The Magpie and the Thread of Gold

Once upon a time, long long ago, when the Storms were warm and yellow, and the Mists cool and blue, and the Land was whole and green, there was a bird called the Magpie.

Now, the birds are of the Storm, just as men are of the land, and fish are of the Mists. And just as the land makes men rugged and stubborn, and the Mists makes the fish patient and mindless, the Storm makes birds quick and hot-tempered.

And the Magpie, he was as hot-tempered as any, and covetous too. For the Magpie saw the metals and gems of the Land, and he wanted them.

But as the birds belong to the Storm, and the Storm belongs to the birds - so does the Land belong to men. The men, they were wise, and they knew no bird could own any part of the Land - so when the Magpie asked for a piece of their metal, they refused, even when the Magpie did ask sweetly. The Magpie asked and asked, until his voice lost its sweetness and was left but a croak. But still the men refused.

So the Magpie flew from the men, but he was covetous still. So he flew over the land, until a glimmer caught his beady eye. It was a piece of gold, pure and beautiful, sticking out of the ground, and the Magpie flew down to it and loved its shine.

And so the Magpie clenched the gold in his beak, and pulled. And pulled. And pulled some more. For the gold was not a nugget, but a thread - and the more the Magpie pulled from the land, the more he loved it, and the more he wanted it all, and the harder he tugged. And only when it was all out - miles and miles of gold thread - did he rest, and see the cracks forming in the Land.

And the men found the Magpie, and cursed him for his foolishness - for it was men who understood the Land, and knew which treasures to leave and which to take. And they knew the gold was the thread that had sewn the Land together - and without it, all was unravelling.

The Magpie tried to flee, but his talons were tangled in the thread, and the gold was too heavy. By the time he had freed himself, the men had cursed him on fire - and the Magpie flew to the Storm, as the colour burnt from his plumage. But the fire from his feathers spread throughout the clouds, and the Storm became inflamed and enraged. And the ash rained into the Mists, making them grey and miserable.

And the men looked at the thread of gold, and the broken world around them. But while they were wise, they did not know how to stitch the land back together.

And that is why you must never trust birds, for they understand little and care even less. And that is why we must study the Land, so that one day we may resew it.

game2/fiction_themagpie.txt · Last modified: 2008/10/10 00:20 by gm_tony