Origin of the Imps and Pixies

16.5.3 Origin of the Imps and Pixies

As told by Orechnai:

Once, long ago, there was a castle at the heart of a small kingdom called
Sehal, within which lived the wise Queen Beye with her twin daughters. Sehal
was prosperous and known as a place of warmth and comfort, so deeply did her
people revere Laughter as holy and cleansing.

Then, in one stroke, it seemed their fortune had deserted them. Famine and
drought plagued their bountiful fields and many fled Sehal, fearing
starvation. Laughter languished, forgotten. The Queen gave of her own food
to the people, that they could survive another day. Beye's generosity and
selflessness is known to us even now, for her name is synonymous with
kindness. In the winter of that year Queen Beye, weakened with hunger,
succumbed to disease and perished. The princesses thus became royal orphans
at the age of ten.

Yet spring seemed to remember Beye's gentle ways, for the rains were plenty
and the harvest certain to be plentiful in the fall. With renewed hope, the
people of Sehal worked the fields, forgetting the troubles in the castle.

The princesses, Kipa and Sazi, were intelligent girls but children
nonetheless. It is said that loneliness is the maker of much grief, eating
at the soul like caterpillar at leaf. Slowly but surely, all is devoured and
no remnant of wisdom remains. After many adventures in the castle of
mischief and play, which shall not be recounted here, Kipa and Sazi knew
that they were lonely. The castle was a mess, and they had no friends.

"O, sacred Laughter," the girls said together, "Please, send someone to care
for us. We do not know how to wash our hair, and our cooking has killed the

"Then show me your prayer, daughters of Beye," said their Goddess.

And they laughed. They laughed together for a night and a day. Kipa giggled
in delight, her voice sweet with girlish charm. Her giggles broke into ten
thousand parts and from these shards came tiny winged folk, lovely to the
eye and delicate in frame. Sazi cackled in good humor, her voice loud with
devotion. The cackle melted and dripped into small, squat people, more
cunning and full of mischief than any that ever were.

Laughter spoke once more, "I give to you servants and caretakers. Treat them

Household affairs started out well enough in the castle of Sehal. Kipa's
servants were adept at scrubbing the ceilings and Sazi's servants devised
elaborate schemes whereby the dishes would wash themselves. And in the
evening, they would play great games both academic and athletic, laughing
all the while.

To them, it seemed but a short interval before they came of age. Young women
were they, and tradition demanded that only one of them could rule the
kingdom as Queen of Sehal. "You are kind," whispered Kipa's companions to
her, "your mother would have wanted you to take her place. Your sister knows
nothing of compassion."

"Your mind is bright and quick," whispered Sazi's servants to her, "The
people deserve your leadership. Your sister will never have your wisdom."
Each came to believe that she deserved to rule and even came to loathe the

The castle became divided. In one wing sat the discontented Kipa, anxious to
please her mother's memory. Though her companions flitted about her,
laughing on stained-glass wings, she could not know happiness while Sehal
was not hers. In the other wing brooded Sazi, worried over how best to
benefit the whole of the kingdom. Her little friends, too, tumbled and
bounced at her feet with their little horns, but she could barely smile for
her tension.

Finally, Laughter intervened. She came and proclaimed, "Whichever of you
should pray the strongest shall have the kingdom." They should have heard
the tremor of humor in Her voice. They should have suspected.

The princesses and their servants complied. From one end of the castle came
giggling bright as stars, and from the other came cackling to raise
mountains. And in the center, the ground split open and the rift ran all the
way across the kingdom of Sehal, dividing it in two. The girls were
possessed by bitterness and revulsion for one another, believing the other
responsible for destroying the work of their mother.

"It is done!" snickered Laughter, and disappeared.

Thus was the nation of Kipa, meaning "pixie" in the Old Tongue, and the
nation of Sazi, meaning "imp", given to us. Ever have they been at war,
though their laughter can still be heard in twilight amidst their games.