First Dragons on the Moon
The front half of Wotom was rock worn smooth, presumably by the wind of the moon’s travel. The back half of Wotom was covered with mounds or small mountains, with vegetation, with insects and other biology. And with gods.
Girgods are quite large — some hundreds of feet long, and some thirty in diameter, so, physically, they dwarf dragons — and quite like six-legged centipedes or giant caterpillars. Their eyes spring forth on stalks, their mouths are huge filtery things which would not look out of place on a whale or an air conditioner, and their carapaces are covered with runes, spelling their names in some ancient and (on Girgar) magically-active tongue. Their back halves are rooted into the ground of the mountain.
They also don’t particularly have dangersense. When our half-dozen dragons confronted the one who maintained the eyeworm curse, it glowered at them from eyestalks and proclaimed, “You must now worship Nahúm!”
Itharieth, who does have dangersense and knew perfectly well that Nahúm was not much of a threat to him, said, “The details of our worship are somewhat negotiable. You maintain a curse upon the whole world of Girgar, so that any girg pronouncing certain words is infected with eyeworms, do you not?”
“I — Nahúm — defeated Wiwíl!” the girgod roared.
[Translation note: The defeated god’s name is pronounced approximately like “We will” in Sraddic, which is to say, ”Ⱦgőfi”. In the original Petty Dragonic, it was translated as “Sraru”; in English, “Wiwíl”; and if we ever do a Welsh version it will be “Biddwn”, etc.]
“I’m sure you did,” said Itharieth. “This was some time ago, was it not?”
“Before Nahúm there was nothing, nothing that mattered! Nahúm emerged, Wiwíl emerged! Nahúm and Wiwíl claimed the same mountain as their home! Nahúm fought Wiwíl with claws, with shell-bludgeoning, with strentulations, with curses! Nahúm defeated Wiwíl! Behold, there is the scar where Wiwíl sought to implant himself upon Nahúm’s mountain, surrounded by the double triangle that is his holy sign!”
“I see,” said Itharieth. “And the curse?”
“No one may give Wiwíl any honor! If girgs praise and chant the name of Wiwíl, they shall suffer! If girgs make the holy gesture of Wiwíl, they shall suffer! If girgs draw the holy signs of Wiwíl, they shall suffer! This law I impose upon all the world!”
Itharieth sat in the air in front of the ranting god, and attempted to be reasonable. “In fact, the girgs do not know that Wiwíl ever existed, and even if they did know, they would care nothing for a long-dead god. They do not say ‘Wiwíl’ in the sense of your justly-defeated enemy’s name. The same sounds make other words in their languages, including the common phrase, ‘we will’. So your curse makes them miserable, for all that they obey the spirit of your edict.”
“They pronounce the name that I have forbidden! Thus they violate my law, thus do they suffer my curse! This is logical, this is straightforward, this is justice itself!”Support this project! Show that you’re reading it by exchanging notes with the characters, other readers, the writer, and occasional other entities at sythyry.livejournal.com. And/or buy Bard Bloom’s books on Amazon, especially Mating Flight and World in My Claws, the prequel to this story. Also: Glossary and Dramatis Personae.