Scroll of the Withered Tree
The Scroll of the Withered Tree was a crumbling text discovered by citizens of Cyrene far beneath the sewers of the Heart of the Vashnars in 656 AF. It contained thirteen cryptic statements penned over 450 years prior, ominous portents that some recognized as events that occurred in more recent centuries. Days later, hearts trembled as the final prophecies detailed upon the scroll began to transpire in a process which led to the dismantling of their Great Houses and initiation of the Cyrenian House Renaissance.
In the waking hours these thirteen declarations did come to me, though I know not whence. Powerful and vivid, they shouted ceaselessly within the confines of my humble head until I took quill to parchment. Only then, when made permanent upon the page, did they quit my mind. And here they follow, copied as I have done many times in the past years.
- 1. All the world gathers in memory of the Fallen Giant, and a man of ice takes in hand a Legend.
- 2. Amidst turmoil and strife blooms the flower of Peace. Fruit may it bear, but it shall ne'er feed the world, for the world hungers for War.
- 3. Two became One long ago; now come forth the Seven to gather the multitudes.
- 4. The Heartless Flock heralds a world divided; the Righteous shall at once triumph and fall.
- 5. Beware the day when Dawn's Champion leads the legacy of the Blade of Faith, for then shall Evil triumph.
- 6. A quest for the Nine of Nine brings together Gods and humanity. From the cave, a dragon spreads his wings and takes flight.
- 7. Beware the twisted words of the guardians, for the Sleeping Father cannot be woken by the pearl!
- 8. The Felines come with serpents, a family of Dusky Briars, and they of Robed Daylight. To the world they bequeath a gleam of sheer pleasure, and abscond with the auric prize.
- 9. The world shall mourn the passing of a Great Sage, and Beards of White will cover the lands.
- 10. When the Secret Prince holds the triune orbs, the stars alone shall rule the skies.
- 11. Borne upon waves from distant shores, a Saviour wakes the Two long-sleeping Masters.
- 12. The Secrets shall be Revealed, and the Helmet shall be Rent.
- 13. In a place beloved by lyre and absent hammer comes an end and a beginning. The runes of the ruins will falter and the four shall pass. And so three must then take their place, lest the mountains crumble and the heart turn to stone.
But though I had at last been relieved of what I thought to be growing madness, I was not yet at peace. As I laid down my quill, a vision washed over me: our glorious city, but not as I see it today. Its grand buildings and streets were recognisable, but its citizens more numerous than I could imagine, and all but a few complete strangers. Yet they seemed united... strong. All were clad in robes in hues of gold, or silver, or azure.
Those in azure exuded elegance and sophistication; they spoke eloquently, sang songs, and carried magnificent pieces of artwork upon their persons. Those in silver strode with purpose and dedication along the streets, mighty champions of the city who inspired awe in all they passed. Those in gold were learned scholars, not of the academy but of the world, with the dust of travel upon them.
For years have I puzzled over the meaning of what I have written here. My words were sent to the far corners of the world, that wise men might study them and shed light where I find only darkness, but none have succeeded. And now as my life passes, so many questions still unanswered, I find I must leave these words to a future generation.
~ Anacryas of Cyrene
Penned by my hand on the 18th of Mayan, in the year 194 AF.