Lakes of Blood and Ash
The understanding was that, although he possessed these daughters for all of their fertile years, he would train them during that time. They would return as powerful wise women, healers, and oracles, respected within Ut Ho’Chik – three wives at a time. One, the crone, would be the eldest – and she was unusually long-lived for their people. The one under her, middle wife, would train and serve under the crone. The youngest traveled solely in Tenya’s company, and was seen only by him until her twenty-five year service was ended.
Additionally, during this twenty-five year period, Tenya would guarantee the fertility of their crops and animals. This was difficult at first, but once the manse was repaired and he was able to attune to it, it became a trivial issue – the wood manse swelled the Essence of the local Dragonlines, and the hearthstone it yielded only helped all the more.
Though unsteady at first, Tenya’s relationship with Ut Ho’Chik grew over the past century and a half, with his yearly festivals being a widely anticipated event, and the quarter-century festivals – experienced twice in a lifetime and rarely thrice – always commanded a solid month of excitement and preparation as people fought to get a glimpse – or even touch – of their god, and young men bragged of trying to out-drink him (and, as they approached that line – bragging that they would out-screw him in the coming years). Approaching these events, his worship changed as well – the tone becoming less respectful and more bawdy as spoken epithets shifted from “Faun of the Harvest” to “Buck-Mounts-the-Flock”.
However, after a century and a half, the prosperity of Ut Ho’Chik left its people to pursue other diversions, and a class divide began to spring up within the growing village. The wealthy began to hold themselves apart from the commons, and eventually separate from everything that marked them – worship of Tenya included.
In the last quarter-century harvest, this upper class abstained from drawing the lots to choose the sacrifice. This angered Tenya, who broke the celebrations by offering an ultimatum – with the next quarter century, only the families which had not drawn lots this year would be expected to. The sacrifice, he demanded, must be of your blood. No man’s house Is above the ritual.
Though he left the village, the crone and middle-wife remain to help keep an eye on things. After all, they always have their mysterious ways of communicating the village’s goings-on to their god.
Additional Names and Notes
Teman’s/Tenya’s formal epithets include, but are not limited to:
• Father of Witches
• Faun of the Harvest
• Pillar of Ut Ho’Chik
• Sower Amongst the Grain
• Strong Vine (or, especially close to his festivals amongst the younger males, Choking Vine)
His current wives are:
• Akna, Lotus Blooming, the crone
• Patli , the middle-wife
• Eleui, the youngest, who has been with him only a few years at this point.