Author Topic: Meditations by Moonlight  (Read 160 times)

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MarchHare

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on: June 06, 2020, 09:10:01 AM
[Upon a few scraps of parchment are words written in a fine, cursive hand whose letters seem more suited to the flowing alphabet of Espruar than the stiff Common that these notes are done in. At the borders surrounding some of these notes are incomplete markings that resemble various attempts of the elven alphabet, as if aborted in frustration or in a hurry.]

When one considers the affinities of our long-lived race, one notes that the compulsion to archive the memories of our days are not at all an ordinary effort undertaken by those of our circle. We are, as Ar'Tel'Quessir, infinitely proud of our ancient and illustrious heritage. Careful distillation of our memories are essential to the living experience, indeed, measured not in the mere span of a few tenfold human years (as Brother Ylyn puts it, the "edan"), but by the centuries that stretch alongside the ever-sacred oak tree.

So it is with a regretful shame that I must put to pen the meagre sum of my thoughts during this erstwhile existence in a place that is only known as The City. These thoughts will serve no other purpose than to bear selfish witness to my time here, in a vain effort to cling onto the last shreds of sanity, of my identity, and most importantly, of why I am here. I hold no grand aspirations that these musings of mine will enlighten any who should happen to come across them - my words will be as they are, and should they be as entertainment or warning to the wayward reader, then they shall at least have travelled in the footsteps of I, Thaltas of Evereska.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 03:25:14 PM by MarchHare »



MarchHare

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on: June 09, 2020, 03:16:11 PM
[This entry is marked with smudges of dried, bloodied fingerprints around the parchment edge. The writing appears to be done in a hurry, or on an uneven surface.]

Where does one begin, in a place where even its own histories are lost to time? Perhaps there may be a quiet irony in the fact that soon after my awakening, a priestess of The Lifegiver - our most sacred Timekeeper and Lord of the Continuum - took me under the truth-seeking cause of the Eventide. I am thus fortunate to be in the company of kin, whilst I attempt to wade through the sea of questions that permeate my mind. Most unsettling is the inability to recall the life I once lived, or the faces of those whom I once held dear. Like a babe newly out of the womb, my arrival in this land began, uncharitably, face-down in the dust with only my name and the clothing on my back. Even the longbow I wield feels alien in my grasp; no longer can I bear to call it by its name - Arrowheart - for this piece of lifeless wood is but a shadow of my once trusted companion. In my conversations with Adelaide Brightwood and Cousin Ithronil, there is a strange sensation on my tongue that robs me of my ability to speak in naught but the crude language of the Commons.

The transactional relationship that unites each soul passing through this City of Rings is a result of the forces that govern those who seek to discover its core, whether they would prefer it or not. There are those who wait out their lives in the anonymous safety of the wilds, and yet still others who have established their own places of refuge in the deeper rings but at great cost. I note here that there are also those who would treat one another kindly, but there is a culture of survival here that cruelly mocks what which comes from nature's cradle.

In my search for beauty amidst this nightmarish wasteland, I hear of a great city of carved stone from one Master Aethelwine Sothilde - a place of the arts, of culture and learning. I find, increasingly, that I must swallow what reservations I hold for those who have never known the golden knowledge of the Ar'Tel'Quess. Perhaps when the War of 99 has passed, I will seek Sothilde again, for in him I sense a kindred soul.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 03:24:55 PM by MarchHare »



MarchHare

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on: June 27, 2020, 07:23:27 PM
I returned from my patrols to the place where we of the Eventide now gather, to resume watch over the Lorist Alea's reverie. The new moon, if it can be called such, peers down upon this midnight world from behind murky clouds which cast their shadowy nets across the expanse of water known as the Pauper Ponds. Nature flourishes here, yet beneath my feet I feel the strange stiffness of weeds that grow on an alien soil. Come dawn, a weak sun will rise to suffuse an ancient, sickened land with its rays, along a trail of hours that coagulate into colourless days.

For the first time since my awakening, I feel a certain homesickness - a crude word, surely, to describe such a whirlpool of emotions that do not altogether connect, like an unfinished tapestry. Such feelings would not seem out of place were it not for the fact I can barely recall my home - of it, only its name - Evereska - graces my tongue, and fleeting glimpses of its gleaming white towers that return to me repeatedly in my moments of reverie. Yet try as I might to reach out to it, the vision ends, slipping away between my outstretched fingers like the dark shapes that lurk in the Ponds' depths. Yet a deep sadness lingers, long after the dream has faded, like a promise of what once was, and is... that can no longer be.

I will not fool myself into believing that at the end of this great Labyrinth lies a path home. If what we know of the hidden sanctuary of Nestirtye is true, then the truth shall be a threat to our very existence in this realm.

Across the bridge, there is a great and venerable old willow tree whose crown tells a manyfold tale of all those who pass through here. Its silvery leaves tell stories of each soul who, like leaves wilt and fall in due time, or cling tenaciously to the last shreds of an erstwhile existence. The poor Pondsfolk to whom I expressed this to seemed impressed by my poetry, as they call it, but how does one persuade them that my lips speak only truth, not mere prose?

We of the Ar'Tel'Quessir, Corellon's children, are born of the light with which we are avowed to bring to the darkest corners of the world. And yet... and yet... I cannot deny this fear that has planted its seeds within my heart. That we face an invisible foe far greater than the sum of its parts, that, when it reveals itself to us - shall be our undoing.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 03:24:31 PM by MarchHare »



MarchHare

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on: June 28, 2020, 02:57:33 PM
Here, beneath the surface of this damp cellar, I find solace where The Leaflord makes his claim over darkened stone. Around me are shelves filled with paraphernalia whose pages are disintegrating and faded with time. A few notes appear more recent, and it is one in particular which has given me pause in this place. I am ashamed to confess, that I am overcome with such unusual urgency to pen down my thoughts in the midst of my midday patrols. Has the sickness of this realm forced this upon me, the way it seems to have wound its insidious work within Elder Ghaela? A sickness of the mind, and of the spirit - the thousand-yard stare that one sees in those who have lost too much in the rounds they make through the Rings. A seed of memory stirs within me at last... even if small. With difficulty, her face returns to my mind. She, of my own kin, but even her name escapes me. Even wide awake, I am tormented by visions of her wretched body among the floating reeds, invoking a loss within me that threatens to overwhelm...

[The writing here stops; the ink pooled in a single spot as if the quill had rested too long on the page. When it picks up again, it is several spaces down, the subject matter seemingly entirely disconnected with the previous paragraph.]

I am inclined to believe that we are all prisoners of a grand design, but herein lies the irony: That the One who wields absolute authority in this realm is as much a slave to the chains of freedom he sought, perhaps unwittingly, to create. In truth, these are merely hypothesies, and perhaps I am calling doom upon my own fate in committing such thoughts to writing.

Reverie eludes me. In this land with its cold and distant sun, I sit awake with a hundred scattered thoughts of much that has been brought to my ears in recent hours. The scent of purple tea - the Royal Favour, as it is so named - lingers in my senses with a pleasure I have not felt in many moons since my awakening. A moment of Elysium, that was kindly shared - Master Aethelwine Sothilde and I - but even so, I am reluctant to believe that all boons which come to us in this land are blessings borne of unblemished intent, simply by virtue of the fact of this very existence. I fear my sentiments on this matter may remain singularly unspoken to the good wizard, and neither would I wish for such a new acquaintance to be spoiled on the grounds of a scout's cautious skepticism. I sense in him a pure soul; beaten but not defeated, and a youth's innocence that has been wrangled into the shell of a man far too quickly out of necessity for his circumstances.

« Last Edit: June 28, 2020, 03:30:33 PM by MarchHare »



MarchHare

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on: June 30, 2020, 07:26:17 AM
Across the Pond, there lies a wooded grove where I chanced upon a stand of bitternut oaks, several suns past. One in particular was clearly ailing, bent with the weight of disease upon its handsome trunk. Around it, its brothers stood uncaring of its plight, no matter that they counted years younger; no matter that among them, it once stood taller. In commiseration, I drew my blade and cut off the damning burl, with a promise that even this lifeless limb would be given renewed purpose.

I returned to the Pond's edge where I sat in the shade of the Great Willow, and with a long-forgotten passion, put a dagger's keen to work.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2020, 08:22:27 AM by MarchHare »