It is said that there lived a man named Timt who loved a woman more than the world itself, more than his magic, more than the very breath in his chest. Her name was Esa, and she was very beautiful, though not in the way we think of beauty now.
Luara put her hands up to the skies and then encircled them as if about a large tree trunk. “Esa was immense, as tall as twenty women of today, and as broad as twenty men. She had breasts as large as hills, and her eyes were blue as lakes, and when she wept, the plants drank in her tears.
“Timt pledged himself to marry Esa as soon as he could win his fortune, for he lived when the lands did not belong to this man or to another, and there were no kings or nobles. A man did not become great because of what name he was given at birth, but by the labor of his own hands, and his own good choices.
“So Timt went out and Esa kissed him goodbye. He promised to return as soon as he could, but this was before there was time, so there was no way to mark how long he would be gone. And Esa did not think in terms of hours or weeks or months. She knew only that she would be without him, and then she would not. It was enough for her.
“Timt went first to a giant to ask for an opportunity to earn coin and to prove himself. The giant gave Timt a task that he thought impossible, to clear his forest of ten thousand trees. Timt did not finish it quickly, but he did not give up. He worked as long as he could, until his arms were aching and useless. Then he ate and rested, and went back to work.
“At last, the work was done. The giant thought to give Timt his daughter to wife for his prize, but Timt would have none of it. He spoke of his own beautiful Esa, and her immense beauty.
“With that, the giant became jealous. A woman that large and that beautiful should be mine, he thought. So he told Timt that he would indeed make his fortune for him, enough for him to return and marry Esa, if Timt would clear the stars from the sky which obstructed his view of the black emptiness.
“Timt thought of how long it would take to accomplish this task, and then he thought of Esa. He loved her enough to do anything, and so he agreed. He set to work, and the giant watched him go. Then the giant, who was a great tracker, followed Timt’s footprints back to his home, to where Esa was waiting for him.
“The giant showed all his wealth to Esa, and demonstrated for her his strength, then asked her to marry him. But Esa would not have him, for she loved Timt, and she knew that Timt loved her beyond anything the giant felt for her.
“The giant was angry with this response. He threatened Esa that he would kill her and Timt if she would not become his wife. But Esa said that she would rather be dead with Timt than live with the giant.
“‘If that is what you wish,’ said the giant. And he took his hands and placed them around Esa’s neck. He tightened his grip on her and gave her one last chance at life. But she shook her head and refused, and then she died as the giant squeezed the breath from her.
“She was so immense that when the giant let her fall, she stretched out across all the lands in the south, and the power of her love for Timt was so great that it spilled out between humans and animals both, to bind them together as she had been bound together with Timt.
“So began the magic that we have today, though it has spread to all lands, north, south, east, and west, in varying degrees.
“As for Timt, he remains at work clearing the sky of stars. He has much work left to do, but it is true that if you look at the sky you can see the sections that he has finished. There were many more stars before now.
“And when Timt returns and finds that his beloved is dead? Some say that he will take back the magic of Esa to himself then in one final sweep. Others say that he will take it back slowly, to cause more pain to those who have taken what is not rightfully theirs. But who knows when it will happen or indeed, if it has already begun?”
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