|Many years ago, a group of people—ordinary humans, like you or I—discovered a veritable Eden, where the weather seemed gentler, the plants lusher, and the earth more fertile. Having traveled far and wide in search of a place to call home, they decided to settle down in this place. It was no coincidence that this little haven existed; it was already the home of a small group of demigods who had harnessed their magic collectively to make a place for themselves on earth. They had long ago left the divine realm in favor of a place where their magic would not be overshadowed by their full-blooded counterparts. |
Dissatisfied with the idea of having to share the same place, despite the plenteous conditions, the leader of these deities, a mischievous sort, challenged the human populace to a bet. Whichever group could prepare the most land for harvest in the time that it took for the last moon of spring to grow full would stay; the other would have to leave. After much debate the humans agreed to the challenge on one condition: the gods would compete as normal mortals, unaided by their magic. Undaunted and sure of their superiority, the demigods agreed.
By the time the new moon rose, it was evident that without their magic to aid them, the demigods were nearly helpless. Having never needed to strain themselves, they were unprepared for days of long labor. Adding insult to injury, the humans had domesticated beasts and created tools to make their work quicker and easier. When the full moon rose, the humans had cleared, plowed and sown the entirety of their allotted fields, and the demigods still had much work to be done.
Angry and feeling cheated—had not the humans used a “magic” of their own?—the demigods transformed all of the people, right down to the tiniest babe, into the very beasts that they had used to complete their work. It was only by the grace of the Gods watching the whole ordeal that they were forced to change the people back and honor their word. However, even with the spell undone, the people were forever changed—their bodies could never completely regain their human shape and to this day retain elements of their ancestor’s brief existence as beasts.
It has been many centuries since people have seen demigods or Gods, and the world has changed much since. Magic still exists in corners and crevices and out in the wild beyond settled countries. But the creatures and beings from whom such power originated have long since disappeared. It is rumored that somewhere out there exists a forest that repels travelers… who can say what is hidden behind that impassible wood?
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