A12: Memorial Gardens District
It's Variday, Callem 27 12:01:12 1020. The full moon isn't up. The tide is low and slack. Towering white clouds drift slowly through the blue sky. It's hazy and hot, and the glare of the sun seems to drain the color from the landscape.
Another sweltering summer day in the City, and traffic is moving like lifeblood pulsing through the veins and arteries of the City.
Suddenly, a pair of wild elves appear, as if by teleportation, on the grass before the statue of Crown Princess Lianna Rena. The two are both males, one, Ga'Elian. The other is wearing moccasins, a loincloth, a sort of breastplate made of small, linked bones, a crown of antlers, and a cape of feathers. The strange Sylvanori walks nimbly, with a staff, and although his face is timeless, his countenance bespeaks centuries of experience.
"Peasse to you," Svarshan says warmly. The sith-makar is sitting on one of the benches--concrete benches, a material that stands against Alexandria's wet winters and hot summers. He wears the colors and cloth of Am'shere, a contrast, much like the sylvanoris', to the lands around them. He holds a slate in one hand, a piece of chalk in another. Beside him, a cotton bag of some type, that smells faintly of salt.
Ga'Elian turns at the paladin's greeting. He smiles then says to his companion, "Well is this not fortuitous?" He guides the other to turn and gestures toward Svarshan. He says, "And to you, Lord Svarshan. May I introduce you to Evinthas, Chief Elder of the Faravanilas. Chief Elder, this is one of the leaders of the community I spoke to thee about, Mictlan. He serves Eli and serves the Empress of his people."
"Peasse to you," Svarshan says after a time. "Thiss one has not heard of the Faravanilas, nor sshared words of them. They are of your people?" he asks and directs the question of them both, though primarily Ga'Elian. He lowers the slate, and one could see a number of words on it, and symbols.
Evinthas seems content to allow Ga'Elian to respond to the question, but does take the opening to extend his own greetings. He says in and old style of Draconic, although with a Sildanyari accent, "Peace be unto your nest, Svarshan."
Ga'Elian raises an eyebrow at the chalk sigils, but simply explains, "Faravanilas is the name of my tribe. We are one of several tribes of the Sylvanori that dwell in the vast forests surrounding Llyranost. I had recently flown home to beg the assistance of my tribe and any of our fellow tribes that might be willing to come to perform our ancient ritual of healing upon the land. Since the lich's destruction, there have been many and varied symptoms of the land's sickness. My people are reclusive but deeply committed to sustaining the natural life energies of Ea, and we keep alive the lore of the Destroyer and the mischief he wrought upon the Great Ygdrassil before the sundering of the Sildanyar."
Evinthas continues: "When Ga'Elian presented his petition to our tribal council, there were voices that said that such maladies are not a sufficient cause for alarm to justify performing the Estellen Calen before the view of other races, but when he pointed out the extent of the problems observed so far, and that one of the mighty saplings of the Great Tree was threatened, we consented to come. I am here in advance to see the situation for myself, but felt it worth a side trip to inform the Llyranesi ambassador of our plans. Ga'Elian was about to take me to the embassy."
Svarshan lowers his muzzle to the elder, and holds that position for a moment. Then, "One iss glad to meet ssuch kindness in. Dark times. Though you have me at a. Ssecond dissadvantage. One hass not heard of thiss Eatellen Calen," he responds with warm humor, and a crinkling at the edges of the eyes. Then, it fades to seriousness, "Ssaplings. You are ssuggesting you might. Help the ssapling?"
Ga'Elian smiles and says, "The sapling of which I speak is quite a large and mature tree, milord. I refer to it not as just any sapling, but as a Sapling of Ygdrassil, for in the elder days, many saplings of the Great Life Tree took root in many places across Ea and have been tended by my people, then by the Druids as that tradition grew up among the cultures of the world. Those of us who have dedicated our especial focus to watchguarding these offspring of the primeval Tree are the Ygdrassil Union. We hold that by nurturing these 'saplings', we protect the very source of life within and across Ea itself. For this reason, my tribe saw the justification it needed in order to perform this rite beyond the seclusion of our homelands."
Evinthas adds, "The Estellen Calen is handed down from times beyond the recall of the elders of our people, even when I was young. Our efforts to save the wilderness from the blight of evil will counter the threat to this nearest sapling, and if our ritual manages to invoke sufficient healing power, then the lands surrounding your Mictlan will be healed, but whether this taint is too strong or not shall be revealed only when we can behold the effects our ceremony shall produce. We shall see how many of our allies join our ritual. Personally, and on behalf of the Faravanilas, I should like to invite the people of Mictlan to be present two nights hence when we make the attempt. Even though your folk are not of our heritage, we feel in the land the trauma through which these recent turmoils have made your community to pass, and believe that your moral support and faith can do naught but strengthen the power of our ritual."
Silence. Quiet, quiet as the reptilian turns over what was said. "One will sspeak with them. I will be honored to carry the. Words. The People are no sstranger to the magic of the. Land." Quiet breath. "We guard Mictlan now out of cooperation with the. Greater Green." He thumps the tail once, and then lets the sound remain. Fade into a solemn echo.
"One hass heard the ssickness is yearss in the making," he says after the echo, an echo of an echo, fades. "What have you heard, sshaman?" he asks, and true to his nature as a sith-makar, he directs the question to Evinthas. When one wishes to know of spirit matters, why. One asks that caste. Of course.
Ga'Elian smiles to see that the Brightscales and the Chief Elder are so directly engaged.
Evinthas stops to consider for a moment. He says, "Ga'Elian has told us of the mists blocking the paths to this Mictlan. He has told us of the Felwood as well, describing how much time he spends monitoring the taint of that land and seeking to limit its encroachment upon the byways of the civilized. He has informed us of oruch bands that have wrought arson and indiscriminate logging in the Mythwood. He has recounted the appearance of Grimstalkers in the land, and of an acidic taint killing the riverlife between Mictlan and the Grove of the Sapling. These all sound quite concerning, and are all very recent. He has also told us of the sacred bones of the ancient dragon that form the spiritual heart of Mictlan."
As the three discuss these important things, Shizin approches. A beautiful Silandayar in blue robes with long blue hair that falls to whiteness at the bottom dressed in fine blue robes in layers. The dawn elf could not help but overhear at least some of what is being talked about, and being the quite unobrusive sort slips closer to better hear the discussion. Though not particularly good at hiding, the sheer quietness of the bard lends toward not being noticed. Shizin says nothing, merely nodding a polite greeting of familarity to Ga'Elian, and then one to each of the others whom are not familiar. Loathe to interupt the blue-haired dawn elf merely stands close at hand, after that nod, listening intently to what is being said.
While there is the usual traffic passing by and even some people nearby passing time in the Gardens, the unobtrusive approach of the blue-haired Llyranesi is, in fact, noticed by both of the Sylvanori. Ga'Elian smiles at him and bids him welcome with a beckoning tilt of his head.
"Ssa, the..." and then the rest of the elder's words sink in and Svarshan goes quiet. Again. "The oruch?" he asks after a while. "...and the missts and the guardian. Peasse, sshaman. Perhapss there iss no sshortage of work for. Warriors," he says and laughs, though it isn't really cheerful.
As the other sildanyari approaches, he thumps his tail. And after a time, offers, "Peasse to you."
Shizin nods again to the elves and also Svarshan, seeming quite contrite about interupting their conversation even for something as short and simple as a few nods and a brief greeting. Even so in a quiet voice, the dawn elf adds a greeting. Though Shizin speaks quietly the voice carries well, and is easy to be heard. "Peace to you."
Both wild elves chuckle at Svarshan's mention of work for warriors to do. Ga'Elian says, "I am certain that you are right. Ere I departed to take my proposal home, I distinctly remember telling others that if the problem were merely a case of bothersome oruch, that the solution would be more a matter of combat, but when the reason such beings chooses to work their destruction in this place is because an evil is seeking to establish itself in the land, then warriors can at best stem the tide. The sickness of the land itself requires the blessings of Dana of the Green and my hope is that the Estellen Calen may prevail to secure those blessings." At this, the Chief Elder nods. Then Ga'Elian says, "Evinthas, this Llyranesi is a fellow adventurer. He is called Shizin." He then says to Svarshan, "He is a musician."
"Peasse to you," Svarshan returns warmly, with a thump of the tail. "Among the People, mussicians are ssome of our mosst ssacred casste. You hold here," he says, and taps the side of his skull. "Though perhapss..."
"Perhapss we met onsse before. I apologisse. It hass been a busy. Month with the missts of Mictlan and the ssurgance of corruption. We were jusst ssharing words," he says, and looks to indicate Ga'Elian and Evinthas, and then back.
"I heard." Shizin smiles gently, meaning the conversation which admittedly the bard has been overhearing. The bard seems a bit embarassed, perhaps by the complement which Svarshan gives, or perhaps merely from speaking at all, or perhaps for again interupting the conversation. It could be any one of those reasons, and perhaps is all of them "Please, continue. I did not mean to interupt." The words seem to take something out of the dawn elf who hides hands behind the fall of blue robes. Twisting them together
Evinthas smiles at Shizin as if reading the music in his soul by mere observation. He says, agreeing with Svarshan, "Indeed yes. The singing of our lore is how we ensure that it is preserved down the centuries. The Faravanilas are all the time singing the old lays, and adding more to the tribal repertoire as well. Ga'Elian here, in fact, is a prime example. He is not one that weaves such power into his song as many bards do, but he sing pleasantly enough, and quite enjoys it. Why, he tells me that he has even learned to sing enchantments upon a variety of objects."
Ga'Elian nods his agreement, smiling awkwardly, but enthusiastically. He adds, "The ancient songs we sing are also how I learned the Mynsandraal speech of our forebears." Then he hears the ringing of a bell and realizes the time. He say, "Friends, it was good to share words, and especially lucky to come across you, Svarshan. I hope many of your community may come, including those who still ponder the propaganda of the Teacher claiming your People are without friends. May this show them oherwise. But if we are to find the ambassador, we shouldn't tarry over long. Farewell."
Evinthas says, "Well met, and until we meet again."