Winds of fortune: starfall


The Soverign Lord of the City of Bridges calmly withdraws a key from his pocket, and uses it to open an unassuming door beside an extravagent tapestry woven from metallic threads. Beyond is a steep staircase, winding round and around itself. He does not hurry, nor does he bother to create any light. At the bottom there is a second door, also locked. He draws a different key from a different pocket, and unlocks the portal. He counts lowly under his breath, and twists the handle when his count reaches a certain number. The portal opens with a wheezing, groaning sound. He is forced to bow his head slightly to pass through the low door, angling his head slightly to prevent the horns he wears from catching on the doorframe.

Beyond is a thing that defies easy explanation. A machine whose only moving parts are uncountable numbers of threads, of all the colours of the rainbow. It is in constant slow motion, with threads winding around each other and uncoiling; changing colour; crossing and uncrossing; snapping and twisting together to form new threads. One could spend a lifetime studying its radiant complexity and never learn more than a fraction of it.

Scuttling through and around the loom of the stars are a dozen little creatures that are somewhat like arachnids, and somewhat like entirely different creatures. It is hard to look at them closely. As the golden prince enters, they cease their movement for a heartbeat to watch him enter, and each bobs its body just so in a manner reminiscent of a courtier greeting their lord.

Prospero acknowledges them, and examines the loom for a moment. He moves through it in a certain way, in a direction that is difficult to put into words, and comes to a certain part of it. He reaches out his hand and lays a metallic talon on a single thick cord woven of dark purple and crimson strands. He taps it once, turns his head, and from a different angle the strand and the loom and the room are gone and he is watching a great ball of crimson fire that is also a churning cloud and a coiling mist which gives a great sensation of motion without moving. He watches it in his mind’s eye. At first it is single-natured, but then without warning it becomes almost impossible to perceive, splintering into hundreds of ghostly images. Yet each image ends the same way - with an explosive impact - but in each case the location of the impact varies.

He turns his head again, observes the loom once more, traces his finger along the star’s thread in a different direction. he barely seems interested in the thread itself, but in all the myriad strands and cords that weave around it. He taps one of his other fingers against his lips as he studies the loom, brow furrowed.

“The red star,” he says out loud. One of the little spider-things scuttles up his leg and onto his shoulder, It caresses his ear with its little forelegs. He leans slightly forward, examining other strands. Here a green and blue cord made up of five smaller cords that coil and uncoil around each other crosses the star’s thread. There a six-fold rope made up of hundreds of tiny hairs wraps around and around it. He follows along the star thread to where it abruptly ends.

No, not ends. Bursts, uncoils, frays and snaps. At a certain point the red and purple strands break apart and spread out in all directions, coiling around other threads. Almost too many to count, but the Lord of the Loom tracks them all. More or less. He smiles, clearly pleased with what he has seen.

“Let me know if anything significant changes,” he whispers to the little spiderling on his shoulder. “If nothing else happens, let me know the moment that it becomes immanent - once it is too late to change where it will fall. I want to take a proper look at the implications of the location and see what opportunities present themselves.”
The spiderling chitters, and scuttles down Prospero’s shoulder. He stands for another timeless moment examining certain other threads of interest and then, satisfied, he left the chamber by a different door, a circular portal that opened with a whirr and closed with a peculiar chuffing, leaving the spiderlings to their work observing the loom, and the loom to its enigmatic business.

The big red star is going to hit the Empire. It’s likely to be quite messy - especially if you live in Miekarova where it is due to hit. There are ways to change where the comet strikes, but they need to be carefully considered. The damn thing has to go somewhere after all.

You can learn more about what this all means here →

The good bit sof the text are by Gerwyn Walters. Any weird bits are by me.

#tinkletinklelittlestar #thereatlast, #whatisthemeltingpointofiliumanyway