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The Lights

by Narratorway

Terra and Gau: The Learning Lights
Further Series

Cyan: The Tortured Light


Dedicated to my beloved wife and son, whose life gave me strength and whose death gave me resolve...

Dearest Reader:
To who may ever chance upon my parchment after I hath passed, know that these pages are not of the nature of reference to my people, who even now fade to the four winds. Indeed, therein lies no history, study or genealogy of my race. However, as I am forced to surmise that this shall be the last and only evidence of the Domans to survive the Beast of Time, I feel it is my duty to explain to thee why thy may never know the ways of my people.
Even as I pen this, I sit on the steps of my home, the remnants of the once great kingdom of Doma. I did not journey back to my ruins immediately after the Ragnarok Quest, in which I played a small part and will no doubt be passed on through the ages in other records. No, the burden of duty was lain on me to search all the lands for the remains of my people and so try to resurrect our nation. Long had I searched and far were my travels, but I found none of my people save a handful. Those few I met were unwilling to return to their homeland. I must now confess that my actions towards these feelings were not to the rules of a Knight of Doma. When I was told that the death of our king was the death of Doma, and found I could not find fault in such reasoning, I knew that my search had been in vain. Doma was dead and I was all that remained. Do not misunderstand me reader for I do not withhold my culture out of malice, but out of reverence. For the Domans were proud and great and not without just reason. We guarded our secrets carefully and were suspicious of those who would study our ways, whether for good or evil I know not, nor is it my place to judge. Long was the debate in my heart. Should my people leave evidence of their existence, to be studied and guessed at? Or should our culture pass through time unknown and unsung, as this new age begins. It was a hard decision, to be wholly burdened on me. My heart was uncertain and time would not stop for me, and so a compromise was made.
I shall take all the written pages that now exist to my knowledge of my people and seal them in a room. And if they are found, then they were meant to be found. This document shall not be sealed, but shall be left beside me when my time hath ended in this world. While this parchment shall not intentionally contain any information of my culture and people, it will contain knowledge far more precious and valuable. It will contain the spirit of a Doman, for in these pages I will put to word all of my thoughts and feelings to the end of my days. This is my journal.

I hath spent many a day now in sloth and I am frustrated. Long before was my conviction, indeed before my final arrival home, to restore the House of Doma to the former glory of my memory. Alas that in my haste I doth never brought to complete fruition the way in which to begin my great task. It is the passing of the second Dark Light1 and the Season of Sleep2 will soon begin and so far my progress hath not surpassed basic upkeep and cleaning. Still, as I do these duties familiar and unfamiliar3 , I marvel at the preservation of my home. Aside from the dust and the degradation of the outer wall the castle is as ever it was. But as I ponder this 'marvel' in my mind, I realize it cannot be any other way, for the foundations of Doma are deep, deep enough to withstanding the Beast as well as the change of the least in structure. Alas for my people.

The days are becoming harder for now it is plain that the new season is upon me. But I am not without defense for the hard walls, however battered they may be, still prove a worthy shield against bitter winds in the courtyard, while the inner court and rooms are well insulated and heated. Still I am worried. Long ago had I opened the food stores hidden deep in the bowels of the castle and have since lived almost entirely off of the contents therein. But the stores were meant to be used only for sieges and periods of famine and so only dried fruits, seeds, and other assorted unspoilable foods are stored. I hath surmised that there is indeed enough food, if I ration carefully, to last me to the end of my body, yet it will weaken me to the point where hope of finishing my task will be in vain. I must find another food source, and I can only think of the Veldt as the answer. But reaching it has become even more difficult than it once was, as well as more perilous.
This worry, while heavy, is counterbalanced by my happiness of recent events. I have cleared all of the remaining rubble, save the largest of the boulders. This first step was, at first, tedious and slow, for I used my bare hands to move each rock and pebble to the front gates of the castle. Eventually I discovered that I could use a bedspread to transport large piles of rocks, and felt admittedly foolish for not realizing such and obvious solution before. In spite of this achievement, the problem of repair still eludes me, for I know not the ways of masonry, nor do I have the tools necessary. Only now do I begin to realize how alone I am in this world.

It is now many days into the season and the cold has become more bitter and heavier than hath ever been recorded in our histories. On the morn, I doth ventured out into the courtyard and so beheld the sky. It was clear and bright blue yet the sun was trying to hide. The shadows were spreading thin and it puzzled me. I ventured onto the roofs of the castle and all was answered at once. There I beheld a vast cloud dark and immense. A wall it was, it's length going beyond the horizon and its height touched the very waters of heaven1 and so hid the sun completely. So large was it that its bottom seemeth to float but a few feet from the sea. There I sat in awe for a time unknown. Softly but distinctly could I hear the sounds of the battle within, of the boom of its cannons and the flash of it's steel. The Bitter Messengers2 screamed and wakened me out of my stupor, warning me I had little time to prepare for the storm. As I pen this entry, the battle has only just arrived and I fear it may be a long one. But I shalt not be daunted and will take this turn of events as a time to meditate and search for the solutions to my problems. I fear also that I hath been given into to sloth again and all but abandoned my battle practice. Perhaps I am being punished for my idleness.

My body's clock tells me that four days hath passed and yet the battle still rages, with nary the slightest signs of surrender. I however, am not daunted. Indeed, the storm hath focused me so that I hath found a solution to the problems that had found a home in my mind. Upon the end of the storm, I will ride out and seek the Man of the Veldt. Long it seems has he survived but not without a price. But even if a spirit has taken him, his body is still sustained. Knowing him to be too old to hunt, I can only deduce that he findeth sustanance through other means. Yet there is nothing here groweth that he shall consume, so I will go to him and solve, perhaps, the mystery of his survival.

It has been perhaps three days since last I penned an entry. The storm hath waned after I closed and put away my book and it seemeth for a while that the battle hath been won. But it was not to be, for at my highest hope it began to build to anger once again, slowly it doth seemed so that hope of victory would diminish with equal sloth. So have I been forced to deal with time confined in this house I knew not that I hath possessed. In my idleness, I hath begun to give into the ways of the literary arts and hath versed a poem or two. Indeed, I have rediscovered the fascination with the tales of my youth, which have found new meaning in my twilight years. Yet despite all my distractions, the cold has become almost unbearable though not only to my body. It has declared war on the House of Doma for it now it lays siege to the castle itself. Ever and anon, I will find a door I doth only just latched shut becomes opened again. It has also reeked havoc in the very stones as it seems to produce strange sounds from the walls that I can only attribute to the cold hurting the stones in ways I do not understand. As I claimed before, I know not the ways of masonry. Also, I fear I may run out of fuel for the furnace, indeed I am considering shutting it off to all but the basement that houses it and taking refuge in there until the battle has finally been won. Yet I must confess, with great difficulty, that I am not sure how to accomplish this task. It is an old thing, older than I in fact, yet it is still something foreign to me in its inner workings. I must try and attempt again a quest for knowledge that had preoccupied me as I waited for what would become my last great adventure. But first I must search for its whereabouts.

Our sight infinite
Our roots deep
We shall not waver
Till the world sleeps
Thy help not needed
Whatever it be
Thy ways not heeded
For we live free
Doman the powerful
The life he decrees
Doth giveth and taketh
Thou shalt not secede

Never hath tales of old recorded a storm such as this. Only now, a fortnight past it's arrival, doth it begin to calm. The nights now hath been terribly bitter and I fear mine isolation or some devilry of the cold hath given me visions and unpleasant dreams which I cannot remember upon waking. Imagined or not, I hath felt a growing sense. Of what, I cannot discern. As I pass through the Halls of Doma, I hear and feel it as I did of old. The creaks of the beams, my feet upon the stone, the signs of age and time, the intricacies of the tapestries, all I am now aware of as I was when Doma was a mighty kingdom. But no longer doth I feel a familiarity. Though I feel foolish writing this, I perceive other things that are not a part of my memory of this house. Mayhap sounds of the cold, but now I am not as sure as I once was.
Ha! I write nonsense in this cold. I am Doman and I fear no spirits! And no evil force could ever be allowed in these hallowed halls...again. Tis but the cold of the storm of course, that frays even my hard nerves.
I hath almost forgotten, a sad sign of my waning years perhaps. Lo, I hath retrieved one of my parcels from my travels. As I hath cleaned and 'tidied' the halls, I came upon many clocks and other assorted machinations that hath fallen out of service. Gifts they were of old from the kingdom of Figaro. One indeed was made of gold and would issue forth ringing the likes of our great alarm bells in cymbals no larger than my fist. Aptly called an 'alarm clock' twas rumored to hath been wrought by King Figaro himself, whose skill in such matters were legendary, even more so than his grandson, the present king. They hath fallen out of repair and I would feel better to hear they're ticking. So have I searched for that which was lost: my book of machines. The book, that I am loath to admit, I threw away in my frustration and impatience. If only I could attain those attributes of patience associated with men of my years. I would no doubt fare better against the length of this storm as well. I will be much happier when it passes. I wonder if ever it will pass.

My diligence hath rewarded me. The battle is over, the storm hath passed.. The cold has been lightened, but not lifted. I tried to open the doors to the inner courts and lo, I found them frozen shut. How long I shall have to wait fore it doth thaw, I do not know. But it matters not, for I was able to exit from the second floor to the upper tiers and survey the damage. Unfortunately I could not tell, for the entire inner court was clothed in snow. Against the walls and castle it reached over the second floor windows and almost over the battlement. I could easily step over the precipice and slide down into the inner court, if I was not so heavy as to sink immediately into the snow. I cannot help but be overwhelmed, for never in our history has Doma ever felt the true 'winters' like those in the north. I feel a youthful feeling of adventure as I see such splendor, yet now that I am free I must not linger. The storm has delayed my journey to the veldt and it is more important than ever that I find and alternate food source to the food stores of the castle. Now I begin to feel the weakness and the hunger for meat. If the front gates also be frozen or barred with a hill of snow, I shall have to drop from the wall itself and hope it will thaw at my return. Despite my love for my home, I must concede that I am eager to leave it. Something that I cannot explain doth fill my heart with unease that I can no longer ignore. I must hope that it is merely the isolation and cold that weathered my body and mind. Indeed I am surprised and grateful that I had not contracted the viruses of the cold or my life would no doubt be in very dire danger.

A long debate I took in my mind before setting out, to decide whether to take this journal with me on my journey to the veldt. In the end the conscience had to decide between to questions, was this to be a personal recording of my aging years or of the final days of the last knight of Doma. My heart told me to leave nothing out, so I have taken my journal with me. I have also taken my book on machinery as a way to pass the nights and I must confess, help me to sleep. Today I am now in the currents of the straights of Doma on a raft heading in a north easterly direction. My hope is that I reach the continent north of me within the next day. From there I will journey to the east and then turn south at the forest of dragons. From there I will island hop to the veldt. There is a good chance I might happen upon young master Gau. It would be nice to see a familiar face.

It has been almost two months since last I wrote in this journal, but there is little to be said. The fishing is poor and very rarely do I hook a fish that doth not smell of slime and filth. Still, I must eat and I must continue to try. I pass the days reading the books and taking down notes on the back of the journal. This passes the time with remarkable quickness and I feel the days grow shorter and a bit of my curious youth return at learning new things.

It has been yet another month since last I wrote. I reached the door of the man of the Veldt's house early in the afternoon and found him dead on his bed. I don't know how long it was between his death and my arrival, but it could not have been very long. He looked asleep but did not breath, nor smell of death. I did not no his people nor their customs for burial, and I was unsure what to do. I could not but bury him with a few of his possessions and an unmarked gravestone over his mound. I've spent the rest of the day cleaning the house and preparing it. I will stay here a few days and do the repairs. The irony of my situation does not evade my wits. Many of the problems of which he hast been so vocal of hath been proven to be of no consequence or incorrect to begin with. Still, truth is on his side in the broadest sense as the house truly is in need of repair. The books I brought with me will no doubt will aid me well in this task. I do not know why I stay to carry out this deed, it is not a Doman tradition. Yet I cannot simply leave this place. Not yet. It is hard to put to word what my heart is feeling, but there is a purpose here that I feel. I was meant to find this man. He could have not died more than a day before my arrival. Such coincidence is not without meaning. Only after I discover that meaning will I be able to continue.

The repairs are coming along smoothly and I feel good. My hours spent studying the text of my books has prepared me well for my endeavor. As I cleaned the interior, I discovered, to my great delight, a box of tools. They are old and slightly rusted, yet tools nonetheless. As I hath not the true experience of a craftsmen, this mattered little. Straight away I began in the interior using the large cache of wood stored in the back of the premises. It has been hard work, but I hope to finish before the setting of the next sun. The roof, I surmise by the wind's howl inside, is also in need of repair. The skies are clear, but they will not be clear forever, and I remember my storm swept home is not so far away. But I must first build a ladder, if I am to attempt this task. I feel suddenly an eagerness to rush home and work on the castle using my newfound skills and experience. It is childishness, true, but I cannot let the feeling go. Despite myself, I feel drawn to the youthfulness of it. I am old, there is no denying this truth, and time passes so quickly as patience becomes embedded in the soul. I like it and I shall say no more.

The roof has shown itself to be a most difficult obstacle to overcome. My age shows for my sense of balance is not what it was in my youth. I try to force my body to remember it's disciplines, but alas, it is to no avail. I am loath to remember my age, but there is naught that I can do. It is a frustrating and even fearful truth.
And yet, working on the roof of this house has become the most rewarding. I work on it, I rebuild it and I can see what I hath accomplished. I see the fruits of my labors and I know that I am still capable of creating. It is very rewarding for me. But there is also the world around me.
Each day I perch on the rooftop and gaze out into the fields as the evening closes in. Silver clouds with golden linings fill a sky that during the day is an ugly and oppressive orange, but is now a brilliant mix of red, pink and yellow. I see the sun's rays spear through the clouds in brilliant shafts like light through a church window, and I gaze into the vastness of the Veldt. There is such an overwhelming feeling of the immensity of the world and it's beauty when I sit during those evening sunsets. The desolation does not matter, the world will live on.
On one of those nights I thought back to The Ragnarok Quest and what the demon had wanted to accomplish. Simply to destroy this world and everything in it. I remember laughing on the roof at his ignorance. He was a woodpecker who thought his might was enough to cut down an old oak. I felt a strange youthful sense of pride, as if I had discovered a great secret that even the goddesses, for all their power, could not comprehend. The roof is done and the house rebuilt to the best of my abilities. On the morrow I depart for the Veldt.
The winds have increased and the air is filled with the smell of rain. I feel that the fates believe my journey hath been too easy, for I find myself in the path of a storm whilst traversing vast grass fields who offer no shelter beyond an occasional burnt tree or slab of rock. I can only hope that I reach the southern shores before the storm hits.
Perhaps a fortnight hath passed, I must confess at my confusion, out in these barren plains time begins to have little meaning. The scenery hath changed little since departing the house on the veldt and it's vastness that I admired so, gazing from the rooftop, now makes me uneasy. A day's journey has no meaning since no change in my environs can be detected. I travel through these grass fields that do not seem to have an end. When the winds blow, they whisper to me and laugh at me. They laugh at my futile attempts to conquer them, to go beyond their borders. Perhaps they lead me in circles, if that were so, I would not know. I can only trust the rise and fall of the sun to direct my journey. I will beat this world, no matter how immense, for I know it has an end. That knowledge is enough.

I reached the shores today and lo, another storm I fear is upon me. I discovered a cave and am now weathering the battle as I work on my raft that will take me across the final channel to the Veldt. I miss home now for the first time since leaving. No, I miss my family. Elaine, I feel so alone I-

I'm at sea now for I'm not sure how long. Fishing hath become more fruitful, yet still do I feel hunger's grip. I catch less fish yet more often is that fish I do catch which is healthy and unspoiled. The seas wind has more energy and I feel life from the sea more than I did in journeys past in these polluted waters. I feel better at sea than I did in the sky. Perhaps I'm too much of the age of water and earth than the new age of the sky. There is little difference, I was surprised to realize, in the movements of an airship's deck to that of a sea-faring vessel. But the knowledge that no firmament supports such a vessel gnaws at the mind and body. It creates a sky-sickness in the same way that one who believes the ground below him should not move of itself will lean over a fishing trawl. Such acts are a sign of weakness I feel, but they are weaknesses not of the body, but of the mind. A man who cannot accept the truth will try to deny it and expunge it from his body.

The Veldt, I hath reached my destination after perhaps a two month journey and now that I am here, a remarkable discovery have I made. This place is has become like a paradise. The fields of green grass as high as a man stretch on forever, much like the fields of the continent of the north, but they do not whisper in malice, but laugh with life. The sky shows blue as it did in days past, a phenomena that I hath pondered more than once, but now it shines blue over an abundant and full ecosystem. There is hardly any traces of ash or planetary excesses.
The animals are another mystery. For many nights have I hunted and yet have I to meet with a true challenge, an animal the likes of which would put an entire hunting party 'on the ropes' I believe is how a friend of mine would word it. The more extraordinary creatures are gone and now there are only simple beasts and birds. I do not mind truly the change, but it is still different. It is not like before the fall of the tower, but neither is it like the world I once knew. It is difficult to explain, but I doth surmise that however man wished to deny and reject it, magic was still a part of our world. The beasts and birds of nature did not make such pacts of magical celibacy after the War of the Magi. So magic flourished in nature, especially the southern continent if I remember. Such a thing is likely, for the entrance to the realm of the magical beasts of old were located there. So magic, however weak, still flourished in our world of 'technology'. Then the Ragnarok swept the world, and in its wake, beasts instilled in the ancient arts emerged. Nature, who before had but only a small magical influence, was now being given over wholly to magic. I tried to go home in that time once and found magic had invaded my one last sanctuary. Though I had the abilities, I did not use magic thereafter. Now, the world must live on without magic and here on the Veldt do I view the future of this globe. I do not understand how this place revived in so short a time, but in truth it matters not. I leave for home on the morrow and I feel doubtful that I shall write any more till I return home.

May the circle, be unbroken
By and by, Lord, by and by

I'm home. Not until my foot doth pressed on the first stone step was my longing for home felt fully in my heart. There was a beating in there that I hath not felt since before Ragnarok. Something changed, though I know not what. It matters not, for now I hath the knowledge and tools to bring forth the life and pride of the castle as it once was. Also, I bring back enough venison to last me at least two years if I conserve. I will not have a childish imagination distract an old man's duty. I will begin work immediately on what I can. The books I took with me on my journey brought out a thirst for reading I was not aware I had and they did little to quench this new found appetite. Even now, I am in the castle library. Such a title is laughable, as it consists of barely more than two shelves worth of books and notes. Most are recorded history or folk stories. But what little educational books I can find, I will now begin on in hopes that their knowledge will aid me in my efforts.

It has been time uncounted since I last scripted in these pages. Three full seasons hath passed and now the signs of the world awakening to another year. Two years. What hath happened in such a time? I confess that not till I picked up this very book did I come to fully understand the length of such a cycle. Yet strangely, it also now seems to be a false memory and it has been only a short while since last I penned my other entries. I never felt it as keenly as I do now, but this feeling is familiar to me. Strange indeed.
To the repairs of the castle I have accomplished more in these two years than I expected to achieve in all the rest of my life. The entire outer wall has been cleaned and almost half has been repaired. But the progress, while quick, hath been a trial. And I am now worried, for I must accept the final truth that I have not enough stone to complete the task at hand, not denying the inner walls and court. For new reason am I glad no enemy breached the inner sanctum of the castle, for I would be at a loss as how to repair any such damage. But lo! I do not have what I need and I am frustrated. Still I have stone now and that is enough company for this old rock to endure.
It seems I have found my new destiny to match this new world. I shall never truly understand the few machinations that inhabit the castle, but I count that a blessing. However, the art of masonry it seems, is a skill that gifted to me while I lived in ignorance of it. Quickly and easily was I able to grasp it's concepts and procedures. Clean and beautiful have the works that I hath wrought been, if am to judge by the works or old. But they are worn with time and have something my stone work lacks: history. Through damaged eyes, the statues of old have seen history beyond the scrolls in the library. They've seen the grand wars and the simple meetings between the peoples that passed by them. My creations will never see with those eyes.
I write this as the last rays of the sun set, sitting on the edge of the castle's precipice, and realize that even in this failing light, I am hesitant to go inside. As the days wear on and the season's change, an slow and creeping uneasiness has come over me. I walk the halls and feel the memories of my people. I can see in my mind what once was and it has become difficult in my wandering years to stand firm and deny what I shall never have again. But there are no battles of will when I look out beyond the castle walls to the country once called Doma. There I see nature as is was before man set foot and claimed it. Before me, each day, I see the birth of a new world, different from mine. Perhaps I am unique, for as time passes, I am glad for this new world and regret less the catastrophe that brought it. But the evening has come and so I must go inside. I have forgotten to light the hallway and it is darker inside than it is outside.

Progress has slowed these past few months and I know why. I grow old. Time. As I ponder it, I am amazed at the simpleness of it, yet it's power is beyond gods. It not only kills man, but makes it so that it was as if he never was, turning him to the dust that created all, but even time created the dust when it destroyed the mountain. I was known in times long gone as the stone, for though I would age as all men do, I would not lose my strength and my lines were hard. However I am not stone, I am flesh, and flesh whither quicker than stone ever will. I should greet the passing of time as my friend now, as is the custom of the old, but I still fear it. My body has been breached so that my strength is now under assault, but my spirit remains vigilant. I have a task that must be done 'ere the end.

My heart is troubled and today has not been a happy or fruitful day. I did little work and wandered the halls aimlessly feeling alone. I loath the feeling.

Why have I begun to feel this way? This is my home, it is my only home. Should I not be at peace here? Should this not be my only refuge? Why do I walk the halls and feel like a stranger? I should not feel this way. It is not right. It is not fair. This is my home, I know it. Why does my heart deny this? I feel now more alone than ever in my soul, yet I do not feel that I am alone here anymore. It is hard to explain, but there are winds I feel when walking the halls that have no earthly origins. They pass through me and I feel no chill except in my heart. Then I feel as one being driven to madness. This cannot be.
Tis but old age. I write too much and it is but childish fears. Such childish fears. They make me feel young again. I will begin work two-fold tomorrow to make up for my growing sloth lately.

I hear them now, wandering the halls. I doubt no more the strange feeling in the castle. The lost souls of my people are returning. The train is gone, destroyed in the Ragnarok and perhaps even the passage to Valhalla itself and where else can spirit of a Doma go. For the first time in a long time, I realize I am no longer alone and I feel a pain as I realize how alone I was. Yet I am still flesh and breath true air and I feel that I am not wanted. They are of the spirit world, doomed perhaps forever to be trapped in the world of flesh and blood. I understand if they are envious and hate me. I will continue building this castle for them, may they have a tomb that will echo the power of the spirits that dwell here. We are Domans.

After many long trials, the outer wall is completed. But alas, there is no longer enough stone to even begin repair of the outer courts or even the minor repairs to the towers. Also, food has again dwindled and I will have to make another journey to the Veldt.
I see the phantoms now, they walk as solid as the rock I carve, but in form only. Their eyes are distant and sad and have the look of the dead. They do not travel through walls or wail with chains wrapped round them, or any of the other maiden's tales that I have heard. Indeed, they make no sound or gestures of any kind. They merely wander the halls and ignore me and each other. Often I will find them with their hands gliding across the walls, or the draperies, or the furniture, feeling the bricks, the wood and the cloth. It is the only time I see their faces change and it pains me to see it. Will I wander as well?

I've cleaned the outer courts and discarded all the debris that resulted from my labors. I now stay outside all during the day, before the rising of the sun and after it sets. No longer can I withstand the souls that wander the halls of the castle and I can no longer sleep in the inn for now I see them everywhere. They are now impossible to avoid and even can be seen at times walking about the out courts. I feel no peace when they are near and I cannot sleep. I have explored all rooms and passages for a place of solitude, save one. How long has it been since last I entered that room? It seems an age ago. Indeed, it was in a different age. A better age. Forgive me, but I shall never enter there again.

The food is almost gone, I may go to the Veldt soon perhaps. I would like to see the fields again. Yes, I think I shall go. I will leave this journal here, for there will be little to tell I believe.

I return, reborn perhaps. Such strength is in me that I have not felt since before I first arrived home. The world has recovered as if the end of the age had never been. The fields are flowing with the colors of life, the grass is tall and moves like a great sea in the fresh winds. Strange beasts and birds inhabit the earth and sky, and fish that I have never set sight to before now swim in the sea. The sky is so blue, I felt I had entered into paradise. The castle is always surrounded by cloud it seems. But out in the wild, I strength and spirit returned to me so that it was as if I was young again. Game was plentiful and I have returned with enough food to last me years on end. Indeed I feel as if nothing can take my strength again. The spirits that abode here may do as they will and I will sleep comfortably. I now know not what made me feel so distant from them. Are they not Domans, my kin, I have even recognized some. Search if they must, I cannot help them and they cannot help me and so our paths shall be separate but with no boundaries between us. But more important than all of the , I met other men. Farms have emerged on the veldt, and even a small outpost that may well become a village. Can it have been that long. They say that over five years hath passed since the new world was made, but I recall in my memory still only about three years. What can this mean?

I walk the halls now in idleness. The strength I wrote about now a memory that I can only know in script. I do have other memories now that haunt me. I remember when I would write everyday in this book, I remember when I would not and when I forgot about these passages completely. I remember when I first realized that I was the last knight. I remember that my friends now seem to be as of a dream, that they were indeed real, but in another place and time that I can't return to. I remember the feeling of the fields far from my land. I remember their whispering speech and soft dance. I remember the first stone I placed in the outer wall, yet I don't remember the last. I don't remember when the spirits first arrived. I don't remember when I first arrived home. I don't remember the last time I saw a smile on my little bo-

How long has it been since last I picked up this wretched book? If find you everywhere I go, though I never remember how you come to be there. I ignore you and move on and still I find you somewhere else, with your leaves open and blank. I loath you. One day, I must start a fire to burn you.

They're not here. Spirits are everywhere in the castle and I recognize so many, yet they are not here. This house is filled with every damn Doman that ever crawled the earth, where are they? Why can I not see them? I remember them after they were taken from me, but I only remember a feeling, a horrible feeling of loss. But there are spirits here. They've returned, so where are they? They must be here. I've looked every But I haven't. I'm scared. I want them to be there, but if they are not...then I'll know. I don't want to know. I don't want to go in there.

I think the spirits are watching me. All this time they only pretended to ignore me, but know I now the truth. If I turn around quickly enough, sometimes I can catch a glimpse of an eye that has turned away too late. They are envious, as I always suspected. I can no longer trust to sleep in the castle, where they can enter any hall or closet at whim. I have set up a tent in the outer courts, close to the door. They do not come outside during the day, so I now sleep with the sun and rise with its fall. They forget that they are merely guests in my house. I will remind them. Long ago I closed the draperies in rooms and then the ghosts would appear. Soon enough I was aware that they could travel in day, just not daylight. They will be reminded who is master here.

Long have my plans been shaping. In order to effect all those that wande, in rooms that can touch the sunlight, I must connect all the ropes for the draperies and connect them so that they shall all open at the same time. It shall be hard work and it will be impossible to set up without a normal person noticing it. I am hoping that their inattentiveness to mortal goings in not wholly a ruse. In any case, there is nothing else for it, but to proceed and hope for the best. I begin tomorrow.

All is ready, as soon as the sun rises I will make them realize why they envy me.

A lot has happened. Words are beyond what happened to me. Beyond the greatest poet that ever put beauty to page and song. It was a song, so beautiful that-no. Perhaps it should not be said, lest the magic become lost in an empty meaning.
Why I fell into madness I'll never know. I'll never want to know. I entered into main hall intent on doing a terrible deed and next to the rope that would cause destruction amidst the entire house I saw him. He was beautiful, he hadn't aged a day. He pleaded with me to not harm them and then left me. I fell to my knees and wept. My agony was worst than the day they left, departing for bliss and leaving me to wait. I couldn't bear the pain anymore. When I looked up, I saw all the spirits gathered around me. They were looking at me for the first time, but they said nothing. They were in a circle all around me. I stood up and they parted and made a path for me. I saw where it lead and then one of them spoke to me. It was a little girl and she assured me that nobody had entered the room. Fear? Joy? Anxiousness? A feeling I cannot wholly describe or indeed understand washed over me and by themselves it seems, my legs moved me forward.
I write this last passage down in my home. My true home full of the ghosts that haunted me before I even before the world was reborn. It looks the same as always it did, no dust can be seen though it has not been entered in since that terrible day. I sit at the table where my wife held our child when he was but one and he glowed like an angel in the rays of the morning sun. He had energy and spirit to match any warrior. I was so proud of him. I am so proud of him.
I feel very tired and my chest is in pain, but I do not mind. I think I'm going to sleep very soon. I hear a beautiful voice singing a song. I think it's my beloved. She would always sing in the morning. It was supposed to get me out of bed or so she would tell me and then laugh. She was so beautiful. There is music all around me and I feel very peaceful.
My arm is shaking and I cannot write for much longer. This fate I did not expect in a thousand dreams.
The music is so beautiful. If only you could hear it. Fare thee well.

Who will remember this light when all others go out? Perhaps it will be forgotten in those that know it, but at the same time it has gained immortality. Which is more precious?


Caves of Narshe: Final Fantasy VI
Version 6
©1997–2019 Josh Alvies (Rangers51)

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