Tandamonium

Cae is a traveler, a person unbound by the laws of time and space, a walker of roads and river, of mists and mysteries, always treading upon the edge and the abyss. He travels the road of destiny, and on his journey, meets those who have taken the worn-sole boots of the traveler born. This is his story, one you must see for yourself.

The sun was unusually bright today. Cae sat 'twixt a vast oak and a soaring pine, his back resting on the rough bark. A soft blanket of pine needles offered him comfort, while a trickling stream gave him news from the North. Excited words spilled from the tiny ringlets, while tidings of foreboding rolled off the whitecaps. It takes a special kind of person to read the water ways, to feel the music of the stream. Cae was one of them, but few realized. It bothered him not. Sometimes he liked being normal.
   The whispers were dark; fires burnt the North, from where the river sees it's first calm, to the lower rapids, where the forks bring tidings of a harsh winter from around the corner of the World. One nervous tide spoke words of heresy from the furthest skies, but none heeded his burbling words.
   With the final utterance, Cae new his time of respite was up. After a few lifetimes, one grows wary, and none soothes the bones like a bed of bristles, with the sentinels and guardians to keep you company. Now many could read the trees as one would read a book, they were poor at hiding emotion, and their thoughts were always written on the bark, stark as day. Yet, they were wise, affable old men, prone to chuckles and swaying more than skittish chatter like the wind, yet seemed to prefer the company of fawn and loam than human, skyborne or no.
   With a deep sigh that spoke of the groaning earth, Cae shouldered his sack, grabbed his stick, and struck North. The trees swayed in farewell, as they had swayed in greeting, and just about every other spoken word.
   As he left the forest, the sun, so soft and warm, rapidly turned a scintillating blue, sending streaks of sapphire down. The ground froze, and the North begun. The wind, ever so evasive and difficult to talk to, began to screech. It did not like the cold, it made it angry, and shiver. It attacked Travelers with blades of it's chilled arms, infused with fury. It was sad, but it brings it about itself; no self respecting person would walk into the realm of winter clad in nothing but it's own hubris.
   As the snow muttered, Cae reached into his sack; a dreary thing of burlap, cinched at the top with string, and pulled out a long fur cloak. The hem was edged in faery dust, so as to not collect dirt during his lengthy travels. With a flourish bred from many a year of entertaining, Cae donned the cloak. The wind, seeing his luxury, howled in anger.
   "Will you stop that infernal harpies call if I give you my cloak?" asked Cae, his face flushed with irritation. In response, the wind formed a small devil, about the size of a human. A sigh escaped Cae's lips, and he removed the cloak. He walked over the devil, which swirled like a surly child waiting for a slice of pie. A second flourish, and the coat was gone, lost in the swirling devil. It subsided, leaving nothing more than a turned patch of snow to mark it's passing.
   The wind, however, kept a furious pace, its limbs ripping through the winter world. Cae looked at the wind, turning a furious eye upon it. That gaze had made stones crumble, clouds disperse and entire stars dim, yet this was the wind, the entity that ruled the skies. Clouds swam its slipstreams, birds grasped its currents; only mountains defied the wind with audacity, for trees all bent in deference.
  A cruel laugh escaped the winds wicked lips, and it mocked Cae's foolishness. Did he honestly believe that it, the wind, would feel the bite of cold? No, the cold did not rule it, nor did they stand as equals. The wind just thrust its fingers upon it, until infused with dragons frost. Then it turned its icy lances to the world. This was a cruel wind, and not one to be trifled with. So Cae, knowing when he's been tricked, sits down upon a stone, and reaches into his bag.
  Out came a small globe, made from the tears of the sun. Long ago, Cae had spoken to the sun on a glowing summers day. The sun was a difficult being to talk to. She hurt your eyes, and can turn your skin to peel if you lay within her gaze for too long. Yet, she came to Cae, and asked him for a taste of his flame, for he bear in his hands a candle of purest wax, which held aloft a flame of purest white. The sun rarely saw such candles, and even less often got to sample such specimens. So Cae gave his candle of purest wax to the sun, who pulsed. In return, she offered him an orb of her fire. No fire burned hotter than the sun, not even the dragons flame, nor the salamanders blood, nor even the smoldering heart of the rumbling mountain.
   So Cae drew out his orb of sunfire, and with a unhappy sigh, split the orb on a rock. Within moments, a small part of the sun escaped. It swept through the sky, and infused the wind with a warm glow. A gasp of surprise, then a growl of anger escaped the hollow lips of the wind, and all of a sudden the frozen bite became a buffeting breeze, to a slight wisp. The wind, so full of the suns bounty, had risen to the skies, leaving it's quarry to pass.
   Cae smiled. The wind was a lonely being, for few could talk to it. It's banshees call made even the most gifted windtalker confused. Yet Cae had swept by with ease, minus a cloak and orb of sunfire. But he was through, and the streams said there was trouble ahead, and nothing interested him more than a quick chat with trouble




The End

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