…Whereas the entities variously known as “Gaians”, “Spirits of Place”, and “Genii Loci” constitute the earliest inhabitants of this world,
Whereas contempt for the dignity and freedom of Genii Loci and their domains has resulted in non-consensual alteration and related forms of exploitation of these entities,
Whereas it is acknowledged that Genii Loci are sentient entities deserving of rights of a similar nature to those of human beings, yet uniquely different in recognition of the special circumstances of said entities,
Whereas it is essential to promote cooperation between humans and Genii Loci if the human race and the world we know are to survive,
Therefore this UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF GENII LOCI is professed by THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY to be a global standard to be upheld by all peoples of all nations….
- Excerpt from the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Genii Loci, 2024
WOMAN WEDS WINDMILL
A Buckinghamshire resident has become the first human to be legally married to a Gaian in the UK. Belinda Glossop (39) tied the knot with the Brill Windmill (387) at the local registry office on Saturday. Mrs Glossop-Windmill told the Sunday Harbinger, “I used to go up there and just sit, you know, with my sandwiches. Of course we got talking, and, well, we rather hit it off. From there, things just… happened, as they do.”
The couple have been waiting to wed for almost a decade, and finally got their chance when the Marriage (Human And Gaian) Bill was finally passed this week after years of legal wrangling. While opponents of the bill have cited the potential it introduces for inheritance fraud, a number of pressure groups have dismissed these concerns. “The problem lies with our attitude towards property rights, not with this legislation,” said Anwar Hassan, a spokesperson for the Bodyguards of Gaia.
As for Mrs Glossop-Windmill, it seems she has no immediate plans to become Gaian herself. “Brill loves me as I am, and I'm happy this way for now. Still, the next hill over does look a bit bare at present, wouldn't you say?”
But the change in Gaian attitudes towards Celestials following the Death of Heaven clearly had a more fundamental origin. The awakening of Gaia Herself and the clear indications of Her affection for peaceful entities from other worlds gave many of the more vehemently anti-Aetherial Gaians significant pause for thought. Most abandoned their antipathy towards Celestials entirely, while a number of more progressive Gaians formed close partnerships with angels and demons. As a case in point, the nature of the relationship between the demon Kranax and the Gaian of the North Sea (a former member of Terra, no less) is discussed at length in the next chapter.
The cynical stance taken by Terra, therefore, was highly atypical of even the most hardline anti-Aetherial Gaians, even at the time. Most such entities would not have thought to question Gaia's judgement, nor to suggest that She might exhibit some susceptibility to Celestial trickery. Indeed, even within Terra, Gobi Desert's polemical interpretation of events led to significant tensions. Mass defections followed, and with the deaths of Gobi Desert and Skara Brae in the Battle of Manaus, Terra's remaining adherents were left with no appetite to continue their crusade. Moreover, the fall of Terra marked a yet more significant event: the end of significant Gaian opposition to Celestials as a whole.
- Extract from The Rise and Fall of Terra, by Jane Brumpton
“So what you're saying is… there's these three great big monsters that control the sky and the sea and the land? And they've all got people telling them what to do, and they're all powerful enough to sit on a city, just like that?”
“And the people who control the monsters… they're just normal people? Well, witches, but apart from that, they're just… ordinary?”
“And this has been going on for… how long, exactly?”
“Oh, ages. Hundreds of years, I heard. The job gets passed down, person to person.”
“Yeah, you said. They all have a special way of doing it, right?”
“Right. The Air Guardians get chosen at a kind of travelling school for witches.”
“Whatever. But… the Earth ones are basically like… ninjas?”
“Ninjas, yeah. It's all very secretive, but I'm pretty sure it's ninjas. Oh, but the Water Guardians-”
“Yeah, I know. I remember you saying. They pass on their sacred duty by taking on an intern.”
“We took on an intern once. Couldn't trust the little blighter with the stapler, let alone a bloody great sea monster.”
“Yeah, but this thing's more than just a sea monster….”
“Fine, OK. It's an elemental force of nature with the power to destroy whole continents. And the other two are just as strong. And… they all have ordinary people pulling the strings?”
“Yep. That's about the size of it.”
“Right. Only… we're all still alive?”
“And now. We're still alive?”