The Tale of T'mahra

    Very long ago, before there were Kormahntee, and men lived only in their own worlds on the surface, there was a young man named T'mahra. He lived in his village near the sea, and cast his nets out every day in hopes of bringing in enough fish to feed his family--which included his poor widowed mother and three sisters. His father had disappeared twelve seasons before in a fishing accident, you see, having fallen out of his boat in rough seas during a storm.

    .....And was never heard from again.

    One day while T'mahra was casting his nets from the shoreline, he caught a most interesting fish...

    Well, it wasn't a fish at all, but a strange sort of rockish-looking thing--rough, shiny and black, but with a narrow crack about the center. T'mahra, being curious, broke the rock in half and found a glistening-white bead inside.

    "Yahvo has blessed me!" He exclaimed, "....by sending me a curious gift in place of my father not so long ago lost in the sea!"

    This, of course, was a pearl, but T'mahra knew nothing of pearls, and less of the creatures that made them. He went about the village, proud, and showed the rest of the villagers his treasure.

    "Well, if there was one such gift from the sea, there must be more!," T'mahra thought, and so he went early one morning to the seashore, got in his little fishing boat, and paddled out towards the deeper part of the water. He cast out his nets again and again, but when he didn't find another of the strange rocks, he dove down into the water, himself. But after many tries, he grew tired, and the seas grew angry with the coming of a storm.

    And so T'mahra started back, but the storm was faster than his strength, and soon the little boat was pitched up and down, and turned 'round and 'round...until poor T'mahra was thrown from the boat into the sea! Down, down he was pulled in the current, and no matter how hard he struggled towards the surface, he was pulled deeper until he thought his lungs would burst! And, then, suddenly, he felt a gentle tide pulling him away, into a cavern of stone and shelter--and air.

    The blackness of the sea became light, and he tumbled headlong over heels a few times before coming to a stop, and found himself in a large cave. Huge carved pillars belted the central room's perimeter, and mounted upon those were glowing marbles giving light. In the center of the room on a grand marble pedestal T'mahra saw a great book, with a strange panel of shifting shapes that flashed glimpses of other places and other worlds. He took the pearl from his pocket and it glowed like the firemarbles in the room, though it held no heat of its own.

    T'mahra blinked, and venturing closer to the book, thought he saw an image of his father sailing the seas, hale and hearty as T'mahra last remembered him. He gazed closer to the panel. trying to get a better look; it seemed to beckon for him to touch it. And....just as T'mahra was about to place his fingers upon the panel, the image shifted once more, and he was drawn forward, inward, upward and downward all at once. With a stunning lurch, he shook his head and rubbed his eyes...

    And he found himself on the shore of his own village home!

    Though he tried to tell the others of his marvelous discovery, very few believed him. None but his mother and sisters. So, he wrote down his adventure and told it only to those who would believe...who, over the ages, grew more and more, until finally even today, the pearl is regarded as a symbol of firemarbles and the rebirth of hope.

    And T'mahra? He alone knew of the secrets of the caverns deep inside the earth, which all people of D'ni know today. . .