CHAPTER VII - ENCOUNTER
he rider lifted his head.
The elf had reined in his white horse and pulled back his hood, exposing a flow of fair hair to the pouring rain. Intently he scrutinized the pale sky.
He had just registered repeated signs of a massive auratic phenomenon. His presentiment was accompanied by a slight, pulsating headache, a cool, circular pressure against his forehead, an altogether unmistakable sensation: the radiance of the Oh’mód’hál. As he focused his senses on the phenomenon, his headache markedly increased and shook the center of his being with unremitted vehemence. Much like an earthquake will send a tremor through the body and threaten to disrupt it's equilibrium So was his inner self subjected to a commotion that eluded his control. Something was at hand, no doubt about it. Something was coming his way, a something fraught with magic energy. Even if the elf was at present unable to specify either its exact whereabouts or its nature: this mysterious something hovered somewhere up there in the air, remarkably well balanced, zeroing dead on him with incredible speed. Whether it was a question of purely physical nature or that he was mistaken: he was one of the few of his race, endowed with the ability to distinguish between that which the ancients had called the Cár’áll and that which the humans called “magic” – a rare faculty indeed. No, the phenomenon was artificial. A product of magical manipulations or at least influenced upon by some entity versed in the magical arts, one of the ésh-dél Mé’kroín in all likelihood.
He was sure that he had by now concentrated long enough on it in order to come to a correct conclusion, even though – or rather: because – the unrelenting downpour was liable at times to interfere with (to the extent of utterly inverting) the perception of the Xeuá inherent on the principles of Ahm and Soor. The confusion of the principles, however, could only be of a temporary nature. The well-trained mind of the elf had already detached mere probabilities from actual facts and robbed reality of the husks of illusion. He had an acute sense of artificial magic. What was more: he could conclude at the immenseness of the aura from the increasing pulsation of the Oh’mód’hál on his forehead and the accompanying feeling of being threatened. He would be able to cast an eye over it before long – that is, if it actually possessed a visible form, a point which the Oh’mód’hál could not provide any clues.
For all that, the elf did not try to take shelter. The aura was focused on him and if it happened to be inimical he would have to face up to it. Up here on the deserted mountain paths of the Warnaka a search for a refuge of a kind would be in vain to start with. The elf leaned back instead. Now as he paused for the first time after a ride of several hours he became aware of his altitudinous natural surroundings: he listened to the murmor of the rain, the intermittent whistle of the wind, observed the scraps of fog which hovered to and fro in the valleys below him. At times the rain intensified, mercilessly lashing his face. The icy-cold air to which his usually tender features had been exposed for so long had turned marble lake. Hours ago he had passed the crossing near Orril, the northernmost fortified town of the country, purposely heading for the fabled northern tip. The rain had subsided a bit and the elf – his goal in mind – had proceeded in the hope that the adverse weather would come to an end so that he would be able to reach his destination on the same day. But his usually infallible instinct had erred for some inconceivable reason: the longer he had travelled the thicker the clouds had gathered over the mountaintops, so that his decision to ask for shelter at the nearest lodge was by now irrevocable. The elf regretted all this, the same as he regretted the fact that the protective sphere which served him to fend off the rain was slowly wearing down along with the mental resources needed to renew it.
All of a sudden the ever-alert eye of the rider espied something.
Accompanied by a thundering roar a cloudy mist came creeping over a mountain ridge, perpetually shifting to and fro, threading its way in between several salient rocks, cresting a knoll, descending and abruptely seeming to settle. Then it drifted along straigthly for a while, after which it dove down again and rapidly descended the hillside. As the thing was approaching the elf perceived that the hazy mass was here and there congealing into distinct forms: what he had originally thought to be a cloud was now slowly but definitely turning into a concrete silhouette, a silhouette of enormous size… A silhouette that…
The elf recoiled. Instinctively he undid his bow from the saddlebag to which it was attached while his left hand quickly reached behind his back to draw an arrow from the quiver. He realized that his mount, apparently aware of the imminent danger, became increasingly restive. It nervously paced back and forth and snorted in the direction of the approaching phenomenon. The elf calmly placed his hand on the mane of the animal and opportunely infused it with his Cár’áll. Although the horse did not react immediately, the rider nevertheless repeated the soothing gesture as his own uneasiness was enhanced by the iridescent, silvery glare that was now piercing the misty expanse that lay before him.
With widened eyes, his mouth half open, he stared spellbound at the thing which emerged from the grey void. He felt as if a secretly nursed thought which had hitherto never crossed the threshold of consciousness, let alone that of lips, was all of a sudden taking corporeal shape. For a moment he felt as if in trance, as if taking a headlong dive into the bizzare world of dreams. However, when the incredible finally happened he was still not quite sure whether it was to be his most beautiful dream or the worst nightmare of his life.
His heart stood still.
Terrifyingly close, only a couple of paces above the elf, the v-shaped, oblong head of a dragon split the air. The agitated nostrils of the age-old animal shot tiny tongues of fire whereas its narrow, oblique and inscrutable eyes seemed only briefly to notice the rider before focusing on something else again. A whole set of bony scales, arrayed where the skull joined the snake-like neck, circled the enormous head, much like horns, and in virtue of the disorderly multitude lent the creature a strange, imperious air. The monster descended only briefly to the level of the elf before soaring up again, propelled by a powerful beat of its wings. The shadow of the latter all at once spread an odour of nothingness over the landscape, the perilous threat of a pitch-black void.
“Iiiiiieeehh…” As it passed by the elf the pointed mouth fell open as if moved by a set of hinges and uttered a singular, almost unnatural sound which the remarkable acoustics of the mountain path multiplied into a portentous echo. It seemed as if the world had nothing to oppose to the dreadful cry of the creature but the very dreadfulness of the cry itself. Shortly after the animal had appeared from out of the greyness however, it was swallowed up again by the fog and the momentary thundering of its wings quickly died away. Only then did the elf realize the other cry. But it was not the cry of an animal but the shout of a human voice: “Kyreáiah…!”
A single word, launched into the wind as the monster had passed by him, becoming indistinguishable from the noise made by its wings shortly afterwards. It certainly helped to render the elf even more perplexed than he already was. He turned around, peering into the direction into which the creature was about to disappear and could barely discern a purple robe fluttering in the wind on the back of the dragon. The stranger who was wearing it had lifted his hand as if in a gesture of salutation destined for the elf. “Kyreáiah…!” The cry still rung in the latter’s ear. It was unmistakably a styreian request, enjoining him to wait where he was.
As the elf saw no other way out of this he decided to obey the order of the unknown voice, as enigmatic as it might be. He made his horse turn about so that it faced in the direction into which the dragon had disappeared and scrutinized the pale sky, prepared to affront whatever might come his way.
No, by the One! The full-grown horned dragon was only partly responsible for the amazement which had taken hold of the elf. Admittedly the short moment of the creature’s presence had played a considerable part in this. However, in the Zeiphyrian woods deep down in the south of the United Empire the flying reptiles or wyverns, as they were known in the local dialect, preying on their quarry in veritable bands, were an almost common sight. Nevertheless, compared to the wyvern the dragon was a sheer monster, even though it was not far for the first time that the elf had laid eyes on a full-grown specimen of dragon kind, a Thróg’áll’íui as his forefathers had referred to it, a real Dalá. The very proximity of the mighty beast however, had assured that the encounter was to be something which should not be easily erased from the memory of the elf.
Be that as it may, it had not only been the sudden nearness of the giant creature which had set his teeth on edge and left him spellbound, but he was also dumbfounded by the person on top of the reptile and his unmistakeable callThe (miraculous-sounds like visions of grandure- remember you are not the only one reading this-use another description or eliminate it altogether) man with the golden reins who seemed to master the elemental power as if it were some common hack, even though it was evident that the bodily control he exerted was strongly reinforced by magical means. Many were the legends that told of the rare art of dragon-taming associated with certain heroes, especially with the dragon-riders of Tannenfels, the members of the blood order of Maengolth. These however were only legends. Never before had the elf heard anybody – be he Styreian or Mekroi – who had in actual fact accomplished the miraculous feat, let alone had he witnessed any such thing. Dreamily he looked up to where the incredible pair had disappeared into a wall of fog. A shudder of awe was creeping up his back. Long ago he had learned to put his trust in the miraculous in order to be able to support reality, a thing he was reminded of in this very hour.
Indeed the beating of the wings could soon be heared again, issueing out of the fog with increasing loudness. When the sound seemed to come from right above the rider it changed its rhythm into a sort of flapping punctuated by short intervals, growing ever more dull and muffled. The vague shadow cast by the creature rested this time a short distance from the elf and could be seen to increase in size as the dragon was nearing ground. The underside of the voluminous body, covered all over with shiny bronze-colored scales, now emerged from the fog, accompanied by the strange cacophony composed of the pouring rain and ajumbled gamut of metallic sounds. Two enormous claws, each at least about a ped wide, followed were preceding by a long, snake-like neck which ended in the imposing head of the giant reptile. The most memorable thing about the dragon however were its wings, spanning about twenty peds and thus reducing every observer to a mere dwarf.
The elf made his mount pace back a few steps and looked out for the face which must needs belong to the voice he had heard. And indeed a man could be seen to be peering out from behind the jagged mane of the creature. He was apparently struggling in an effort to lift the richly ornamented reins to make the dragon alight. After several sharp commands which were unintelligible to the elf but obviously uttered for the benefit of the beast. The latter finally touched ground, softly and majestically as if alighting on a silken pillow, folding its terrifying wings in a remarkably nimble movement.
The stranger glided down the side of the animal. He quickly arranged his rain-drenched purple smack which was crafted in a rather ordinary fashion and moved his headgear into place. Other than the elf he wore no hood but only a small round cap from under which occasional wisps of grey hair could be seen to protrude.
“I bid you welcome, my elven friend”, the stranger began. The most remarkable thing about his visage that the elf noticed immediately. Were three slightly bluish lines, arranged in the form of a triangle and apparently waterresistant. The rider concluded that they must be the result of a magical branding and a sign and ineffoceable seal of the stranger’s lifelong affiliation to his respective guild. “It is a great honor for me to welcome a scion of your race in our parts, all the more so as I am doubtless the first among our circle to be granted that distinction. As I see, the rather inclement weather which Grothar has brewed up for your reception has not affected you in the least and I am sure you are still in high spirits, just as befits a man of your noble lineage…” A smile appeared on the lips of the stranger. “At least you didn’t fall into a swoon or take to your heels on account of our faithful Epiphoros…”
The dragon-rider cast a sideward glance at the creature which – unmoving as its eyelids might be – appeared to return his blink. The man had spoken his words almost in the most accomplished Styreian and rounded them off with an assiduous bow: “Daín artanhé, welcome to the Warnaka Heights!”
The water which had collected in the creases of the man’s smock was emptied to the ground as a result of the abrupt movement. He hesitated a little. Then he questioningly indicated the weapon which the elf still carried in his hands. Considering the fact that by now the monster rested peacefully at his side, his bow and arrow looked somewhat like a harmless toy. “Now, if I am permitted in due humbleness to add one more thing: please, put your arms away. This far north is hardly anything to hunt for and in case you should in fact run across something this kind of weapon would not be of much use anyway. Trust me.”
The elf began to take a liking for the ironic tone of the dragon-rider.
“Master of dragons, though I do not know you, receive in your turn my salutation. Daín arthanhé to you.” The elf attentively watched the man. Their common idiom could not obscure the fact that his interlocutor was of purely human origin. This could be deduced even from a quick once-over of the powerful, slightly stocky build of the dragon-rider and from the bow he had executed. A gesture composed more of humbleness than of solemnity. In addition to that the man had grown a beard which would have been totally untypical for an elf. It framed a bulbous nose and a pair of pudgy, scarlet cheeks with visible signs of external opulence and an internal peace of mind. For all his human birth, the man had impressed the elf with his remarkably warmhearted and obliging manner, a quality further underlined by his choice of words and the way in which they were uttered – in an accent that is, which was almost indistinguishable from that of a born elf.
The rider put his bow away.
“I hope that the manner of my arrival – which, I must admit, has been somewhat tumultous – has not frightened you out of proportion”, the man continued, still with a hint at the slightly sceptical look on the face of the elf. The cheerful greenish eyes smiled up at the rider again. “Such a dragon is a refractory kind of a beast and will at times fly wherever its liking might take it. I request you therefore not to be too upset about the little detour I had to make…” The dragon-rider’s countenance now became more determined so that the inverted triangle formed by the three bluish lines on his forehead grew even more destinct. “The Master of the Other Circle is looking forward to your arrival with a mixture of joy and anxiousness”, he continued. “For on account of the unfavorable conditions the Master deemed it advisable for me to be sent out to look for you.”
“Your Master? He is expecting me? – Say, are you quite sure whom you are talking to?” The elf’s doubts as to all this could be read on his face.
“Indeed, your Lordship. Your name and the tidings of your noble deeds have found their way even unto the outermost reaches of Santharia, mighty Serveran, Ac’rónn of the Luminous Grove!”
“Well, as you are to all appearances acquainted with my station, tell me: Who are you?”, Serveran asked.
“I am only one of the numerous insignificant servants of the Circle, venerable Ac’rónn, a mere cog in the mighty mechanism of our modest magical apparatus. An apparatus, which, as an insignificant wheel, in its turn fits into another, mightier apparatus, which in its turn… Well, I suppose you know what I am talking about – for this is the way in which this cosmic mechanism is assembled, a neverending chain of interlocking wheels, forming, sum total, an order so vast that no man will ever be granted the blessing to comprehend it. A part am I, forsooth, a part of some other part, a trifle it may seem, a trifle, nevertheless, without which the whole would fail to be what it must be, let alone become that which it is destined to be…” The dragon-rider smiled his roguish smile and gave a wink. “My name does not matter here. You may call me Ethelim, in case you insist on any name. You will be talking to the Master anyway. He is the momentum which our little wheel needs in order to keep the cosmic mechanism on its preordained course.”
Growing increasingly pensive the prince lowered his eyes. He no longer had any doubts about the veracity of what the stranger reported or about his being a member of the Circle. He not only wore the unmistakable sign but also exhibited the sort of modesty for which the Other Circle, notwithstanding its far-reaching influence, was universally known. In addition to that, a charlatan or a common highwayman would certainly not be in a position to ride a dragon – only moments ago he had still believed that no one in all of Aér’aí’chán would be able to do it!
“Tell me then, Ethelim, how is it possible that your Master is apprised of my arrival even though I have not sent him any message to this effect? I do indeed seek your Master’s advice but I have not met him to this very day. All the more I am astonished by your presence…”
“Oh, the Master is a fountain of wisdom, Your Lordship – do not underestimate him! He is a necessary link in the cosmic chain of events, a flywheel which, though small, occupies an eminent place in the mighty mechanism of Being and Becoming. For that reason also he partakes of the Root of Wisdom, even though he is not one with it. Almost everybody is capable of rearing the simple Herb of Truth in the garden of his soul, provided he be endowed with the necessary perseverance. But only the elect are in a position to draw directly from the fount, only those specially called upon, only those truly wise”, Ethelim replied. “It may well be that the Master already knew about your intentions before you had yourself become aware of them – he is endowed with rare gifts… At night he will frequently stay awake in his chamber. They say that he knows a way of returning in his thoughts to that mysterious dimension from which he has emerged for the benefit of Aér’aí’chán, in order to teach us as well as to learn from us. Suspended in the ethereal nothingness, one with the sphere of non-gravitation, free from things and the chain of casuality, he is rumoured to hold in his hand a thread from the Loom of Fate. He divines that multitude of sounds which will issue from one chord in case a god should pluck it. The Master is groping his way like a blind man then, as he has often tried to explain to us. He ponders and – he understands…”
The whole of this explanation was couched in the vaguest of terms and obviously elicited a train of further questions but the Ac’rónn decided to leave it at these hints for the time being. He was well aware of the fact that it was just the sort of mysterious divagations he had to expect to come from the Circle. It was certainly no accident that the Circle had elected to hedge the teachings entrusted to it with the utmost secrecy and that it was consequently held in rather dubious repute not only by the elves but also by the Academy. These questions however the prince had to put behind him now. He had travelled a long way and was already close to his goal. It remained to take the final step.
Serveran cast a distrustful glance at the horned dragon whose long neck was incessantly turning here and there, either out of impatience or in order to scan the surroundings for possible dangers. Now that the beast lay cowering like one of the lap-dogs kept by the ladies of the royal court of Santhala one could almost bring oneself to believe in its docile and obedient nature. As it noticed however that it was being watched by the elf it swung its giant head in the direction of Serveran.
Ethelim made an inviting gesture towards the back of the dragon on which was placed a magnificent saddle.
“By the Shadow of Avá!”, the Ac’rónn managed to utter.
The eyelids of the dragon, closing measuredly before springing open all the more rapidly, ingeniously uncovering the lurid green of the eyeballs behind them. The flames which occasionally shot out of the monster’s nostrils strongly reminded Serveran of its dangerousness. All the speculations he had entertained about the ease which a ride on a dragon would afford were quickly dispelled.
“Restrain yourself, Epiphoros!” At a blink and a gesture of the hand from Ethelim the dragon withdrew his enormous head from the elf as if he had tasted a piece of meat which turned out to be not of his liking.
“And you are sure that it is a wise thing for me to climb onto this monster as if it were a horse bred in the stable of Enthrom?”, the elf unbelievingly demanded.
“I certainly am, Your Lordship. Do not worry about anything. Epiphoros is the very incarnation of good-naturedness and I am sure that he will execute our flight in a way that will be pleasant to you and befitting a passenger of princely rank. Believe me: it is not too far from here to the tower if one travels the air but on horseback it would be an altogether foolish enterprise, even by the light of the durnal astre – pardon my explicit language. In this kind of storm…” He shrugged as a sign that he would prefer not to further enlarge on the subject.
“I had already decided to wait it out at the nearest lodge”, the prince objected.
The dragon-rider shook his head. “By the plenteous horn of Torvell! Your search would have been in vain this far up north! Your naivety would be excused however on account of being a westan and apparently unacquainted with the local topography. Learn therefore that the northern tip is entirely composed by rocks. The weather here is generally tempestuous and the landscape bare, craggy and inhospitable. In short: the way you have found it today is the way we who live here have to endure it all the time.” He paused and raised his sleeve to his forehead in order to wipe away the water with which the unrelenting heavens still pelted this part of his body. “Of course it is a fine spectacle to watch the fury of these thunderstorms from inside the tower but out here on the ridge it is a different matter! Nobody except the members of the Circle is foolhardy enough to settle this far north and only now and then does some wanderer who lost his way appear among us. It was at all events a piece of luck that the Master’s foresightedness has spared you the worst. Well, it is not by accident that they call you elves the darlings of fortune.”
Serveran smiled. “Forsooth, the people are seldom in what they say.”
A gust of wind enveloped the two men with a heavy shower and blew a cloud of dust in their faces. Rubbing his eyes the dragon-rider turned about and made another waving motion indicating the flying mount, visibly bent on a hasty departure: “Let’s go now, venerable Ac’rónn! This is neither the right place nor the right time for any further palaver. The Master would certainly not approve of the idea of Your Highness being out here at the mercy of the elements instead of by the side of the cozy fire which is at this very instance, being prepared for your arrival. And, to tell you the truth, I for my part am not too keen on the cold either.” He cleared his throat.
Reluctantly Serveran dismounted from his shiny white horse. “What, severant of the Circle, are your plans in regard to my horse, if the question may be permitted?”, he asked.
“What a thing to ask! Of course we will take it along!”, the dragon-rider replied in a nonchalant manner and offered his passenger the rope-ladder which was needed to ascend the high back of the animal. “Let me take care of things and see to your comfort in the meanwhile…”
Only moments latter the dragon was airborne along with the two men and the horse. The latter Epiphoros had tenderly grooped with his claws after a spell cast by the servant of the Circle had caused the animal to fall asleep, thus ensuring that it would not make any efforts to resist uncommon transport.
Before long the doubts which the elf had harbored against the first ride on a dragon were enirely dispelled. Once airborne he did not wish for a moment to be anywhere else than on the back of the creature. The movements of the latter turned out to be so graceful and trust-inspiring, the saddle on which he was seated so capacious and secure that going on horseback seemed altogether troublesome in comparison. Now and then the enormous wings would flap two or three times after which the dragon would glide a long way without their active help, even into the very face of the storm, only occasionally using them as a rudder in order to keep a straight course. It almost seemed to Serveran as if he were astride a flying island, the only thing he missed being a roof over his head which would provide protection against the pouring rain. When he looked down upon the minute features of the landscape and the Dark Sea which bordered it he remembered all the tales about the Qel’Tra’Lohs, a race inhabiting some distant islands out in the sea, who were rumored to be building a sort of flying ship, propelled by magic and tellurian energy, which would one distant day enable them to sail beyond the firmament. Would travelling in such a man-made ship ever come up to the elation afforded by a ride on a dragon’s back?, the prince asked himself. Could the elemental power of a centuries-old creature be experienced in a mere magically driven machine? And what pride must he feel who is able to make the mighty animal subservient to his own will!
These various thoughts, together with the spectacular view, had almost made the elf oblivious of the thunderstorm which raged around them. Only incidentally did he become aware of the heavy, at times even physically perceptible roll of the thunder and the alarmingly close flash of the lightning. Perceptions of a different sort however were paramount for Serveran, reducing the growing risk they ran to a mere trifle: the path running alongside the foot of the Warnakas which he had just now been treading, once firm ground under his feet, was gradually disapperaring in a turbid sea of fog, swimming under water like an eel, its bright odor rapidly becoming inperceptible like that of the fugitive animal, so that, after a short while, one could no longer make it out at all… Looking ahead the elf noticed a mountain ridge appear from out of nowhere and circumnavigated in a rapid manoeuvre by the dragon. A valley now spread out below them, cradling a small lake amidst the mountains expanse, a little jewel whose shine was a reminder that life was not quite suffocated by the immense mass of rocks all around. The rain perpetually agitated the surface of the water, forming innumerable concentric circles which seemed bent on pushing each other aside while being themselves superseded by ever new ones – a struggle with no end in sight. Nature was apparently taking pleasure in the eternal game she played up here in her solitary grandeur.
Serveran now realized that his companion had spoken true. The northern part of the outermost province of the empire was indeed a lot more rugged than he had expected it to be. The highest peaks of the Warnaka, whose brightly shining, almost perpendicular flanks they were now skirting, were partly covered with ice and, on account of their jagged edges, generally seemed to be the product of a series of random sword-strokes executed by an exceedingly inartistic hand. In fact it had been the great sculptress Nature herself who had – in the course of the millenia – tried her chisel on them, apparently to no avail. For these mountains, as the elf well knew, were made of uruyant, the hardest, most robust mineral to be found in all of Santharia, if not in the whole world of Aér’aí’chán. At least it is difficult to imagine any substance tougher than uruyant as it is not only impossible to dress it with the help of any other mineral but it seems to be impervious to the tooth of time itself. Per se Uruyant does not have any definite color. The spectrum of its lustre varies with the changing position of the diurnal astre and altough the latter’s rays presently hardly managed to pierce the clouds, their reflection on the mountaintops here and there shone through the muddiness of the fog which enveloped them. No signs of vegetation however were visible on the mountainsides and the valleys and gulches were cluttered with a jumble of rocks and debris. Only occasionally did a more sizeable watercourse wind its way in between the declivities to receive the spurting, spounting, roaring, splashing, foaming load of its innumerable tributaries which made their headlong descent in little gullets which cut through the sheer surfaces of the rock. Especially during the present thunderstorm the sight of the myriad cascades was an exhilarating experience. After having descended the inclines the water usually collected in semi-circular lakes around the bases of the mountains before finally falling into a major river which took its course in a southerly direction, somewhere to empty into the Dark Sea.
The dragon executed a turn and shot with breathtaking speed through a canyon separating two adjacent mountains. The intensity of the rain abruptly diminished on account of the cliffs which rose on either side but below them there was now the helter-shelter of a torrent which led along the bottom of the chasm and the sight was noticeably getting worse. Luckily the beast seemed to be perfectly familiar with the route it was taking. Unperturbed it glided along, down into the uncertain.
 The inborn magical preceptivity of the elven race (lit. “the light at the root of the earth”). [ok]
 The natural astral aura of things. In human terms: the metaphysical (lit. “that which is above life”) [ok]
 Magicians, lit. „human beings versed in magic“. [ok]
 The „contrary vibrations“ of Ahm and Soor are seen as the central elements of the elven world picture. Whereas human exegetes are often all eager to bestow various labels (e.g. “weak” and “strong”, “passive” and “active”, “female” and “male” etc.) – generally to the effect of suggesting a dichtomy between a domineering and a receptive element – the elven philosophy rather suggests a uniquely formal principle transcending these various determinations, a co-existence, or (if the term be permitted) a consubstantiality of two equal modes. Such a “modern” understanding of “contradiction”, i.e. the rendering into human terms of Ahm and Soor by “statement – answer”, the one term conditioning the other and vice versa, sufficiently seems to be in accord with elven cosmological ideas. The author on the contrary correctly employs the term “Xeuá” from the very first, aword denoting the interdependence and mutual realization of the two cosmological principles, Xeuá meaning “the in-between, the medium, the linkage of things”. [ok]
 The elven expression „to infuse something with one’s Cár’áll” is best rendered into human terminology by “casting a spell”. One must however take account of the basic difference between elven and human magic which is implied in the former term: wheras for the elves any sort of manipulation which is conducted on the basis of the personal aura and in harmony with nature is qualified “magic”, human magic is fundamentally unrelated to auratic phenomena and consequently as a rule utilitarian. [ok]
 „Styreian“ is here used synonymous for „elven“ (strictly speaking in the elven language styrán means “to be” – in general sense – and – in a more narrow context – “being an elf”). [ok]
 Lit. „beast which is above us“ (elven). [ok]
 Dragon (elven). [ok]
 Colloquial abbreviation for lit. “man of the west”. The word “westan” is in all likelihood a remnant of the jargon once in use among the Caltharians from around the Ancythrian Sea, originally designating pilgrims belonging to the Centoraurian and Kyrenaean tribes on their way to the sanctuary of the Twelve at Elsreth. The geographical implication of the term – which is commonly employed in almonst the whole of Santharia – has by now vanished altogether. [ok]
 Uruyant is virtually indestructable, susceptible to be dressed only with purer forms of the same mineral. Almost the whole of the northern Warnaka are made up of this material. The rough climate of the north has in all likelihood eroded the outer, sedimentary strata of the mountains, leaving only their uruyantine core. The same process is responsible for the formation of the uruyantine arches which are today one of the distinct landmarks of the northern territories. As the dressing of uruyant is all but impossible, spezimen which are of the size to serve as pieces of jewellery are highly prized in the southern parts of the country. [ok]
Story written by Artimidor Federkiel