Rob the Shoveler
Rob the Shoveler
Rob had a dream.
Shunning the light of Flame-Haired Amate in favor of the darkness of cramped mine shafts, he listened. And he searched.
What was he looking for? Many of Rob's friends asked him this question, but not even Rob himself knew the answer. Women laughed at him, men shrugged their shoulders, but Rob just smiled in his peculiar way, slung his shovel over his shoulder, and went back down into the mine shafts in search of... he knew not what. People began to think he was blissful.
But Rob wasn't blissful. Rob was simply listening to the dark world around him. He could hear something in the pitter-patter of falling dirt that others simply could not understand. The dirt and rocks around him, it seems, were not dead. They sang. They spoke. They whispered. They told the history of the world of Sparksvaard.
And Rob gradually learned to understand their language. This is how he learned that the world came from the Light, and that the Light begat the Wise Ones, and the Wise Ones begat the Holurs... There, in the dark mine shafts that seemed so gloomy to others, Rob hearkened to the distant blows of Svefnii's hammer and learned of the world.
Svefnibrann called to him. He felt a strange burning in his chest, and the cramped vault of the mine shaft spread out before him in the gleam reflected from the distant flame of Rob's yearning…
And when the cliffs spread out before him Rob saw strange, self-contained little worlds.
It was in those moments that the ones he called the Visitors came to him. Sometimes They would freeze on the flaming border and just watch him. Sometimes They would speak to him.
They called him "the Toucher." But some of Them spitefully called him "the sangar."
He would speak at length with the former, losing all sense of time, but he yearned to meet the latter in a deadly clash, lifting a hammer he had never possessed high above his head...
And then one day She came. She was inexpressibly beautiful, with hair like a puff of smoke, draped in a cloak of stars, her cold face lit by a sickle that gleamed crimson. They spoke.
"Do you want to be my hoering?" asked She to whom one could not say "no."
"No," replied Rob, for at that moment he realized who he is. "No, O Ice-Eyed One.
I am a sangar."
Who could he have told about this?
"Rocks can talk?" "Svefnii calls out to you?" "You saw other worlds in a hole in the ground?" "You're drunk, barátо!" "Either you're drunk, or a dangerous heresy has gripped your mind." "You can look forward to an audience with the great Master of Vaktaarkangen in the barracks of the Order of Vaktaarnatt." So Rob said nothing.
And then he vanished.
Rob had a dream. And he touched it.
A Gottlung folk tale, among those forbidden upon penalty of having one's tongue cut out by the Great Master of the Order of Vaktaarkangen, heard and recorded by a humble (illegible) of his Grace at a port-side tavern in Idirverden.
Rob, Toucher of Branches: a man revered by the smallfolk who experienced an epiphany and became a divinity and an object of worship. He helps with hard work.