Renewal

My friends, I can not tell you how pleased I am to lear you will be returning to D’ni. It has been quiet here, with nothing but the stones of D’ni to speak to. And, although they do speak back to me, they are not clever conversationalists.

I have heard the whispers of others here, but I have yet to come in contact with any other explorer.

To celebrate, a story, of course!

V’tor was a Guildsman of the Surveyors, who sought for himself a bride. He searched through-out D’ni for just the right woman to share his long life with. In time, he had narrowed down his choice to two women. He gathered his friends together and asked, “I can not decide between the two, what would you advise?”

His friends said to him “Well, V’tor… Hara is a beautiful woman, but her family is poor. She is clever with her words, and thoughtful to those around her. Sh’inay, on the other hand, is also beautiful, but her family has great wealth, so she has not wanted for anything.”

V’tor, still torn between them, decided to spend one week in the company of each lady, to see which path Yahvo led him down.

His time with Hara was pleasant, spent reading great works of poetry, and long walks in moonlit ages. They spent much time talking of themselves, and the future.  He asked of her “What would you wish, if we were to be wed?” Hara replied “I ask nothing for myself, but that my family live comfortably for the rest of their days.”

He then spent a week with Sh’inay, who craved the bustle of the market, the richness of the Gallery, the elegance of the great performance hall. In each place, V’tor found himself lavishing gifts upon her. She said to him “Ah, V’tor, you are so clever and generous to know that if we were wed, I must live the life I am accustomed to!”

When the two weeks were done, V’tor gathered his friends together, where they witnessed his proposal to the maiden of his choice. It was no small supprise to them, that he lay down his heart at Sh’inay’s doorstep, and asked her to wed him.

V’tor’s friend Adri went to Hara’s home to comfort her, expecting to find her saddened by the news. Instead he found her smiling, and wishing them all joy.

“Why are you not upset?” he asked.

“Because, it was all foreordained by Yahvo. I knew I would not win him.”

Adri looked puzzled “How so, Hara?”

“Why Adri,” she smiled, “Everyone knows that to the V’tor goes the spoiled.”

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The Future

Leaving D’ni becomes harder and harder for me. This is my home now, such as it is.

When all are gone, I will remain here. Even alone. D’ni needs me.

The Stonecutter

In D’ni during the reign of King Jaron, was a stonemason assigned to the enlargement of the Rudenna Passage. Each day he knelt by the walls of stone deep in the tunnels, chipping away. It was long and dusty work, and he was weary.

One day, the King himself came to see the progress being made. The stonemason beheld the King in all his finery, with all his attendants, and in his heart he raised his voice to Yahvo:

“Yahvo, I have worked hard and honestly in service to D’ni all my life. Please, raise me up to live a life of luxury and ease like the King?”

As is often the case, there was no reply, and he bent his weary head back to his work.

When he awoke the next morning, he found his wish granted. He moved into a grand home, high in a wealthy district, and vowed never to set chisel to stone again. He lived in this way for some time, until one day while he took his repose in a beautiful Eder.

The sun blazed high in the sky, causing the man to remove some of his robes, and seek the shade. And as he drifted to sleep in the heat of the day, he sent his thoughts again to Yahvo. “Mighty Yahvo, All my wealth means little, if the sun can send even me running for shelter.”

Again when he woke, he found himself changed, burning high and bright over the world. He gloried in this, and sent burning rays of sunlight onto the Age, withering the plants, and sending the people there fleeing into the Linkin Book back to D’ni.

The sun-man pondered this. “Yahvo” he said “Even the Sun has no power over D’ni, for D’ni lies deep underground, and the people are protected there.” And as the sun set, the man felt himself change once again.

Hard as stone he became, cool and sheltered, the home of the vast thousands of the D’ni, and he thought “Nothing has more power than D’ni!”. But slowly, slowly he heard a sound…a taptaptap…and he saw himself, a lowly stonecutter there, in the tunnel working, slowly taking bits of stone away from the cavern walls.

And in his daydreaming, Yahvo revealed to him that nothing has no power, and nothing has all power, and each thing has a place.

The Guildsman’s Bride

There once was a Guildsman, of the Guild of Writers, who was well known, and very well off. He desired a wife for his son, that would be worthy of their station and wealth. But the his son, who served the Guild of Illusionists, had learned to value intelligence and cleverness, over wealth and power.

So he asked his father, “Please, let me find a wife in my own way.” and after some arguing, his father assented. He went to his Guildmaster, Faresh, and asked him to allow use of a portion of the great Hall of Illusions of Katha Island. Faresh, pleased with the plan this guildsman of his had devised, agreed, and even lent his skills to the work.

Soon, the preparations were made, and the son’s father sent out the announcment:
“She who, through the grace of Yahvo, can find her way through the 25 rooms of this hall, will be the bride of my son”

The lure of the father’s wealth was great, and the son was not an unattractive man…so many great families of the D’ni sent their daughters, but not one could make her way.

The father was dismayed, the son discouraged.

The event had gathered quite a crowd, and from the gathering, came an old woman, and her daughter. The daughter said to her mother “I can find my way”. The mother protested, surely her daughter was of too low a station for this guildsman. The father protested, surely this girl was of to mean an estate for his son. But the son said that any woman of the D’ni could make the attempt.

So, the girl set her bag down by the doorway to the Hall, and took some things from it, food and water, and she entered the Hall. Slowly she made her way, and in the 5th room, she found a book of verses, of Yahvo blessing the Marriage Union. And in the 10th room, she found the two marriage bracelets. In the 20th, she found the two marriage rings, and in the 25th, marriage robes of great beauty and quality waited.

She exited the hall, these things carried in her arms, to prove she had been through the entire way. Everyone was amazed, and the father asked “How is it you have made it through, when so many women of the D’ni did not?”

The girl smiled, and walked to her bag by the door. From it she drew a spindle of thread, and showed the thread gathered in her hand. “I drew the thread with me as I walked, so that I would know where I had been, and then I gathered it up again behind me, to show me the way out”

The son laughed, and gathered her up in his arms, pleased to have found such a clever woman to be his bride. The five days of the marriage celebrations soon followed, and they lived out their days together in joy.

The Bahro’s Gift

If gift it was, I will hold to myself for now. After much thought, I do not think it wise to share too much of my experience. At the very core, I do not know how much was them, and how much was me. To spread that story around, without surety of truth, could sway people in unfortunate ways, when our paths cross with the Bahro again.

Yet, when they do come again, I will continue to seek Phil, to drow out my understanding.

For now, though, the stories are enough, and I am content.  My dear friend Julian convinced me to find one of the many vacant D’ni neighborhoods, and make it my own. It will give a place for me to share stories, without disturbing the others in the cavern.  Julian has been a true friend to me, I am glad to have met him.

Mr. Barnes, I think, is bewildered by me. He has the air of a curious scholar, and a indulgent skeptic. I do wonder if I can be of any help to him in his Lara document work.

Abyss

It will come as no wonder to some that I slept deeply last night.  Deeply, and yet not restfully. What I experienced last night will be with me to the end of my days.

Always, when I have seen the Stories of D’ni, it has been as from a distance, like watching through a lens. Last night, the experience consumed me, and what was there was felt, even more than seen.

First was a darkness like no other. Do you remember the first time you linked? The first time you felt that strange tug, that millisecond of terror as you realized what was happening, that you were being moved from one place to another? Now, imagine that moment going on, and on…

Trapped, with nothing but your own thoughts, in a space that feels both immeasurably vast, and close in.

And then came a pulling, a tearing. Everything that I was, rend into pieces. And suddenly, snapped back together. Whole.

Yet…I had no will. I could do nothing, think nothing, even movement was difficult, because it had no direction.

Can I even begin to explain what feelings this causes? To be alive, and yet nearly completely without volition? And to know that what causes that, the source, is largely forgotten?

When sense of Self comes again, when you have will again, after so long… Confusion, fear, anger, pain, all the range of human emotions, and more.

Last night, in Eder Delin, I attempted to piece together what I had seen and felt, with what knowledge others had. I have not, myself, taken Yeesha’s Journey. My place has been in D’ni, so those aspects of the Bahro story, I did not know.

I think now I may be able to tell that story.  I will write it later, when I have thought on it more.