For readers who are relatively new to the Eldraeverse and didn’t catch it first time around, have a little New Year’s fic:
“The Darkest Night”
(For those who are curious about such things, yes, the Harmonious Calendar very carefully sets the new year equal to the winter solstice. Except it’s not actually a solstice, because *there*, axial tilt isn’t the Reason for the Season.)
Remember the Conlang Card Exchange I mentioned a while back?
Well, now that it’s the new year and all the participants have presumably received their cards, I thought it was about time I posted it up here for general enjoyment. Here, therefore, y’all go:
A good-wishes card for the Darkest Night.
What it says, transliterated:
An-el estkál xakorevár árjír idaratis qan árchal arícetár an-anan ké-el traquel jírileth ap silarí hál.
OBJ+ARG fate IMP+order+PRED PURPOSE FUT-AND-ONGOING QUANTIFIER year [sun-circle] bless+PRED OBJ+you/those-you-speak-for WITH-ARG ADJ-goodness freedom COMBINED-WITH prosperity IMP-AMPLIFIER.
“Fate is commanded to bless you with excellent freedom and prosperity in the coming year.”
A traditional eldraeic — the eldrae prefer to let the eternal verities know firmly what is expected of them—wish for the Darkest Night, the winter solstice/new year festival.
It’s written in eldraeic hexrunic, the one of their alphabets best suited for printing on cards, and signed with a personal ideograph, which I borrowed from one of my characters whom I’m sure won’t mind too much.
The background image is borrowed Creative Commons work, but represents the style of the original rather well, I think, and could well be an image of one of the Twin Worlds’ skies on the Darkest Night.
The fires always burn brightest on the Darkest Night.
It’s not actually any darker than any other night in the bottom half of the year, but when Lumenna occults Sunaris – when the night is winter-black and there’s only one sun in the sky – for all reason and logic and measurement have to say on the issue – the winds howl louder and the chill sinks deeper into your bones than on any other night of the year.
And so the city beneath me blazes with light, fires blazing in every park, plaza and atrium from the Imperial Palace to the work-cottages of Cogging Ash, filling the night with the smells of cold and smoke and roasted meats; and every building, too, radiant with its artificial lights – the stark white and attendant shadows of the Seat of Judgment, the yellows and purples and bright neon reds of the Towers of Commerce, the University decked out in antique chymelights of green and gold, the theater districts twinkling in a thousand different colors, and the warm azure glow of the Labyrinth of Ten-Thousand Pleasures. Even the lake is aglow this year, with blooms of bioluminescent flora made to shine tonight and die with the morning sun.
For tonight is for defiance of this darkness, and all darkness. We’ll feast on the old year’s bounty and give the coming winter no care, then drink and dance and tell our stories of victories past over the blind uncaring universe and more intentional malevolence alike, until morning comes and both suns rise once again.
For the suns always rise again.