One late summer night, the earth goddess Lavinia woke her husband Fiehri and was compelled to speak out:
“I can feel a change in the air. The winds are growing colder and the leaves will start to fall. I believe autumn will soon be upon us. Time has come to return to my fields.”
To this the fire god responded:
“It is summer still. You have been restless of late and I worry about your health. Maybe you should remain here with me this season? Surely your Enai can perform the Elori ritual alone.”
“It is true my Enai could complete the Elori ritual without me, but I would prefer to be there. I long to see my fields again,” Lavinia reassured him, “I feel fine, there’s no need to worry. ”
A few days later Lavinia left the volcanic palace to dance with her Enai and to bless her fields again. And the Elori ritual went ahead as planned with the goddess leading the celebrations. While Fiehri busied himself in his forge awaiting his wife’s return. Months, as a fresh winter arrived and Lavinia came home. Yet she was exhausted and spent much of her time sleeping. This new lethargy made Fiehri worry more still.
“My dear, what is the matter, are you sick?” he asked.
To this the earth goddess responded:
“It is not a sickness my love, I am with child.”
Many months later Fiehri asked his mother Era-Gragiya to assist Lavinia with the birth. The queen of the skies happily obliged, and soon after Lavinia bore a son. The boy was named Ieskr, who she nicknamed “Little Spark”. The young Erai was much like his father in appearance, with tanned skin and flaming hair. They also shared many of the same powers. Unlike the hot-tempered Fiehri however, Ieskr was much more like his mother in character. He was patient, easygoing and mild-tempered. Much to his disappointment this was all that he inherited from his mother, as it soon became clear he had none of her powers.
As the boy grew older, Fiehri began to teach him metal work and other crafts. Ieskr proved to be a quick learner and he truly enjoyed making things. But as time passed Ieskr grew bored of his life inside the volcanic palace. He had heard many stories about the different lands and he now longed for adventure. Once he turned sixteen he asked if he could accompany his mother into the fields for the autumn Elori ritual, and to his delight Fiehri agreed.
That autumn Lavinia took her son into the mountains to meet with her Enai. Ieskr immediately loved the mountains and the fields. He watched the Elori harvest ritual for a few days. His mother would dance with her Enai and they cast their spells on the fields. As the celebrations faded, Lavinia began to take him for long walks through mountainside. During one of these walks Ieskr wanted to find out more about the other world around him.
“What is the name of the land beyond the mountains?” he asked his mother.
“That land is a hot and sandy place with almost no water, a desert region. The mortals call it Niralis, after your uncle , the sun Erai Nir,” Lavinia responded.
“That sounds like somewhere I’d like to see. I wonder if anyone can live in a place without water. Those poor mortals…I wish I could help them somehow, ” Ieskr thought to himself.
“I would very much like to see this desert land. Can we go there?” he finally asked his mother.
“There is little to see and nothing in that arid land. Humans cannot live there due to the absence of water. It is not a place I wish to visit. But since you have asked, I can show you.” Lavinia uttered softly.
And so together they wandered through the mountain passages into the sandy dunes of Niralis. As a god of fire, the scorching heat did not affect Ieskr, however it took his eyes some time to get used to the bright light of the sun.
For a while mother and son walked with ease over dunes of sand until Ieskr spotted a rocky crater towards the middle of the valley. Moving through the windswept sands, the ground was different here, the crater itself was white and the soil soft. Lavinia touched the earth with her hands. Intrigued by this new discovery, she began to dig. Watching his mother with interest, Ieskr also quickly decided to join the digging. Soon they realized that the soil was moist and the crater itself began to fill with water.
“We did it mother! Now the mortals will have water in the desert,” Ieskr announced happily.
After the digging was complete, Lavinia and Ieskr left behind the water hole and headed back towards the mountains.
“There’s no telling how long the water will last. Nir’s light burns so strong in the desert, without a water Enai to maintain and nurture it, it will dry out again ,” Lavinia explained as they traveled.
“Where might I find these water Enai?”- asked Ieskr in response.
“They are the servants of your aunt, the sea goddess Afa. It is her whom you will need to ask. You can usually find her by the shores of her great sea,” said Lavinia.
“Then that is where I shall go next. Tell father I will be back before the winter,” Ieskr replied merrily.
And so he left his mother with her Enai in the mountains and he traveled northwards towards the sea shore. A few days later he came to the beach where soon after he spotted a male water Enai swimming in the shallows.
“I wish to speak your queen, the Lady Afa.” he said on approaching the waters.
The Enai stared at him for a while before responding. “And who might you be to speak with our Lady?” he asked.
“I am an Erai and I am her nephew, son of her brother Fiehri and the earth goddess Lavinia. I am called Ieskr, ” he introduced himself.
“In that case Lord Ieskr, I will inform my Lady that you are here.” – the Enai answered before disappearing into the depths.
A few moments later the wave-haired Lady Afa emerged from the depths and she gazed upon Ieskr for a while.
“One of my Enai tells me that my nephew has come to see me. How do I know you are whom you say you are? You could be any fire Enai. If you are indeed an Erai and Fiehri’s son, prove it to me,” she stated before handing him a wreath of seaweed and coral. “This is too wet and tough for a mere fire Enai to set alight. If you can set it afire then I will believe you,” – she added.
Ieskr used his power to instantly set the wreath ablaze. Suddenly Afa smiled at him before extinguishing the fire.
“You are indeed Fiehri’s son. I see it now, you look just like him too. It is nice to meet you dearest nephew. What brings you to my kingdom?”
To this Ieskr replied:
“My mother and I have created an oasis in the Niralis desert. But we fear the water will dry out without a water Enai to look after it. I would be grateful if one of your servants could move there and care for the oasis. I will gladly take them there.”
“The river Enai may be up for such a task. Give me a few days. I shall ask if any would like to volunteer. Though the journey to the oasis is the biggest concern, my servants grow sick when they are out of the water for a long time, ” Afa explained.
Ieskr thanked her and he journeyed back to the mountains. Days later he returned to the beach and once again asked to speak to his aunt. The sea goddess emerged from the depths with a great wave and greeted him.
“It is good to see you again little Ieskr. I asked my river Enai and one girl has volunteered to travel with you to Niralis. Her name is Oreli, she lives in the Karelim river near the Lavinium mountains,” Lady Afa revealed.
“Thank you for your help dear aunt,” Ieskr replied happily.
“Send my regards to your father and mother. It’s been so long since I last saw Lavinia. Tell her she is welcome to visit my kingdom whenever she pleases,” Lady Afa concluded with a bright smile.
Ieskr bid her farewell before turning from the seas and heading back towards the mountains.
As he wandered, he realized that he had no idea where to find the Karelim river. And so on his way to the caves he stopped in a nearby forest. There he was greeted by the sound of barking dogs and flute music filling the air. He soon spotted a group of forest Enai hunters and the forest god, Lord Silyan.
“Uncle Silyan!” he called out.
The Lord of the forest turned to face him and smiled before responding:
“You must be little Ieskr. It is good to finally meet you. You really are the spitting image of your father. How is he doing these days?”
“He is very well, thank you. He’s told me a lot about you,” Ieskr replied.
“And how is your mother ?” asked Silyan.
“She is well. She’s now in the fields with her Enai,” Ieskr answered.
“Ah yes, the Elori harvest ritual. I must see it for myself someday… So what brings you here to my woods?” Silyan questioned kindly.
“I am trying to find the Karelim river, do you have any idea where I might look?”
“Indeed, it’s not far from here. In fact we are heading that way tomorrow. I can show you how to get there,” the god replied.
Ieskr thanked him and then Silyan introduced his nephew to his servants, who soon started making preparations for their meal. Ieskr helped by creating a fire to cook the food. The woodland Enai each gazed in awe as he lit a pile of wood with just one touch from his finger. Later, after a hearty feast, one of the Enai lent Ieskr his tent for the night.
The following morning they traveled westwards. And once they made their way to the flowing rivulet, Silyan showed the young god where to find the riverbank and they parted ways.
Ieskr was soon gazing at the river where he instantly spotted two young river Enai. Both girls had turquoise hair, blue fish tails and were dressed in green clothes made solely of algae.
“Which one of you is Oreli?” he promptly asked.
“I’m Oreli” said the older of the pair ,“and who might you be ?” she asked in reply.
“I am called Ieskr, I am an Erai. The son of Lord Fiehri and Lady Lavinia. Your Lady is my aunt,” Ieskr introduced himself formally.
“It is my pleasure to meet you Lord Ieskr,” said Oreli. “My Lady has warned me of your coming and of our great adventure.”
“We will need to gather some supplies from the mountains before we depart, are you ready for the journey? ” he wondered.
“As ready as I can be. I can follow the mountain streams leading up to the desert,” Oreli said carefully.
“What about when we reach the sands? There’ll be no water there until we reach the oasis. Can you walk?” Ieskr asked.
Oreli nodded. “I know a spell that can briefly transform my tail into legs. It only lasts a short while so hopefully we can get there in time otherwise you may have to carry me,” she explained.
“Let’s hope that I won’t need to.” Ieskr uttered sincerely. Thus they agreed to meet in Niralis.
Oreli followed the water courses while Ieskr chose to visit some of his mother’s Enai in search of supplies for the journey. He tried to gather as much bottled water as he could carry. Once he had packed everything, he began to make his through the mountain passage.
Not long after, he came to a stop before the path leading into the desert. There he noticed Oreli. Seeing her appearance he deduced that she had successfully carried out her spell. Her fishtail had now been transformed into a shimmering blue dress and she stood on two legs barefooted.
“Hello again,” he said warmly, “Do you know how long that spell will last?”
“Until sunset , provided that the sun heat doesn’t weaken me too much,” Oreli replied.
And so off they went into the sand dunes of Niralis. It wasn’t long until Ieskr noticed the first signs of change to Oreli’s skin and her hair. After only minutes under the scorching sun and her skin was covered in burn marks and her turquoise hair had become brittle.
“If only I had my mother’s healing powers…” he lamented aloud.
“Healing powers would not help. Only water can restore me,” she answered, her voice already weakening.
So Ieskr reached into his supply bag and took out of one the bottles. He offered it to her before having a drink from another. Instead of drinking, Oreli simply poured the contents over herself. The fresh water quickly healed her burns. Now sated they continued their journey towards the oasis.
They repeated same process with their water bottles at regular intervals as they moved through the sands. Ieskr could only hope that they’d have enough water for the remainder of the journey. To make matters worse, Oreli was unaccustomed to walking and she often struggled to keep up with the god.
“Does the heat not bother you?” she asked at one point.
“Not at all. I’m an Erai of fire. I was born inside a volcano. Fire and flame are in my nature. As it is with my father and his servants,” Ieskr explained.
Not straining to speak further, they pressed on towards the oasis. As the day drew to a close they had almost used up their water reserve. All the while, Oreli was truly struggling to keep the pace and it was only a matter of time until her spell would wear off. After another hour of slow paced walking, Ieskr, seeing her struggles, at last decided to help her and he carried her the rest of the way to the oasis.
They finally reached the spot just as the sun was set ting and Oreli’s spell began to wear off. Ieskr gently helped lower her into the pool. Much relieved, Oreli dived straight in and she soon regained her healthy appearance. Though as she soaked in the waters, Ieskr realized that the water levels had dropped since he had been with his mother. This worried him a little, so he poured the rest of the bottled water into the pool but it did little to help.
Then an idea came to him. He looked towards the sky and cried out to his grandfather Lord Ifir.
The Lord of the skies gazed down from his palace in the skies and called out:
“My little Ieskr.”
Ieskr soon felt a gentle breeze lifting him up into the sky where he landed on a blanket of clouds next to Lord Ifir.
The two embraced and then Ieskr spoke out:
“Grandfather I have a small favor to ask. Could you please make some rain?”
“Rain in the desert?” asked Ifir, somewhat surprised.
“Just in one spot, on that pool over there. My Enai friend Oreli is there. She needs my help,” Ieskr explained pointing towards the oasis.
Unquestioningly Ifir granted him the request.
“I should get back to my mother,” Ieskr finally said as he watched the downpour. They bid each other farewell and then Ifir tenderly cast him back down towards the earth.
After the rain had ceased, the pool was again filled and Oreli was happily splashing around.
“It’s beautiful here. I have never seen such clear water. It tastes completely different to the rivers I grew up in.” she declared cheerfully.
“I’m glad that you like your new home. It was lovely to meet you. I should return home. My mother is still in the mountains, and we promised father that we would return before winter,” he announced.
They fondly parted ways and Ieskr made his way towards the mountains. There he was finally reunited with his mother and he was keen to tell her about everything that had taken place throughout his journey.
Lavinia patiently listened to his story before responding:
“Oh my Little Spark…I’m so glad I brought you with me. You finally got to meet some of your family. Now we must head back. Winter will be upon us soon.”
And so together they headed back to Fiehri’s volcanic palace.
Thereafter the desert region and the oasis at its center became a human settlement within the province of Niralis. Oreli fulfilled her duty in nurturing the waters, while hiding herself in the depths of the pool for fear that the mortals might catch sight of her. Under her care, the water became renowned for its minerals and its healing properties and people from other provinces would come to seek its restorative powers.
Occasionally the water Enai would come up to the surface at night to admire the stars. One chill night there was a full moon and Oreli heard the howling of a wolf. Intrigued by the sound she rose to the surface and swam around for a better view. Suddenly she was spotted by a trader gathering water. She dove back into the depths frightened. Much to her shock, she soon realized that man who noticed her was now trying to pursue her under water. As she dived towards the bottom of the oasis, she gazed back to see that the trader was now struggling to breathe in such deep water. The Enai span around and hurriedly dragged him back towards the shore.
She watched as he coughed up some water before yelling:
“Fool! Do you have a death wish? Come after me again and I will let the Morkrai take you away!”
To this the stranger responded:
“Forgive me… I am sorry. I’ve never before seen a water Enai. Please at least tell me your name.”
“I’m Oreli,”- she responded before quickly diving back into the depths of the oasis.
After that encounter, she became reluctant to come to the surface any longer and remained hidden in the depths. Once the trader returned to his home province of Gragiya, he often mentioned his encounter with a water Enai at his local tavern and this sparked the start of a legend. Some claim that if you gaze at the oasis during a full moon, you might catch a glimpse of Oreli, the water Enai And thus it became known as Orealisi Oasis, named after the girl who lived within.