pretentious cosmic picture

~KAANURSHO or Stories of the Powers~
Chapter 1: The coming of Pheonatlas

Long ago, before man came to Tu, Tuao was once unfaithful to Sashang with a jinn-daughter of Terhest's, the jinn-guardian of the gates of Chialta. Both Tuao and the jinn are beings of fire and heat, and thus it should not be a surprise when Tuao and Sashang had a fight, that his wild and wayward nature should lead him to take consolation among the jinn-females. For a few months they amused each other, and then Sashang and Tuao got back together. Yet there was a child, Pheonatlas. Manform in shape, indeed, more solid seeming then most jinn, still he exuded a heat that was withering and mighty, and unlike other jinn who could control it, so great was the force that it threatened to melt the beautiful statues and buildings of Chialta.

Angusin Starfather summoned Pheonatlas. "If you stay here, you will melt many of the beauties here. I bear you no ill-will. Both your sire and your grandparents are friends of mine. But since your flame burns so fiercely, you are a threat to us all. Choose anyplace on Tu or under it or over it to make your home." Pheonatlas smiled. "Truth to tell, Kaanking, I am enough my father's son that being in a place where I am not the master is a bit grating, though I bear you no ill-will. For that reason I will not take to the sky, where Tuao shines even brighter and more fiery than I can. If I take to Tu itself, I will burn much of it. No, I will descend instead, to where the fiery salamanders live, and eke out a kingdom of fire below the surface of Tu. I ask the leave for the jinni to visit me at will."

"You have it. I ask only that you go deeper than the dark elves, the dwarves, are wont to go."

So Pheonatlas built the Deep Realms, which are in treaty with the Dwarves who lived a little higher, but still below the surface. There rocks flows like water, it is so hot. New and strange metals are made, as he plays with the stuff of rock itself. Sometimes the dwarves, trying to access the heat for their forges, will break through...but sometimes they hit a major vein of such, and the hot molten rock shoots through their tunnels and towards the surface. It erupts on mountains, and men call them volcanoes. Pheonatlas does not allow this out of malice. He has little interest in men or other living intelligent beings, save perhaps for dwarves and jinn. His concern is with the sculpturing of rock and the making of metals. He did teach Man how to use fire, but warned that if fire escaped, it could easily kill, and he will not restrain it.

Pheonatlas is considered one of the half-Kaan or almost-Kaan, like Thron, and many consider him the Kaan of fire.

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Copyright © 1997 Al Schroeder