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In a time that only the Stone remembers, there was a thaig in the deepest caverns ruled by a wise old king. The riches in the Stone had provided well for the thaig: lyrium flowed like water from the ground, gold and jewels sprouted from the walls like mushrooms, and the people wanted for nothing.

One day, the king returned to the Stone and left behind two sons to vie for his throne. Neither had been named heir, and so each sought to prove to their father's Assembly that he was best suited to be king.

The first son journeyed far and wide across the Deep Roads, forging alliances with the other thaigs, and returned home bearing word of the goodwill of distant kingdoms and their promises of future friendship. But the Assembly was not impressed with words and promises and would not name him heir.

So the second son mined the ground for wealth. Every last scrap of lyrium, every nugget of gold he dug up and gifted to the thaig. But the Assembly, accustomed to abundance, was not impressed. So the second son dug farther and farther into the Stone—so far that he broke through to the other side and found the sky. And this he claimed for his thaig. And the Assembly named him king.

But the Assembly wanted him to bring back his treasure for the thaig. The new king climbed down and down the endless mine until he reached the sky, but try as he might, he could not pull the sky up, nor strike it to pieces with his pickaxe. The new king mined out more and more earth, trying to carve a path to the sky, and finally, he undermined his thaig so much that the whole kingdom broke loose and fell far, far into the ground and up into the sky.

King, Assembly, and thaig were never seen again.

—"The King Who Claimed the Sky" from Songs That Only Nugs Can Hear by Paragon Ebryan

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