The Path to Truths

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By: Machiavelli Posted on: October 30, 2006

Mountains mirror the great works of man--one never loses sight of the goal while climbing their treacherous paths, and having descended from the climax, retrospection always yields a sense of accomplishment, even if you're far beneath where you once were. I was always smitten with the realm of Lady Kastalia, following rivers and ridges that are the switchbacks and signposts drawn up by nature.

The mountains of the West always stood imperious and impassable, glowering in the morning sun and waxing afire in the evening, clotting the low sky, their impenetrable peaks too dense for the warming rays of Lady Sol. As is human nature, the foreboding posed not threat but challenge to me, and I sought my way from the savannah scrub to the distant peaks, shunning the roads in favor of a lonely and unadulterated view of the land. The hills rolled more firmly as the sun rose behind me, though as I trekked across the waving sea of green, the life seemed to sigh endlessly, as though contemplating some sullen secret it held from the eyes of the world.

The landscape transmuted my deep breaths into sighs, and in silence I contemplated the sullen nature of the land. The rocks grew to boulders, prouder and more daring: the frothy saliva rolling to the base of the teeth of Creation. The grass grew hale and hard, transitioning from thriving greenery to surviving tufts of life. The animals that fed upon the mountain weeds bore their likeness--timid sinews skittered and stuttered, eyes filled with a frightened scrutiny and subtle contempt of everything that moved. As I passed, the stones themselves seemed of a fractured personality of the simplicity of hard earth; crests and chipped edges shied away from what was near as the sun passed overhead, while other outcroppings' shadows pursued the life about them, as if to devour, extending tendrils through me as the day passed on and the sun sank. As my feet fell, the world seemed now alive and responsive, sinking away in scorn from my tread; every other road I'd known settled indifferently beneath the grip of my boots.

The full face of Lady Ourania is a blessing to the footfall of a traveler at night of sure step and safe sleep, but in the eerie glow of Her stygian sun, even the once-timid stone sculptures erupted into a feral dance that writhed to unheard rhythm too primal for my understanding; shadows once in the ground licked the sky, the brush swayed and flickered in intangible breezes, small game encroached upon my path with bold hostility, even with vengeance. My head was growing heavy, and eyelids . eyelids, they were jerked open by movement, then falling again into the gradual high tide of drowsiness. I was and the shadows were too [there], and after all even the dead look animate when cast by a living light. The living light of the Moon set the shadows into the air {I'm sure of it}, and stirred so they became dense about me, stirred about me around and so disturbed by the passing of mortal; they were over the ground, and in the distance ascending to the sky, ascending the northern reaches of the Vashnars to the sky.

I sat, suddenly, atop an outcropping, above the fog of stirringshadows. I grasped a tumbler of absinthe from my friend Harris in Hashan, and sipped to wake myself, and to taste something but the thick air about me. The clouds had blotted out the sky, extensions of the dense peaks of the Vashnars, and without the stars I had no method to measure the time that had passed in what seemed to be the last few minutes--time on the verge of slumber knows no respect, and leaps or lies with the capriciousness of Pandora. The tumbler had renewed me, and I bit off a piece of bread with a chunk of cheddar cheese to sate my stomach and continue my journey.

I reached the peaks of the northern Vashnars late that night (by my best judgment), and a wind whipped relentlessly about me, as if the mountains themselves were clawing from their skin all that was not of their flesh. The depth of the lands before me was illuminated in a ghostly and timidly liminal light by the Moon, who shone boldly through the thickening clouds. Though once wisps of smoke scarcely able to smother the stars, the clouds swam by close above, as if born[e] on the same high wind that was tearing at me. My heart beat assertively--I feared the descent, not only for sake of finding footholds and safe path down, but for the valley cased in the hungry shadow of the living night. I knew I would cross the nightscape, but just as one knows the Great Gift will bring their shattered frame back to health in the Cave, one still fears death.

Down the skin of the mountains--the air was still as death, as counterpoint to the rage of the sky above. My boots crushing the earth beneath me was cause to wince; the silence otherwise was suffocating, and with the stifling air sucked softly the breath from my lungs. I inhaled deeply, and found within me hunger for the air of the East. Under Her living moon, again my eyes found motion in the inanimate, my head snapped around to look at silence. The atmosphere was thick, almost damp, though my throat cried out for fluid, as if the closeness of the air was all the moisture sapped from my own body. I reached within my knapsack for another tumbler; somehow I must've traveled a very long time--my drink sates the thirst of many hours. The ground and flora were restless, and more often I was finding eyes within the moonlight at the edge of my vision; I would walk and sip, I would not stop.

The air itself drank in the rays of moonlight, as if gorging on Her beautiful light, choking out the sparse and twisted life below. The nightscape quivered ever so slightly, the plantlife swaying to that uncanny and immortal dance; there were figures [in] every distance. The beautiful light rained down in sanguine hue. I sipped.

The light pulsed with the beat of the nightscape: the rhythm of all things within the valley of shadow. I smiled under the weeping moon, and sipped slow and cool [liquid]. The eyes began to smile at me, wicked but true, as a close friend who bears you a grudge. The eyes, perhaps, were jealous and longed to breathe this thick air I felt pooling within my body. I smiled at them, too[,] generously, wishing to give them what they cannot have, as a true friend.

The eyes came forward. {. eyelids, they were jerked open by movement} A figure [stepped and glided toward me,] with no face[,] but a grin.

{, then falling again into the gradual} At once, it was a her body and a his stern grace[.] Beside me, the emptiest company I have ever kept with. I walked forward of my own volition, my hollow companion wordlessly with faceless grin abreast, shadowing my path. The light seeped through the air, droplets of the moon coated in the deep red hue of the heart's blood of the living.

{I sipped.}

Again/still alone, I found myself bearing upon a great natural arch. The chasm below (from what I have read, the Gruu'n) yawned and inhaled endlessly; again the earth sought to draw me into the indefinite abyss from its shoulder. Weary, but refreshed, I decided to crawl this bridge. I stopped midway, daring my fate, and ate more bread and cheese; again I drank of the absinthe, perhaps in my sovereignty of will anxious to spite the hungering inanimate indefinite below me. Renewed, I stood and conquered the remaining stone, grasping at hands of the foliage on my destination side to finish the feat.

The ground was torn asunder, and the heavy mist was a living organism; the lifeblood of the earth had been drawn unwillingly into the air. {"Breathe deeply."} I choked on the thick iron in the air, smiling as the once-strength-of-the-land sank into my lungs. I tread Her miles for many years, and as I had nearly conquered Her, She did well to aid me. Her skin fled my touch always; She did well to aid me.

Oh yes, She is mine.

Wry grins gleaming, I followed the shadows deeper into the island and they extended hands. Their hands too were smiling; they led me past the swirling ferns with razor leaves. Uproariously they railed with shrieks and moans that, now, "Welcome home." They cried in screech of bone on bone, serrated and unctuous tone, venomed and I drew to my lips a smile, and I drew to my lips a sip.

The ground was hard in color and it fought me stride by stride; no longer did the dirt flee my feet, but rose up to meet them, at once challenging my resolve in Sirensong temptation and bidding me turn back. I felt through the soles that it knew I was not worthy. And oh, but oh, It only said so to see if I knew I was worthy. The ground now was vicious, and She reclaimed from the air the blood She had lost; dirt ever eager to prove it was worthy. Who was dirt, to prove he was more worthy than I? Coming I had seen the mountain[s] and conquered it.

Coming I had conquered coming. The Eyes [smiled;] they knew this. Coming closer and going was at the beck [of their teeth and smiles.] [of them] coming to find me home and [take me home] Take me home.

blasted rock and withered stem to stamen plants as sinews of the crippled soil, vapor dripping venom from Her nostrils, sliding slowly clasping in my throat, air of flies and bleeding {from the Eyes: "you have found your resting and here your footfalls echo in the healthy air a blessing and here your feet fall blessed" Before I had come to the understanding that this was to be my death "fearing now will find your and not my conquest; body burned to ash, your lungs grow thick and black for fear is that which drives you back" I only wished to tread upon that which had not felt the weight of these well[-]worn boots. "you will find in time that well worn boots will leave behind your mark of conquest deep upon unworthy. you have found your resting, body burned to ash, your lungs now thick and black for you deem yourself worthy."

}from the Eyes whose hands claspedandgave from me a book and read silently to their master "you deem yourself worthy. you will find now fearing will be laid to resting: make way for the Crucible"

I sipped. For once, fear did not know me.

The hands of the Eyes grasped mine and we made macabre merriment among eachother along the way to the cave of the Crucible Black and long as fearing, now I found He said to me no fear to drive me back {long form of the immortal Beast with thunderous whisper and those that dared breathe "Leviathan" knew of terror}, "Well-worn boots have brought you here to conquer simple things of nothing-- might and magnate truly are the priests of conquest. Read within the tome held tight within your fingers I opened stiffly the truth lain naked, gasping tome with vibrations of for your lips to lust for it and breathe into it anticipation of my purpose of life."

"Fearless facing this anticipation gives you your first step on paths toward Greatness which you ignorantly shunned before." The tome was empty.

Pages open the Eyes ripped at the pages {hushed thinking} [Leviathan,] the Crucible laughing out derisive amusement [at] those twisted abominations Eyes laughing joyously could not comprehend the secrets of the pages and they ate them devoured the hidden secrets in furyfervor to acquire their Greatness {"That they shall never have."}

saw my hands rending this Tome pregnant with secrets what's my desire and I sat and stared at it where does it lie

The Greatness, He was here stared at it laughinghidingwaiting within vellum womb and fighting for freedom fighting for freedom He grasped my hand and opened it desperately

my moisture shunned the fog the sangria flew from my finger to alight as if the tip of my finger had shunned the fog and Eyes {laughing in ignorant incomprehension } and His secret and no longer stared at it the Tome, drunk on sangria opened its arms to the quill of my finger my finger set Him free, and He spoke on the pages as my finger etched his words my blood steadfast and fearless of the fog

"She yields to me, and what say I Say I yield more and who yields to me say I what to them Say I yield more I yield to them, and what say I? Say I: 'I will yield.' And say I: 'I will not yield' Their well worn boots stamp their legacy upon me She yields to me, and what say I? Say I: 'Yield more.' They yield to me, and what say I? Say I: 'Yield more.'

Yield now with unstrength beneath me Lay down your arms and prostrate yourself You will taste why no more Will well worn boots stamp their legacy upon me Say I: 'I will not yield.' Through perseverance, through own pain I will humble and destroy my weakness Through perseverance, I will destroy I will humble and destroy the weak who With well worn boots would seek to stamp their legacy upon me She yields to me, and what say I? Say I: 'Yield more.' They yield to me, and what say I? Say I: 'Yield more.'

Blood now crusted on finger I read the Truth, I read Him Him, the Greatness, his secrets by my own hand by my own hand I must yield no more to Her and Her withdrawal from my boots Her, the Earth beneath my feet where she belonged, bearing the stamp of my legacy as a whore pregnant by my sangria

from the ignorant fool Eyes I grasped a sword smiling, Eyes grasped a sword and never having grasped sword before I fell beneath the weight of my weakness { weak blood joining the fog } and stood again, knowing now my weakness in raging steel sent them to their weakness smiling in victory as rent flesh upon me joined the fog

the Crucible, my final weakness guarding Her cave, a finality I would thrust myself into against Her will and would have the strike of my hands forever upon the whole of Her body, bearing my legacy

I came with savage glint to the hall of the Crucible, lungs thick and black with the weakness purged to the fog. As I, Leviathan saw no fear, and as I[,] dashed at the weak to who sought to leave their legacy upon me. Great jaws grasped my frame, and devoured me whole, and in the Crucible I gasped in triumph for breath and clawed at the weakness around me, having thrust myself finally within Her last virginity.


Syntactic notes:
{} denote contents irrelevant or tangential to the topic
[] denote contents which are both omitted and included when reading
(e.g. "[We] Die." is read simultaneously as "We die." and "Die.")


Author's notes:
{The Author's notes section should be omitted from the final posting of this piece, as it is mostly Out Of Character}

This piece presents an examination of assimilation of the Seven Truths parallelled to a journey to Sartan's Isle. Following are a few items of note I wish to bring to the fore, since this piece is swimming in a sea of submissions:

This piece needs a CONFIG SCREENWIDTH 0-type of setting. If the spacing of various components seems chaotic, try using a larger viewing window (reading this piece in Achaea is -impossible-, as READing anything defaults whatever is being read to a screenwidth of about 80). I can be contacted for an intact version, since the Bardic section of the Achaean website also constricts the piece.

The "Eyes" are representative of those who pursue the Truths and Might but fail to comprehend the existentialism of the pursuit: Those who, though they may become strong, are still "led" by the Truths, as opposed to internalizing the knowledge of the Truths and leading themselves. The Eyes are slaves to the Truths--the Crucible (Leviathan) who has fully apprehended the Truths and commands them is therefore estabished as their leader. The difference between the leader and follower can be seen in the meter they use when speaking--the Eyes use a 3-6-3 meter with phrases, whereas Leviathan uses a 6-3-6 of complete sentences. Both meters are trochaic, which is generally regarded as unnatural for conversational speech, giving them a surreal sound.

The narrator represents a third version of accepting the Truths of Sartan--the narrator fully grasps and wields the Truths, but is not strong enough to be victorious--the opposite of the Eyes who are strong but slaves to the Truths.