Elaejia (prime)/2021-12-16 - Decipherment

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This is a creative work set in the world of Elanthia, attributed to its original author(s). It does not necessarily represent the official lore of GemStone IV.

Title: Decipherment

Author: Elaejia Silithyr Loenthra

Elaejia held her breath as she opened the letter from Rohese and scanned its contents.

Ah, she thought, ...Right, not really sure what she had been expecting, and likewise uncertain what to feel. The last two weeks (fifteen days, to be exact), she had felt as though borne upon a cresting wave: a quiet roar filled her ears, the very air was effervescent around her, every breath went on forever, and she waited for the bottom to fall from beneath her.

She shook her head slightly, biting her lip as she slipped through the archway, nodding to the Halfling who had entered the airship terminus behind her. No, there will be no tumbling from this height, she told herself, The wind has finally come to fill my sail– our sails.

She had worked so hard to find her center, to finally display the equanimity and poise that had eluded her for centuries. She had actually thought she'd found it, but looking back now she almost laughed at her own folly. No, where she had been was not her center at all, but a miserable corner of her soul where she had been building a wall. She wondered how long it would have taken for her to truly complete it, to mortar every crack and crevice, until even her humiliating rages could not break through. Until she was as cold and unresponsive as stone, and just as lifeless.

As stone... she mused, suddenly reminded of her studio and the maddening, half-finished pieces there. Lifeless. A sudden resolve filled her and she turned toward the villa, striding quickly through the chilly streets, pulling the wolverine fur of her collar close for warmth.

Opening the door she entered quietly out of long habit, but her impatience soon got the better of her and she bounded up the stairs, the heels of her boots echoing in the darkness. Heedless of the sound, she rushed into her studio and stopped in the doorway: here were her unfinished works - costly marble, carefully chiseled alabaster, limestone swathed in living mosses selected from here to Ta'Loenthra - all of them as lifeless as she had been while carving them. Is it so surprising? The only pieces you’ve finished since coming here share a single thing in common, she thought ruefully. Through the window, she glimpsed Rauka wheeling closer to his now-customary perch on the sill, and she felt the weight of his attention settle at the back of her mind.

She strode forward, placing her hands on the closest piece - and shoved it to the tiled floor.

It did not shatter as satisfyingly as she had envisioned, and cracked the tiles quite soundly, but did break into two pieces, which was good enough. She whirled and shoved another to its death, the sound reverberating through the villa (this one did shatter rather beautifully, though it took another tile with it). Distantly, she heard stirrings in the dark villa, footsteps beginning to hurry toward her.

Dashing to the last - the first, indeed, the one she had been working on since she had built the studio here - she put her hands gently to the limestone's moss-enshrouded surface, almost caressing it, and -



The piece, an elven visage gazing outward with a defiant expression, plummeted - and shattered nearly to dust upon the tiles.

Still breathing hard, Elaejia turned to the tall, beloved shadow just now filling the doorway, wearing a smile like a revelation.