The Centaur's Quest

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It was said to rival heaven.

It was also said to be non-existent.

People also believed the Centaur, Lesuun, came from this supra-heavenly, non-existent city, Bhiastan.

Lesuun himself felt fully real and found it hard to bear the awe and wonder the people projected when he appeared.

So, he tended to stay on the plateau near the sacred mountain, Thel.

The upper reaches of Thel were said to be the location of Bhiastan, the Eternal City.

Sometime during the year he first began rutting with the human horses, Lesuun started to think he should make a trek up the mountain and see if he could determine, first, if Bhiastan was there, and then, if it was his place of birth---or, at least, origination...

But, before making such a perilous journey, he had to rouse a number of strong men to accompany him.

No one knew what was in the upper reaches of Thel---sounds and lights unaccountable happened in those cloudy heights...

And, to convince these awful, fearing humans to help him, he had to perform a conjuration that gave them great benefit.

Lesuun had been able to conjure small things---rocks, lizards and such---since he was small and lost on the plateau.

Lost in space and time---not knowing whence he came or when; or, even who from...

He had only one human confidant, old Meslen, the herbalist.

~~~

Lesuun was just approaching the dilapidated dwelling when Meslen came out and hailed him with:

"Four legs! What a good time you choose to visit."

"Good time? Why is that, Meslen?"

"I've just finished a concoction for your heartache, you beast."

"Herbs will drive away my burning emptiness?"

"I believe so..."

"I have a mission in mind that may do the same."

"Oh?"

"A trek to Bhiastan..."

"Bhiastan? The imaginary city?"

"Perhaps as imaginary as me..."

"You do pose a problem when it comes to explanation."

"Is it not likely that my plateau's nearness to Thel may make the mountain my first home?"

"Have you ever ventured farther than the tree line?"

"No..."

"And, what of the sounds and lights? What if they are from other imaginary things that have an unexplained reality?"

"Legends are full of dangers that clearly thought-out action can dispel."

"And, what are your clear thoughts?"

"I will take a group of strong men, perhaps Bethum, Montu, Nesso, and Venti..."

"Strong, yes. But, I am the only person who trusts you, Lesuun."

"Yes, though if I conjure something the people need, something that is of great value to them, I may be trusted enough to entice those men to trek with me..."

"Perhaps..."

"I came to ask what you think would gain their appreciation."

"First, come in and drink my concoction, it may relieve you enough to make this trek unnecessary..."

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