Theirs was a world of tranquil waters and still air.

The waters ran to a glassy and infinite depth, and none who had swum deeper than a few breaths had ever returned. Therefore, they did not concern themselves with the depths save for what they could fish from it or the distances one could travel.

The still air was infinite, and rare was the day it was not lit by an even glow that flared and faded at regular intervals. The occasional crimson-tinged clouds appeared on the horizon around sunset, but those who set of in pursuit thereof never returned. Therefore, they did not concern themselves with the skies save what they could catch from it and how long it carried a shout.

Betwixt water and sky were their homes, great orbs of soft and malleable material that bobbed placidly in the waters. The orbs were easily worked, and if carefully laid out to dry pieces of them could be used to make doors or even boats. In time, they were hollowed out, with many generations of the same family sharing a sphere. Subtle tides amid the waters were always bringing together and breaking up groups of spheres, and it was in that way that they spread far and wide.

One of the oldest and hollowest spheres returned from a long sojourn across the drifts with a curious passenger atop its apex: a portal through which a bright golden light continually shone. It was quite unlike the portals they used to enter and exit the bobbing spheres, which were always circular or oblong, and it always remained at the top of the elder sphere even after curious gawkers worked together to turn it.

But, like the depths of the sea and the horizons, those brave few who ventured through it never returned.

However, unlike the depths or the horizons, one day something ventured into their world from the other side.

Inspired by this.

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