“Well, it was back when there was water on the moon,” began Warial before he had to duck the seat cushion Tala threw at him.
“You said you were going to tell me a true story,” Tala told him, “but that’s how humans start stories about things that never happened!”
“She has a point,” agreed Lasrial. “Her aim is getting better, too.”
“Used to be that beginning just meant a very long time ago,” put in Dorthiel, “because the gods did try to put water on the moon, back when they were establishing things, but it wouldn’t stay.”
“Why not?” Tala was diverted, at least temporarily, from whatever tale Warial had been going to tell.
“I was in the room once when someone spent half an hour explaining that, with diagrams,” replied Dorthiel, “but I didn’t really understand it. I think they meant that the moon isn’t heavy enough to hold on to water, but I could well be wrong.”
Tala asked, “So, where did the water go when it left the moon?”
“You know, I really have no idea,” said Dorthiel, “and you’d think that if you had enough water for an ocean, a couple of smaller seas and lots of lakes, then you’d notice when it turned up somewhere else, wouldn’t you?”
“It’s probably all over the place,” commented Eluriah, an angel with black and dark brown banded wings and a fondness for twin swords. “I mean, water evaporates and goes up to form clouds. So if the water on the moon did that and kept going up because the moon couldn’t hold on to it, well where would it stop?”
“So there could be clouds floating around in the space beyond the moon?” Tala was fascinated.
“If there are, then the air the gods tried to put on the moon must be out there too – I think that there was the same problem with that as with the water,” added Dorthiel. “I do know that they tried longer with the air than with the water – apparently some of the lunar gods were very keen to get the same type of life up there as there is on the ground.”
“The same type of life?” It was Lasrial who’d picked up on that.
“There is life on the moon,” admitted Dorthiel. “I understand that it’s mainly simple plant forms that one of the older gods created to demonstrate that life could exist under the moon’s conditions but that you and I probably wouldn’t recognise them as a proper plant. Certainly there’s nothing up there capable of worship or belief, although I remember one of Xenophormor’s angels being very excited about a creature his divine master was working on that would live on the lunar plants.”
“Xenophormor?” Tala looked around the table. “Should I know that name?”
“You’ve no reason to,” said Lasrial sombrely. “He died on the same battlefield as my first master.”
“I’m sorry,” apologised Tala, “I didn’t mean to-.”
“Don’t be silly,” Lasrial dismissed her concerns with a wave of his hand. “How were you to know? Besides, how will you learn anything if you don’t ask questions?”
“Well put,” agreed Dorthiel. “Xenophormor was a moon god who was slain in the Death War, as were the other gods who were most interested in establishing life on the moon. Our remaining Lunar Trine have other interests and so the matter remains where it was.” He finished on a pensive note but then added brightly, “Now, wasn’t Warial going to tell us a story that may or may not have happened when the gods were trying to make water stick to the moon?”