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The Moon Pool

Chapter 30. The Building Of The Moon Pool
SHE PAUSED, running her long fingers through her own bronze-flecked ringlets.
Selective breeding this, with a vengeance, I thought; an ancient experiment in heredity
which of course would in time result in the stamping out of the tendency to depart from
type that lies in all organisms; resulting, obviously, at last, in three fixed forms of black-
haired, ruddy-haired, and silver-haired--but this, with a shock of realization it came to
me, was also an accurate description of the dark-polled ladala, their fair-haired rulers and
of the golden-brown tressed Lakla!
How--questions began to stream through my mind; silenced by the handmaiden's voice.
"Above, far, far above the abode of the Shining One," she said, "was their greatest
temple, holding the shrines both of sun and moon. All about it were other temples hidden
behind mighty walls, each enclosing its own space and squared and ruled and standing
within a shallow lake; the sacred city, the city of the gods of this land--"
"It is the Nan-Matal that she is describing," I thought.
"Out upon all this looked the Taithu who were now but the servants of the Shining One as
it had been the messenger of the Three," she went on. "When they returned the Shining
One spoke to them, promising them dominion over all that they had seen, yea, UNDER
IT dominion of all earth itself and later perhaps of other earths!
"In the Shining One had grown craft, cunning; knowledge to gain that which it desired.
Therefore it told its Taithu-and mayhap told them truth--that not yet was it time for
THEM to go forth; that slowly must they pass into that outer world, for they had sprung
from heart of earth and even it lacked power to swirl unaided into and through the above.
Then it counselled them, instructing them what to do. They hollowed the chamber
wherein first I saw you, cutting their way to it that path down which from it you sped.
"It revealed to them that the force that is within moon flame is kin to the force that is
within it, for the chamber of its birth was the chamber too of moon birth and into it went
the subtle essence and powers that flow in that earth child: and it taught them how to
make that which fills what you call the Moon Pool whose opening is close behind its Veil
hanging upon the gleaming cliffs.
"When this was done it taught them how to make and how to place the seven lights
through which moon flame streams into Moon Pool--the seven lights that are kin to its
own seven orbs even as its fires are kin to moon fires--and which would open for it a path
that it could tread. And all this the Taithu did, working so secretly that neither those of
their race whose faces were set against the Shining One nor the busy men above know
aught of it.