I speak these things at the seeking of Sonea Fair One, for the thing herein be hers and all that transpired be hers. And this be a good thing that it be so.

The digging of gems is a necessary thing. Yet, and this must be said, I trow there be few that find it a thing of delight. And thus it might be that, if a one were digging gems, and that one did come upon a call from another to a thing of some delight, and if that delight might also be called necessary for the sorrow that would come were the call not heeded, then mayhap the gems might sit undug a while.

And thus it was.

For I dug gems, and Sonea Fair One did make the FarCall to me and this she did say. That the thing she had been long building and the thing that was dear to her heart was set to be made whole and she would have me there when that thing was made whole. And thus the gems I left undug and took wing and other travel and set me upon her lands.

And what was the thing that was to be made whole? Aye, there be, as some bipeds have said for reasons that do flee my understanding, the rub.

Those that have had the ill fortune to know Sephiranoth draku or have had the woe of hearing it discourse do know that it will, of a time, make names. And these not need be names that the world knows, but those that hath meaning to Sephiranoth and thus let it speak more simply, fior it be ever a simple draku. And thus there be Sonea Fair One, who be not called Fair One to the world save by Sephiranoth's persistence. There be Auril Dawn Maiden, and Eliora of the Surise smile, the Midnight tears. There be Nefrett of the Hands that Heal, though she be many more things than Healer. There be Chioxin Son of my mind, and there be the Saritova Academy of Mayhem and Destruction. And these be names, and the name be not the thing itself, but the name needs must have import to the one that speaks. And, in time, by those that listen also... [:)]

Thus there was a thing that would be made whole, and that thing was a place, and that thing was a dream and that thing was... the thing was a place of walls and roof and doors, but it was a place not made to hold things in but to set things free and let them roam, a place small compared to the lands we walk, but a place that might hold in it a thousand thousand lands and each greater or lesser than the lands we walk. A place, ye might well say, of magery most deep and least understood, but practiced by all among us, and learned from those most wise and foolish among us all, our friends and enemies and family and on and on to the very gods. For it was a place of Tales. A place where those with whimsy and history, with delight and terror might offer those words to others, not to hold as a gem fresh cut and inviolate, but to take and mix and blend in their own being and make of it that each listener would make. A Hall of Tales, aye. But as each Tale be but a mystery unclear and a mirror that reflects some part of that we know, but not quite whole and clear, I cast a name. A name that be but a thing of Sephiranoth and not of need for any other, but I set it before thee.

And the Sonea Fair One's Hall of Mirrors was made whole.

And at that making was Sonea Fair One, and Auril Dawn Maiden, though she was not yet named such, and Nich BowMaster.

And the making was made and the Hall of Mirrors rose. And those present found it a thing of delight, and they did run from place to place within it. And, and this be a thing of some wonder, one of those that so ran was an Ancient drakonis by name of Sephiranoth, for it was found that the entrance did allow its ingress, and indeed egress, and the halls did allow its progress. And there was a place of speaking, and it was such that a drake might take stance there.

And a Hall of Mirrors be not made save a Mirror be set inside it. And Sonea spoke:

Sonea says "A tale, Sephi! we must have a tale!"

And Sephiranoth did stand, and it did think, to that limit of its feeble ability to so do, and it was the time of Festival and of drak things and of tales of fear. And thus it was time that a part of the Tale of Mardrin be told. And this is how it is set, not as a scribe sets pen, but as though ye did stand to one side as the poor tale was spun before those present:


You say, 'It seems.... long and long ago this was..........'

You say,'That there was a gnome. And the gnome... well, it was a healer, of sorts at least....'

Sonea claps her hands together, eyes sparling with excitement*

You say, 'And oft and many would it heal, of those that had no coin.'

Auril smiles, listening to the dragon closely

You say, 'And those that had coin, those that be rich among the healers, they would decaim him fool and unwise, that the poor would come to value healing less. And thus... they refused him entry to the places that healing be learned. And, lacking such knowing, there were many that it could not heal. And some... and some of those, they died.

And of a time and a time... the healer gnome did come to see too many die. And it came to fear, for it hath knowing that in time, it would come to some ill or some wound or simply some age... and it would pass.

And it feared this.'

Sonea tells you, 'this is a very special day for me Sephi.. you .. telling the first tale in my new house.. thank you so very very much *eyes grow damp with emotion*

You say, 'And fearing this, and being of those that seek knowing, it did take it to strange places.... and it sought strange knowing.'

Auril whispers to Sonea "He speaks so well..."

You say, 'And in those places, far in the howling ice and the burning fire, did Mardrin come to a place. And in that place did lurk a cunning artificer. And this artificer had a companion.'

Sonea nods as she dabs at something that must be in her eyes making them tear*

You say, 'And the artificer's companion was not as others, for it was all of metal. And the metal, it walked! And not only walked, for it would hew wood and it would draw water and even, of a fashion, it would talk! And thus, it seemed, it had a form of living to it.

And Mardrin was intrigued by this. And for many tides it did seek to stay with the artificer. And when it did leave that place... behind it walked a companion. And thar companion felt no cold nor heeded any wound, and it seemed, in some fashion, bound to Mardrin.

And Mardrin came again to the places of people.'

You speak aside to Sonea, 'It be a thing of new telling and it springs as i speak it, so it be of poor quality...'

Sonea tells you, 'I love it.. every word *hug*'

You say, 'And it set itself forth again as a healer. And many and many came to its healing, for it took no coin, and none it turned away.

Though some still... some yet came not back. and the people held naught against it, for the mightiest healers may not heal all.

And of a time, it seemed to those of the healers that Mardrin might take all their custom and all their coin might never come. And they gathered those of the night, that have no respect for Law and set them to a task. And taking that task, those of the night came to Mardrin's place of being and they entered, that Mardrin might not leave whole.

And they came not forth.'

Sonea blinks.

You say, 'And Mardrin spoke no word to those that keep the Law, but the ones of the night he never spoke of either. And the people were pleased, that those with coin were discomfited, for they had often said that those with coin had no need or fear of the Law save to hold those without in check.

And thus it was.

And for many tides this carried on. Many and many and many....... indeed, so many, that there were none who did not remember Mardrin being there when they were young, aye, and their granfers speaking of him being there also.

And this was a strange thing.

And there be one among those that wondered, and that one was a young healer. Its name be lost, for it was not one of great note, though it sought to be so. Aand it did come to think that Mardrin had strange gifts or powers or potions that had mastered life itself.' And it decided that it would have those potions for itself.'

Sonea tells you, '*grins*'

You say, 'And thus it set to disguise itself as one of those poor and it took him to a place of those that be diseased, for it thought itself brave indeed. And it set him there till it as taken with a palsy most dire and then it did take him to the place of Mardrin and sought healing, claiming no coin to its name and a feeble mother to care for.

And Mardrin did take him to its place of healing.

And there, it seemed, did Mardrin have those that sought healing, and among them were a number of those that haunted the streets, but were not even of an age that would seek schooling were their fate better.'

And the young healer was amazed that Mardrin did waste his time and talent on such ones.

And Mardrin did bid each one there to quaff a sweet tasting potion it offered, to prepare for that which must be. And all drank. But the young healer did pour secretly the potion to a bottle it had brought with it, to examine later. And as those others drank, so did they come to a more quiet state. and they sat, as though waiting.

And Mardrin did take him and set him before the metal companion. And he did call a strange calling. Aand a thing did come.

For a strange smoke issued from the metal companion, and it fell to the ground. And the smoke set if forth. and it seemed to take the form of an old wizened figure.

And Maldrin did speak to the figure and it did say ' It be time and thy time be done'.

And like a flash of fire, the smoke figure did gther itself and it did pour over the young healer. And the young healer did find itself not able to move but a single muscle.

And Maldrin did speak and it did say:

' Ye sought to learn that I know. Let it be so.'

Sonea 's eyes widen in anticipation,

You say, 'and Maldrin did take upon it the armour of the metal thing, and it did stand full caparisoned. And the healer moved not a muscle, for it could not. And the metal thing thart was Maldrin did stand forth. And it did come to...........'

You say,' It be hard, Fair One. Most ever hard..........'

You say,'It did come to the childer.

And it took the first to it, and it did......

You say,'I was there, do ye see?'

You say,'It did take the... the youngling.......... and it did embrace it most close.'

Sonea says, 'oh my Sephi... do ye wish to stop?'

You say, 'And it did embrace it ever closer.... and closer....................'

Sonea grows pale and grabs Auril's hand.

You say, 'And full soon, the blood burst forth. And it burst.... and it fell upon the metal thing... and it painted it full red..........'

Sonea squeaks and cringes. Auril squeezes her hand reassuringly, glancing at Sonea.

You say, 'And then... the red was gone. And the metal seemed to drink it full. And the metal thing did tke the next child.

And as each was..... embraced..............'

Sonea pinches her lips together and starts to turn green...

You say, 'The blood was taken and the metal was red and the red was gone.'

Auril whispers "Sonea... are thee well?..."

You say, 'And when all the childer were.... were...... when the thing was done..... It did take it to the grown one that stood there. And looking, the young healer did know that one, fot it was a mighty guild leader of the city.'

Sonea gulps and tries to look brave

You say, 'And the metal thing did take the guild leader by the hand, and a thing did come. '

Auril sighs a bit, then lets some healing magic over to Sonea to ease her.

You say, 'For the lines of age did pass, and the muscles jaded with age did seem to take new strength and the hair of the guild master did tke darker hue.

And the guild leader did take him to a mirror, and it did look, and it did let fall a large pouch that spilled gold.

And it did leave.

And the metal one did stand. And it did speak. And it said:

' This be a thing. If there be no life, then my companion will pass. And if it passes, then there is no power to it.

And thus it must hold life.

While I am in it... then there is life. But when I am not... there must be life.

And ye do live.

And yet... ye do live in that feeble frame.


Sonea jumps

You say, 'And the healer felt the smoke thing gather the healer's spirit. Aand it did lift the spirit from the healer's frame... and it did set it about the healers spirit and carry it to the metal thing.

And into the metal thing it did take the healer. And there already the healer did find Mardrin. And Mardrin was strong.........'

Auril straightens a bit, raising one eyebrow.

You say, 'And the healer was cast to slumber.

And then...... The healer woke.

And it woke, and felt itself free. And it sought to turn and run for the door. And as it raised its foot.........

It clanked.

And as it raised its arm.....

The sound of metal grating came to ears that felt most strange.'

And it heard a laugh.

And it heard Mardrin. And Mardrin said:

" If the metal does not drink, ye die.
If ye obey me not, ye die."

And the healer..... the city grieved. That the healer never recovered from its illness. And the city was most pleased at it's properity. For it had far fewer of those that scavenge the streets than others aobut it.

And all were happy ever after. Most all... most....'

You say, 'and this be the tale, or a part of the tale, of Mardrin.'

Sonea stands and applauds the master teller of tales.

Auril claps her hands "Well told ser dragon!"

Auril bows before Sephiranoth

Sonea says, 'thank you so very much Sephi'

You say, 'Well told? It killed them... all the poor younglings... I fell. and was judged fallen.'

Auril says, 'Indeed, thank you. This is the first time I hear thee speak... but alas, things these horrific are part of thy tale. It would not be complete if not told.'

Auril says, 'Do not feel bad for sharing it, Ser Dragon.'

You say, 'It be but a tale. Else I could not speak it. Only to one that was there may I speak.'

And the tale was done. For a tale it was, and only a tale. Only a tale...................