Legends of Belariath

Callie Volopa

The Lady's Three Mates

The Lady, being the first vulpine and the Mother of every other vulpine who came after, thus didn't have a male vulpine at first with which to procreate-- which was something she very desperately wanted to do.  So she created a mate for herself, and designed him to be exactly like her in every way except gender.  She gave him the name Qileya, meaning "the same".

It was a disaster-- everything she wanted to do, he wanted to do.  There was no exchange of ideas between them, no difference of opinion, and no independent thought came out of his mind.  Though she'd never have to worry about fighting with her mate, The Lady realized that neither of them could truly feel fulfilled with this arrangement, and so with a heavy heart she sent him out into the world to visit other peoples, without lying with him to conceive a child.

Humbled by her failure, The Lady didn't try again for six years, after which she decided she'd make another mate-- this time, one who was the opposite of her in every way-- and named him Najaka, meaning "the opposite".  As one might expect, this relationship was even *more* of a disaster than the first time she'd created a mate.  The Lady and her second mate argued over *everything*, never agreed on anything, and their differences of opinion and personality were so vast as to be utterly irreconcilable.   Worse, her second mate didn't share The Lady's love and tolerance of others; he looked upon everyone with hate and anger, talking of other races as if they needed to be wiped off the face of the earth.

The Lady debated with herself for a long time what she should do with him.  Obviously, she couldn't send him out into the earth to spread peace, love and brotherhood like she'd done with Qileya, to put it mildly.  She literally couldn't erase him from existence, and she refused to kill him, for she had too much respect for the right of *everyone* to exist.  So finally, to prevent him from hurting anyone, she turned Najaka into a constellation in the night sky.  Even today, the constellation Najaka is worshiped by a small, deviant vulpine cult named the Run'ya Najaka-- "followers of Najaka"-- who believe that one day he'll return to wreak havoc upon the earth, and that they will comprise his army.

After *that* failure, it would take her another fourteen years to think about creating another mate.  But   this time, before doing so, she went into some of the villages and cities of the world and observed how *other* people's successful marriages lasted.  She learned that husbands and wives neither agreed on everything nor *disagreed* on everything; everyone had their own unique qualities and idiosyncrasies that made them individual people.  There was give-and-take in every relationship, each person had unique, complimentary traits, and each person filled a void, whether great or small, inside their mate.  Learning this lesson, The Lady created a third intended mate for herself (naming him "Trejani," meaning "his own man"), but this time created him as a baby and allowed two catperson friends of hers to raise him as their own in a loving family.  When he came of age, The Lady returned to the village and got to know him as the person he'd grown to be, never once telling him that she'd created him.  And he fell in love with her on his own, just as she'd hoped he would.  They married, and the children they had would spell the creation of the entire vulpine race.