The hunter examined the pearl with one equally opalescent eye. It was large, milky white, and flawless. She hoped it would be a fitting tribute for the surface people.
The tribute was a humiliation, but necessary. The land people could poison the sea, or simply destroy them with one of their strange weapons. They were at their mercy.
And so, the sea people humbled themselves, and offered up their treasures as demanded. But all the while, they met in secret with the sky people, who lived even above the land. Once the alliance was secure, the humans would be surrounded.

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