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Handish Wonderings

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They say Albia is a disk-shaped world.

I wouldn't know. I'm not a Shee; I've never been to space. I don't study astronomy or geology or any of the sciences related to the shapes of planets.

And yet.

When I look beyond the cozy burrows of my creatures, beyond their quaint tree house and fruitful gardens, I see things. I see temples, and the Purple Mountains, and other isles of land like my own, some – some with paths, even.

I can't go to them. Oh, I've tried, but there's only so far back and forth I can move, and it isn't all that far. Maybe they're just illusions, somehow, or a painted backdrop – but then I would swear I can see movement out there, every once in a while, and it just looks too real. Besides – where, then, did the Purple Mountain Norns come from?

There are other Handish, somewhere. I don't know where they are, because although we talk, though I can hear their voices, I cannot seem to find them anywhere I look. Our norns seem to come in the same varieties, mostly, but there are slight differences in the lands we have – I have potatoes and onions growing next to the carrots in my garden, another has flowering trees, one has more sorts of fish, and one even claims to be on Terra Nornia. Really? That old story?

But I guess it's not as ridiculous as the fact that we can talk to each other without seeing anyone.

You know, they also say that Albia doesn't have a moon – the planet couldn't have formed into a disk with another body orbiting around it. I'm not a planetary scientist, so I have no idea if that's true or not. But if that's not the moon in the sky, what on – off – Albia is it?

When I ask the other Handish about this, no one has an answer. "That is really weird, isn't it?" "I noticed that too." "...huh. I wonder why?" "Who cares? We're here, the norns are here, Albia is here too somehow." "Well, actually, in the formation of a lenticular disk planet like Albia, a moon..."

Once, after my latest babies had grown old enough to care for themselves for a bit, I went looking through the archives the Shee left behind when they abandoned Albia. There's not much, actually; a few fragments tell us snippets of their society (honestly, how did they not kill themselves off?) and we have complete information on norn, grendel, and ettin genomes and how their brains work. There are mostly-complete records of Albian biology, and what gaps there are have been filled in by us Handish. We even have a bit of their mythological stories.

There's nothing in there that explains the weirdness, though. The records talk a little about the planes of Albia, in one place, but as far as I can tell, that gets me from the front edge of the burrows to the back line of the garden, and no further. They reference mountains and a volcano, but not how to get there. If they did write anything helpful down, either we haven't found it yet or it's been destroyed like most of their computers and books.

Maybe someday we'll have an answer. Until then, I'll just keep doing as I always have; tending my norns, selecting for those which are marginally smarter and better at not dying, and planting beelacanth seeds for the butterflies. I guess I sound like I obsess over all this, in writing this entry, but I don't, really. I have my hand full enough with trying to make my creatures push food that I only wonder about it every once in a while, when I happen to glance up to the distance.

Still, sometimes...

They say Albia is a disk-shaped world.

I wouldn't know. I'm not a Shee; I've never been to space. I don't study astronomy or geology or any of the sciences related to the shapes of planets.

And yet.