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Legendsong of the Unykorn

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Description: The 'Legendsong of the Unykorn' is an epic historical poem addressing the origins of Keltor and the events surrounding the historical figures of Lanalor, Shenavyre and the Unykorn. The Legendsong was composed by the soulweavers of Darkfall (led by Alyda) after Lanalor's death. Alyda (Lanalor’s sister) wrote of the Legendsong in her scrolls:
'You ask if the Legendsong is truth – I ask you, what is truth?
The Legendsong was scribed by my order from scrolls and notes left by
my brother who bade us remember all that had passed... Many of the
scrolls were destroyed...but what remained, my order sisters wove into a
song that is both truth and more than truth, as are all histories; ever do
human folk weave upon weavings, adapting tales with each telling...'
'The Alyda Scrolls' (Darkfall p52)


The beginning of the Legendsong addresses the creation of Keltor by the Song, and then speaks of the Unykorn and its love for Shenavyre. The Legendsong then tells the story of Lanalor's attempts to gain the attentions of Shenavyre, including his dealings with the Chaos spirit, and tells of the fate of Shenavyre and the Unykorn. The Legendsong also gives the signs by which the Unraveller shall be known.

Following is the text of the Legendsong as contained in Darkfall and Darksong:

In the Beginning was the Void,
filled with the madness of the Unmade and the spirit of Chaos.
but all things struggle towards Harmony and Form
and so there came from the Void, a song,
and this was the Song of Making.

From the Song of Making were made the seven planets:
Aenid the flame, Dar the red, Keltor the mother, Zorik the bright, Lori iceheart, fractured Gard, Draakar the shadow.
All the planets were set to whirl in perfect order about the star,
Fiery Kalinda.
Beyond these were other distant stars; the eyes of heaven.

In all the world there was harmony
for the Chaos spirit dwelt in the Void and could not leave it...

All the world abounded with the Song of Making
and the Song quickened, for it desired to make life.
Firstmade and most perfect was the Unykorn; silver-white, four-legged,
and horned in pearl, it wove among the stars
casting its image into many worlds...
Most lovely of all its features were its eyes
for they burned with the brightness of its soul...

Of all the seven planets, Keltor alone was chosen to nurture life
for it was sung of the essence of all the rest.
Its fiery lakes were gifted from Aenid the flame, closest to Kalinda;
its red sand winds echoed the barren wastes of Dar;
its waters shone with the phosphorescent humours of glittering Zorik;
its mountains were mantled by Lori's ice;
its earth was studded with rare power stones from Gard's meteorite, Gardion;
its night was subtle with Draakar's shadow...

Many were the creatures made by the Song for Keltor:
the savage silfi who rule the great water;
the fat, sweet-natured aspi;
the fair unyki;
the flyts whose songs echo the Song...
Each was made complete, excepting only the Lastmade:
the two-legged human folk...

Formed in the dying strains of the Song,
the Lastmade alone was incomplete,
unfinished and unwhole. Made yet Unmade,
left ever to strive for completion,
ever to contend with Chaos...

Of all that was woven by the Song
the Unykorn alone was unbounded by time and space...
Thus did it roam beyond the mists to all worlds
leaving images of its perfection,
as an ideal to exalt the soul...
The merest flicker of its horn
became an eternal symbol of beauty and hope.

Endlessly curious, the Firstmade traversed world after world...
At length, it was drawn back to the worlds made by the Song.
It came at last to Keltor, rejoicing to find there
creatures which had also been formed of the Song,
and in which remained a fragment of that sweetest music
of its own making.
It stayed long, and grew to love the lesser beasts which dwelt there,
setting no kind above another...
But then Shenavyre was born into the world...

Shenavyre sang in a voice as fair as her face
and sweet as her soul.
Hearing her, the Firstmade
remembered the Song of its own Making
and understood that all along it had been searching
– not for the Song, but for its Singer...

When the Unykorn looked on Shenavyre's face,
it wept because it knew love,
and knowing love, it knew pain,
for Shenavyre was mortal and would die...

The Firstmade adored Shenavyre,
protecting her and healing her when she ailed...
Above all things it loved to hear her sing.
In return, it told her stories.
Entranced by their beauty and wisdom, Shenavyre wove them into cloth.
Thus came to humankind the power of immortal remembering...

A man, too, loved Shenavyre, whose name was Lanalor,
but Shenavyre was blind to him...

Lanalor longed for Shenavyre to see him.
He reaped the bounty of the seven isles
and laid it at her feet,
but she saw it not –
for she was filled and sated in all her senses by the Unykorn...

Lanalor vowed that Shenavyre would see him.
He braved the savage silfi to bring foamstones from
beneath the great water;
He toiled in the deepest crevices
for violet waystones and searched for fallen darklin;
golden feinn-bane he did sing from the deep heart of the oldest trees;
and from these rare and precious things
did he fashion a diadem that was the most beautiful thing ever made –
But she saw not their dead beauty.
Lanalor sought to be more than other men,
that Shenavyre would see and admire him;
thus did he study the magics and mysteries,
until, by will alone,
he could walk the winds.
But the Unykorn journeyed among the stars
and wheresoever it flew,
did Shenavyre's eyes follow...

Lanalor thought to amaze Shenavyre with his power:
thus did he study the waves and currents
and learn to bend them to his will.
But the great water was still of its own accord when the Unykorn flew,
that it might hold the image of the Firstmade...
And Shenavyre saw not Lanalor's might
but the Unykorn's eternal beauty, reflected in the thralled waves...

Seeing that nothing in the world made by the Song
could be more fair to Shenavyre than the Unykorn,
Lanalor delved into the very nature of life's Making
and sang a twisting of the Song
to create a thing that had not been –
a black flower which, eaten, would bestow sweetest ecstasy.
This he offered to Shenavyre,
but she shrank from the unnatural blossom,
and stroked the Unykorn's pearled horn...

Chastened by Shenavyre's contempt for his gift,
Lanalor sought to redeem himself,
turning his skill to medicants and healing potions;
and many who were healed by him praised and blessed him.
But Shenavyre had no need of his arts,
for no potion could rival the healing power
of the Unykorn's Sacred Horn...

At last, despairing, Lanalor understood that nothing in the universe
was more wondrous than the Unykorn, and so he used his powers
to enter the Void in search of some new thing to offer Shenavyre.

Soulweaving, Lanalor entered the Void. At once he was amazed
by the multitude of possible futures. In some, he saw Shenavyre aged
and smiling on him. In others he saw her dying young and fair.
In the Void were all the glittering stuffs of creation,
all that might ever come to pass or not,
and Lanalor was entranced...

But in delving in the Void,
Lanalor opened himself to the spirit of Chaos that dwelt therein.

When Lanalor returned to the world he beheld the Unykorn
whom Shenavyre loved,
and was jealous...

It came to Lanalor that the Unykorn had stolen Shenavyre from him.
Black hate filled his heart, but he could not challenge the Unykorn,
for it was the Firstmade and immortal,
yet he vowed he would have revenge...

Lanalor wove again into the abyss, seeking as answer to his hatred.
The Chaos spirit whispered to him
that though the Unykorn could not be killed, it might be bound
so that Shenavyre could never look on it again.
Thus would the Unykorn be as dead to her.

Lanalor spoke to the Chaos spirit, saying: If the Unykorn cannot be slain,
what power would bind it against its will?
The Chaos spirit replied: If you desire it, I will gift you with
matter from the Void, that is Unmade.
With this you can fashion a prison
which nothing made by the Song will ever break.

And so it was that Lanalor, ruler of the Lastmade,
carried into the world a seed of Chaos, to bind
the Firstmade.

***

There came a day when the Unykorn heard Shenavyre
singing a summons from beneath the waves.
The Firstmade dove into the great water,
drawn by love and longing,
but the voice was false.
A lie wrought up from the Void. An echo
shaped to bait a deadly trap:
A sphere formed from the unmade matter of Chaos.
The Firstmade following the darksong.
Too innocent, too quick, too powerful to fear,
it entered that darkest place.

So did the Firstmade pass from the light
So did the light pass from the Songborn...

Lanalor told Shenavyre that the Unykorn had perished,
And at last, her eyes saw him, but they were filled with horror.
Shenavyre cried: 'Then is all beauty and brightness dead.'
She drew a knife from her belt and drove it into her heart.

Life ran from Shenavyre swift and red,
and all Lanalor's mighty skills could not stem the flow.
Then did he remember the Unykorn's healing horn.
He ran to the edge of the Great Water and sought to unbind the Unykorn,
but to no avail, for nothing made of the Song
could unmake that which was yet unmade.

Only then did Lanalor understand the use that had been made of him.

Returning to the dying Shenavyre, Lanalor confessed his evil, but
Shenavyre smiled on him and rejoiced, 'For,' she said, 'the Unykorn lives
and, while it exists, it may come again.'

In the moment of his greatest despair did Lanalor know
that within their incompleteness,
the Lastmade held the essence of the Chaos spirit and the Song,
and so were unlike any other, created or unmade.
Humankind alone can choose how to complete themselves.
So it was that in this uttermost emptiness, the great betrayer
became the first of the Lastmade to know the Chaos spirit within.

As Shenavyre died in his arms, Lanalor swore
to free the Unykorn and himself from the Chaos spirit,
'For,' he said, 'I am as an empty vessel which you filled with Chaos.
You grew in the void within me, left by the Song of Making.
Now do I see that the capacity for both Chaos and the Song
dwell in me.
'By this knowledge shall I thwart you.'

Lanalor sought a way to break the binding
That held the Unykorn.
By force, did he try, and by subtle
necromancing, but without success.
Then did he weave yet again into the
Void, but this time he blinded himself,
for Chaos enters the soul
through the eyes.

Lanalor segued to find the Chaos spirit
to offer a bargain; his living
soul for a way to unbind the Unykorn.
And the Chaos spirit hungered, for it fed only on the darkling
energies of those who opened their hearts to it.
The pain of a tormented soul would offer a rare richness,
though it must be returned to its flesh if the Unraveller succeeded.

For grief is one of the six madnesses by which the Chaos spirit
controls those of the Lastborn who permit it to enter.
The others are the madness of love, the madness of hate,
the madness of greed, the madness of envy, the madness of fear.

The power the Chaos spirit bestowed on Lanalor pained him,
yet he mastered it. Even so, the Making of the portal was very hard.
As he wrought, he saw many futures and worlds without end,
and communed with those who dwelt on them,
but never after did he use this power to save himself,
if he had it...

Lanalor went on a journey, in the final days of creating his portal,
to the place where Shenavyre had been born.
He sought out her brothers and gave to them for their own daughters,
the gifts rejected by their sister.

Then did Lanalor give to his sister, Alyda, these signs
by which the Unraveller might be known:
half-blind yet seeing all,
who is marked by visioning yet without Darkfall mark
who lives yet sings the deathsong
who is born, yet is not of the Song of Making
who is gifted from the great waters
who is crowned in bright flames...

Lanalor gave his sister all the secrets of the power stones
and bade her guard them until they were needed...

If the dark fate of the Unykorn can be Unravelled
my own salvation must come, Lanalor said.

And so did Lanalor cast his soul into the Void
saying: I fall to the Void, I drown...
Notes: 'Legendsong' is a melding of the words 'legend' and 'song.' The word legend is generally used to refer to a story about historical or mythical beings or events, and a song is a musical composition that often has lyrics. The significance of the naming is increased by the fact that Keltor is a world born of the Song.
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Encyclopedia entry Posted by Zieria
Info Created: Saturday 06 June 2009 - 17:10:03
Last Updated: Saturday 06 June 2009 - 17:10:03

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