Tudana, 12th Yassad 7844
Quin shuffled closer to her Uncle and grabbed his gnarled hand, heavily tattooed with the runes of his magic. This was her favorite part of the story, but it was also the part that haunted her dreams at night.
“The smaller star exploded in the sky above them. Deafening thunder pealed across the desert shattering the ears of the poor shepherds. The comet was impossibly huge now and a beautiful vibrant green. It is said that it flashed with lightening, scintillating red and white and yellow, that it was so beautiful and so bright it pained the eyes to see.
“With wyverns darkening the skies above them, as even they fled in terror, the two shepherds sought shelter in the tower on a night that was as bright as any day. They did not know this, although it became apparent once they entered, but the tower was the home of a witch. A witch-bitch of the Mother-Goddess whose enchanted cauldron sprung into an arcane semblance of life and attacked the shepherds as if they had arrived to rob the witch’s home in her absence.”
“Where was the witch, Uncle?”
“None know for sure. None can say.” Uncle Kahaal said. “But she likely had fled in fear herself, to seek her own refuge from the comet’s promised destruction.”
“The cauldron flew about the tower, given life by the engraved runes upon its copper edges, bashing and battering the poor shepherds until they were bruised and bloody. Can you imagine it little Quin? How the shepherds must have fought for their very lives in the dim shadows of that evil place, whilst outside booms and explosions louder than the loudest thunder you have ever heard or could ever imagine burst across the sky! That dirty copper cauldron, wide enough and deep enough to cook a child of your size, certainly (and who can say that it hadn’t been put to such a use? not I), engraved with wicked runes among a relief of capering fiends and leering icons of the Goddess. It very nearly killed them both and it was all they could do, in the end, to shatter the angry cookware with the profane objects they found littering the witch’s home.”
“And that was how two lowly shepherds, the devout Balashi and carefree Ashasunnu were the only living witnesses to The Night the Sky Fell. Exhausted by the desert, bloody and beaten by the cauldron, thirsty and half starved from their ordeal they bore witness to a terrible, terrible event. The witch’s tower was in the foothills on the edge of the mountains and it’s vantage was such that they were able to behold the falling comet as it struck the desert in a massive explosion that utterly destroyed a desert village and vaporized all of its inhabitants.
“Only the Gods, in the great cities, and these two lonely and terrified shepherds watched as a fountain of rock, earth and sand mushroomed against the horizon and the air itself burned in a massive expanding heatwave. The rock that had fallen out of the night sky exploded with such furious violence that it scorched the surrounding deserts into a burnt desolation that was even more dangerous than ever before.
“None know whatever became of Balashi, but Ashasunnu returned to rebuild a new home among the ashes of her burned family. In time the crater left by the comet was filled by a fresh spring and the village of Muan’s Oasis was reborn, greater than before; and here we live to this day, you and I, dear one. That was over two hundred years ago, and the brave Ashasunnu, who witnessed the sky fall, was your very own great, great, great, great, great, great, GrandMother.”
The Night The Sky Fell
Written by Ian Hewitt
Artwork by an unknown talent. Used with love and not permission.
Played at the tabletop in Laramie, Wyoming