The Mirror Portal: A Gleaner Legend

Author: Treads-the-Stars
Released In:

In Fargrave, the Celestial Palanquin of Oblivion, a tale is told of a Gleaner named Vinyehil who found a door to a place that never existed.

Vinyehil roamed the planes centuries ago. A seasoned traveler of strange realms, she tallied dozens of “first leaps,” visiting places no mortal had seen before. Yet for every first leap she reported, Vinyehil kept another one secret. It pleased her to know of things no one else even suspected.

One day, her return from the abandoned palace of a Daedric lord did not go as she intended. Instead of appearing in the Plaza of Portals near the comforts of the Bearer’s Rest, she found herself out in the desert surrounding Fargrave—so far the giant Bearers were mere bumps on the horizon. The Gleaner resigned herself to a long walk home.

How far she walked, Vinyehil could not be sure. But in time she came to a portal atop a dune, a fracture of mirror-like shards without frame or border. Vinyehil studied this portal a long time before she stepped through, since she had never seen one like it. But sooner or later, a Gleaner must find out what lies on the other side of a door. That’s the Gleaner way. So Vinyehil entered.

At first, she thought she had not gone anywhere at all. The landscape looked the same on the other side. But as Vinyehil made her way down the slopes of the dune, the land began to change. The sand beneath her feet took on a shimmering silvery hue and the ghostly shapes of ruined buildings materialized around her.

The farther she walked, the more solid they seemed, until she found herself wandering in a deserted city of crystalline buildings and many-hued courts. Around her, Fargrave’s desert still stretched away to the horizon. Somehow, this city of the invisible existed in the same plane as the Celestial Palanquin, a reflection sequestered away behind the fracture she had stumbled across.

Vinyehil determined to explore this hidden realm. Yet as she approached the heart of the ruins, she encountered a strange creature—a prismatic entity that towered over her on three sharp-pointed legs. It perceived her at once and charged. Judging this a good time to depart, Vinyehil fled. She ran back to the mirror portal, jumping through—and the ghostly echo vanished.

When at last she reached the walls of Fargrave, Vinyehil sought answers about what she had found in the desert. No one knew of such a place or could even guess at what it might be. That was bad enough, but then Vinyehil found herself troubled by the feeling that she had forgotten something. She lingered in Fargrave, becoming more and more certain that something was terribly amiss, until she was half-mad with undefined worry.

Vinyehil vanished a few months after her remarkable adventure. She was last seen trekking out into the Fargrave wilderness. No one ever heard from her again. Where exactly her mirror portal lies and what it was she found on the other side remain mysteries to this day. And a challenge for future Gleaners to take up—if they have the courage.

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