Thursday, December 31, 2009

How now, that this peculiarity of pigments so enthralls us?  That this near accident of arrangement, this coincidental question of ink and page should tyrannize our existences so thoroughly?  Oh, that the subtle irony of those who so oppressed us for ages have in fact ensured our slavery for much longer.  Despite our escape, they gave us the written word with which to shackle ourselves for eons that will come.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

How dies these words?  How tire these eyes?  How weak these hands!  Arguments fall on failing hearts.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

How disappointed I am, with our kind, with ourselves, with all that has come before and all that we seek evermore.  With leglike hands and sleeping feet, there will be no where to go in the ages past and fleet.  We will return everplowing into this plane and we will damn ourselves consistently into the ground.  Drive ourselves sick and tired into the clayy that didn't even make us.  Where will we go then?  When our time is come and we have wasted our lives,  what will we make of us?  What can be made of us when we have made so little from ourselves?  Who will make what of us when we have made so much of ourselves, but so little from us?

There are answers here, and we can see them, but we choose not to act on them.  We are ignorant, stubborn, and stupid despite our scholarship.  We have sought the past in the future and the future in the past but we have made nothing that will last, much less something that will do us good.  We have taught ourselves to recognize the truth but never taken ourself to the strength that will wean us of lies.  We who are called the fools, those who ignore wisdom, those who die in ignorance come at least in the time that we can recognize.  We at least know we are lost.

But the Iaerae... know not.  They are truly lost.  And in some ways that is more forgivable - to not know the truth, as they do; or to know the truth and choose lies, as we do.  There are only rivers and sunsets and drying leaves and the bitter cold to give us succor, but we were better had we cut off our own hands to offend not that higher power.  We were better had we not allowed us to astray.

Can sI speak truth to this page ? Am I truly able to lay down my thoughts here?  We are pathetic and full of sickness.  Tried and true we are truly false, genuinely fake, powerfully weak, all creatures pathetic with opposites and flu-filled with oxymorons.

No glory here, my lord, no majesty, but the weakness of omission, the grace to acceed to higher grace, the willpower to let go our own will.

You are afire in my mind, a bow in my arc, a theorem amidst my ramblings, a proof in this world of fear. Go try and I'll forget your name, if I cannot forget my own.  Take your fingers from my heart or let me die.  Let me be with you, my lord.  Nothing else knows me in my core.  In my center, the heart of my gravity.  If I'm a crown without a king, then you are a god without a need, a lord without a servant, a messiah without a herald.  At least in my person.

Have mercy,  Have mercy.  Have mercy.  Have mercy.  Have mercy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Imagine tomorrow you cannot read anything.  Your whole national history, all literature, all things, gone.  Rootless and legless, with no place to stand and no place to come from, and the pollution fills up your stumps, rotting them like old trees that have been cut down.  What if we were as the gnarled ones, and bound to the very  place from which we hailed.  What if we grew up out of the gentle waters of the Orvelai-mai-Ith and then were ripped out from our comfortable flower beds, what if we left behind all that we loved best about ourselves in order to escape those who trammelled us into the clay from which we came?  What if we uprooted ourselves, made ourselves homeless, soulless, to escape the oppression that lay thick on us there?  What if we had a desire for freedom greater than our love of history?  Is there any choice?  When we lay down in this new land, will the flesh of the plants themselves reach up to enwrap us?  What is true naturalization? the true transformation of our nature?

With words there goes hope.  Millions of us, and no history.  Not one document to our name, not one book to our ancient strands.  Not one age to define us in the hallowing rarity of our terrible halls.  Can we build it back?  Can we survive our innocence?  Innocence with dirty hands, thin with the wisdom of the roadside, choking with widows weeds; will we die here?  Are we able to die here?

From above, in riotous fashion, rain history from the sky.

It is almost not a choice.  For a kind as taught as us, as tried as we have been, what choice do we truly have?  We must seek what was taken form us.  Take back the history that was ours, but is no longer.  From our older but not elder brothers.  From the first kindred.  Into Cheyr'emeth.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Where walks this life?  As voices play only in one ear, as pen strikes pen, and buckler, sword, as time lays low the page, takes on the visitations we find, gives up the ghost, ties itself down to the once and only, it has and will have been and never was the past.  All things live on, whether in our hearts or in our lives.  There is no end to one and anything, and I am coming back again, whether in the day that comes or the day that does not.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Uries at Heshens - "The Antique Country"

An eon has past since I walked the borderlands, where sun meets sky and water, land.

Even now it melts and sinks into tepid waters, like the great aurel crack and float, ever southward, until what magic they held, the frozen air of the north, the tyrant touch of their homes, the very detritus they have preserved, is vanished. What displaces this wonder is not known to me, but I will take it into myself if that is what is taken; I will bring it low with my own weakness, let that terrible grievance rest itself in my heart, burn itself shallow in my own hunger.  And when it seeks it to escape, I swallow it back again, back into the cloud that is my heart, the mist that I have eaten.  The mist I stole.

And as I know this, as I seek the truth of the place from which I came, I see that we are a people obsessed with time and place.  That there is nothing new, no clear beginnings, that all these things the result of but a tiny question that lays itself in my mouth, underneath our tongues, laying forth with full fury when its time is come.

It says, "Why?"

It says, "What is this?"

It says, "From whence it came?"

It says, "Take me to the source." 

And we comply, ill-fated and woebegone creatures spring from our paths and we go past them.  That is the source of all comfort, all beginnings, all sources.  In some fashion, all hope.  What then, if we obliterate この事?  What is left then, but emptiness?  To fill our hearts with, emptiness.  When we seek out the tyrant touch of language, drape its airy vestment 'round our rise, raise its tale in our windy courtyards.  We will not leave, nor it leave us.  Alone. We will not leave.  alone.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Sea Visions

Let us lay bare what has been done to this place. If you can reach, if you can strive upwards, into the empyrean vault that hides the telarai from our view, hold down the continents of the sky and reach beyond them, I say. Take them, roving and new, such seismic antagonists, and lay them here amidst our own waters. Make their edges meet the Hollowell and sift their mountains down amidst our own; take down the astral vault from whence time comes, and if you can believe it, you will carry the weight of a drifter, the clouds that ride in to sow honesty among the least of us. I imagine that if sight would stretch far farther, braced on delicate balance of snowy wings, it would find that the heavenly strand does not reign in hues but shades, and that even beyond the lightnings of our skies lies night, not only forever eternal, but forever still.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

An Age and an Age

Old and older, quiet and quieter, bleak and yet even grander, this tidal plain like the natural planes of death, written with gates and precincts. All the pools filled with the mercurial remains of the night's flood, like ages gone and past, whose subtle residue soaks our feet as we travel through the light, cold sunlight towards where the water that lies miles off the shoreline. Look down at this panorama behind you, and there is a sign of joy in this weakness, a world missing, at the cliffs that overlook where you will not even bury your ancestors. You will lay them down in the wet sand, surrounded by the edges of the water, but not yet by the sea. Their ashes are now fallen on the ground, and when the flood comes again they will wash and be thrown against the cliffs that buttressed the place they called home from the immeasurable tides. Convinced in some way of its appropriateness, there is a dirge that escapes almost silently from our lips, an honor, a laurel composed by another, but it vanishes in a wyle, barely heard in the first place, and shredded and dusted over the dead by the wind, less even now than when it first escaped our lips.

This is the same place where the criminals bury. Lay down in the mud at the bottom of the sea, miles from land and inches under water, silt, sea-life, shells and demons of the dead. Corpses of those that came before. This is what papers, carpets the land before us, provides a place to walk on, a plank and bridge into the past, where we came from, and the future, to which we are inexorably pulled. Is there more to this? Do my feet really tread the walls of death and the walks of the dead? The walls of the passed, the heights to be passed, ascended, and then stranded beyond, on the plateau of beyond-being. Looking out over the cliffs that preceded your journey, and now you are higher than them. Is this what heaven looks like? A view of a coast-line and the Orvelai-mai-Ith? I am surprised. I feared that there would be more, like some sort of quest, some answer to the questions that we have posed to the sea and the ceaseless tides since our coming to the Edge-lands. Then there was nothing to fear after all. Being saved from the constant inquiry that has housed my kind since before our leaving.

Damn the Iaerae, those bastards that care not for good or truth or peace. Everything is easy for them but nothing is right. Their gods are no deities at all but the simple beasts of burden that cart them from day-to-day. Tools. Things they have subjugated to themselves and nothing more. And oh the irony! That these draft-beings that they have created should enslave them all the more for their superiority! Service to a being greater than yourself is perfect freedom. The perfect opposite is true, and that is the truth that the Iaerae live. How sad, really, that these were the ones to whom was given the death of a deity. As always, the master is the servant; the servant, master. A world of inversions, and always without hope that things should change. And so the persecuted should become persecutors. But breaking this inversion in a most important way, the hunted will not become hunters, though the last become first. The tired will become hungry, but the empty, full. Strong and defiant and eternal of the end, Iad was redeemed by his dying. He at last proved that he was worthy of his Creation, that he had deserved the absolute dominion of the place he had made, this Machine that works so imperfectly. That Thing Which Obeys. And now where lie his remains? In his place of origin? Chaotic, yes, lawful in its unpredictability and we will be tired and done in but a short time. Wait for us. Yes, wait for us.

We must build a wall.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Sought

I, student, eternal delver, constant in my search, like the search of the Es'mensis for the legendary aetoras.

At all times have I been careful of the translations from the cheyr'emeth. I have been diligent and exacting in my rendering of that near-mythic language into the humble mode of Cairainean speech. It is my calling. My beloved burden and thankless duty that I might bring to sight these wonders. Long hours bury themselves in my translations, often spread over months. In this case it has been nearly a year, and with assiduous fascination I still return time and again to these four pieces, correcting. Obscuring. I clarify where appropriate. In hope, I will dig ever deeper into the depths that bespeak a history so vast and storied that I will never undarken even a corner of it, though my life be dedicated only to this research.

Have mercy and forgive me, I request you, for what errors lie in pools of ink and paper. There is little hope for me in this endeavor. Ever should I have been a husbandman or tanner, yet I have no sense to me, as little then as now. What I have glimpsed is not sense...

Not sense, but truth...

Though I work not in nicurei, though I have not the single-minded humility of those I seek, I will strive, as one put it, to exhume this place, until years having walked, I will be no longer able to do as I love. Then perhaps, I too will leave in search of the Edge-lands, or the aetoras, or even Peresine itself! And when my time has come, I will lay down not three feet from that I have sought, and be no more.

But before that time comes, before my failings are beyond correction, let me tell you of my first time in the Edge-lands, of walking along the harsh fence of the Orvelai-mai-Ith. Consider yourself lost already. So all wanderers seek in that land. Give yourself up, though you may have been there never. Accomplished in this you will find yourself longing for their mountainous vistas, feeling like you sleep and walk and wake in dreaming to behold at last this one, true heartland. Know already that the peaks call your name, and that they hold no dangers for you, though perhaps home-razing gales ride their surfaces. Come empty and leave emptier. Your home will be drawn out of you by wonder and inside will walk the sky-studded, glorious vigilance of your original land. What you may have lost will never be found in between these mist-barred, rocky palaces of the Eleiutierc, but at least there is the chance among them for the search, to begin the hunt for giants and beings all at once scarcer and less intelligible.

Will you cry out, when you reach the summit? Will the waves of your homecoming vanish out over the here and then gone again mists, falling to bright scraps like the mists themselves? Will you announce yourself, then, to the denizens of your source? Perhaps it will be nothing more, upon your arrival, than a wan face in a slatey mere. Then, a wan face in a slatey mere. Flat, hard, knowing. You will have to hollow yourself here. You will have to give yourself up. You will have to look deeper than that to find the one who has really come home.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Last Breath of the Warrior

"Three days of sweat and fear, Anezren. Three nights of worry and ceaseless vigilance. All the culmination of twenty eight years of struggle, and this is my reward." Saraphel looked up at her older brother, who was standing, staring out the window of their home. "Before I even joined their ranks I dedicated my life to the Ithan Anul, and they care nothing for it. I was the most devout of the hopefuls. I was by far the most skilled with the idedras. We are a high family. But even so..."

Anezren sighed and turned from the window.

"I'm sorry," he said in his orator's voice. And he looked it, though he had never been thrilled with Saraphel's desire to join the Ithan Anul. "Marrodis already has a place in their ranks and even Herucard was a Shrine Knight." Herucard, their father, had in fact been barely a Shrine Knight. He had sworn the oath and had been annointed with the blood of Vheros, but his dedication had always been more to his family than the Ithan Anul, his profession always mor a politician's than a sacred warrior's. "Perhaps the Abathani have shown us enough grace. Perhaps it is time for another family's child to take their place."

Saraphel shook her head. Let someone else have their honor. And yet neither Marrodis nor
Herucard had possessed the same passion that she had for that holy order.

"Did you not want to join the Ithan Anul yourself?" she asked. Only Anezren had shared that fervor, and yet here he was, urging her to be calm in light of the most bitter disappointment.

"I did. I did. But that was not the direction I took. When Herucard and Amurel died I stepped forward as I had to. Without me, who would have led this house? Marrodis? I love my brother as well as you or any, but he is no leader. And we both know that you would not have led. Just like Marrodis, that is not your talent." He stepped forward and kneeled next to her chair, resting his hand on her face in brotherly fashion. "So I took up the burden, and to fulfill my task properly I was unable to pursue my ambitions. I refused to follow in Herucard's footsteps; if I were to be one of the Shrine Knights it would be with my breath and blood. He embarassed us with his actions," Anezren stood again; his voice hardened, "and I refuse to do the same. So do not speak to me, little sister, of paths unwalked. I, too, have given up opportunities to Marrodis, and I bear him no ill will. I expect you to do the same." As he left, his steps echoed harshly on the wooden tiles.

After the last whispers of his presence died out, Saraphel stood. She reached over on the table and picked up her idedras, a rod of translucent green glass the length of her arm and two finger-widths thick. It was sharpened at both ends and could be gripped in battle either with the lengthy cloth cuffs of her tunic, allowing it to slide graceful and deadly through her hands, or in her bare hands themselves, affording her an unmoving grip on its haft. She carried it with her out to the courtyard where a large spot of earth had been beaten flat and hard, and for the next three hours she moved incessantly, the idedras always sliding, arcing, dancing around her and occasionally flying up, briefly free, into the air itself. As the sun began to set over the Nibar-ban-Ath, Anezren came and joined her in the courtyard.

The sparring was fierce. Anezren had been Saraphel's primary teacher for the idedras. Finally, after nearly an hour of combat, Anezren had Saraphel on the defensive. He had slowly been gaining momentum throughout the fight, and finally Saraphel's fatigue was her undoing. He slid his hand, covered by his cuff, along the length of Saraphel's idedras, using the motion to throw her weapon wide. With his other hand gripping his own weapon directly he brought it forward in a thrust that would have impaled his sister had she not stumbled, off balance, out of the way. In doing so, Anezren managed to disarm her, and her idedras was sent spinning off across the practice yard to land in the grass.

They both stopped, Saraphel panting and bent. Anezren was barely breathing hard, looking coolly down at his sister, the tip of his idedras not quite touching the grass at his feet. He walked over and retrieved his sister's weapon, then returned to stand in front of her. The sky was rich and royal blue overhead, dark and full. Saraphel had raised herself fully upright by the time he got back. He offered his idedras to her.

"Well?" he said. She was silent. "You know your responsibility, Saraphel." Again, she was silent. "When an idedras touches the ground..."

She took his weapon without a word, stone-faced. He held the defiled idedras vertically, stabbing up into the heavens, a scrap of light in the courtyard, empty and dark, the courtyard itself silent except for the scratch of wind on wood and Saraphel's still harsh breathing. One mirrored the other.

Reverently Saraphel raised her brother's idedras. She held her breath. This had been her life. This, and the canticles and memorizations, the ceaseless vigils, the pilgrimage to Altiol. The dreaming, day and night, of the silvery gray of the Shrine Knights' vestments. And the constant knowledge of her brother's strength. How he had striven for that same grace. How his gift of leadership had become a curse. How he had given it all up for his brother and sister. She swung, horizontal and pure, committing herself entirely to the blow.

The two idedras met, let out a snap like the sound of the first rains striking the roofs of Altiol, and Saraphel's weapon shattered, the shards splashing out into the night, a sparkling hail that hung in the air for just a moment. That fog of glass shards was called kethet taru in Kir'drasoran. It meant "last breath of the warrior."

Anezren led Saraphel back to the house. As they walked, he sang a soft song, like parents did so often with their children. She could hear it fall through the darkness as he made his way into the house through a different door. Entering through a different door was another common practice with children.

He left Saraphel and returned to the large area that served as both his bedroom and the family's common living room. No lights were on in the house, but despite the gloom Anezren could make out all the familiar elements. Just beyond the two pillars that marked the entrance to the room were the two tables his grandfather had fashioned from bleached gray driftwood taken out of the Nibar-ban-Ath. The three wooden chairs lined the wall next to the right-hand table. His spartan, ancient bed was against the left wall. His great-grandfather had fashioned that bed like a funeral table - tiny walls around the edges, one single plank for the surface - to remind those who slept in it of their ultimate duty. It was the right and responsibility of the head of the family to sleep in that bed, and Anezren approached it gladly, almost eagerly. All was dead silent, impatient and waiting for the words to fall from Anezren's lips. He seemed to struggle with himself for a moment before he could speak.

"You are her oldest brother. The head of the family. You are the watchman. You sacrificed everything for her and Marrodis!" There was disgust in his voice and he almost choked. "But yet, you denied her her highest aspiration! What sickness is this that causes you to fail your blood so? This one thing, your goal, the satisfaction and protection of your brother and sister that have almost become your children. But you failed. It was your dream as well, Anezren, and if you cannot undo what evil you have done, your body will float in the cold waters of the Nibar-ban-Ath. Do you hear me, Anezren? One week. Life or death. So it is for Saraphel's dreams. So it is for your duty. So it is for you."