Three spheres comprised the world. The waters, the earth, and the skies. Upon first glance, it would seem that every creature lived in its own sphere. The creatures of the waters lived in the waters. The creatures of the earth lived upon or beneath the earth. But the world was not so sharply divided. And one of the spheres was not truly inhabited by any creatures.
The creatures of the skies did not live in the skies. They soared and fluttered, sometimes for long stretches of time, but a time would come when they need descend and perch.
Some creatures lived where these spheres meet. Some creatures lived part of their lives in one sphere and part in another.
Once, in a long-forgotten age, every creature could live in every sphere.
This was so because of an energy, a force that spun around and through the world.
Read More All the Magic Left the World
The kingdom was renowned for the quality of their spider silk thread and the many textiles that were made from it, gowns, cloaks, rope, and even armor. The reason for the quality and abundance of the silk was a large, but benign, spider that lived only, it seemed, in the kingdom named for it, Tortanak.
Indeed, the kingdom established the Royal Spider Company, comprised of the most gifted of spiders who were employed spinning silk for the royal court. Most spiders only made the silk threads. It was human hands that weaved the thread into wondrous things. But some spiders, like the royal spiders, could themselves weave their own silk into fine garb and tapestries. They were treated with special dignity and offered many riches, though most only sought such humble gifts as a warm place to live and spin.
Read More The Queens of Silk and Apple
On the evening after the night of the full moon, the messenger who had been sent to find help approached the Third Village with a small force from one of the monarchs of a nearby land. They encountered the eerie sight of dead bodies on the road before they reached the village. The skin of each body was drained of all color and pocked with lesions, the limbs bent unnaturally, and each face was frozen in anguish.
When the force of soldiers reached the village and dismounted, they were greeted by a most awesome and terrible sight. The dead lay everywhere. On the streets, at the thresholds of homes, by the well. The bodies were gruesomely bloated, pale, and the limbs were constricted in awkward angles and poses. Most were covered in cobwebs.
Read More Spidercake