Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stardust Matron

Ducking down beneath low boughs where silver leaves rustled in the moonlit birch stand, they came into a passing, where stood an ancient, half-hollowed oak. There, embroidered in white linen shimmered a stardust matron whose body seemed made of lunar light, with awe that filled the clearing. Every move slow and graceful, she turned, and their eyes asked her who she was. Her own deer eyes blinked, and she said, "I was set here to watch this place by ones much more powerful than I. For ages I have, for ages I shall. This is where I make my mark. This is where I whisper blessings to root and to raindrop, to bough and to blossom, to bird and passing beast, to give this small place its peace and refreshment." Open-eyed they wondered, wonder-filled, who might surpass this graceful power in powers, and she answered their wonder with delicious hints. "Long lines of Eldar Alfar, who long ago each were set out to watch a place. Where good still has power to grow, we go, and stay, helping ward off those wights who tip the scales to woe. But sometimes we must depart..." Her voice drifted off in sad contemplation as her eyes spied the high moon-skiff sailing overhead, and she nodded, seeming to think he too nodded back as he passed so slow. The elves and Mani's kin seemed close.

"I am of a small tribe assigned to this region. Our elders were once in the long ago pages and handmaidens of the highest of high Eldar Kin, themselves in all regal pomp mere servants of the High Gods. We are but humble lovers of life, each watching over many spirits, different in each their own way. Those who in the balance net good we give bless, but ill earns our withdrawal. Sometimes misfortune strikes those who violate ; our arrows are swift in defense of the heartplace." She looked at them with new eyes. "You come a long way. Wolves have pursued you. For all your trials, benevolence lies yet in your hearts. Come, take sip." Then she led them to leaf, where pearled dew, one drop each, refreshed. Strange strength they drew from small droplets. Then thanking, they ducked out, beneath the dander-hanging oak. When they looked back, there was only moonlit fog yet the fading traces of the brightest smile. Thus was the world, for eyes lucky enough to see.


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