pretentious cosmic picture

Chapter 13: The Servants of the Kaanho

Angusin brooded, atop the world's highest mountain. The Flame atop there was comforting, and they rested by its comforting flickering...but they did not sleep nor dream; thus Angusin could hear of things that were happening in the Greater World, and heard what C'Don had done for the creation of man.

"If humanity will be as helpless as they say, they will need help. It sounds like we have some time, but we need to get this world in order."

Zaer spoke, looking far below him. "These heights are fine, Angusin, but I see some misty lands down there, where Tuao's light will not be as bright. I would rather dwell there."

Mayalaph spoke. "And I see some green lands beyond. There would I rather dwell, where things are growing and loving and reproducing, rather than here on this cold spire of rock."

"Patience. You may have dwellings in both places, if need be. But we have only a limited amount of time, and neither Nado nor Pipiath are here to help us build. We need some to help us in our building..."

He looked at the boat that drew them here. The power that shrank them, that still spoke of the Greater World, was still there, potent and great. He could sense it within the ship. With a song, Angusin brought it forth, pulsing and mighty.

"Zaer, I need a rock and I need some mist." Turning to the Flame. "I also thought to use the sparks from the Flame, not the Flame itself, for the making of helpers."

"Yes...I'm glad to see you thinking for yourself, rather than turning to me for everything. Use the power you have drawn forth for these helpers, the sparks, being detached from my flame, will have power on their own."


Half the power he invested into the mist Zaer had gathered, half of it into the rock. The mist became a tall, thin, aquiline being, and Angusin said,

"I name you Titaror, first of the elves, and the fashioning and use of that wild power called magick shall be your province." Then the rock shifted and stirred, and became a female, squat and short, with mighty arms. "You I call called Astusya, first of the dwarves. Some magic you have, but it will go in the making of things, not kept in yourself.

Linfal returned from her nightly round, just as they were being created.

"Ahhhh. How lovely," she said. Titaror was quick with the power called magick, to move and shape things, but Astusya was by far the greater artisan, starting to make great halls for the Kaanho to live in. Linfal found Titaror was quicker to learn art and song and poem, whereas Astusya was quicker to learn the shaping of things and how things fit together.

But then Tuao arose, in the sunrise, and the two cried out in pain. They hid in the shades of the boat, till Tuao had completed his circuit.

"Is it because I made them at night, C'Don?" Angusin asked the Flame.

"Partly. You have not the skill nor the power to make a truly satisfactory creation, so while these are mightier than humans will be, they will bear this weakness. You will have to regulate Tuao's comings and goings, so there will be a period he will not be above the world."

When Tuao dipped below the horizon of the world, to fly below it above the Under-Ocean, Astusya and Titaror came out. "Don't worry," said Angusin. "We shall find ways to compensate for that. Build shelters quickly for you, and then dwelling places for us."

Astusya leered. "It wasn't that bad. We had a pleasurable time, cuddled together, while the Cruel Light passed by overhead."

Mayalaph smiled. "You did indeed. And I will ensure that your joinings are fertile, so you will have more help as time goes on."

"But before that," said Angusin, "I will make some others to help you, and to aid us during the daytime hours." After he had done that, two of the sparks from the flame were captured and under Angusin's power grew and grew, until they became two beings of flame, who in turn bowed to Angusin.

"You I name Thopyth," to the male, "and you I name Terhest," to the female. You will aid Astusya in the smelting of metals and also guard us against any attacks from the shadows of Sagin. You will be the first of the jinn. "

When Tuao, the sun, came again, there was already a shelter built for the elf-man and dwarf-woman, and they retired. Mayalaph smiled, for she knew these beings did not dream, but would occupy their sheltering time in amorous pursuits. Angusin called the sun-dragon, and it descended.

"Tuao, I have a favor to ask. I know you have been travelling this world, both under and over it, in a pretty wayward fashion. Sooner or later you might get tired, and wish to stay in one place. Though we will build you a palace here, and if you like, you can rest here at times, can you give a long period of time when you are underneath the world, or resting somewhere else? I made some servants to make us a city and gleaming buildings, but since my power is not C'Don's, even though I tried to apply some of his, they are imperfect in that your light is too strong for them. If you shine constantly here, the building of our city will take far longer and my servants will not be able to do much good."

"No problem," said Tuao. "The Under-Ocean is wide and beautiful also. How about this? I will spend two-thirds of a span crossing the sky up here, noting things happening and banishing the shadows of Sagin for a time. Then for another third I will be either under the world, or perhaps with Sashang." The sun-dragon smiled. "Now that Sagin is imprisoned she some company."

Thus the progression of day and night was born. Angusin introduced Tuao to the first two jinn, Thopyth and Terhest, and Tuao was delighted. "Ahhh, now here are servants after my own heart! Their light is not as great as mine, but we are alike."

So the building of a city atop the great mountain proceeded. At night the elf-king and dwarf-queen...soon aided by their children, who grew swiftly...would work on the buildings and maintenance of the city. By day they would hide and either make love, or work in shelters on favorite artifacts or spells. The elves soon became two branches, the light elves, like Titaror their male ancestor, wise and skilled in song and poetry, in spells and magick, and the dark elves, or dwarves or gnomes, who excelled in the making of artifacts and magical objects. The gnomes found that they were even more sensitive to the sun than the elves, so they hid in caves for preference, and also used it to mine for metals. The elves found that the cover of a deep forest was enough for them to walk unafraid, that sunlight filtered through innumerable leaves did not hurt them hardly at all. Stil, they preferred the nighttime, and built their homes in vast hills, and could not abide open sunlight nakedly applied.

The jinn aided the Kaanho at night, smelting metals, running errands. They too multiplied, and maintained stations further down the mountain to prevent any attacks from Sagin. Chialta grew and flourished.

Next Chapter.

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Copyright © 1997 Al Schroeder