Xenofos — Words Of The Vision
????, Fire Season, Season/Death Week
Fire Season/Death week/Godday/After Xenofos made his divination Uncle Desdel wrote his words down [[[s02:session-42|Session 42]]]
Xenofos has sunk to his knees. He continues to sing the hymn of praise to Light of Wisdom.
After a while, the song ends, and he can hear the light wrangling of people talking behind him. Something about de facto occupation of holy spaces, and whether it is rude to interrupt.
Xenofos tries to steady his breathing and compose himself. He fails, tears falling from his eyes and his shoulders shaking.1 failed meditate
Footsteps come closer. “Nephew?” Desdel’s voice.
“I am alright, uncle.” his form does not confirm his words.
There is a brief moment of silence, and then a muttered, “But I have an appointment…” Then Sage Amant’s tone, “Ah, we do have multiple ways of dealing with this, Scribe Erfu. In general of course there is a …”
Whatever he is saying is lost as Desdel comes closer, and with a little effort squats down to put a hand on Xenofos’ shoulder. “Come, let us go get you something to eat, a quiet place to sit.”
Xenofos opens his eyes. “I saw her uncle. I saw her…” Tears continue to roll on to his cheeks.
He smiles a little. “Good.” No question of who he thinks it might be. “Do you need a moment more?”
He steadies himself with help of his arms that feel like bars of lead after having been in torch posture for so long.
Slowly he gets up, picking up his scabbarded rapier. His head feels light and standing up the Library seems to sway and twist around quite unlike it usually does. Quite unlike the House of Stasis does.
Desdel stands, keeping an eye on Xenofos.2 fumbled scan by Desdel and pals ||Hahaha. One Fumbled Scan and nobody in the group of people waiting has actually noticed the Truth Rune.||
Xenofos touches his cheek and closes his eyes again.
Just the touch of fingers. Nothing more. Cold after so long in meditation and prayer.
Xenofos opens up his eyes and turns his head around trying to see where Yelm is on the sky. He has lost his sense of time.
“Come on…” Desdel’s hand nudges him gently from the altar. “You have been longer than your allotted time here.”
“I… Yes… ” meekly he lets his uncle lead him away from the altar.
There are waiting rooms nearby, and Desdel makes for one of those, bringing Amant to pull rank and – importantly – precedent. Stone benches worn by generations are there to make aching bones hurt in different ways. Even here, there is a reading lectern.
Xenofos sits down and tries to focus his eyes on his uncle.
Desdel springs into focus, and out again. Balding, but never quite bald. An expensive robe, with detachable cuff protectors. He does a lot of work in ink. And now nothing but the diamonds and fractures of tears, and a grey blur where he should be.
“Do you have your writing kit ready, uncle?” it is easier to keep the eyes closed. Then the room spins less.
“Of course.” Because he is a writer. There are the sounds of him adjusting the top wedge on the lectern so he can use it.
“Date. Today. Supplicant Xenofos of Saiciae,scholar from Nochet Library of Lhankor Mhy… Question asked. Lhankor Mhy Lord of Knowledge and Lore, First Scribe and Schoolmaster, Beloved of Light of Knowledge, Father of Enlightment, Keeper of Secrets, Guardian of Wisdom, answer my questions, I plead. Is it your displeasure that has robbed Xenofos, who thus addressess you, of his understanding of mystery of letters or some other malevolent force that has cursed him. Will you help Xenofos gain back his understanding of this mystery What should this said Xenofos do, to regain his command of written and read words.”3 rolled against INT5 to remember the questions and answers
Desdel makes a tiny sound at the end of that, encouraging, to indicate that he has kept up.
“The answers: Xenofos himself put down my gift, All who seek true knowledge are welcome at my Temple.” Tears return to his face as he continues in voice filled with wonder “And a vision of grace and beauty beyond mere words to describe, exhorting continued search.”
“You may have to try,” Desdel points out, as the pen-scratchings stop.
“Analysis. Analysis… requiring further work.” Xenofos ignores his uncle as he struggles to reach the formal form of a report.
“The vision,” Desdel says gently. “It may help others.”
“The vision… She was there… And it was not her, even when she had her visage… In the Library that is… She could not reach the folio. It was on a high shelf… I reached for it, for her. She let me help. Told me to keep on seeking the mysteries. Told me to continue even when I fail….”
Desdel is now writing in wax, making notes rather than using his ink pen. “Not her?” he prompts.
“She looked very much like someone I love…”
“A vision of Knowledge in the Library, taking the form of one most loved…” Desdel goes back to the ink. “With a folio beyond reach of a single seeker…”
“I only reached some loose leaves, not the whole volume…”
That too is written, although Desdel asks, “Would you say it was your seeking, or the nature of the work that you sought, which made it so?”
“I do not know. It seemed to be within reach. I was careful. But I did not get it.”
That too is marked down. “And did you keep these leaves with you, as you left the vision?”
“I gave them to her. She was the one who needed them…”
A tiny pause. “And in return, knowledge?”
“She was the one who needed them… I did not seek a reward.” Xenofos tries to focus on Desdel. “She told me to keep on seeking. Even if I fail…?”
“That is your answer, then. What were her exact words?” Desdel is starting to come into focus properly.
“Seek the mysteries of knowledge. When you fail, keep seeking.” Xenofos recites. His left hand seeks his cheek. The left one, carrying faded remains of fertility rune painted in woad. He blushes lightly.
“And is that all?” Desdel carries ink to the end of talking, as a knowledge-labourer should.
“All that can be put to words, I think, uncle Des.” he says leaning backwards on the uncomfortable stone bench.
“Very well.” Desdel makes a mark to indicate the end of writing, and dates the end as well as the start, indicating that it was all written at once. “It seems you are favoured still.”
He rests his head against the hard stone wall with eyes closed. “I feel thankful, nay that sounds too weak, blessed, overwhelmed having been allowed to see her again.”
“It is a fine thing,” Desdel says quietly. He gathers his things to leave.
Xenofos opens his eyes, rolls his shoulders and gets onto his feet.
“This should be filed, and I should inform the Sages of its content. I think you have the new precedent that I promised Amant.”
“Let me see.” Xenofos says.
In Desdel’s elegant hand it reads,
“Qngr. GTbqqnl bs Qrngu Jrrx. Fhccyvpnag Krabsbf bs Fnvpvnr,fpubyne sebz Abpurg Yvoenel bs Yunaxbe Zul… Dhrfgvba[f] nfxrq. Yunaxbe Zul Ybeq bs Xabjyrqtr naq Yber, Svefg Fpevor naq Fpubbyznfgre, Orybirq bs Yvtug bs Xabjyrqtr, Sngure bs Rayvtugzrag, Xrrcre bs Frpergf, Thneqvna bs Jvfqbz, nafjre zl dhrfgvbaf, V cyrnq. Vf vg lbhe qvfcyrnfher gung unf eboorq Krabsbf, jub guhf nqqerffrff lbh, bs uvf haqrefgnaqvat bs zlfgrel bs yrggref be fbzr bgure znyribyrag sbepr gung unf phefrq uvz. Jvyy lbh uryc Krabsbf tnva onpx uvf haqrefgnaqvat bs guvf zlfgrel Jung fubhyq guvf fnvq Krabsbf qb, gb ertnva uvf pbzznaq bs jevggra naq ernq jbeqf.
“Nafjref:- Krabsbf uvzfrys chg qbja zl tvsg:- Nyy jub frrx gehr xabjyrqtr ner jrypbzr ng zl Grzcyr:- Ivfvba urerhaqre qrfpevorq.
“N ivfvba bs Xabjyrqtr va gur Yvoenel, gnxvat gur sbez bs bar zbfg ybirq, jvgu n sbyvb orlbaq ernpu bs n fvatyr frrxre. Krabsbf jnf crezvggrq gb nvq va vgf erpbirel, nygubhtu bayl fbzr ybbfr yrnirf pbhyq or ergevrirq, nygubhtu vg jnf gb gur haghgberq zvaq jvguva rnfl ernpu. Va erghea ur jnf tvsgrq jvgu n fnlvat sebz unyybjrq yvcf: ‘Frrx gur zlfgrevrf bs xabjyrqtr. Jura lbh snvy, xrrc frrxvat.'”
Xenofos looks at the parchment and shakes his head.
Unperturbed, Desdel reads it instead.
“Date. Godday of Death Week. Supplicant Xenofos of Saiciae,scholar from Nochet Library of Lhankor Mhy… Question[s] asked. Lhankor Mhy Lord of Knowledge and Lore, First Scribe and Schoolmaster, Beloved of Light of Knowledge, Father of Enlightment, Keeper of Secrets, Guardian of Wisdom, answer my questions, I plead. Is it your displeasure that has robbed Xenofos, who thus addresses you, of his understanding of mystery of letters or some other malevolent force that has cursed him. Will you help Xenofos gain back his understanding of this mystery What should this said Xenofos do, to regain his command of written and read words.
“Answers:- Xenofos himself put down my gift:- All who seek true knowledge are welcome at my Temple:- Vision hereunder described.
“A vision of Knowledge in the Library, taking the form of one most loved, with a folio beyond reach of a single seeker. Xenofos was permitted to aid in its recovery, although only some loose leaves could be retrieved, although it was to the untutored mind within easy reach. In return he was gifted with a saying from hallowed lips: ‘Seek the mysteries of knowledge. When you fail, keep seeking.'”
Xenofos nods. “Will you file it? I wish to return to the palazzo now…”
“Of course. I’ll have someone see you out.” Desdel opens the door to let in the loud outside.
Mechanically Xenofos ties his swordbelt on top of his robes and starts walking towards the Library stables.
There is a servant with him to go that far. It might be useful – someone tries to approach and the servant signals her away.4 special scan? some previous acquaintance?
The woman is nobody he has ever seen before, although her jewelled beard indicates richness and status. She is apparently curious, but content to be sent away.
At some other time Xenofos might feel curiosity. Now he concentrates on moving his feet ahead one step at the time.
At home, there are still the same things in his room. Some of them for war and defence and destruction, some of them for writing, reading, the classification of knowledge.
He picks up his kithara and picks up a few random notes. He should remember to replace the missing strings.
Instead he takes out his sword and goes around the edge with sharpening stone. There is no need for that. The sword is already as sharp as it can be without magic.
Servants come to feed him, bring him water, be attentive to him…
He lies on the couch, stares at the ceiling and falls asleep. With a smile on his face.