Midnight RPG - Chapter 19.803
At some point during the few days before he has to leave the Hamlet, but when he is neither blacksmithing nor speaking with Aradil or Sovaliss, Durgaz wishes to find and speak with Craigth Galeck, the mad seer who supposedly wrote the scrolls that Kyuad carries with him. I vaguely remember someone saying something about him living in a cave several miles outside of town, but I can't remember if that was actually said, or if I just assumed it. If so, Durgaz will take Bugnak and go to wherever they tell him Craigth can be found.
It takes you some time to find the hole in the tree that leads to the tomb that the madman has confined himself to. The land is lush and beautiful in this part of the world. The moss beneath your feet cushions the walk as though walking on feathers. The scent of sweet sugars of the plum-like fruit on the vines around this land permeate your senses. But it's the make of the tree-cavern that surprises you most. They Arrows pointed you in the direction, but they would not come any further than the grove tree lines some six dozen yards from the home of the madman beneath the willows.
The hole in the tree is open, no door - as none wish to enter for fear of catching the fever of foresight visions that makes the man in the willow weep. But some come here, now and then - Aradil visits on occasion. Vrolk the Vile was said to have visited Galeck before he turned to Shadow, as did Lloth, as did Ardherin, as do you now...
Into the willow the carpet of moss follows down the stair. It is a wide stair, the footfalls nearly one and a half the size of your Orc boot. It is not the dark den of haunt that you might have assumed. Nor is it damp or musty...
A flicker of light works it's way up the hollow and as you begin your decent below the surface of Aryth into the root of this weeping willow you hear him already answering the questions for which you have in mind. Did he know? Or is his mind working without questions? Whatever the answer the man sits before a single candle on a simple table amid a near empty room. He wears a cloak, similar to that which Eranon wears, yet his clings to him - almost binding his arms around his body as would a straight jacket. He looks younger than you would have thought, his eye sparkle in the light - his hair obsidian black, the only sign of age on his face are the circles under his eyes - a purple and red color, set off from his crystal eyes and porcelin skin. He stares into the light, as if wanting it to blind him... Is this Galeck a madman or a fool? That is for the eye of the beholder to see...
His words began echoing up the soft hollow of the tree as you venture in.
".....it's a diabolic tutor we seek Orc when we have no place to roam, the best ideas often come from the worst minds you know. No, no mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells, nor any voice of mourning save the choirs, the shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells. In this dance of shadows, only one man survives, barely sane. He'll got out two words before collapsing: shadows' shadows."
You don't take much time going into the questions... because the answers begin coming before you speak. Some of the words part your lips but to the Elven Seer it is as if he has already read this page...
Why do you hide out here? There are elves in the Hamlet and everywhere else poring over every syllable of your prophecies, searching for secret meanings and hidden truths. Why are you not among them? Why do you not just tell them what you see?
"Teachers and advisers are like crops-they must be thinned for best yield old friend, destiny is the study of history, history is the study of repetition - make your mind known to hold that which you see and have seen and will see. Make it a library and be the historian. The more you pay for the lesson, the better you'll remember it. Because even the threat of power has power.
No, I have no need of friends and teachers any longer, the Whisper Academy taught me two things: always look to the past, and never dismiss what appears useless. I learned a lesson on my own, perhaps greater still - I teach it to you now... To empty your mind is to fill your grave. Those who fling spells too quickly should have reason to regret it. Because the beasts of the wild are my senses. It is through their eyes that all knowledge shall come to me. You know old friend, they say the forest has eyes. But they never mention its claws. Even still, some would say we have no need for military might. We wield two of the sharpest swords ever forged: Faith in our left hand, destiny in our right. Is that what you would say Orc?"
What do your visions tell you about me? We met an elf who told me I was "chosen", but his was only one interpretation out of many. Do you know me? Do I have some part to play in all of this?
"I have seen life's purpose, and now it is your own. The treasure in your mind is greater than any worldly glory. Yet, asses to ashes, donkeys to dust. heheh... Rise like the sun then, stand like the mountain, charge like the lion, die as a hero. But keep your own self safe, in the Bluff, loyalties extend only as far as your purse can stretch. In raiding and plundering, be like fire, in immovability like a mountain. Let the pyres of the unbelievers light the way. Because when it is down and the sky's rain has turned to fire, what will put it out?"
Do you know who sends these visions? Is it Aryth? Are there other gods than the Shadow? Can we speak back?
"Of all I that I have lost, I miss my mind the most. You of all must know - when the Night Kings sing, nothing in creation sleeps. Anyone can admire creation. There is much talk about the art of creation. What about the art of destruction? Only the fallen sees the beauty in demolition. The scrape of shovels and the tumble of cold dirt will soon muffle your pleas.
It is an aether tide that happens in the coming times, The tide of magic brought them here. Now it would take them home. Barter in blood my dear Odrendor, for in this game of conquest, who cares about the pawns if the king yet reigns? So when will you say aloud and to the world, I have seen the true path. I will not warm myself by the fire-I will become the flame. Wisdom is not the counting of all the drops in a waterfall. Wisdom is learning why the water seeks the earth. They say an angel's sword impales only the body; her righteousness penetrates the soul."
Do you always see the truth? Is it possible to change something you see in the future, so that it does not happen? Do you know how?
"The people of Aryth have come to live on frozen fields as though on solid ground. Nothing reminds them anymore of that which lies below. And would they remember would they care to have it back? The recipe is simple in the mind of my Witch - Four parts Darkwood's ash, yes . . . one part frozen mithral rust, yes, yes . . . but then what? Pound the steel until it fits. Doesn't work? Bash to bits. Because the swarm's million wings stir the foulest of breezes.
No old friend I fear life is a series of choices between bad and worse. You can build a perfect machine out of imperfect parts. The ideas came flooding in so fast that they couldn't all be contained. I have all the weapons my enemies have-and far deeper rage. Nothing can stop the power of life-not even death. But fire never dies alone.
What you call decay, I call ripening. You'll gain no sustenance from this harvest. Know one part of the name, obsession begins. Know two parts, paranoia sets in. Know three parts, madness descends. Know all, and only the seers know what will become of you."
Have you seen what I have seen? The eyes, the knife, the poison, the fall ... and the end? Do you know what I am talking about? Is it true? Can it be stopped? Can you tell me how?
"Life has always been a dance. It is only fitting that death sing the tune. Our greatest hope has become our enemy's greatest triumph.
No good will come of this.
Power-hungry men of the world, the curse of the dynasty, have thrown the masses of the people into the depths of misery. You cannot bar the path of gods. You can only divert their journey for a while. them of the difference more clearly than the rifts brought on by the Thaw. Yet, there is only so much a person may be buried with.
To some the birth of the last sun(son?) was a sign of doom. To others it was a sign of salvation. But to all it was a sign. Kings and beggars, they end the same-Surrounded by stench, rot, and blame.
There is a future Orc, in which I can see only mist and a single shadow. Only vengeance matters now. Nothing in this world, not even magic, likes to be caged. Many of us wish for power, but not for the longevity to abuse it. Aradil, she wishes for a weapon, but not for the skill to wield it. Are you willing to die for your homeland. to win she must be willing to kill for it.
At tomorrow's Battle of the Kingdoms, both she and he each wrote his plan for defeating one another on the palm of their hand. They laughed as they both revealed the same word, "Fire." Even still, the tiniest cough can be deadlier than the fiercest dragon, but she don't want that... And you best neither. Oh yes, friend I have seen it - wherever that Orc looked, he saw destruction-the wake of its own gaze.
Go then and leave this world to those who truly care.
May you wake to find you were only ever a dream."
... yes... this is a bit... chaotic ... on purpose. But there is meaning in every word. Consider them riddles.