pretentious cosmic picture

~KAANURSHO or Stories of the Powers~
Chapter 3: The Trapping of Tuao

Before the coming of man to Tu, and before Klaschi fell to Earth and became the smith of the Kaanho, but instead led the star-warriors, the war between sun and stars was new. Klaschi devised a trap for Tuao, being mighty among arificiers. He and the dwarfqueen developed a rainbow material, and from it they made Edonarter's bow. It had another property if refined would absorb heat and light.

Now, in those days, though Tuao originally had kept to a day-night cycle to oblidge the Elves who worked in Chialta, his path was quite wayward...sometimes he would rise in the southwest, sometimes set in the northeast. Towards the utterest north Tu was much closer to the edge of the skydome it was encased in for Tuao to easily rise, so that part was somewhat frozen. Ditto for the uttermost south. Yet he would wander far and wide, scorching some parts, neglecting others. He would sometimes pause in his flight and relax on the ground, and he had one spot in especial, in the southern central part of Cathrarho that he settled. They say the great desert of Thiamimm was a green and fertile land before he settled there, and now it is bare and sandy.

The star-warriors, that night, took the rainbow material and hung them in great curtains, a fine net, across the northern part of Tu and across the southern also, far to the north and south of Kaanrarho and Cathrarho. So fine are they that they are invisible, save when light comes close, and then they erupt in shimmering sheets of color.

The star-warriors left them hanging, and then began their nightly retreat before the coming sun-dragon. He rose in the east this time, and was soon above the face of Tu, and headed in a northerly direction...

Only to become enmeshed in the Northern Lights. His cries were horrible as the net enmeshed him in rainbow colors and he felt the light and heat, his very essence, pulsing out into the web of light. Angusin heard the screams and saw the world's light being smothered and drained. He took Klaschi and said, "Clever trap. Too clever. The world's light is draining away. I take no sides in your dispute with Tuao, but Linfal, who you are supporting, is the last who would support this. If you had seen the dimness in the First World when Sagin cast C'Don's body on the ground, dimming the will have to wage war without draining the light of the world."

"The light is not lost. It is sapping into the web, and instead we will have two great curtains of light, under our control, to dim or grow at our bidding."

"And what of Tuao? He is still my half-brother, your uncle. He will be freed." He called to the swiftest of the Kaanho. "Edonarter, go and free Tuao!"

Below, Sashang mistress of the seas saw Tuao her lover struggle, but her most towering waves could not reach the high sky where Tuao was enmeshed. Tuao saw Edonarter coming, with his multicolored rain-bow and arrows, and thought the two multicolored artifacts meant that Edonarter...or rather, Angusin, whom Edonarter had served faithfully...set this trap. He saw Edonarter take out his knife, and Tuao bravely said, "Do your worst, child--but it will not be an honorable death."

But Edonarter cut the great net-curtain that held Tuao, to Tuao's great surprise, and held him. Carrying the great sun-dragon, whose radiance was now cool enough to hold, he rushed him to Chialta. There Linfal worked to heal him.

Angusin summoned both Tuao and Klaschi in front of him, near the Flame. "Your disputes are none of my concern, but when you endanger the world waterrimmed, you make it my concern! Klaschi, your rash action would have left the world cold and lightless, save for your curtains, and those could be rended by Sagin's malice."

Tuao smirked, but Angusin now turned on him. "And you, sun-dragon, have something to answer for, also! By keeping such a wayward path, you have harmed parts of the World Waterrimmed, in our keeping for the coming of Man, and the animals and creatures who dwell there now. Look at the great desert of Thiamim, which is a result of your carelessness!"

He held his great spear Arloss, which is Victory. "The curtains will stay, at least. It will keep Tuao from straying too far to the north or south. There are no lands there, and his loss there will only turn more of the areas to ice, with will slow down the waters draining to the under-Ocean. For Sashang was complaining that too many of her waters were spilling into under-Ocean, and that if it kept up at this rate the oceans will be depleted unless more storms and rains come, bringing new water. But if we freeze more to the north and south, less water will pour out, having only outlets to the east and west."

"Many of our people have died in the battles, Angusin. We are not as immortal as you are, and my own sister, Thron's mother, died in such a battle."

"Then you can make peace with Tuao."

"Not while he threatens Linfal."

Tuao hesitated, but then said, "Few can dictate to me, and you, Klaschi, are not one of them."

"Enough!" shouted Angusin, and both looked at him. "I will not have a replay of the war of stars and sun here in my chambers. Klaschi, no more traps for Tuao. Win fairly in battle or not at all. Tuao, you keep your flights over Tuao strictly between the two auroras. In fact, I want you to always raise in the east and set in the west, for if you prefer one side to the other, it will eventually sear those lands as Thiamim was."

Tuao bristled a little and his wings raised in anger, and Angusin got real close to him. "Edonarter didn't have to free you, you know."

"No more traps?"

"No more traps."

"That will do," and the sun-dragon flew off.

"He didn't say he would agree to the conditions about rising in the east, setting in the west."

"He will. He just doesn't want to back down in front of others. I know him better than you, son."

"You can have him."

Klaschi left the chambers, and Angusin was left to consider the beauty of the auroras, which he could see as Tuao the west, as Angusin instructed him to do. A smile played on his lips. Beauty and terror, anger and shifting colors so lovely they can pierce the heart. He spoke to himself, half in wonder. "What a world we are building. What a strange, terrorfilled--beautiful world."

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Copyright © 1997 Al Schroeder