Chapter III:29

I’d walk a thousand roads,
cross ten thousand more,

stride eight hundred thousand,
if you were what’s in store,

if all these paths unending,
brought me back home to you,
I’d walk my way through everything,
to the winding roads stay true,

It’s not the journey’s end,
for it’s all part of you,
the unhappy beginning,
when you say we’re through,

Oh I’d walk a thousand roads,
stride ten thousand more,
cross every winding forest road,
If it brings me back to your door.

– The Winding Roads, circa 600 E.R.

Winding Paths

Kiannae walked up to an orange tree after seeing other passersby taking one. She plucked an overly large fruit, and tossed it to her sister, then got lost considering the tree itself. An indecisive urge which one she wanted.

Tree was almost a misnomer. It was nearly dwarf in stature, though it had spread out well, and full. It seemed that the tree had decided growing large was not so much a priority, as producing fruit. Which it did with remarkable haste, given the frequencies passersby plucked an orange. Kiannae tilted her head at the feel of just how very deep the roots went. It was at least a century old, and had either grown right into a ley potential, or maybe even changed it. That was interesting. She could feel a faint familiar tug, as though the diminutive tree was tied to the absurdly large presence in the west of the city. The arrangement was painfully familiar.

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Chapter III:28

One and one is two, or so they say,
then with time can come to three,
oh two divided not half so strong,
there yet those extra may go on,

oh two and one make three undone,
in proportion then keep to their home,
where each position has a distance,
when square of two other conditions,

there is always some tied relation,
to another extent of the equation,
and the question arises there plain,
does it solve a solution, or inflame.

– Squaring the Sum, circa 170 E.R.

Theory & Practice

Kiannae stood looking over the city from their balcony. She largely ignored her sister stepping beside her. This continued a good minute before she shook her head, and sighed. “So, you’ve deigned to come back this evening.”

“I had a date, a class, started some research. Also, did a lot of walking to clear my head after arguing with an insufferable Paladin. Not, all in that order.”

“Date, that what we’re calling it now?”

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Chapter III:27

The gods are silent and strange,
mortal corruption evident and plain,
ascribe not mind to that unknowable,
or trust the word of the ever ignoble,

faith, a game played by blind fools,
untruth their broken spiteful tool,
in false reason do not be caught,
trust only, what you have wrought.

– the Apocrypha, Book of Sorrows

A Dance in Shadows

Liora was walking a line of students as Katrisha climbed into the ring. She did not even turn from inspecting their form before addressing the last arrival. “I told you, do not be late, or do not come at all.”

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Chapter III: 26

An old refrain in our more petty squabbles,
we announce as schemes while away hours,
all’s fair, all’s fair in this game we all play,
no treacherous moves forbidden in this fray,

oh all things are of the same joined contest,
in each the body is sacrificed as we are best,
with arms we hold near, with arms we strike,
enemies and allies all pass us by in like,

is all fair, all fair in this tangled mortal game,
does only the little death let us play again,
can it be is one kinder in the end after all,
in this ever all’s fair game of love and war.

– Love & War, Sylvia Grey circa 240 E.R.

Love & War

Jovan 21st, 655 E.R.

Wren half woke with a woman collapsing atop him. Etore’s breath was hot, and musked with a not unfamiliar fragrance. She laughed as he relaxed into her soft moving presence. It had become a familiar circumstance. One eased by her gifts, as his awareness rose from a dreamlike state.

“Were you worried, little bird?”

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Chapter III:25

Thaea’s bows reached for the sun,
her roots grew towards the moon,
sisters they were as one great tree,
oh mother of all ‘n glorious Laeune,

a shadow before burning heavens,
a silver light before eternal night,
mother of all that would ever be,
mother of all that would fade away,

oh what has value without rarity,
oh what in excess does not decay,
all stood defiant before a sun fell,
what dwells in cycles returns well.

– rare manuscript of the Black Book, circa 130 E.R.

The Sun & the Moon

Kiannae stood on a balcony facing west over the city. A beautiful view, gifted to a troublesome family where the Council could keep an eye on them. Katrisha stepped up beside to her sister, and stared out at the great tree crowned in evening sun. It was odd seeing something so out of proportion from so far away. Perspective warred with reality, and made the city seem small, not the tree so very great.

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Chapter III:24

You cannot judge all, by one of a kind,
not even those among them who shine,
do not judge the unknown by the least,
nor for one savant, that all must be great,

even those chosen to stand in their stead,
are at best the average, choosing a head,
no a multitude’s worth cannot be deveined,
more than take an average of two and nine.

– Bias and Huberis, circa 120 E.R.

Representation

“Antlers?”

Kiannae gave her sister’s incredulous look a shrug. “Or branches — that look like antlers.”

“Because that makes it less weird.” Katrisha slouched back in one of the couches.

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Chapter III:23

I’ve seen a path that winds,
that goes, all the way down,
stood upon backs of giants,
who bore each great crowns,

there are not left but shadows,
attested to all that once was,
yet with every umbra cast,
there is a little less of the sun.

– All The Way Down, circa 80 E.R.

Spirals

The south spire of the academy was one of the proudest monuments of the skyline. Even perched halfway down the slope, it still rivaled the great dome of the mount. A structure determined to reach the sky. It had been the domain of enchanters long before the academy, and grown over centuries. Floors not always of the same width, irregular heights, large open areas, and libraries. A testament to time, and change, defiantly elegant in the face of such organic growth.

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