The Maker of Universes Book 1 of The World of Tiers Series by Philip Jose Farmer. Chapter 1, 2, 3, 4

She burst into a long wailing, then began weeping. He waited until she seemed to have no more grief in her before speaking. “I don’t even know your name.”

Her enormous eyes were reddened, and her face looked older. Even so, he thought, he had not seen an Earthwoman who could compare with her. Her beauty made the terror of the fight thin away.

“I’m Chryseis,” she said. As if she were proud of it but at the same time shy of her proudness, she said, “I’m the only woman here who is allowed that name. The Lord forbade others to take it.”

He growled, “The Lord again. Always the Lord. Who in hell is the Lord?”

“You really don’t know?” she replied as if she could not believe him.

“No, I don’t.” He was silent for a moment, then said her name as if her were tasting it. “Chryseis, heh? It’s not unknown on Earth, although I fear that the university at which I was teaching is full of illiterates who’ve never heard the name. They know that Homer composed the Iliad, and that’s about it.

“Chryseis, the daughter of Chryses, a priest of Apollo. She was captured by the Greeks during the siege of Troy and given to Agamemnon. But Agamemnon was forced to restore her to her father because of the pestilence sent by Apollo.”

Chryseis was silent for so long that Wolff became impatient. He decided that they should move away from this area, but he was not certain which direction to take or how far to go.

Chryseis, frowning, said, “That was a long time ago. I can barely remember it. It’s all so vague now.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Me. My father. Agamemnon. The war.”

“Well, what about it?” He was thinking that he would like to go to the base of the mountains. There, he could get some idea of what a climb entailed.

“I am Chryseis,” she said. “The one you were talking about. You sound as if you had just come from Earth. Oh, tell me, is it true?”

He sighed. These people did not lie, but there was nothing to keep them from believing that their stories were true. He had heard enough incredible things to know that they were not only badly misinformed but likely to reconstruct the past to suit themselves. They did so in all sincerity, of course.

“I don’t want to shatter your little dream-world,” he said, “but this Chryseis, if she even existed, died at least 3000 years ago. Moreover, she was a human being. She did not have tiger-striped hair and eyes with feline pupils.”

“Nor did I… then. It was the Lord who abducted me, brought me to this universe, and changed my body. Just as it was he who abducted the others, changed them, or else inserted their brains in bodies he created.”

She gestured seaward and upward. “He lives up there now, and we don’t see him very often. Some say that he disappeared a long time ago, and a new Lord has taken his place.”

“Let’s get away from here,” he said. “We can talk about this later.”

They had gone only a quarter of a mile when Chryseis gestured at him to hide with her behind a thick purple-branched, gold-leaved bush. He crouched by her and, parting the branches a little, saw what had disturbed her. Several yards away was a hairy-legged man with heavy ram’s horns on top of his head. Sitting on a low branch at a level with the man’s eyes was a giant raven. It was as large as a golden eagle and had a high forehead. The skull looked as if it could house a brain the size of a fox terrier’s.

Wolff was not surprised at the bulk of the raven, for he had seen some rather enormous creatures. But he was shocked to find the bird and the man carrying on a conversation.

“The Eye of the Lord,” Chryseis whispered. She stabbed a finger at the raven in answer to his puzzled look. “That’s one of the Lord’s spies. They fly over the world and see what’s going on and then carry the news back to the Lord.”

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