Legends of Belariath


The Mask Forever Stained - The Artists' Ambit Drop-In

Dasan, on his way to another shift at the general store, found himself staring at the entrance to the Artists' Ambit. Sure, some of the people in the town had mentioned it in passing, but the building itself had he never seen. It was a rather interesting place for the most part. Unlike some of the storefronts and bazaar stalls, it was not covered in garish designs and paints. Some would call it welcoming, but Dasan knew better than that. The Grove of Balance was "welcoming," this place was just "there." You entered and you left at will, and there was none to truly greet you or educate you. Perhaps that was just how a structure such as this worked. It was not, after all, like a tribal yurt or lodge. There were many different peoples that used this building, almost none of them truly unified. The only thing most had in common was a love for the more artistic things in life. Whether it be creating them or just observing them, given the way more than a few of the infernal banes of existence were openly gawking and drooling like the base fiends they were...

Alas, just going into the building was a "push" for the young man. Entering any place knowingly defiled by such creatures always made him cringe internally. Of course, the only way to prevent that was to either ensure that the filth elves of wickedness never heard of the place or were physically barred from entering. The best way to do that would be, obviously, to behead them all and throw their bodies into a volcano. Sadly, that option was not readily available to Dasan, as much as he desired it. Sitting down, he whispered a prayer or two of forgiveness to the ancestors, knowing they disapproved of him having blade present and not using it on the wretched infestation on two legs. Figuring there were a few rituals he ought to keep up with, Dasan decided to grab a few scrolls and parchments, seeing what he could do to create a prayer and psalm for the new year.

As far as Dasan went, he was actually pretty "accepting" of dark elves: he accepted the fact they were evil, he accepted the knowledge that they could be slain, and he accepted the sorrow that whomever this Emperor was had been misguided into allowing them to continue to breathe. With good fortune and the ancestors' will, this "Bringer Of Storms" would see his errors and bring wrath and devastation to the givers of horror and woe. Dasan would not be the one to make the Emperor see the light. He knew that already, given Dasan himself had no tribe or clan to support him, no strength of arm or spell to gain favour with yet. So Dasan knew well what he needed to do for his prayer. The psalm, however, would be a different story entirely.


{= this is the poem of prayer written by the Sheykan druid, Dasan =}

~* And To This Sky And Sea I Thank *~

upon my darkened skin
do I see the shimmer of the fallen glow
light from above caressing my shoulder
down to my thighs and far below
yet within my heart I feel no warmth
until the touch of lover's lips upon my shoulder
give me the will to rise from my bed
and the strength to move the largest boulder

come now down the rain or snow
for will I walk through both with grace and pride
and to every duty pressed into my hands
will I commit myself and shall not hide
even when faced with devil's smile
and their laughter coiling around my wrists
shall I steel my soul against their lies
without resorting to striking them down with my fists

this land woven together with foolish pride
shall fall apart or stand without my foreigner's touch
as my heart and soul belong to my goddess
those of the city will not waver my stance much
my goals shall soar above their perfumes
unclouded by their arrogant dreams
with clear eyes and throat will I sing out
washing away my sins in winter streams

shall I no longer tarry in what I wish
to achieve with knowledge and wisdom both
so to this end shall I consider now
the words that make up my solemn oath
becoming greater than I was before
even if o'er dead enemies will I need to climb
and if bastard race of elves gets in my way
shall I bleed them proudly just as I rhyme


Finishing the prayer, the druid found it interesting how easily the vehemence toward the traditional enemies of his people came to him. The text was almost alarming in its way, for Dasan had never considered himself a violent individual. Then again, anything to do with the dark elves had always driven him into a slight rage. There was a race that he hated as much as the "usurpers of the way and the light," but that was a far more personal thing. His desire to see the dark elves destroyed was pretty much ingrained into him from birth. So even as an outcast, Dasan would almost always side with another Sheykan against a dark elf. Sure, they had their own name for themselves: the moriel. The druid had a name for them as well: banespawn. Something he had yet to call the one klez, for that was the first moriel he felt sorry for in his entire life. Something about that one large bodied elf made him feel... bad.

That aggravated Dasan in ways he had never been annoyed before.

Going back to the quill and parchment, the druid sought to try to write something less volatile. This was a place of art, not war. And Dasan figured there had to be something remotely thankful and creative within his body somewhere. After all, if those worthless lumps of flesh that even starving carnivores should turn their nose up at could dance beautifully, then any Sheykan worth their salt could do infinitely better.


{= And this would be the psalm to Gaea and the ancestors the Sheykan penned slowly and carefully. To his credit, he was trying to not think of what he himself wanted, but what the spirits were wanting of him. =}

~* Wandering To Where My Home Shall Be *~

shall this land of snow and blistering heat
become now and forever my hunting grounds
where love and life shall weave together
creating for me tapestry of home
this now will become my native lands
for my feet to stride and my ears to listen
without either am I just a roaming soul
to never romance my blood with glory
all threats to my life aside and away
shall I serve as shield and spear to history
remembering well the sacrifices before me
and will create new legends for those after

released am I from bonds of broken bronze
enslaved no more to want and will of others
as the winds howl at my back to move me
so shall I run forward toward the light
no true destiny shall I be given unjustly
but will my hands and heart earn every gift
courtesy of the rivers and mountains
will fill my haversack and nets over time
to bring back to those whom I call my own
and then to share in the name of Gaea
giving back by blessing forward
making the cycle of life complete anew