Varda is the Lady of the Stars, and here in the Realm of Varda, we enjoy many things, which include admiring the universe and sky above us.
In Varda, we talk about the stars, though we do not just talk about them, we write fiction about stars as well. We Vardians have had poetry and description contests about individual stars, complete constellations, and entire universes. We do not do every challenge about stars, though. Each contest is about a different subject. Such themes that have been transcribed about are gold, passion, dust, and light. All contests, (there are usually two a month – one being of a description and the other being for poetry), is chosen for each type of challenge by the winner of the previous competition.
The members of the realm of Varda not only have contests, we also have an active rp thread, games, – such as Lord of the Rings I-Spy and 2 Truths and a Lie -, different types of lists that the members add to, a roundrobin story where a person may only add four words at a time, and we have inter-realm activities. Such an activity is to transcribe volumes on different subjects. Right now, in fact, the Vardians and the members of Vána are composing information on the soundtracks of The Lord of the Rings trilogy.
If we have any questions concerning anything about astronomy, we can visit the Astronomy & Space Q&A thread where our professional astronomer, Eldirn, may answer them! We also have a thread where you can find links to websites about the universe! If you want to discuss the planets, we have a thread for you! If you want to see breathtaking pictures, stop by and watch your jaw drop!
If you have a favorite constellation and think you can tell a tale on how it came to be, be sure to make up your own myth to tell us about how it came into Arda! Here is one that was sent in by gwendeth:
The Myth of Orion – from Greek Mythology
Orion was in love with Metrope, the daughter of King Oenopion I of Chios. However, King Oenopion was against their marrying. There are various versions, but it is said that in a drunken stupor, Orion raped Metrope, at which Oenopion asked Dionysus’ help for revenge. Dionysus then cast Orion into a deep sleep and Oenopion then blinded Orion.
To recover his sight, Orion travelled East, for the Sun’s rays to strike his eyes. Orion then lived in Crete, where Artemis, goddess of the moon, fell in love with him. But Artemis was tricked by Apollo into killing Orion with an arrow as he (Orion) was swimming in the ocean.
Artemis, in mourning for his death, then placed Orion and his companion hunting dogs, Canis Major and Canis Minor, in the night sky.
(Reference: www.astro.wisc.edu/~dolan/constellations/extra/OrionStory.html and homepage.mac.com/cparada/GML/Orion.html.)
The Legend of Menelvagor
In days of old, before the days of the Second Children, there lived a forest hunter by the name of Cuveleg (Strongbow). Skilled he was with knife, sword, and bow, as was the way of Elves. Keener of Eye and stronger of Arm than others was Cuveleg, and few could match him in the hunt. But skilled as he was, Cuveleg was still untested in battle, a woe that weighed heavily upon his mind.
For in his heart, Cuveleg loved an Elvenmaid, Aewiel (Starbird) she was named, for she loved to listen to the night-birds’ songs. And Aewiel returned Cuveleg’s love. But Aewiel’s father would not permit her to wed an untested warrior, skilled though Cuveleg might be.
So many a night Cuveleg and Aewiel walked the starlit forest paths, listening to the night-birds and marvelling at the stars that Varda had set above them. For though they were denied marriage, Aewiel’s father looked kindly on Cuveleg, and did not forbid him Aewiel’s company.
But dark days were coming, and a shadow crept into the minds of the Elves. The orcs and minions of Morgoth were gathering strength, and war was approaching. Thence did Cuveleg await the coming of battle in eagerness, for, at last, he would prove himself and win his heart’s dear love.
The day of battle finally came, and the Elven warriors bid their fond farewells. On his quiver, Cuveleg bore a token of Aewiel’s love. And by that token, he swore he would return victorious to claim her.
The march to war went swiftly, as the Elves had planned their way with care; but ere they reached their goal, they were set upon by a host of orcs, and the fighting began in earnest.
Bowstrings sang, arrows flew, and swords flashed in the sunlight. Orc after orc Cuveleg slew, keeping true to his lover’s oath. Then suddenly, he was attacked from behind, and suffered a mortal blow. The Elves themselves had won the day, but heavy was their cost.
In sorrow, Aewiel’s father brought Cuveleg home, and laid the dying warrior at her feet. With many tears she held him close, his head upon her breast. And silently she called to Varda, asking only for his rest.
And Varda in her kindness, recalled their nightly walks. Remembering how Aewiel and Cuveleg had revelled in her stars, Varda spoke to Mandos, who gently gathered Cuveleg’s spirit to his Hall. And knowing the depth of Aewiel’s grief, Varda set Cuveleg in the sky, among the stars they had loved so well. Then, Varda gathered Aewiel’s tears, and set them in the night sky alongside Cuveleg as two hunting dogs, so he would not be alone.
And ever after, as Aewiel wandered the nightpaths alone, she saw Cuveleg, the mighty Menelvagor, guarding her from far above.
(Menelvagor is Sindarin for “Sky-swordsman”)
Orion and Me
Ever since I was a child, the constellation I knew I could always find was Orion. When, for many years, I had to work night and swing shifts, I always searched for Orion whenever I stepped outside. Somehow, I felt that in seeing Orion, I knew that everything would be ‘all right’.
That has carried on through today, when, as I gaze at the night sky, I always look for Orion first.
by Woodlandelfgirl87 and ~Stella~