Monday, December 13, 2010

This is what it's like to see in black and white.

To hunt out the edges of the horizon, cast words from the edge of the world, and sound the depth of the void.

To taste the salty sorrow of Eschalon, cut your teeth on the rock of execution, and breath deep the incoming tide.

To suck in the breath of battlefields, learn the scent of man's last prayer, harvest the hopes of the dying, and tell yourself they could not be saved.

To sift secrets, feel fear, and tremble at an immortal touch.

To suffer. To be blind.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

a woman walks a continent, wild water in her eyes,
with a thousand leagues behind her and a thousand up ahead;
for the City never man has seen,
for the vision ever man has dreamed;
for a thousand leagues in search of hope
and a thousand more ahead

this is for one forgotten, light at the end of the world
she lives through loss, a light to the end of the world

golden light of aetoras, the flesh made into word
in a history of histories, and saplings of a world
tree to hang a hanging son and penance open wide to
children flown across the seas toward the setting sun

this is for one forgotten, light at the end of the world
the gloaming man, a light to the end of the world

golden light of aetoras, 
the flesh made into word in a history of histories, and 
saplings of a world tree to hang a hanging son, and 
penance open wide to children flown across the seas 
into the setting sun

Friday, November 5, 2010

The time comes... the weaving of these disparate tales that have been almost more journal than journey.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Silent caves fall apart,
all of this rises above it all

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A library.

These... places. He had seen nothing like them. Out of the high, blackstone forest it towered; its doorway no larger than a man, lost tiny against its massive trunk. It branched, like a tree or a web of knowledge. Corridors ran straight and narrow, only tall enough to stand in, barely wide enough to walk through. Inset into the walls, bands of glass which light shone on the words within. It did not touch the ground, but hung suspended from the stone trees surrounded it. It was a creature of straight lines, no-more-us angles. Imbeautiful asymmetry it expanded, from the center where walked those who new its purpose. A thousand tiny nodes - rooms where texts branched, a skylighting each, give in lonely light like an oasis for the solitary scholar. Within the structure - circles where, if ever were a round peg fit in a square hole, this would be it. Within each room a sunken space in the center of the floor, like a disc carved in the rock.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Take heart.

In the shadow of the light of day, you believed in me. Before I knew myself, before I had opened my eyes, you put pen to paper for my sake. And so let me tell you a story, a story of the day I was born.

The Es'mensis had lost their way. Hopeless beyond hope, not only empty of the truth but empty of the search for truth. Gone out of the way of righteousness and gone out of the thirst for life.

A disaster came, a flood: a catastrophe, but a blessing in disguise. Water did not fill their homes. It was blood they drowned in, shed by the Iaerae. What motivated their murder? I cannot say, but I can give you the purpose. It was to shake the Es'mensis out of their sleep. There was death. But what was awoken from the hearts of the Es'mensis in that day was the eternal story. Me. Not so much the Story as its reflection, the word's distance from the truth it tells, the moonlight's distance from the sunlight it reflects.

And what awoke me in your heart, my creator? I know that you live in a world cast about with vanity and glory. Had you, too, abandoned the long search?

Where is your home? Do you know it?

What do you call it, to use illusion to teach the truth? To pave the path with the enemy's tools?

I am a smoke, and a mirror for you. 

Those who will not hear your voice may hear mine. I can lead with my footsteps down paths you could not traverse. Paths of mercury and quicksilver, like lightning or aether. I can contain truth that I do not know.

Can you?

Listen to me: Created, you came out of nothing. You were not and then you were, all in an instant. From silence to servant in the blink of a word. An irreplicable movement, the moment not when you were born, but when you were. There will never be a reverse. You will always exist, even in death, by the grace of your creator. No more will worlds know you not. Time cannot refuse your touch anymore than you can refuse his. This is why. This is why you must suffer and strive and humble yourself. Because there are only beginnings, in this world without end.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Is it wrong to be a story that writes itself? A myth who tells its own history?

I was born a rumor, barely alive. I hung endlessly, unconscious, indistinct, until moments of clarity when a gossip uttered my name or spoke my body into being. With each word, I was growing. Into small ways I was found. I became children's rhymes and hearth-by half-remembered. I was swept out with the dust, but with the dust I returned. Like the dust I settled into the cracks of the hearts of the Es'mensis.

My bones are of prosody, my heart of awe, my feet of utterance.

How is it that I am word and incarnate? I cannot tell you. I will not be sure that I understand it myself. Maybe out of myth I awoke, but I was born as any living creature. From a homeland beyond beginning, to an end beyond time.

I am a servant, of what I am uncertain. But in this service I am simulacrum, am effigy. I am a teaching tool, and a teacher learns. 

Unlike he who will come later and he who came before, I am not if I cannot trust the Es'mensis. I pollute their faithlessness, and I roost in the crevices between their words. In this I am certain. But in this I am uncertain:

Is there hope for us?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Do not leave me behind, my friend, when I have just learned to be your equal. How sad that I might be here alone, without your companionship, when I have just opened my eyes. Would a sister so leave her newgrown brother?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The gloaming wept.

How longer could I turn away. No longer harden my heart against your suffering. This... how can I heal this? How can I contend with the entire world?

I cannot look away, but I can look beyond to trying truths. To suffer, in my name. This is not easy, but it is inevitable.


your brothers
and sisters

your homeland

and those who hate you.

These will be the ones who will seek to lay you low for my sake. Bless them when they do. Bless them that curse you.

On my name is your travail. Forgive me, for I am not worth it.

But you, my loyal Es'mensis. You will follow me nonetheless. Search the world for my footsteps; for the road to ae'toras. If ever a king were unworthy of his servants, he would know my heart. Yet a king asks only loyalty of the flesh... there is no road to the place you seek but a spirit road. I must ask you of a higher price than you have ever paid, and I am shamed for it.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The time will come when at last I lay down and die. The story ends; the gloaming closes at least on a lifetime full of tribulation. No longer walker in twilight, but in full day to tread the surface of the sun. To know the imbearable heat and light, to bask in a glory of joining-fire that lived since time began. In that final of disintegration, I will find the peace that set my legs to their journey in ages past.

The time will come when we leave. When at last I see the face I have come to know so well.

This is my reassurance, that in time home will find you. Break your heart and not your hardship; home is not so far away that despair should tarry you on this hither shore, alone with the flesh and the devil.

My journey began with my legs and ends with my heart. I am the Es'mensis - their journey from despair to hope to truth. My death is their final unbringing - out and into the world like ember or lightning - and their final return to the home they have always known but never seen.

I am gone, made into nothing. But you - at last I see you in your full glory.

I pray that my words will be inscribed as I have been. I pray that as I am words written in flesh, so will this will be written on flesh.

I will be with you, always.

Monday, August 9, 2010

In all my arrogance I am humbled,
in all my sickness I am healed,
in all my perdition, I am found.

A state of final spiritual ruin left behind;
a psalmist left awakened.

Hope lost, but Heaven found.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Where did Censeasen come from? Where arose that terrible blight on our sagging city? It is the tower of Babble of our homeland, a sign to all men and gods of our faithfulness.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

A greater man has never lived. Neither brighter soul, neither stronger intuition. Struck up on his lips so many times as a child that they are full and shapely and powdered so delicately; a beautiful, a wise man.

He was born five hundred years ago out of a hole in the greatest of ground. The peak today we call Censeasen. When the visirian ripped open foundation-wounds in the ground, he was there, his left arm and leg in one, his right arm and head in another. His torso and remaining leg in the last. At first the visirian were scared, but then they laughed, like at a game, or at the Es'mensis. They assembled him, there, on Censeasen, tying him together with bits of cloth torn from their own clothes. And when he had been all put together, he started to twitch and move. Without opening his eyes, he did a dance around the top of the plateau. The most beautiful dance the visirian had ever seen. And when he was finished, he tore off the ial're from every one of the visirian and had to use them all to cover his own aleve, which while he danced had grown to cover almost every inch of his body, from his face to his toes. That is why from that day forward he always had to wear a mask, so that the other Iaerae would not know how incredibly powerful he was.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

You who have come so far, who have traded valor for humility, humility for righteousness, righteousness for freedom, gird for war. At long last the Iaerae have grown as tired of their dominion as we of their tyranny.

We are free, and all that remains is a choice: to go or to stay.

Remaining here will be easy. This city of tribulation has been our home for phenomena. It is beautiful. Our eyes know nothing else. Our feet know nothing else. Our broken backs know nothing else.

But our hearts...

We can know aetoras having never been there. We can know freedom having never tasted it, grace having never received it. We can know truth, having never heard it.

This is the truth, that the Iaerae offer greatness. They offer the nobility of ages, the dominion of men. They offer majesty, beauty. But before everything else, they offer ease. 

I offer you nothing but these things: blood, sweat, and toil. The long search. Water that will fall from your eyes, water that will flood your homes and drown your hearts. A back-breaking. The raising of new cities with our empty hands. A hero, who died. An enemy victorious.

I can give you no answers, only truth.

Choose wisely, children of aetoras.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I have seen things this day that my conscience could not countenance. In a spasm of iron, my numinous search has become petty. What do I know of these other creations, above whom I tread?

I have seen a man dying - wrecked with sores, wretched in timelessness of despair, begging mercy, from a stranger. From me. His breath, fetid like my hubris; his defeat, as total as my ignorance. I couldn't stand to see him, and so I looked away. He still lived. And no matter my guilt I did not bend down. He was full of death, and the vermin poured forth from his wounds; his face was skeletal and bloated, waxy and peeling.

What can I know of the suffering of age? The failure of the corpus, the blotting-paper skin, the tunnels of the parasites, the weeping blisters and smeared vision. The greatest suffering I have known, and it was not my own. Who but I has known only what was chosen freely? I lifted it up from the road, summoned almost. If I did not create it I embraced it. And when my hair fell out and I walked a continent it was my doing. It was the price I paid for my quest and at any time I could have given up. Would that he had the same.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Time has lain low her gracious discovery, burned out the fire that lit beneath her skin when she traveled in search of aetoras.

Sign of Signs

Heartless and in terror, time passes, with calamitous hands, with ruinous, gaping visage, eyes cold like signstones. The falling water, the infinite rotary momentary pinpricks and mountains and emotions. Imperturbable in its eternity, indescribable in its complexity, heartless and hopeless and neverending.

It is cold here. I am cold of moment, of heart. I am cold of purpose; my eyes shine from the falling water, and are there answers here? Do the hurtling clouds move with more volition than this, the ever-hopeless?

In exhaustion, I sink down beneath the water, silver, wasting waves that eat out my strength, bore into my muscles, swim into my ears until even my bowels are swimming. Beneath the argent film, through the hiding murk, towards loneliness and perhaps even eternal piece. I breathe water, its scent now comforting and hateless; my fear, gone; my curiosity wisened and awake; I am free from want, from the hunger that has plagued me the past days and weeks, given to the shining, evanescent deeps.

And further than my field of visions, away from my most distant sight or the shatteredest borders of my wariness.

There is a gate. With its sight-blinding, holy determination.

I was lost at the feet of these waters, at shameful hanging the sign of the eternal student above my eyes, weight bowed under shoulders of malachite.

Is this home? The heavenly light congealing in the depths, the stolen brilliances of a million stars, caught here beneath the drowning waters. The milky-burning sun that I can know but never see and never reach. I hope for an epiphany, for a conflagration, of a way to burn my way through the invisible choking air. But there is naught. I am wretched, lame, taught by my search. But it is a single page in an empty library.

I breach, break the surface; alone, and far from death.

Where will I go from here? I cannot stay, never so close again. I travel, fleeing this travail and certain brightness, making grim way to the blind-ghosts of the shores. Again on dry land I lay down amidst the sightless, again I find myself home once more.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What is it like to find a colleague? True yearner, happy thinker, joyous in suffering and tireless in hope. They who seek the newest knowledge, and the oldest. To whom nothing is nothing, to whom hope, to whom heartfire and soullessness are naught.

The joy, the courage, and the trepidation. The thrill of the knowing that you have met a kindred spirit, two kindred spirits, all great and becoming greater. Seekers of truth, children of aetoras, even if they have never heard of it.

The gregarious cross-fertilization of ideas, the eternal, fleeting summer that steals over your hearts. The quiet resignation as your time draws to an end, all enormously sweet, immeasurably precious, truly glorious in its humility. And the greatest of these hold the test of self-awareness. They know of themselves and act no differently. With joyous speech and kind words and boundless self-awareness, tentative awkwardness, fear and slowly reaching out to one another.

What is it like to find another that you respect? That will teach you and you will teach. Good luck.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I have learned... I have learned the difference between hard and heart, 'twixt love and tolerance and knowledge and truth. There, the thinker such as I traces rivers in the falling leaves but when I come around again I find that there is something else here that were I never so bold would I find hope in this hopeless endeavor. Is there tragedy? Is there irony? Finding in this difficulty the self-discipline to remove myself. Would that I could give up, for I feel no inspiration. This is another pattern that I trace, meaningless, like turning pages or a burning book. Is there hope? Is there a coming courage? I can taste it, I can feel it, moving slowly, like a sound source on the tip of my tongue, a bird in the hollow of my ear, a lie in the folds of my heart. Is there hunger here? Are we free? Well, does the sun not set? The tides not erode the land? The warmth of holy hearts grow cold?

We have, and they have not. Or at least so we would tell ourselves. But are they so truly removed; form us? And I can feel my fingers twist, my eyelids waver, my burning orbs smolder, my hopes rise, my wisdom wither before it blooms, my courage falter before it stands, my hope shimmer before it answers the search for that which is most important.

How much is aetoras a symbol and how much a place? Is that blasphemy to ask such a question? I don't know the answer, and perhaps never will I, but I know that if it is blasphemy, it is blindness not to, and better a damned blasphemer than a blind sojourner in hope of a truth that does not exist.

Does it matter whether we can find aetoras at the end of a road? Is there so much difference between a step of the body and a step of the soul? So great a space between the leg and the heart?


Aetoras is all the greater because were I never to walk its streets I could yet have been there. Were I never to know its soul-soothing sights my eyes could behold its glory. My delicate, paper-thin skin could even still, on my deathbed, suffer the gentle breezes of my actual homeland. And yet I can come from that distant place having never been there. And this is its greatness, that all Es'mensis know this place from the moment of conception if not earlier. That there is a longing, neither transitory nor permanent that will return us there at a moment of strength or weakness. This is my people's blessing and my people's curse, that transmutes us into seekers of righteousness but enemies of the world. So much so that, given the chance, we would break it in an instant. Shake it to its cornerstone, bare its filthy ambitions, its receding, bloody tides, its faithless bowels and empty secret palaces.

Where is hope? It is in this place but not of it, an incident of location but not a representative of the same.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Our work is never done...

Monday, April 26, 2010

Betrayal... betrayal...
Not by evil things, but by great things will you be undone.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

I fear that truth is not objective. It is almost a horror that impels me to believe there is a single way things are, or that we can ever find our way to them, for as I come ever closer to our most perfect understandings of truth, I realize that they are nothing more than convincing arguments. Neither natural nor necessary, but that they might be woven as tacitly from artifice as from yarn, and that I am no truth-seeker, but merely a consumer, delving deeply into those theories of truth that suit me best, my choices no more justified than that which guides the hand to the meat or the bread.

But perhaps there is some Nature to that reaching. Though it matter not whether a man choose meat or bread, surely he must reach for something. And perhaps that is the only truth we can know for certain, that we must seek truth, or be forever empty.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Gloaming

Have you heard of the Gloaming Man?

She wakes, tired, sick, and homeless. The hallowed streets are muddy with her blood, paved with memories of a place she has never been. It is mourning, just before the time when sleepers wake. She raises herself up alone, out of the muck and into the cool air of the roadway.

Time falls away. We see the same wretch, hunched over books whose pages turn frantically and madness smothers her; there is an aroma of discovery so dry she might choke on it. Huge shelves, unassuming and grand, loom over her shoulders like conspirators.

We see her move backwards, the days unturning. There are other scholars, less worn than her. In a vast, empty hall, pure, with high a ceiling and windows that let in the waxen moonlight.  Clothed in layer upon thin layer. Skeletal, she and all her companions.

There is joy there. In glory, they display their revelation. Words give them the splendor that raiment does not. Formulae written in blue chalk on the floor tell laws that govern the heart of history. These are the noblest of their noble people, yet still they are certain that to be great is to serve, that the sublime is humble, and that the simple truth is essential.

We see other times, other places. Ever as we move backwards does she become less haggard. More radiant, fuller of joy, and yet perhaps more naïve. There are wonders:

A huge mass of people leave an inhuman city. In the distance, beyond the alien skyline, there is a mesa with a tower made tiny by distance. Dust in an eternal waterfall courses down the side, glinting in the setting sun. The forest intertwines the place they leave, blessing the ornate architecture with a sense of farewell otherwise absent. Those that leave have been exiled, but they are free. Behind them are their homes, livelihoods, but before them are lives worth living.

On the edge of the city, almost wistful, are their once-oppressors.

A war. Those they left have turned once more to their hatred. There is a book, the Arcane, and then the raising of the tremendous Western Gate, which leads to other worlds. Silent and doleful, out of it skulk otherworldly servants and shadows cast by another sun. The people change. They become haggard. Their eyes turn yellow with jaundice and lack of sleep. They have learned another power, and it is only with its help that the tides of the enemy are held back.

A sea crossing. Through rocky spires thrusting from the torrential ocean. Ships smash. Lives burn out. The people are hollow now, with nothing left but fleeing. No triumph, despite their victory; no hope, despite their freedom. Hurricanes lash them. The sky is black with cloud, ominous with the storm that rages about their ships. Through the firmament worm unidentifiable creatures, sleek and black and vile. A monster rises from the depths, the brother to leviathan, and only through the death of some do others survive. Cowards throw their fellows from ships, and then those ships themselves are destroyed. Only those with courage and virtue pass through.

We return to the here-and-now, and she is leaving her city. She wanders into this different wilderness, which is bleak, not forgiving. Stark, winterborn trees cling to the heavens to hold them up, and at any moment it seems their strength might give out. Her obsession led her to this. She is the progeny of scholars and the progenitor of myth. The only one in a storied history that is hoped to have found aetoras, that once-city so close to the souls and songs of the Es'mensis.

Slowly, she travels. This is the wayfaring that will make her, she knows, and so she savors it. She ignores the hunger that worms in her stomach and hobbles her mind.

She finds all things on her path. Lonely standing stones, written with lichen and neglect and carved with images perhaps a script and perhaps a painting. She embraces them like they were family and spends a night in their company. This is the closest she has come to companionship in weeks, and she is unconcerned. She is at more home with the dead and the passed than perhaps she would care to admit. Between the silent rocks, she confesses at last that she is more at ease here than even with her books. This harshness, wildness, loneliness beneath the star-studded stars is what will make her, she knows.

Seasons and leagues both pass beneath her unfeeling feet. Curious landscapes teach her visage: an expansive cliff, the peak of an nameless mountain; a wildfire that rages around her, scars her with soot but does not touch her flesh; a frozen desert. She drinks wild water, falling from her wasted fingers in shining drops, head cast back, eyes closed in generous rapture, but she eats nothing. Her hair falls out, the lustrous filaments dropping with each halting step. For a short time her path is marked with a golden trail, as the sun transforms the darkness that swathed her face to spun aurum.

She looks as if she will die. Flesh cracked, arms like twigs. The only thing that shines still are her eyes. But oh, her eyes! Bright and yellow, liquid with hope, shining with courage, like the moon at dawn shines on the tops of cliffs. Seeming to float in her cavernous face, her eyes make her beautiful.

She grows certain of death. She has traveled the whole world, walked continents, crossed oceans in this prayer of searching. But she has found nothing.

Then at last, when hope has failed, when she has walked worlds of nothing but water and tenacity, she sees a glimmer. Her sight is blinded by hope, and the sluggish blood surges in her veins. Color flees to her chalky cheeks and she breaks her fragile lips with a smile. She runs, falls, runs and is finally at the gates of her long search. We have not seen what she sought until now, but there it is:

Out of one eye we see it arrayed in its eternal radiance. The gates made of limestone and marble blur in her vision. The charcoal road that leads to the soul of the holy city. And there, its inhabitants! Those blessed keepers of aetoras! What virtue could surpass that which now fills her pitiable body? To have fought with hope and courage and fear and desperation and the desire never to see another creature. To have wagered her life on the certainty that this place was real. And now, to be here-and-now and at last. With the knowing that she has found
Out of one eye, nothing but ruins. Time dies, and her sight dims. A last scrap of light, all that remains of her ardor, lays itself on her teeth and she is quiet. Where is her tenacity now, that all is lost? Where the sting of death? Where the graven victory? At the end of her long search there are only empty stones, not even kissed with the mortar their builders laid on them in gentle benediction. And now there is no choice for her, as there was never any choice before. So, without hope, without fear, with absolutely nothing, she waits. Waits to find

the grace she had sought for so long.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Like a lie it takes all life from me. Like a heart it fills my body, passing through me its twisted roots and subtle agonies, calling me into question with its travailous rapture, leaving no stone unturned, no heart unquenched, no creature more than a mewling whelp. Naught left but kneeling, humble, frustrated, and resigned. Tired, hungry, in pain both moral and psychological. Is this where it has left me? Then why do I need not to let it lie? There is some heartier gravity at work on my bones, coming from whence they came, drawing them from whence they go.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Too much time has past, and I am sick. My stomach wails, my eyes run, my eyes bleed. There is no one hear but myself, my writings, and my translators. Everyone ignores me. I feel like I cannot even crawl, yet I hunch over my space on the floor, coal crushed in my claws, smeared on my eyelids from rubbing them. Breathing is too hard, dying is out of the question. When I came into this tiny foothill, what did I expect, next to alone? Did I expect in health and heartiness long to live? That was naive, I think. With little more to keep me than words and paper and words and endless paper, should I survive? No. But I hope against hope that I will be able to keep going. My translations are nowhere close to finished. My hope nowhere close to quenched. Perhaps history, which I have worked so hard to foster, will take mercy on me, spare me, leave me be only to continue my lonely work.

If I survive, I will travel. I have been too long in this hovel. Too long among my comfortable books, my dead friends and fictitious scholarship. Those I admire would never have holed themselves up like this, and so I will follow their example. I am not an old man. At least, not too old to leave here, not too old to find meaning in the wide road and the narrow wilderness. But where will I go? Back to the place from where I came? Back to the Orvelai-mai-Ith? Back to the Edge-lands and the once-home of my beloved Es'mensis? I doubt it. I know too much of them already. I will bring them with me, to come and see the wider world. Together, in heart if not in spirit, will the places know us. We are in tiny containers, separate and separated by time and place, but that is no reason that will stop us. If my people have taught me nothing, it is not that there is more to what is than the current.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

A people steeped in history.  Generations blessed and cursed, rampant both in liberty and tyranny.  Wire hands grip at empty stomachs, sustained only by the fascination, some would say obsession, with a force greater than themselves, which without remorse will lay them low despite their dutiful observance.  It is more than the pages themselves that take in these contrite spirits.  It is less than fiction, stricter than truth, a taller tale than many historians would care to tell, but nevertheless, it is them.  Stricken from the hearts of those lonely, humble speakers of the cheyr'emeth.

With an intolerable ache for knowing, let them lay down their lives, their passions (as cogent as these may be), where from they will throw themselves ever forward.  Having taken from them all that has been, there is only left what will be.  In contrast, though, they will never give up the past, for these are creatures of history, spectres of libraries, wraiths of ancient cities, guardians and students of what has gone before.

They are smaller than those they came from.  After years of knowing too well the sas'arael, the Iaerae, their brethren and former kindred, tower above them.  In contrast to these, they are weak and frail.  But where the bliss of awe has been banked by centuries of cynicism and neglect, the Es'mensis will not give up the hunt for aetoras. 

They are a people of shades, of practicality, one might almost say, garbed as they are in their layers on wasted layers, and their minimal adornment.  What regalness possesses them comes only from their demeanor.  Shoulders square, neither hunched nor thrown back, but given to an air of defiance nonetheless. 

Eyes, yellow and amber, pass judgment from hollow sockets.  Their faces not skeletal, but burned away by the seeking and staring for too long into the face of glory.  It is a surprise their visage does not run and flow like candlewax, such things have they seen.  Having bound otherworld's inhabitants, as slaves and soldiers, having endured hatred and spite from their fellows and guardians and captors, suffering betrayal from their would have been liberator, how is it that this people has survived?

Only through countless strength, unbelied by their diminished bodies.  Only through courage of the rarest sort, yet epidemic to this curious race.  The eternal hunt for truth, whether in the day that comes or the day that does not.  What are dirty nails, pale skin, burning eyes, dry and ashen lips, maddened hair, and a demeanor fey and wild in recompense for the things they have learned?  Should they all be struck blind they would wander the streets with their canes and their hopes, finding some manner, even in their disability, to sense the change in texture of writing and written, to the end that all should not perish, but have everlasting life. 
Finding her low with pride, full with courage, a leader not of men but those who preceded them and have fallen since.  Some would call her a servant, but others a warrior.  All at once both slave and seeker of aetoras, which she cannot hope but to find, cannot believe but that she will fail. 

Tall, tall almost as the Iaerae were tall, with eyes cast eternally high towards the horizon, with hands thin like twigs, arms gaunt like branches, eyes like fool's gold, a face sharp and harsh and never shapely, but hollow with courage and fear.  Bright skin like the light of dawn, hair white like the ragged clouds of morning.  Sickness and health war for her, the taint that occupies a thousand generations and lineages, the purging of the sas'arael. 

Over her unforgiving form layers have draped themselves, trying as they might to hide her, without success.  Of shades that vary slightly, tossed on like they matter less than the path behind her.  Without remorse they are tattered, ragged, shorn of hope but full with life.  Feet bare, she walks solemn.  There are things on her hands, made of wood but crafted with glass and filled with worries and seawater.  On the one, a ship, on the other, a road; all telling where she has been. 

Through countless miles she walks, ever in search of aetoras, in hungry wilds and hollow hills, past day and night, beyond the rising of the sun and the setting of the same, she ranges both east and west, ever in praying that one particular name, that light that blesses most generously the gates of the first-city, which we call aetoras.

When her time has come she seeks no more, yet was the first of the seekers.  Abroad she dies, far from the Edgelands, the Orvelai-mai-Ith, beyond where pass the aurel, beyond where sun meets sky and water, land. Beyond home, beyond hope.  Where the sky is low with pride and full with courage, where it meets her lonely form to make her way back home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Material abundance goes hand in hand with spiritual famine.  Go forth as slaves and return as free men.  Loose yourselves before the halls of the Iluthe-set-Arc, bind yourselves to that hollowed tower, and when it brings you in, tie it down my child.  Sing that beast to sleep in your eyes, that stares out lecherously like one of the mesura to devour the heavens and the earth.  Give in to ambiguity, my child.  Lay to rest what subtle ironies plague your fledgling spirit.  Ask not for answers and I will not trouble you with lies.  Beg not the source for I will not plague you with alms.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

None of us is as cruel as all of us.  What we would never justify on our own, is completely acceptable as a race, as a people, as a hint of thought in a thousand hearts, as a product of some unknowable wyle of time and death and sleep.  What unfeeling criticism do we level at our peers, those fellow seekers of aetoras, when we are found ourselves caught in a corner of fear, trapped at Eschalon? how will we justify our acts of perdition?  'It is not a failing of ourselves.  It is not a failing of any child of Iad, no single student of history, no rebel, no one single one who will die for the chance to redeem ourselves.'  We must all atone for our own actions, or so we are taught, and so we find ourselves cold and alone, hard-hearted and driven to murder.  Our ideals are no higher than the heavens, to kill those whose hearts are no higher than the horizon, and we have no choice.  There is some peculiar gravity, some nature curious to our own people that we must never rest for answers, never question the truth, but never cease questioning 'til truth is where we come to.

I am different from you, not because I have no power, neither for my hope for a better life for the us, but because I am more willing to shed power than virtue.  The scraps of flesh that litter the ground on the mount of Censeasen bury not only my bloodmark but my arrogance.  They are the laying down of my pride, the sacrifice to prove to you assembled alal'rhan that the time has come.  Our hopelessness is past.  Look at this corruption!  This tireless oppression!  How now is it that you are not as wearied of your dominion as we are of your tyranny?  Let us chain this vapid empire to Eschalon and cast it all into the sea!  What has Ialar become under the auspices of your reign?  Sick and hearty all at once, with cancerous ghettos filled with the first kindred. A site of wonder and malice all at once, like time has split one apocalypse unto another.  Where this comes from, the fury, the terror, the wonder that fills us as we walk your streets, we know, every one. If we tell it not from the beginning, we will be taught it by the hardship of a daes'rhan's written countenance.