Folkloric Fridays, Part VIII: Felícian Kólar, chosen of the White God

Felícian Kólar, chosen of the White God.  Felícian Kólar was a Serenite artisan and skilled apothecary who attended the thysia who fought in Belváros.  Once a day for many years, Kólar made a point to visit the shrine and offer up a plea to the White God to guide her in her work and to protect the young men and women she healed, whose lives were so fraught with danger.  She was a loyal and true follower of the god, though she never imagined herself to be important enough to garner its attention.

But one morning all of that changed, when Kólar awoke with the terrible reverberations of a fate echoing in her mind: You will walk into the arid lands beyond Belváros and wait there until instructed otherwise.  As swiftly as she could without sacrificing thoroughness, the apothecary gathered the belongings she would need for her journey and set off into the dry scrubland that presses up against the great city’s edges.  There she built a makeshift camp and settled in.

She waited for thirty-six days and thirty-six nights; where other Humans might have given up, or withered of thirst, or frozen during the long and cold nights, Kólar not only endured but thrived.  Her extensive herbal knowledge, combined with a hardiness of both body and spirit, was more than enough to keep her alive and well.  At dawn on the thirty-seventh day, a lovely young woman with hair as pale as hay appeared at her camp.  Kólar invited the woman to sit and cooked breakfast for both of them; and the pair sat in companionable silence as they ate.  When they had both finished the meal, the pale-haired woman looked at Kólar solemnly.

“Felícian Kólar,” she said, although Kólar had never mentioned her name to her guest, “you are a strong woman indeed.  I wonder if you might do me a great favor.”  And the pale-haired woman went on to explain that she was displeased with the Serenite empress, whose policies threatened “something of grave significance to me in this land.”  Kólar did not entirely understand the pale-haired woman’s words, but she did understand who her guest was, and what she believed she was to do: lead a rebellion against the empress.

Ever loyal, Kólar agreed to do what she could and, in the moons that followed, she gathered up allies and supplies as she had once gathered up her belongings—swiftly, but thoroughly.  When the rebellion finally broke out, Kólar commanded a sizeable force indeed, and after a brief but bloody struggle her faction emerged victorious.  The old empress was overthrown and a new emperor rose to take command of the country.  As his first act, the emperor declared a general pardon for all of the rebels—expect one: Kólar, the leader.  Instead of being pardoned, Kólar was branded a traitor for attacking the previous ruler of Seren in such a dishonorable manner.  She was seized by the emperor’s soldiers and tortured to death, once, in his dungeons before being branded and enslaved for the rest of her life.  Her spouse, too, was executed and then enslaved; and her three children were forced into service as thysia, a fate from which—it is said—only one escaped.