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Xal's letter - Day of the Power/Knowledge

Author: 
Xal

Day of the Power/Knowledge
Deshaan Plain
Véloth

Dear Gosleigh,

The Cacophany wear gold and hideous masks and their instruments are built into their armor. Most have flute helms that span a foot or more, while the leader plays his ribs like a xylophone with broken bird bones. Their bottom halves all dance the same kind of impetuous, exaggerated march, kicking up dust, scaring off scribs. The natives say this is all that’s left of Sotha Sil. Maybe that’s why there are so many Swooners, silk-webbed women (or painted men) that crawl behind them, crawl or wriggle in the dirt, an entourage of excess in the din. That’s what strikes you most.

What strikes you most is the clamor, their red noise wandering, a boom-boom-blare as they advance through the plain. They say this is a membership drive or a spell or a reenactment. They say this might all be a great joke of Sotha Sil. One Swooner dies or pretends to. The priest beside me, a Mephalite sporting a sigil-halo in lieu of the regular horned abbot’s hat, tells me that these are the last dead leaves of the Velothi south. Seeing that I don’t understand, he tries to correct himself: ‘but the music they make is a skill that has been useful to ALMSIVI many times since. Songs are words reborn.’ By which, I guess, he meant to counteract the common saying, ‘By the word I mean the dead.’

Ach, if only you were here, Gosleigh! Your notions that the Ayleid shaper talents have moved east and into melody are proved correct!

We left earlier than expected. I doubt our correspondence will be as immediate as it has been in the past. Perhaps you have already responded; if so, forgive my delay, as the road through the south mainland is full of listening frames that I dare not compromise. Again, I urge you to procure for me the Adompha scroll, and hope that you will not meet with hindrance.

Begging your patience,
Xal