The Union of the Spyglass

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Digital drawing. Composite image. Center, a floating island wreathed with glowing clouds, surrounded by a wispy net of light. Behind the island, a circle encloses a partial view of the moon at top and a night sky. Encasing the circle is a square, showing the same view of the sky. Top right corner shows bolts of lightning. Top left corner shows colorful sparks of light. Along the bottom stand a row of twelve people seen in silhouette from the back, each person holding one hand on the shoulder of the person standing next to them. This square is flanked by thin panels. The right panel at bottom depicts a partially constructed ladder beside a support tower. The left panel shows a spyglass or telescope angled to view the floating island. A final set of panels flanks the rest of the image. The scope extends into the final left panel. Thick gray fog or clouds appear at bottom. At right middle, three smaller floating islands are chained together with bridges. The sky above displays colored gases. At left, a net of light extends and expands from one corner of the island. A larger overlay of the circle showing the sky and moon sits to the left of the whole image. A smaller overlay sits to the right.

Not in the beginning, but early in the history of the world, many mortals suspected that the ones who called themselves gods were shirking their duty of properly governing the world.  Some responded by entreating the gods.  Others by railing against them.  

But a few decided to try answering the question of what it was that the gods spent their time doing if they were not doing what was expected.  

It was known that the gods lived far above the earth and somewhere below the stars.  Their abode was not visible to mortal eyes, but if human sight could be extended, perhaps human eyes could see the comings and goings of the gods, and follow their course to where they landed in the mortal earthly realm. 

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The Once-God Rampion

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Digital image of a person seen from the back walking away. The person is barefoot and wearing a flowing skirt or dress. Wavy and curling strands of hair in different muted colors flow outward and back from the head, entirely obscuring the top half of the body. One strand on either side is connecting to the tops of trees and appears to be absorbing the trees. A strand on the left is connected to a purple flower with five petals, a rampion bellflower. Hazy foliage frames the bottom half.

She was far too kindly, and therefore looked upon with disdain by her fellow gods.  The other gods feared that the balance of power was being tipped too much toward mortal creatures, to whom the kindly god had given many gifts.  The kindly god argued that what she had given the mortal creatures shifted the balance by such an infinitesimal degree that all the gods could give what little she had given to the mortals, or else she could give all her power, and it still would not equal what the gods possessed. 

To teach her a lesson, the other gods diminished the kindly god by half.  

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The Blacksmith’s Bucket

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The Blacksmith's BucketWhen the world was new, there was much chaos.  Wars between gods.  Wars between gods and those they were charged with guarding and guiding.  The birth of terrible monsters on sea and land and sky.  The birth of creatures who could cross between the realms of the living and the dead, who could haunt the dreams of all creatures who dreamed.

In the midst of it all, there were those who, perhaps in vain, still endeavored to live and love and build in the new world.     Continue reading

A Sword Named Blasphemy

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Blasphemy“It is our task to maintain balance,” the god in the gray robes said.  He lifted his head up, even though he was half again the sword-smith’s height.  He cast his gaze downward.

The sword-smith knelt before the god and bowed his head.  When he raised it again, his eyes were full of grief and disbelief.  “How can one woman threaten the balance of the world?”

The gray god’s brow creased slightly.  “Many ways.  By questioning the gods for one, as you do now.”

The sword-smith bowed his head again.  “I only seek to understand.”

“It is not your place to understand the will of the gods.  Only to accept it.”  The gray god’s voice was soft.  His tone gentle.  But the sword-smith would later remember that it was the first time he heard something else in a god’s voice.  A tremor.  Of doubt.

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