Resplendent Wood 9
So much has happened since we last spoke, Diary! Our new friends are full of such strange and wonderful surprises!
To begin, I have discovered the most wonderful word for what my light has brought me: Broken Walls tells me I am a Solar (a most fitting description!) and that he is one as well! It is so wonderful to meet others who have been touched by the light, as I have now discovered that both Piper and Chijiwa have been too.
There is much to tell you about my new companions, as I have learned much about them over the last few days, even beyond their having been lit as I have. I will begin with Piper. Piper is a terribly interesting person, or at least, I believe this to be true. It is, however, a somewhat difficult thing to ascertain. Let me explain: Piper is impeccable at disguises. These disguises seem to be flawless and perhaps some kind of talent that Piper has gained from the light. I was terribly impressed (and terribly embarrassed) when this talent was used to imitate me! (What as strange and unnerving experience, to be confronted with one’s double.)
These disguises tend to accompany a differing array of personalities, however. When we first met, Piper was a young tea girl, not much taller than myself. However, when we awoke the first morning, Piper looked much different: shorter hair, taller, leaner frame, boyish figure. And gone were the demure tea-girl’s graces, replaced with a retiring demeanor that seemed reluctant to open to me. I do not wish to pry, as Piper seems unwilling to speak of the past in anything but the most basic terms, but I fear something inside must have been deeply injured to create such walls against intrusion. Until I know further, I cannot help to heal this, but I must tread carefully, lest I deepen the injury, or add further to the barricade.
Piper is currently in the guise of a young man named Pewter Spoon, who seems jovial and personable. (Perhaps this more open personality might be a way past Piper’s defenses?)
Oh! I almost forgot, diary! Piper is a musician who plays a tiny, intricately carved flute! I now know a new song, called the Two Birds. I always enjoy harmonizing with another :).
The next companion I will describe to you is Chijiwa, the young nobleman, who it seems is from Kamthahar, which is quite nearby. Even though he is reticent to speak of himself or his family, his nobility is quite evident. His bearing is straight, practiced, perhaps used to following and/or taking orders. That and his evident skill with a spear mark him as some sort of soldier, though I suppose many nobles’ sons have training in such things. He is well-mannered; he listens intently, and then speaks only when necessary. Something seems… broken, however, in him, Diary. I’m not certain what exactly; he does not seem quiet out of defensiveness the same way Piper does, but there still seems to be something that is causing him… distress? pain? I am uncertain. I will continue to get to know him, and see if I am able to help.
He allowed me to style his hair, which, although I have no particular skill it, I find terribly comforting, not to mention is a good way to build trust and intimacy.
I will tell you next of Chaoxi, the blue-hired woman who it does indeed seem came from the West (!). She is a lovely woman, terribly prepared and resourceful, and a pleasure to travel with. It seems she and Broken Walls are some kind of travelling companions (though I wonder perhaps, Diary, if there is more to it than that..), and it is evident that they have known each other for some time; they seem to barely need to speak in order to understand what the other wants. Broken Walls seems to trust her implicitly, and she subtly dotes upon him.
I also had the opportunity to wind her hair, and was pleasantly surprised when we were able to speak in my native tongue to one another! She even knew the words to “The Ships Come In”, which was a lovely bonding experience.
I will now tell you of Broken Walls. He is definitely as confident as I first believed him to be, but I worry that this may lead to overconfidence; while I have yet to see him fail at a task he wishes to accomplish, what he soon wishes to do may be more of an undertaking than we are capable of. But more on that later. There is something both inspiring and endearing about Broken Walls, even as I find him both confusing and far too ready for battle. He is blunt in his words, but quite compassionate with his actions; when we discovered that Piper had contracted the terrible disease that had plagued the poor man back at the village, he was quick to construct a beautiful bath in order to speed her healing. Oh! and his constructions! He is able to build without tools, and with such intricacy and speed! I think I find his name quite apt; although he is hard and defensive, through the cracks in his armor spill the light of kindness.
He has said he is going to write a poem, which I await quite eagerly :).
Now that I have told you of my new companions, I must now tell you, Diary, of the plan Broken Walls has devised. But first, let me bring some news to light (hee hee) about what we are, and why we are in such danger. Broken Walls tells us that we are Solars, which means that we have been touched by the light of the Unconquered Sun. However, this means that we are the anathema hunted by the Wyld Hunt, although we are of course not the evil things that they believe us to be.
Because we are in such danger from this fearsome force, Broken Walls has proposed that we make a place to stand and fight them, and that place shall be the one we are heading towards, the city of Champoor.
I, as you might imagine, have many misgivings about this plan, but I have decided to follow and aid him, and I will tell you why: Our Brother and Sister Solars are in danger, and their suffering will not end until someone has made a stand. If we can do so with as little bloodshed as possible, that would be ideal, but we cannot guarantee that the Wyld Hunt will not force our hands. If we are prepared, with an army, with a fortress, perhaps we will be in a better position to make them stop and listen. If not, then it is important that, first, we do something to make them listen, and, second, that I am there in order to help mitigate the damage to them and us as much as I possibly can.
I cannot imagine the suffering that our fellow light-touched must have gone through at the hands of those who think they are doing the gods’ work up until now. We cannot allow them to continue to be persecuted in this way, even if it means I must resort to harming others.
But on to happier news! We have made it over the border to Champoor, and have even made some new friends! Seventh Dawn, a warrior woman of strong countenance, Knot, a gregarious mead seller, and apparent lover of music, and his brother String,, a quieter man, but one who seems thoughtful and shrewd. I do hope we will get a chance to know them better! :D