St. Waidwen: Farmer Become God
|St. Waidwen: Farmer Become God|
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|With the mention of the name Waidwen, most folk think only one word - Godhammer. While this event echoes through the ages and is still felt years after the destruction of Evon Dewr Bridge, Waidwen's humble beginnings belie the powerful force he would grow into.
Waidwen lived an unassuming life in a remote area of Readceras, the son of vorlas farmers. He toiled in the fields alongside his father for 22 years, until his father's death. The farm then fell to him to run. He considered selling, but had no other skills upon which to draw, so he set on the path of vorlas farmer as well. Nothing of note has been recorded in Waidwen's life until 4 years after his father's death. One day, while working the fields, Waidwen's life was irrevocably changed. In his words:
‘Night was falling, the fingers of dusk already gripping the sky. The sun had dipped behind the world's edge and stars were peeking from beyond the Shroud. The day was still and darkness had blanketed the field. I placed my last harvest of the day into the collection pile when from behind me arose a brilliant light. I turned, fear in my breast, knowing not what could have caused such intense radiance.
Behind me stood a blazing figure, resplendent in glory. Its white flesh glowed with a luminescent radiance, its head a blinding ball of light, brighter than the highest sun of Mid Year. I averted my gaze, afraid I would be struck down for daring to gaze upon such a creature.
A sudden peace washed over me, sweeping away my fear, leaving my troubled soul tranquil. A loving warmth wrapped its arms around me. A voice spoke to me as I stood, transfixed, trying to both see this glorious being and avoid its dazzling scrutiny.
"Fear not," it said to me, "for you are chosen above all others. You will be the light to bring about the rebirth of an empire." It then held out its hand and bestowed upon me a vision of power, such that I could scarcely contain it.’
Waidwen, disheveled and dirty, stumbled into his village the next morning, telling all who would listen about the miracle that happened in his fields. Eothas himself, he claimed, had appeared to him. He was to punish the Aedyran governor for leading his people into ruin. A way would be provided and those faithful who helped would be blessed when ‘the divinity manifested.’ Villagers ignored him, convinced the loss of his parents had broken his mind.
But Waidwen continued to preach of the power of Eothas and the corruption of the governor, eventually earning him the ire of the locals. His confrontations with the villagers hit a turning point one day in Mid Autumn. A crowd had gathered around Waidwen, jeering him and telling him to leave the village. The vorlas crop that season was particularly light and the villagers blamed Waidwen, saying he had angered the gods, particularly Eothas, with his blasphemy. They backed him into one of the withered fields, yelling at him to go. Accounts of the inciting action are hazy. Some say a stone was thrown, others say he was pushed, other still say he simply tripped over a dry root sticking from the ground. Regardless of the cause, Waidwen landed, face down, on the ground, the villagers standing over him, laughing.
‘Enough!’ a voice, not Waidwen's, boomed across the field. Waidwen looked up at the crowd, his eyes glowing with a blinding white light. He stood, but did not stand. One moment he was on the ground and the next he was standing before the crowd, who cowered before him.
‘You dare deny me?’ the voice spoke through Waidwen's mouth. ‘You dare refuse my servant?’ Waidwen's arms raised, beginning to luminesce. 'You dare require proof?' His arms went out to his sides. ‘Never ask again, lest you be burned in the light of the new dawn!’ There was a flash of light from Waidwen's eyes and hands and the entire field sprang to life. The once dried and brittle plants became full, lush, and verdant.
The crowd was silent. From somewhere in the back came a call of ‘Praise Eothas!’ and then they all fell to their knees in front of Waidwen, farmer-turned-god.