Freebie Mondays: Meet the Celestial Mother

Freebie Mondays: Meet the Celestial Mother

Now this is a story of how the world was made…

Like a child locked in an isolated tower, Aleonath – not yet the celestial mother – grew tired of the lonesome cold and darkness which filled her day to day existence. Out of desperation for change, if not interaction, she at last pressed the long pointed nails of one hand hard against the fingers of her other in order to draw forth two drops of blood.

As the essence of the celestial mother spilled forth, bright light sparked within the void. And where her blood struck the space surrounding her, two great, burning suns flared into existence.

Mystified and mesmerized by the sudden illumination of her surroundings, Aleonath spent many long hours over many long days hypnotized by the movement of the flames within the newly birthed stars. Many believe she stared so long at their bright light, the illumination was absorbed into her eyes, forever granting her the ability to light even the deepest darkness.

Realizing the great potential in this simple act of creation, Aleonath shifted along the great darkness of the void, once again using the length of her nails to draw forth blood. And in this manner did she populate the galaxy with great spinning balls of flame in every shade from red to blue.

Dancing to the music of her soul, she moved across the great empty vastness, giving shape to great star clusters which mimicked and mirrored her joyful movements forever after.

Yet still, even among the great burning light of the stars she brought forth from her celestial essence, Aleonath was alone with no one who could share this great gift. And so, beneath the bright and endless light of her creations, she stripped pieces of cloth from her grand skirt and fashioned them into cold balls she scattered amidst the illumination of these many thousands of stars.

And the stars gave warmth to the cold, dead creations, casting upon them the same brilliant illumination that shone in Aleonath’s eyes. Still mesmerized by this shifting of light and shadow, she leaned over the worlds she had fashioned and breathed her excitement upon the shaping stones.

Thus did the touch of the celestial mother give atmosphere to those dead balls, and the breath of her excitement grant air and life to that which was formerly dead.

Aleonath looked upon this potential with such great joy she wept, and her tears trickled down her cheeks to fall across the barren stone, granting the final element in the cosmic recipe of life to each of her creations.

And as the rivers and oceans formed from her tears, so did the first germs of life begin to seed the galaxy, sprouting plant and animal alike until they filled every available crack and crevice of the newly birthed planets.

In her excitement, Aleonath forgot to breathe upon all the cold balls she set into the universe. But those which received her blessing flourished. She walked among them, speaking to her creations, granting each a celestial name in which was locked its true potential. And as she lingered, flowers grew thick beneath her feet and life transformed and flourished, until the first of the intelligent species stepped from the trees to greet their celestial mother.

Thus did the goddess at last terminate the many thousands of years she spent in loneliness with one last great gasp of joy. And though she returned to the heavens many eons ago to watch over her flourishing creation, it is said she wanders often among us still to ensure the breathless delight with which she instilled every inch of her creation remains strong.

Meet the Celestial Mother

No deity is more respected or more revered in Ashvaleryan than the Celestial Mother, Aleonath. Studies show her roots date back to the earliest days of the lost Cryptonian Empire, which could explain why she is so widely worshiped. Even the non-religious often invoke the Celestial Mother’s name or blessing to keep ill omens or ill luck at bay.

Born from the fabric of the universe itself, Aleonath is said to be the origin of all life in the universe, not just sentient life. Aleonath set the stars in the sky and the planets in motion around them. The fish in the seas and the birds in the skies are her creations, as is every sentient race that inhabits Ashvaleryan. Aleonath’s power flows through the universe, from the heart of nebulas that birth new stars to the passion of a speaker giving a speech on the steps of the Council Hall.

The Celestial Mother is most often depicted as a spectral being. Though she can take the form of any race, stars burn beneath the surface of her skin. Her hair is long and forms the curl of the galaxy’s arms. Her eyes are twin suns, and all the planets make up her dress. When depicted in a less spectral form, Aleonath is considered the perfect beauty and often depicted with long raven or snow white hair, delicate cheeks and full lips.

More than just a fertility goddess, the Celestial Mother is considered the ultimate authority in the galaxy, capable of shaping the universe to her whim. Not only does she allow life to form, she permits it to continue. To summon the wrath of the Celestial Mother is to call death and doom upon you (and potentially a considerable portion of your family.

Aside from the gift of life granted to the universe, Aleonath is said to have bestowed the power of Oracle to her chosen few, allowing them to glimpse hints of the future and warn others of impending trouble. She is a speaker of prophecy, and her predictions are not to be ignored or denied.

Worshipers of Aleonath claim she is the mother of the rest of the gods in the Cryptonian pantheon, despite the priests of other gods claiming that some (especially the Reaper) were clearly her siblings.

Aleonath alone is said to be able to bestow divinity upon another, though there is only one known case of her doing so. It is widely believed that Agos, the horned warrior, was not born a god but, rather, born mortal. Aleonath chose him as her champion and later raised him to divinity as a reward for faithful service. Some claim there was romance between Aleonath and her chosen champion, though most agree there were no children from the union. Others claim Aleonath pined for Agos, but he never allowed himself to return her affections because of his devotion to his duty. Some churches still recognize the divine connection between Aleonath and Agos. But since the two of them are said to have entered into a dispute, some churches forbid depictions of Agos within their walls.

Not everyone agrees about how the universe came to be…

In the beginning, the world was empty and void, filled only with Aleonath and her desire. As she opened her eyes upon this vast celestial mirror, ready to shape it to her desired form, she caught a glimpse of her own reflection against the dawn spark of the universe’s first breath.

Mesmerized and breathless, Aleonath used this one brief second of vision in order to memorize the figure that floated before her. Perfect in figure and delicate in grace was the image of the woman that filled her eyes, with glowing suns for eyes, sparkling nebulae for skin and the spider silk of hair falling all about her shoulders.

Then the light of celestial creation grew brighter, forcing Aleonath to blink. And when she opened her eyes again, the image of the celestial beauty had vanished. But so great was her infatuation with the image that once danced before her eyes that the details were etched into her divine mind and she determined that she would replicate them in exactness no matter how many thousands of years it might take to do so.

As the new universe spread around her, shaped by the celestial forces of gas, fire and ion storm, she set about her work like an artist with their brush and unlimited potential as their palette.

She started with the stars, dotting all the endless skies with flaming balls of various sizes, hoping to reproduce the glowing eyes that once stared at her with awe and wonder. And in each she found flickering beauty, but none that matched exactly the pulse and illumination of her heart.

She turned her focus to the dress, wielding sculptor’s chisel with great refinement as she shaped planetary body after planetary body, orb of moon and every moving asteroid within the grand shape of her design. And still she felt there was not decoration enough to capture that which she had witnessed.

Perhaps, she reasoned, these individual elements could not be mastered without a grander focus on the whole. And so, she descended to the first of the planets she had shaped to match her grand vision and began her work anew.

Focusing on the grace and beauty of the image she once glimpsed, the Celestial Mother wove her magic the greatest degree she had yet attempted to muster, forming from the void the image carved upon her memory.

And after many long hours of work and focus, from the former void there stepped the first of her children, drawing breath into their lungs as the universe drew life from darkness with a brilliant flash of light. They walked with all the grace woven into their form, and spoke with all the eloquence granted into their mind.

The Celestial Mother looked with fondness upon this creation, for it was everything she dreamed of and more. But as she watched this fantastic creation of her own design flit before her, she realized with growing disappointment that it did not quite match the image which she meant to replicate. There were flaws in her design which could not be compensated for, and the perfection of the being she sought remained out of reach.

Undeterred, the celestial mother kissed her creation upon the forehead and returned to the heavens to begin again. For many eons, the Celestial Mother visited the great orbs she set spinning in the void and wove her whims into new forms and figures. And each she celebrated, for each was beautiful and wonderful beyond any of her expectations.

But none were the great reflection she sought to duplicate. Among all the universe, there remained no equal to herself.

Though many would have been deterred by such a number of failures, the Celestial Mother has never allowed her great design to be daunted. But nor has she allowed upset or bitterness at the noted flaws to creep into her heart and shift her affection for that which she has already made.

So rest your head with reassurance, child, that the Celestial Mother loves you as strongly as she loves each of her children spread throughout this great vast universe. And as she strives eternally to find that one perfect partner who can one day share her high throne, be prepared to welcome more siblings to this our temple door.

. . .
This is part of a new series developing lore for my Tales of Cryptonia homebrew D&D campaign. (Which you can learn more about here.)

Incidentally, I streamed the creation of this post in case you want to watch it come together!

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