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The First Arrival

Some things grow in the mind until they exceed the truth, obsession inflating reality beyond true proportion. Other ideas shrivel until we disdain them, disregarding even love and beauty in favour of the remembrance of pain. The Tower and the Arch are somehow both. The idea of them grows so large in the mind, increased yearly by the legends, by the paintings, that one might believe that they reached all the way to the moon. But this idea seems ridiculous, and so it is easy to dismiss the stories as exaggerations and to believe the truth to be far more prosaic, archaeological of course, but hardly so big as to need gods to have built them.

But now that I am in their presence. Now that my skin glows even in their shade. Now that I see their bright moonglow radiance, I feel that I should not write more. Anything I say will fall into one of the two categories - impossible, or plausible, and neither description really tells the truth.

If you want to know about the Tower and the Arch, there is a rhyme you should know, to help you remember your way.

  When summer silver petals fall

  and autumn pinpricks rise so tall

  with orange yellow petals soft

  then they too fall and a cast aloft

  upon the early winter breeze

  their drifting floating flying seeds

  and these give way to snow-pierced red

  the path to ancient Ruah led

  the traveller by flowers shown

  the road to ancient nature's throne.

It doesn't make sense, but I followed it and it led me here, to a valley bejewelled with nature's bounty, and piercing the earth at the centre, stands an ancient legend from before the Brightsong. I have camped here for three nights, eating from the fruit trees, and sleeping on a bed of grass, listening to the night-birds crooning, and the trickle of water flowing down to the Rocky River, to Lake Landerin, and finally to the Grey Marsh. Always flowing down.

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