The Universal Lounge was much larger then it seemed. Of course, it seemed as it did to gods, who were the only people allowed in, and gods don't really pay much attention to distance, except in a very personal sense. However, to a god down on its luck, without hope, focused on clinging to its last believers as it gambles them away, the Lounge can be almost as big as the space it represents. The friendly clacking and tapping and shuffling of other gods at play fades away into the endless abyss, and that little table by the bar is floating, completely alone, in the black nothingness.

This little table sits three sisters. Not really important three sisters. There are quite a lot of them about. It's a natural path for humans to take in the creation of gods. Three is the beginning of plurality, where nobody can keep an eye on everybody all the time, and is therefore mysterious. And women are extremely terrifying and unknown, at least, to the men whose job it usually is to make up religions. Barely lit by a solitary brown dwarf hanging over their heads, they bent over their game, a three-pronged basalt mancala board with a central pool. There was a single gray stone sitting in it.

"So the mother is dead," said one sister. She may have been the youngest, although it was nearly impossible to tell. Her sun-blackened skin was carved with wrinkles just as deep as her sisters. She was wrapped in a patchwork cloth which had obviously once been dyed in a rainbow of bright, joyous colors, but had since faded to a dozen sobering shades of mud.

"All because you made that commandment that doctors not of our faith weren't to be trusted," snapped another one. Her sensible clothing was clearly designed to be hard-wearing, to endure, but it had just as clearly been worn far too hard for far too long. There were so many frays and holes that it was impossible to find an inch of unmarked cloth.

"I made that to help us! How many of our believers did you lose when you allowed those Frenchmen to be welcomed as guests?"

"I fixed that!"

"No, you just drove them off with half of our newly converted people in tow!"

"Dear sisters! Stop with your ceaseless bickering!" croaked the third sister. She was obviously the oldest, prehistoric where the other two were merely ancient. She was decked out with piles of jewelry, once elegant, gaudy, and intricate. With the passing of time, however, the stones had fallen from their settings, dents and warps had developed in the blackened, corroded metal, and even the gold had begun to tarnish.

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