Lord Shiva’s Task – Eternity’s Empire Chapter 11

Lord Shiva’s Task – Eternity’s Empire Chapter 11

I’ve always adored mythology. The obsession started in ninth grade history when we studied Greek and Roman myths. It only expanded from there. One of my goals when I started Eternity’s Empire was to incorporate as many different mythologies as possible (though I didn’t want to make things confusing). When I created Aeternitas’s companions, I looked to several familiar mythologies (Greek, Egyptian, Norse), but I also chose to delve into some less familiar territory. Thus the birth of Ganga.

I’ve always been intrigued by Hindu mythology, and I’ve always wanted to read more about it. In many ways, Eternity’s Empire has been a gateway to learning more about this particular culture and its beliefs. We saw a huge number of Hindu statues when we visited the British Museum, and that kept the desire to learn fresh in my mind. After all, those sculptures were gorgeous, with a mind-blowing amount of intricate details, and the museum only placed a small card next to each one, not enough information to satisfy my voracious curiosity.

One of the few things I knew about Hindu religion was the sacred nature of the river Ganges. Every year, thousands of faithful bathe themselves in the river for the festival of Ganga Dashahara (the descent of the goddess Ganga from the heavens to the Earth). It is believed that bathing during these holy days will free a person of sin. The dead are often washed or anointed with the waters of the river Ganges to ensure a good position in the afterlife. This is because the waters of the river Ganges are believed to be both pure and purifying, both in a spiritual and physical sense.

My research began with the goddess Ganga. She is not just represented by the river Ganges, it is her earthly body. She doesn’t just dwell within the river, she is the river. Once she flowed through the heavens, but eventually her powers were needed on Earth. It is said that the fall of Ganga would have been powerful enough to crack the Earth, had Lord Shiva not emerged from his mountain home to catch her in his hair. Since I wanted to focus the various guardians on elements, Ganga seemed like the perfect representation for water. And since most of her worship revolves around cleansing both body and spirit, it seemed natural that she would become the group’s healer. Based on the myths I read about her, she became something of a traveler. She is also a kind soul, always willing to extend a helping hand and fierce when it comes to helping those who are sick or injured. Since Ganga is often depicted carrying a scared chalice, and since healers don’t generally wield weapons, her special item became a chalice, which she uses to summon the waters of her river.

As to her human counterpart, I chose the name Indrani because it means rain. (Each of the guardians got an elemental name.) Indrani Chaudhari grew up in Mumbai. Her mother died of cancer while she was in high school, which cemented her relationship with her father. Indrani was always a tinkerer; she liked to build things, take things apart and understand how they worked. She earned herself a scholarship and attended university in Calgary, Canada, though she made a point to keep in touch with her father the whole time she was gone. She published several engineering papers before she accepted a placement in the special archeological dig that led her to Erica and the discovery of her goddess abilities.

Learn more about Ganga in the latest installment of Eternity’s EmpireLord Shiva’s Task, available now!

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With the people of Earth still weary of Aeternitas and her guardians, there isn’t much for them to do while they wait for a representative of the empire to arrive. So Ganga doesn’t hesitate when Nuit and Skadi ask her to help cure a mysterious illness infecting a distant village. Ganga hopes nursing the locals back to health will prove the good intentions of her mistress and companions.

But as soon as she arrives, Ganga knows something is wrong. The village’s illness calls to the depths of her memory, to an incident which occurred on her homeworld, not long before she joined Aeternitas’s service. Can Ganga remember enough about the previous illness to save the suffering villagers before the sickness spreads? And is it possible the two incidents are somehow related?

You can catch up on the Eternity’s Empire series here!

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