The Lyuminans were called to the stars and thus they went, building towers and settling mountains as they claimed the craggy fjords of Ailur as their own.
They left the low places and aspired high, stretching their paws to the sky and beyond. Yet there was a limit, even for the angelic Lyuminans, separated from heaven by Ailur.
“What shall we do?” cried the clan elders in despair. “How shall we know the stars if we can never truly touch them?”
The Lyuminans had knowledge—but not wisdom—and though they asked the crystal Prakala for its advice and guidance, they did not listen to it. Its curse, long ago cast and since repeated, was lost on the troubled hearts of the light-furred Lyuminans.
They refused to believe, however, that though they may long for the stars, they may never reach them. Their heavy hearts hungered as they continued searching for an answer.
“I know the way to the stars,” announced a Lyuminan warrior of some learning. “Lightning is the bridge between heaven and Ailur. If we are to harness the lightning, then we must stretch to the sky.”
The others saw wisdom in the warrior’s words—but still, they remained troubled.
“How are we to bind lightning? It is swifter than the swiftest sword, traveling an eternity and back in but an instant! Not even the fastest Vhoga could rival its speed. Should we sneak up on it instead? No chance—for it appears suddenly and is gone in an instant, a phantom in the night. No Anagativa is speedy or stealthy enough to subdue lightning.”
“No,” answered the warrior who had spoken up, “No Anagativa is.” He turned his eyes to their sacred crystal, the wise Prakala, and it was then the others understood.
She would be the answer.
And so, the Lyuminans began to carry their crystal—up hills, over mountains, past towers and towards the highest heaven.
As far as the Lyuminans could stretch, so did the crystal, its translucent white essence uniting with the sky’s brilliant blue.
“Now we must adorn Prakala, for though lightning is quick, it is also greedy. What it touches, it burns…unwilling to share with the world. It will hunger for Prakala’s wealth and prove unable to resist her most alluring aura.”
The crystal, the great Prakala, sat poised like an emperor above Ailur, and so the angelic Anagativa of the Lyumina clan decorated her as one. With furs and bangles, scepters and crowns, the Lyuminans dressed their Sacred Crystal with the riches of their land.
Yet of these things, Prakala had asked for naught.
Its needs were ignored in favor of the clan’s own. No matter how much they draped the crystal, no matter how much they professed its power, their own self-interest remained king of their hearts.
Still, in this way the Lyuminans lured the lightning. It stretched its jagged neck, eyeing the sparkling jewels and shining metals—those instruments of rule and accoutrements of status—and struck.
Great, luminous, charged bolts streaked across the sky with arms outstretched; the lighting appeared for only a fraction of a moment, as elusive as ever, but this time a moment was all that was needed.
Prakala caught the bolt and did not let go, whipping and weaving about from the force of the charged jolt, and roaring as it seared stars into the sky. Heaven was chained to that magic sacred crystal shard, and from the ground below, chunks of Ailur began to rise, suspended in the night sky.
The Lyuminans wept and cheered and prayed—for they had never before been so close to what lay beyond the vast atmosphere.
The stars sparkled and the moon smiled and yet still the Lyuminans were unable to grasp them in their hands, so their original longing intensified and the clan collectively lamented.
“What will we do now?” wailed the Lyuminans. “Even lightning cannot lift us to where we crave to be! Will we never reach the highest sky? Is heaven truly beyond us?”
“No,” the Lyuminan warrior who had first spoken up responded. “It may elude us, yes, but it will not escape us. We will build upon these airborne crags of Ailur and we will stretch higher and higher with the aid of Prakala—higher than we ever dreamed.
“With magic, we will rise further; with obstinance, we will grow taller…buoyed by Prakala and driven by our dream to harness the light. Do not despair, friends, for a Golden Age awaits us, high above Ailur.”
And so, in the velvet twilight of the passing storm, the Lyuminans cheered, their hearts alight once more.
And yet, overcome by their new-found hope, not a single one noticed the tiny fracture that had begun to sully great Prakala’s heart.