Author Topic: Valen Galaphile - A Letter From Sheyin  (Read 1808 times)

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Offline Dray

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Valen Galaphile - A Letter From Sheyin
« on: June 18, 2005, 09:33:54 PM »
-   To my son, as you grow within my womb I write these words. My trial before the Order will be over in 8 suns. I know not what will come, what sentence must be given. Therefore, if we become separated, and they place my babe in exile, I have found a way to be with you, at least in spirit. A letter you will receive each month.
-   I can say, almost in confidence, that your life will be spared, however, it is unknown to me on whether my life will be forfeit. So I am rushing to record as much as I can convey within this short time frame.
-   I refuse to become a distant memory and to be cast off as an unknown mother who abandoned you, thereby giving you justification to abandon your past. So you will know of your heritage and be empowered by the knowledge.
-   In this first letter, I will give you an abbreviated history of the valley in which your mother called home. This is a brief version of what is passed down from generation to generation. I fear that I cannot provide you more detail then what I am to disclose. For if you do indeed grow up outside the village, any more specific information then what is presented here would be dangerous in the wrong hands.
-   Your mother comes from an introverted society, but please do not hold it against me or them. For although the paranoia against all other races is indeed a black mark on the Order of the Living Tower, it is still comprised of good hearted people. If we were not cautious, we would not have developed such a marvelous community and never had discovered the secrets behind the human spirit. If it were not for this community, a young woman named Sheyin may never have had the opportunity to meet and bond with a half-elf. And you would therefore not be reading this letter.
-   This society was started by a human. His name, Shelgarad Gryphen, is now a name respected and revered almost as a deity by the Order. This Heirophant Druid, along with his comrades, a monk named Jorkell Alkar, and a sorcerer named Drakahn Innet, had enough of adventuring. At the time, more than 500 years ago, the world was full of chaos and anarchy, with many races fighting for dominance throughout the lands. Goblinkin, dwarves, humans, elves, monster races, all had no set place in life, and all wanted it. So these three powerful humans used their vast resources to establish a community, one just for humans.
-   These three men, invited four other adventuring men and three women of like mind. All of them had been companions at one time or another over the years. People they had come to respect and admire over the years, people who also had enough of the wars and wanted to raise children in peace. Children who would be away from the violence and bigotry of the other races. You see son, centuries ago, the human race did not have the stranglehold it now maintains on this world. It was a scattered race still struggling to survive after the Great Cataclysm that occurred twenty years prior. My how the tables have turned.
-   The seven men and three women, even though they were experienced and mid-season of their lives, petitioned in a selective and secretive way for mates that would best match them. The candidates were many, but it was not hard to find quality young women and men, for these ten well-known and wealthy adventurers promised a new life of hope. They would provide not only protection and shelter from the chaos of the world around them, but give the children they bore into the world their extensive knowledge.
-   So it started with only ten couples. Ten pairs of humans, who set out a search throughout the land for the perfect place to call home. After two years of searching, they located a valley in what was part of a much larger wood then it is today. The valley was a place of utter beauty and tranquility.
-   To acquire it, Shelgarad called in a favor with a mighty kingdom. The Nation of Elves owed Shelgarad a great deal, it could not refuse him. The Elves relinquished the land from its protection, forfeiting the area known as the Dim Forest forever. Shelgarad agreed to protect the land and all its nature for all eternity, a task that has so far been accomplished by the Order.
-   They came to the valley in Coldeven of 20 C.Y. [late Spring] and began to build, both their families and their village. These ten families exist today, in a social structure that would leave any outsider in shock at our completely foreign ways. Yet it is these traditions that have kept us strong for so long. But I digress, for that is a letter for another time.
-   From the very first day, Shelgarad had begun construction on what would become the symbol and center of our community. As the others created shelters from materials found in the valley, and began to settle in, Shelgarad instead withdrew into the depths of his own soul. He drew upon his powers that were secondary to his druidic abilities, but almost as potent. For Shelgarad was also a Psion. Using powers that mystified even his comrades he was able to start the seed of the Living Tower.
-   It took almost fifty years for the seemingly ageless Heirophant to complete the Living Tower. A symbol at the heart of the valley that over 200 feet high, 20 feet in diameter at the base, made of living wood, the tower was literally sculpted with techniques long forgotten, even by the elves. Using altered growing vines, he gave the wooden tower branches from a third the way up its height, to well above the top of the tower. The effect, as you may have guessed, was what appears to be a fantastically gigantic tree at the center of the valley.
-   But this is not the most fantastic aspect of this wonder. For beyond a small alcove within the base of the tree is a space within the tree that is far greater than the space outside. This space grew from the seed as much as the living wood had, it was the heart of the Living Tower and within it is our true home. A place that could house ten to twenty times the amount of people we currently have. It is land within, a place created by humans to keep out the gods. A subject of another letter.
-   Also completed at about this time was the great barrier around the outskirts of the Valley. The Council of the Living Tower finally delivered on their promise, for no man or beast has ever been able to enter the valley unchallenged.
-   As the years passed, the original ten men of the Council passed into history, with the exception of our Heirophant Druid. His tale passes into legend and is not to be written in detail. Had I raised you as a child his story will be known and dear to you by now. Alas it cannot be, so know this, Shelgarad saved the community from destruction on many occasion. During the last threat to the valley he slipped through the planes of reality and was lost to us. Someday, he will return, the oracles of this community have foreseen. Our all-knowing shaman has spoke prophecy that he will return to fight for the Valley again.
-   From early on, the Council sought a tight knit community, one that would not have individuals vying for power over others. A society in which all the aspects of life could be shared. It was to that end that ?the hunt? was created.
-   This hunt would become the center of the society?s family structure and the pinnacle of the council?s power. For the hunt forces families to re-organize, it creates leaders, it is a test for this who have reached majority, it conceives children and it forces enemies to make amends. With a liquid structure one would think chaos would erupt, but it has been quite the opposite. We are like a pack of wolves, with one purpose, one goal, one law. I will tell you the story of the hunt in another letter.
-   We now number just over a thousand, the ten humans families peacefully coexisting and evolving into what we are destined to become. I say this not to be haughty or pompous, but just to state fact and make it perfectly clear to you that our race has become a polished reflection of what is to be found in the outside world. The Order was started by ten men and women who at first only sought a place to retire in peace, but it then became something else as well. It became a community where the adventurers and all their generations could learn. A secluded place to study, research and explore the depths of the human spirit.
-   This type of environment has spawned a close-knit group of very powerful individuals. As one of very few to ever leave the valley in over five hundreds years I have gained an appreciation for this. In all my travels while on my mission, I had never encountered a group of comrades as powerful or as many.
-   I must conclude this first letter, as I can deliver to you only one page each month, but know this, the charges are not baseless. I am guilty of them all, but where I was in service in the order I still may be spared. The only thing that lies in the way is the politics of the Council. There are too many factors to explain it all here, but in order for the Council to maintain the balance, I may have to die.
-   I just wanted you to know, that if you are reading this letter and you have no memory of me, then please do not seek revenge in the Order. I needed to be sacrificed to save the society I too had fought for and loved. As I also love you my son, please respect my wishes.