Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The First Aleiu Aetoras

(Note: I found this manuscript in the salted fields of a dead farm. The script shifted between the cheyr'emeth and a curious variation on Istein orthography and becomes hard to read in several places, smeared with rich soil. Only four or five pages remained out of some presumably larger work.)

From the beginning I have pleaded with all ghosts. These spirits of a strange land bear down on us as if they were the strength of sickness. They fill these forests with mist and twilight. Their darkness is not our own, not the darkness of our homeland. Filled with mystery, but not the comfortable mystery of ages past. Not the gentle heaviness of history. Sharp and painstaking it illuminates every question of biology and change. What once was, is, and the aetoras still eludes us. We have violated the trackless wilderness, new and bright and humid, and have filled it with our footprints and the blue dust of the nicurei. Illness has taken some of us; as we have taken it from these ghosts, breathing in their pestilent breath and drinking the thick, rich, black blood that is the only liquid in this verdant desert. It seems like everything is secretly composed of ash. Dry and thick and caking.

Ivalis was the fourth today. Nearly a wyle of our party has vanished, buried in the insistent life of this region. We had no time to mourn or celebrate. Her corpse is left to the non-secrets that scavenge among these trees. Will she rise again, listless and bloated amongst the other natural creatures? Can I honestly ask myself that question? Uries mor at rohem seiru. Questions are meaningless unless you will ask them of yourself.

We have seen the towers of aetoras three times since landing on these occult shores; every time they seem to be no more distant, no closer. This expedition is too significant to be a fool's errand. I hope we do not have to turn back. If we do, though, it shall surely mean safety. Our path is marked with miniature la'in and we can return at any time. Find our way to our almost home, to the Eleiutierc, and then return to the shapes of the Edge-lands along Orvelai-mai-Ith.

Perhaps these ghosts will take us all, eventually. With their hunger and their thirsty blood. And we will lay down not three feet from the aetoras gates and be no more.

(The following was found on another page.)

There is no rest here, never in death, never in living. Because of all's eating... you cannot move on or leave anything in the past because it is carried inside of everything else. All blood is one blood since everything feeds on everything else. Not a mote of singularity in these forests; not a drop of individuality. It feels like we are merging... closer together in body and mind...