“In that ancient age, when Anthuor routed the Majonan host in the War of the Sylphs, he showed his mercy on his fallen enemies by raising them up anew, and endowing them with new forms partaking of this world.”

“Those who took their abode in the upper airs, naturally, were drawn to their ancient prey, the sylphs, though they remembered not why and chose to live alongside them. The sylphs at first were fearful and hid themselves, but the power of Anthuor had transmuted the belligerent lust of their former foes, and in time, the sylphs were able to put away their enmity and and come out of hiding.

“Thus, over generations, the sky lords (as the resurrected warriors came to be known) grew in friendship and wisdom with the sylphs and heavenly sprites, even coming to pay homage and bask in the glory of the Courts of the Muses. The sky lords became then like unto gentle farmers, and as stewards tamed the wild sylphs, who roamed over the vast blue fields of the sky in great herds. They roved as nomads after them when the seasons permitted. And for the long winters, the sky lords built marvelous halls, and all prospered in the balance of their friendship.

“It was into this original balance that we weather workers, since time immemorial, had always been born. Earthly conduits of heavenly powers, in our work we drew on both the songs of the sylphs and power of the sky lords to bring us rain for our fields, or winds for our sails, or to avert lightning or thunder when harm it would cause our people.

“Never had more than a handful of us come together before that great convocation. Each concerned with our own family or clan, we’d given little thought to the greater good, until receiving the summons, and following the call to that great mountain top on which we found ourselves, in the Court of the Muses, three sisters named Iluora, Lustra, and Ileafa.

“We took rest after our initial meeting with these remarkable beings. Messengers were sent back down to the camp below, and the late-comers and those who had not seen the glory made the trek back up to the top of the mountain. We drank from the fountains in that place, which cooled our throats and calmed our hearts like the sweetest ambrosia. We slept in turns, and laughed, and the two sisters Lustra and Ileafa walked among us, gently reassuring us with soft words, or a touch which stirred our souls.

“When all were rested and ready, the deepest cloak of night had fallen, studded with an array of stars unlike to any we’d seen in our homelands. We sat about the outside of the pavilion on the ground, and some on stone benches carved like flying beasts, and Iluora, who was the most radiant of the sisters, rose up to speak.

“She raised a lithe limb, and pointed then to what seemed a far off star, twinkling slightly. It seemed tiny and distant, and insignificant. But as we gave it our attention, it seemed to grow and shift, and phased to a reddish hue and back to white.

“‘A Great Storm is coming,’ she said, ‘a storm unlike any other we have known since the founding of this world. When it arrives, it will come with the power of all thunder, all lightning, all hurricanes, with winds of fire raining down to shake the very ground itself.’

“For a moment, in our minds’ eye, we each saw that celestial traveler expand into a ball of red rage in the night sky, and felt fear in our hearts. Then, in a flash, it twinkled back down to its former size, innocuous — just another celestial body in the infinite tapestry of heaven.

“‘For this reason have you been summoned,’ continued the elegant muse. ‘For this reason is your Order hereby founded. To stave off nothing less than total destruction.’

“‘But how?’ I asked in fright. ‘This… visitor who brings annihilation, what hope have we to stop something outside of all our knowledge?’ I felt embarrassed for asking the question on our all our lips.

“She only smiled, saying, ‘Not you alone, First’ and waved her hand. She seemed to know the nickname the others had given me, and smiled. In the sky above, the luminous bodies of sylphs came into view, long and sinuous, they played through the air. And then a dark form arose, blocking out the stars from view. In the broad flat space outside the gardens surrounding the pavilion, it touched down and uncloaked itself. A cloud ship. The assembled weather workers gasped in wonder, for none among us had ever seen such a sight. But from tales of old, we all recognized it at once. The sky lords were with us.”