...Oh, how do I know the story?
Well, my father father's journal recounts these words, dear Prince—and now I shall give them to you. Guard them with your life.
So--the story begins, as most do, with two little old grumpy gnomes who lived beneath the knoll at Edmond's Steading. What, you've never heard of it? I suppose it's not called Edmond's Steading any longer, because the Thing that was Edmond has long sense fallen asleep. Now they call it Nexton's Ring. Ah, you do know it! I can see it by the glint in your eyes!
And--for once Riol, sit still. I won't be bothered by anymore childish questions while I'm talking. Your brother's asleep next door and Miera is here now, so don't pester me. Clamp those lips or I'll fetch some fairy's feet from the pantry—that'll steel your tongue to silence.
Well, where was I? Oh, I remember.
One gnome was named...Nilionxi. He was extraordinary gifted in the arts of Making and Remembering. His brother, Ryniomlous, practiced the magic of Healing and Fixing, along with Storing—if I remember correctly. My memory isn't what it used to be, children. It comes with the wrinkles.
Well, Nilionxi and Ryniomlous were both very old. They had seen the scope of the earth. They had broken many fasts in the Great Reaches. They had wandered through Sealoe's Forest, where it meets the unexplored west beyond the peaked mountain ranges.
What do you mean, I talk like I've been there? Of course I've been there. I am your father's magician, it's my job to know these things. Now be quiet and listen, or I'll leave and tell my tale to the kitchen wrenches. God knows they deserve a break, after all the muffins and soups you two order, and the mess you make.
Anyway, the two brothers dug out a system of tunnels beneath Steading, winding passages here and there, filling their rooms with dusty tomes and stacks upon stacks of bottled eye of newt and witches blood. I never said they were particularly nice old gnomes—not that they weren’t nice. They were most methodical and studious. Oh, and sneaky, of course. To pass the time between decades, they would dabble with the elements of nature, and prank the other--to see who could unweave the other's weaving.
The stouter wizard, who as I mentioned before, was called Ryniomlous (only, this was not his true name, sadly he had forgotten his name thrice over, and thus currently called himself Ryniomlosu) was mixing a potion over his stove when he heard a loud explosion down the tunnel. He was currently mixing a potion of his own concoction—a great prank he had planned for his lesser, and thinner, brother—and thus the loud noise broke his concentration, but only for a second.
A great cloud of dust soon followed the explosion, but Ryniomlous was not interested. He wanted to finish crafting his ring--a water ring that would allow the wearer to control the essence of water he was nearest too. There were 9 rivers this side of the Isles—starting with the Dalpthine lake, that fed into the Gaunt River, that wound its easy way though the Steading. The lake was the center—all 9 rivers flowed from it. Ryniomlous hoped to relocate much of this water into his fellow gnome's study this evening, mayhap accompanied by a surplus of very bewildered fish, and an angry selkie or two. Oh, he could see his brothers face now—a big wrinkled O of surprise, followed by the horror that he was about to get very, very wet. Because there was nothing that Nilionxi hated more then getting his socks wet. Well, perhaps visitors. Both brothers liked their solitude, and so generally were left very much alone. They had found the greatest deterrent to visitors was the threat of being turned into a bird or a tree or some oddment.
Huh? It's a proven fact that gnomes despise water. Why would you ask?
The ring already had 8 stones of crystallized water attached. It had taken him six months of traveling to collect water from each of the 9 rivers this side of the Isles—because, if he was going to do this spell, he needed an essence from each body of water. It was a powerful summoning, perhaps his greatest. Ryniomlsu could already feel the keening of the water coursing through the ring, a powerful summoning that sounded almost like a siren's song. He ignored another explosion from somewhere down the tunnel, and readied his soldering tool—carefully holding the last bead in place.
What do you mean I changed his name? Oh, fodder, this brain of mine. Can't even remember the tale right. It was Rynio-something. Ruio? Ruf? Whatever it was, its unimportant to the tale. Just listen.
Suddenly the earth shook, and Ryniomlsu looked up, his hand faltering. Confound it all, what was Nilionxi doing? As his head was turned toward the door, he failed to notice as a small drop of water fell away from his ring, breaking from the beaded essence and promptly slipping away into the floor. Ryniomlus quickly turned back to his work, and carefully bonded his last node of water. He held it up triumphantly towards the light, turning it each and every way, watching the sun from his skylight glint through the pale blue drops. It was then he realized he had made a terrible mistake.
...And that is how the desert was born. Are you two ready for bed now?
Stay tuned for part two in the story! I release a new segment every week. You can see all parts, as well as all my other writing here: My Writing. Please know that this story has not been proofread by anyone other then me, and spelling errors may abound :)