She was born in a dark place.
A place where the night time took longer than necessary to pass. Always cold, with scarped mountains and thorns that flourished as sinister flowers.
She liked it that way. Or was it because she became too accustomed to the way things were? It was a safe place for the ones who were like her.
Hers was a destiny of ruling. She always had received the education and pressures that came with such duties
The valley where they lived was inhabited since ancient times. Below the aloof fair-haired Northmen with their elves and dwarves, above the passionate romance speakers with their cosmopolite world.
Thunder and fire were her gifts and inheritance. Particular to her draconic kind.
No one was particularly certain about where those dark powers came from. The green colour set her kind apart from other fairies, even. Her innate power, even more.
Ancient sources speculated that her origin was tied to the old God of thunder and protection, the one who carried a hammer and was in charge of defence. She was supposed to protect her realm from humans, and Maleficent understood why people would choose Thunaer: he was preferable to his father Wotan, who was in charge of calling people to war.
Thunaer was direct and powerful. Wotan was mysterious and dark. Everybody understood what Thunaer meant. Wotan was an entirely different matter.
Everybody knew them one way or another. They called them Thor and Odin in the colder north, but even then, everybody knew. Before the migrants came carrying their crosses and ideas of salvation, humans adored the one who carried the hammer and bewared the one who possessed the wisdom. After all, it was Wotan the one who obtained the thunder, even if his son used it most.
Maleficent liked to think she was more similar to Thor: strong, imposing, and a true warrior. But, as times passed and she grew, the young fairy understood other things: sacrifices and perverse things would never disappear. It was impossible to avoid it. Fate was a mysterious and traitorous force, that not even the Old Deities could be saved from.
Ancient lore stated that Wotan sacrificed himself hanging from a tree and lost an eye in exchange for knowledge. Few things in the world came without a price.
Physical pain. Mental one that follows. Agony. Fear. A loss of touch with reality. The end of life.
Despite everything Maleficent would have preferred to believe, she knew there was a reason why Wotan was often identified as the leader of the Hunt.
The Wild Hunt.
A party of fairies, spectres, undead warriors, and other freaks who flew the heavens on stormy nights with black hounds and slain most of what they found on their way: houses, animals, travellers. The luckiest ones found themselves straying from their paths. The not-so-lucky would be quickly killed. Others would be cursed and bound to the Hunt.
Maleficent would often find herself leading them when she was younger. It wasn't a stable position, only reached by those who gained enough influence or power. Others achieved it by tradition. She had to leave the post when the responsibilities of ruling became too much to handle.
Oh, yes. If she had to choose between Thunaer and Wotan, it would be the latter, only he who influenced both the living and the dead could have been able to execute such a feat.
Thunaer was a deity of protection. Wotan was a deity of knowledge and wisdom.
Thunaer was boisterous. Wotan was mysterious.
Thunaer ruled over noise and thunder. Wotan waved threads of destiny and pondered over the Mysteries.
If warriors were to attack, they would cry the name of Wotan. If warriors were to defend, they would do it in the name of Thunaer.
That's how things were.
Thunaer to the public, Wotan for the private matters.
Different versions of the stories spread across different lands, but time passed and Christianism filtered the Ancient Lore.
Maleficent had to learn to carry herself with elegance and dignity. Things were different when she was a young fae: Saxons, Langobards, Suebi, Gauls, Gothics, Frisians, and more. War, invasions, and butchery ruled across the continent, as a new religion spread.
Maleficent liked traditions but had to re-learn her manners. Naturally, elegance and sobriety were better than blood carnages. Things changed with the passing of centuries. The time for the fae was different. Maleficent and her people had to arrange their customs for the changing humans.
What was there before the cross and the saviour? In the west, some adored a horned man of antlers. In the east, Chernobog was feared. The southerners had their Underworld god who lived crossing the Styx. Worship, fear and cautious avoidance.
Then, what was left behind for her?
Thank you for reading!