Master Rias, Vessel of Books Yet Unwritten
Ten Thousand Gates > An Impromptu Picnic in a Starlit, Ancient Arena

My, I am pleased to have company; it is always such a delight to meet with the original source, as it were. This is usually a rather lonely outing, you must understand - I had not planned on company, at least not in the immediate sense. But please do help yourselves, partake at will; this spread of wine and cold food springs from a short folio that will be bound to ink and consigned to dusty shelves in all too short a time. I have grown fond of it - especially these, you must try one, Leli of the Choir - and will be sorry to see it pass from view.

But of course, I will certainly try to answer your questions; I imagine you have many. My, ah, collaborator in this endeavor of life grants me a certain perspective on most issues of substance. As to where we are, well, you came here yourselves, did you not? These unhappy ruins, cast in endless night, form one of the more scenic portions of the Voids, but that tells you as little as I said, I don't doubt. As will be widely repeated by those familar with Otense, once she is born and grown, "'where' is a shiftless term, hard to employ and prone to shirked duties." Like you, I could no more act as signpost or guide to our present, sandstrewn location, but I do know the way home.

Ah, no - my home, Leli, I apologise. But why talk about me when we could talk about you? Bethen, dreamhealer and ... Ulvath, son of Ganvir, isn't it? You are shrewd in seeing that this pleasant torchlit picnic is very much more tiny than the Hunger that makes this gloomy Void its home. Please - we are in no immediate danger of extinction, or at least not until the great doorway cracks open at the allotted time. A weather eye on the stars and my trusty eggtimer have yet to fail me, however. I believe we have more than enough time for civilized conversation and to properly pack the leftovers afterwards.

So please, Bethen, Ulvath and especially you, Leli, tell me how it is that you find yourselves here in the Voids, as prospective appetizers for the oldest and most patient of the Hungers.

[ Posted by Reason on October 2, 2005 ]