Even as she lay dying, the whispers of the souls around her comforted her slowing breaths. The souls of all things she once drew energy from, would soon regain the energy she had borrowed. If she had any regrets, it would surely be that her brother not be lying here with her in a state of calm acceptance. That even now she could hear his raging screams as he fought through the hoards to reach her. He would soon be the last of their kind, and she regretted leaving him to that fate alone. Their species had already ended, with only two siblings left, but to be the last would hold its own special form of torment. Finally, as she felt her chest still, her soul broke free and soared above the war-beaten lands. Yet instead of finding herself at a door, or some sort of other side, she continued to watch her bloodied brother fight with their friends to reach her, unaware or unwilling to see that her body was too still. Deathly still. What felt like hours later he reached her, slowly crouching beside her and she felt the moment he accepted she was gone. His shoulders, once so proud seemed to collapse inwards even as he slowly removed her hand from the one thing she had willingly given her life for. A scroll now soaked through with her blood and seemingly tying her to this veil of existence.
There is only now
I am the last of those who hears the stars sing, who watches the air dance in delight and who walks between the raindrops in the light.
Eternal night approaches; the abyss is at my feet. The Mists of Time have enveloped the Earth, as they have done before…and will do again. The blessing, or the curse of eternal return is upon us.
It is written in the stars if you dare to listen with your eyes, see with your ears…
As I stand here on this precipice I am at peace for I have knowledge: the knowledge that though I am the last at this time I am not the last for all time. This is not the first time that this experiment called life on earth has devolved into oblivion. From the ashes life will rise, to ashes it will return…to rise again.
Humanity has existed far longer than recorded in the annals of history of recent millennia. It has been made ash and returned innumerable times, each iteration as ignorant of the last as of the next. Each version has gnawed away at every limb until the rot within has decimated life on earth, only to bloom again from the ashes of what never was. All memory erased, no lessons carried forth, each incarnation destined, perhaps damned, to become as fated to be, ad infinitum.
But, this time is different.
For I did listen to the stars, and to the silence of the Mists of Time. In the infinite darkness, I found a light. I found the words for humanity to make a better life than any that has gone before. Words that if taken to heart can make every life a better one and therefore the world as a whole a better place. And if humanity can evolve, perhaps this will be the last time we destroy ourselves. Perhaps next time, we will cherish ourselves and each other and build a better world together.
And so, I will speak these words to the ether and bury the parchment upon which they are writ in blood here in the face of this indomitable mountain as I give myself to the mists. To the infinite darkness. May these words echo in the vast nothingness till the spark burns bright once again.
THERE IS ONLY NOW
The past is like the stone of the cliff at my back: you cannot change it. Learn from it but do not live there for life is not there. The future is like that which is cloaked in the mists gathered before me. It cannot be seen. Do not live there, for worrying about what may or may not be is a waste of precious life. That does not mean do not dream or do not prepare for tomorrow. It does not mean don’t learn as much as you can, or don’t work hard to be better, to give effort, to live well, to love deeply. It does not mean if you fall, do not get up. Get up. Fall and get up again. It does not mean forget about others. Indeed, if we cannot learn that we are all threads in the same beautiful tapestry, destruction will find us once again. It does not mean forget about tomorrow.
It means do not build a life in the mists.
"As the winds howl and the thunder rumbles, remember that the tempest is but a fleeting moment in the grand tapestry of existence."
You Are Your Own Eternity
No matter who faces you.
No matter where you stand.
If you never give up.
Not even death could craft your end.
Do not fear. The One who holds wet parchment will soon find solice in the Hereafter.
Look deep down and look right thought.
For it's only you who can know yourself.
The Concavity That Sits Between the Rock and the Hard Place
Backed onto the precipice with nowhere to go, nowhere to live, nowhere to matter, except for the written word I clutch to my chest.
Nowhere to go, nowhere to live, nowhere to matter. I can seek no one, move no distance, bring my treasure anywhere.
However, being where I am, as I am, how I am...if the world wants this panacea, it will have to come to me--I dare not move.
Let them come to me.
Tamehrlain II, Books of the Blessed
The thunder rumbles, the tide turns, the cycle must not end. The wind blows, the dawn approaches, the cycle must not end. Until the Earth shatters, the ash fades, and the thunder rumbles once again, The cycle will not end.
- Tamehrlain II, Books of the Blessed
Ps: hope this wasnt to vague XP
Into the Damp Cold Wind
I shouted "Stop!".
I'm at the precipice
of so much; Literally,
and in metaphor.
On this cliff of rock Stood I,
aged by war.
So it goes that these years have grayed
And they've made jade-stained their sights,
Yet now, this artifact with which ive come in contact,
might it be all its said to be?
Could its answer ignite the cancers cure, so to yeild my scars undone?
If so I'd find that father time has gone and kindly spun the tables.
They'd have turned to
toll-free, and negated trauma's tax
Then renewed mine sight'd be that
Re-imbued me with youth. Then
what I see is made correct;
as it ought to be!
Ode, to could be; currently
This is a supposed direct effect,
by a manuscript that currently lay clenched in my white-knuckled grip.
I see that, since it was aquired my mind is inspired by this chorus of Daydream like questioning.
More serious though,
this precious parchment
now has gained for me
a litany of foes,
And here I'm perched precariously
Directly in their midst.
Their direct line of sight.
I'm certain as it's obvious im outnumbered and remember
Im on a precipice.
I'm Thinking "Why?"
And A thought occurs to debunk my query as to my being pursued.
I know that it tis the mystery
of the scoll they want.
The one I'm grasping to.
Its adorned by words that are whispered in enigmatic sayings
Foretold in old world prophecy.
The scroll is said to be laiden with the answer to life itself.
This paper is fabled to have THE answer held in it; veritable,and clear.
These Enemy's who encase me surely
would never have drawn near
were I without it.
The sacred spool of pumaced tree held fervently in my grasp.
Would this be my fate I wonder or me getting that for which ive asked?
I take in a deep breath and realize; its time for me to decide
What my next action is to be.
Though, what's next seems to
contradict all logic.
It came to me
That all this time
thats come to pass
Ive spent running from this conflict
Has taken away my battle made inhibitions and ive found it!
I've found peaceful mental clarity
and in this scene its
A profound and useful gift.
my sight is unhindered despite the tendered words of the scoll not yet conveyed to me.
Here now I've not even read it and it is working already!
I find my mind being mended makes it simple to decide.
And Maybe too
it is easier to settle on a choice
Because I see inevitably
Tis a fact that I'm not going to survive.
So as my last act
My chosen tactic is
To hold that old scroll up to the light.
I held it up to see
in the wind and rain what words it truly read and then I must do what I feel is right.
I have chosen
to not disclose the mystery and while
My fate is sealed
A last giant blow to history and
My only thought is that they, the enemy, could not
Know if I take it with me.
So with the scroll unrolled and a shift in my stance
My eyes receive the answer to everything at a glance and I twist out my ankles and the crowd Jerks to advance
But I jump and fall just out of reach of their screams and outstretched hands.
There as I free fall I ball in my hands that paper and before my final impact I manage to imbibe it, with pride ripped and masticate it.
The one and only answer to life itself and ive eviscerated it and just before hitting my exit to existing off this mortal coil;
I swallowed the hallowed shreds of the most significant written thing in history, the scroll is spoiled.
Making me the only person to have read it;
Ever! Thus now, eternally,
Life will have the zest that is only brought through that of having mystery.
The passion fueling quest of what it could be meant to be I've ensured is intact for all in perpetuity., and eternally you are welcome. Enjoy the unknown I bought with my life well spent, and my war is won as the ground I hit.
Note to Self: Dragons. Are. Pricks.
Finally, stumbling upon a small rocky outcropping for shelter, I dragged my master in from the storm and away from the edge of the cliff. He wasn't breathing. I removed his armor, slapped him hard across the face, and searched for a pulse. Don't know why I bothered; he was obviously dead as soon as the lightning struck, and I was no miracle worker. Besides, I didn't even like the guy. Just another master.
I eyed the scroll he still held clutched in his hand. All this fuss and hundreds of miles for a piece of paper. Legend or not, I couldn't imagine that it was worth it. I mean they had all died - every last one in the band of heroes who had set out to discover the wisdom of the dragon and ascend to conquer heaven. Horrifically killed. That's hubris for you. And now I - a lowly slave boy - I alone was left with the most powerful and sacred text known to man.
I thought about just chucking it since it was clearly cursed. My master had been struck down by heaven itself seconds after breaking the seal. I glanced around at my meager shelter. It probably wouldn't be enough to protect me, but maybe it didn't need to. The seal was already broken, and the storm outside... was it calming down?
"No." I said aloud, "No way am I touching that thing." I really don't know who I was trying to convince.
I went through my late master's pockets and retrieved some coins. Leaving the clunky too-big armor, I relieved him of his short sword and satchel. With the food and water it contained, I might just survive long enough to... go back to the same old dingy, thieving life I had before I was a slave.
This gave me pause for some reason. Inexplicably, that thought bothered me now. After all, why go back to begging and scrapping, when the jackpot was sitting right there in front of me? How much would someone pay for eternal life and divine power?
I must have stared at the scroll for a handful of minutes before saying, "Fleck it," and prying it loose from the dead man's hands. Just in case there was one more deadly surprise, I carefully laid it out on the ground and coaxed it open with the sword sheath.
There, written on shimmering silver paper, it read:
"If you are reading this scroll, odds are you have traveled long and far through many a trial and obstacle.
You have great aspirations.
You have proven your potential.
And yet it is not enough...
It never will be. You self-absorbed twit. Those who possess great ambition are seldom great people. In fact, in my vast experience over the centuries, I have found they usually end up being assholes. You are no exception, and your path inevitably leads to ruin. So here is my advice to you, be the kind of asshole you can live with because the satisfaction you seek is beyond you.
Regards and Condolences,
Great Black Dragon, Sarkath The Soulless"
For a moment, all I could do was sit there dumbfounded. Then I laughed. I laughed my bleeding heart out. "Some flecking wisdom! I could have told you that, ya bastard!"
In my dark fit of mirth, I picked up the scroll and turned it over, fully expecting it to be blank, but it wasn't. Instead, I found one line of text that floated off the page and seemed to hang in the air right in front of me even after I dropped the accursed paper in shock.
I heard the deafening sound of thunder and only had time for half a curse before the world went white. Only the floating words remained, still hovering in the center of my vision.
"Congratulations!" It said, "You have reached Level 2."