This is a tale, a most intriguing tale, the kind one might find in some dark, dank attic that has long been forgotten. Our hero, one of them I should clarify, is a larger-than-life type of character, well of sorts anyway; he is a fellow rather small in stature, but he makes up for this with his intense energy and strength. He can climb like a tree creature. I believe in your world you would call them monkeys. He is also an extraordinary inventor of gadgets, machines if you will, energy producing mechanisms. No one compares to his brilliance. His name is Egroeg.
He has a life partner who he calls Pop-pop; this is, of course, is his endearing name for her, as he loves her with a devotion surpassing anything he has ever known. The name he has given her is a reflection of who she is, as she herself is a rather busy female, always milling about, don’t you know, involved in this and that. She tends to need Egroeg’s help quite often. This is a great distraction to our genius, so thus her name reflects her tendency to pop in and out of his personal space, causing him to lose all sense of concentration.
He forgives her this shortcoming, as his affection for, and fascination with her gives him great comfort all the day long. Pop-pop is significantly taller than Egroeg, and unequivocally a voluptuously built female, whose bosoms are quite ample. These features Egroeg finds captivating and alluring, as she grabs hold of him, smashing him into her excessively large, bosoms, in an attempt to hug him. This is a ritual performed almost as often as she pops in to distract him with all her busyness and questions. He becomes quite gleeful, and this in and of itself causes him to succumb to her charms and forget his exasperation caused by her popping in and out of his space, disrupting his most serious of work.
Egroeg is the ruler of his tribe; everyone knows and respects his leadership, as it is through his inventions that they have prospered beyond their wildest dreams. He is also the creator of their dwelling places, the domes he conjured through the workings of his mind, that incredible thinking mind of his. Everyone knows that without those domes, their world would have met its demise long ago. The main dome, which is situated in the center of the village, is not a domicile for anyone to reside within; it has a pointed tower extending from the center of the top. This point of origin is where the shool is collected and then dispersed throughout his village.
The village, which has prospered and grown, now spans over the great hills of Xenna, as no longer does the Valley have enough room for all of the inhabitants of the village. The world in which they dwell is called Иoiznemid. The dome-shaped homes where each tribe member resides have a smoke stack in the middle so as to allow the smoke to escape from the cooking fire space, which has a dual purpose as it also heats the dome during the ice times.
Each dome has several rooms and is unique in that it exudes the individuality of each family that dwells within it. For instance, the Hink family have a soft flow of cushions throughout the home, as the head female of this family is rather plump and enjoys her cushions everywhere,' not only upon her body. Now in the Witt family, the head female is stick thin; she prefers straight-back, practical, wooden chairs. So you see, it seems whomever dwells within creates a space as unique as themselves.
Each dome’s windows are in the shape desired by the dweller, some being round, others triangular, others still hexagonal. None, however, are square as the Иoiznemid people are rather repulsed by this particular shape for a viewing space. They see a window as a focal observation gap; therefore, it must reflect their view of their world. Square is far too rigid for their preference. These fanciful windows look out on the delightful pathways leading from one dome to the next.
The domes themselves are delightful to view, however the windows various shapes create each dome to become a personalized work of art, and are charming to gaze at. The pathways darting throughout the village and in-between the houses also creates a splendid view from atop the hillside.
Иoiznemid is visually captivating and beautiful, with immense trees standing tall and large, providing greatly desired shade as the wee-people are not particularly fond of intense sunlight. Luscious berry bushes in extreme abundance are scattered throughout the land.
The bodies of water found in Иoiznemid are clear as glass, creating such a blissful delight for the eyes; nothing compares to the clarity of the waters of Иoiznemid.
Within these waters lives a variety of life, including some water-beings with a civilization and culture, all their own. They somewhat resemble your jellyfish, only, because they are seemingly translucent. Their shape is unlike the jellyfish as they are more prone in form to be visualized as somewhat human, except they glow with an energy force like no other. They have flowing tentacles that surround their bodies when submerged. However, when they choose to walk upon the ground, their form changes to that of an almost translucent being complete with head, arms, legs, and body, and what appears to be their hair is in reality tentacles that flow down to the ground. As they may both dwell within the waters and walk upon the ground at will.
Their communication skills and intelligence far outweigh the abilities of the land beings. The Иoiznemid people rarely interact with these water-beings, who have very little patience with the lower life forms and can become quite testy when dealing with the Иoiznemid people and their inane ways.
The Book of “The Wee”
Let me start at the beginning, or at least the beginning of this one glorious day, in a little-known, extraordinary village. A simple place really, but then simple does not necessarily mean ordinary. This village in the past has been unknown to your kind. But to many around the vast Universe, it holds important secrets, secrets about your world. These enigmas are about to be revealed.
The village of Иoiznemid is a peaceful, high-functioning community. Each tribe member has his or her own job to do; some hunt and gather, while others spin and weave fabric, creating clothing and blankets for the tribe’s peoples. A chosen group has been honored with the task of producing and collecting shool. This is a very specialized task, and one must be appointed the privilege of its enormous responsibility. These select few are known as, the travelers.
Egroeg their leader, and only Egroeg has the ability to hand select who will have this task, as it involves journeying into the Otherworld, where things can get quite tricky. I say he has the ability because he is the only one who has ever consulted the Shay. No one but Egroeg has ever even had the privilege of being in the room where the great Shay dwells.
Today was a momentous day of celebration, as today, Egroeg appointed yet another traveler to provide the ever-needed shool for the thriving tribe. These festivities always began the same way, with a chosen group of tribesman preparing a grand feast; this took several days, as there was a considerable amount of food to prepare. Of course, this would only take place after the huntsmen had brought their desired kill in for preparation.
The roasts of beasts took all day to roast upon the spit. The fire was started and created such a flame, high, higher still; then, as it diminished, the coals were brought to the perfect temperature. Once this was achieved, the tribesman were able to place the beast upon the spit, watching it ever so carefully, keeping the coals under it, making the heat just right by adding small pieces of wood, just enough, never too much, lest it burn the beast right up.
Others were put in charge of the sweets. Now one thing the Иoiznemid people are very good at is creating wonderful, decadent treats. They know how to add a bit of this and a dash of that, always doling out the perfect amount of that lovely sweet syrup which came from the small, dome-shaped homes where the flying, stinging, teeny-weeny ones dwelled, high upon the tree. Why, it took several of them to get up there, as the Иoiznemid people are quite small in stature. One might go so far as to say they are a wee-people. So for the rest of this tale, I shall refer to them in this manner, as it suits me to do so.
Once all the food preparation had been done, Egroeg had some preparing to do himself, as he had to consult the Shay. This could take some time; he never really knew how long it might take, sometimes taking just a few moments, and sometimes taking seemingly countless hours. It mattered not to him, unless of course there was some catastrophe; then he could become quite disgruntled if the Shay was unwilling to give him guidance that he required immediately.
However, on this day, this wonderful day for the wee-people, the great Shay obliged him gladly with information regarding who was to be the next traveler. Before the BIG announcement could be made, the wee-people had to congregate at the gathering place, where they would revel in the ceremony until the great beasts were brought out on the hugest of platters by at least six wee-people, as it took that many to carry them.
Egroeg was very pleased indeed with the great Shay’s choice, as he himself could not have made a better decision -- that is if it were up to him, which it most certainly was not. In his excited state, he almost forgot to release the Shay from the space from which it was bound. As he realized his error and turned back to speak the words of release, the great Shay spoke yet another name. Now this was unexpected indeed; now there was not only one new traveler, but two. With the added name, Egroeg became downright giddy, as this had never happened before. He began to wonder why it had happened now.
He had Ile, his head assistant, who he found to be excellent, sound the horn and summon all to the gathering place for the momentous announcement. The energy was simply crackling; you could feel it emanating right through your very core. These were auspicious occasions, always a grand revelation for all, as travelers held a powerful position within this community.
Once all were gathered, Egroeg commenced with his greatly anticipated speech.
“Here ye one and all, exciting news has been revealed to me, which I am so pleased to share with you now. We not only have one new traveler, we have been graced with two! This is the first time we have been given two names, so two shall be added to our already prestigious list of travelers. I am so proud to announce that our first new traveler is… Nai.”
Nai was one of Egroeg’s favorite wee-people; he always had a wonderful imagination and was a capable and hard worker, always keeping a cool and level head. Whenever he was asked to confront any challenge, no matter how daunting, he never complained and always managed to find a solution.
When Nai heard his name being called, his face lit up like the sun. As huge as his eyes were, one could scarcely think it possible for them to become even larger, but they most certainly did with the announcement that he was to become one of the prestigious travelers. He approached the center of the crowd to partake of the drinking ritual, as this was his right of passage in becoming one of the elite.
He stood by their great leader in anticipation of the ritual. Egroeg then announced the second wee person who was to become a new traveler.
“Now it is my pleasure to announce for the first time in our history, a second traveler to be appointed. His name is…” He paused before speaking, as their rose quite the brouhaha amongst the crowd. “All right simmer down, simmer down; I know this is an extremely exciting time in our history, but if you do not quiet down, I cannot make this announcement… It is my pleasure to announce that our second traveler is… Belac.”
There rose such a commotion within the crowd, for two precedents had been set upon this day. The first of them was to have two new travelers appointed at once. The second was that Belac was Nai’s younger brother; never in the history of the wee-people had two brothers been allowed to enter the Otherworld at the same time.
Egroeg had other issues with this choice, as Belac had a tendency to create hurly burly wherever he went; unlike his brother, he was renowned for being a bit of a rabble-rouser, creating a conundrum for any who had to work with him.
The Shay must have chosen him for his tendency to be quite ferociously unafraid of anything; he had a reputation for standing his ground, sometimes to the detriment of others. However, the Shay cannot be questioned as it is never wrong, so with that, Belac came towards the center to partake in the drinking ritual.
From a rather tall vessel, Egroeg poured the beverage which had been produced from a recipe given by the Shay, one that only Egroeg knew the ingredients of, as it was forbidden for any other to know the sacred recipe. This was so commanded by the Shay. Once he poured the beverage into the goblet, he gave Nai a drink, uttering the powerful words which have been spoken since the discovery of the Otherworld.
“Take in this elixir as what you seek, for this new feat, may only be found, as you are bound, to this, everlasting drink.”
With the words now spoken, Nai drank from the goblet. Once done, he inhaled deeply, feeling the effects of this most powerful of elixirs, knowing full well the ramification of this act, for what has been done, cannot be undone!
The crowd simply roared with joy and delight as the newest traveler embraced his new appointment.
Next, it was Belac’s turn. The goblet was filled once again, and the words were spoken. As he drank, he choked a bit, then wheezed and puffed. He seemed almost to turn a bit on the greenish side. Everyone gasped with shock, as no one had ever, in all the history of the travelers, done such a thing. It was simply unacceptable.
He then gulped down every last drop within the goblet. With that, the crowd felt a bit more at ease, and then they all cheered a great WHOOP, WHOOP, WHOOP, as this was their way.
Egroeg introduced the two new travelers, saying, “Hear my words, one and all, as I proclaim these two, Nai and Belac, travelers of the highest esteem. “ With that, he grabbed the two of their hands, raising them high as he could as the crowd roared in sheer jubilance.
“Let the feasting begin!” Egroeg shouted, causing the crowd to become even more elated as they chanted, “Egroeg is our great leader; he can do no wrong; we hold him in the highest favor. Hail Egroeg! Hail Egroeg!” This was a salute they shouted whenever the mood struck them, as their adoration for Egroeg could not be diminished.
The crowd walked quickly to the feasting grounds, where the tables had already been set. The mood was right for many toasts upon this night, one could be sure of that. Then there it came, the roasted beast spread out upon the platter, steaming from the smoke and heat from the coals that burned so neat. The meat juices did flow freely from the skin down within. Everyone ooohed and aaahed with delight as the beast was carried onto the main table for the new traveler to slice into, but which one would do the honors, as now there were two?
Egroeg, seeing the dilemma, quickly stepped up his pace to get to the beast in time, and he spoke, “Since there are two, you shall draw straws for the one which will slice into the beast.” With that, he held out two straws for them to choose. Nai chose first, pulling quite a long straw, and then Belac chose next, pulling a short one.
Now the crowd, knowing Belac to be a bit on the grumpy side, pulled back with a gasp, expecting him to react in a fitful manner, as was his usual state of being when things did not go his way. Instead, he jovially handed Nai the large carving knife, even smiling and then hugging his brother with such fervor, as he himself was so ecstatic that both he and his dear brother had been chosen for such an honor. Nothing could diminish his mood.
Upon witnessing this display, the crowd felt an overwhelming exhilaration which sent them into such a series of WHOOP, WHOOP, WHOOPs, that they even forgot about that roasted beast. Crying tearfully, the brothers continued to embrace, setting everyone to hugging everyone else simply because they were near to them. In all the days of the existence of these wee-peoples, nothing had ever brought them to such heights as the events of this one day.
Nai began to carve the roasted beast as everyone watched, their mouths salivating as they did, all with great anticipation of that first most perfect of bites. Nai, since he had drawn the longer straw, was to have the first taste. As he placed the meat upon the fork, everyone watched, panting with joy as he brought the steaming fork to his mouth. Then, to their surprise and delight, he bypassed his own lips and placed the fork in front of his brother’s mouth. Belac took the first bite, grinning the largest grin any within this land had ever seen. For you see, Nai had the most expressive eyes, but Belac had the grandest of smiles, one that could light up even the cloudiest of days, that is, when he chose to display it.
The feasting went on for days, as was the tradition, with music, dancing, and singing. Music and all things musical have always been a part of the wee-beings’ traditions; why, at times they would even speak in harmony. The feasting was simply astounding, as no one ever seemed to get completely full from so much merriment. The two brothers believed nothing could ever put a damper on this celebration, as it was truly the best they had ever experienced.
But end it must, and end it did. The sleepy little villagers all drifted to their own domes and fell to sleep for what seemed at least a week, speaking in terms of time as your kind might understand it. Once they awoke, there was plenty of work to be done to get the travelers on their way, for their very existence seemed to rely on it. So the Shay did say.
Egroeg was busy in his workshop doing whatever it was that he did. No one really understood his work; they only knew that whatever it was he did, he certainly did it very well. His workshop contained various inventions; one was an unusual machine which would allow a wee person to eat without using his hands, leaving them free to write in a book, or sew a shirt, or even make a sweet. Other mechanisms would allow a wee person to play an instrument they had never played before. This was one of their favorite inventions, as the wee-people did enjoy music immensely.
Egroeg’s workshop was very organized despite his many projects. Иoiznemid people come naturally to keeping order within their lives and whatever surrounds them; they thrive on it, if truth be told. Being fastidious is innately a priority for them, well most of them I should clarify.
All the travelers were to gather at the house of knowledge, where they were to receive any last minute instructions before crossing over into the Otherworld. Nai and Belac had already been trained, as it was the tradition for all to train for the position because no one ever knew who would be selected. They simply all had to gain the requisite basic knowledge in case it might be them chosen to go.
Entering the Otherworld was a great honor and privilege, but it did not come without danger. Some travelers were lost and never heard from again, while others were maimed; one just never knew what may come their way, so they had to be prepared for anything and everything.
Once all the travelers were gathered in the house of knowledge, they were given a speech of encouragement and support, but also warnings by Egroeg, their leader.
“On this great day with our two new travelers, we are bound to achieve even more success in our quest. You have all been well trained, so you know your job. I have utmost confidence in your abilities, or you would not be here. The Shay would not have chosen you if it did not feel you were right for this task. So now, as you enter the Otherworld, do so with the knowledge that you and you alone have been granted this privilege, so go now, always doing your best, as that is all anyone can expect of you.”
With these words of encouragement spoken, everyone somberly walked to the center dome, where the energy source resided. Nai took hold of his brother’s hand as they walked side by side until it was time to enter. It was the way of the wees to display affection for eachother without hesitation and it was clear these brothers were devoted to eachother. Once inside the dome, they all remained quiet as they walked one at a time into the light source in the center, where the energy beam pulsated.
Nai felt a sense of dread as he paced ever closer to the light. This sensation surprised him as he thought he was completely ready for this. How puzzling this feeling was to him; it disturbed him greatly. He stepped one last time and he was gone, lost in the light.
Belac, on the other hand, felt a great sense of excitement, no fear at all. His blood coursed, surging throughout his body, bringing him to a state of awakening as he had never felt before, even the time he got into that scuffle with Ile. What a day that was! Who would have ever thought he would take him down so fast, as Ile was far stouter than he. On that day, he felt a surge similar to this, but nothing could truly compare to what he felt as he walked slowly into the light.
Chapter two-The Otherworld
Nai felt a sense of separation from his body as he traveled through the space that would eventually bring him to the Otherworld. It was a strange sensation. He seemed to be aware of his thinking mind, but he felt completely out of sorts with his body, unable to move any extremity. He just seemed to float. This went on for what seemed an immeasurable amount of time. He began to feel nauseous as he felt himself reunite with his body upon entering the Otherworld.
Belac fared much better, rather enjoying the experience. Once they both arrived, they found themselves in an unusual place that seemed to be an attic. They turned to look at the portal they had come through, which from this end appeared to be a trap door. All of the travelers who had arrived gathered around the trap door to wait for the others to come through the gateway, which had been made available to them by the power and knowledge of the Shay.
The brothers embraced once they had all their faculties about them. It was so good to have my brother to go through this with, Belac thought. Nai was just relieved it was over. Once they were all together, they started out to look for her, as she had their instructions. Some of the wee-people had been here before, but most of this group was new to this place, as for some strange reason they had lost some wee-people the last time they departed.
They started to leave the attic in search of her, when the door flew open and there before them stood the most stunningly, exquisite female they had ever seen. They had heard of her beauty, but most had never seen her in person. She was so tall and slender, the tallest female they had ever laid their eyes on. Her skin was pale in color, almost appearing as porcelain, her hair was the color of a brilliant, deep red sunset, and her eyes were as green as the leaves on the trees, clear, large pools full of expression. She was simply breathtaking. As they gazed at her, they all seemed to have a difficult time with their speech as a result of not being able to catch their breath.
“I see you have arrived unscathed then, yes? My name is Ninsar, and I will show you what you are to do… now follow me.”
All the wee-people did as they were told. After all, what else were they to do? This is what they had been preparing for, training for, and learning about; their entire lives depended on complete obedience. This is what the Shay had commanded; therefore, it must be so.
They followed their lovely hostess down a long staircase that led to an entryway. They could not help but notice the fireplace; it was the biggest fireplace they had ever seen, but then everything in this world was huge. This place was a fine castle, indeed. None of them had ever seen a castle, mind you, but they had heard of them in the tales told to them in their tot times.
She led them to the garden, where they were greeted by some more wee-people; funny, they did not know there were any others like them. Ninsar stated, “They will assist you with information about where you need to go and what your duties will be. I must leave you now.” And with that she turned and walked away ever so gracefully. Why, she almost seemed to float! They all stood there speechless until she was out of sight.
Belac spoke first, “My, she is something, isn’t she, and so tall.” He said these words without thinking of whom he spoke, simply speaking as a child might, mindlessly, innocently. One of the other wee ones took much offense to his remark and dealt with him harshly, saying, “You mind your tongue! It is she who cares for us. We are only here to do her bidding. Now enough talk. Follow me; there is a great deal to show you.”
They followed in silence. “What is this place?” Belac thought. “Why must we come here? This does not seem like such a nice place at all.”
The lead stranger, who had scowled at Belac’s remark, was among this new group of wee-people spoke, saying, “My name is Gren. I am your advisor, and you are always to report to me with any questions or concerns. This world is not like your own; do not take anything for granted, or it could mean your life. Your job is simple. You go forth creating havoc wherever you may. This is the source of the shool, which we all thrive on both here and in your world. After you have filled your quota, you may then return to your world for an ample, needed rest, until you are needed again. Any questions?”
Belac spoke, “This place seems so tranquil. How are we to cause any havoc here?”
“You do not create havoc here, you imbecile. You must venture out into the Otherworld, out there.” He pointed towards the road leading outside. “You are still on neutral ground here, as this is not the Otherworld. Don’t they teach you anything?” His voice then trailed off in frustration, “I can see I have my work cut out for me, and during the growing season, too. BAH!”
He led them to the herb garden, explaining how it was the best-kept garden they would ever lay their eyes on, and it was all for her, their lovely Ninsar. If she were pleased, they would prosper, that was the way it had always been.
Belac asked a simple question, “Why?”
“Oh you again… why are you so impetuous? You need to stop your ever-prying thoughts; I can tell you this right now. No one ever questions what we do here, no one, not ever, no how, no sir. Now you shut your questioning mind right down!” Gren spoke in an antagonistic voice.
Belac stood there feeling every bit as outraged as any wee person with an ounce of dignity would. How dare this wee person proclaim to never question anything? Why, just the thought he found to be preposterous, utterly and distinctly preposterous. But he knew for the time being he should let it rest, as there was so much he still had to learn from this Gren, though this thought did repulse him some.
Nai wanted to get on with business, that was why he was here, and there was no time to spare. He just wanted to get right down to it, enough jibber jabber. He spoke to Gren, “Tell me what I need to do, and I will do it.”
“Well now… this is someone you should learn from,” he said, glaring at Belac. “All right, all in good time; it is good to be excited about your work, but in this job there are no short cuts. Now I know you have all been trained in the dangers of this land, but let me just say, the dangers are far more grievous than you have been told.
The people of this world believe we are fictional creatures and will stop at nothing to get proof of our existence. You must never, ever, leave any evidence as to your whereabouts. Doing so could prove detrimental to all of us.
They have various names for us here, silly names really, that they seem to find endearing for some reason. One of these names is elf; that is my favorite; as everyone knows elves do not exist except in tales we tell the tots.
Some others are brownie, leprechaun and fairy. That last one I find a little frightening, if I do say so myself. There are even more, but for now that will do. If you are seen, and believe me, you will be sooner or later, they may even call you a monster. Do not be alarmed at any of their ranting’s; they are all muddle-headed anyway. They run their lives as all muddle-headed beings do. Pay them very little attention. Believe me, they make our jobs very easy. Now do your job well; that is what you are here for.
I know for now you are all feeling taxed since this is the first time most of you have crossed; it does get easier the more you do it. Eventually it will be no more draining than walking a few paces. So, we will dine, and then you will rest for the duration of the evening, as the trip you took through the portal will take its toll on you. Then come morning, I will direct you to each of your destinations. Follow me to the table for dinner.”
He was right about one thing, I feel quiet exhausted. I wonder how all this will unfold, these beings sound so strange. I wonder if they are really that muddle-headed? thought Belac.
Nai walked over towards his brother, feeling a bit uneasy with even being here. Maybe he should not have wished for it so much; maybe then he could still be home where he felt safe and more comfortable. He spoke to Belac, “What do you think of all this?”
“It is puzzling, that’s for sure. They seem to have no thoughts of their own. Everything they do, think, and say is proclaimed to them. I find this most curious. And where did these wee-people come from, hmm? Yes, I am filled with questions,” Belac replied in a calm voice.
“Well, you best keep your thoughts to yourself; they really do not approve of your questions. I for one just want to do this job and go home. This place is unfamiliar. Something is strange here.” Nai spoke with foreboding in his tone.
“I could not agree more, but what is it? I shall seek the answers, all in good time. For now, let us eat, as my empty spot screams for food,” Belac said, as he patted on his stomach.
They joined the others at the table to fill their empty place. It had been quite a day for these travelers, so much to take in, but tomorrow would be a new day, a new beginning. But would they gain any new answers to their many questions?
The brothers slept the sleep of dreams, their minds full of thoughts, odd thoughts, thoughts of a future filled with turmoil. They tossed and turned in a fitful unrest. Curiously, they had the same dreams, but they never bothered to share them with each other.
The day awakened with the brilliant sunshine; it was vast, as everything seemed to be in this strange world. The brothers were now unusually ready for the day, as yesterday was just a distant memory. They met everyone at the table to eat before getting on their way with their new jobs.
Everyone ate in silence. Because of their anxiety, the food did not seem to have any flavor at all; if it did, they did not notice. Once they were done, Gren ordered everyone to follow him so the seasoned travelers could be sent on their way. He ordered those who had already been to the Otherworld, to leave since they had been there before, they knew what to do.
The new ones, which was most of them on this trip, had to stay behind as they now had further training to prepare them for what they were to face. There were a few advanced classes that they had to take before they could be sent over. Mind-melding was one of them, it was rarely ever used, but they still had to learn it. They learned quickly as wees have a tendency to do. In no time at all, they too were ready to be sent into the Otherworld.