The Feast of Moranu...
Thanks for having me here on the occasion of the release of THE SNOWS OF WINDROVEN, my standalone story from AMID THE WINTER SNOW.
This story was fun for me to write because it takes place over my imagined midwinter holiday, the Feast of Moranu. I’m a big fan of Christmas for many reasons—the lights, the glitter, the food, the gifts, the general sense of festivity while winter rages outside—but not so much the religious aspects. So the Feast of Moranu is my answer to a winter solstice holiday that has everything I love about Christmas, too.
In the world of The Twelve Kingdoms and The Uncharted Realms, Moranu is one of three sister goddesses. She is the goddess of the night, of the moon, of darkness and all that occurs in the shadows. Her feast naturally occurs at midwinter, during the longest night. I set the story at Castle Windroven—and the journey there—because Windroven is well-known for the spectacular Mornai storms that dump huge amounts of snow on the region. Traveling there, the characters experience the preparations for the Feast of Moranu at the manse of a friend, one who seriously gets into the holiday.
Once snowbound at Castle Windroven, the story becomes also about finding the meaningfulness of the Feast Day amid all the trappings of celebration. Fundamentally, observing the longest night is about accepting the darkness, and recognizing how light comes out of it again. This happens literally in the observance of the Feast of Moranu, but also metaphorically in the characters. Especially for the hero, who finally emergences from his own long night, finally shedding his blindness and allowing himself to step into light and love.