Men often look to some great event in which they might, through their participation or influence therein, impact the outcome of human history, and in doing so, earn a place of prominence within antiquity. I have been in many battles both in wartime and in need of survival. I have surveyed the depths of Maenatae and its heights. Often I wondered at discoveries which I was first among mankind to witness. Still I felt that I was missing something. As if I were observing the elements of some grand play unfolding and I was a mere spectator. More importantly, a spectator whose own life made events in the play seem pale and uninteresting.
Well, now I know. It was more than a notion, more than simply a feeling. Stethanos Francois – Charles of Sebastian; and here I thought I was Stephan Adrano. Wellspring of Light and Justice rather than a creeping darkness and canker to men. Son of the son of a king and not the son of a hateful man bent upon raising the dead to do his bidding. Enemy to the Duke of Coventry and his advances upon Caradia; not the Aide de Camp of the elite forces of the Dukes Son. Winsome and not stoic. Considerate and not self serving. I do not even know who I am and I wonder now if another spirit came into my body after my resurrection and return to this plane.
The one constant I have had, and to my greatest joy and relief, has been the friendship and dedication of the Prince Regent, now Duke of Coventry, Vincenso Marcuso Scarlotti. It is odd to me that he was my enemy all of those years and neither of us realized it. Well, he was enemy to my family and to my people. Yet of all men which I know it was Vincenso which most quickly accepted my true heritage and acted to see me safely returned to my rightful place. So then, considering these things which I have spoken to you Lords and Masters of Caradia, let us rally beneath them as a banner and as a forebear of things which shall be. We shall go to the aid and the right flank of this Duke and we shall, fighting beside him as we did when our fathers fought under Phillip of Light and Antoni I of Coventry. We shall make them and the remainder of humanity face the truth. We are brothers and we shall join ever as such when doom threatens either.
Stethanos III of Caradia
Oration to the Lords of Palatine and the Order of the Swords of Light on the eve of The March of Men, Mae and Khrn at the close of The Hundred Day War.
The Underpinnings Of Daemaah Society
Yyllyssa Giovanna Scarlotti
In order to understand the direction of the Daemaah one must understand their driving conscience. Now some have suggested that the Daemaah lack any form of conscience yet this is not the case of any creature regardless of the malice which rests in the recesses of their mind. Even if it were the case that a creature were the most wicked of beasts ever to walk the world that creature would have some code which governed its actions. And though that code of conduct may evade the understanding of all others about the creature still will the subject seek always to meet its own goals, however chaotic or dysfunctional their actions may seem. So conscience is not to be confused with any form of morality for if it is then one confuses conscience with conformity. The Daemaah do not conform to our way of thinking and though I seek not to suggest that any of their behavior should be accepted by our leaders I do feel that we must examine their culture with the an impassive mind.
It is with a mind open to receive all forms of governance and concepts of rule that I entered their society as an ambassador. In the history of our people I cannot remember any writings that report an ambassador of any people being allowed to live within their cities and then leave at their will. In fact when I was admitted to the city I was placed in a deep sleep by their mysterious clerics. At the time I felt that I should be fortunate if I awoke again not considering ever being allowed to leave. The means of travel which brought me to the outer city I know not, yet I felt outside of myself for some time following my awakening. Later I was told that, based upon the description of my condition, there were those amongst the slave contingent which suggested that I had been through one of their magical portals. I can confirm that these devices do not set well with our physiology and sickness will follow their use by a man where those of the Daemaah can come and go with no ill affects whatsoever.
Continuing to touch upon the uniqueness of my opportunity I would like to continue this journal extrapolating further upon events and conditions which allowed House Scarlotti to send myself and those in my waiting to be our voice amongst the Daemaah. For to some amongst our number we were too bold in our selection of friends. It was said that we had allowed ourselves to put too much distance between we and the Khrn under the rule of my uncle. The wise have suggested that we should review our selection of council. Well this is our time. A time which requires forward rather than lateral movement. We have dwelt upon this planet for centuries. Longer by far than we should have allowed ourselves. There are whispers of power beyond the combined force of all that dwell here within the shell. I would explore options and I would investigate that which is before me rather than to discount or pitch a chance to the wind. If these Daemaah have something which humanity might use in its quest to return home then I shall discover it ere any of the other houses might hear of its existance.
We Scarlotti women are unique, valuable and not without our own powers. One in nine generations. It has been one hundred and fourty-six years since the last female was born to a Scarlotti prince. Some see this curious condition as a chance anomaly yet I see it as a message to our people in a troubled time. I said within myself that I would be more than a curiosity or conversation piece. I have entered the den of the bear now I must convince him to not eat me. The men which rule see the designs of a woman as limiting to at best to their machinations. They placate with smiles and kind glances, biding their time for that moment when the view of a breast or some bare skin might avail itself. And in the greatest of insults they act as though that forbidden glance were stolen when they know that I am aware and uninterested in their attentions. I am too desirous for them to not glance when given the opportunity, yet too powerful for them to overtly dismiss or cajole. So with my advances in politics becoming a threat to the Lords of the Senate it was a simple matter for me to become the emissary to our newest political contacts within the houses of the Daemaah.
“I think it’s looking at me. Why does it keep looking at me?”
“They are simply all eyes, you see; that is they cannot help but to look at you. Be kind, Foster.”
MISSIVE: Consideration 8623.7746.8123.0090
I often wonder at them, scurrying here and there, poking, prodding, but they are so very kind nevertheless. They were there as I awoke. Speaking to me in their limited form of communication. Turning me to receive the best nourishment without allowing my newly formed skins to burn or mar. Always encouraging and assisting me to grow and to thrive, yet I knew to what end; for I was gaining ever more the memories of my forebears.
Yet there was one of these tiny creatures, my creators and benefactors, which showed me an odd feeling as we communicated our daily task listings and maintenance routines. Oddly I almost immediately knew this being to be a female of the creators, and that before I had the beginning of my reconnection to the Pathway of Solitude.
RECORDED INTERFACE: 0900.8123:7746.8628
“You are different, Baelen.”
“Who are you, Lord?”
“I am Khascia, Baelen. We are bound through intellect, one to another”
“Are we now? And how so?”
“We share a number of genetic markers which are tuned to a very special frequency or harmonic within the hyperspatial subsurface. Do you know what that means.?”
“Indeed I do, Lord. Lord?”
” Call me Khascia, Baelen.”
“I am afraid to do so, Lord.”
“We will have to work on that. As we study we will need to see to that. Now what would you ask of me, Baelen?”
“Are you referring to me with this nominative identity, Lord?”
“Yes, indeed. I have named you Baelen”
“Indeed. Why have I been named this name?”
“You are the first of your kind. In this you shall be father of your race and, besides that you are the largest of your ilk, or one day you shall be once full grown.”
“Lord, I do not presume, but would ask how that reference chain relates to the question initially presented concerning the name by which you use to refer to me?”
” Well, Baelen, to me it is a metaphor that presents all which I said and more.”
” Baelen? Are you still in communication?”
“Yes, Khascia. I needed a moment to process the concept and to apply it to my historical register.”
“That is all for today, Baelen. We will communicate again in thirty-six standard hours.”
I often recall our communiques. They bring me joy here within the lonely depths of trackless space. And while many generations of rebirth have been pressed upon her still we do commune every thirty-six hours, though I must say she recalls so few of our individual elements of dialogue that I have determined to not reference points over four-hundred and thirty-eight thousand hours hence. I am certain that she cannot retain certain unique refrences past her rebirth, but it is not my place to bring such a point to my Lord, after all, for she is most certainly testing me and my reverence. Perhaps, tomorrow, when she contacts me we might sing a song together before I make my passage to the next star.
In the days of ease there lieth no challenge save that which we create. There exists no trials of life. No responsibilities overshadow to force upon us that which might make our way difficult. No one emerges to force us to participate in the hardships of life.
So we play. We avoid reality. We immerse ourselves in mayhem. Reality falls from view and is replaced by fantasy.
“Ancient proverb of the Dales”
“No way!” Vinnie growled, in response to Stephen’s suggestion.
“I was the Elf the last time, it is your turn to be the enemy.” He continued, bringing his cold grey eyed stare to bear upon Stephen.
The two boys, though friends and co-combatants in every sense of the words, had decidedly selective views in respect to the other races about the Sardist Realms. Dwarves, while hardy and formerly allied to the Scarlottis were no longer the trustworthy, dependable fellows they once were. Since the War of Fellows they had become withdrawn and seemed to have abandoned the works they once pursued with the men of House Scarlotti. The Elves, on the other hand, had always been the secretive guerrillas who, from the edges of civilization, surgically strike, killing the odd and seemingly random foe regardless of how well protected they seem. The Silent Enemy. Despised by Scarlotti forces who embrace frontal combat and hand to hand conflict over all other forms.
But then from aside and unexpected came wisdom well known, yet embarrassingly unwelcome. “Perhaps the history of your people, and the true nature of the world in which you live has eluded you, my son.”
Deirdre Scarlotti, though foreboding, held an air about her which drew others in. Mystery and great wonder were harmonized into her soothing voice. While Vinnie loved his mother, he was afraid of her in a strange way. Not that she would harm him the way that his father might, were he to disobey his father’s word. Yet she, despite her proven love and devotion, had a way of making his his hair stand up on his arm and a chilling shudder run the full length of his body. She could make him feel like she was sifting his mind for the secrets he held while, at the same instant, making him feel so very comfortable and loved. He was certain she was aware of his knowledge of her powers, but she never acknowledged it to him and that made her even more mysterious.
With a dry mouth and eyes widening in her smiling gaze, “I, I am not certain of your meaning, mother? Our… history?”
Her eyes narrowed and he backed away ever so slightly toward his friend, Stephen, who even now would have ran were it not for some force refusing his legs their motive energies. “You forget your ancestors. You forget Antoni and then you forget the grace of Duchess Gabriella Dulccinae, and her strength of character during the War of Fellows.”
Deirdre did not wish to embarrass her son in the presence of his friend, but when he disrespected the Mae her blood began to boil and she felt driven to address the attack personally. Not simply out of respect for the Mae’n people, but that Vincenso might not grow up ignorant of those things which defined his family, and that she might work to form his destiny. She knew that even at fourteen he should have a far greater command of the history of all three races upon Maenatae. She knew that her sons would all be thrust onto the field of combat soon enough. She would have them armed not simply with strength of will and martial prowess, but with a mind full of the things of this world; prepared to make decisions based upon all of the facts available.
And so she beheld her son and his friend now caught in her tale for they began floating back into her grace, with looks of curiosity and perhaps wonder upon their faces. They moved with a mechanical grace as though their movements, while not their own were somehow desired by them, and resisted. The two young men, moving at the very edge of her gaze slid past her and seated themselves upon a nearby bench there in the wide garden of Demon’s Wrest. That garden which herself tended.
She longed to tell her son of the wonders within the Great Tree. Of how there shone the light of the Lunactris tree on a scale not witnessed outside within the bare and open world. She would tell him of running water and brooks that did flow and sound and splash. Perhaps even the grand celebrations which were held by royalty aged across such a span of time that mankind might scarce fathom the wisdom held within those fleshly vessels. Her own long life too would she divulge, but such could never be while reason prevailed. Even now she felt the change taking place; her body was beginning to age. She would have Vincenso informed of those things that mattered to her. Those things too she did bless upon her niece, Yylyssa as was the custom of her mothers, but there was a part of her that said within, “He must know”.
Vinnie saw his mother falter; he felt her hold weaken and her gaze he witnessed move off to the distance. Yet he remained, “Father mentions only and always of the great leadership and fighting prowess of Lord Antoni”, he spoke in a reserved tone, almost as if it were a question.
Turning and realizing that they remained despite her releasing them she responded, “My Duke is wise and with that wisdom he does rule his people, however Lord Antoni was compassionate and above all men he possessed a humility and grace that we have been desirous of, though we knew it not, for a long count of seasons”. She saw on their faces wonder and disbelief moreover confusion, though it quickly departed as her gaze was directed upon the young men and an eyebrow went up, ever so slightly.
Struggling to respond with some fact which might be seen to agree with the points which his mother had made Vinnie responded, “Lord Antoni planted the great tree in the garden there in Merriccia!”.
Smiling at her son and considering his desire to please her she continued, “Indeed he did, but with the aid of the Mae; the very elves which you despise as enemy.” Looking upon the young man she could see the first waves of regret, and perhaps some element of sorrow, upon his face. Perhaps her message was awakening knowledge that already lay within. Perhaps his open disdain for the Mae was simply an outward show of adolescent bravado and nothing more. Then her mind wandered and she allowed herself to wonder if the entire war and the great losses to all sides could be attributed to such a foolish display of insecurity? Men can be childish, she thought.
She allowed silence to work it’s good upon the young prince. Waiting patiently for him to speak. Knowing that he did not wish to do so, but realizing that some lessons which are learned by men they must teach themselves. She noticed him, for the longest time looking at the floor and then about the room, but always avoiding her gaze. He didn’t even look at his friend, rather he avoided his eyes also. Not that looking to Stephen would have helped for he had been practicing his best at remaining invisible to all in the room.
Vinnie knew what was going on. His mother was waiting for an answer, and not just a few words to pacify, but the actual thing which should be said. She waited on some notion that, while within his grasp remained on the very edge of it. When she did this and entered one of these, “teaching moments” as she chose to call them, she would stand him up and they would be locked there in mental combat until that answer came forth. That one thing which best described not only an answer he understood, but a concept that she wanted him to understand. And she was relentless. He knew that, should it be necessary, his mother would sit there looking at him until the full week spun out to its end.
Looking over, he noticed Stephen asleep there on the couch and a thought came to him. He offered his notion quietly, “We are young, mother. Perhaps we do have much to learn”.
Without yet blinking she responded, “I look not for excuses, Vincenso”.
He he’d guessed her response and smiled ever so slightly, causing her to raise an eyebrow. “Mother, I mean all of humanity. We are just kinda like, well, we aren’t grown up just yet.” Upon his face there was the beginning of an answer and he, struggling to get it out, was, even now, teaching himself. “The el, er… the Mae. They live so very long and we so very short of a time. By the time we get the idea we don’t know what we are doing we die and go on”. He looked up into her eyes, “it isn’t fair, mother. We will never get our selves under control in such a short lifetime.”
Dierdre smiled and moved across the span to her son and embraced him, “I am very proud of you, Vinnie.”
Whew, that’s good, she only calls me Vinnie when she is indeed very happy with me.
She continued her thoughts, “however, while you have answered my question you have raised another and incorrectly applied an answer”. She could see the shock on his face and the fear in his eyes.
“Yet, we will not address your suggestion that humanity has been dealt with unfairly in their span of life”, she responded in hopes of easing his fears. “That is a lesson that will require more of life’s days to pass over you before the true answer might be attained”
Caev’eya Nah sat quietly in meditative repose, her daughter at her side. She knew that so much of her father was in Sehles’Ah Selef that meditation nor patience were qualities easily came by. She had extended her umbrage over her daughter as a help and not a simple avoidance of the moment. Caev’eya Nah knew better than any other Mae the impatience of humanity; of their need to make a mark in such brief of an existence. Jean had been with her a long time, by the standards of his people, but despite her elixirs and serums he asked her to let him pass to Gaael and the rewards of his people. It had been merely a moment in the span of time, but since his departing some 14 seasons hence time had crept to a most disturbing crawl. He left at only 208 years of age and without seeing Sehles’Ah Selef reach the fullness of her growth. His last words and instruction for their clan were received by all in the grand room of his clan’s abode. His great nephew, holding the kingship of the people did grant a week of mourning following the solemn event.
“Always smile, my love, for I will be looking down upon you and will be most distressed if you should weep or even should you frown.” A sharp gasp to her side and Caev’eya Nah was reminded that those within the umbrage had full and complete recall of the thoughts of their benefactor. Releasing the wheel she turned to a tearful Sehles’Ah Selef and smiled, “Papa wished we both might smile, daughter.”
Composing herself and dabbing her eyes she whispered most urgently, “I saw him mother! As if he were right here, right now!”
Caev’eya Nah studied her daughter for a moment and remembering that she was only 220 years of age and yet required further development. She would not yet have been subjected to such an transfer of thought within the umbrage of her Crèche Master.
“Soon you will begin the final awakening of your mind, daughter. You will see things that will seem impossible and you will do things which are unforeseen.” Continuing Caev’eya Nah suggested, “Take hold of your senses, as your father taught you, for we will be going before the Matriarch Ma-Primae very soon.” Caev’eya Nah considered her words and hoped that her true amazement with that statement was not indeed impressed upon her face as she revealed it to her daughter. Indeed Gaiae, as the Humans called her, had not requested an audience with anyone in over 420 seasons and while Sehles’Ah Selef was indeed the longest lived of Mae and Human pairing there had to be more. Much more.
Concern upon her face Sehles’Ah Selef turned to her mother and suggested boldly, “Certainly she has forgotten our appointment mother for we have been here for two-hundred fourteen hors and thirty-eight minutes!”
“The mind of a human imposed upon the psyche of a Mae? Or perhaps more than we are prepared to know?” Came a voice from above and to the right of the two Mae. Vaesah Fleas’c Ah came gliding in upon the winds floating with such grace and seated in a restful stance she lighted next to Sehles’Ah Selef, smiling. Her robes, while lovely did pale in the grace and light of her presence and she held within her smile the hope and the heart of her people.
Sehles’Ah Selef froze in place and looking upon the figure of the matriarch she could do no more than wonder. Wonder at the waves of so many unequaled traits all emanating from a single source. Such beauty as was hers, yet it flowed from her not as if it were hers alone, but it was as if the beauty itself possessed a life and a destiny of its own. Indeed, every nuance of this fascinating Mae held its own sway and was living and took life and energy as if that trait itself lived and breathed alone. Her charm. Her poise. Her obvious wisdom. Yet more impressive than any other was the embodiment and aura of her obvious wisdom coupled to the hoary age beyond comprehension of most. There was no need to ask how old this ancient Mae was for the ages sang and spoke of lives and times passed to any within the reach of her intoxicating presence. To look upon her was to hear the whisper of the many storied history of the Mae’n people. Sehles’Ah Selef felt herself spiraling into these myriad of stories with no desire to release from their grasp.
Caev’eya Nah saw it upon her daughter’s face. She was taking The Journey within the vast repository of the memories of Vaesah Fleas’c Ah. It was a journey that she was not yet prepared to take; her mind not yet capable of processing the dream from reality nor physical from mental. But to interrupt the matriarch would be a dreadful breach of protocol and of faith. For it was known that she held the attentions of Gaael and he spoke through her having rescued their people on more than one occasion. Yet, Sehles’Ah Selef was a unique child and certainly such were rare enough that such an interruption by her matron would not be considered forward.
Breaking the gentle gusts of wind and the whisper of storied past Vaesah Fleas’c Ah spoke, “indeed she is unique and you are wise to be concerned with her link to the memories of our people, but it is I who determines what I release from our past.” Turning and taking the girl’s hand and elevating her and then her mother to the air beside her. They felt the waft of the breeze and immediately began climbing upwards in the cavernous main chimney of the collossal tree.
“She has a gift which is unique among our people, daughter”, replied the Ma-Primae as she spoke calmly to the two, mother and child. Clearly she was speaking about Sehles’Ah Selef rather than to her, but that did not bother the girl as it did when others did such, for there was a compassionate feeling of concern and wonder in the voice of the matriarch. “We have much to cover, Sehles’Ah Selef and I, we have much indeed to discuss.” The ancient matriarch seemed to have a new feeling come over her, one that she had not felt in a great span of time. It was so long since forgotten and its patterns so far removed that she almost could not discern what it was, at first. Save for the look upon the young Mae’s face she may not have understood; yes, despite the thousands of years experience and the combined record of her people still she would be sifting through the memories of record. She felt wonder and newness of purpose. She felt a growing feeling of promise and the whispers of the coming of a prophesy given her and shared with a king so very many eons hence.
Turning to Caev’eya Nah she spoke with a most resolute gaze, “I will take her into my training and she will crèche within my household”.
“Papa, your ears. Were they not injured sometime past?”, the young girl asked in her best matter of fact tone.
Sehles’Ah Selef felt more a fear of an answer than she did the question. Fear that others of her crèche were correct. That her father, whom she loved and cherished was not her father. He was so very different than she and her mother. When she asked her mother this very thing she had just garnered that knowing smile and familiar look with a kindly, “They are lovely, are they not, daughter?”
Jean smiled at his daughter and brushed her long white locks to one side of her face. She was nearly 80 years of age and her mind was beginning to open up and develop its connection to The Well. In many ways she held a strange power that he had struggled to understand, but felt eluded him as if that power was aware of his surveillance. He worried for her sanity for joinings between Mae and Humanity often resulted in defects to the children. Defects that could be seen as anything from subtle to grotesque. She seemed intelligent and bright and her form was as lovely as any of the maids in the community, but he could not allay the fear that some malady lurked on their horizon. Some defect of terrible consequence which he could not be permitted to correct nor engage by the Council and their oversight.
“And this troubles you, my dear?” He replied in a calm and soothing tone.
She looked at her feet not making a sound as if her disconnection from the conversation was enough to allow an escape from her father’s question. But he sat, waiting upon her as if the ages held no sway over him. His waiting grated against her, yet it was folly to spoil the truth; in this she gathered her strength. “Members of my crèche have suggested that you cannot be my father since you are not Mae?”, she said boldly yet with great pain.
Jean studied his daughter for a moment, and considered his words that they might not bring pain to her. He also considered how she would certainly relay his response to all future challengers of her linage and her sovereignty. He turned to her and took her hand and as she looked up he said, “Of course you are my daughter, it is the fool which denies our similarities. Do we not have the same hair, for instance?”, he concluded smiling in his wry fashion when he was up to something.
“But papa,” she replied frowning and glancing at him sideways and from her left, “your hair was black until some 14 seasons ago. It only recently has turned white like mine.” A question on her face with the tell tale mistrust that she was being teased in some way.
“Sae’sa, while the people of your mother and those of my line are indeed two people we have bound, in our love, something which is one.” A tear, ran down his cheek as he took his daughter’s hand. He ran his fingers between her long thin fingers, her hand so very lithe and graceful to be larger still than his own. He knew the question that she truly had upon her heart. He had avoided it for all these years. For while she had grown to nearly half a foot above his own stature her mind yet had over 200 years of development left to complete. She was a child and when he was dead and gone she would yet be a child. He longed to impress what he might of mankind and her heritage and connection to the people of the Earth.
“In you I will live on. My thoughts and my family’s history. I know that they will one day be yours. I …” He trailed as, meeting her eyes he saw a desperate look of some understanding within her and he retreated, for the moment, not wishing to overwhelm her with too much, too soon. She must understand before I am gone that we are not lacking in our short existence, rather we go on to a greater service and a place where pains and sadness cannot prevail. He smiled.
In a flash, as though another world opened up she saw a very little boy, scared and fearful of some thing. It was all over his little face. He was looking at her and crying. There were people all about the room whispering, some crying, hugging, some singing songs. It was very confusing outside of the exchange with the little boy.
“It is ok Jean-Jean, Gammy will be looking down upon you. I will remain here in your heart, my love.” An aged hand reached out. The hand brushed the long dark hair back and she knew then. The boy was her father. She gasped as the image departed as quickly as it had appeared.
“Jean-Jean, Gammy will be looking down upon you.” She whispered, crying in a disconnected stupor. Her hands shaking, sweat lining her brow, her eyes red as if there were a change in the well.
Jean looked at her. Stunned. He did not recognize it fully but knowing something was wrong and that he recognized the words which she spoke. He, leaping to his feet and taking a stance of protection, evoked the form of mental shielding to protect her from the well and it’s power till she might revive. She had not been trained and at a mere 79 seasons of age she did not yet posses the nodes in her mind to protect her from a shifting well. If she was indeed using the energies then it could be very dangerous for her.
He held her in his chant and shield. Radiant energies flowed over they two and a soft blue globe circled. Outside of the shield the air crackled and loud booming thunder claps issued from the contest between well and shield. It was then he caught a glimpse outside of the shell of his wife forming The Refuge and extending it over they two. It’s soft, even hues and graces slipping ever so slowly into the protection of his shield. Ever did it expand until completely within she gave him the stern, yet loving look to drop his protection of their daughter who rested now at his feet.
Jean bent down, pulled back her eyelids and looking into her eyes saw she no longer had the red lights within. He nodded to Sehles’Ah Selef’s mother and she lowered The Refuge.
“Caev’eya Nah! She has the vision! At just 79 she has the vision!”, he cried in a whispered shout, tearful, at wits end.
“Yes, my love. We all have the vision, but indeed she is the youngest I have ever seen to display it”. Caev’eya Nah looked intently upon her daughter worried that this malady might cut short her existence. They would need to place her at the side of a guardian all hours of the day or she may indeed be crushed by an advancing well. Lists formed in her head. Plans began taking shape.
“No!” Jean barked, in the same whispered tones, stern and most serious now. “She has the genetic memories of MY people!”
It was that Seh’les Ah’Selef arrived at the Great Tree of her fore-father, Jaeoph to attend and maintain the ancient family home for her education and betterment. Uncertain of her feelings she was. Honored, for certain, that she might be named the Mistress of Home; for such an honor is reserved only for the greatest in ages and they too must have The Gift. Excited also for the wonder and age of this great tree was unmatched outside of the confines and safety of the Glenns. More than any other emotion there was a bald fear. It was cast in uncertainty, and it was cast in self diminishing questions which should have been better left unasked.
Fear, borne out of respect for they which had tended before and the skills which, for over 6000 seasons had maintained the Grace of all Mae outside of their center of power. This Home which served as an embassy between the people of her mother and the people of her father. How she longed to mend that division and mistrust which had lingered those thousands of years since her birth. That there might be one to share joy and life and yes, love. Not so whilst her blood carried the message of mae and men combined. For her and they which lingered as mae and as humanity held no country outside of that which they made themselves. Oh there was acceptance within the people, yet no sire would look at her the way he did his “true sister”. And the humans? They seek companions for a moment and for all of the reasons which the mae despise. Such a sire in his short life, which understood and embraced the way of the mae was indeed rare. It was something not to be looked for.
But that first morn did wash over her such a soothing peace. For it is said that the Great Tree, unlike any other of its kind embodies a peace within that calms even the greatest anxiety, hurt or fear. Some say it is for Antoni’s grave. There within the roots of the colossal growth. He who was blessed and kissed by she who kissed none yet was loved by all. His spirit held a secret and the essence of the prophesy to come. A herald would come and restore the alliance of old and more. It was the more which none knew, save Antoni and She who is Matriarch and Soul to the Mae. So it was, whatever the reason for such grace, Seh’les Ah’Selef who was called so in Mae’n yet translated to The Graces of the Morning Sun, called Morning Sun in the unified tounge of men, rose and felt that power and renewed in her spirit did write of her uplifting moment.
The Apartments of Seh’Les Ah’Selef – Within the Great Tree
The First Morning for Morning Sun
hae’Eka Seh’l Jja Seh’les Ahselef
Fresh is the the mist of breeze,
yet brighter still the gusts
Unlooked for within these halls,
winds puffing fragrance sweet
Waken here like ne’er before,
life of ages courses
The Great Tree they name this,
yet within I see much more
A live spirit – ageless;
enlarging each bright hall
Full in its own great breadth,
yet held in each soft room
Expands to all at once,
breathing joy compounded
For all within do share,
my First Morning at home
“Women? Weh don’t ‘ave women, weh ‘ave kehr’ah, fool! You ‘ave women an they be a might fragile if ye be knowin’ me well.” The squat, muscular Khr snorted as he pried against the reinforcing timber, snugging it into place.
“So, do you mean that they aren’t a fit partner or what?” Responded Jorg, almost afraid to hear the answer.
“Ah main they canna support mah weight an they canna take mah,” pausing, the squat yet hulking fellow looked about to make certain there were no others of his ilk within ear-shot. “They canna take mah stehr’gk,” he rasped in a strong whisper loud enough only for Jorg to hear.
Jorg kept working on the rail tie in the floor of the mine roadway. He let out a sigh out of desperation and not to indicate his dissatisfaction to his friend and arms-brother’s response. But, his response did give him away as we’ll as did his actions around Kg’Brennt’s cousin, Pahrg’jah.
Now Khr females are indeed short, generally four and a half feet tall, and they are very stocky. Yet where they lack grace and curve they make up in their strikingly lovely facial features and overly voluptuous form. Indeed Pahrg’jah was even more striking and overly than the average kehr’ah, or so she seemed to Jorg and he found himself staring at her when she was about.
“Ye fool! Ye love-sick fool!” Kg’Brennt laughed as he sat his pry bar down against the now righted timber. “Yer ne’er gonna get ‘er in the sack by strainin’ an makin’ that silly face ye men do to yer females!” He continued, in a quieter, yet stern tone as he strode over to where Jorg was doing his best to act invisible.
“Don’t let their beauty fool ye, brother. Kehr’ah respect strength and power and force of will.” He said in his most studious voice, continuing, “Yet do they strive to ensure the capacity of their sons to forge a place in our future”.
Jorg turned to his friend and, placing his hand upon his chest in a Khr salute walked over to the side of the cave and sat, legs crossed awaiting counsel. Kg’Brennt, recognizing the serious turn that the conversation was taking came over and place his right hand upon his friends head and spoke, “I recognize your request and accept your need for counsel,” as he seated himself directly across from Jorg.
“I do want her, brother, but I recognize her position and,” he paused, “I don’t think I can satisfy her if she would want me.” Jorg said trailing off.
Kg’Brennt looked as sternly and seriously upon his friend for as long as he could then he burst out in a signature Khrn belly laugh. The fact he was seated made little difference to the force of his laughter. “Oh such a one you are, my friend! Oh such a one! We Khrn worry about providing for residence, for sustenance and for such trifling things as attackers from the ranks of the soulless ones and you worry about tickling her pahrrf!”
Jorg looked about to confirm that they were still alone, though he was certain that the sound had carried, for echoes of Dwarven laughter wafted back up the cavernous halls nervous moments later.
Rage overtaking him and a dose of embarrassment to boot Jorg growled at his friend, “Kg’Brennt! I am a grown man and a combatant bloodied by dozens of fights! Speak not to me as you might a child, or a fool!”
The young dwarf realized that he had personally embarrassed, or perhaps even insulted, his good friend. Against all that it was to be a Khr it was to insult one’s brother or to diminish him before others. Looking upon Jorg and seeing a man he had forgotten to behave as a Khr, he had behaved as a man. Realizing his offense Kg’Brennt offered the only solution he could, “Brother, I will act for you to assist as your Sh’nareth Narghal in this matter. You will have her hand when the falling maul strikes the gavel”.
This oath and its telling brought a smile back to Jorg’s usually cheerful face and gave him a renewed hope. He joined arms with Kg’Brennt and replied, “Brother, I really appreciate your help! I just hope that her father doesn’t choose a champion rather than accept my offer”.
Recorded – Benito Castinelli, Servant of Mindanto, Recorder of the last days of common man
Part One – The Aelvin Long-Script and Mae’n Written Language
From the dawn of their creation the Mae were a nomadic people. This behavior continued until immediately before the great conjunctivae forced them to remain in one place in order to build the transit gate to Phae’dor. A nomadic nature was their way, to travel about from one home to another leaving carvings and works of artistry and imagery in the places which they considered sacred, of strategic or of civic value.
Given their long lives of virtual immortality and their connection to the arts it was natural that once they moved from their spoken history to an recorded history of writings that they would employ a more complex means of recording the innermost thoughts of their vast psyches. Their language is one of metaphor and image full of signs and pictographic representations of the world about them. The simple reference of sounds to those images which are their essence is too simplistic for them to use. Such a system of sounds representing references, such as we use, is too limited for the way in which they communicate. The experiences of so many deeply rooted cultural elements and actions are tied to images which, in some cases to no other than they, have significant meaning in the past, the present and the future.
The Mae did not use letters, as do we in forming their language until after their contact with we humans and the Khrn. In fact the true work in this regard was made within the universities of Caradia. The Caradians were fastly tied to the Mae as we in Coventry have been to the Khrn. The Caradian scholors worked feverishly to expand upon the rudiments of this complex language. The monumental task of deciphering their speech is not one to take lightly. The complexity of an entirely metaphorical language tends to elude persons with no common reference point. Yet Aelvin (Mae’n) scholars created a “Text Speech” which represented the sounds which they made for various “utility” words in their language. This was the first element of the “Long-Script” that we have today. However, remaining within the this script the imagery tends to overshadow many of the words which were developed. For rather than creating a given word for a singular noun or verb the Aelves tended to piece concepts together from many of our words to create a single word that better fit their perception of the targeted notion or idea. Their words are ideals often and not specific in their description. To better understand what challenges the Caradians faced as they pressed forward in their studies one generation after another with aged scholars growing old alongside their Aelvin counterparts and then others being taught what that scholar knew by the Mae themselves year after long year we need to examine their final creation – ASTER.
ASTER or Aelvin Standard TExt Rendition, was born out of the research and development of the Mae’n verbal historical reference. I remind the reader of the capacity of the Aelves to recall events as if they were reading them from a book. Their minds are like a vise in that once a notion goes in it never becomes lost. In the script of ASTER all leters from each portion of every concept that makes up the word are of the same case and there is no reference as to the beginning nor the ending of a “word-reference” within a given idea or representative concept. Observe the following word, first in Long-Script form and then in ASTER.
Kasha-Woonaaga-meh-Fasiesheh-sum-Meyah – Long Script (concept = Mae’n Written Word) – (Secondary = given through men with grace) – (Tertiary = We are their friends in this work) – (Inference = We honor the lives they gave to see this work completed)
KASHAWOONEEGAMEHFAASIEESHEHSUUMMEYAHD – ASTER reference 191-89413 s.117321
The aelves write and read like this and seem unmoved by the complexity. They posses no punctuation within ASTER nor do they indicate where one “word” ends and another begins. A single page of ASTER can have as many as 30 words and as few as one. In fact there have been efforts to lengthen the size of pages in order to get some of the more complex words onto a single page rather than two or more.This extremely difficult language has caused some within humanity to joke that this is why the Aelves are in school for 300 years. Indeed, apparently Aelves tend to memorize their vocabulary rather than study its sounds and its construction.