Monday, December 6, 2010

The Spheres of Galia

They had released a manuscript listing chambers worldwide that the Old Kingdom considered critical to its royal security. This was in the year of the blue Sapphire in the aftermath of the Orzab massacre. The crops were poor that year and the new security tax left the people facing hunger, while the soldiers were sent what bread there was to keep them occupying the deserts of Vitnu on the third sphere. Rumor had it that the perpetrators of the massacre in the capital city were hiding in the arid mountains somewhere in the darkness of Vitnu.

The locations cited in the manuscript from the High Priestess of the Old Kingdom ranged from underwater cities to suppliers of food, medicine and manufacturing materials. A council was summoned to determine the fate of those who had circulated the manuscript throughout the three spheres of Galia. In these meetings the Royal Guard declined to comment on the details of what it called "stolen" writings containing magical knowledge. A local magician called the disclosure "damaging," and said it gave valuable information to the adversaries of the King.

"This is one of many reasons why we believe their actions are irresponsible and dangerous," the magician cried through trembling white whiskers. Even his cloak rippled as if disturbed by a wind, though the great hall was oppressively warm and still.

The scribe Olslo was among those accused of conspiring against the King. His eyes were clear and blue, as placid as a frozen lake. He stood tall at the trial, the son of seven mothers who had worried over his upbringing and education and now were absent in light of his disgrace.

“We felt that this manuscript, along with others, should be available to any citizen of the kingdom, that airing out secrets might help to bring peace to all three spheres by empowering even the lowliest inhabitants of Galia with knowledge. We reproduced the manuscript and others without regard for, or even knowledge of, their content. All information should be available to all beings.”

Even the old magician seemed momentarily stunned by the young scribe’s composure and clear bright voice. He was quick however to re-spin his own webs for netting the support of the council. Olslo would be sentenced to imprisonment in Narion on the second sphere.

Nonetheless, the manuscript had been disseminated throughout Galia. There were many who had become familiar with its content. It was now well known that in it, the High Priestess asked her envoys to help update a list of chambers around the world which, if destroyed, disrupted or exploited, would likely have an immediate and deleterious effect on the Royal Kingdom.

The Priestess Amalidia herself was questioned. Though the manuscript was meant to serve the purpose of strengthening security, it could now be regarded as having done the opposite.

“Just who made this manuscript available to the likes of Olslo? He could not have reproduced it without having at some point seen the original. Only the High Priestess and her envoys could have had access to it,” Lord Avin Deloro pointed out to his majesty the King of the Old Kingdom while they hunted the genetically manifested foxus in the revived forest of Avin.

“Your kingdom is ancient and vast. You are the only monarch who can claim rulership of an entire Sphere. It would make an appealing prize for an ambitious woman.” They sat astride their stallions, Lord Avin’s a deep purple, King Domonious’s a resplendent red. It was a strange coincidence unknown to either man that their mounts had been manifested in the same laboratory where Olslo’s seven mothers had conceived, gestated, and birthed him.

Ahead of them the hounds bayed in pursuit of the foxus. “I’ve never known Amalidia to be overly ambitious,” King Dominious said warily through his neat black beard.

“Believe me, every woman in a position of power is there for no reason but ambition. For them there is no brothership such as we know. We must be most wary of our wives and then our magicians, in that order. Amalidia is the worst of both.” King Dominious eyed the landscape through squinted eyes, letting the words roll through him.

Down in the catacombs of Nurk, among the ruins of a long lost civilization of the first sphere, Amalidia sat in her underground tower looking into the darkness. The manuscript had been considered so confidential the envoys had been advised to come up with it on their own: "Posts are not being asked to consult with local strong men in respect to this request," the High Priestess had dictated. In truth only she could posses the manuscript in its entirety. Only she knew of all the chambers it had come to describe. The incomplete manuscript that she had shared with the King was the same that she had leaked to Olslo and the other Lucen scribes. She smiled at her own reflection in the glass window pane. Beyond it, in the darkness, a shinier darkness scuttled through the ruined underground city. Amalidia watched her children moving through the inky depths of the Sphere.

In Narion, on the second Sphere, Olslo toiled in the mines with the other convicted scribes of Lucen. In the gloom, the clarity of his voice and eyes faded. Only there in the throws of despair did he begin to suspect that they had been played as pawns, just like he had once played in the old sphere game his seven mothers taught him in childhood. He had a bit of rope hidden under his bunk. Tonight he thought, would be a good night to die.

In their laboratory, Olslo’s mothers took the information they had gathered when they first conceived Olslo and created him once again. In the laboratory, where the King and his Lord’s fine stallions were born, Olslo was again gestating.

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