Summary:Lucent goes to visit the Dragon of Wood, in search of medicine to heal the innumerable necrotic diseases now confronting the circle.


< That Fight Is Still In You | Sol Invictus Logs | Don't Forget Your Annual Checkup >

`Lucent steps off Amika's back into the great cathedral of trees in the Elemental Pole of Wood, where Trees are the earth, the sky, the Wyld and the Essence. Lucent walked amidst the branches until he found a place of particular visibility, up and down, and with his most practiced (and loudest) voice, spoke, "Sextes Jylis, Elemental Dragon of Wood, He Who Hath Strewn Much Grass, a Prince of the Earth humbly comes to seek your audience!"

There is a rumbling from some ways off in the distance, and as one, a hundred birds fly up in a raucous cloud from the nearby treetops. It is a familiar sound, this rumbling: that of a slumbering Dragon awakening.

`Lucent smiles. "I shall wait the breaking of your fast if you wish, great dragon!" Again, shouted with most solemn elegance through the leaves

It is a slow process -- befitting the carefully considerate nature of the Wood Dragon -- but eventually, the leaves part, and onto the nearby branch steps the being Lucent has come to visit: the Immaculate Dragon Sextes Jylis.

His skin is a deep coffee-shade, his hair black with flecks of metallic green, shaved at the sides and tied tightly back in the ancient traditional style of a long-lost order. His face is thin and severe, his eyes perceptive; his clothes are the robes of a monk, mahogany fabric edged in saffron and red, and each hand is wrapped in cloth.

Slung across his back is a green bow, its string a sapling branch that flowers in elegant pink at either end; Lucent knows from experience that his weapon, so much lesser than he, is itself an elemental dragon powerful enough to destroy entire cities, trample mountains, and crush nations under its heel -- though unlike Heshiesh's sword, it is not one he has met personally.

He looks at the man he's arrived to speak with and brings his hands together and bows in a show of humble monastic respect. "I greet you, Lucent Copper Haze."

`Lucent "I greet you, Sextes Jylis. It has been a long time since Calibration. I see you have been well in this time, even with your sleep cut so short."

"With the threats to my home neutralized and the Essence of Creation bountiful and rich, I -- and those over whom I watch -- have been well, yes." He nods respectfully.

`Lucent "Is it? Bontiful and rich? It seems weaker every day..." Lucent nodded up, where, almost hidden amidst the leaves that made up the sky, rested the diseased sol. "Darker."

"The sun darkens, the world below rumbles, the long dead rage impotently at their fate. But life.... is powerful," he says. As if to illustrate, he holds out a finger, upon which a single vividly colored purplish-red butterfly alights.

`Lucent "Beautiful. Powerful indeed." Lucent claps! "Speaking of its power, just what happenned to the one you were tangled with last I saw you? Ishlaka, was it?"

SextesJylis makes a fist with one hand. "He has passed beyond this existence," he says, and the gesture and words alone are more than enough to tell the entire story.

`Lucent "I see. That was quite the undertaking, he was one of yours'... fused with one of us. Do you think the shard will have any aftereffects from such a fusion?"

SextesJylis "It is hard to say," he says. "Oil, dropped in a river, might sweep down to the ocean.... or might accumulate in the sand, poisoning the fish who swim above." He shakes his head. "Such things ought never happen, but a true steward must nonetheless be prepared to deal with their consequences."

`Lucent considers. "Indeed. Of course, dealing with the consequences can prove trickier than expected. Case in point." He once again nodded upwards. "We fought the Second Herald the other day. And the Deathlords. Sometimes it feels like Creation wants to End."

SextesJylis "Give one monkey a fruit," he says, producing a perfectly-ripe peach in one hand and, indeed, handing it to a nearby macaque, "and an inevitable result follows, as certain as water flowing downhill or fungus sprouting on fallen wood." And so it is: for the other monkeys begin to circle the lucky one malevolently, their eyes gleaming with desire.

SextesJylis "The dead, the twisted, and the unreal: these things envy the purity and ephemerality of life. As long as the jewel of Creation exists, they will seek to drag it down from its pedestal until it is submerged in the mud. This is the way of existence."

`Lucent "Did you fight so hard to keep it whole, before we came along?"

SextesJylis nods, perhaps a little sadly. "We, and a thousand thousand brilliant souls, known and unknown to the world."

`Lucent "And now you sleep." He says without admonishment. Just wonder. "Do you find that your job is done, and it is up for the new generation to carry their share?"

SextesJylis nods. "Existence has an unimaginable heaviness," he says, "and it bears down on us, both in joy and in suffering. Creation needs to be seen with new eyes -- even new eyes tinged with wisdom, as each of you Chosen rises up to be."

`Lucent "Perhaps too wise. My fellow chosen worry me, sometimes." He crosses his arm, leaning against the tree. "And when do you know it is time for new eyes?"

SextesJylis "The forest is a self-regulating organism by nature," he says, gesturing to the ground cover far below. "Living beings will grow and fade away in keeping with the rhythms of life. It is only when the system has become so unbalanced and twisted by unusual events that cleansing fire must be applied." His eyes narrow as he finishes this thought.

`Lucent "That is today. Though we still think we can untangle the knot of poisonous ivies rather than cleanse it with fire. Some fruits are too beautiful to be burnt." He picks up an apple, green - green like her hair - and watches it, thoughtfully. "But one ivy has been worse than the rest. It is black, and it makes all the most beautiful flowers writhe. The very sun that makes us bloom. Without the sun, what is the garden?"

SextesJylis nods. "And without the garden, the earth will erode away until all that is left is ash and darkness." He plucks a flower from a nearby branch and considers it closely. "To what purpose do I owe your visit today, Lucent?"

`Lucent "You are the dragon of life and death. The patterns of essence that warp all things. With the knowledge of Medicine, your children can twist their own essence, can become other elements, can bring youth, can make their own essence grow or create vines in others'. With your understanding of animals they can create the most intricate family lines, align their essence to all living things, and ignite power where none existed,"

`Lucent "Like a flower blooming within a soul."

`Lucent "With their knowledge of Medicine they can craft poisons, with their arrows they can deliver diseases. The poisons and diseases of the forest are your children like the most beautiful carnation."

`Lucent "Who else, then, would I come to ask about the malady that ails the sun? For in the matter of the living essence, even he is your subject."

`Lucent "I would ask that you accompany me to look at one of my fellows afflicted with the disease - from the Sun's own source. Long-Awaited Spring he is, kin to you, for he is Wassiranu: and his very blood is that of those who come from you, and are connected to you, and the Primordials that shaped and guided you. I would like you to give us a second opinion."

`Lucent "And, perhaps, tell us who to seek next, or what ingredients should we use to create a balm."

SextesJylis shakes his head sadly. "I will not journey from here," he says. "But I will aid you." He hands the flower to Lucent. "Take this with you, back to where you return, and it will bring you the assistance you require."

`Lucent takes the flower with the utmost care in his hands. See, Spring, I also have tiny magical gardenthings! is, regrettably, the first thing to cross his mind. He bows. "Thank you, Great Emerald Dragon."

SextesJylis bows respectfully to Lucent again. "May the branches bend to shade your path," he says.

`Lucent "May the sun ever shine upon your leaves."


< That Fight Is Still In You | Sol Invictus Logs | Don't Forget Your Annual Checkup >

Page last modified on October 29, 2010, at 01:28 PM