“Hey stupid, wait up! Molybdenum, wait up you fool” screamed Talc as the little group scampered after the mage. “I know you can hear me. Stop!”
The mage stopped in his tracks and without turning around said, “Stop? But I never stop. Time keeps going and so must I, for there is so much left undone. Too many spells need casting, too many people need saving and simply there are way, way too many cows that need tipping.”
“What? Why would you tip a cow?” asked the confused Thal.
“Why wouldn’t I tip a cow? That is the better question. Have you ever tipped a cow before?” questioned the mage with his back still turned to the approaching group.
“No, of course not. That would be stupid. The cow would just get up and chase you” replied Thal.
“Exactly!” said the mage, “That is what makes it sooo much fun.”
Thal was still confused and said, “What?” as the group finally caught up to the mage.
The mage turned and faced Thal and then pushed him over. Thal fell hard to the ground. “Ouch, what did I ever do to you?” asked Thal, laying on his back on the ground.
“Now get up and chase me, cow!” said the mage as he dashed away.
Talc grumbled, “Lybdem, stop and come back here. We don’t have time for your stupid games. We need your help.”
“My help? Talc is that you? You look old and, and old” said Lybdem as he dashed back to the group with a ball of fire in his hand. He held up the ball of flame and it cast its light on the group and Lybdem said, “Yes, I recognize my old friend behind all of those wrinkles.”
Thal got up and asked, “Talc, please tell me that we are not going to be traveling with this fool. We already have an annoying, deranged girl with us. I won’t be able to take it with the two of them.”
“Or what?” challenged Lybdem, “Would you fight a god?”
Sidi’s eyes went wild and she screamed, no like the loud shouts that were common when she talked. This scream was a declaration mixed with a plea that resonated throughout her entire soul, “YOU NO GOD!”
The grin was blasted off of Lybdem’s face. “I am sorry” he said, without the joyful playfulness that was so prevalent in his voice before, “I am not a god, but I can tap the power of a god.”
Granit saw Sidi shaking, but with so little light he could not tell if it was from terror or rage. Remembering what this girl was capable of, he decided to try to calm the tempest that was building it that little body of hers. He hobbled in between the girl and the mage and said, in his concerned, loving father voice, “Sidi, calm down. He is not a god. Just take a few deep breaths.”
She did not listen. She stormed past the one legged farmer and right up to the mage. Sticking her finger right in the face of the mage she demanded, “Tell me how. How you have power of God!?”
Thal said, “Certainty you have heard the tale of the Great Competition. Everyone knows it.”
Sidi gave him a death glare, “No. Him going to tell me right now” she said pushing her finger into the mages nose.
Lybdem took a step back. “Now, now, calm down.”
“Now!” said Sidi, leaving no room for discussion.
Lybdem, a battle mage clad in full armor, holding sword and shield with his god soundly asleep, cowered before the scrawny little girl before him and began the story of the beginning.
“Well it all began as the gods prepared to go to war, one with another. They conspired and plotted, forged alliances and broke truces, gossiped and argued. Finally, one day, the axe of war fell. As it fell, one god, the god Akakios to be exact, caught it and stopped the war of the gods. He proposed a different way to decide dominance and power and suggested the Great Competition. Now this competition was one of strength, will, power, skill, smarts and foresight. Akakios created a world and told each god that they would be able to create one continent on his world and populate it. They could grant a special ability to the continent as well as a special ability to their people. Once the gifts of power or ability were granted the gods had to sit back and watch. As the people developed and grew, they would win their gods points. In the end the god who had the most successful people would rule supreme among the gods. The gods agreed. “
“The gods disagreed as to what would make a successful people, some claimed that hardship created an unbreakable people while others claimed that prosperity bread prosperity. Aeschylus decided to test it out. He secretly created his own world, off on the edge of the god’s domain. Each night while the other gods slept, he watched his planet to see what conditions were ideal. He found that if the conditions were too harsh, the people did not thrive, but barely survived. On the other hand, if they were given everything, they became spoiled and weak. With this information, he created his continent on Akakios’ world. He gave his people the ability to create illusions and they thrived. The other gods become suspicious of Aeschylus’ success. One night Argia followed Aeschylus back to where he slept at the edge of the god’s domain. There she found the flat world that Aeschylus had created. She ran back to the other gods and explained to them what Aeschylus had done. They were angry and began to destroy Aeschylus’ people on his continent on the world that Akakios had created.
Asechylus heard the plea of his people and woke. He rushed in and rescued as many of his people that he could. He dumped them here on Threa, his not so secret world. That night when the other gods were asleep, in retribution for the slaughter that they had caused his people, Aeschylus created yours truly, the mage. He worked a powerful magic that linked 24 men to the gods. These men had the power of the gods at their command. They live longer than normal men, gaining strength from their gods. But they are known for the power that they command, the power to create or destroy. “
“Well when the gods woke and realized what Asechylus had done, they were mad. Who knows why they just did not blast us to smithereens, but they didn’t. Instead they created wizards, nine actually. They drew their power from Asechylus and are much more powerful than us plain mages. There god is much closer you see. Now we can only draw on the power of the god we are linked too when that god is asleep, for when they are awake they are conscious enough to deny us their power. As it happens to be, Asechylus likes to be awake when all of the other gods are asleep, and asleep when the other gods are awake. This was not Asechylus only punishment, no. They prevent him from interacting with us, and have forced him to watch as we slowly tear each other apart. It is rumored that when he awakes, he is forced to come down here as an old, blind beggar, powerless to experience the cruelty of his own creations. When he sleeps, he sleeps in our sky, shinning for us to see and giving us heat by which we survive. “