The Curse of Frogs
Fanes of Barovia
Herein lies the Druidic story of “_ba ly saga_” which means “the saga of the three”, about the three Fey who, in ancient times, cared for the lands of Barovia and nurtured them, as a mother loves and nurtures her own child; and their holy Fanes, three.
Three celestial beings, the Fey sisters
Before any people lived in the valley known as Barovia, three celestial beings, the Fey sisters collectively oversaw the flora, fauna and land. Together in their unity, they were the mothers nature caring for the valley.
† The Forest Fey oversaw the plants and animals, their life and death.
† The Water Fey oversaw the lakes and the swamps, and the magic of earth.
† The Mountain Fey oversaw the land and sky, the air and stars.
Together they created a balance and harmony through the seasons.
When the first people came to the valley, they learned of the three Fey. The people respected the Fey and saw them as their goddesses. As the people learned to walk in harmony with nature, they came to pay tribute to the sisters, as the people were guests of the valley and the Fey.
The Fanes, the stone circles
These early folk created three stone circles, known as Fanes, to worship each fey goddess. The first stone circle (Fane) was built on the edge of the forest as a tribute to the Forest Fey. Another Fane was built along the river as a tribute to the Water Fey. The third Fane was built on a hill looking up towards the grand mountains as a tribute to the Mountain Fey.
Gifts to the Fey were proffered to the stones with each new season.
On the equi-nox of spring: wreaths of Tser flowers and the cries of newborns. It was said that the Ladies Three loved would look smilingly upon the coos or screams of infants in spring, so that babies born in that time were brough to the Fanes for blessign.
On the longest days of heat: bunches of Barovian grapes and the revels of youths. Long days of work were to be followed by nights of dancing and singing; to sleep before the dawn was to risk the Ladies’ displeasure.
On the equi-nox of nearwinter: bushels of apples and harvest crops, feasts and fine herbs. Offerings to the Ladies might be meat or milk, grain or fruit, or in times of famine just river reeds woven into intricate shapes of apology.
On the short nights of winter, the people would light candles and bring fresh warm loaves of
bread as a gift to keep the Fey warm during the long winter nights.
Fey Gems, the seeds of life
It is said that over time the Fey realized the people and their Druid order were also part of the cycle of life in the valley, and came to love them. Barovia was healthy and beautiful, but oft-covered with clouds and mist — its people tracked the moon more closely than the hidden sun. Seeing the plight of the farmers, they fashioned three gems of celestial magic and left them at the Fanes.
Each gem was buried safe in the earth, where it was said to give the sign for planting. Four times of the year the Druids would bear gifts and seek the signs at the Fanes; four times they would recite their rituals and honor the Ladies. This worship told them when to plant and when to harvest, when to take the herds up to the fresh summer pastures, and when to bring them home for the winters.
For centuries, the people lived in harmony with nature in the valley and felt blessed by the Fey.
When the first kings arrived in Barovia, they brought with them their religion of the Morning Lord. Churches were erected and the King was blessed by the Morning Lord to rule over the people. The Morning Lord cherished his beautiful sunrises, so he saw to it that the pervasive morning mists of Barovia were regularly burned off. This made the farmers crops grow stronger and taller, but slowly, the native lush plant-life of Barovia was scorched and withered. Eventually, the people of the villages forgot about the Fey and paid their tribute to the King and his Morning Lord for safety. They built walls around their villages to protect them from the wilderness and feigned evils preached to them by the church of the Morning Lord.
The Druids, with their beliefs no longer welcomed in the villages, moved into the winds and wild places, leaving the fledgling kingdom to its own fate, forevermore. Some say the wildfolk still live, in the mountains and the rivers, the forests and the fens. The farmers, in secret, not to disrespect the King and his Morning Lord, also pay tribute to the Fey, for they knew the Fey were the guardians that protected the land and provided harmony within the valley.
The Fey took no interest in the world of men who lived behind their walls and praying to their gods. For the Fey were in the valley long before kings arrived and would be in the valley long after the kings were gone.