Gods & Pantheons: Haikiutl

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Kwakiutl_house_pole_InvMH975-123-1_.png“Two great stories fought, and the world shook,” begins one tale of the Haikiutl. “This story still walks among us,” ends another. The world is a complex web of competing and cooperating stories, told and remembered across nations and generations. For thousands of years they have walked the earth, lighting the world and aiding the tribes. Haikiutl prophets worship the greatest of their stories and through them gain divine power.

The most powerful oath of the Haikiutl is “We shall make a story.” Stories bind brother to brother, husband to wife, hunter to prey, property to owner, food to the hungry, and children to parent. Secret stories give shamans power over spirits, rocks, plants, animals, and men, and are passed from shaman to apprentice across the ages.

A person belongs to a story as much as a story belong to a person—or more so, as a brother belong to a brother. As with people, the oldest stories are the wisest, and the youngest the most nimble.

Stories can be built up, grow too large, and shatter, and new stories built from the fragments. Stories may be rivals, telling different versions of the same event. But the existence of two or more conflicting stories does not signify contention. The Haikiutl believe that all stories have the potential of truth within them, and that history may be shared among many paths.

Lesser stories are wealth, traded for other stories, or for food and clothing, bartered from owner to owner. Stories allow a chief or tribe to lay claim to unused land, which will take on the name and character of the story that purchased it. When a person or group takes a story, the story will change to tie that story to them. And that person will change to tie them to the story.

Night stories, such as lullabies, may not be sold and are passed from mother to daughter, father to son. They may be told only from dusk to dawn. The best night stories ensure a strong lineage.

While stories are often contradictory, there are common elements in the greatest tales. Throughout the oldest run the council of animals. All animals were people in the old days; sometimes they can still be coaxed into unmasking. And there are strange, hidden worlds unreachable except by trickery, magic, or killing monsters.

Haikiutl: Creatures

The Xolome are a heartless race of burrowers who travel between the current world and the old world underground. They seek to bring the dust and the dead up from the underworld into the waking world.

Haikiutl: Prophets

Prophets of the Haikiutl will choose two or three stories at any one time, to influence their available spirit types.

Bear Daughter

An unmarried woman was stolen from her tribe by Bear: while out picking berries, she steps in bear dung, and curses the bear who left it. From then on she has trouble with her basket. It continually unravels, dropping berries onto the ground. The other women grow tired of waiting for her, and leave her behind. Alone, Bear comes to her and takes her to his den.

Names: Bear Mother, Bear Daughter
Symbols: Woven basket
Status: God
Worshippers: Hunters
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any
Spirits: Animal, War

She has a son and daughter by Bear. But eventually her five brothers come to rescue her. All but one of the brothers die in the attempt, but the fifth brother does rescue her when the woman tricks Bear into telling her how he can be killed. The brother kills Bear, and brings her and her daughter away. But they leave her son, who is a bear cub. Lamenting her lost son, on the way back she jumps into a lake and swims away as a seal.

Her brother brings his niece back to the camp, where she marries the chief’s son. But she has the hunger of Bear, and her laugh is deadly. She compulsively eats everything she has killed. When her laugh kills the entire village she inhales deeply and eats all of the villagers.

Alone in the empty village, she coughs her husband back up. He is now without legs, and she hangs him in a basket on her wall. She has two sons. She bathes them constantly, with the result being that they grow rapidly to manhood. Their father warns them, from the basket, of their mother’s hunger. So the sons grab their mother by her hair and shake her bones right out of her skin.

The skin becomes a dog, and the dog becomes a stalwart companion in their many further adventures.

Haikiutl: Beaver Man

Beaver Man travels among all the tribes by canoe. Beaver fights Bear, Wolf, Sheep, and many giants and defeats them all. When he returns to his home with his friend Raven, Raven continually tricks him at gambling, and steals whenever Beaver does not look. Raven warns Beaver that if Raven ever dies, all humans die as well. Beaver soon grows tired of Raven’s tricks, however, and tosses him in the fire. Then Beaver tosses the bones to the wind.

Names: Beaver Man, Raven’s Death, Raven’s Bones
Symbols: Sea bass
Status: God
Worshippers: Warriors, Hunters, Young men
Moral Codes: Chaotic
Prophets: Any Chaotic
Spirits: Prophet, Death, Trickster

But it is as Raven said. Slowly humans began to dry up, fade away, and die. So Beaver goes out to the four corners of the world and regains Raven’s bones, breaks wind over them, and returns Raven to life. Beaver and Raven then go to where the river meets the ocean. Beaver takes a bass from the sea, splits it open, and men come out. Raven takes a trout from the river, and from it come women.

Haikiutl: Blood Ogre

The chief’s daughter disappeared while picking berries. Her three brothers went in search of her, traveling deep into the mountains to the rainbow’s eastern leg, which was rainbow-colored smoke coming from a cave. The cave was blocked with thorns, which the brothers chopped through, though one of them cut their leg on the thorns.

Names: Blood Ogre, Winter Dance, Rainbow House
Symbols: Mosquito, Cedar stick
Status: God
Worshippers: Farmers, Fathers, Brothers, Lawmakers
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any Ordered
Spirits: Order, Weather

Inside the cave, they found their sister rocking a little boy. The child awoke and cried and pointed at the injured brother.

“Scrape off the blood, please,” said their sister.

So he scraped the blood onto a stick and handed it to the child, who greedily licked it off like stick candy.

The brothers were frightened, and told their sister they needed to step outside for a moment because of the smoke. But once outside, they fled. When they did not return, their sister cried out, “husband, there was flesh in the house and it is gone!”

Immediately a huge ogre stepped out of the cave, blowing a whistle and crying “hap! hap! hap!” and began pursuing them.

The eldest brother threw down a stone, which became a mountain peak that blocked the ogre’s path. When the ogre finally circumvented the mountain, the brother threw down a comb, which became an impassable thicket. But the ogre tore its way through the thicket, so the eldest threw down his kelp bladder of water, which became a huge lake.

The ogre fell behind, but drank up the lake. Just as they were about to reach their father’s house, the ogre had almost caught up with them again. So the eldest threw down a cedar stick, which became a great tree, and this slowed the ogre enough for them to get into the doorway and bar the door behind them. The ogre pounded on the door, and would have smashed it in, but the chief promised the ogre that, were he to return the next morning with his wife and child, that the chief would kill his sons and make of them a great meal for the ogre and his family. The ogre accepted.

When the ogre returned the next morning, the chief sat the ogre and his son next to a concealed fire pit, and the chief’s sons, served on a great platter, pushed the ogres in. The ogre and its son were burned to ash. Freed from the ogre’s control, their sister fanned the fire to ensure that the ogre would burn. From the ashes that flew into the air, mosquitoes buzzed about.

“You shall be cannibals forever,” said the chief’s daughter, “forever seeking blood.”

After the ogre and child burned, the chief’s daughter found the ogre’s whistle. “Now we may have a winter dance,” she said. And they did.

Bosom of Weasels

After his older brother had braved many trials to gain a wife, the younger brother chooses to ignore the ancient prohibition against wedding the stars. He is lured up a great cedar tree by Squirrel. He defeats many creatures in his climb to the top of the tree, whereupon he enters Sky World. In Sky World, he is rewarded by the stars for his persistence in climbing the ancient ladder. They grant him two beautiful star wives who are also hunters: Bosom of Weasels and Bosom of Mice. “Lay only with Bosom of Weasels and you will be a great hunter,” say the star men.

Names: Bosom of Weasels, Bosom of Mice
Symbols: Weasel, Mouse
Status: Demigod
Worshippers: Teens
Moral Codes: Order
Prophets: Any Ordered
Spirits: Death, Charm

The younger brother brings his wives back down the ladder and on their return to the tribe they capture many animals. His wives are great hunters, and each day after he lies with Bosom of Weasels in the night, he is the greatest hunter of the three.

After he returns home, he tires of hunting, finding no effort in it. He comes home earlier and earlier in the afternoon and begins to notice how beautiful Bosom of Mice is. Finally, he lies with her in the afternoon. As they lay together in his lodge, he hears a great commotion under ground. Up from the ground come mice, rats, and gophers burrowing through the earth. When they burst through to the surface he is buried alive in the underground, and all manner of vermin now live in the upper world.

Bride Killer

Beaver desired the beautiful daughter of an ugly old ogre. The ogre did not want his daughter to marry Beaver, so he devised dangerous quests to ensure that Beaver would not win his daughter.

Names: Bride Killer, Ogre Wife
Symbols: Painted arrows
Status: God
Worshippers: Bridegrooms, Shamans
Moral Codes: Good
Prophets: Any Good
Spirits: Trickster, Animal

When Beaver first came to the ogre, the ogre told him to “go to Thunderbird’s nest and take feathers from Thunderbird to fletch my arrows.”

The ogre was certain that the aerie was to high, and Beaver would fall do his death. But Beaver climbed the highest peak of thunder and stole away with Thunderbird’s feathers.

When Beaver returned to the ogre with Thunderbird’s feathers, the ogre told him that next he should “go to Giant Elk, and take sinew from Giant Elk to bind the feathers to my arrows’ shafts.”

The ogre was certain Giant Elk would crush Beaver, but Beaver enlisted the mosquito, the littlest of creatures, and defeated Giant Elk.

When Beaver returned to the ogre with Giant Elk’s sinew, the ogre told him next to go to the Snake Forest and return with hazel branches to make the shafts for his arrows. Snake’s venom is deadly, and the ogre was certain that this, finally, would kill Beaver. But Beaver went to his brother Raven and discovered how to make an antidote to Snake’s venom. He then filled his arms with hazel branches for the shafts of the ogre’s arrows.

Finally, the ogre sent Beaver to the Lizard Garden, “where you must create the paints to decorate the arrows.” Lizard’s slashing tail could cut through bone and armor, and the ogre was certain it could cut down Beaver. But Beaver tricked Lizard into cutting all of the plants Beaver needed for his dyes, and Beaver returned to ogre with the paints for ogre’s shafts.

With these, the ogre created his arrows and refused to turn his daughter over to Beaver. The ogre threatened Beaver with his wonderful new arrows. So Beaver stole the arrows away. When he tried to take the ogre’s daughter, the ogre tried to kill him. He aimed and shot the arrows into the ogre, but the ogre’s daughter jumped in front of her father and saved his life, and died in the attempt.

Beaver took the daughter’s body back to his home and his brother, Raven. Together, Beaver and Raven went hunting in the north for caribou. They use the cooked caribou meat to draw the ogre’s daughter back to life as a human woman, whereupon she and Beaver married.

Haikiutl: Dog Mother

A woman with three brothers was visited in the night by a dog, whom she secretly married. Her dog husband would not hunt and needed to be fed by the woman. She hunted meat herself to provide her dog husband with food.

Names: Dog’s Wife, Dog Husband
Symbols: Dog
Status: God
Worshippers: Mothers, Brothers, Chieftains
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any Chaotic
Spirits: Hearth, Chaos

Her brothers followed her to discover what she was doing with all that meat. When they discovered her secret they killed the dog and drove her into the wilderness. There, in a makeshift cabin she built herself, she bore six pups. These dog-children were no end of trouble. Whenever she turned her back on them they became human, but as soon as she turned back they became dogs.

After much trickery she finally caught three of them in human form. The others she chased into the mountains. The three she caught were two boys and one girl. She sent them into the world to make their names. One of the boys married his sister, and from them were born the leaders of all the tribes. The three dog-men who went into the mountains became the ancestors of all xolome. There to this day they dig in the ground for the bones of their dead father.

First Death

Far in the west, earth and sky touched and birthed all of the first creatures, including the great twins Tavila and Tamho. Tavila built the first house for people, and Frog is his daughter. Frog believes through a miscommunication, perhaps deliberate on her part, that Tavila has made an indecent overture to her, and vows revenge. She sinks to the center of the earth and creates a race of new creatures, hoping that they will become human before the animals can be transformed into animals. But Frog’s creatures are ill-formed and become evil lizards with snaking tongues. Frog takes these creatures and attacks the first house.

Names: Avikwam, Tavila’s Heart, New Moon
Symbols: Empty circle, Frog
Status: Demigod
Worshippers: Shamans, mourners
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any
Spirits: Death, Prophet, Protection

Tamho brings all future shamans to the top of the mountain Avikwam as children and instructs them in shamanic dream ritual to strengthen the future race of men against Frog’s lizard creatures. Afterward, in a great battle Tavila and Tamho defeat the lizards, but Tavila sustains deadly wounds and dies. This is the first death among people.

When Tavila is cremated, Tamho calls Coyote to take Tavila’s heart from the fire and eat it. Today the greatest honor a great hero can be given is for, on their death, the shaman to cut out a piece of their shoulder and eat it at the mourning ceremony. Tavila’s ashes rise to the sky as the new moon, and Tamho leaps into the sky with Tavila’s strength to become the full moon.

Moon’s Bag of Words

Hawk brought the people out from the sky and guided them down to the sunset shore. When they left the sky, Hawk told them to be silent so they could sneak past the clouds without waking them.

Names: Moontalker, Bag of Words, Man in the Moon
Symbols: Speaking moon, Medicine bag
Status: Demigod
Worshippers: Storytellers, Shamans, Contract-makers
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Ordered, Chaotic, Ordered Good, Chaotic Good, Good
Spirits: Trickster, Prophecy

But when morning came and Hawk tried to tell the people where each of the tribes would live, he discovered that the people could not speak. They could growl, and whine, and use signs and smoke, but had no skill at tongues.

Hawk realized that he had forgotten to bring them words; their words remained in a medicine bag with Moon. Hawk went to Coyote to complain.

“The people have come out of the sky and have forgotten their words,” said Hawk.

“You were responsible for bringing the bag of words from Moon,” said Coyote. “This is on your family.”

“This is true,” said Hawk. “What shall I do? I cannot go to Moon alone and grab the bag of words. The moon is cold as the night. I will freeze and it shall eat me.”

Coyote said, “I can bring the medicine bag back, but I shall need you to help me.”

Coyote told Hawk to go to Moon, and tell him that Coyote was going to steal from Moon.

“But tell him that I have gone to the Shaman, and have only one weakness.”

Coyote then went to the people and told them to wait for the rain of words in the night.

Hawk flew up to Moon, and warned Moon that Coyote would soon try to steal Moon’s treasure.

“You are my friend,” said Hawk, “and I felt I had to warn you.”

“What will he take, and when will he come?” asked Moon.

“I cannot tell you that,” said Hawk. “Coyote is my friend, too.”

“Do I not illuminate your hunts in the night?” asked Moon.

“Coyote is invulnerable,” said Hawk. “He is too strong.”

“Coyote is not invulnerable,” said Moon. “No one is invulnerable. Why do you say he is invulnerable?”

“Coyote has gone to the Shaman, who has bathed him in Salmon Lake,” said Hawk. “Coyote can be hurt by nothing but the words of the people, and the people are wordless.”

“Coyote is not invulnerable to me, then,” said Moon, “for I have the words of the people in my medicine bag.”

“You are stronger than Coyote,” said Hawk. “I thank you for calling me friend.”

When Moon caught Coyote in the sky running toward him, Moon reached into his medicine bag and hurled a barrage of words at Coyote. Coyote dodged them all, and the words rained down as fire upon the people.

The more Coyote dodged, the more words Moon threw from his medicine bag, until finally a word hit Coyote and Coyote turned tail and ran back from the sky.

“Hah!” cried the Moon. “Hawk has no reason to fear you now.”

The people gathered up the words that fell from the sky, and could speak. This is why some tribes have some words, and other tribes have other words and why some words are not yet known.

Salmon Moon

Names: Frog Sisters, Moon’s Rise, Star Husbands
Symbols: Moon, Ladder, Salmon
Status: God
Worshippers: Night travelers, Fishermen, Warriors
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any
Spirits: Sky, Animal

After the animals came to Earth World, two sisters, daughters of the daughter of blind Toad, slept in the open beneath the night sky. They gazed up at the stars, then at the dark world around them, then at the stars. “I wish those bright and beautiful bodies were our husbands,” said one. Her sister agreed.

In an instant, they were drawn into the Sky World, where they married two star men. Soon one of them bore a star baby. This baby was Moon. But the sisters were homesick, bored with their life in the sky. One day while digging roots, they accidentally punched a hole in the sky and saw the Earth Country far below.

The sisters began twisting cedar boughs to make a ladder. When it was finished, they climbed back to Earth World, taking Moon with them. They rejoined their tribe, and the ladder they kept and used as a swing. While they played on the swing, grandmother Toad took care of Moon for them. Old blind Toad sang for Moon, and for her grandchildren. While Toad sang, Dog Salmon came and stole Moon off, carrying him off the edge of Earth World to the Salmon World. Moon grew up among the Salmon and took a Salmon bride, who bore him many sons. The sons of Moon became the tribes of men.

In Earth World, the sisters took Moon’s cedar-bark diaper and rinsed it five times in water. From this came Moon’s Brother. Moon’s Brother sent Bluejay to fetch Moon home, but Bluejay could find Moon neither in Earth World nor in Sky World.

When Moon’s sons came of age, Moon returned to Earth World, driving the Dog Salmon as fish before him, crying “the next generation is coming and you shall be food for the people, Dog Salmon!” Whoever Moon met, he turned people who were fighting into stones, turned people into sandpipers, ducks, and clams.

Deer heard the cries of Moon and began making spear points of bone, singing a war song against the new people. Moon turned the spears into hooves and Deer into deer. On Moon’s journey home, all the people of Earth World became the animals as we know them today. When Moon arrived at his great grandparent’s home, Toad, still blind, did not recognize her great grandchild. She drew him into her warm home and put her arms around him. Moon turned her into the toad, and the sisters became the tree frogs. Moon joined his younger brother and rose into the sky, where Moon became the Moon and his younger brother became the Sun.

Thus was Earth World lit night and day for the new people of the tribes of man.

Haikiutl: Sea Mother

The great and horrible Sedna is rightly feared today. But she was not always horrible-looking, with her fish hands and single huge eye. She was once a beautiful young woman who swore she would never marry. She broke her promise after a handsome and suave hunter landed his kayak at her village. This young man promised her many things, and she liked listening to him, and she enjoyed looking upon him, for he was fair of face and figure.

Names: Sea Mother, Dog Husband, Sedna
Symbols: Animals over severed fingers, Seal
Status: Elder God
Worshippers: Hunters, Fishermen, Wives, Shamans
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any Ordered
Spirits: Animal, Water, Prophet

After they married, he took her across the sea to his home, but there she discovered that her husband was not human. He gave her raw fish to eat. He was a bird spirit. He had fallen in love with her from afar and left his island to convince her to marry.

Sedna’s father came to her rescue and snuck her off in his boat beneath a pile of furs. The spurned husband soon discovered his wife missing, and ran to the shore, crying that his love had left him. He cried out that at least she should let her husband look upon her as she left. But Sedna’s father refused, and told Sedna to remain beneath the furs.

Sedna’s husband, screeching in despair, turned back into his bird form. The sky darkened, and the sea boiled, tossing her father’s boat like a leaf.

Now, Sedna’s father realized his danger, and became frightened for what he had done. He tore the furs from where his daughter hid and tossed her overboard, crying to her to go back to her husband who she had chosen. Sedna grasped at the boat trying to get out of the stormy seas, but her father kicked at her face to push her back into the water. Still she tried to clamber back on board, so her father took an axe and chopped her fingers, one by one, knuckle by knuckle, and each bloody bone became the creatures of the sea: seal, walrus, salmon, and whale. Finally, with no fingers left to grasp, Sedna sank into the ocean and the seas calmed.

Sedna’s father reached the shore and fell asleep. That night, the sea rose and took her father and his tent away where they drowned and were never heard from again.

Sedna remains at the bottom of the sea, and when her hair is clean of vermin, she sends her salmon and seals to us in season. When her hair is dirty and filled with vermin, the shaman must travel to the depths to comb her hair for her, for she is fingerless and cannot comb it herself.

Straw House Beneath the Sea

Names: Straw House, Nusmatta
Symbols: Straw, Clamshell
Status: Elder God
Worshippers: Storytellers, Chiefs, Shamans
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any
Spirits: Charm, Prophecy, Prophet

Stories live in the Straw House of Stories beneath the sea waiting to be told.

When the great chief decided to populate the first world, he created four carpenters of mud. These carpenters chiseled the first stories out of wood: animals, mountains, rivers, and trees, stars, moon, and rainbow. The four carpenters went out from the four corners of the Straw House and painted the bright colors of the world onto their carvings.

At the walls of Nusmatta hung animal cloaks and masks, all facing inward. The great chief told the first stories to leave Nusmatta and to take one cloak with them as they left, which they did. The stories took canoes up from the sea, wrapping their cloaks around them, and the first world filled with stories. There were stories of mountains, and of rivers rushing to the sea, and stories of the sea as it cloaked the straw house, and stories of wolf and crow and weasel and mouse, and stories of our ancestors as well.

The masks remained behind and tell the stories of the stories to the great chief; and the masks remained behind and tell the great stories to those who bear the cloaks and who listen for words behind their own masks.

Vacant Empty

Names: Pale White, Not Being, Oblivion
Symbols: White spiral, Circle with a single dot, Cotton
Status: Elder God
Worshippers: None
Moral Codes: Order
Prophets: Order
Spirits: Order, Earth, Sky

In the first world there was only the being called Vacant Empty, which had neither desire nor perception and was not. Vacant Empty was the first world, and the first world was Vacant Empty. The first world died when Vacant Empty split into Vacant and Empty. Within Empty grew the cotton-like tendrils of Pale White and around Pale White the endless body of Not Being grew inward from Vacant.

Pale White felt its existence and rebelled against Not Being and against the Emptiness of the second world,. Neither Pale White nor Not Being could prevail, and from their battles came the third world of Upheaval and Falling Downward.

Upheaval and Falling Downward spiraled together and came to rest on a ledge in the world of worlds, where they became Sky and Earth of the fifth world. Once they were Sky and Earth they became conscious of each other and no longer changed.

Within all hearts is still Pale White and above all reality remains Not Being, in whose twin futures the world sees the oblivion and emptiness to which it shall return.

Vine of the New World

The tribes have climbed through many worlds before reaching the present world of the sun. In the first emergence, the first man came to the surface of the first level. Finding himself in light and pitying those in darkness, he asked the Sun to help him bring his people into the light. The Sun created the twin war gods, who led the people up. It has been their duty to lead the people up whenever the story is ready to begin again.

Names: Webbed Hand
Symbols: Webbed hands, Chopped tail
Status: Demigod
Worshippers: Carvers, Painters
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any Chaotic
Spirits: Sky, Chaos

In the last world, the twin war gods sent rabbit to tell the people that their world was drying up and that they needed to crawl through the tunnel to the new world. But the rabbit told its own kind first, and forgot about the tribes. First the rabbits disappeared, and then the beaver, then the deer, and then the trees and the grass. The old world became a dry, dusty place, and people shriveled until they were thin as leaves.

Finally, the twins came down to ask the tribes what was taking so long. By now the tunnel to the new world had dried and crumbled. So the twins threw down seeds and spit on the seeds. A vine grew up from the desert and through the crust of the sky and into the new world.

“We shall climb this vine into the new world,” said the twins.

The younger twin climbed the vine first, and the people followed. After many men and women had climbed up, but while many men and women remained, a pregnant woman began climbing. The older twin told those who remained to let her climb alone, or the vine might break. But the people were in too much of a hurry to get to the new world. Too many people climbed onto the vine, and it broke.

The people who went up first became the tribes. The people who were stuck in the underworld became the dead, who still scratch at the ceiling of the sky beneath us.

When Men Were Lizards

Names: Steps
Symbols: Vine, Rabbit
Status: God
Worshippers: Travelers, Planters, Diplomats
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any
Spirits: Prophet, Peace, Death

When people lived under the underground, the world was dark, wet, and cramped between earth and sky. People crawled like water-lizards on webbed feet and hands. They had horns, and tails to carry with.

The twin war gods led them up holes to the underground. “You shall now walk on your feet, and your hands are for carving and making.” For in the underground there was an underground sun, and the sky was far above them. The twins went to each tribesman, cut off their tails and horns, and slit their webbed hands and feet to create fingers and toes.

Some refused humanity. Even after their webbed feet were turned into hands with fingers and feet with toes, they continued to crawl and were afraid of the sun. They stayed inside their huts or their caves and never went into the light. When they had children, they taught their children to crawl as well, and told them stories of the underground beneath the underground. Their stories worked magic upon their offspring. Many of their children, climbing a tree or crossing a river, would suddenly return to lizards and crawl down the holes to the lower levels of the world. Many others, though they remained humans in shape and stature, still live in this world, alone in the caves at the world’s wall, and in the caves at the great sea and under the sea.

White and Black Deer

Before the world, there was Water, and there was Star That Always Moves. A voice called out to Star That Always Moves. It forecast three deer jumping out of the water. The first deer would be white; the second, black; the third, black and white.

Names: Star Hunter, Star that Always Moves
Symbols: Checkered deer
Status: God
Worshippers: Hunters, Chiefs
Moral Codes: Any
Prophets: Any
Spirits: Sky, Prophecy

Whichever deer escaped would choose whether the world would be night, day, night and day—or nothing. Star That Always Moves had three arrows. His first arrow killed White Deer as it leapt into the sky. His second arrow killed Black Deer as it leapt into the sky. But his third arrow only wounded Black And White Deer.

When Star That Always Moves only wounded Black and White Deer, the voice rose above the waters as the sun. Star That Always Moves continues to chase his last arrow and the black and white deer. Every year he gets closer. When he is finally able to retrieve his arrow he will kill black and white deer, and this world will have its end. When that happens, the moon, stars, sun, animals, plants, and rocks and mountains will become alive again as they were when the story began.

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