Thursday, June 13, 2013

Inspiring Illustrations - The Pool of the Beregyna

8) The Pool of the Beregyna

The Kimmerian people are said to have come to Hyperborea in two great waves. The greater part were horsemen; nomadic wanderers who followed their herds across the steppes of their homeland. One day a mist fell across the land and the herds of several tribes from areas leagues apart and scattered across the steppes wandered into a valley that none had ever seen before. The tribes crossed into the valley and the mist began to thicken till all were blind. A great tiredness came upon the people and all slept. In the morning the sun cut through the mist and the tribes found themselves on a windswept plain of grass, no sign of the valley they had entered. This is how they came to Hyperborea.

The second wave of Kimmerians arrived years later. As enemies pressed upon the tribes of the steppes some were driven from their previous lives of following the herds. In a great battle most of the men were slain, the herds scattered, their mounts and wagons lost. The survivors fled to the mountains that cut across the eastern steppelands like a wall. These Kimmerians fled higher and higher, found caves and caverns and tunnels deep into the earth. Some followed these tunnels down and down and down till the cold earth became roaring hot and they found a lake of fire that none could approach as it ate the very air around it. These Kimnerians who had delved so deep turned back, but they found the paths had changed and the way up now led to different mountains cold and forbidding, and this is how the second wave of Kimmerians came to Hyperborea.

But the Kimmerians did not come alone. The spirits of their homeland came with them. It was with some surprise that they found the Beregyna inhabiting the streams and pools within this strange land. The Beregyna, always in the form of beautiful women, were more wild and much more dangerous. No longer would simple ceremonies and symbolic sacrifices appease them; they must have the lives of the living. Their pools and homes along the riverbank have become deadly places where men are lured to their deaths in the Beregyna's watery embrace.

Their brother and husbands, the Vodianoi are rarely seen, but they too take the lives of any who come near their lairs found only in deep waters and pools and lakes. But they are said to be worshipped by those Krimmerians dwelling deep under the mountains where deep, dark pools can be found.

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