The Haslanti usually have the hardest time explaining their three fate goddesses to foreigners.
Fate, to outsiders, suggests both an inescapable destiny that must come to pass and a terrible ending that has been foreseen from some predetermined beginning. Both the Haslanti and the goddesses themselves (those who are in a position to ask the three ladies their opinion) insist this is not the case. For one, such claims would contradict the policies of the Bureau of Destiny in Yu-Shan. For another, the three divinities serve a much different purpose in Haslanti culture than expected. Instead of functioning as arbiters, the Triad of Fate work as mediators to help the Haslanti understand the sometimes-harsh workings of fate.
- Kidilos; often named the Lady Who Comforts the Living at the Bedside of the Dying as this is the essence of her function. Rather than deciding where and when a given person is going to die, Kidilos works upon the hearts and minds of those at the bedside and helps them to understand the process of cause and effect that brought their loved ones to this point. By helping open the living to the processes of fate, Kidilos lessens grief and suffering and helps individuals to make peace with each other before death, so that there need be no unnecessary mourning or tremendous displays of grief. Kidilos wears the foulweather gear of a worker on the Great Ice, dressed in layers and layers of leather and greased wool, with a furred parka and snow goggles covering her face. In a harsh environment where free time is a luxury, Kidilos works to make sure that suffering and grief do not waste much time or labor. Haslanti have things to do, and Kidilos makes sure they get to that work without bemoaning the fate of their loved ones and friends too much.
Kidilos works to help the Haslanti accept the realities of death. She strives to lessen mortals’ grief and encourage them to make peace with one another before they die. Particularly among the tribes, grief easily slides into an angry desire to punish someone, anyone, for a death. The Haslanti have too much work to do to waste time on extravagant mourning or blood feuds. Although she is not an employee of the Division of Endings, she often works with that Celestial office.
Kidilos may appear briefly to mortals who comfort the dying, as well as to people who suffer overwhelming grief at the death of a loved one. She never stays long in Creation, but her blessings and influence remain after she departs.
Most often, Kidilos comforts people through stories. She knows the tale of every battle and the name of every Haslanti who has died and under what conditions. With a little effort she can scrutinize people’s minds and reconstruct a narrative of a man’s life. This telling of tales is a sacred rite, never interrupted, that can help or hinder the bereaved, but always leaves some long-lasting effect.
Every spring, Carrion Crow identifies the dying and helps Kidilos plan her overall route for the coming months. Snowshoe Hare assists her in sending reassuring dreams to the grieving.
Kidilos appears as a youthful woman dressed in the cold-weather gear of a Great Ice worker, with layer upon layer of leather and wool, a fur parka and snow goggles. She swiftly glides along the snow on skis, stopping only as her office dictates. Her eyes, should she reveal them to anyone, are old and sad, containing the grief of centuries.
Sanctum: the House of the Nine Hearths of Emerald and Silver.
Motivation: console the bereaved and those who comfort the dying.
- Ivrieinen, the Lady Who Finds Good Partners and Shuts the Door of Infatuation. In a harsh land with much to do to ensure survival, Ivrieinen is the grandmotherly matchmaker from the greenfields in a long blue robe. Just as the Haslanti have little time to grieve, so too do they have little time to find partners, marry and bear children. Winter is long, and every farm, iceholt and herd needs extra hands. The Lady Who Finds Good Partners helps weave the Tapestry of Fate in such a way that men and women who are productive and work well together find each other and recognize each other’s good qualities early. She also finds ways to draw apart young people who are attracted to each other yet would be no good either for themselves or their community. Given that she works solely on potentials near the start of life, Ivrieinen sometimes helps women trapped beneath the influence of Carrion Crow later in life. Most of her work, however, is concerned with men and women of marriageable age.
Ivrieinen weaves the Tapestry of Fate such that Haslanti men and women find and recognize those who can become their friends and mates. She also draws apart people who would quarrel and bring discord to their communities if they married. She has few other concerns. While Ivrieinen sometimes aids people trapped under Carrion Crow’s influence, she cares most for those of marriageable age and their relationships with another.
The Lady Who Finds Good Partners seeks individuals who would find joy and contentment together. Conversely, Ivrieinen works to quench passionate but turbulent love affairs (which puts her at odds with several other gods in her division). She also works with many other gods to implement her plans to unite or separate lovers. Snowshoe Hare is one of her chief allies, fashioning dreams for her daily.
Ivrieinen has little patience for anyone who interfere with her plans. She issues mild reprimands to mortals or gods who push ill-suited lovers together… and much greater punishments to deliberate, repeat offenders. While Ivrieinen never issues a fatal punishment, victims of her personal, extremely creative wrath often wish they were dead after she rips their lives apart. While the Haslanti think of Ivrieinen as a kindly god, she can destroy individuals, families and entire communities by setting people against each other. She is more manipulative than the rest of the Ennead, though she takes particular exception to anyone pointing this out.
Ivrieinen manifests as an old, grandmotherly woman in a plain blue robe. She has a self-satisfied smile and a twitching nose. Mortals usually cannot recognize her due to camouflaging Charms, but attentive folk can spot Ivrieinen due to her small notebook in which she obsessively writes.
Sanctum: Ivrieinen dwells in the House of the Nine Hearths of Emerald and Silver.
Motivation: To preserve the Haslanti social order and prevent domestic violence.
- Spring Snowfall, the Lady Who Reminds Us We Are Alive and Should Laugh at Ourselves. Life in the League is harsh and unforgiving, and it is easy to become caught in the rote routine of rising in the dark of winter, feeding the elk, riding patrol, huddling over a fire in a cold tent and sleeping in damp furs while the wind howls. Such a life can drive men to suicide or sink women into the cold and lonely sorrow of abandonment and ruin. The Lady Who Reminds Us We Are Alive appears as a motherly woman dressed in the furs and leathers of the Outwall, and she sends the mouse eating all the best cheese in the pantry, the frost bear who almost kills a good man but doesn’t quite, the hailstorm that shatters every third tree in the orchard and the guest who overstays his welcome yet saves his best stories for the night before he leaves. Spring Snowfall reminds the men and women of the League to wake up! Life is passing and will not come this way again, she warns them. This is your chance to live as you never have before.
Spring Snowfall reminds the Haslanti to savor life—a difficult task, given lives of hard work and much danger. She teaches through chance difficulties and surprising fortunes.
Spring Snowfall rivals Autumn Frost as a trickster, but she disrupts lives specifically to shock people out of routines grown dull and onto new paths. She works closely with Autumn Frost in the summer months, when people spend more time outdoors and are most lively.
Spring Snowfall sends the bear who chases the washerwomen up into the trees and the storm that ruins the days’ hunting prospects and forces guests to stay longer than expected.
Nuisances, yes, but troubles people can confront squarely, and far better than the gray despair of unvarying toil. The Haslanti tend to appreciate novelty as long as they get a good story out of it. (Those washerwomen will get laughs from the story of the bear for decades.) The goddess also has the power to pique curiosity and wonder or to make people lose interest in what they’re doing. The Haslanti pray to Spring Snowfall that they may find new challenges and meet them successfully.
Spring Snowfall appears as a matronly woman dressed in furs. She possesses a wry sense of humor and appreciates well-crafted jokes and riddles.
Sanctum: House of the Nine Hearths of Emerald and Silver.
Motivation: To give people occasional respite from labor and boredom.