File1322610753.jpg-(163 KB, 542x800, Marzanna.jpg)
Since it has been a while since that thread I made on slavic myth, I'll retell one of the many legends surrounding Marzanna, the goddess of death, the seasons (especially winter) and nightmares.
At the beginning of each Spring, the goddess is (re)born as a virginal, kind-hearted maiden who seeks to nurture life in all its forms, filling the world with warmth and joy.
At the end of Spring she inevitably falls in love with a mortal man, and as their passion grows the whole world heats together with Marzanna, bringing upon summer. Eventually the relationship grows colder, for no mortal man can withstand the presence of a goddess for long, and the pair drifts more and more apart. Filled with melancholy, Marzanna's grief engulfs the world in frigid winds, bringing upon fall.
Inevitably, Marzanna discovers that the man has been cheating on her with another mortal woman. Filled with rage she seeks him out to confront and slay him, but he flees and hides from her. In bitter anger she decides to destroy the world itself in retribution (and to ensure that he and his woman suffer). As she gave life, so she takes it - choking plantlife, taking away all warmth, and freezing the world over. Actively malicious, she will take any chance given to her to torture, maim, and kill mortals.
Eventually (and, as always, inevitably), after her power weakens due to her broken heart, the people gather in a ritual to burn effigies of her and then drown them. This destroys Marzanna, but as she is a goddess she is reborn in her first form, as the virginal maid of spring, and the tale repeats itself.
(Note that though wikipedia (where I took the picture from) labels the characters as different it is my belief they are in fact one and the same, given one is the embodiment of winter and the other that of spring, which fits the cyclical view of Marzanna.).