Religion, superstition, and other sociological by-products…
Children born under the midnight sun sickened and died. It was so and had always been so for as long as the People Under the Mountain could remember…
Children born in the summer months will obviously do better because of the climate. But this would most likely escape notice, as people remember bad things much more readily than the remember good things (unless they are astonishingly good). Since children born in the blue winters will be doubly dinged (cold & ‘bad magic) it should be pretty obvious there is something wrong with the time span.
Since both suns are Gods of a sort, it then falls to reason that Yellow if life and Blue is death. Which, interestingly enough, would take the moon out of the running for being associated with darker things. Then again, we haven’t determined if there is a moon or not… it might get lost to the tidal pulls of the blue sun’s gravitational field, and it would be interesting not to have one. *ponders*
Anywho, so the blue sun is linked with death in the minds of the People Under the Mountain (not to be confused with the People by the River or the People Under the Hills).
Now as logical as abandoning the kids might be (scare resources, high infant mortality rate, etc), that isn’t going to sit well with anyone. So they had to come up with a good ‘reason’ in order to feel better about doing it. Hrm…
Okay, so let’s assume that older or deathly sick people would be interested in removing themselves as well (whole good of the many thing). But again, it’s not something that would go over well unless they could explain it away. Thus the tithe.
The blue sun is the God of Death, yes? So maybe the society would have built him a shrine in which they leave the infants, or the folks who know they are dying, in order to ‘tithe’ them to the Sun God. Since this would be happening primarily in blue winters when humans are forced to live underground, there’s some wiggle-room to explain away the sacrifices. The bodies (once they’ve frozen to death) would be carried off by animals long before it thaws enough for the family to return. Thus anyone left in the shrine could be assumed not to die normally, but to ascend (while still alive) to Illysa’s side.
Now take this and twist it a bit. You have a whole bunch of children who have gone in tithe to Illysa, what’s he going to do with them? They aren’t dead, so they wouldn’t be happy in the afterlife, and they aren’t alive anymore so he can’t send them back to their families. Logic says: he turns them into wolves.
Okay, so it’s human logic, but you get the idea. ^_~ *grin*
The wolves act much more intelligent than any of the other local predators and they are the only ones that the humans will have much interaction with. The wolves aren’t interested in the humans (as they are neither tasty nor dangerous) and so don’t interact with them. This is a ‘sign’ that the wolves must be related to the humans because the other predators do munch humans now and then.
Which sort of argues for the fact that the wolves aren’t native to the planet and I /really/ need to stop playing around with that idea… for lo, it leads silly places. Hehehe ^_^
So as far as the humans are concerned, the wolves are Illysa’s Children. They won’t hunt the wolves, won’t kill them, and believe being killed by one is divine mandate. (i.e. if you get killed by a wolf you must have done something to deserve Illysa’s wrath).
Which would take the story from before and turn it on it’s ear. After all, the protagonist is going to the shrine expecting to find the child or to bargain with the god for his return (as folktales claim is possible). Instead she finds wolf footprints leading away from the shrine. Which would only serve to further ‘prove’ that the child has been turned into a wolf.
She keeps following them, in hopes of pleading with the child to return to human form, and finds the ‘hangers on’ living by the wolves. At which point her brain breaks, because, well, because.
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