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By: Alexandrite Posted on: June 23, 2007

In fair Cyrene, mountainous city of the Arts: a forlorn poet sits at her writing desk. A large cup of black kawhe, mixed with powdered cohosh, serves as her only sustenance. For she dreams a waking dream, a dream granted only in darkest night when lyric sleep is broken.

Far, far away, within the gnarled Darkenwood, a young priest bolted upright, shocked from his bleary-eyed study of the Qadeshai by a piercing sound. He had presumed it a scream, but the sound could not be mistaken as product of any voice. It rang before his eyes but left his ears unaffected, trembled the earth but made no vibration. Abruptly the sound ceased, and the priest sank relieved to the ground whilst beseeching his Lord to grant him peace during sacred night.

In the treetops of Eleusis, nestled Ithmian village: an ivory dove awakes from Lady Valnurana's nightly blessing and enters the dream of day. The dove, obedient always to my Lord's lingering command, clasps a filmy scroll and shifts its wings to begin a long-ordained flight.

Far, far away, beneath the ancient redwoods, a cleric of the Sun woke at sunrise with a disquiet feeling. He chanted morning prayers to Lady Sol and went about his day in Her holy chapel, but the foreboding remained. As the light of day waned into twilight, the cleric perceived a high-pitched sound that seemed to grow exponentially in his mind's eye. His ears, accustomed to hearing even the imperceptible fluttering of a funereal duskywing butterfly, became practically deaf. The sound overwhelmed him, but just as it crested like a mighty wave, so it lapped over his head and left him merely shaken, unharmed.

In the treacherous Northern Vashnars, near the sky temple of another Lord: a runewarden's falcon no longer obeys. The falcon embraces Divine command and glides from twilight to deepening night. It is fated to oppose.

Far, far away, beyond the wreathed laurel pathway of the Aureliana, a mortal high priestess stood ensconced in thick mist. Acting upon a sudden intuition, she journeyed to an ancient cairn stone and placed an orange rose the color of changing sunset upon the altar of a shrine there. She knelt before the shrine in silence and prayer. At length an unearthly noise pierced the glade, but the priestess still prayed. In her mind she wove a barrier of sacred hazel branches, but the noise slipped past by a different entrance. Her willpower sapped away; finally she ceded the battle and sacrificed all her faith in her Mother. The strange disturbance left as quickly as it had come, left her shuddering with renewed belief.

In the clouded skies above el'Jazira, blessed home of kawhe: a dove and a falcon meet. Each yearns for dominion, and yet is driven to pursue survival above victory. With a last pirouette across daylight, the dove dives once more into night.

Far, far away, in the Garden of the Gods, a meeting amongst five particular Divine beings came to pass. The conference accomplished little, excepting a singular agreement. Someone very old was playing a dangerous game with Time. If only They had thought to question the Muse Calliope, who would have immediately recognized the signs. Alas, even the Gods made errors in that time which was, perhaps, any or every time.

In fair Cyrene, mountainous city of the Arts: an ivory dove brings glad tidings to Scarlatti's child. The poet smiles with quiet joy, a light smile brightening the gloomy night. She picks up her pen and begins with one word, a title: