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To Beth

To Martin McPhillips

And to the greater glory of God


There are not many happinesses so complete as those that are snatched under the shadow of the sword.

Rudyard Kipling—


Part One:


Areth did not see what was around him, but then, there was nothing around him. At any rate, Areth does not see.

Areth did not live in a usual sort of place. The Realm is quite definitely not a usual sort of place. At any rate, Areth does not live.

Upon being greeted by his Brother Evoy, Areth did not speak to him–not because he and Evoy are “not speaking,” but because Areth does not speak. Neither does Evoy.

Yet we must speak of Areth, Evoy, and their fellows as if they were men like us. Human tongues are incapable of dealing with the particulars of a race as distant from us in nature as are the Brothers of the Realm. But however we speak of them, we must take care not to think of them as men.

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