A holohorse?

The object was in his pocket as he hummed a tune and as he practiced songs.

It was in his pocket when he stopped in a village for the night and sang at the tavern.

It was in his pocket as he continued around the different villages, playing, practicing and sometimes composing.

One night, as he slept in a nearly empty old barn, it fell out of his pocket. In the morning, as he was practicing a song, a holohorse appeared. He stopped playing and after a couple of seconds it disappeared. He started playing again and it reappeared. He continued playing while watching the holohorse if he looked at it directly for too long it seemed to flinch and waver. He stopped playing again and this time it waited a few seconds longer before disappearing. He examined the floor where the holohorse had been standing and found a strange small object, checking his pocket he realised that it was his. Since he had been playing for a while and he was starting to get hungry, he put it back in his pocket and went to look for some breakfast.

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The Singularity Plane: the Cracks

The Cracks appeared all at once, all over the world, and, as was later discovered, some distance above and below it as well.

They couldn’t be closed or widened, (although eventually crude gates were made) and they didn’t only appear in solid objects. No one knew what created them and no one ever found out. More importantly, going through them didn’t just lead to the obvious other side on earth.

A few people went through by themselves without preparation, sometimes by accident, and some of these got lost or met an accident. Some survived and returned however, some of them had only intended a quick look anyway. Most governments however sent scouts through, and tried to wall off public access to what Cracks they could. Some governments just did the walls without the scouts.

Most visual descriptions of the other side used words like “flat”, “empty”, and “colourless”, and “black”… And also “weird” and “strange”. Fortunately there seemed to be breathable air, although no sign of what made it breathable.

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Robby the bard

First, for readers unfamiliar, what is a Holohorse?

They are Horse-like creatures apparently living, but able to phase through solid objects and even, if they choose, to disappear entirely, leaving only their Holochip (although this could be quite a vulnerable state). Perhaps a good description would be to say that they are able to choose when they are made of light and when they are composed of solid matter. This of course would make them quite difficult to tame.

 

Lord Sir Robert the Rider was then just known as Robby. Even the basic powers of the holohorses were less well known then. The existence of the Holochip, and the vunerability that this meant for the holohorses, was not known. Holding a Holochip however, was not the same as actually Taming a holohorse, when it reappeared it still wouldn’t permit you to ride it.

Nonetheless, Robby, although he loved watching the holohorses, didn’t originally set out to tame one.

Robby was a bard, but while most bards preferred to remain indoors away from the weather, Robby loved the outdoors.

One day while walking between villages, he stopped and sat to watch a herd of holohorses. They gradually happened to move slightly closer as they grazed, until he stood up suddenly and they vanished. As this was simply something that holohorses were known to do he decided to continue on his way, but stopped when he noticed some strange small object on the ground. He picked it up, put it in his pocket and went on his way.

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A Mess of Time

The Time War had affected many races and worlds that were not participants, such as this world. It was now however, all but forgotten. But it’s scars were not. Strange mixes of different technologies, many of which may as well be described as magic to those who hadn’t studied the science behind it. Then there was also sometimes the strange ‘creatures’, resulting from either these technologies, or the Time War itself. The exact origins of most of these anomalies are more thoroughly forgotten than the Time War, which few remember even as a name for the ‘historic event’ (although such a term is difficult to apply for any time travel action), although the terms ‘Twarish’ and ‘Tmarian’ did develop, by different meshings of the 2 words. The terms are now used, effectively to describe the origin of, by use as categories for, the anomalies left behind eg ‘Twarish magic’ or ‘Tmarian creatures’.

 

Neither the Time War nor time travel nor any direct effects thereof come into this story. Just the Anomalies.

Especially the Holohorses.

In later eras the deeds and powers of them and their riders, the Holo-knights, became fabric of legends.

For now however, I will try to spin a tale of their beginning. The first time a wild Holohorse was tamed and ridden.

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Greater works than these

In John 14:12 Jesus tells his disciples “…he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to my father.”

We see an example of this

Matthew 9, Luke 8, the woman touching the edge of Jesus’ coat is healed from 12 years suffering.

In Matthew 14:36 many seek healing at the touch of His coat.

By direct comparison,

Acts 5:15 “… they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.”

 

Walking on water can’t be directly compared to what sounds like Holy Spirit teleportation after Philip baptised the Ethiopian in Acts 8:39,40, but still, teleportation is cool.
Why do we seek ‘nearly as much power as Jesus demonstrated on earth’ when He specifically said we would do greater works than his?

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The Chrono-Gnomes: Chrognomes

They had fled the disasters on earth, or rather their great-great-grandparents had. Some of those disasters natural, some civil. The Great Portal was the best option, the mars project was too expensive, the Portal mostly just manipulated the natural instabilities in the fine fabrics of space-time. Many didn’t even get that option.

They were told that Great Portal would carry them far through space, to a new world. They were also told that it was safe, which fortunately turned out to be true, not that those who made such promises had mentioned testing it.

They had arrived in a strange place with giant plants, and slow giant animals. It was a while before they even started guessing what had happened and where they were, even once they started to half recognise some of the flora and fauna. It wasn’t until halfway through the fourth slow year that they had mostly figured out the full story, that the Great Portal had transported them through time and had changed how they fit into both space and time. They had become smaller (approximately one third of original size as was later worked out) and passed through time faster (about twice as fast), hence everything else seemed both bigger and slower.

As their population grew and spread out, they fortunately managed to preserve most of the knowledge that they had brought with them, especially histories, remembering who they were (or had been), and some of the science.

Once they started seeing humans, or “big people”, and their settlements, they could guess as to when they had been carried to. The big groups of soldiers with plumed helmets and big square shields were a good clue.

The other important thing about finding big people, especially when their own population was growing, was the need to avoid discovery. The science that they had kept was useful for that, as it had been in coping with the agricultural challenges of the different relative time. The big people’s slow reaction times were also useful in avoiding their attention.

The third generation had started to see more variety in their populations than the preserved science told them to expect, even the more exaggerated estimates. The fourth generation saw even more, and with the communities continuing to spread out, the different populations were tending in different directions, some getting slightly shorter on average, some getting slightly pointy ears.

It wasn’t until this generation that some people were now suggesting that they were, or rather their grandchildren would be, the gnomes and dwarves of old human legend.

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Tales from Mount Earth and Surroundlands: part 7

Once they were on the move again, they started studying the maps more closely, of the Rim and of the near Surroundlands.

The Rim Kingdom that they had just visited the capital of, had another major city sitting right on the Rim.

 

Eventually they reached The Rim. The road didn’t descend from the middle of the city, but a little way out from it, clockwise along the Rim. There was a large rimfall to their right, further clockwise, a sea rimfall which when seen for one’s self looked both more amazing and much more terrifying than the artwork they had seen.

One of them had to ask the question,

“If the water is always falling over the edge, then why doesn’t it run out? What supplies all the water or brings it back?”

“Magic of course.” Was the answer.

They could see some white shapes down below.

“Are those snowy mountains at the base?”

“They look too fluffy for mountains, no sharp edges. Maybe they’re sheep.”

“I think we’re probably too high to see sheep from this distance.”

“Those are clouds….. probably quite big clouds if we can actually see them for right here at the top.”

No-one replied for some time.

Eventually someone said

“I feel like we’re in…um… The Silver Chair”

 

They were given final instructions before they left

“On your way down you’ll pass through the cliffhanger villages of Narrow Ledge and Ledge. Two of you will have mailbags for them, and the villages will feed you, the other bags are going all the way down.”

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