It was an ordinary spear.
It had belonged to an ordinary hunter.
Under the leaf covered sky of Kigan, things go through many changes, the core essence, the korba, however, remains the same. Even a spear that gains spirit and even ends up worshipped as a god, is still, in the end, a spear.
This spear was never worshipped. It had not even been taken particularly good care of. Perhaps that was part of why its owner died.
Amid snow and wind, the spear was pierced into the ground, and its former owner was eaten by a tiger. In that at least there wasn’t a great shame, certainly many hunters, even astonishingly powerful ones have died ignoble deaths. The tiger did not take long to eat its fill, leaving behind scraps and cracked bones. Following the tiger, the king of regular predators was the king of the mundane scavengers.
The muffle vulture.
A heavy bird that has a bald head that it hides amidst its snowy downy feathers. Some call it the headless vulture due to what it looks like when doing this. There were three of these vultures following the tiger, and they made short work of the remains that were strewn before the spear.
After they had eaten quickly, the muffled vultures returned to the chilling winds of Nortrieln, where they lived. They vanished into the snowfall.
They did however, leave behind some of the cunning insects of Nortrieln.
These tics were as pebbles, and reaching the end of their life, they laid their eggs inside the cracked bones. The spear remained as it was throughout this. Time passed, the wind and snow pressed the spear ever deeper into the soil of Nortrieln.
The the eggs hatched and grubs began to eat bone.
Then there came along a nervous and watchful creature. Again, a snow-white being, not unlike a hare, but possessing paws like that of a monkey or lemur. A Jaka, distantly related to that most mystic of hares, the jackalope.
Jakas would eat bones in hopes of growing horns, and thus becoming like a jackalope. Of course, A jaka would be happy enough to eat bone tic grubs. It was the misfortune of the grubs that they had not grown into tics that could live on the jaka.
The jaka only ate one of the grub stuffed bones there and then. It simply killed the grubs of the other bones, and then hurriedly buried the bones, intending to come back at a later time to eat them. This would not happen, as the jaka would end up being caught and eaten by one of Nortrielns many kinds of hawk.
It was perhaps this that was the first stroke of fortune that the spear had. Bones were buried near it. Bones filled with the dead grubs. As the winds and snow pushed it deeper into the soil, the spear changed, just a little. Gaining a bit more of the essence of death, the essence of young insects, thus the essence of metamorphosis, for few unmagical beings have such a quantity of that as insects do.
It would be some years before the spear would receive its next stroke of fortune, and so the spear slumbered beneath the earth.
Blown by the winds, the next stroke of fortune took the form of the tiger that had killed its owner. The tiger had changed much, white fur had taken a sooty hue and on its back there was budding feathered wings. Clearly the tiger was attempting to become a winged tiger, a magical beast.
It had however failed. The tiger was dying. It had the misfortune of coming across another tiger, one that was progressing well into becoming a man-faced tiger. It had lost quite badly, only barely managing to escape.
The main reason it lost, was due to the parasites that dwelt within its body, but those insects were no better off than the tiger, for the poison of the man-faced tiger had also killed them.
Once a proud king, the tiger lay above where the spear had once been. It looked mournfully at its incomplete wings and breathed out one last shuddering breath. Its struggle ended, and in that moment, it looked almost peaceful. The wind, so harsh and cruel, seemed more like a loving mother as it sent snow to cover the fallen king.
Alas, the vultures would not fail to notice the death of this king. They would however pay for their greed. They could not sense the poison in the King’s body. They could not smell it. Further, what fears did they have of poison? The vultures would happily eat the meat of the king, for they had their own dreams of ascension. They wished to become harpies, human faced and chested birds, as in their blood there was the memory that some of their ancestors had been so.
Indeed, these vultures, had a mage bothered, could have traced their blood back to beings far more powerful than mere harpies.
The poison of the man-faced tiger however, while weak, was magical, and the vultures were not yet flush with magic powers. Thus, when they began their feast, in sort order they died, as did many of their parasites.
Some lived on however, and lived among the four corpses. The winds blew and in time buried them. Through the sifting of winds, the pressure of snow, the spear was entangled with bone, flesh and insects.
However, the insects that ate the tiger and vultures, had no food other than this, and so they burrowed into the spear and went into hibernation.
The time had come for the spear to feast.
Yet, for those without life, it takes a long time to come to life. Years passed, and the spear gained more the essences of those around it, and drew deeply on the sleeping insects within it. In time, it became hard to separate the korba of the two.
Finally, the spear awakened. It was a spear, but it was something like an tiger-shaped insect, one who’s wings were feathered. One who was also spear shaped, a head of metal and a body of rotting wood, bone and chitin.
It was yet weak, but it could move beneath the earth, for that was its home.
Like the vultures and the tiger, it was urged on to become more than what it was.
This then, could be counted as the start of the spear’s life.
Who would know where it would end up? Perhaps it would end up as fodder for some other being’s advancement, perhaps it would ascend to the highest realms of power. Perhaps it would remain as it was, never again experiencing the kind of fortune that brought it to life. It wasn’t unlikely that it would be captured and refined as a spear once more by some hunter.
Yet, this story is at an end, for it was only ever about how the spear came to life and with that life, this story has gone the way of the tiger and vultures.<< Actually Jelly What the Rain Will Not Wash Away >>