Ekibastus would never have set out on the pilgrimage if he had known that he would be venerated as a saint after his demise.
It had not occurred to him to set out on this long journey if he had not heard the sound of these wonderful bells in a dream. They were meant for him, only for him, and led him far away from his home. He interpreted them as the voice telling him to set off.
The old man, probably already blessed with white hair, left his family behind and pursued his goal with only a stick and his coat. For years he travelled across the vast prairies, along rugged coasts and parched lands. Ekibastus lived from begging.
He met the good and the bad. He saw being human in all its forms - as human and as animal. He learned to distinguish what was lacking in human beings, which needs they were conscious of and which were unconscious. Ekibastus recognised the diversity of the human being and wrote down his findings.
He was always eager to share his stories with the people. He told them how to live and how to find happiness without harming nature, without harming themself.
Wars had become commonplace when Ekibastus disappeared from the scene of his homeland. When the flames of death tried to attack him, he fled across the water in a sailboat and lived away from humanity for many months. The old man had it good. His previous writings were lost, but not his deeds. He was remembered by many people.
The longer he was lonely, the sooner he became clearer in his mind. He recognised the many weaknesses and faults of society and believed that one day there would be a change. He no longer wanted to write anything down, but speak directly to the people. He wanted to go back to tell stories and explaining his ideas.
Years had passed since he had begun his pilgrimage. Ekibastus had long since abandoned his faith in the deities and lost himself in his eccentricity. His life followed the stream, steadily towards the sun, when it set he was drawn across many miles of water without land. He now saw it as his destiny to travel the long way, to travel to distant cultures to offer them the good in man.
After five or six years, Ekibastus arrived on his sailing boat in a bay with two islands. He stayed on one of them, where the fruit ripened by itself and fortified himself for his onward journey. He marched on foot, deeper into the vast land, in the hope of encountering an educated civilisation.
While he always found villages, he retreated into the surrounding mountain ranges. He urged the people to think instead of act, and so to believe in tomorrow that it shines as beautifully as the sun. He told not of fate or chance, but of faith in oneself and the power inherent in everyone. He taught to decide for oneself instead of relying on deities.
His words remained unheard for a long time. He was called the old crank and no matter where he appeared, his reputation had already overtaken him and he was chased out of the settlement. The old man followed his white beard, which led him further west. His stick was already rotten and yet he kept it with him. His coat was torn by his deeds and his help. He renounced the yarn he had been given, by the few who had listened to him.
Ekibastus found himself lost in the mountain forests when he met the fox and the wolf.
They had a discussion that went on for ages, with the fox demanding not to be eaten by the wolf. After all, they were after the same game. Ekibastus was convinced that if he could manage to appease the two enemies and negotiate, he would be allowed to go back to humanity and talk to them about peace and tomorrow.
With his knowledge, Ekibastus managed to get the fox and wolf to paw each other and now hunt together to feed their families. Ekibastus was satisfied with his deed and travelled out of the confusing forests.
His journey took him further to a large freshwater lake, where he wandered along until he reached a settlement where the tribe had named themselves northerners.
The inhabitants there worshipped a nymph who introduced herself as Ponor. She liked to show herself on the shore in the evening hours. She was the deity for harvest and fertility. But even though she did not speak a word that people could understand, the tribe interpreted it as something important and sublime.
Ekibastus learned that there was another tribe living nearby who worshipped a similar deity. The two tribes hated each other and fought each other regularly. His path led him to the southerners at the saltwater lake. Having gained a lot of experience over his years of wandering, Ekibastus was sure he could talk to them without being chased away straight away.
They worshipped another nymph, Doline, who, like her counterpart in the north, Ponor, no one could understand. She too was presented as a deity and her word was law. The old man was thrown out and almost killed when he started arguing about the foolishness. He now realised that the two tribes were making life easy for themselves and shifting the responsibility onto someone else, someone who was not human.
Full of fear, Ekibastus returned to the northern settlement and stayed quiet. One evening, he was invited by the Quaestor. He listened attentively to the old man as he told of the origin of the conflict between the two tribes.
Once the goddess Myriad created the world and retreated to the mountain that could be seen from the northerners and the southerners. No one dared to climb the sacred mountain, as they would die if they did so. The goddess who lived there was gentle and noble, she gave man speech and conscience. That is why, every full moon, the life of a firstborn was sacrificed to thank her.
One day her child came from the mountain to the valley of the northerners and settled in the lake. She was the daughter of Myriad and was called Ponor. With her appearance, the fish stocks in the lake grew and the harvest became abundant so that no one had to suffer hunger.
The people honoured and idolised the nymph and presented her as a new deity. Almost forgotten was Myriad, who learned nothing of all this until the next full moon.
Myriad looked at what had happened and asked her daughter to return. But Ponor refused to return to the lonely mountain, preferring to stay with the people where she could be worshipped.
This enraged Myriad and she ordered her second daughter, Doline, to go to the southerners to fortify the word of the goddess there and to attack the northerners. There, too, the people fell for the beauty of the nymph and the harvest increased immeasurably. The southerners built Doline a temple. Myriad, who learned of this, was so furious that it was said that the mountain smoked for days as she plotted in her cave to bring back the two daughters.
One stormy night, she formed a valley with her bare hands and divided the plateau that separated the northerners and the southerners into two. From then on, there was a connection between the freshwater lake and the saltwater lake.
Myriad made the grain grow and flourish there as if by magic, and brought every fish from both lakes to the river and tamed the cattle so that the two peoples became aware of it. Her plan had succeeded. The two tribes met in the valley and both claimed this territory for themselves. Then, when Ponor and Doline learned that their sister had ascended to a deity herself, they refused to believe it, seeing themselves as the only true one.
A war began between the northerners and the southerners, led by the nymphs.
Many decades had passed since that day and Myriad continued to wait for her plan to bear fruit, but she seemed almost forgotten.
Ekibastus was shocked and surprised at the same time when he learned about this conflict. He did not understand how Myriad could commit such a crime, it was not only her daughters she was goading to defeat herself but also her creation. He saw it as his destiny to put an end to this war.
The northerners were happy about this and believed he would come with a secret weapon that would kill everyone in the south, but he wanted to talk. He wanted to climb the mountain where Myriad lived and talk to her to put an end to this.
He was warned and his coat was almost torn apart when he did not come to his senses. Ekibastus climbed up the mountain. The old man was gone for days and weeks, they already thought he was dead when he came back one night before a great feast.
As proof of his meeting with Myriad, he raised his stick, which was now made of the precious minerals from the mountain. It was now his duty to end this war.
Ekibastus sought conversation with the southerners and he was received festively. The rumour that he had climbed the mountain was known to them and they wanted the man with them to underline the superiority.
He refused and spoke to Doline personally. The power of the stick gave him the ability to speak and understand the language of the nymph. The nymph did not see the mistake she had made and Ekibastus came to his end.
The old man stayed with the southerners while a new battle had begun and one night received enlightenment. What he wanted to preach to the people had become action here and now. He knew how to solve the problem.
Ekibastus took the staff and turned Doline into stone. The southerners gradually realised what had happened and acknowledged their folly. The old man travelled back to the northerners and there too, after a conversation where Ponor did not realise her mistakes, he turned her into stone.
It did not take long for the two tribes to realise that they were under the influence of magic and regain their sanity. Peace finally came after many decades and the two tribes wanted to make a big banquet for Ekibastus, right in the middle between the two territories, to thank him.
With that, Ekibastus brought down upon himself the wrath of the goddess. Not only had she been completely forgotten, but now they were paying homage to a mortal. During the feast, Myriad personally appeared from the top of the mountain and demanded that Ekibastus be handed over.
The two tribes were firmly against betraying their hero, but suddenly the old man voluntarily stood before the goddess. He explained to her what he wanted to explain to the daughters and what he had come to.
Man does not need a deity to determine their life. Each person is responsible for themself, what they do in their life span, not the gods. Myriad didn´t want to hear any of it. In a thunderous rage, she took the stick from him. With a blow to Doline she wanted to free her from her bonds, but Myriad smashed her daughter and killed her with it.
The goddess, already red with rage, blamed Ekibastus and turned him to stone and smashed him.
The northerners and the southerners, standing in fear before the goddess, did not know what to do. She asked them to start everything as they had done many years ago, to sacrifice a child to her every full moon. When she returned to her mountain, the two tribes made a plan to kill the goddess.
Many people died while climbing the mountain and the few remaining fought a fierce battle with the goddess. In the end, the people prevailed through sheer willpower and freed themselves from the chains of oppression.
They saw neither Myriad nor her daughters as their deity, but Ekibastus, who had helped to unite the two tribes with his words. They collected the debris of his destroyed body and laid it in a grotto.
They threw the remains of the goddess into a deep shaft on a small plateau, a remnant of the plateau that had shattered into several pieces during Myriad's rampage, while they left Ponor standing in the freshwater lake and the rock needles in the saltwater lake, Doline's remains also lingering. They were to be remembered forever as a memorial.
This legend of Ekibastus is still told today among this united tribe, which, despite linguistic and cultural differences, celebrates a great festival every year in honour of Ekibastus, the liberator.