The First Land Herald/436-02-37

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Article Number: 44
Dateline: 436-02-37

Greetings, readers. My name is Miskton Ramahk, Court Mage of Ilithi, a member of the guild of Moon Mages, and by inclination a researcher of those visions of the future experienced by members of our guild. This article is intended to share those experiences with the public at large, to help keep people informed of what the future may hold. I do also host regular meetings in Shard on the subject where people can share their thoughts on the meaning of visions.

I will begin by putting down my impressions of what I experienced, as best I can. There may be some cases where the experience is difficult to put into words, but I will do as best I can.

I will put down those visions which are most recently being experienced by seers, but there may also be some cases in which notes about an older, related vision may be relevant to include as well. I have also in some cases included my own sketches of what I have seen, but I should stress that these should not be considered entirely accurate depictions of any people or objects which are the subjects of the visions.

To start, I will include a vision that seems quite relevant to the recent excitement involving the appearance of the Merelew diplomats:

My lungs filled with salt water and my eyes adjusted to inky darkness. Gradually, I found I was able to make out pinpricks of dancing blues and greens, and I realized I was surrounded by schools of glowing animals, each rippling with pulsating bands of luminescence. Mesmerized, I reached forward to cup a small octopus undulating by, when something bumped my shoulder and swam away in a flurry of turbulence, only evident by a gap in the surrounding points of light. As I peered into the waters, I became aware of a softly glowing purple gleam far beneath me, rising closer and closer. Suddenly, the schooling luminescence surrounding me blinked off, leaving me floating in utter darkness, and the purple illumination grew in intensity, and the vision faded.

[Accompanying the description is a sketch of a small octopus moving through the water.]

According to Speaker Kolanem of the Merelew, the parts of Kurmin's metallic spider which have been scattered about the sea give off a purple light, and they are inimical to life in the area. This vision would seem to be a demonstration of the effect those chunks of metal are having on the sea floor.

My next vision is part of a long series of visions which have been occurring for some time and are probably too lengthy to recount all of them in this format. To summarize, they show an Elothean Empath and an Alfar warrior defending something in a mountain steppe area against soldiers on multiple occasions. Eventually, however, the soldiers were able to overwhelm the Empath with a flurry of crossbow bolts, killing her and severely injuring the Alfar warrior. They did not kill it, however, and subsequent visions have shown the Alfar warrior appearing to track down the soldiers responsible, or perhaps those who are part of the same organization, and taking revenge. One such vision:

I found myself on a long rowboat, a dozen soldiers intently peering into the gloom, the riverbank and forest barely visible from the light of flickering torches. The soldiers breathed heavily, clearly terrified. Suddenly, the water exploded into a column of spray and with a startled scream, two of the soldiers disappeared into the murky river. The rest of the soldiers alternated between firing crossbow bolts into the water and shouting at the oarsmen to row faster, and in the confusion, another column of water exploded and two more soldiers disappeared. Chaos ensued, and a strange black blade wielded by a pale arm slashed from out of the water, hamstringing and gutting the remaining soldiers. Some supplies caught on fire, and the boat began to burn.

Rising from the waters, a gaunt Alfar warrior slowly strode into the forest, snapping the blade to dry it and touching a faded blue strip of cloth tied to its bicep. The vision faded.

[Accompanying the description is a sketch of an Alfar warrior with scarred wrists and broken wings, a strip of cloth tied to its bicep.]

This next vision seems very likely to depict a Trader interacting with those beings known as the Negotiants:

A man dressed in fine silk robes and expensive jewelry sat cross-legged in an elegantly decorated room before a mahogany writing table. Arranging a beautiful gold and platinum pen and ebony inkwell, the man carefully spread two large sheets of crisp, clean paper and glanced out at the open window, closing his eyes and inhaling deeply of the starlight. Pursing his lips, the man reached into his robes and produced a clear tessera. With the sound of shattering glass, the tessera unfurled, involuted ribbons and nested octagons dancing in expanding and contracting spirals. Taking a deep breath, the man quickly placed the tessera atop his head, his eyes going wide, the pupils contracting to pinpricks, and he went perfectly still.

With unnatural grace, the man reached for the pen, and dipped it into the inkwell, gently tapping the rim to shake excess fluid, and began to write. The vision faded.

While the general idea of what the vision is about does not seem too difficult to determine, the actual meaning of it is less clear. It seems like the Trader is actually being possessed by something after putting on the tessera, but to my understanding this is not a normal interaction between Traders and the Negotiants. If they simply wanted to get something down in writing, they are already capable of communicating with beings on our plane to do so, so there would seem to either be some other motivation involved, or some other being.

The next vision, I must admit, is rather unclear. If any readers do have any inspiration about what it might be depicting, I am most interested in hearing your thoughts.

I saw a man ascending a wide flight of stone stairs, pausing periodically to catch his breath. With a grunt of frustration, the man pushed onward, occasionally taking two or even three steps at a time. Minutes passed, and he began to slow, taking a seat and hanging his head between his knees to pant. Sweat beaded on his forehead, and a single drop rolled down his nose, falling to the dry stone. As the droplet hit the steps, a low rumble vibrated the stairwell, and the stairs lengthened, the riser shrinking. The man turned and smiled, and began to once again climb the now easier steps, and the vision faded.

And finally, we have a vision which seems to be a follow up to a vision that was seen a little while back. Here is the recent one:

I saw a low walled city perched over a river delta. Two runners sprinted forward, a man and a woman, racing ahead. Naked save for flowing wraps, their dirt-caked feet kicked up a billowing cloud of dust. A shout went up from the city, and massive wooden gates cranked shut, a thick timbered jam dropping into position. The runners did not slow down.

When the runners were about three hundred yards from the gate, someone atop the walls shouted "Fire!" and a volley of arrows rose into the sky. The two runners increased their speed, leaping side to side to evade the falling shafts. As they approached the gate, both turned slightly and grunted, their shoulders slamming into the barricade, which exploded in a shower of wood splinters. The runners continued through the city, leaping over carts and around surprised children, and arrived at the water's edge, where they continued to sprint across the surface, disappearing around the curve of the bay. The vision faded.

It has been some time since the earlier vision was last brought up, so I will include that here as well, for reference.

I saw a vast open vista, salt flats stretching to the horizon, reflecting the sun in a vast expanse of white glare beneath a cloudless, pale blue sky. Everything was still and silent, when suddenly a man and a woman sprinted by, nearly nude save simple flowing wraps. Both were barefoot, their calloused feet pounding into the salty ground leaving cracked footprints, a cloud of dust billowing in their wake. Neither passed the other, and sweat poured from their flowing hair and long limbs. They heaved, their breaths in rhythm, and their hearts beat steadily, furiously. Muscles strained, tendons creaked, and still they pounded forward, eyes wide and faces grim. The man began to falter and pulled a vial from his belt, and without missing stride, drank it in full. He grimaced, clenching his teeth as blood began to stream from his nose, but he surged forward and matched the woman's pace. They continued to run, and the sun burned overhead. The vision faded.

This one is difficult to say. The more recent vision would seem to perhaps indicate the runners are not literally people, but represent some implacable force that will not be stopped. One that is not overtly hostile, however, because while they did smash through the city gate, they did not make any attempt to actually harm people once through, even going slightly out of their way to avoid running down children. But still, they are unable to be stopped by obstacles, even the water. The previous vision, however, particularly the part in which the male runner drank down a vial of some substance when he started to flag, would indicate that they actually are flesh and blood beings of some sort.

If anyone has any thoughts on these visions, or has any aspect of them jump out as particularly noticeable, I am quite interested in hearing what you have to say. Please feel free to seek me out or send correspondence, and we will in the near future be having a discussion in Shard to go over these visions.

Miskton Ramahk
Visionist, Court Mage of Ilithi

Real Date: Unknown Date
Alfar Warrior





Moon Mage

The Negotiants