Tales from Mount Earth and Surroundlands: part 6

While they were sitting in the back of the mail cart, they had maps to study, of each of the cities that they’d be passing through. They would have to do some short local deliveries in each, while the horses were being changed.

They also had some more of the scroggin stuff to snack on, or trail mix, as the American member of their group called it.

They were given relatively safe neighbourhoods to deliver in at each city, although obviously they still had to split their group. They soon decided to make a competition of it, with the local postmaster being the judge at each city.

As they got closer to the Rim, some of the cities, and even some of the smaller towns and villages, started to look better built, not so much built just for war. The architecture spoke of both good defence and a strong mercantile and academic presence, as if military was still something to be considered, but wasn’t the most important thing.

When they reached a Rim Kingdom Capital, they decided to stay a few extra days to see if they could learn any more.

They were given some similar information to what they had as already learned, but gained some new information as well. For example they learnt more about the rumour they’d heard about cracks moving.

“Not all crack borders move. And of those that do, not all of them move on both sides.”

Their puzzled looks implied that further explanation was required.

“In your world and this world. A border might always be at the same place in your world, but never in the same place in this world. Or vice versa. You might be able to find the same place again from here, but it takes you to a completely different part of your world.”

They also learnt a bit more about Mount Earth in general.

“Working together with the Postal Guild, we managed to discover the circumference of Mount Earth. The useful thing about Seven League Boots, from an academic perspective, is that when active, they always step exactly seven leagues.

It turned out to be thirty nine thousand, four hundred and ten leagues. Your world, the cracks and the rim.”

“Also, we calculated, with some estimation, that the height is about eight thousand leagues. Although some of our estimates must have been off, because we have learned from our surroundland counterparts that it is notably more than that.”

They also noticed some landscape artworks that were presumably of various parts of The Rim. Seemingly bottomless cliffs, and sea sized waterfalls that looked like they fell into nothing.

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The Vent

Well before the ship got too close to the cone, the bats found that it had beaches to land at. As they got even closer, they echoed a scattering of some mushroom tree things and even what seemed to be one or two huts.

Once the ship was close enough to see the shore of the cone island, they saw a few lights on the beach, then they noticed what looked like figures.

The figures soon seemed to notice the ship and started waving at it. When the ship got close enough, the figures helped them land, and then introduced themselves as Grog, Blog, Golg and Brundergrum, who it turned out was the daughter of Mullugutherum.

The same Golg and Mullugutherum who had been first to meet the overlanders after they had defeated the slaver empress and had been warden under her. Golg was very old now and had needed “a bit” of assistance from the younger gnomes with the climb, although all gnomes were reasonable climbers.

They had found, with help from the salamanders, a vent from Bism, all the way to Cavernsea or “the shallow lands” as they called it.

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Underland of Narnia: The Cone

A Narnian ship was sailing in the Cavernsea, much further west than most voyages went, but not much further north than Cavernport. Three bats were with them, although they hadn’t echoed any islands recently.

Suddenly Wingsong Echo echoed something conical in the distance ahead of her. She signalled her brother Flutternote Echo and he flew over to check before they flew back to report.

“Something conical? Like a stalagmite?”

Asked the mate.

“But you don’t get stalagmites in the middle of the sea…”

They turned to the direction that Wingsong and Flutternote gave them.

On the next shift, the third bat, who was called Richard Ping (a strange name for a bat, but apparently he was named after ‘Uncle Richard’, a human who had been a close friend of the Ping family), flew with them to get another echo of the cone. But they still got some strange blurring in their echoes. The flight back to the ship seemed to take slightly longer than they felt it should.

After they had spent some hours discussing what the cone could be, the captain got up, stood still for a moment, and then climbed up to the forecastle and a moment later called out.

“Do you feel that? Because that’s something I’ve never felt on the Cavernsea before. That feels like a breeze.”

 

The breeze explained why the return flight had taken the bats longer than usual. However it wasn’t much use to the ship, which was built for rowing rather than sailing, as breezes were very rare on the Cavernsea.

As the ship gradually pulled closer the bats started to make a bit more sense of what they were echoing. The blurring in their echoes seemed to be mostly at the to of the cone and the mild blurring lower down could perhaps be explained by the air currents, which seemed to be getting stronger as they got closer to the cone.

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My Faith, Our Faith, Shield of Faith

In Ephesians, Paul refers to faith as a shield. We know various types of shield, the kite shield popular among medieval Knights (especially in movies), the sci-fi force-field often referred to as a shield as well as the shields which would have been known of at the time. The Israelites in the past would have used simple round shields or bucklers to provide some basic protection for one individual, however in the time when Ephesians was written, they would have been familiar with the Greek phalanx use of shields which the Roman legions improved upon with various group shield formations probably using the Roman tower shield. Each legionnaire would use his large shield to protect not only himself but also his comrades next to him and the group would work together as a whole to protect the whole group. We also see some similar tactics by the dwarven army in PJ’s version of The Battle Of Five Armies, and it looks awesome.

Considering how the Bible talks about unity and the church working together as one body, our faith should probably be cooperative as well as individual.

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Tales from Mount Earth and Surroundlands part 5

“You may as well head towards the Rim then,” said their minotauress friend at the inn that evening “keep both options open. Even if you’re​ going down anyway, you might like to see one or two of the Rim Kingdoms on the way. Just stay away from Krull, they’re a sort of a pirate kingdom. They’re not too close to here though.”

“How do we get there?” They asked.

“There’s probably a postal cart going that way. You could even sign up as casual Guild associates. Some travellers do you know. Or internships. Just as an affordable way to travel.”

 

So they decided the next morning to go visit the local office of this Postal Guild that they’d heard so much about. They were given forms to sign and lessons and lectures to listen to, they were given maps to study, mostly local, and short tests to sit. Then they practiced sorting mail for a few hours with a basic lunch provided part way through. Then after an afternoon tea of something like scroggin they were given some time to check out of the inn and bring their bags to the guild dorm.

“If that was just to become casual Guild associates, then what does it take to sign up to be apprenticed as full guild members?”

“Oh, not much more to start with. You’d get more training as you go.”

 

They didn’t have much baggage, having stumbled into this strange world by accident, so once they’d checked out of the inn they took a more scenic route around the town back to the guildhouse.

That evening, after dinner, they were fitted for their official Associate Postmen’s Boots. You could tell the rank and experience of a postman, they were told, by the quality of their boots, or apparently even by the strength of enchantment on their boots, if you had an eye for magical details. The true veterans for example had the privilege of wearing Seven League Boots.

The next morning, they had more practice sorting mail. In the afternoon, they sorted the real mail for their trip the next day. Mostly larger packages. The small stuff,  ie letters, was generally taken by foot, apparently even for long distance

Then they remembered that the feet in question were presumably wearing enchanted boots.

“You probably wouldn’t even need Seven League Boots for most inter-town stuff.” One​ of them said “When you think about how long seven leagues actually is…”

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Supporting those he sends

What did Jesus teach?

When Jesus sent out the 12 in Matthew 10.9,10 and the 70 in Luke 10.7 he says that they shouldn’t need to support themselves but should be supported by those that they teach. Basically teaching local support, not necessarily from churches or synagogues but from the house that they stay in. “For the labourer is worthy of his wages.”

 

How did Paul get support?

Sometimes self-support through tentmaking as stated in Acts 18.3 and referred to in 1 Corinthians 9.15 and 1 Thessalonians 2.9, but not all the time, and as far as I know these are the only times it is mentioned.

Even in 2 Corinthians 11.8,9 he talks about receiving support from the Macedonian churches. Philippians 4.16 refers to him receiving support from the church there not only while preaching in Philippi but also when he was preaching in Thessalonica (and him wanting them to be blessed by their own generosity).

Even when he talked about his self-support in Corinthians, he talked about him choosing to while advocating for support of missionaries in general in the rest of 1 Corinthians 9.1-18 where he references Deuteronomy 25.4. He basically seems to be saying that it should be his choice to self-support rather than because others think that his work isn’t real.

What should we ask ourselves?

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Tales from Mount Earth and Surroundlands part 4

“So you come from Round World? Where ‘Down’ is relative?”

They were at the college, talking with some of the teachers, including the local wizard, who was a part time teacher.

“Within the geography of your world, ours would look like a number of isolated cracks on the ball. In our world, yours is like a plate with cracks leading in. But the cracks have different relative positions in the different worlds.

It’s complicated. More complicated than even I understand. But you may find that getting back isn’t so simple. I’ve heard that the cracks might even move, but I’m not sure how that works.”

“There might be a school in one of the bigger cities that could help them.”

“Not likely. All the cities and little kingdoms in the cracks are usually focus on petty squabbles.”

“Maybe one of the Rim kingdoms then?”

“Possibly, but I heard that some of the kingdoms down in the near Surroundlands have big universities with real academic focus.”

“Rim Kingdoms? We heard of the ‘Edge’ as well…” they asked the teachers

“The cracked plate is on a round table only slightly larger than the plate.” replied one teacher.

“And the table is called Mount Earth.” another added.

“The Surroundlands?”

“The ‘Lands’ that ‘Surround’ Mount Earth.” Was the slightly condescending reply.

They enquired as to why they had been warned against the Rim.

“Oh, you do have to be careful on the Rim, and follow safety procedures if you intend to go down. And obviously don’t enter the water anywhere near the Rimfall.”

“People have been washed over before.”

“But it’s perfectly safe if you follow the safety procedures.”

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