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How Torra Brought Light to the World

The following is a traditional Ashkathi fable.

Long ago, in the time before time, the world was a dark place. The nights were long and cold, the days were short and brought little light to the depths below. The clouds covered the sky constantly. People lived in fear of the darkness, of beasts like the Gaaka-den. They wondered what lie above the clouds, that cast such a dark shadow upon the world. Torra decided that he would be the one to find out. He built up speed, and with a charge he made a great leap out of the water, high up to the clouds. As soon as he jumped past the clouds, he splashed back into water. There was another sea above the clouds! However, this sea, unlike the dark sea below it, was a brilliantly lit paradise. In this sea lived the Sky People, who lived like royalty. Torra went to speak to the Sky King, to ask for light for the world.

"O mighty Sky King," Torra greeted. "I am Torra. I come from the world below. Might you grant your light to that world?" he asked. The Sky King let out a mighty laugh.

"Our light is ours to keep, and no one's to take. You may not have our light," the Sky King chortled, as if he wasn't taking Torra's request seriously. Torra was taken aback.

"Where does your light come from, O mighty Sky King?" asked Torra. The Sky King said nothing, but swam over to a shuulua-frond curtain, pulling it back. Behind it was a golden orb, so brilliant that Torra could not look at it for very long. "What is that strange power you keep hidden there?!" Torra gasped in awe.

The Sky King simply put the curtain back over the Orb. "That is the Great Light. It brings the eternal light to our land. Without it, our land would diminish and die. Tell that to your people on the world below," the Sky King ordered Torra. Torra nodded.

"Yes, O mighty Sky King," Torra replied, and he turned to swim off. However, he had no intention of returning back to the lower world, not just yet. Instead, he would find a way to bring light to his realm. It was then that he had an idea. He would create a distraction. He swam to a clearing with many stones, which seemed to be lodged into the sand. He grabbed one of the stones with his teeth and pulled up at it, opening it up to reveal a hole on the floor of the ocean below the clouds. As he opened the hole, light began to pour out from the hole, along with some of the seawater that had been kept above the clouds. Torra hurriedly returned to the Sky King's palace.

"O mighty Sky King!" he hurriedly stated. "You must come quickly! I have found a hole in the seabed! The water is escaping!" The Sky King was aghast.

"A hole, you say?! This must be plugged! Show me where this hole is!" the Sky King ordered. Obediently, Torra swam out of the palace, the Sky King swimming behind him. Torra pointed out the gaping hole in the sky, that was leaking out into the world below. "This is terrible!" the Sky King stated, and in a panic he grabbed one of the many rocks on the ground, plugging it into the hole. The rock he lifted revealed yet another hole, which also caused light and water to pour out. The Sky King gasped, and began hurriedly pulling rocks out of their place to plug the new holes that were being formed. In addition, each hole in the clouds was causing the other holes to get bigger.

Torra saw this as an opportunity. As quickly as he could, he swam back to the Sky King's palace, and pulled back the Shuulua curtain. Turning his head away from the bright light, he scooped the orb into his fins. He had to get out of the palace with it. However, if he brought the orb with him to the lower world, the Sky People would surely know it was him. Instead, he swam to the surface of this new ocean. Above the new ocean was a sight he had never seen before-- an empty blue expanse, lit up brilliantly by the orb he carried in his fins. Quickly, he took the orb into his mouth, did a few flips out of the water to wind up, then he tossed the orb across the sky.

The orb flew across the sky, and as it flew, it grew more distant. Soon, it was so distant that as it moved across the sky, it barely looked like it was moving at all. His job complete, Torra had to return to the world below. However, as he swam downwards, the cloud beneath him opened up! The holes he and the Sky King had pulled from the seafloor were causing the clouds to come apart! Torra fell down to the lower world and landed in the lower sea with a loud splash. He looked up. There, up in the sky, was the Great Light. His job was complete, and light had been brought to the lower world.

This was not the end of the tale, however. When the Sky People found that their precious Great Light was lost in the sky, they blamed each other for the crime of theft. The Sky People broke out into infighting. As they fought, their great weapons made terrible noise and powerful flashes of fiery light that sometimes seeped below the clouds into the Lower World. The holes that Torra and the Sky King had pulled meant that the clouds kept losing water, and water poured from the sky. By bringing light to the world, Torra had also brought rain, thunder, and lightning.

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