Why the Sun Revolves Around the Planet

Some of my readers are aware that I am working on a Steampunk Epic in which the old magic is giving way grudgingly to the new technomagic. This is a myth from that world.

 

In the earliest days of our world the Altmages were in their infancy and they lived alongside humans, giants, dwarves, shapeshifters, and all manner of creatures both intelligent and dumb. The planet was thinly populated, and those early Altmages wandered from place to place perfecting their different magics and using them to help those who needed it. They became known far and wide as benefactors, and it was during this time that certain people began to worship them as gods or at least demigods. Some of the Altmages accepted such worship as their due. Others sought to eschew such silliness while still others used the gullibility of the masses to their own ends.

At this time that the sun did not rise and set as it does now. One side of our world was always light, one side always dark, and a narrow band around it was always in perpetual twilight. On the light side the growing season never ended and the land was perpetually green and abundant with life. On the dark side nothing grew but bitter fungus and the darkness was given over to vampiric creatures who preyed on the unwitting who ventured there or deep enough into the twilight regions to be attacked. After a time the population on the light side expanded to a point at which—even with Altmage magic—it was difficult to feed all the masses, and farmers began expanding even more into the twilight regions and depredations upon them increased exponentially.

In this time an Altmage appeared calling himself The Destined, for he purposed that his entire reason for being was to end the scourge of the vampires and to make the entire planet suitable for living. With this in mind he had turned his pursuit of magic to that of a source of light that mimicked the sun, and perfecting such he took to traveling far and wide on the dark side of the world burning the infernal demons wherever he found them. Whenever he destroyed one of their lairs he placed another of his magical lamps there to assure that the vampires would never returned, and he planted seeds of various plants within the glow of the lights.

But a world—even half a world—is an immense place, and even Altmages—who were longlived indeed—grow old. Eventually The Destined realized that he could never destroy enough lairs or kill enough vampires or create enough forever lamps to spread life to the entire dark side of our world, and he despaired. He was contemplating the work he had done and the futility of his dream when he became aware of a presence just beyond the veil of his lamps. A pair of deep crimson eyes glowed there, staring back at him malevolently.

“I do not fear you, Beast,” he called, shaking his head. “I will come for you soon enough. If this was your lair everyone here is dead and will remain so.”

A long laugh rattled the air like glass clattering within glass.

“Do you think the Undead fear death, Altmage?” said a voice as harsh as sand.

“We all fear death.”

The laugh again.

“Then you know so little of the people you murder. I have lived a thousand of your lifetimes. I have seen all there is to see and done all there is to do. Why should I fear death? It will be an adventure when it comes.”

“Step into my light then,” said The Destined, “and I will see that it comes swiftly to you.”

“Perhaps I am closer to doing that than you know.”

“Stop talking then and wasting my time.”

“Do you know to whom you speak?”

“A beast.”

“To you perhaps, but here I am called Sirus.”

The Destined grew still, for he had heard the name muttered by dying vampires, seen it written in their horrid script on a thousand cold stone walls.

“The King of the Vampires?”

“You may call me such. My people refer to me simply as Master.”

The Destined edged a little closer, but as he did so Sirus seemed to flow away back into the darkness.

“What is it you want here?” asked The Destined.

“A truce.”

“A truce?” said The Destined, chuckling. “Do think I would make a truce with vermin?”

The red eyes squinted, and for a moment The Destined thought that the King of the Vampires was about to charge into the light after him.

“Do you think you can destroy us all?” asked Sirus. “You must see the futility of that quest. We are as the grains of sand on the beach.”

“There are far too many of you I will admit that.”

“What if I helped you to thin the herd?”

“Why would you do that?”

“Let us say that not all my people admit my mastery, and I would start afresh.”

“I do not pick and choose my prey. They are all the same to me.”

“I did not assume you would.”

“What is it you propose then?” asked The Destined, still glancing around for a means of attack.

“There are other weapons than the one you wield.”

“I am aware of the weaknesses of your kind,” said The Destined, “but they are none of them as powerful as my light and too difficult to administer to more than one or two at a time.”

“Think,” said Sirus. “Why is your world and mine different?”

“We have the sun.”

“Indeed.”

“I am powerful, but not powerful enough to create another sun.”

“Then use the one you have.”

“What? How?”

“Set it to spinning about the globe. That way the entire world will share darkness and light. The light will surely kill most of my people, but the darkness will shield those of us who survive and we will adapt.”

“I’m still not certain how this helps you even if there were a means to accomplish it.”

“I grow weary of the world as it is, and I would change it to something it has never been.”

“You would be able to spread throughout our lands when it was dark.”

“And you would be able to hunt us anywhere on the planet when it was light and be safe behind your lamps when it was dark.”

The Destined considered that. The light side was becoming overpopulated and underfed even with all Altmages could do. Perhaps it would be better to have an entire world even if vampires shared some of it, rather than to have one side dead and the other side dying. There was always the possibility of eradicating the vermin after the deal was brokered.

“How then would you accomplish this miracle?” asked The Destined.

“Know you not that the sun sits in a pocket in the sky?” asked Sirus.

“Everyone knows this,” said The Destined. “The sky is a great bowl and the sun rests in its own cup.”

“Not a bowl,” said Sirus. “A globe which mimics the one we both stand upon.”

“So?”

“All that is required is to strike the sun hard enough, and it will be dislodged from its pocket and begin to revolve around our planet.”

“You seem to think we Altmages are all powerful.”

The laugh again.

“If I believed that you would certainly be poor proof of it.”

“Do you have some notion of just how this feat might be accomplished then?” asked The Destined.

“Know you that Mount Kennesah erupts once a month?”

“So?”

“If it were to be plugged, might it not eject stones high enough to strike the sun?”

“Why should I believe that it would?”

“Because when it originally erupted it struck the sky, creating the pocket into which the sun has become locked.”

“How would you know this?”

“Because I witnessed it.  I was not born a vampire.  I was created one by the foul gases which poured out around Kennesah then. Now it is endemic in my people, but it was not always so.”

“How would we plug a volcano?”

“You must convince your other Altmages to aid you.”

And in the end that was how it was done, although it took a lot of arguing to convince other Altmages to trust the King of the Vampires. In the end a thousand gathered around the caldera of Mount Kennesah, and they brought with them enough boulders from around the planet—levitating, rolling, dragging—to fill the entire volcano. Then they moved to a safe distance and waited.

When the volcano erupted with a massive vibration that sent them all crashing to their knees and covering their ears it indeed blew enough detritus skyward to drive the sun from its cup and set it racing around the planet as it does to this day. It also sent a blast of ash and fiery heat out in all directions so that all the Altmages gathered there and all other life for hundreds of stadts in all directions was wiped out. It is true that the sun killed the vast majority of unsuspecting vampires as it came suddenly upon them, but it is also true that it was only a matter of time before those who survived—including the Vampire King, Sirus—adapted to the new days and nights and once again predated on humans. There are those today who believe that vampires were always a myth, others who believe they were long ago hunted to extinction, but they are neither. They live among us to this day, and while you can hate them for the vermin that they are, you must thank them for the gift of day and night.

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