Commentary on Enchiridion Valentia - Lorae'Tyr (essay)
Title: Commentary on Enchiridion Valentia
Author: Lord Silvean Rashere
In the interest of increasing public discussion of the Enchiridion, I have decided to release some of my private notes on the portion of the text dealing with Lorae'Tyr. These notes are the result of a reflective practice I have developed over the past year. First, I purchased a sheaf of oversized paper with the middle cut out so that the Enchiridion fits inside. This provides new margins for recording immediate observations and questions. Second, I have twice copied the Enchiridion out by hand onto strips of paper that can be easily re-arranged. This allows me to approach the text in new ways and ultimately I have created a copy for study wherein the original text is spliced together with my commentary.
Concerning the Lorae'Tyr Ban
"Travel to Lorae'Tyr is forbidden by the Basilica. The seven sorcerers still present on this valence should be brought, upon their return, to the Basilica for questioning immediately. These sorcerers are: Levianthia Sherula, Wintherian Lontriel, Mleriand Lontriel, Finmielle Thenryl, Chournd Dralhavaen, Gerphend Yourliand, and Uritheam Boltreade. Any sorcerer attempting to circumvent Shieltine's Ward on Lorae'Tyr will be executed."
Reflection on the Enchiridion is a useful occupation but significant gains in knowledge can only be achieved through the direct observation of a valence. By imposing the death penalty on those attempting to enter Lorae'Tyr, the progress of knowledge has been arrested. Keen minds loathe a vacuum, however, and speculation on Lorae'Tyr is rampant. I look forward to a time when sorcerers will bring back first-hand accounts of the valence to compare against my own suspicions.
It is important to note that I am in full agreement with the wisdom of the Patriarch in placing a ban upon Lorae'Tyr. The devastating, history-shifting power of sorcery has been proven by Laurentiu, at Maelshyve and in Ta'Ashrim. In these three cases overwhelming power was unleashed by foolishness, necessity, and misfortune respectively. Just as the Faendryl once discovered the full destructive potential of current sorcerous knowledge, research into the unusual properties of Lorae'Tyr may one day shift from abstract rumination to practical horror. This may be an inevitable development but it is important to keep the secrets of Lorae'Tyr contained for as long as possible. The barrier serves the interests of Faendryl security and protects the whole of the world.
"Traveling to this valence for even a short period of time can result in the loss of years on Elanthia. While within the valence, sorcerers have observed normal activity, such as foliage growth or geological decay, occur at varying rates, sometimes shifting speeds even as the sorcerer watched. The passage of time most certainly exists on Lorae'Tyr, but whether it is relevant to the valence's functioning at all is unclear."
I wonder when we shall gain a better understanding of this phenomenon? It is my hope that the basilica is engaged in some controlled research into these temporal oddities. More information on the relationship between the local flora and fauna of Lorae'Tyr and the passage of time is needed. It also seem advisable to bring foreign entities into the valence from Elanthia for observation, e.g. plants at different stages of growth, animals, a human infant.
While we are accustomed to thinking of the passage of time as a straight line, the example of Lorae'Tyr prompts me to wonder if we should think instead of a spiral. In this way the currents of time are carrying us along in a curved line that only seems straight. Certain elemental magics in Elanthia allow one to skip backward in time by creating a straight-line shortcut between the current point of the curve and a nearby previous point. This passage never plunges backward along the curve but skips outside of it instead. Lorae'Tyr allows for dramatic movement up and down the rings of the spiral.
"I was startled to spy what I thought was a wingstem. It was not the expected pale green, but deep indigo, and the leaves were deformed into diamond shapes that curled along the flat edges. The flowers were dark violet and although I swear it was wingstem, the differences in hue and shape gave me pause."
Reports indicate that both the plants of Lorae'Tyr and the metals observed in the verlok are similar if not identical to familiar Elanthian forms. Against theories arguing for a passage of these forms from one valence to another, I prefer to believe that there are common metaphysical and physical principles underlying all valences. There is nothing in any valence discovered thus far that has persuaded me to reconsider the fundamental distinction between elemental and spiritual magics. I continue to believe, of course, that the notion of a "mental sphere" of magic is nonsensical.
It will be some time until we have explored enough valences in a comparative fashion that will bring us closer to these fundamental principles I allude to. It is often the most basic truths that prove hardest to grasp but we have a responsibility to continue our work in this regard.
I have a fondness for the verlok -- noisy and clever things. The Enchiridion includes six "commonly advanced theories" of their origin. Among these is the argument that verlok are "natural creatures of Lorae'Tyr, evolving from substances already available on the plane." This is a possibility and I wonder if this evolution was ultimately a calculated process on their own part. By this I mean, did the verlok somehow choose to adopt their metal form at a time in their past when they were wholly organic? Perhaps they continue to be born as organic entities that are then changed into the forms we have encountered so far. Gnomish technology may move in this direction one day but they will discover that changing form without changing substance is futile. I am also reminded of the unsavory popularity of piercings and tattoos that is sweeping Elanith.
I suspect their snake worship is somehow related to their experience of the passage of time on Lorae'Tyr. This may confirm my spiral theory advanced above. It is important that sorcerers harvest all of their knowledge concerning the temporal geography of Lorae'Tyr so that we can avoid a lengthy trial and error process. Maps of Lorae'Tyr should take careful note of Abyran temples since they undoubtedly reflect an intuitive understanding of the ebb and flow of power on the valence.
More research needs to be done on the communicative patterns of the Igaesha. It may be possible for a sorcerer to communicate with the igaesha through the use of flashing lights or colored smoke if we can discern their own processes. This work carries military applications if it culminates in the ability to reliably direct enormous clouds of acid across a battlefield.
"I felt a backlash of spiritual essence that left me prone. Dimerian told me after I recovered from the effect that the grantris appeared to re-open the veil itself and disappeared."
To pierce the veil without the use of foci is a remarkable thing indeed. I often think on the relationship between sorcery and personal transcendence. It seems to me that moving through our reliance on summoning circles and the like toward a natural ability to step through the veil at will is one step along this path. In the same way that young men and women travel from one city to another in search of themselves, we step into new worlds.