I scarcely remember any aspiration that I had before the day I had seen the procession to the acropolis. They had passed through our town in a wave of what had seemed like an illusion of the heat, and all it had taken was one look from a woman in red amongst the monochrome, her eyes shimmering golden through her veil, to call to me and affirm in my soul what my hopes and dreams would be.
When I think of my land, I wonder how Oneirus can be made of such wonder and how I can be called odd for wanting it so much. I know little about how I came to be here, but I remember nothing earlier than my eighth birthday, leading many to believe that was the age I died in the human world. They say we're spirits, apparitions in a higher world where everybody ascends. I'm not sure if I like when they say that, but those I speak to remember barely anything before they found themselves living in Oneirus. It seems as if we are all fragments with broken edges, having no idea where we fit or where in the picture we once belonged.
I know this much: my name is Netea, I am an apprentice of the muse Calliope, and I am sixteen in just under two months.
It can be said that Oneirus is paradise, as we know of no crime, none of us ever sicken, and death takes us in old age as I think it always should. My land's territory is distant, running from the Twins - our highest ascending mountains, to the coast of the Eternal Sea. My fondest memories are of running through the apple orchards on the cliffsides and then jump into the sparkling silver waters below. To my mind, that is paradise.
But I dream of another world, the human world, and I need not wait long to see it. I know little of how to reach it, just as much as I am in the dark about how I will be inducted to become a fully-fledged Muse. Perhaps it is a boat journey over the horizon, deep underground or past the highest points of the Twins. The stories I hear enchant me, those told by Amaryllis, kindest and greatest of all Muses, about their technologies and ways of life. She is one of few Muses accomplished enough to return, most are never seen again, living and dying in the human world as they had once before.
Only Ideón can decide my fate. It it could be described, then Ideón is our deity, who decides the destinies of all Muses, and who chose the first of the Muses, the Nine. Ideón is a tree so beautiful and grand that it is impossible to miss, growing from the grandest of the temples in the acropolis, where it had been built around in reverence. It seems to have been here from the beginning, a time that nobody is entirely sure of. In legend, when Oneirus first shot forth from the ground, they feared it would grow so tall that it would shadow all of the land and hide away the sun. But soon, our people reported voices, commands that young vessels were needed to carry inspiration to the human world. Nine priestesses journeyed to the base of Ideón, and they returned instilled with purpose. Each created a cult of their own where each new Muse would study, and by the words of the priestess Calliope, we learnt that it called itself Ideón.
We were without trust for many moons, until the Ideas began to grow...