“Please, Sovan, don’t. Please come.. It’s not too late, you don’-..” a youngster was abruptly silenced by his beloved. Her hands slid into his and their bodies met in what he feared was going to be the last time. The young Iyrodian knew she wasn’t going to change her mind. “Sovan..” he whispered against her lips. She wasn’t going to follow him. And he suspected that without her he would not see another sun rise in this life.
“Don’t cry..” her sweet voice was still bright and clear, high above the sound of the Call. “Don’t mourn, my Light. We have lived and loved. And you will live even longer after this, so you can keep me alive. I can’t leave.. You know that..”
He felt the skin on her hands becoming fragile and thin. Her vibrant brown eyes began to loose their life. The curls enlisting her face rolled flat and grew thin. It became prevalent she’d made her choice and her future was determined.
When he opened his eyes, his heart felt heavy in an otherwise empty chest. Before him stood an old woman where his beloved once was, a woman who now merely seemed familiar. Even in her old age she was the most beautiful, precious thing he’d ever seen. “Sovan.. I’ve loved you. I would have loved you so much more and so much longer.” A cold, crooked finger on his lips told him he’d have to say no more. “As I have loved you, Ardaion.. Don’t forget me. Now, start running… Heed the Call, for me.”
He dragged his eyes away from her. He felt nauseous, rendered stuck to the grounds, bound by his roots, as if the forest itself was protesting. But he knew that time was running out. He had no choice in hearing, adhering the Call; that malevolent sound that drew him away from her. He dreaded the thought of having to begin this journey without her. “Ardaion. You must go. Turn the page and begin anew.” Her pressing whispers seemed softer. Or was it the Call becoming louder?
“Never forget Arda-…” He could see her lips move, but the sound was no longer audible to him. He’d also made a choice and his was one to live. He would forever more live to keep her spirit alive. Because she had not been able to save herself, he would. He let go of her hands, biting back his tormented self. He untangled the roots that had been reaching for his deepest, darkest feelings. When he felt ready, he allowed the Call to draw him home. He looked at what once used to be and turned around to begin his journey away from where he’d been born and raised. And he started running, towards where his future was about to start.
His arrival to Rian, after many weeks, months of traveling, was everything but what he’d expected. Even though he’d heard the Call, there were no welcoming faces or kind hands to haul him in. Already at the furthest border outside Rian he’d felt the innate dislike towards his arrival. So he understood that it was true what he had learned about the Forests of Rian; they held no warmth in their hearts for his kind. He forced further his heavy boots to seek what had called him home, but he would find no refuge. And all the while, in the back of his mind, he still heard Sovan’s voice. Her kind, sweet voice seemed so distant, like it had been a thousand years before when they’d said their goodbye’s. And he slowly began to wonder if he had done the right thing. Perhaps he should’ve stayed back there. Perhaps he should’ve recognized then that he belonged no other place. He began to doubt why he’d ever made the choice that drove him to Rian. Without her, everlasting life seemed dull and hardly worth living.
Whilst he kept those boots trotting forth, he felt how his heart fell in a perpetual state of mourning. He was moving forward, but he no longer knew where to go. The Call had subsided as now he was in Rian. He’d saved himself, but what about his life..
For a couple of weeks Ardaion spent time traveling through the most glorious of forests, but he didn’t see much of it. When he entered the Naithe, Capital of Bliss and Beauty, he found nothing but darkness clouding his mind. Truly, he was mourning and he didn’t quite know how to deal with it. He could look up and gaze upon the sacred hollows in majestic trees, but he couldn’t smell the salty air of home. He would see his beautiful kindred, gracious elves going about their business as if they were floating on air, but he missed the rolling hills and rocks of his island. He heard chattering birds of all sorts, but nowhere would he see seagulls. And wherever he looked, to him nothing could resemble the beauty that grew old in his embrace.
So he left Rian. And he set out to find another place. Perhaps if he were to find another harbor city, he could close the gap left in his being.
“Dear Sovan, my beloved..
Words cannot begin to describe the hollowness in the heart that guides my thoughts onto this parchment. It has been several moons now, ever since we parted. And I miss you. My journey is not turning out to be as effortless as the Call may have led me to believe; sometimes I begin to wonder about what it would have been like if I had not made the choice that pushed you away from me.
My boots become heavier with every step I take further away from you. And though I try to live and love, continue as you would have wanted it for me, the sensation of being broken without you is beginning to shadow over my entire world. I am not well… But I try to find comfort in the thought that what we once had will never die. As certain as Rauth will continue to wash the shores, ridding them of impurities, I will never forget. You were my first, my last and everything.
Would it be that a wish could make my choice undone, I would wish it a thousand times over and more. And we would have grown old together and died in eachothers presence… Alas, it now appears this was not meant to be for this life. I lament.
When I left Iryrod, I once more gazed upon our beautiful Iwinya Thond, believing you would be there at the shores to send me away into safe travels. At first I arrived in Arkáng, a small harbour city. From there I was graciously taken in by a traveling band of nomads going into my direction; the direction I kept hearing this unfortunate Call. It must have been weeks we traveled and all the while I said nothing, could do nothing. Silence was my companion, as I simply had little left to say. When the Call led me in a different direction than the travelers could go, I moved further alone. And I found Rian.
My beloved, you have once asked me to write you and let you know about Rian, describe it to you. I can tell you now that Rian is nothing like anything we ever knew. There are no rolling hills, no rocky fields or stone slabbed beaches. It lies hidden, with trees so high they completely shadow the noble woods from the relentless attacks of Rel the Destructor. And Rauth.., He has no claim here. There are no seas, no big lakes, no water, save for silver lines cutting through thick matrasses of what seems to be ages old growth. Iaosia marvelously keeps watch over this safe Haven; it is quite clear to see why our cousins continue to speak of their fondness of home..
The Naithe.. The Naithe is a Miracle on its own. Beautiful, elegant and majestic; much like our own estates in a way. Our lineage remains clear. And if it hadn’t be for Sára Taurë, it all would have seemed perfect. Or maybe this is what made it seem so perfect; the reminder of how important it is that these woods are preserved, so we can remain forever living.
Oh Sovan, if only I could have lived this ill begotten eternity with you. How I would have wished you could have been there with me. I feel I have not seen half the pleasures I could have seen. If only I would have had your eyes with me so I could gaze at the reflections of these pleasures in your endless grey depths. If only I would have had you with me, could have smelled the seas in your hair and the winds through your dark hair. Perhaps then I could have felt at home.
I have left Rian again. I traveled the seas, walked the plains and strode through forests; nowhere I find rest. I have fought under many banners, but no banner seems to be raised for a cause worth fighting for. Wherever I try to settle, I can never stay as most places just seem to far away from home. I now aim to settle in Cear. Perhaps if I once more allow the seas to call me to a place they consider home, I can feel it too. Perhaps then I can hear your voice on the waves, calling for me. Perhaps then I can find another, new reason, to continue and live.. because for now this seems a wish from you to me, leaving me.., no torturing me in longing for what seem to be ungraspable distances in a journey that never ends.
My Light, I long for you and your embrace. If I could, I would find solution in Rauth’s embrace.. but I know the promise I made and intend to keep. In my heart, you are forever.
Yours into Eternity,