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Marbles: The Hawk Who Refused to Die a Virgin

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Trouble A' Brewin'

It turned out that the Owl God was the greatest agricultural advancement since the plow. Good lord that thing could do work. Its inexhaustible stone eyes, rolling around every second, generated in between its screeches a deep humming of a disembodied god.

Twenty years after King Rapscallion had died, Clementine proposed a significantly more liberal contract of research conduct concerning the Owl God, allowing her to truly harness its power for farming.

First, she had the floating head guided into the center of the kingdom’s biggest mill, anchoring it to the beams of the building with heavy leather straps. Then she had the Owl God tilted backwards and had another leather band lain across its feathered brow, as if its beak had an infected tooth inside of it that needed to be removed. The Owl God’s head lay held in a vice between two now obsolete millstones from the mill. Then, Clementine had the grain poured down from two gigantic funnels strapped to the rafters, directly into the Owl God’s open eyes.

And so the god had a fall from grace and into usefulness, from inconvenient deity to essential tool. As the grain was poured into its roiling eyes, the god, waterboarded with wheat, would send the subsequently ground flour through its still unknown innards until that flour came arcing out of its beak and into a span of stretched oilcloth. The flour would snow down from the cloth and into a widemouthed tunnel of riveted stainless steel. This tunnel went down into a specially built chamber under the mill. There, an assembly line of consistently... thickening peasants bagged the flour for sale.

They were thickening because Clementine had revolutionized the business of bread. Every miller went bankrupt because they couldn’t compete, and every peasant was getting like, super fat now, eating better than any king had since humankind had been scattering handfuls of seed over the ground.

Pure, nutrient packed, finely ground flour which made every back tavern gruel slinger into a chef pâtissier. Clementine herself had been standing on the table giving gentle suggestions to a chef when the first croissant had been rolled into existence.

“There’s got to be even greater things that I can do with this god,” said Clementine, tucking strands of blonde hair with white flour highlights under her hat.

Clementine had always been a hard worker. A concentrator. A “t”-crosser, an owlbear-plucker, a naiad-boiler. When she had been only forty-seven years old, she had bottled a will-o-the- wisp, and had taken it, roaring with light, every photon howling, furious at being contained, and set it trembling in the warren mayor’s chandelier for a fee which was still being gossiped about sixty years on.

“This mad god is the chief deity in your pantheon of profit,” remarked Brutus one afternoon in Clementine’s study. They had been an item, on and off, for the past month, and Brutus was still trying to find the sweetest possible spot between employee and boyfriend.

“Yeah but he’s lazy,” said Clementine. “He’s got infinite energy, unbreakable parts. He can be pulled over the ground by a single gnome. He can do so much more.” Her fingers were dark with charcoal from the diagrams she had spent all day on. She wet them in a porcelain dish and wiped them off on a decadently soft moleskin chamois.

“Scythes...” said Brutus, staring down at the schematics and handing Clementine a golden goblet of elderflower wine.

“Oh yeah,” said Clementine. “I’m gonna weld a cage of scythes around its eyes.” She couldn’t help but smile.

And yeah she basically did just that, hiring dwarven journeymen to construct a huge wrought iron truss extending out from the side of the Owl God, its power source being the disks clamped into the eyes of the Owl God. The god’s eyes would spin against these disks, causing twin lines of scythes to spin inexhaustibly, preternaturally fast, through endless fields of wheat, reaping in days what used to take weeks. Then they would guide the god back to the mill to grind in hours what used to take days. Blind, floating, gently prodded through the fields by a team of trained wranglers, the statue was now the crown jewel in Clementine’s bread empire.

For ushering in an era of unprecedented plenty, Clementine was justly compensated, and being a particularly diligent gnome, she did everything she could to keep the harvest running smoothly.

She sent a wagon full of the best bread every morning to the Owl God abbey, and paid a high priestess from that abbey to come every morning and consecrate the apparatus before each day of threshing. This priestess would supervise the wrangling team, and ensure that the god was prodded with all due respect.

And, being generous, and soft hearted, and a testament to all long-suffering sisters, she even deigned to hire her dumb fucking brother.

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