The Mirror of Glory

You came to me - like the Sun - at dawn and in tattered rags.

Someone found you, washed up on the beach that morning, as they were leaving the Storm Watch on the shore. Haqir or Hadan, I remember no longer. Remarkable that they could see anything at all, after gazing all night into that mighty tempest that gave you birth…

There was fear in your eyes then, when I first saw you. Fear and something else. Pride.

We were a threat, an unknown to you - even a blind man could see as much...well...half blind. But what we were foremost, was below you. You were oh so superior to us contemptible vermin.

A great show of hiding it – aye. Possibly spawned by years of careful practice, bred by both necessity and ambition. Of all the fools with their minds stuck upon this corporeal plane, the Drow are most likely the haughtiest in their ignorance. And arrogance. Their Spirit so bound to the Rocks they dwell in, even their “goddess” meddles in their physical lives. Even twists their bodies, I hear. Fitting. A machine mind for a machine heart.

But I could see right through your careful masquerade. Given the auspices of your birth, this was not surprising: hubris, after all, is the ever-present hallmark of your kind. It is both the reason and result, of living in the dirt like Worms. Skulking in the Underdark...hidden away from the Glory of the Sun-in-Rags.

I told you as much. That your pretense of gratitude is merely that. “….you can see that?” you asked me, after the initial charade of offense. “I can see a great many things, Faerunerell Hakht Fin Druve Ni Edd Ghamorach"

You didn’t remember me, from when we met. Sad, yet understandable. Like all the other elves, Drukhii fled the gentle embrace of sleep in ages past, preferring the cold solace of your mind instead – a dreamless sleep, like keeping one foot in the Door in the Eye while the rest of you goes through. Through: to the Mansus.

Yet there you were. Like a mewling babe, playing in the Woods around the House without Walls. I took you in my arms in that dream, and when you shown me your name written on your skin, I knew that very moment you were meant to cross my path back in the Skinlands.

It’s why I couldn’t let you leave, like you demanded. Repeatedly.

Your Pride blinded both your beautiful red eyes to what was all around you. You saw only desolation. A grey absence that bore no life, a despoiled unnatural jungle where dwell the disturbed and the twisted. Naturally, your Heart commanded you to flee. Any sane creature would.

But as a wise man once said: “No living organism can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality.”

Sanely. For Long. I thought for a moment you would drown in all of it. Your impotent rage. Your devouring self-pity.

Deafened by the silence the universe had for all your failures – each time you tried to build your House of Sand to last the generations, the tide would come in and wash it in the blink of an eye. And yet it was always there for you. The Door in the Eye. You just couldn’t see.

And yet – you felt it. A power, slumbering within the mountain. Calling to you – in your dreams.

The Grail, tempting you with it’s sensations. A promise of Power emanating from the Forge. Granted, it took you much longer than the other children who came to me. Perhaps you were too scared to know? Perhaps too proud to ask? But in the end, came to me you did. “To understand that, which you feel pulling you there” I told you “you must be counted among the Know.”

“How can I know?”

“You cannot. One does not simply know. One must simply…be.”

“Can...Can you make me a Know?” “No” “Then who can?” “Why only you of course.” “Stop this fucking nonsense old man!” you yelled at me. I really liked that table, one of the disciples made it for me before he departed. “What the hell are you talking about!?! You speak in riddles like you’re some kind of astral power from the end of time that sees a message from the cosmos behind every fucking fart. Just...tell me what’s inside that mountain!?”

“But I’ve told you, Fae. I can tell you a million times more and yet you will never truly understand. Not until you open. To open a thing, means to learn its true nature.”

“Told me? The only thing you told me these past few weeks was a bunch of gibberish. I’m sorry I don’t speak your weirdo-island-with-a-dead-jungle dialect of bullshit. Don’t get me wrong, I’m usually fluent – but your metaphores just aren’t cutting it. What. Is. Up. There?” “It is….” I paused for a moment. It is always such a struggle to speak with Mortals of the Mansus.

“a...Color...not of this world.” Words...They always seem to fail, when faced with Glory.



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