Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

Vengeance Upon the First Worlds (69/170)

Vengeance Upon the First Worlds

Cussa, which is world 119 if you have been counting (and how have you been counting? I haven’t mentioned every world or anything close), looked remarkably plausible. It was a Predictable Platelet, but at least a huge one, with as much land area as Hove and far more than Mhel or any other Basic Ball. Its tilt was a tolerable 2º, so you could imagine building a tower and having it look almost perpendicular to the landscaping. No sun, and nearly no radient light, but zebraic and warm. We never quite figured out all of its energy systems or ecologies. We got distracted by the inhabitants.

The cush are low-slung six-legged mammalian small people, shaped rather like walking cupcakes. They are very well-provided with ears: one fixed ear between each pair of legs, and three mobile ears and chirpers on short tentacle things sprouting from the middle of their top. They have three tentacley hands too, and with these hands they have built a plausible enough early Iron Age civilization.

And Cussa permits localistic magic, as well as the astral magic that pervades the whole Tsòn Cluster and lets us get there.

As so often happens on worlds who do not have the benefit of draconic governance(☢), a great tyrant wizard had arisen. In an ordinary world we would call her the Dark Lord. Light was not one of Cussa’s strong points; the cush had not even realized that such a thing as light might exist. (But oh! The acuity of their hearing!) So we will call her the Quiet Lord, and we will try to remember that this term is every bit as fearsome to the cush as the term Dark Lord to sighted peoples.

(☢) I am not being ironic here, or not quite. The benefit of draconic governance is that we keep native tyrants away. While we can be quite horrible, vicious, murderous, and greedy, as our less happy subjects have good reason to think, we consider ourselves bound by certain customs which keep our worst natures within limits. Native tyrants don’t, and frequently wind up far worse than we are willing to be. Of course we quite happily conquer worlds that don’t have native tyrants anywhere to be seen, and even the Upliftiest of us shouldn’t pretend that we conquering them for anyone’s benefit but our own.

Let us consider the draconic visitation from the point of view of various of the cush. Various caveats apply: I don’t know the native names for much of anything (I did not bother inventing poetic or inspired names, they’re small people and didn’t last very long), nor the details of the quests, nor much of anything really.

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