The Avéquis is a mythical creature, a winged horse, that is often associated with the High Goddess of Light Nakashi of the Aeoliran religion predominant at the continent Aeruillin, as it is the companion that was created for her by Arkon, God of Creation. It is at home in the sky and may be seen playing among the clouds. The Avéquis is an elegant and beautiful animal, though not many have seen it. The name Avéquis derives from "Avé", which means "light" in Tharian and "Quis", being derived from "Equis", which means "horse". The literal translation is therefore "Lighthorse" or "Horse of the Light".
|Image description. The golden Avéquis Lighthorse as seen on the mural of the temple of Nakashi in Thylascuran. Picture drawn by Losmios (Mia Bengtsson), used with friendly permission.|
Appearance. The Avéquis has been depicted in several murals throughout the history of Caelereth. The most famous is a mural painted on the ceiling of a temple in Thylascuran dedicated to the High Goddess Nakashi by the artist Barthemous, it portrays the winged horse in mid-flight with wings outstretched across the glory of the heavens. The mural shows the mythical creature to have golden wings that extend far beyond its withers, covered with beautiful feathers. The snowy white mane and tail stretch behind the animal, as though they are being blown by a fierce gale. The amber eyes seem to move within the mural, as if the winged horse is watching you with an unnatural intelligence. The Avéquis is always depicted in gold, silver, and white as these are the symbolic colours of Nakashi. The Avéquis is rarely portrayed without Nakashi either nearby or astride its back. Each mural and painting shows the devotion that the High Goddess and the mythical creature feel for each other.
According to ancient lore, the Avéquis can remain in the sky for days at a time.
Its wings have a remarkable endurance, they never seem to tire. They truly are
creatures of the sky, coming to the ground only to rest and eat.
Another astounding ability of the Avéquis is the blooming of flowers wherever its hooves touch the ground. Flowers are Nakashi's gift to the world, and each time an Avéquis lands, the Goddess is once again gracing the land with her gifts. The Avéquis has blessed the ground with its presence and flowers bloom to convey honour and gratitude upon the winged horse. The grounds of Asharvéa, where the Aeoliran Gods reside, are said to be forever in bloom due to this very fact. Many travelers have followed a trail of blooming flowers, hoping to find a resting Avéquis.
Territory. The Avéquis resides in Asharvéa, with Nakashi, although there have been sightings. Many people have claimed to have seen an Avéquis as it flew hundreds of peds above the ground. Such claims are not widely believed, since the observers often have the sun in their eyes as they look toward the heavens.
Habitat/Behaviour. The Avéquis is a gentle creature and does not cause harm of any kind. It represents the purity of Nakashi and is noble as it flys through the sky. The winged horse would not even kill a fly, but then again there is not an insect in the world of Caelereth that would bite such a majestic creature.
There are rumors as to what would happen if a mortal attempted to ride Nakashi's companion. It is believed that such a foolish mortal would be thrown off the back of the winged horse as it flew above the clouds. Only the beautiful High Goddess Nakashi is pure enough to ride this creature.
Diet. There are two conflicting theories as to the diet of an Avéquis. The first is believed by those that consider themselves educated, though the second is more often a belief of those faithful to the Goddess Nakashi.
The first theory is that the Avéquis eats what a normal horse would. It is believed that it eats oats, grass, and hay but in larger quantities. The second theory is that as a creature of Nakashi, the Avéquis feeds on her light alone. It is said to spread its glorious wings as it flies and absorb the sunlight through its golden feathers.
Mating. As a mythical creature, the Avéquis does not perform anything as earthly as mating. It is widely believed that a new Avéquis is born each time one dies of old age. Only time will kill these beautiful creatures, for nothing else upon the world of Caelereth would harm an Avéquis. A new Avéquis is born from the tears that Nakashi weeps over the loss of the old comrade. Even though a new one is born, Nakashi continues to weep for the rest of the day out of respect for her companion that has just passed from this world.
Myth/Lore. There are three myths that deal with the Avéquis, all of which are widely believed. The first is of the creation of the first Avéquis:
of Creation, Arkon, created the Avéquis to be a companion to the High
Goddess Nakashi. The Avéquis was born of the purity that is forever in the
aura of Nakashi. Arkon formed the Avéquis from Nakashi's purity as well as
from the light that shone upon the new world. Arkon created the Avéquis,
as golden as the light that sired it, for Nakashi, and he created the
Maerquis [Maer means dark in Tharian], embodiment of the darkest night,
for her husband, Polmaen. Both were born in the sky with magnificent wings
perfect for flight."
The second is of a man foolish enough to ride an Avéquis. A passage from a famous Aeruillian poem, where the author contemplates the unfortunate fate of the foolish mortal who thought he could ride Nakashi's animal, survives to this very day.
climbed astride the golden light,
There is a third myth, concerning the death of an Avéquis: It is said that when an Avéquis dies, after a lifespan of a few centuries, the sky is overcast and the sun will not be seen again until the next day. It is believed that this is due to Nakashi mourning the loss of one of her creatures. A gentle rain cascades to the earth as Nakashi weeps for the companion that has died. From these tears a new Avéquis is born.
Information provided by Vesk Lyricahl