attributes of the goddess and her works, but being a mere mortal my attempts are humble. I can but offer up my efforts to the goddess with an ardent "Hail Clairiel!!"

-Lady Madelaine Bouvier