Disclaimer: Welcome to another original story by this lunatic. The story is mine and the characters are mine. Please do not use them without my permission.
General warning: This story involves a sexual relationship between two women. If you don't like it … I honestly have no clue why you would be looking at my stories in the first place. You might have noticed the running theme in my stories is a sexual relationship between two women. Anyway, if you don't like it, keep on walking.
A/N: This is a sequel to Celestial Reign: Tears of the Sun. You probably need to read that to know what is going on in this story.
Special thanks to my beta reader: Rleef, who I forgot to give a shout-out to in the last couple of stories, but has been betaing for me for the past few stories. Sorry for not mentioning the awesomeness that is Rleef.
Celestial Reign: Baying for the Moon
Prologue: The Story of the Fall
The gods' behavior could never be understood by mortals, even those that tell their stories. Xol, the sun goddess, and Zonder, the red star, were never friends. They were never known to get along, but they would often compete with each other. As gods, their powers were infinite and therefore a winner between the two could almost never be determined. Still, they persisted and fought with each other on many occasion, stopping only when bored with the exercise. It was quite possible that their rivalry was all in good fun and only to relieve boredom … until they created their races.
Xol and Zonder could now compete and determine a true winner using their creations. As gods, their nature could never truly be understood by those creations, but they were used by their gods. They would compete to see whose creation could make the best foods, sing the best songs, brew the best beverages, and many other such contests. Often, they employed other gods as judges and then bestowed gifts and blessings on the winning race. Zonder even allowed Xin, the moon, to judge, even though he was the eternal lover of Xol.
Xin was known as the harsher judge amongst the gods, even though he had helped create daijinn with his and Xol's blood. Xin was wise, the light throughout the dark, and would never give his blessing easily. Whenever he did offer up a gift to the races of the world, it always seemed mundane and easily overlooked by the others, but made life infinitely simpler for the creations of the world. Xol and Zonder always saved the Moon's judgment for the toughest contests, like when they decided to see whose creation was the kindest.
Xol and Zonder challenged each other, claiming their respective creations were kinder than the other. They decided that they would use themselves as proof and become strangers to their creations. They set themselves in disguises, appearing to be mortal and members of their respective beings. They would be weary travelers and Xin would decide who was treated the best by their own beings. Xin would award the winner a great blessing.
The two gods came down from the sky and separated quickly. Xol went to a daijinn village while Zonder went to a human town. Xol was welcomed into the hamlet the moment that she set down and explained that she was passing through, having to go over the mountains to return to her own home. The daijinn were warm and friendly, having no trouble with offering lodging immediately to the traveler. She was given food and drink that seemed endless while regaling her hosts with fine stories of her travels as a small group played music to accompany her. Eager ears listened to her tales and then villagers told her their own fables. They offered maps, told her the best routes to travel to help her with her journey, and even whatever supplies she might need to help her. She was given the best furs to rest on and by the end of the night, the goddess was certain that she was the victor of their little contest.
Zonder possessed the same thoughts by the end of the night. He had also been welcomed in the human town with bright smiles and warmth. He informed those who had greeted him that he was on his way to the sea. He, too, was given lodgings for the night. Grins, handshakes, and hugs flowed as much as the hot cider he was given. He was fed the best meat and offered fine tobacco. He danced with many women and laughed with many more. He was placed on a soft straw mattress to rest his tired body. They even gave him supplies, among them new boots, to help him on his way.
The next day, the gods returned to the heavens only for Xin to rule the contest a draw. Outraged, both gods demanded reasons for such a decree. Xin, with great patience and intelligence, explained that both gods were treated well based on the cultures that they had visited. Of course, the ruling left the two competitors furious in ways that only gods could be.
Zonder gathered the energy of the heavens and was prepared to do battle with Xin over the decision. Xol stood in his way, burning hot for a battle with her rival, if only to settle the matter of their draw. She made sure to warn the Red Star that she would not hold back should he attack her eternal love. Xin defused the whole tiresome situation by offering a new competition. The moon god suggested the pair return to the land of mortals in new disguises.
The terms of Xin's contest were simple, but quite different from what the two immortals were accustomed to. Xin decided that the way to tell who was the kindest was not based on the way that they treat their own, but the way that they treat their enemies. Humans and daijinn were still at war with each other, as they had been since the creation of the humans, who were created last in the line of races. So, the moon god told his beloved that she would disguise herself as a human and visit the daijinn again while Zonder would don the guise of a daijinn and visit the humans again. Xin then promised to bestow twice the blessings on the winning side.
The rivals reluctantly agreed to the rules and donned their disguises. Xol went to the daijinn in the form of a tired, hunched over old woman and Zonder became an injured, handicapped daijinn. They made sure their faces were worn and filthy, showing that they had traveled great distances. They clothing became mere rags and their manners in general seemed crippled by life. They were both certain that their appearances were pathetic enough to gain sympathy from even the harshest critic, but they both proven wrong. They both found themselves treated equally again.
Neither of them were welcomed into the town or village and they were spoken to with great disdain and hatred, as if they were the foulest creatures on Earth. Stones and other missiles were hailed at them from the darkness behind the protective walls of the places. It was not until they had fallen and shown injury that they even approached.
The human, elderly Xol was dragged in like felled prey while the already-injured daijinn Zonder was quickly chained like a dog. They were both locked away and given nothing to eat or drink. There were no stories or dances or warm beds that night. There were only talks of selling the daijinn to slavery and slaughtering the old woman because there were no good humans. By the time the sunset, a decision had been made.
It was doubtful that the composed Xin had even been as infuriated as he was by the end of the wager. Descending from the heavens, but remaining in the sky, too disgusted to even touch soil, the moon god burned like white fire. The moon itself was devoured by the night as he let out a thundering edict upon the humans and daijinn for their abominable behavior. All were to be punished for being unable to show kindness to those in need despite their race relations.
It was ordained that since the daijinn could not share the land given to them with their neighbors then they would not have any land. From that day forth, they were not allowed to put down roots in any soil. They would wander the globe as that "old woman" had and they would know "her suffering." Their lives would continue on that way until they could learn to share with their enemy, especially an enemy who was not an enemy.
Humans would now quarrel amongst each other and wage war with each other just as they did with their enemies. They would injure each other just as they had injured that "daijinn." They would look to conquer each other as they did their enemies. They would kill each other as they did their enemies until they could learn to embrace their enemies, especially those that were not truly their enemies.
Xol and Zonder agreed with the punishments, feeling humiliated that their creations had treated them so poorly. They had even urged Xin to go further. He took away other blessings that he had given both daijinn and humans, but found the punishment to be too great. Without Xin's gifts, neither race could communicate, science vanished, medicine was nonexistent, records were not kept, justice and law were forgotten, and the simplest tasks were suddenly impossible. He restored his previous blessings quickly, but the punishments remained and he vowed never to bless another until they could love their enemy.
Xol and Zonder were in agreement with the decision, but it was not the end of their competing. They would even continue to use Xin as a judge. Again, the gods' behavior could not be comprehended by mortals.
Next time: see a typical day for Xol, Ileana, and their close-knit group and then see an atypical end.