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Theraphose: An Origin Part 3 of 3

Done with his story, Theraphose lowered himself to the ground and gracefully advanced on Attalla. He bowed to her and waited for Martal to return. She went to Theraphose again and leaned against his body. He lowered himself and urged her to climb his back. She did so and leaned over and hugged him hard.

“Is there anything other then your voice that you desire?”

Yes. I would like to be able to eat. I miss that. And perhaps to see better? I can’t always see all the dangers around me.

“Give him the ability sister. He deserves it. And we’ll need him.” Martal was striding toward his throne, three of his generals following him. He didn’t speak again until he was seated. “The small gates are closed. I am sending people to guard the main gate. I would like you to go too, Theraphose. Attalla, give him the ability to defend himself and his realm.”

Attalla nodded to her elder brother and slid off Theraphose’s back. She went to his head and placed her hand on his head, much as Martal had done. The energy she used surrounded them both in a blue halo. It warmed Theraphose; Martal’s spell and energy had not. Attalla was more heart then Martal was, therefore the warmth did not surprise him. The halo expanded momentarily and then dissipated. When it was gone, Theraphose felt his fangs and the poison that coursed through his body. He was glad for it. He could help Martal and perhaps gain favor with his brother again.

He opened his eyes and saw the throne room through fragmented eyes. Disoriented, he closed his eyes and breathed slowly, until he understood. Attalla had given him eight eyes in order to see fully around him. He looked to her and bowed, awed at her power and her ability.

Thank you.

She hugged his leg, which was the closest part of him. “You are welcome.”

“You will help us then?” Came Martal’s concerned voice.

He bowed as he could. Yes brother. For our safety and for our realm, of course I will help.

“Go with Veeran to the Gate of the Weaving World. Protect it from the Dark King and I will give you two more gifts.”

One of the generals came to him and bowed. Theraphose bowed back and followed when Veeran turned and left. The two left the castle to meet with many more. All went to the Gate to protect it and fight the Dark King. Many had been here before in the same situation. But this war lasted longer then most, as The Dark King had not expected to be stopped. He was surprised to find all the smaller gates closed and brought all his forces to the main gate.

The war lasted many human generations and had repercussions that lasted long past remembrance of the war. No human lives were lost to the war, but they were changed and became fiercer and more war loving themselves. When the humans calmed down, more came and took them over, for their gods were preoccupied with keeping their own realm safe. And when the Dark King finally left the Gate of the Weaving World to lick his wounds and gather his troops for his next chance, the gods of the Sons of the Weaving World found that they had lost most of their humans to other gods.

“It doesn’t matter.” Martal, Attalla and Theraphose were standing on the deck in the throne room, looking out at the world. “We were here before they knew of us and we will be here long after they forget. Our role in this realm does not change. We weave the world around them as they wish it to be and will continue to do so until the end of our days.”

“Our strength will diminish.” Attalla was sitting on Theraphose’s back, her now favorite place to sit.

“Not if Theraphose agrees to help us.”

How so?

“You weave stories, but you can also weave the world. Your threads are strong enough to hold everything together. And if there were more of you, you could do a lot more.” Martal turned to his brother. “Do you wish to help keep this world together?”

Will I be able to weave tales?

“It would upset me if you didn’t. With each web you and your kind create, you will be creating a story. If the web is not meant to hold part of the world together, it will fade in one day, with the story. If a human should see one of the story webs, they will remember it in dreams.”

And the ones that hold the world together?

“Those will last until we have all faded from human memory.” He turned and smiled at the newest arrival. “And perhaps she will help us from fading into memory.”

Theraphose turned and scuttled back in surprise. He bowed low, trying to shrink back into himself. The newest arrival was his maiden of long ago. Marisol. Daughter of a female human and male god, she was immortal only as long as she stayed in the castle. He shook as he tried not to look at her, remembering the love he had felt for her. She was giving him a loving look, a kind look. One hand was stretched to him and the other – Theraphose was so surprised he nearly backed over the edge of the balcony.

What is this? His voice sounded panicked, even to his own thoughts.

“Your heirs.”

But…but…it’s been years…since…

Marisol stepped to him, placed a hand on his leg. She stared deep into him and saw him as he had been, tall and lanky with blond hair and dark eyes. She still loved him, was glad to see him again and was happy to be bearing his children.

“You forget brother, that time here is irrelevant. Although many years passed on the human realm, only a few months passed here. And Marisol has been waiting for your return to have your children.”

More then one? His foreleg swept around his old love and he held her as best he could, allowing her to lean against his leg.

“Twins.” Came her soft voice.

“They will be your legacy; our hope.” Martal sounded as if he were keeping back tears.

Theraphose simply looked at his brother for an explanation.

“One is human. You will create a world between the human realm and ours. The human child will rule there and mate with other humans. They will have special abilities and will be your other child’s protectors. The second child decided to take your current form. It has all the power the first does not possess. It will be the ancestor of all like you and will help you to weave the world and protect it from the Dark King. If you accept.”

How can I not? He understood the implications of having humans as protectors. It meant that his family would always have believers. His family would not fade away, and his kind would be there to continue weaving stories and weaving the threads that held the world together. Happy to once again be part of his family he beamed with joy. He felt a spell in the air and looked to the mother of his children, then to his legs. She had turned some of his hair blond.

“I miss your blond hair.” She admitted, blushing.

His laughter filled their minds, and all were reminded of how much his laughter had been missed. Moments later, Marisol went into labor and Theraphose left to create the world his children would inhabit. He created it just off the path of the Gate of the Weaving World and made it so only his descendants were capable of seeing it. Once the world was created, he returned to Marisol and took her to see it. Her human child, a girl, grew older before their eyes and was of childbearing age before they could stop the growth. Attalla, named for her aunt, kissed her parents and left the area to look for a husband, knowing her role in the world. They watched as she left, knowing it was the only thing they could do.

Attalla had many children, knowing it was necessary. All her children would be raised in the in between world, but would leave to find mates. As Attalla was part god, she had the ability to speak with all her relatives, including her sister’s children. She was also granted the ability to heal them, should they need it. Both these abilities she willingly passed on to her children and they to their offspring, as they understood the need to communicate with each other.

Marisol’s second child scuttled out of the castle before her mother could see her and attached herself to her father before he could notice. She stole his ability to have children and had many of her own, populating the human world with her children. Being a descendant of a god, she had some small abilities and changed her children’s look and shape as the area decreed.

She understood that having children far away from her home realm was a danger, but made sure her children were able to have many children, to safeguard themselves. She also made sure they knew to weave stories and protect the world, and showed them how to identify those that would protect them.

The second child eventually returned to her mother and father and gave back his ability to have children. Upon seeing her and her rose colored hair, he smiled as best he could and named his daughter Theraphosa. And, eventually, when humans started naming their kind, she was able to convince the human of her true name and of her father’s true name. She allowed the humans to name the rest of their kind as they saw fit. Names did not matter to them, only their mission. Both sides vowed to complete their mission and protect the world and each other for as long as necessary.

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Theraphose: An Origin Part 1 of 3

“Theraphose!” The melodious voice rang down the hallway, catching in his ear and making him turn. The tall lanky blond man smiled warmly at his younger sister and embraced her as she reached him.

“Attalla! I’ve missed you. How do you fare?”

His sister pulled away, brushed her dark hair away from her face and gave her brother a worried look. “He’s very upset with you. Have you seen him?”

Theraphose frowned. “Not yet. The throne room was my next stop.”

“He’s furious with you.” She laid a hand on his cheek. “Why do you keep doing this?”

Theraphose shrugged. “It’s just a story. He knows it’s not true, as does everyone else.”

“You made him look a fool.”

“In a story that had no bearing in reality. Sister, calm yourself. He’s probably not as angry as you think.” Theraphose placed his hands on Attalla’s shoulders, brought her close and kissed the top of her head. He pulled back and looked deep into her bright green eyes. “I’ll go see him right now. You’ll see, this will blow over, it always does.”

*****

“HOW DARE YOU!” Martal was not so much yelling as he was bellowing. His voice, generally strong, reverberated against the stone walls, making those in the room cringe in sympathy for Theraphose, who was standing stoically before his older brother. Attalla was standing quietly next to the throne, sending her favorite brother good thoughts.

“Martal, in my own defense, those who listened have heard my stories before. They know I fabricate to entertain. And well, it wasn’t the best tale I’ve woven.”

Martal stood at his throne, tensing as his brother spoke with a light, almost mocking tone. “It would be wise to try and appease me, brother, not anger me further.”

Theraphose frowned, confused. “Martal. This was a joke, nothing more. My jokes have never bothered you before. Why suddenly, do you take offense?”

Martal was in front of him in a second, grabbing him by his shirt, bringing his face within centimeters of his brother’s. “I am King. It does not bode well that my court laughs at me behind my back.”

“You’ve lost your humor since father’s death. Perhaps you should find it again. You were more fun when you knew how to laugh at yourself. And me.”

“You never did this to father.” He gripped Theraphose’s shirt tighter.

“Yes I did.” Now angry, Theraphose knocked his brother’s hands away from his shirt. “He took great pride in telling me he created me to be this families laughter; the court jester; the one to keep things light when everything else seemed bleak. The stories I tell, I tell because it is my nature. Do you expect me to stop?”

Martal tried to stare his younger brother down, but it was difficult. Martal was the shorter of the two and knew his brother was right. He had over looked Theraphose’s stories before, knowing it entertained the family and court, but this time, “ You stepped out of line this time, brother.”

“How so?” He was thoroughly confused. But Martal wasn’t answering, so Theraphose thought back to his last story and let it unwind in his mind. He saw the ball, the crowd gathering around him as he started the tale, the maiden that had caught his eye. And the tale unfolded completely. He snickered as he remembered the story. The maiden had been so impressed; she followed him to his bedchamber, and had been there for the past week. He gave a slow smile as he thought of her again, but the smile faded when he caught his brother’s look.

“Do you remember what your story stated?” He was speaking through clenched teeth.

Theraphose felt the blood leave his face. “Oh, you can’t be serious.” When his brother said nothing Theraphose continued. “I was trying to impress a maiden. All listening saw this.”

Martal stared his brother down, still silent. Theraphose backed up a step, surprised at his brother’s emotions.

“You can’t be serious. I was trying to impress a maiden, but she was more interested in another. I told the tale to turn her head to me and it worked. She’s still in my bed, in fact. This is why you’re angry? Because I may have insulted your manhood?”

“You did insult my manhood.” His anger made his voice thick.

“Other then a little more laughter, has it really affected anything? Have any women rejected you since I wove the tale?” He only asked as he was sure none had, but the look on Martal’s face revealed the truth, and Theraphose finally understood his brother’s anger. They joked of many things and insulted each other on a regular basis, but the one area that was off limits was women. They had made a pact long ago, never to interfere with each other’s conquests. Theraphose fell to his knee, hung his head, and allowed a pleading tone into his voice.

“Accept my apology, brother and King. It was not my intention to keep a woman from your bed.”

Martal fell to his knee as well, getting eye to eye with his brother. There was pure hatred in his set expression. He spoke so only his brother would hear. “You didn’t.”

“Then why-” And Theraphose suddenly understood. Martal had taken a maiden to bed, but because of the innocent story, had been unable to please her. Blood rushed back to his face in a hard blush and he tried to contain his laughter, but failed. He fell backward, gaining some distance between himself and his beloved brother. He didn’t want to laugh, but it was too much. Martal was the one the women always swooned for. To think that a story had made Martal impotent was too good to be true.

Theraphose’s laughter rang in Martal’s ears, and it was the last straw. Snarling, he bent and once more grabbed his brother by his shirt. Still snarling, he brought Theraphose’s face close to his. “That was your last laugh, brother.”

Martal picked Theraphose up off the floor and threw him across the room. Theraphose landed on his back, still laughing. It was too ridiculous a situation. Martal watched as his brother laughed, growing more and more angry as whispering and snickering erupted around the room. The throne room was generally filled with members of the high court: family, friends and potential enemies. Theraphose’s laughter was lowering the courts’ opinion of Martal, making it easier for others to think about taking the throne. Martal could see their thoughts. It was his gift.

Anger blossomed and exploded in his mind. He barely heard Attalla from behind screaming for her brother’s mercy. Power surged through the King; power given by his father and intensified by the throne and crown. Martal pointed his hands at Theraphose and the laughter in the room stilled. Theraphose’s laughter turned to screams as his body reacted to the transformation spell coursing through his vulnerable limbs. New screams joined his as Theraphose’s body bucked on the floor and extra limbs started to grow from his sides. His body became fat and shrank, while the limbs elongated and hardened.

Theraphose, pain clouding his existence, still had the presence of mind to flip over onto his stomach. He felt that his new form would be defenseless on its back. His last thought as the transformation grew too painful to think through, was for Attalla. He sent out his last thought to her, ordering her not to interfere. He didn’t want Attalla suffering for his mistake. He stared at her as his body shook and continued to transform. Pain faded and he was able to look through his new eyes.

The throne room looked the same, but larger. He was seeing it from closer to the ground. He could sense eight legs, but didn’t know how to use them. As he didn’t want to stumble, he stood where he was and carefully lifted one leg and placed it back in the exact place. He did the same with the seven others. When he felt ready, he turned and faced his brother.

What have you done to me? He tried to speak and couldn’t. He had no mouth. But his family could speak telepathically when they needed to and Martal chose to listen.

“I have given you a new body. One of a creature that can only exist in this one form. Because that is what you are, brother, a creature not worthy of further thought. For your troublesome ways, I am banishing you to walk amongst the humans. See how they like your kind. Now get out of my castle.”

Martal turned with a wave of his hand and went to his throne. Theraphose, incapable of speech, screeched in Martal’s mind, begging for mercy. He looked to his sister and knew she was of no help. She had fainted long ago, and was lying by the throne, unconscious. Banished and alone, Theraphose faded from his brother’s castle.

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