Phynyx was the maker of everything that ever was or will be. He commanded the clouds of gas that floated shapelessly through the universe to form the first celestial body, the sun.
The sun was brilliant and powerful, but was lonesome.. He told Phynyx, who of course who could speak to any object he created, that he was alone and had nothing to shine his light onto except for the black void that was the universe. Phynyx himself agreed, and molded a sphere of water and rock that became a planet, Harakcoope. The sun was pleased, but felt he needed more to shine his light on.
Phynyx went on to create more planets, more suns, more clouds of floating gas. Though the universe he made is immeasurably vast, Phynyx’s focus was always on the first planet he made, Harakcoope. Now, Harakcoope was populated by any number of strange and monstrous creatures, but the ones destined to rule were the owls. If Phynyx were to pick a form to make himself visible to the comparatively simple creatures of the planet, he would choose to appear as an old, old, owl. The owls were direct descendants of Phynyx, they were the purest of all creatures and the son of Phynyx was Hoyrnet.
Hoyrnet was the ruler of Harakcoope and the nearby planets. His rule had already been quite lengthy when the first and only conflict arose after the birth of his only son, Xavier.
On the small island where he, his mate and his child lived off of the mainland, an ordinary day began. Hoyrnet rose out of the large nest-like bed that he and his wife had fashioned by hand at the top of one of his castle’s towers.
Roseretta, his mate, knocked lightly on the inside of their room’s door. They usually did not approve of servants and maids, and the few they had they paid very well.. Hearing no wingbeats spiraling up the tight stairway to their chamber, Roseretta knocked a bit harder again, surely getting the attention of the servants that had been awake for hours beneath their tower in the main body of the castle. Still hearing nothing, she opened the door and glided softly down the sloping corridor to the main hall. Hoyrnet took little notice of the entire event, he normally would have got up unaided by servants. Today was his and Roseretta’s anniversary, so he was initially going to treat them to breakfast in bed.
Though he was the emperor and a greatly magical being, Hoyrnet was still a quite humble ruler. He often rose early and made his own breakfast and set one out for Roseretta. He flew softly and silently like any owl would down the twisting hall down to the main room of the castle.
The great hall, usually occupied by the cook, the butler and maids, was empty and silent. Roseretta looked around quizzically and and asked Hoyrnet simply,
“Where is everyone?” His only response was a light shrug, Hoyrnet didn’t depend much on servants anyway. While Hoyrnet began to put together a morning meal, Roseretta began to look around the castle, which was not especially large, for any sign of the servants. Hoyrnet had just began to fry a mouse when Roseretta broke into the kitchen, and quite urgently at that.
“Come see! Come with me!” she said, motioning with her wings for him to come. They flew swiftly and silently down the corridor.
There, at the back entrance to the castle, were all of the servants and maids, gathered in a circle. “My friends --” began Roseretta, but was interrupted by the cook motioning eagerly towards the gardens.
“They were just -- right out there--yesterday!” she said, out of breath with wonderment. “They’ve been punctual for the last 300 years and now they’re not on time!” Roseretta’s eyes widened in astonishment and even Hoyrnet looked a bit surprised. The cook was speaking of the military generals, who met for an outside strategy and review meeting in that very place for the last 300 years at 7:00am sharp, and by their own discretion. Hoyrnet, due to his position, usually conferred with them a half hour later to talk about tactics and the next potential war. However, he seldom had interest in things like war and found it a very dismal and dreary topic indeed. Because of that, he wasn’t nearly as flummoxed as the others when the generals did not appear for the rest of the day.
“This is a serious issue!” snapped Roseretta, saying the last syllable of the last word with a force that suggested her husband’s nonchalant attitude about the event.
Hoyrnet sighed and said, “I never thought we were going to have a war. The presence of the generals every day isn’t really necessary, is it?”
Roseretta thrust her wings forward and said vigorously, “That’s not exactly the point. They’ve been here, right there for the last 300 years! Does that not surprise you?”
The two bickering rulers had no time to finish their debate which was bordering on an altercation when one of the maids burst into the room.
“We’ve found the generals -- they won’t give us any information--just by the front door!” Hoyrnet nodded to the maid and flew hastily to the front entrance. The generals were standing in a row by the front door. They seemed quite out of breath and looked warily from side to side.
“I understand there could have been some kind of disturbance in your schedule, but--” Hoyrnet was interrupted forcefully.
“What,” Roseretta said, “Do you have to say for yourselves?” The generals’ eyes widened in surprise, they were not used to being spoken to that way.
“Well,” said the first,
“Uh,” said the second,
“We,” said the third.
“There will be no further discussion, you will be Questioned.” The way Roseretta said the word suggested the capital letter Q. Leading them into a small interior room, Roseretta shut the door brusquely. Hoyrnet knew that this would take a while.
“Happy wife, happy life,” he muttered.
The next day was an eventful one. The night before, Roseretta had questioned the generals in her signature way, getting every scrap of information about their uncalled for journey the previous day. Roseretta woke early, and met Hoyrnet at the dining room table.
“You. Are going on a trip to Seshap.” Hoyrnet was by no means a weak leader in times of trouble, in fact he was the best and only leader Harakcoope had ever had, but he did believe that it was better to agree with Roseretta than not.
“Why?” asked Hoyrnet incredulously. “I haven’t been in decades!”
Roseretta shot her husband a sly look, “It looks like our head military generals were not exactly where we thought they were during their break. They had actually been gone since last night and managed to fly all the way to northern Seshap.”
“How? That’s hundreds of miles south from here!”
“That I have no understanding of. What I have gathered is that they’ve been visiting someone quite powerful, in magical terms. I ran a series of spectral tests on them and they have traces of powerful magic left on them. I can’t tell if it’s positive or negative magic, but I do think I know who they have been visiting.”
“Who?” asked Hoyrnet, perplexed.
“Our little friend. Lyhgo-Hoyshu.”
“Lyhgo? Why? I haven’t heard from him in hundreds of years. I can barely remember the last time he contacted me.” “What have they been doing there?
Roseretta appeared to be smiling in triumph. “Something that they can’t tell me, not because they don’t want to, not because they’ve been told not to, but because they’ve been anathematized. They’ve been cursed into not revealing what they’re doing, and that could mean only one thing.”
“What?” Hoyrnet felt the room turn cold despite the sun filtering through the stained-glass windows.
“They’ve been plotting. Against us. What else could it be? This country’s too big to have some kind of mass attack even with magic on that scale”
“ I suppose. I had great faith in Lyhgo-Hoyshu. He was one of our greatest supporters a few centuries ago.”
“Well, you can’t let your faith rule and ruin you, can you?” said Roseretta briskly. “The generals’ clothes seem to have had the most magic left on them. I’m running further tests.”
“Then why am I going? What are you suggesting here?”
“You should go, with a group and try to reason with him, and if it turns violent, let it be so.”
“Fine. You run your tests, I’ll notify the gen--, ah, I mean, my other party.”
“No more trusty generals, are there?” Roseretta said this mischievously.
“I manage just fine,”
Hoyrnet ate his dinner of rabbit in silence, as the sun began to sink towards the horizon. The sky turned gold, and a breeze wafted through the great hall. He thought of all the pleasurable experiences he’d had with Lyhgo-Hoyshu, they’d been great friends long ago...
Hoyrnet’s moment of contemplation was interrupted by a raucous clamor that moved through the hallways and into the hall. Every inhabitant of the castle but the generals were careening down the hallways.
“Come! Immediately!” Hoyrnet took off at the highest velocity that was possible in the narrow corridors of the castle. The crowd led him to a small interior room, the same that the generals had been questioned in. Roseretta gestured vehemently towards the small oak table inside the room.
On the table were the three coats of the generals’ uniforms. The setting sun coruscated like a ruby through the faceted windows. The uniforms emitted an eerie red light, and strange particles floated lazily through the air.
“Negative magic,” said Hoyrnet in a hoarse whisper.
Magic worked in a certain way, but the basic concepts were quite simple. Green signified positive magic, used for good, and a more crimson hue indicated negative magic, used for more sinister reasons.
Hoyrnet, for the first time during the entire affair, was sure that his trust in his military leaders and his friend from days of yore were not entirely apparent. He wanted desperately to believe that Lyhgo-Hoyshu hadn’t been calling his men for plotting sessions at night, that it was all a misconception. Now he was sure that Roseretta was right, he needed to make a move.
At the next dawn, Hoyrnet awoke with a dark feeling of foreboding. It was still dark, and the moon was obscured behind clouds. He ate quickly, not bothering to even taste his food. Roseretta was not awake, but he remembered her warning -- “If it turns violent, let it be so.” She had gathered a group of about twenty of Hoyrnet’s most skilled advisors who were skilled in battle, and they awaited him in silence at the doors.
Without a word, they took off in the dark. They flew at a breakneck speed, fueled by magic. A whisper pierced the quiet.
“Father?” Xavier said.
“Yes?” said Hoyrnet softly. He hadn’t known that his son was coming -- he was very young, for the kinds of owls on Harakcoope, about to turn two years old. Roseretta must’ve told him to come along.
“What are we doing? Where are we going,”
“We’re going to visit a friend of mine,”
Xavier said no more, but his question still lingered in the air.
A moment later, Hoyrnet said, “If anything happens, stay with me. I’ll keep you safe. Stay close”
“Yes, father.” The sun began to rise, shrouding the forests below in a golden light. The sun rose higher, and the sky turned an sapphire blue, as it was on Harakcoope. Mist floated shapelessly over the ancient trees, making the sun’s rays waiver in the watery light. The owls descended deeper into the forest, dodging massive trunks. The mist seemed to float backwards as they came upon it...suddenly a shape appeared in the sky, a tower, then a castle made of mossy grey stones.
The band of owls alighted on the great stairs before the wooden door of the castle. The door was cracked and white light filtered through the cracks despite the light of the day.
Hoyrnet felt his wings begin to tingle, and he looked up. A brown speck shot down out of the sky drawing closer every second. It was an owl...with claws on his talons made of shining metal. The owl fell from the sky at an impossible speed. Hoyrnet heard the wind whistle in the sky, and it was too late. The owl ripped its claws across Hoyrnet’s face, and his scarlet blood speckled the cobalt sky. Hoyrnet put every ounce of his strength and in a scintillating flash he released magic that he had never conceived before. Where did it come from he did not know….
The owl was gone. The band of owls lay crooked on the ground; Xavier’s beak was at a strange angle, but he pointed feebly at the sky. Where the owl was, green smoke floated higher into the sky, turning it aquamarine.
The green smoke shimmered, then floated away. The owl, Lyhgo-Hoyshu...positive magic had been in him, deeming him innocent.
I hope that the message of this myth has been clear to you - Rulers are not perfect. Remember that, no matter what, they are still just like normal people who make mistakes. Even big ones.