Inconsistencies: There are several portions of the recording that do not seem to bear up to scrutiny. Without further knowledge of the events surrounding Teon’s death, I am unable to know whether to attribute these inconsistencies to his delirium, or to perhaps some sort of metaphorical meaning.
At the beginning of the narration, Teon insists that he brought the darkness with him from the Precursor’s Home. He seems to be drawing some sort of
connection between this darkness and the ‘evil’ in his left hand. This evil seems to be the influence that lead him to creating the Machine, and the ultimate destruction of his civilization.
But then he speaks of the tree. And my credulity is overtaxed.
I can stomach the idea that somehow he survived a fall from several miles height in the atmosphere, the physical might of the Arkanic’s is referenced in several bits of lore from that period. But, the idea that a root of a tree maliciously grew into a spike in the exact place where he would land is absurd. Even if we accept the thesis that somehow the tree has sentience enough to do so, and the foresight to prepare this trap in advance — that Teon’s falling body could somehow manage to fall exactly onto that spot is simply unbelievable. The odds against it are astronomical.
Once again, I must return to the speaker’s state of mind. He was a man at the end of his life, in a great deal of pain — remembering another moment of incalculable trauma.
But, accepting Teon’s story at face value for the moment — I am still left with several broken chains of reasoning. He claims that he brought evil with him — and the root’s placement through the left side of his chest is not lost on me — but somehow the tree germinated that seed of evil into a blue flower. When Teon is saved by Jalyx, he takes pains to mention that the flower ‘disappeared somewhere in my chest.’
So, the tree was evil, and Teon brought evil, and the flower was evil and the flower was evil and the flower was evil and the flower was evil and the flower was evil and the flower was evil and the flower was evil, but somehow it took hold of him, leading to the evil in his left hand — and the downfall of his race?
So much is unclear, if only he could have spoken more plainly — or if I had the wit to decipher his warning.
Ah, but I must remember to keep a proper skeptical outlook — as much as I feel empathy for this being’s plight, I am sadly making my way to the conclusion that he was mad when he recorded these words.
Dozed off for a moment, only a bare hour or two before dawn. Must forge ahead.
I find his description here most chilling.
“That was the curse, the horror of it all. I can see it now. The shining cities, the bridges of purest white, the towers of glass rose again — but everything we built, everything I built had in it a flaw. A shadow. Twisted lines carefully placed by my left hand. Note by note we sang, but each verse hid a darker chord.”
How horrible. To find every work of your hand turned to your downfall. And for the present time, where Arkanic relics are of supreme value this is a most unsettling thought. Many of our cities are built on or near Arkanic ruins — and much of our mechanical lore is developed from recovered technology. Crudely, all admit. We do not have the spark of genius and mastery that they did — but every year we grow more clever in our copies and begin to make our own innovations.
If what Teon said was true – if everything the Precursors built had a flaw, a ‘shadow’- then we may be marching our way down a path lined with bones.
I find myself at a loss. What can I possibly report to my superiors? I can conclude nothing from this recording, but it suggests so much — so much that my soul tells me is of vast import. We discovered this recording as part of a different investigation. Reports of a manor in the hills south of Carroway, a place of horror. The local populace filled my agents’ ears with tales of demonic forces, lost children, sickness and death. Could there be a connection between the mnr—-
My quill stutters as I write. I know I just had a thought, but I can feel its absence in my mind. What is happening?
I scan my eyes along the words I have written, but I skip over the previous paragraph. At first absently, then with a growing feeling of dread. Something is keeping me from reading what I wrte–
No. Calm yourself, Dryden. You are a Knight of the Scroll – your mind is your blade. Kept sharp and keen in service of the Legion. I know not what I have stumbled on, but I MUst remain calm. I am the master of my own will. I am the master of my mind.
[To be continued]