Saturday, March 30, 2013

Where there's smoke

The day begins to draw late though the sun's light still dusts the tops of the Sirris, its lofty spires capturing the final gasps of twilight. The shadows lengthen though the warmth captured in the meadows of the Far Wilderness holds tight and I feel their caress upon my skin. Each day brings a panorama to these eyes as only the beauty of the Dream Valley rivals the vistas I have encountered.

As I turn my gaze to the south and away from the mountains and fields I spy a wisp of smoke trailing into the fading sky. Is this some sign of habitat or an errant wildfire? I watch as the smoke trails upward as from a chimney. No, this is not a wildfire. I find myself surprised, not only by the smoke but as much perhaps as the hint of someone ahead; someone unexpected. I stop and stare as the breeze washes over me from behind. I search the fields ahead but find nothing, the trail to the sky still some ways off. My pace quickens with anticipation as I have not spoken to anyone except Authurn since I left my protected valleys.

The next hour passes quickly in anticipation of what I will find ahead. The night settles at last as the day is lost behind the mountains and the shadows no longer lengthen but become the night itself. The fields of the wilderness fade as I feel tilled earth beneath my feet. It is a sign of a working farm. A farm in the middle of nowhere. The stars above wink into existence one by one as I see a soft orange glow from ahead, the only other light a sheltered beacon within the night.

My path is soon  barred by post and rail as I stride headlong into a fence, a fence where none should be. The soft glow from the cottage moves and flickers as flames unseen dance within. I watch in silence as the warmth ahead beckons me, calls be from the chill of night, yet I have no invitation.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Thoughts of memories

The day has remained fresh with a gentle breeze upon my face as I have trekked toward the southern end of the Sirris. The day has been uneventful as I pass beside the behemoths that block the horizon from the Chrystum. My walk has been easy as the meadows roll gently with only soft ground beneath my feet. It is a welcome path compared to the rocky hillsides and ambling creeks that had been my map to this point.

A twilight sky is settling quickly on this side of the mountains as the sun falls quickly to the west. I have seen little movement across the plain as I proceed. I find myself looking forward with both anticipation and trepidation to the end of this leg. Tales abound with legends of creatures and evil magics that inhabit the Great Southern Wastelands. Long ago it was laid bare. The tales of my youth tell of a great war that was fought between the men of the northern lands and those races that dwell far below the Chrystum.

Though I have only seen the Wastelands from the lofty heights of the Sirris, an ankle of the lower hills as the Dream Valley turns and runs toward the sea, my imagination is rampant. It has been many years since I tread the lower reaches but I can still see the vast rolling desert of sand as far as the eye can see. I remember how my eyes rebelled at the stark scenery, my vision obscured by a harsh glare that seemed to encompass all of the southern border. Would there have been a war, all traces I could imagine have been erased from the memory of the world.

Night settles in quickly as my meandering thoughts have kept all sense of passing time from me. This day escapes and night intrudes again. My stomach calls from its depths and reawakens my senses. Another day of rolling fields and stalks of wistful flowers shall greet me before the peaceful meadows of the Far Wilderness will be fully behind and a new trail opens before me.