My Cousin, My Enemy

The deities of the Wealdenda refused to get involved in human affairs. The Earth, while created by the god king Heittan (at least according to him; other pantheons disagreed), belonged to Man. Yet, the gods and goddesses knew they must get involved, or their childish creations would destroy themselves before maturing. So, they sired and bore the half-gods, beings of great supernatural power yet formed from the flesh of mortals. Through them, the gods and goddesses could influence, or interfere, as needed.

Two such half-goddesses are Dydaea and Knuse. They are cousins. They are enemies.

Dydaea, the Dark One. She is the daughter of the love goddess Lieba by the sorcerer Kontar the Younger. Her name means Virtue. She does tend to be a bit imperious about enforcing her name. No one ever called her sweet. But she is always good.

Knuse, the Fair One. She is the daughter of the war god Kregg upon the sorceress Vytarra of Aitia. Her name was once Aereka, for Honor. Twisted by her own beauty, she started down the road of conquest and dominion. Even though half-mortal herself, she decided that humanity was created to be servants of the gods, not their children. So, she changed her name to Knuse. It means Crush. And crush she does.

The two are linked by more than the fact that their respective mother and father are sister and brother. Alarmed by his daughter’s turn to evil and abandonment of honor, Kregg himself charged Dydaea with preventing Knuse’s planned reign of terror, at any cost. Even if it meant slaying Knuse, and Dydaea was one of the few half-goddesses powerful enough to accomplish that. As the daughter of a love goddess, war was not her domain. However, Dydaea rose to the occasion. It proved easy to turn romantic love outward, into actions that benefitted the welfare of people as a whole.

Dydaea and Knuse are evenly matched in godlike power and magical skill, but not in attitude. A being of honor and valor, Dydaea has lines she will not cross, and self-imposed rules she will not break. No matter how relentless her pursuit of Knuse, she stops just short of killing her, even though she knows she should. Knuse suffers no such foolish delusions. Nothing will deter her from her goal of grinding her grandfather’s world beneath her sandal in ruthless subjugation. That is especially true of her infernal cousin.

They have warred for two hundred years. Even though Knuse often defeats and humiliates her cousin, Dydaea continually injures the other so much that Knuse’s plans of conquest are thwarted. Until next time. However, since their last battle, Dydaea has grown stronger and more wily, while Knuse basks in her arrogance and superiority. The force for good realizes the only way to permanently stop Knuse is to throw her across time and realm into another sphere of existence, and imprison her there. She herself will serve as Knuse’s gaolkeeper. It is eternal exile, but a price Dydaea is willing to pay to preserve the Earth and Man.

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