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Tale of Stars

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In the small village of Jin'jei near the rumbling hills of Unyin, there lived a girl called Mon'aa. She was a curious girl, and she would always get in the way of the grown Alatien. "Go play somewhere else!", they would say to Mon'aa, but she didn't want to play with the other children. She wanted to be where the grown-ups were, to see what they were doing, and to learn from them. But one day, after getting many complaints from the pottery-makers, and guardsmen, and traders, and soldiers in the village, Mon'aa's mother told her that she wasn't to interfere with the grown-ups any more... and that instead she should go play with the other children, or sit still and draw or work with clay.

But Mon'aa was always curious, and now, since she wasn't to be among the grown Alatien any more... she decided to go exploring the forest that lay just outside the village of Jin'jei. She had many times been forbidden to enter the forest, because it could be a dangerous place, but Mon'aa was very curious. Of course, she wasn't planning on going far into the forest, but then her eye caught sight of a white Flufftail hopping through the tall grass, and Mon'aa, curious as ever, gave chase.

The Flufftail ran away into the forest, and Mon'aa followed, blind to where she was going, and interested only in catching the white Flufftail so that she could keep it as a pet. But then, after a good while, the Flufftail disappeared into a hole in the ground, leaving Mon'aa alone in a small clearing somewhere deep inside the forest. She was exhausted after running after the Flufftail for so long, and as she looked around the clearing at the unfamiliar trees and flowers, she realized that she hadn't been paying attention to where she was going. Not for the first time, her curiosity had gotten the better of her, but this time it was serious. Mon'aa was too young to fly, and she had very little sense of direction. And chasing the white Flufftail had made her dizzy, and tired.

It was getting darker, and Mon'aa was all alone in the deep, dangerous forest. Too sleepy and too scared to be able to go anywhere, Mon'aa curled up with her wings wrapped around her under the leaves of a tree... and began crying. Soon, it got really dark, and somewhere, not far away, wolves started howling at the moon. Mon'aa was so scared she was petrified, but after a while, her exhaustion got the better of her... and she fell asleep.

She woke up when she heard a voice calling her from somewhere far above. Looking up at the starry sky, Mon'aa saw a vision of the spirits of five Tellers, gazing down at her. "You have let your curiosity lead you astray," said one. "You are lost, and you deserve to be lost," said another. "Poor little girl," said a third. "We will help you home," said a fourth. "But remember this," said the fifth spirit, "we will lead you back to your village and to your mother only if you promise us one thing." "I promise," said Mon'aa. "Whatever it is, I promise I will do it."

"Very well," said the first spirit, "you will make the story of this night into your own Tale, and you will call it the Tale of Stars." "It will be a Tale to warn the curious to be careful," continued the third spirit, "and to not let their curiosity get the better of them." "And," said the second spirit... to remind the Alatien that the spirits of their Tellers watch out for them when they most need it."

And so the spirits of the five Tellers guided Mon'aa through the forest, and by dawn, she was home. And Mon'aa did tell her Tale, the Tale of Stars, to everyone in the village, so that everyone would remember that the curious must be cautious, and that the spirits of the Tellers are always watching.

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