Commentary VI:29

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Roads Well Traveled

Let me start off by saying that I don’t know why I’ve resisted switching to the new chapter title format for so long. It is so much less sterile, and the best of all words putting more flavor up front, while leading with the succinct positional information. I feel like a fool for sticking to what was originally not thought out, though I do feel like I had some silly reason I was worried about. Wrapping with some of the longer titles? I think commentary is more appropriate to keep the old format on though.

A while back Ambrush bemoaned where her life took a wrong turn. I’m not sure I can point to a root cause. Much like our heroes, it has been one thing following another. The root cause is in the root of the world. Also that I’m slow in commentary because I’m looking forward with some obsession at next weeks chapter.

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VI:29 – Of Silver and White

I did not know her name, but I knew her all the same,
a statue overgrown, stood in the forest there all alone,
‘Neath a hood deep and dark, that round stout parts did part,
eyes of brightly polished stone, ‘bove a bust so proudly shown,

And on the pedestal was written, if eyes could turn so smitten,
‘I am mother to all this world, of sprout, foal, and shy little girl,
look upon me oh lords and tremble, for I am the enduring symbol,
and though empires may rise and fall, the tides still hear my call.’

Round about was not but vine and bush, all deathly still form my rush.
There frozen stood I as well, and down from her beauty my eyes so fell.
This was not a place for men, so proud and brash to have hurried in.
Said I there a little prayer, made humbler before Thaea’s one true heir.

– The Statue in the Glade, 233 E.R.

Of Silver and White

She was short, even compared to Katrisha. Familiar, though the expression she wore was as different as the clothing. It took a moment, putting together a nervous dressed woman, with a name mentioned in passing. She’d been amidst the trainees a dozen times or more, but oft farther back than Sadie. Quite in spite of efforts to arrange by height. Ever closer to the front, and whatever side Sadie was on, Katrisha realized. Had usually been there when she bound her up, or let her down. It was all so very backwards.

“Your name is, Leta, is it not?” Katrisha asked of the young woman who’d gotten in her way. Looked very much to wish to get out of it, but just stood there, nonetheless. Height aside there was not much mistaking her for a girl, even if her manner belied her attributes.

She nodded. She was paler than a lot of the Ahashi — as Dahlia kept insisting they should now be called. Those who would be tithed to, for their ministering. Katrisha had not objected, and tried not to laugh at the tangled logic — but the others kept stumbling over it. So did she, and it had been her argument that was more what they were, to begin with.

“Did you want something?” Katrisha pressed.

There was a lot more hesitation, but the woman nodded.

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Commentary VI:28

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Prices to Pay

Etore leaned back, and against the outer wall of the carriage. She fussed all the more as a taunt, staring out behind the gap in the blind.

There has always been a lightly petulant aspect to Etore, though it’s probably the company she kept, who effectively raised her. Her tracing of her sword hilt has always been more than reassurance she has the means to deal with trouble, it’s been also a value she places in something hard won. I belive she said once it was a reminder that no one she thinks better than her, she can’t beat.

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Chapter VI:28

All around are these familiar places,
a sea awash in such stranger’s faces,
yet where am I, if not my cherished home,
and those who knew me, I’d never known,

what have you done, oh witch, and your little mouse,
you promised the return home, of a beloved spouse,
yet were it he, ever the one on some forsaken shore,
or was it I, the one who’d come to be no more.

– Notebooks of S.C. Lowes, 450 E.R.

A Price in Silver

Rhaeus 19th, 1 S.R.

Etore fussed with her hair pins, each a little better matched then they’d been for a while.

“Stop.” Katrisha looked across the carriage, a white book she struggled to find the meaning of in hand. “You have the Queen’s word, it will be sent along when they’re done treating the crew.”

“And if Mr. Sund, cannot be treated? Will they ever be done then? So required to relinquish a valuable, and unique artifact. I worry, I once trusted you in contract negotiations. Did I miss, where if he’s a clever boy, I make him king?” She gave Wren a glance for reaction, and he just rolled his eyes.

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Commentary VI:27

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And What Isn’t

Starting a new process that may save time, and improve quality. Though I did it a bit into editing, and didn’t follow all the way through. I think I am going to start writing commentary as I go, in line, and then extracting it during editing. Also take along references points as quotes to help establish where I’m writing from in context.

The epigraph this week is very much a nod back to the opening of the series, but also my feelings on all holy texts, scribed in the hands of men. I’ve long felt that the first proof of no perfect god, is that such a being would leave the scribing, copying, and interpreting of their words to imperfect mortal hands. Impurities creep in, and translation errors, and bias, and outside influence. A game of divine and mortal telephone from which only disaster could result.

Which is not to say one cannot find meaning, or lessons in such works. Even as a nonbeliever. One can find meaning, and lessons in everything from the works of Shakespeare, to Space Balls. For, “Evil will always triumph, because good is stupid.” That’s right up there with the Declaration of Independence, which forewarns that, “…all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.”

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Chapter VI:27

Trust not in the words of gods my son, for these have been and gone,
and only the words of men my son, in varied hand, endure to carry on.
Be wary their follies and false glories, the vices that brought their end.
Do not in hubris lay claim to rights, that even divinity, could not defend.

– Writings of Turana the Elder, circa 10 E.R.

What is Written

“They have only this,” said a tall Faun, and ran almost adoring fingers along her hairline. Her eyes closed — she had forgotten they were open. A head inclined needfully into touch that receded as much as she strained for it. Ever light, and leading. Teaching to seek, and want. Such words echoed through her, in every cell, for they had been repeated, taught, made a worship to remember.

Everything was sweltering, and this was normal. A living heat that crawled inside, and made a place for itself. The idea of cold, almost forgotten. A memory from another life, far away, and meaningless. A thing of the night, where there was night, or day. These were each almost as strange an idea. A folly of the morning-star, far from the light of the True Sun, that even thick stone could not give full shelter from. Then it was warmer, for a lord was near, so near. She could have burst into flames in heat, like an old sunbird come to bless a nest, and been content.

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Commentary VI:26

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For better or worse I opted not to write commentary in parallel with my final editing process. Does it show, was quality down this week? It was simply too much time strain, and would have pushed a bit too late on Sunday for what I’ve observed of traction in engaging my readership.

I was feeling somewhat confident in general characterization, though some minor logistics were a middling concern, I was not positioned to address them better any way. Mostly the coming and going of people.

Ultimately this week’s epigraph from the Red Book (I believe previously published in commentary) was simply what came to mind on the topic of growing things. The exact meaning of the title I leave abstract. – is living? – is good? – is gold? Ok, well, gold doesn’t usually grow, but I put nothing past this world at this point… I kid. Kit? Oh, Torta…

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