An interview with the native elf A’helor, transcribed by Arcangelir Arensmire
The festival of the Last Harvest, known as the Tai’fendel in our tongue, is the celebration of all Kishar has provided for us before the coming of Winter. It is the last holiday we celebrate before Kishar takes her rest and the world becomes cold. During the Tai’fendel we take all of the foodstuffs we can spare before the Winter and hold a great feast to celebrate the bounty of the Great Mother.
This is the tale, as is customary in my family, that is told each Tai’fendel. Usually the tale is sung by our yal’alcoa, while her dai’alcoay act out the creation of the world and the gifts the great mother has bestowed upon us. I am no storyteller, but I shall try my best to repeat it in full.
Forever ago, at the beginning of all, the mother looked out from her eternal gardens upon the night sky. As she watched one of the stars began to flicker and fade so she plucked it from the outwaters and set it before her.
The star was barren. Its beautiful light was gone and the great mother was saddened. She thought about how to bring life and beauty back to the unlit star, and from her thoughts sprang the yai’tandel, as we were called then. The first daughters and sons greeted each other warmly and were entranced by the glorious night sky above them. They thanked the mother and all was good.
After a time however the daughters and sons began to grow cold. They called to Kishar, “Mother! Mother! We are cold and it is dark, please give us respite from this endless night!” In her mercy, Kishar plucked another star from the outwaters and set it above the world. No longer subdued by the outwaters, Kitanye burned ferociously heating the world and giving it light.
But the heat grew to be too much. The children called out again, “Mother! Mother! Kitanye gives us light and heat, but his ferocity burns us!” In response Kishar gave her breath to the world, and the wind cooled the yai’tandel. The wind moved Kitanye across the sky and around the world everyday, so that night would also give respite from the heat if the wind was not enough.
The children called out, one last time, “Mother! Mother! The land is barren, dry, and parched! Please give us something to wet our lips and fill our stomachs!” Kishar then opened a hole in the outwaters. It poured down filling the holes and cracks in the earth. After a time she closed it so that only small amounts could get through.
As the rains came down the children noticed a wondrous thing. All manner of plants sprang from the ground. They grew into trees and bushes and flowers. And among the trees and bushes they found all the animals of the world. The children looked upon this and rejoiced for they knew it was the great mother’s plan all along. They promised Kishar to cherish the plants and the animals and only ever take what was needed to survive.
Kishar’s labors made her very weary and she needed to rest. Seeing this the children wondered how they might somehow give back to the mother for all she had done for them. That is why we hold the festival of the last harvest of the year.
We celebrate all Kishar’s graces have given us. We hold the festival at night, to commemorate her vigil in the gardens when she noticed the failing star. We build a great fire to give some of the light and heat Kitanye brought. We give our own breath, telling the tale of the Tai’fendel every cycle. We feast with the yai’tandela to show our appreciation for all her works. And finally, we spread the remaining seeds of our celebration so that life may grow in return for what we have taken.