The Ascension of Thar and Raena

Every school boy on Fanar knew the legend of how Umbar fell to earth after battling mad Rabyn, how Raena found him, and how he transformed a tiny unnamed fishing village into the empire of Sangrithar.  Everyone also knew that in the end, Thar who was Umbar regained his lost memory and went back into the Heavens with holy Raena at his side, but far less known were the details of just exactly how the man reclaimed his godhood.

It began on Thar’s Day, the holiday commemorating Thar’s arrival in Sangrithar, in the year 136 SY, just five years after Gwynna returned from Pel Aesylle.  To celebrate, the people held a series of competitive games, sort of like a decathalon.  In theory, the victor received a boon from Thar (not yet Thar who was Umbar, but don’t worry, that part’s coming), but it was just that, theory, seeing as no one but Thar had ever won the games.

This year, however, a frisky stranger named Arcanicles entered the contest and boldly predicted victory against a chorus of boos.   No one knew where this Arcanciles hailed from, he just appeared in the city as the games were ready to start and paid his entry fee, but he proved a bonafide challenger to Thar.

Arcanicles and Thar ran neck and neck in the contests.  Arcanicles won the sprinting, long jumping, archery, and marathon events while Thar was victorious in spear throwing, swimming, swordplay and chariot racing.  After ending the day tied at 4 events each, Thar and Arcanicles faced one another in the first ever tie-breaker, an event honoring golden Finbardin, King of Heaven (and, had they known it, Harry Houdini).  The two were wrapped in amber chains (a tilt of the head to Formythos, the spiked chain Finbardin used to defeat One-Eye in the Battle of Molten Fire) and dropped into Belgrith Harbor where they raced to see who could slip their chains first.

To everyone’s amazement, Arcanicles’ head broke the water’s surface before Thar’s.  For the first time ever, Thar did not win and Arcanicles was declared victor.  When asked what boon he’d choose, Arcanicles said he wanted to stand with Thar in Craeythar (that’s the name of the crater formed where Thar landed) when Thar’s pledge to Sangrithar was renewed, another tradition of that hallowed day.  Thar thought Arcanicles’ request strange but harmless enough, and allowed Arcanicles to accompany him to the crater’s bottom.

As Thar began reciting his vow of allegiance, a bolt of lightning sprang from Arcanicles fingertips and struck Thar’s chest, but instead of killing Thar, it transformed him.  When the smoke cleared, standing in Thar’s stead was the god Umbar, Lord of Sea and Storm, in his true form and with all his memories restored.  Arcanicles had changed too and revealed his ttrue identity – Sudnar the Second, the God of Escapes and Rescues and best friend to the Lord of Sea and Storm.  When Umbar had fought mad Rabyn, Sudnar had been in Belecontar the Winking Star, lending the Lady of Esel his comfort, and had not seen Umbar fall.  By the time he tore himself from the Lady’s embrace, Umbar was lost, and Sudnar could not sense his godly essence anywhere.  Sudnar knew only that his friend was not dead (or stubbornly refused to admit the possibility) and spent years searching the Girdle for him.  At long last, he sniffed out Umbar’s godhood hiding in the shell of Thar.  He came to Sangrithar to cure his friend.

After Sudnar revealed the truth and the source of Umbar’s amnesia – his battle with Rabyn – Umbar knew it was time to return to Heaven, but didn’t want to leave his beloved Raena.  He remembered every moment since he’d fallen from Heaven and his love for her was still strong and true.

Umbar took off the lightning bolt necklace he’d been wearing when Raena found him and laid it down in the center of the crater.  He declared it the symbol of his power and that it rightfully belonged to his heir, Averanda his daughter, whom he named Queen.  As for Gwynna, he declared her the Maiden’s high priestess and asked her to always stand by her sister.  Together, he announced, they would take Sangrithar to even greater glory.  Then he strode into the surf with holy Raena on one side, Sudnar the Second on the other, and summoned a tidal wave to carry them back to the Outermost Heavens.

The rest, as they say, is history.

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