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Upon the third confluence, when the two suns crossed and became one, they came to the meeting ground of Ubaneith beneath the mountain of Hes, as demanded by the ancient tradition of the Land of the Two Suns. As demanded by ancient tradition no weapons were allowed, which was a poor thing in its own way. A Racontranone without his dagger, a Melph denuded of club and sword, the Eisfodea deprived of their trident spear, all were pitiful things which, in any other time and any other place, would be regarded as freaks of nature. Even the feathered Valnicks, whose sole armament was the talons which grew from the tips of their toes, were rendered harmless by heavy leathern boots.
The lone denizens of the Land of the Two Suns which could not be disarmed were the Ghrones, cuddly ball-like creatures who were renowned for their wit and the sharpness of their tongues. As neither of these could be confiscated, they alone lost nothing when the peoples gathered at the foot of the tall and revered mountain of Hes.
Neither were the Shining Ones nor the Mediators armed, but then they never were. Though perhaps the stuff of legend as well as of fear, both were reputed to possess magicks beyond the grasp of common minds. Each in their own way, remote, fair and impartial, they had directed the Land of the Two Suns since the start of time, becoming involved only when necessary but somehow always there, whether seen or not.
Thus began the Great Convergence.
Land of the Two Suns
Some things haunt you for a lifetime; such was the stain of my father's genius.
My mother had protected me from it when I was a child, but perhaps too well. If I had known more of Charles Mathis, more of what Charles Mathis meant to others, I would have been better prepared and the horrors of Merrywood averted. Even as it was, to find out everything at once during my college days had been overwhelming, so much so that I spent a great deal of my life working at being simply A. J. Mathis and denying any connection.
But now I was returning to Hastings' Ferry.
And I was returning as my father's daughter.
To my Midwestern eyes Connecticut was claustrophobic. The toll highways were like highways anywhere, broad and anonymous and bland, but off of them there were small roads set between deep stands of woods. It appeared secretive and somehow sinister in spite of the overwhelming green, now just touched with the beginning of autumn color. Dr. Lee had offered to send a car to pick me up at JFK, but I had declined, saying I would prefer to drive myself. I wanted to see the countryside, I said. What I meant was if I had my own car I could leave in my own time.
In spite of my having been born here, I had no memory of this part of the country and as I drove nothing looked even the slightest bit familiar. Mother and I had left just barely after my third birthday, but even though such a lack of recognition was expected it was still disappointing. Surely somewhere in my brain were pictures of this road, those little clapboard houses, the gurgling little stream. Or perhaps it was some sort of atavistic race memory from all my forebears who lived and died in this cold and rocky land. Were the impressions on an infant's brain fleeting things and one had to be old enough to forcibly capture them for memories?