A Collection of Letters
By: Machiavelli Posted on: June 29, 2007
How bright the sun is and clear the air is! I only wish I had the cool stone of Home about me. I am excited beyond expression to go about the lands and learn what I can to help Us in Our struggles at Home. Currently I am passing through a forest, on my way towards the arboreal city of Eleusis. The trees all sway and bend and rustle with the breeze; so much more soothing than the eerie howls of the corridors we live in. Animals leap from limb to limb--it's truly a sight that words cannot describe, though ink and parchment are my only tools (and as you know, I am no artist!). Colour lays everywhere in great number and force, and I feel the different textures of the bark of the trees, their leaves, the wind on my face, and the heat of the sun. Such an overwhelming fit of sensations it is that it can hardly be conceived without experience ... an epiphany. I wish I could share it with you and everyone else at Home.
The people, too, are different. They are lively and genial, mostly, but their sense of purpose is waning--the sense of urgency is almost foreign, and it instills in me a great sense of pride (perhaps even pitying them) to know that We have been so well raised in Our echoing halls. It is difficult to comprehend a world that works when besotted men sit forlornly and uselessly at the bottom of their tankards. It almost says to me that the happiness of this world comes from idle minds and temporal purposes; like the toys and games of children. Though, too, the happiness of this world also comes from the same swords and arrows We fight with--all around in the city today (as we walked on boardwalks through the trees--remarkable!) there were archers and large ... tree-ish things whose purpose was clear, though they stood so still they melted into inanimacy with the surroundings. Hopefully, through Our own vigilance, We might come to enjoy the finer points of life, as they have here in Eleusis.
I fear that there is little to tell beyond my vague references to the wonders of the world, but do not fear, I shall write often! I miss our family, and despite the awe with which I face each day, I miss Our Home.
My Beloved Sister Leace,
It seems as if only yesterday I heard the sound of your footfalls in the stonework. Back Home, We praise you for daring the turmoil of the lands above to help Us survive. I beg only of you that you come back safely, with the bounty you sought from above to instill a new energy and sophistication to Our civilization below. I pray that you return safely, and do not abandon Us as some of Our brethren have, to remain above in the world away from our beloved Moghedu. Perhaps one day you will stand among the carved figures in Our great halls.
At Home, We are still beset by the evils of the world you ventured into. The women still raise strong children, but those children have years before We may stand them abreast to defend Us in the corridors. The Great Mhunna is steadfast in his perseverance, and as you said, I hold that through Our endeavors We will someday free Ourselves from the atrocities of others.
I long for your return and your sisterly love; the world down here is so much brighter and sounds so much sweeter when you are around. Please continue to send me news! I eagerly await your word.
Your Beloved Brother,
It pains me to see our brethren, once steadfast in dedication to Our prominence now scattered like chips of stone about the floor of a quarry, unfocused in their endeavors and even bearing arms against one another--as much as we imagine or wish it were not the way of the world, our own race slaughters Our brothers and sisters. Such an absence of kindred spirits, even in cities and the Houses within them. All is turmoil, it seems sometimes.
As ill as thinking on this made me, my short stay in Shallam to meet with some of the retired builders who built the Jaru gates gave me hope. So many of Our Brother and Sister Mhun devote themselves to protecting what is good and right, and although it is not for Our own Moghedu, it heartens me to see people defending their righteous beliefs, instead of afflicting the world with their anger. Some malevolent party, presumably the pox of Mhaldorians, had brought their forces to slay their enemies (though I doubt they have enemies, only nameless, faceless targets without reason), and the citizens responded with the furor and valor of Our Mogheduan guards. I witnessed a soldier fall to the blade of the Evil assailant, and his compatriots rend the aggressor with their steel. What remains with me is not the battle, but what followed as the soldier slowly lost his purchase in the mortal world. Dismissing banally the apologies for his injury (grave and fatal), his final words were strong, if quiet: "You did what I could not, and for that, I am avenged." How like Our own plight, and how like the words of our Brothers.
I was asked about my home today by one of the engineers of the gate. I told him of the Great Mhunna, his steadfast and inimitable devotion to Moghedu, and how we all try our hardest to follow in his path. He chuckled at me, and I grew angry at his condescension; he called me "naive to commit so blindly to such a narrow ideal, and to follow like a lemming in the path of any leader, no mater how great he is." The audacity and abrasiveness of that man was almost enough for me to slap him in the face. Seeing the immaturity of that comment (and really, how can you refute an immaturity?), I just let it at what it was, perhaps against my better judgment. One can hardly blame for ignorance of Our ways, but never were insults a way to worthwhile conversation.
But, the music, the food, the drink up here makes me feel as if I have been living under a rock my entire life (pardon the expression, Brother)! Fine meats and liquors make my senses feel alive, from when I can smell them in the kitchen to taste them in my mouth. By my nature, I build, but perhaps I can bring to Our Home some finer cooking! Our Kin may end up less lithe and slender by my hand!
With love, and a swift reply,
My Beloved Leace,
I find it difficult to allow myself to believe other Mhun would harm us, though I know it to be true. It does not surprise me that someone would become twisted by the world above; please keep yourself safe from outside influences, and steadfast in your dedication to myself, our family, and our Home. I should never imagine raising hand against Us, but I should be beset by grief if you were to part hands with Us.
Our family had a gathering for a great feast, as we do every year, this last week. The room seemed dank and dreary without your lovely face, and the chatter idler and less lively, like the echoes that passed through the halls as we ate. Even the food tasted bland and textureless, especially compared to your vivid accounts of the world above. Still, the genial nature was present, though sadly it seemed foreign and almost unwelcome in the hard times we live in. I hope that you find a way to bring the mirth you've found back with you.
Please be careful, dearly beloved sister that the wonders of the world do not turn to vices. I fear the iniquities of those who have not been raised with the virtues Our people are given, and that other men with malintent may try to wile you with the new sensations of the world you have just discovered. Indeed, I worry about you every day, and you are always on my mind. Never stray from the straight and narrow path you walk.
Your Beloved, Loving Brother,
I'm afraid my time is short here, as I have a great banquet to attend tonight. I'm so excited! As it's a formal dinner, I went to the local tailor's store and ... nothing opulent, I promise, Turcas! For all the compliments I receive from you, it's nice to -feel- beautiful for once. I wish you were here to share this with me! I need to leave now--dinner begins shortly! I'll finish writing after the party. My thoughts are with you.
Turcas I wanted you to know I had a great time. there was all sorts of food and stuff to eat and lots of fun!! eevery one complimented me on my dress, and I was shocking to find out it was made by this woman who was mhaldorian she is a very good seamstriss. I am soo sorry that it took so long to finishthis--I will dipsach it immeditly!
My Lovely Leace,
I am distraught that you let the "fun" of the party take precedence, wallowing in "freedom" as if it were a sty of mud, like the murdering Ashtani who slay Our Kin at will in the name of this bastardized "freedom." This, and the support of the citizens of Mhaldor, from -my- sister? The quality of the tailoring is seriously depreciated by the fact that it supports the murder of Our Kin.
I warn you again, now that you can see how the vices of the world above come into play. There is Righteousness in simplicity, and your pursuit of the extravagance of the world beyond what you know is coming to bear the sour fruit of folly from hope. We are beset by iniquities on all sides--we all have fallen from grace, but to continue to do so is the incarnation of Sin. I urge you to return to me, and Our Home, where you are surrounded by love and the protectors of your kind. Pursuit's satisfaction lies in simplicity.
I love you, and it breaks my heart to hear of your pleasantries and strange pleasures while the Mhun still suffer within the walls you once called Home. YOUR family still suffers, Leace. Please return--we miss you greatly, and my heart aches without you.
Your Beloved Guardian,
Your alarm is frustrating. Why should I decline the opportunities presented me? I want to -live- life, to experience it, not mechanically amble through tunnels under the words of a single man. A single man caught up in perseverance as his battle plan, rather than understanding that -things must change- in order for things to change. Doesn't it sound reasonable when you say it?
I must confess I have grown fond of the man who I chastised earlier for chastising my views (how ironic). Once I had boiled down (thankfully, instead of over), I had a serious conversation over some drinks--mind you, boiling down took several weeks. I don't remember all of that night, but only that he was ever full of compliments, and keen observations of my iron grip on a changeless way of life. He said with a smile as he poured me a drink that I need to start worrying about myself (the beautiful woman I am, he said) and making life what I wanted it to be. I'm doing that now, Turcas. I'm making my life what I want it to be--perhaps if we all did that, we would be happy! You beg me to bring mirth home to Moghedu, so we can all laugh together, but somehow I know you will refuse this!
So many things were so strange, but now that I have taken them in stride with my life, the fear I had of opening myself has subsided. I feared the liquor, any form of opulence, any substance I did not know, any man. I feared my own beauty, as it was said to me, as if my humility would somehow be injured if I let a man show me he thought I was attractive, if I felt attractive. Maltin, the man I spoke of earlier, has shown me this -is- true. I was ashamed of my will to understand and experience, ashamed of my body, but no more; he has shown me (quite literally and thoroughly) that these are nothing to be ashamed of. Why can't you see that I am becoming a real person, not some statue in a hall carved from someone else's design? Why do you want me to be that statue, Turcas? Don't you want me to be happy?
I bear you no malice, brother, but please understand not only who I was, but who I have become, and why.
My Sister, Whom I Love,
I see, now, that the "deflowering" of the upper world has crossed from metaphor into act. Ideals, Honour, Morality--they are not barriers to your freedom, but structures of who you are. You are becoming someone else, not the dedicated, focused woman I love. I had thought you would return to Us, but now that I see you slipping away from Us, I need you. I long for the touch and presence of my sister, and the works we might bring to Our Family. This man has, by himself, made you to shed the virtues that We hold so dear, and to prostrate yourself before him, vulnerable, now that he has stripped you naked of your inhibitions. The same inhibitions that We must hold as common decency and morality. Should the Great Mhunna grant me, I will find this man and slay him, that the theft of a Sister in any form may be realized as something of Evil.
Do you not remember the Mhun who ravage Our homes? Are you so rapt by this Maltin's brutish and animal embrace and the sweet scent of sweets and liquors that you forget your Cause? What of the devotion to your Kin--has that become eclipsed by your self-adulation?
You may send another letter, and it may reach me before I've tightened my boots to set out and rescue you, both from yourself and from the Chaotic and Evil world about you. I shall fight with the Righteous fire in my heart for you and for Our Home; though others have fallen from Us, I will never let the sister I love fall from me. I set off as soon as I may.
Your Knight and Guardian, Turcas
You speak of salvation and righteousness, yet you set out to murder for your own selfish ends. You are my BROTHER, not my husband, nor my vassal! I LOVE this man, and the brother you once were, but you too have changed. Only, you have changed to draw your sword against the innocent, where I have discovered how to fill the holes in my life! I beg of you, please have your head about you! With tears, I beg you not to kill in the name of me or Moghedu. Brother, let me live my life!
Your Loving Sister, in tears,