The Legend of Erollisi Marr

She walked among them all, perhaps only slightly set apart by her nobility, her fierce intellect and her giving nature. Erollisi Marr was a beauty to behold in mortal form, though she had little choice with regard to the form she took; her illusion was a reflection of the hearts and souls of the followers she so cherished, a canvas of mortal delight as her people touched her softly, painting her portrait with the colors of their love.

She traveled throughout the land at whim, each encounter a joy as she met those filled with the passion of belief, the strength of love and felt pride as they spread her message to others.

The changing of the seasons attracted her to certain parts of the land, where only briefly the most exquisite colors were born and died. She could never resist the touch of the softest petal of a delicate spring beauty upon her lips, a fiery leaf in autumn breaking free coming to rest in her silken hair.

That was how she came to be at the forest that day, the day she fell in love with the mortal man. The air was crisp and clear, like a sweet apple wine chilling in a stream running off the icy peaks of the nearby mountain. She was intoxicated by her surroundings and filled with the wonder of the colors that made up the canopy of the trees overhead. He lay in a bed of soft pine needles and at first she was startled by his presence as she had not sensed that a mortal was near. When he did not stir, she crept closer, at once entranced by handsome features. She sensed an aura of The Rainkeeper about him, and knew he belonged to Karana, this magnificent and beautiful man. His breath was shallow, rapid and she became aware that he was gravely wounded and felt a moment of panic, a moment which seized her with an overwhelming desire to know him.

She was compelled to touch him.

As a rule, the Goddess of Love never reached forth and placed her hand upon a mortal, knowing full well what that touch could do to them; and yet, she could not bear the thought that he might pass onto the spirit realm without the knowledge of his soul in her heart.

She knelt over him tenderly, and hesitantly brushed his forehead with her silken fingertips. His eyelids fluttered, but he did not wake. Gingerly, she placed upon his lips the kiss she had been saving for centuries.

In an instant she saw his soul, in an instant she lived his entire life with him as if she had been his mother, his wife, his daughter; Erollisi broke away from the kiss, only to experience the overwhelming grief a mortal must feel to suffer the loss of a soul mate, a lover, a friend.

She wept upon his face great tears of sorrow and as they fell, he opened his eyes and gazed at her with such lucid wonder, such intense love that her heart was forever marked by the color of his eyes.

"My Love," he whispered just once, and as she heard his words, she leapt up and begged for Karana to appear.

"I will give you anything!" she cried into the heart of the forest. "I will relinquish all I have if you save this one mortal on this day!"

The wind whipped up in a frenzy, and the dry leaves swirled around Erollisi and her love in a wall of flaming passion.

A strong and tender voice spoke to her in the absolute stillness of the center of the storm.

"Young Goddess. I know you have touched my child as he lay on his deathbed, and so should you know that he will not survive that touch." She cried gently as she placed her cheek against his, hoping to feel his breath touch her skin one last time. She felt a tear fall from his fading eyes, and as he drew his last breath, the storm around him ceased.

Karana materialized in the clearing, and regarded the scene before him with empathy, his heart filled with compassion for the Goddess as she held her lost love. He reached forth a gentle hand and took the tear from his fallen child's face. It became a gem of unequaled beauty in his grasp, and he handed it reverently to the stricken Goddess.

"Even a Goddess must learn and grow," he said to her softly. "You must take this love, the gift that it is, and keep it with you always." She held the gem tightly in her grasp and looked up at him with an eternity of pain in her eyes. Again, he felt compassion for her.

"I will give you one thing, beautiful one. I will take your tears, and fill the rain with them. Wherever the rain falls, your love will be renewed and the spirit of this man, who came from the noble house of Lioncourt, shall carry on in his name and his line will know of his legend."

Erollisi nodded at Karana, accepting the kindness of his gift, and she gathered her love to her, absorbing the colors of his soul as he faded away. Forever after, the colors of her canvas were blue, the blue of his eyes, so that she would never forget.