It would be easy to under estimate Aerdran the Thunderer.  Despite his name, he was a quiet one, probably because he appeared as a thundercloud, but in his case, silence wasn’t a cover for stupidity.  He was observant, insightful and kept most of what he noodled to himself.  When he needed to communicate, thunder, lightning and color reflected his mood and meaning in a language only his sister Lillandra followed easily.

Sangrar didn’t have a Mother Nature, but it did have a Father Nature in Aerdran.  He was the sort of god a druid could love, a true czar over everything green or having four legs, and Father Zuras charged him with ordering the plant and animal kingdoms and sorting predator from pray.

Aerdran and Lillandra were very close.  The Primals had brought them out together, as a pair meant to complement one another from the get go.  Lillandra was life, spring, renewal and creation.  Aerdran was nature, understanding and acceptance.  Together, they were the unending cycle of life and death and rebirth.

When they first awakened, Spirit took them under her wing (before she shacked up with Finbardin) and taught them about the ley lines.  Then Erlik brought sorrow to Heaven by killing Lindivar (a practice run before love gone wrong lifted the curtain on the big stage), and then fleeing to what would be named the Darkhold.  Aerdran and Lillandra joined the chase to Sangrar and once there, were overjoyed by Spirit’s magik.  Until now, they’d only tasted it from across the Firmament, but now that they were on Sangrar, it was like nectar to them.

Aerdran and Lillandra could feel the world’s pain after the Battle of Molten Fire and tried to patch things up, but it was like trying to stop Jack the Ripper’s handiwork with a Bounty quicker picker upper and a roll of Scotch tape until Nyllen helped with his little ditty.   To Aerdran’s ears (close your eyes and imagine a cloud with ears, I dare you), earthsong sounded absolutely heavenly.  Nyllen’s music had amped up Spirit’s magik tenfold.

Aerdran would have been happy to stay on Sangrar.  Only plants and animals were alive back then (the Elder Races were recipes scrawled on Deridean’s index cards), making him pretty darn close to supreme overlord, but Lillandra said that they had work to do in Heaven.  Upon returning, she wished they’d both stayed behind because Zuras enacted his Ban, which forbid the Craeylu from ever stepping foot on Sangrar again.  When Aerdran realized he’d only hear earthsong from a distance, the rumbling thunder said everything.  Even if you didn’t speak cloud, you knew Aerdran was in a foul mood.

To take his mind off earthsong, Aerdran he threw himself into his work.  The Elder Races were coming soon and the punch list was a mile long.  One of the first items on the list was creating the Ealar, new gods who would dwell on Sangrar.  Aerdran started thing off by fathering (no mothering was involved) the Earth Mother.  It was his way of paying tribute to earthsong, like flicking his Bic at the end of the show.  Lillandra had been thinking the same way and was ticked off he’d done it without her, so he let her help with the next two, Shamran, god of plants and Humak the Beast Lord, god of … never mind, it’s obvious, isn’t it?

After that, it was time for Aerdran and his sister to undertake their greatest work.  Finbardin saw the seasons as an extension to the circle of life and death they represented.  He asked them to burn the pattern of the seasons into the world.  They bound four Elehu (elemental gods as new to the world as the Ealar) to the seasons, (Spollnar, Solare, Garruth and Kandalla, who held dominion over water, fire, earth and air respectively), and imprinted the seasons upon the land, completing the last step in ordering time, which made Finbardin happy.  Finally, the King of Heaven could have his calendars   printed.

When it was time to bring forth the Firstborn from the Pool of Life, Aerdran hovered eagerly at the edge of the pool, a puffy cloud of white vapor.  He had good reason to be happy; the Councilor had asked him to dole out earthsong (only he and Lillandra were qualified) and he figured that if he couldn’t listen to earthsong, letting the Elder Races hear it was the next best thing.  He doled out his gift ninety-eight times, but when Harnor cheated and brought out the Harnae, Aerdran proved that clouds had stubborn streaks too by refusing the Harnae his gift.  If Harnor held earthsong in such disdain, then as far as Aerdran was concerned, his offspring didn’t need to hear it.

Once the Elder Races came to Sangrar, Aerdran faded from legends.  Being a cloud god and king of plants and animals didn’t exactly set him up for hero worship and the Elder Races had plenty of other gods to choose from.   That’s not to say Aerdran was ignored, they’d whisper his name in thanks before meals, or on walks through the heart of the Elvetur, where it was impossible to ignore his footprint, but he didn’t make many top ten lists.

But Aerdran wasn’t in it for the prayers.  He’d seen the future in the Prophecies of the Ages and worried about the future, especially after Zuras enacted his Ban.  How would the Elder Races stay safe after the Dark Lord showed his hand?  The Ealar and Elehu were safeguards, but weren’t enough to satisfy Aerdran and so he took his own precautions.  When Zuras had forbidden travel to Sangrar, he thought he’d spelled things out pretty clearly, but he hadn’t counted on Aerdran having the acumen of an attorney.  The Thunderer found a loophole.  The Craeylu couldn’t set foot on Sangrar, but Zuras hadn’t said a word about spies and Aerdran had lots of those.

Now Aerdran loved all animals dearly, but the hawk and the rabbit were his favorites.  He admired the rabbit’s steadfastness and the hawk’s hunting instincts and dispatched both to the world below.   He sent one hawk and three rabbits, all of whom watched over the house of Nammoran.  Orrin, the hawk, went to Nammath (Kandol’s brother, who was missing in action a very long time), along with Nilla, one of the rabbits.  Nammoran the Firstborn had the second, an unnamed spotted rabbit, and of course Kandol had Ren.

I spent ten years at Pel Aesylle and knew Ren well, or as well as you can know a rabbit.  To look at him, you wouldn’t think him remarkable, but you’d be wrong.  Ren was immortal and as far as anyone knew, invulnerable.  Once, he hopped onto Hali’s chest to block a Jixari attack and the bat demon’s claws didn’t leave a mark on him.  I’d like to see you try a stunt like that.

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