Lurline, The Fairy Queen
Lurline is described as a magical, intelligent fairy, often depicted as barefoot and wearing a long orange robe. Several variations of [The Oziad] describe her as “shining brighter than the sun, standing taller than the greatest trees,” although this is illustrated in varying degrees.Sometimes only Lurline’s eyes are drawn as brilliant and luminous, and often she is seen as only slightly taller than regular humans.
The Lurlinist Creation Myth
In the beginning, there was only Lurline. Lurline was lonely; there was so much love in her heart, and no one to give it to. So she squatted and birthed the world. At birth it was only an ugly clay ball, but Lurline so loved her child that she took great care of it, and nurtured it as any mother would nurture her babe. Where she stroked and smoothed the muddy marble, grassy fields grew. Where she pinched and poked it, mountains and caves were formed. With every step she took upon it, new flowers and trees sprung forth. Eventually, Lurline grew weary, and laid down upon her creation to rest. Waking, she felt the need to relive herself, and in doing so, formed the oceans and seas. When this was done, she looked upon the world with new eyes, and wept for the beauty of it. Her tears became rivers, flowing across the face of the earth.
Where Lurline had laid the night before, there had grown the Tree of Life, and, its roots quenched by Lurline’s tears, it bore fruit. The fruit that ripened grew immensely large, weighing heavily from the branches. One by one, they dropped to the forest floor and split open. Gryphons, elephants, whales, and all the large beasts emerged from the sticky flesh of the fruit. The branches of the tree barren, it once more began to grow fruit, only this time to a modest size. When the fruit finally ripened and fell, cows, horses, men, and all the medium beasts came into existence. Finally, the tree grew fruit one last time, and from those smallest fruit were born the insects, bunyips, mice, and all the small beasts.
How Lurline Came to Favour the Lion
Everyone existed happily upon the world, each creature finding a place where it felt most comfortable. But Lurline knew that the world was still naked and unprotected from dark, external forces. In search of a solution, she asked the world for an answer.
The world replied with only one potential defense: deep below its surface there was a powerful source of magic, one which, if released, it could use to protect itself and all the creatures that existed upon it.
Not knowing how to reach this hidden magic, Lurline gathered all the animals for help. Immediately the rabbits, moles, and weasels tried to dig a tunnel, but the magic was so far below the surface that they only reached an impassible stone. The whales and fishes tried to swim around and under it, but the currents were strong, and constantly changing and they could not find their way through the maze of the sea floor.
Only one last path remained. Deep in the mountains, at the very top of the tallest of mountains, there existed a great pit of fire.
“Will you fly through the fire?” Lurline asked the hawk, “you are so swift and agile, you may be able to pass.”
“Nay,” said the hawk, “the fire will incinerate my feathers, and I’ll no longer be able to fly.”
“Will you run through the fire?” Lurline asked the snow bear, “you are so cold, you might not feel its heat.”
“Not I,” said the snow bear, “I would soon melt and turn to mist.”
“Will you step through the fire?” Lurline asked the dragon, “its flames would only warm your thick scales.”
“Certainly not,” said the dragon, “its fire is far greater than mine, and I would have my pride shattered for it.”
One by one, Lurline asked each of the animals if they would pass through the pit of fire to retrieve the great source of magic. Each one had its own excuse, and the animals began to quarrel amongst themselves as to who should be the one to attempt such a dangerous task. Finally, one voice emerged over all the others. “I will try, my queen.” The animals turned to see that it was the lion who had spoken.
Lurline fell to her knees and embraced the lion for his courage. Everyone fell quiet as they watched him approach the edge of the fiery pit, then dive into its centre. A long time passed as they waited for him to return. With each moment, they grew more certain that he must be dead.
Then, in a great burst of flame, the lion leaped forth and returned to the top of the mountain. His fur had all burned away, and the tip of his tail, which had lingered behind him in the flames for a moment too long, was charred completely black. But where Lurline had embraced him, the lion was unharmed. His fur remained as long as it had ever been, protecting his head, and the gift he carried in his mouth.
Gently, Lurline took the bundle from the lion, and found that he had retrieved a grand and beautifully embroidered cloak.
“Thank you, Lion,” Lurline said, and she cast the cloak upward into the air. Like a net it encompassed the world completely. All the creatures marveled and wept at the great detail and patterns in its fabric, and knew that it truly held the powerful magic they had hoped for.
The world was protected, and Lurline and all the creatures knew they owed a great debt to Lion. For evermore, they knew never to displease him, for without his great courage, they would be without the safety and beauty of the sky.