I have seen the gods, and spoken to them, and do not much recommend the exercise. Oh, they love wisdom, do all the chattering angels, and right knowledge, and magic, but they are careless, so careless. Always smashing things and giving gifts in apology.

Laurel leaves and poetry; worth a long-limbed daughter? Seven years of sex; worth the ruin of your queendom? Prophecy and clarity; worth all the colors of the world? I have stared long into the sun, and they are not.

Heroes, ha. They love us, the mad ones, the ones who question, the ones who dare. Raccoons reaching for that shining metal, short-browed monkeys with our hands in the sugar jar. They filled me up with future like a vinery with grapes just to watch me leak.

Kill your son, I said; a god demands it. Bury your dead, I said; a god demands it. And a thousand more died without my counsel; the ones the gods do not see, the burned, unmourned, unthinking dead.

They have no names, no given gifts.

In truth, I do not recommend it.