The Silver Pillar
The Ten came to Calithwain and saw that it was a
bare, empty land with no living creature to be seen. "Let
us divide this space,"
Fiki. "Each shall have a piece to treat as he
knelt on the bare earth to the
West and claimed it for her own.
Haluk took the East,
while Theored accepted the North. The twin brothers moved
to the South. Hotan and
Callnera did not move. "I shall
guide the animals of this new land," Hotan said.
"And I shall create the laws," said Callnera.
"My place shall be wherever there is an open spot,"
"I shall stay here, in the center," said
Fiki gazed around in dismay. "But I, who originated
this plan, who have solved our problems! What is left for
"You shall have the borders," Callnera said. "For
without those our land is defenseless."
So each set about perfecting their realm. Theored
grasped the earth in his hands a clenched them hard,
driving the earth into furrows and ridges, creating high
mountains and deep caves. Sidaria sat on her corner of
dry, unadorned earth, and sang of the beauty of forests and
meadows. Slowly, gently, green sprouts uncurled from the
earth, joyfully growing higher and higher at the sound of
her lovely voice.
Nulaan touched the ground and rivers and streams
bubbled up from beneath the surface. She called them up as
she sat in the south, and the place of her sitting is now
Lake Lushana. Haluk left things as they were, a barren
expanse of sand. "For," he said. "Things are sometimes
better left as they are." But the twins quarreled over
what would become of their portion.
For five days they argued, while the other Eight
begged them to settle their problems. Finally, on the
sixth day, they decided to settle their battle through
armed combat. Each built a spear of hard, black obsidian.
When the time came, they threw in the same motion. Two
spears hurled in a single, swift movement. Then two twins
lay bleeding on the sands, pierced through the heart by the
others' spear. With their last breaths, each begged the
other's forgiveness. They died clasped hand in hand.
Nulaan let out a piercing wail, and burst into heaving
sobs over the double loss of life. Her tears flooded Lake
Lushana, traveling down the river to flood the twins'
portion and to create the endless ocean, which was so vast
that it spilled over to the West. Her siblings were too
grieved to comfort or prevent her. Then Sidaria proclaimed
that never again should single combat be used to settle
personal disagreements in Calithwain.
So the twins were entombed at the bottom of the sea
that was their monument, and the remaining Eight moved as
one towards the center of their new land.
Then Jixil, the youngest, called a silver mirror into
the center of the land. The Eight all joined hands around
the mirror, and began to sing a song at first sad, then so
glorious and beautiful that it could never be sung twice in
this world. The mirror curved and stretched, and became a
cylinder reaching up to the sky, shining with the light of
the dazzling Eight. More and more light poured into the
mirror, first from the Eight, and then from Calithwain
itself. But none of it reflected back out. The mirror
drank in more and more light until it could hold no more.
Then in a sudden explosion of brilliance, all of
Calithwain's light, and the light of the Eight poured out
of the mirror.
The Eight turned from the mirror to see their land,
and found that it was filled with creatures of all
fantastical descriptions. Manticores and pixies alike
filled Calithwain, each in its own habitat. And there were
dryads, elves, dwarves, countless species everywhere.
Those who dwelled in the forest came under Sidaria's
guidance. Theored cared for the dwarves and creatures of
mountains and of the underground, while Nulaan embraced
those of the sea. Hotan cared for all of the animals on
the plains, and those who had no homes. And Callnera
taught each being to be just and kind to others.
taught every creature that the essence of Calithwain would
permit spellcasting, and instructed them in how to
manipulate the ether. Atop the Silver Pillar (so the giant
mirror was named) she placed her Golden Crystal, the most
powerful focus ever created. And the spells grew stronger
Calithwain prospered and grew for many ages, until
finally the Sorceress Jixil grew prideful and covetous.
Her powers were stripped from her and her siblings cast her
into a dungeon, leaving Seven where once there were Ten.
And the Seven taught the peoples of Calithwain and guarded
them and watched. For prophecies predicted that one day
Jixil would rise againÖ
The silver pillar and the pattern below it is the center of
Ultimate Tranquility in the universe. All worlds are created around it,
spreading out farther and farther. The more ordered ones are closer to the
center and the twisted, chaotic ones are farther out. In the chaotic ones,
anything you picture can actually happen. Fairyland is very close to
Calithwain. Earth is farther out. Calithwain would be completely peaceful
if Jixil hadnít spent her life drifting away from the pattern. The first act of
hatred was the twins killing each other, which splashed blood on the pattern and
corrupted Calithwain. The Seven are divided. Now, a tiny change in Calithwain
makes a huge change outside of it. Only perfect harmony can restore Calithwain
to the way itís is supposed to be. One day, that champion will come.