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. 

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