The Jeweled Coasts
The Trials of Tarvan
The Tarvan states are named after the deity Tarvan, a warrior who lived in the region hundreds of years ago. “The Trials of Tarvan” is the main legend behind the faith and covers Tarvan’s birth, life, battles against Orcus the Oath-Breaker, and apotheosis.
Here is a common version of the “Trials of Tarvan.”
A woman named X and a man named Y were very good farmers. It was said that they could make even the most harsh land bear harvests and grow feasts no matter how dry the season. Despite this, X and Y wept for no matter how many times they tried, they could not have a child.
“O Gods,” X said, “It woes me so. I can bring seed to any soil but my own.”
“We have tried all,” Y said, “and all to waste. I cannot think what else we can do.”
X and Y were farmers and people of faith, so they knew that they only had one last chance. They gathered their bread, their wine, their vegetables and meat and cooked a grand feast only for the Gods’ table.
“All is for you,” they said, “for we want your blessing. We wish to have a child, a child whose heart is true.”
When the sun set red, the Goddess Celatigaia rose from a sacred rock from a nearby shrine. “My people,” she said, “you have greatly pleased me. Tonight, when you take to bed, put this stone under your head. I bless you and know that you shall never be alone.”
X and Y thanked Celatigaia and slept as instructed. They dreamt of the Earth Goddess and, upon waking, learned that they were to have a child. That child was Tarvan.
Tarvan was a fine boy and a hard worker and knew nothing special of his birth. He thought he was only to be a farmer like his father and a baker like his mother. Until one day, when Q, a trader from the west, warned of dark skies.
“The monsters are coming. Get out and run. If we stay and fight, we shall all be done.”
Tarvan took no joy in bloodshed but was no coward either. “You may run, Q, but I shall not. I will not flee until this battle is fought.” He took a woodcutting axe and set out to defend his family’s fields.
“I am your son, " he said, “and I promise that I will keep you safe.”
“Orcus was my son once, long ago. I am the Goddess of the Land and Stone, and he was the Guardian of Caves and Secrets. I would care for the people of the day and he would watch the people of the night.”
“One day, a man named M and his wife D got lost in the woods. When night fell, they could hear the hungry beasts lurking and headed to a cave for safety. M asked Orcus to watch over his wife while he went out to gather wood for a fire.”
“After M left, D said ‘I wish my husband has his strength and mastery over the monsters.’ Orcus, who heard this wish and saw D’s beauty, replied, ‘It shall be so for I shall be your husband.’ D refused, so Orcus sealed the cave and kept her there for many nights.”
“M and D despaired, for they could not be united. Orcus wanted D for his own, so he refused to open the cave. D denied his advances over and over again, so Orcus became larger and larger to force her to submit. Eventually, Orcus no longer listened to her words and took D for his own.”
“D was forced to bear Orcus children, and the children she bore took on the monstrous appearance Orcus had gained. Their teeth gnashed, their bodies scarred, their temperaments cruel. D wept, knowing these children were forever cursed, and ended her life.”
“M wandered the land fruitlessly, never knowing that Orcus had taken his wife for his own or that D had taken her life. M, after decades of failing to rescue D, fell to weakness and was eventually eaten by Orcus’s progeny.”
“Orcus then became known as the God of Broken Oaths, for he broke the vow of marriage between M and D and the vow of a God to guard his people. Now, the creature who was once my son seeks to force others to break their oaths and punish them for doing so.”
Celatigaia cried for the tragedy of her son and the humans M and D and took from her breast a jewel. The jewel glowed and turned into a weapon and gave it to Tarvan.
“This weapon will help you break the seal of Orcus’s cave. The hammer will make the rocks crumble and the pick will make the metals bend. With this weapon, you will be able to rescue your family.”