Eldraeic Phrase of the Day: traäzik ulalath

traäzik ulalath: literally “stony ignorance”, (or for the convenience of Tellurian readers, “stone stupid”, even though the backing metaphor is entirely different), the very special kind of stupidity self-inflicted by and on the extremely loyal, be it to contract, person, cause, or necessity, characterized by making extreme deeds and ludicrous plans appear logical, sensible, and sane.

See azkith, “loyalty”, from azik “stone” + ankithel “emotion, passion”.

(Incidentally, for the MLP:FiM watchers among my readers, Tanks for the Memories is pretty much exactly what an episode of traäzik ulalath looks like.)

Trope-a-Day: Undying Loyalty

Undying Loyalty: What a personally-focused estxíjir is (see: Blue and Orange Morality); not common – although more frequently emulated through I Gave My Word – but a recognized trait of the greatest leaders.

Also, the reason why the bandal, or dog, is the symbolic animal and avatar associated with Tárvalén, the Binder of Obligations, eikone of loyalty, vows, oath-contracts, promises and agreements and the social order.

Tárvalén Awaiting (2/2)

(Part one is here.)

“Many long years passed, as the faithful bandal waited before the gate,” the priest continued his story, “until with time and chance the man died too, and his spirit also approached the gate; and the spirit of the bandal bounded up and ran to meet him.  Joyous was their reunion, and for a time, the gloom of the Fugue was lifted by the ring of laughter and happy barking alike.”

“But then at last the time came, and they approached the Twilight City together, and once again Ivrél stopped them at the gate, saying, ‘You may pass, but you alone; for Heaven’s law forbids the City to those spirits of lesser orders.'”

“The bandal whined sadly, and made to turn away, but the man stopped him with a touch, and replied, ‘In life we ran together.  What just cause is there to part us now?'”

“‘It is Heaven’s law,’ Ivrél said again.”

“And anger furrowed the man’s brows, and his hand drifted to the hilt of his blade, and for a moment it seemed as if the clash of arms too would disturb the silence of the Fugue, but he knew well that Ivrél was sovereign in this place; and in a moment, they turned together and left that place.”

“‘There is no other way for you,’ Ivrél called after him, ‘for all souls called here must pass into the Twilight City.'”

“‘He stayed here for me,’ the man replied.  ‘Mélith demands, by Star, Stone, and Flame, that I can do no less.’  Saying this, he sat down with his back against one of the leafless trees, the bandal curling up by his side, and wrapped his cloak around them both.  And so their waiting began.”

“The years pass quickly in the timelessness of the Fugue, and as they waited the years turned to decades, and the decades to centuries, as they watched many souls pass through the Fugue on their wanderings.  And yet they prevailed and remained, sometimes walking amid the white-barked trees or upon the bridges that crossed the dark mist-cloaked waters, but for the most part sitting together beneath their tree outside the City’s gate.”

“Thus it was that in the thousandth year of their waiting, they saw the City’s gate flung wide, and from within a shining figure emerge, light wrapped in light and casting no shadow; Elmiríën, the Patterner, the Bringer of Order, the One Word of Truth, and approach the tree where they rested.  And seeing this, they stood to meet Him.”

“‘That you remain is something unheard of,” the Patterner said, ‘for those souls which remain uncalled dwindle until rebirth, and those which are called pass into the Twilight City.  None remain, and yet here you stand.'”

“‘I hear the call,’ the man replied, facing the god upright as one ought, ‘but I will not leave this place so long as my friend is here; and he will not leave this place so long as I am here.  Therefore, we remain.'”

“‘The chill of the Fugue cleanses the soul of those qualities which do not befit Our City.  After a thousand years, you are assuredly ready.  Come now within.'”

“‘My lord of Order, I cannot.  Heaven’s law forbids my friend entry, and thus -‘”

“‘Heaven’s law forbids’, the Patterner broke in, ‘those whose souls are yet stained by terrestrial passions from entering the Twilight City.  That you each remain here demonstrates your loyalty to be celestial in nature, not terrestrial.  Come you both within; there is a place and a purpose for you there, and know that the Twilight City is open to his kin now, and all of his order who can reach such heights.'”

“And with these words spoken, after their long wait, man and bandal entered the Twilight City together, walking side-by side.”

A small voice rose from the crowd.  “That’s the end?  What happened next, after they waited so long?”

“Why, child, they abide there still.”  He pointed to the statue.  “The defining souls of Holy Tárvalén, the Loyal.  One can, after all, only be called to the Twilight City by an eikone.  Even if that call is to become that eikone.”

Tárvalén Awaiting (1/2)

The statue stood in the center of the temple’s atrium, a tall stern-browed figure, its left arm holding a bundle of scrolls while its right hand reached down to rest upon the head of, and scratch behind the ears of, the wolfish bandal sitting by its side. With the doors thrown open, the hundreds of fine glass chains fringing the statue’s robes tinkled quietly in the morning breeze.

“In the beginning,” said the priest, “of the First Legend, there was a man and a bandal.  Their names are lost to history.  Who they were is lost to history, as everyone tells this legend differently.  In Selenaria, they say they were one of the first moon-priests, and one of their nighthound guardians.  In Cestia, an Alatian mountain-man and a retired wardog.  In the Crescent, a Telirvéss aman-ship captain and his water-dog.  And on the steles that record the Hal!ast Fragments, he hunts with a lone wolven ancestor while the Winter of Nightmares howls around them…”

“And in the Deeping?”

“Here in the Deeping, we know that all these legends are true.  Fundamentally.”

“Regardless, man and bandal lived a long and full life together, whether it was guarding the lost moon-temples of Iselené, hunting and mining, trading and raiding, or finding food and warmth amid disaster; true partners in life, sharing plenty and lack, joy and sorrow, mélith.  But time gnaws at us all, and few shrug it off as our kind does, and with the passage of years, the bandal was the first of them to die.”

“And soon thereafter, amid the dark waters and leafless white trees of the Fugue, under its misty skies, the spirit of the bandal approached the gate of the Twilight City, and the exarch Ivrél, the guardian of that gate, spoke, saying ‘You have no place here, spirit; the Fugue is not for you, nor yet the city.  Return to the Moil set aside for you, and rebirth.’  But the spirit of the bandal made no answer, and sat itself down to wait before the gate.”

“And Ivrél spoke again, saying, ‘By Heaven’s law, you may not enter here.  Get you gone from this threshold!’  And the bandal‘s growl rumbled in the air, shaking the leafless trees and setting the still waters to trembling.”

“And Ivrél, whose strength was undefeatable for so long as he stood on the City’s threshold, did not press the matter further.”