The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Aresan Clan pt 115

Tall shelves of books extending to the ceiling lined the walls on all sides. A single door admitted one into this room, which contained no windows. As many books as possible had been crammed by the Sages into this limited space within their cloisters. If it had been feasible they would’ve added shelves into the ceiling and floor, in order to increase their shelving capacity.

Noone opened the door to the room ushering in some light into the dark. It smelled of decaying paper, aged parchment and dust. The organization of the books was complete chaos, with books being simply added as they were acquired, with no attention to order. Older Sages like her and Eloh had a fairly good memory of the random locations of most of the books, but finding one was still usually quite time-consuming.

Currently, though, Noone was not looking for a particular book, but for a particular gap that she had remembered retaining the last time they’d added to their collection. She couldn’t remember where it was, and just as she had to when she forgot the location of a book, she scanned the shelves for it.

Two gaps presented themselves, and Noone, split the collection of books that they had confiscated from Jule between them, mostly filling the gaps. Most of these newly acquired books were undoubtedly expensive and valuable copies, written with excellent calligraphy and decorated with beautiful illustrations.

But there was one that stuck out. It was small, created simply with a small sheaf of papers that had been folded folio-style and sewn together with a piece of string along the fold. No other binding was present and the book was not protected by any sort of hard cover. In fact, there was nothing even written on the cover page. Noone hadn’t looked at this one and only after shelving the other books, did she finally open the blank cover and look at the contents. The writing was crude and only moderately legible, apparently having been done hastily and not by one of the finest scribes.

When she looked at the top of the first page she was floored by the contents, titled, “The Sevenfold-Dream Prophecy.” Noone’s eyes expanded wide as she read this. This was the final prophecy of Maarta, something that she’d heard much about, but never realized had ever been written down.

“Immediately after Maarta woke she told us her prophecy,” the writing began just below the title, “And only after she prophesized did she tell us what she dreamt. She dreamt a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream within a dream: the holy sevenfold dream.

“At first, she dreamt of walking through a large, dark meadow. From this, she awoke to find herself sleeping at the foot of a giant elm. A leaf fell and she chased after it into the abyss of a great shadow. She then awoke again lying on the bed of a cottage with a strange and attractive man sleeping beside her. She started to climb out of the window of this cottage, but she again awoke. She had been sleeping just next to the precipice of a cliff and almost rolled and fell off into the clouds below. Looking down at the sickening height, she stood and fell upwards. In mid flight, she awoke again. Now she was chained to the floor of a rock-walled room, like a prisoner in a dungeon. A bucket of water was poured on her, and she awoke on the grass in the forest. A small fawn leaned over her and licked at her face. She stood up and asked the fawn how long she’d been asleep. The fawn responded by telling her she was still asleep. Finally, she awoke back in the dark meadow where her dream had begun. This time, though, the divinity was there to speak to her. Here is what he said, as Maarta related to us after she awoke.”

Then the scribe began to record the entirety of the last prophecy of Maarta, beginning with the cryptic words, “The sky will begin to fly like hoofs that walk upon the tops of trees; dawn will turn into dusk; and inverse-stars will fall.” It didn’t grow any less cryptic as Noone continued to read.

She was interrupted by the arrival of Eloh and Salles, who entered through the main entryway immersed in conversation. Noone left the library to meet them, immediately saying to Salles, “Look who’s back?”

After a greeting, Noone said to Salles, “I hope the simple pleasures of the cloisters will be enough for you after being exposed to all the wealth and decadence of the city, young novice.”

“Undoubtedly,” Salles replied.

<-- Go to Part 114         Go to Part 116 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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