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A Thousand Thrones

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Marinette was only 14 years old when she noticed that her mother’s fruit trees grew in her presence. But as she wasn’t able to do it again, she had assumed that it was a mistake. It was four years later when it returned.

She was watching her papa, Tom: god of the hearth, baking a pie. The apples weren’t ripe yet, so without even thinking, she picked the apple up and gasped as the half ripe fruit expanded in her hand. Her mother, Sabine: goddess of the west wind, hurried over, gently taking it from her daughter’s hands. “Harvest…” her mother gasped, “our daughter is the goddess of the harvest.”

Marinette continued to ripen the picked apples and then moved on to the trees. She needed to confirm she was in fact the goddess of the harvest before telling the titan of good fortune, Tikki. She would most likely have to prove herself. When night fell, she watched as the moon goddess Chloe’s chariot rode across the sky, the unmistakable form of her asteriae Sabrina behind her. She prayed to the goddess of sleep Mirelle for pleasant dreams, and let her eyes droop shut.

By next morning, she was so nervous to the point she was afraid she would puke. She got an encouraging hug from both her parents before heading off to speak to the Titans about her domain. But when she got there, the main room was empty. Though chatter could be heard. She followed the noise, trying to stay quiet. She glanced into the open doors, listening to whispers of the Harvest goddess Lila. Her stomach churned as she turned away, hoping to hide. “I don’t believe her either…” said a quiet voice. Marinette held back a scream.

It was just Nooroo. Soft spoken, kind Nooroo. “Glad I’m not the only one,” she murmured, “how did she even prove herself?”

“She didn’t. Rather some of them acted as witnesses. Their faith was strong, but neither me nor Trixx believe that she’s the harvest goddess,” Nooroo paused, “is there any reason for your visit?” Marinette shook her head.

“No. Just thought I would stop by. That’s all.” Nooroo smiled reassuringly and brushed a hand across her cheek, before walking away, eyeing the deities inside warily.

Marinette quickly scurried off. How could Lila be the goddess of the harvest if she showed signs of her domain? It could be like Nathanael and Marc, who both share a domain as gods of inspiration, but that didn’t sit right. Regardless, there was no way to proof herself now. As she returned home, her spirits low, she couldn’t help but notice a large dog? At least she thought it was a dog. Her curiosity got the better of her as she headed down, hiding in the grove of trees. It wasn’t a dog. More of a large tiger. The tiger sniffed the ground before whimpering, lying down on the grass.

Marinette’s heart broke as she moved forward, barely paying attention to the size. As soon as she noticed her, a low growl rumbled from her. Marinette tsked softly, and held her hand out for the tiger to sniff. After she laid back down, Marinette sat next to her, hand following the collar down to the tag.

‘τίγρη, if found return to the underworld.’ “So your name is Tígrí then.” She murmured softly, running her hands through the tiger’s fur. “I’m sure how to return you to the underworld just yet. Can you maybe shrink a bit so it’s easier for take you with me?” Tígrí complied and shrunk down. Marinette picked up the tiger, rubbing her belly before heading home.

“How did everything go?” Her mother asked.

“I found a tiger,” she replied, “She’s from the underworld, but I wasn’t sure how to get her home. Other than asking Aurore. And you know how Aurore is.” Aurore, goddess of travels, was the only goddess to visit the underworld, her aurae to scared to go down there. The one downside dispite her aurae, Aurore was always busy. Her mother smiled softly.

“We’ll contact her first thing in the morning.” Marinette have a small thank you before heading to her room, creating a bed for her houseguest to sleep in. She was grateful her mother didn’t ask about officially being the goddess of the harvest, otherwise she would’ve broken down. And an angry Sabine was not to be trifled with. The west wind may be gentle, but she could create quite a storm by contacting the right wind nymphs.

Once again, she let sleep overtake her, her pain going with it.

“I’m very sorry Marinette,” Aurore said, “if I could make an exception in my day I would, but unfortunately a sea breeze needs my help,” Ondine, goddess of the ocean. no doubt. “I can however create a portal to the underworld so you may travel there yourself. But it’ll only hold for an hour so don’t get distracted.”

“I won’t.” Marinette replied. Aurore seemed satisfied.

“Wonderful.” Aurore took Marinette’s free hand and pulled her down to earth, the goddess barely able to say goodbye to her parents.

As soon as they had landed, Aurore had used her umbrella to create a portal. “This will bypass the ferryman. But again, don’t get distracted.”

“I won’t,” Marinette hugged the blonde goddess with one arm, “thank you Aurore. Truly.” The goddess smiled in reply, giving a final farewell to Marinette before flying off.

Marinette stared at the looming portal, placing Tígrí down. “Lead the way.” She cooed only to gasp as the formerly small tiger returned to her full form. Looking at the grove of trees once more, she descending into the portal, praying that no one would enter it.