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Telan’s Tale: Illumination

    • 98 posts
    May 3, 2019 12:35 PM PDT

    Telan’s Tale: Illumination

     

    Telan hid the pebble where nobody else would think to look. It was the entirety of his worldly belongings after all. This small pebble that was given to him a lifetime ago. Rarely was something so important attained with such little explanation. Telan was told, “It is who we are, what we are…let nothing come between you and this.” 

     

    Telan, the Entwiner, as he was formally known amongst the gnomes of Skyhold, was of nondescript character and status. As an acolyte of the Arcane Trust, his daily responsibilities entailed monitoring the energy levels of the Resivore in the lower levels of the floating citadel. The arcane energy ebbed and flowed and Telan noted its patterns. Since their arrival on Terminus some 300 years ago, the gnomes had obsessively recorded and speculated on if and when the Elos Fire contained in the mineral of their home would finally dissipate. With each arcane experiment conducted in the past three centuries, a small amount of the energy which had defined their existence, was consumed. Like an icicle melting in the sun, it was imperceptible to observation, yet undoubtedly continued. Of greatest irony, only through the use of arcane arts could the remaining energy be determined. There had been countless projections, but the variables were too far and wide for the gnomes of Skyhold to say with any assurance when the day would come. Today was that day. 

     

    The glow of the Nearstar sphere was nearly snuffed out. The arcane orb which represented magical energies in the citadel was the dimmest it had ever been. With alacrity, Telan projected the information to his cadre of colleagues within the Arcane Trust. The network of psionic connections began pulsing with an intensity that would illuminate the large chamber in which the Arcane Trust convened. After several moments, the gnomes vocalized in unison the conclusion that had been reached; “No known way of replenishing our home exists in this world.” Over the years, the leading theory was that should the arcane energies be depleted, Skyhold will plummet from the sky. This was the least destructive outcome the gnomes opined. Other theories purported that the gnomes themselves would dissipate, given their existence as beings of energy. Or most concerning, as Basek, the Traditional, theorized, they would take physical form akin their counterparts on Terminus, but with a comical appearance characterized by baldness, large noses, and high pitched voices.

     

    Telan pondered the conclusion of the Arcane Trust. Certainly, he did not feel this was the doom of his race, but he also could not ignore the catastrophic potential of the moment. As the Nearstar sphere dimmed to a nearly imperceptible level, Skyhold became an anthill of uncertain activity. Rather than add to the chaos, Telan abandoned his station to attend to his quarters to face the inevitable in quiet contemplation. A deft gesture with his cloak and he was instantly at his desk in his sparsely appointed chamber. The room began to shake with a subtlety that signalled the looming threat to Skyhold. Rough walls of stone developed spiderweb fractures, dust fell from the ceiling, and the sweeping sounds of magical bonds being severed grew louder. Yet, amongst the growing cacophony, Telan heard a sharp crack, like a marble hitting a glass floor. He scanned the room. From behind a now askew torch sconce, a hole in the wall was visible. On the floor, lay the pebble he had been entrusted with so long ago by The Eldership. What had been a cold grey pebble once, now shone with an amber light intertwined with flares of auburn energy. 

     

    Insight flashed through Telan’s mind like lightning. “It has to be”, he surmised. Perhaps blinded by complacency, or lack of necessity, he had failed to recognize the Brightstone until now. The legendary relic retrieved by the first expedition after the Call of Elos on Stormona all those centuries ago. But this was not the time to ponder his oversight. The vibrations of the citadel had intensified, threatening to bury the tiny relic amongst the ever increasing dust. Telan leapt to pick up the Brightstone and could immediately feel the surge of Elos Fire in his being. A radiant aura shone from behind Telan’s mask. He knew what must come next. 

     

    The chamber of the Arcane Trust was built into Skyhold in the lowest part of the citadel, yet was connected by a vertical shaft to the top where it opened into the skies of Terminus. Telan stood at the centre of the now abandoned chamber as the home of his people threatened to fall apart around him. The shaft remained intact for now, but could easily become choked with rubble at any moment. Telan held the Brightstone in his palm. He gazed up with purpose. The words of The Eldership whispered to him; “…let nothing come between you and this.” He silently promised he would redeem himself before his energies faded into nothingness, and with authority pushed the Brightstone with both hands into the air above him. 

     

    The artifact danced briefly in the air before its glow expanded to encompass the entire chamber. It hummed with kinetic energy. In an instant, the energy gathered and the Brightstone, like a shooting star, was flung from the chamber up into the shaft. As it rose, the Resivore of Skyhold absorbed the amber light like a sponge. The Brightstone was an overflowing bucket being raised in a dry well. It reached the apex of Skyhold in a matter of moments, and there it paused, like a pommel jewel in an inverted sword. The magical energies of Skyhold became tangible gusts of wind. Telan cleared his vision just in time to see the Brightstone whisked into the atmosphere, blown away into the wilds of Terminus. 

     

    Life for the gnomes of Skyhold was not the same after this, but more importantly, their existence continued. Skyhold was rebound by the energy on which it was created. It did not plummet to the ground, and the gnomes were still tethered together by arcane force. For Telan, however, there was no solace. He could not return to the Arcane Trust to watch the sands in the hourglass pass again. 

     

    Telan floated, cross-legged, at the peak of Skyhold looking out over the unknown horizons of this world. His people were not explorers or adventurers on Terminus, as they had been at one time on Stormona. Yet, he had sacrificed the personal safety of Skyhold when he made his choice to save his people. The Brightstone was out there, somewhere, along with his redemption. Telan, the Entwiner, would be the first of his kind to leave Skyhold. He adjusted his gloves slightly, grasped his tome, and with a nod, vanished.

    • 348 posts
    June 1, 2019 7:00 PM PDT

    Good stuff!

    "Or most concerning, as Basek, the Traditional, theorized, they would take physical form akin their counterparts on Terminus, but with a comical appearance characterized by baldness, large noses, and high pitched voices."  

    ^  LOL

    • 609 posts
    June 5, 2019 2:35 PM PDT

    Therek - kudos! A well crafted tale based on Gnomish lore (Istuulamae must be proud). I felt worried as their energy ebbed, and delight when Telan (THE Entwiner) succeeded in restoring Skyhold. I look forward to his further adventures seeking out the Brightstone...

    P.S. I agree with Tigersin, the sentence quoted was perfect comedy amidst the chaos, bravo.

    • 98 posts
    June 5, 2019 7:03 PM PDT

    Thanks for the feedback, glad you guys liked it! Coincidentally, I started thinking about the next entry in Telan’s tale on the drive to work this morning. 

    • 13 posts
    June 15, 2019 9:54 AM PDT

    Nice!! Im a self-identified lorehound...and as such i've read every one of the race's backgrounds. You did an amazing job at tying this into the Gnome lore haha. Even more, you managed to write the story in such a way that allows for much expansion and some major plot points, similar to how Justin Gerhard wrote Pantheons Lore. It makes me excited to see what happens next :) Cant wait!

     

    I also enjoyed that part that Tigersin pointed out haha, xD