Put most simply, Esel means “the sky”, but that is only one of its meanings.  You might wonder, why does the sky even have a name, isn’t it enough to call it the sky?  Well, for that, you’ll have to ask Finbardin, the King of Heaven.  When he created the sky to fill the nothingness between Sangrar and Heaven, he named it Esel and the name stuck.

Throughout the ages, Esel was many things to the people of Sangrar.  In the physical world, it was the clouds, the wind, the stars and everything to the farthest reaches of space.

Esel was a synonym for an uncapitalized “heaven” but when it was spelled or spoken with a capital “H”, Heaven specifically meant the home of the gods.  This wasn’t nearly as confusing to the people of Sangrar as I’m making it sound.  If you paid attention, it was easy enough to know what was meant.  For example, you would never say “Why don’t you shut your mouth boy, tight like the Gates of Esel, and listen for a change?” but if you substituted Heaven for Esel, it would be perfectly acceptable.  Trust me, after thirty years or so in the classroom, I said worse than that to students.  You could, however, say to the pretty girl next to you, “The heavens sure are alive tonight.  If you look over there, you can see Kal’s arrows,” and you can bet she’d look up into Esel.

Esel was also the Firmament, a mystical bridge from the mundane to the sacred, a way to reach places beyond Sangrar’s mortal coil.  From Esel, you could reach Heaven, Ardilun, the Spirit World or other places hidden in the folds of the Girdle.  But, and this is important, Esel had no connection to the Greater Realm.  Finbardin knew only the Void, where he could not go.  Only one god ever ventured into the Void and it was not the King of Heaven.

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