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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 2 of 3

The next few decades were hard on him. In his brother’s castle, his new body had been about eight feet long. On Earth, he was barely eight inches. He became used to his new legs as soon as possible, but it didn’t matter. He could race away from humans, but there were always more. And he could chase his food all he wanted, but he could not eat. Martal had not given him a mouth. Food did not matter, as gods did not need sustenance, but he missed the act of eating. It had always made him feel alive. He guessed that was why Martal had taken the pleasure away. And as he was the only of his kind, he had no one to talk to. Martal had denied him company, another of his pleasures.

The greatest pleasure he was denied, though, was the pleasure of spinning tales. His father had created him to be a storyteller. Martal had taken away his voice, making storytelling impossible. And without a voice, he could not gain an audience. Martal had left him as impotent, as his innocent story had left Martal.

The loneliness started to feed off him long before he realized it and soon, it made him blind to his whereabouts and deaf to his sister’s call. Attalla was looking for him, but he didn’t want her help. If she helped, Martal might harm her. In the beginning, he ignored her. Then he simply didn’t hear her, wandering about without thought, needing so much but unable to have any of it.

Centuries he wandered the earth, running from humans and hiding where he could, until, finally, long after he had forgotten his true form, he wandered into the Caves of Sorrow and found a quiet place to sleep. Tucking his legs in close to his body, he closed his unchanged eyes and fell asleep.

How long he slept is uncertain. Time passed and Theraphose slipped from the memories of man, and away from the Halls of Reality. But gods are immortal, and when humans forget them and stop praying to them and lay their rituals to the side, the god grows weak and fades away, until all is left is the shell of the god. Theraphose chose to spend his time sleeping, in order to contain whatever strength he had left. He felt that one day, his brother would forgive him and wanted the strength to travel home when Martal called him back.

So he slept and the Caves of Sorrow shifted, as they were prone to do. Eventually, without his knowledge, Theraphose, youngest of the Sons of the Weaving World, found himself waking to the sound of dark laughter, and knew fear again. But the fear was welcomed, as the emotion helped him find his mind, for fear cannot change to courage in an empty mind.

As memories of himself came back, the voice and the words it formed continued to terrify him. He knew the voice and knew the thing it was connected to. He scuttled closer, one insect among many and listened to the plans his family’s greatest enemy was hatching. War was coming, or had already come to the universe and he was stuck here. But he could be useful. Theraphose sat and listened, staying as quiet as he could.

Some time later, when the Dark King had quieted and gone to bed, Theraphose lifted his body and slowly crawled out of the caves. It took a good long time, as he had forgotten the way out and nothing was as it had been. But he took his time and followed the insects.

Cold, tired and old beyond knowing, he finally found the sun again and sat at the entrance of the caves and allowed Martal’s glorious other form to warm his body. Sighing a deep heavy sigh, Theraphose continued on his way, calling to his sister as he traveled to the entrance of his family’s realm.

Traveling took less time during the night, as Attalla wished for his return. She lit his path for twelve days straight until he begged her to be carefully. She followed her brother’s wishes and grew thin, going back to her normal cycle. Theraphose continued on his way, staying away from humans and other predators, going as quickly as he could. Attalla offered him entrance through her gate, but he refused, knowing he had to tread carefully. He wanted to see Martal first and beg his brother’s forgiveness first. If Martal refused, he would give The Dark King’s plans to his sister and let her give the King the news.

Time became meaningless again, as travel was hard for the small creature. Theraphose continued, growing in strength the closer he came to the Gate of the Weaving World. The Gate was in a forest, hidden amongst the trees and leaves. A shaft of sunlight was the pathway in, the arching branches of two ancient trees its gateway. Afraid but calm, Theraphose set one foot on the path. When he heard nothing, he set another, then another, then another, until all eight of his well used legs were touching the sacred path.

When no guard stopped him, he continued on the path and passed under the sacred arch. When his first foot touched the other side of the gate, he experienced vertigo and almost passed out. When he opened his eyes again, he was in the throne room, and Martal was standing before him with Attalla at his side. When he appeared fully, Attalla ran to him and threw her arms around one of his legs.

“You’re here! I’ve missed you.”

Theraphose felt tears coming to his eyes as Attalla’s tears wet his hairy legs. He sent his thoughts to her; unable to voice what he was thinking.

“Why are you here?” Martal was looking at him with disdain, as if he were nothing more then a speck of dust on his otherwise spotless floor. Theraphose pushed Attalla away gently and bowed in the only fashion he could. He lowered his head before his brother, trying to seem subservient.

To speak with you. To give you news.

“And why should I listen?”

Theraphose tried to tell his brother the tale, but found that without his voice, he could weave no tale. He bowed lower. Impossible to relate with no voice.

Martal felt hands on his arm. He looked to the side and found himself staring down into his sister’s green eyes. “Give him his voice back Martal, please. I saw were he came from. He has much to tell.”

Martal sighed heavily. It was time for truth. “I cannot, sister. I was so angry with Theraphose for ruining my first night with my intended that I made the transformation permanent. I cannot give him his voice back.”

Theraphose shrieked louder then when his voice had originally been taken away. He reared back on his hindmost legs, spreading his forelegs wide. The shriek continued long and long, causing Attalla to fall to her knees. She cried for as long as her beloved brother did. Martal, still stoic and unmoving, glanced around the room and cleared it with a look. When just his brother, his sister and he remained, he fell to his knees in front of Theraphose.

“Forgive me brother. I was angry. I didn’t know how much I would miss your tales. I have regretted the act every day since. I cannot give you your voice back, but I can give you a new one, if you allow.”

He had spoke through the shriek, knowing his brother would hear. Theraphose stopped when his brother did and lowered himself to the floor. He looked his brother in the eye. I need my voice. Give me what you can.

Martal stood, nodded and walked to within touching distance of his brother’s head. Placing his hand on Theraphose’s massive head, he bowed his and spoke the words that would give the storyteller back his voice. A shudder ran through both their bodies as the spell took hold.

Theraphose fell to the ground, his legs unable to hold himself up any longer. He let everything go and let the transformation take over. A wave of energy surrounded the brothers and then faded to nothing. Martal stepped away as Theraphose stood. He was still on eight legs, which was fine by him. He enjoyed moving his large form on eight small points. It made him feel light as a feather, and made him quiet as the wind.

An odd feeling came over Theraphose, so he closed his eyes to allow the thought fruition. When he opened them, he knew how to spin the tale, and knew that his family would be able to understand him. Theraphose turned and went to the far wall. He climbed into the rafters and spun his tale with the fine sticky silk his brother had given him power to create. He took his time, making sure to show everything he had seen and everywhere he had been. Then when he had shown his travels, he showed the plan the Dark King had spewed from his mouth of tangled teeth.

Attalla, too young to remember the last war they had fought with the Dark King, cowered near Martal, taking comfort from his always stoic form. Martal slipped an arm around Attalla and held her close. He knew what the story showed, and knew there was only truth in his brother’s tale. He could no longer weave falsehoods. Theraphose was warning of war. The Dark King would be trying to come through some of the smaller less used gates. Before the story was completed, Martal turned and went for the doors of the throne room. He bellowed for his advisers and ordered all but the main gateway closed. All the gates were to be heavily guarded.

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