The light of the moons shimmers across the woodland path,
Filtered through the trees as the ~autumn leaves,
Crumple, scrunch and crackle, beneath the beast’s strides.
Reaching the clearing, it bounds up the hill,
Pausing at the crest with a paw raised, ears pricked,
Sniffing the air, it lifts its head to the night sky
And howls, a lonely sound at first, until the
Voice is joined by others in a choral tribute to the deities,
The darkness; the hunt and the hunger.
There is a sound, a scent, the rustle of leaves, Humans
(Elves would not make such a cacophony).
The wolf takes a step back, then leaps, onwards
In to the night, running like the wind in the light of the moons
And a great Elven star overhead, seen through the trees.
Then there is the scent like none ever known, a perfume
Of a creature not of this world (nor any other),
The Spirit Horse, with the great silvery mane,
Parted by a single ivory horn that shimmers like pearl,
Her eyes – full of oceans and eternity, emotions so
Profound that the wolf can not help but weep at her beauty,
He prostrates himself before her, crawling on his belly,
All pride forgotten in submission, offering himself
(And not knowing why, only that he must).
The Unicorn smells the steel and senses the hunters,
Bounds across the stream, in to the woods, in to the night
And the wolf follows, throughout winter and in to spring,
A joy a hope, never before believed, sorcery never conceived,
Running with the Unicorn until the fairytale fades.
Appendices for those who enjoy and appreciate my mythological world of Cyralost:
The silver moon is the smallest of the four and the furthest away from Cyralost. A lone eleighxander has been discovered (in the Temple of the Moons on the island of Rim in the archipelago of Kira) that leads to Hartol and opens out under a trilith of great rounded stones on an elevated mound at the centre of a small; solitary island (twenty feet across).
Surrounding the little island, as far as the eye can see in any direction, is a silver sea. It is like any other sea in density, buoyancy and other aspects (salt content etc) and there has been no research that can discern why the water is silver, how it came to be so, there seems no purpose for its colour and no conclusive evidence about it what-so-ever; it has completely baffled alchemists and wizards alike.
It is possible that there is marine life and a ‘world’ comprised completely of water would most likely support many forms of life but none have been discovered as yet. The eleighxander is too small to transport large vessels and the island that Hartol’s eleighxander resides on is not big enough to support the cargo required to build a big boat with, especially as the sloping gradients are so steep that materials keep rolling down in to the sea, which drops as soon as you step off the island; with no sea floor found so far. Small rafts have been built and brave (or foolish) explorers have sailed off in to the silver sea but none have ever returned and nothing ever seems to wash up on the minute shore.
The silver water of Hartol has no magical properties (that have been discovered yet but there are those who believe there is magic in everything so the studies will no doubt continue) but strangely, the silver light of the moon in the night sky has been able to power certain spells and magical artefacts.
There is some debate as to whether the Moon Stones found in Starcadia actually come from Cyralost’s moons, considering no magical function has been found from the other three moons and the only sorcery produced by Hartol is from the light reflected from its silver sea by the sun.
The green moon is the second largest and third furthest away from Cyralost. Panishar shines in the night sky with a bright green light, almost like the sunlight shone through an emerald, and this is due to the moon being covered almost entirely by forest. There are three known eleighxanders that lead to Panishar, one from Sorcerers’ Isle, one in the tea fields of Kiketra and one on Rim (at the Temple of the Moons); making Panishar the most visited and most explored (and well mapped) of Cyralost’s four moons.
The green moon is highly populated, with various animals and insects (the kind of which you would expect to find in wooded, forest and jungle terrain, one of which is a large cat called the Rash-pain Panther which is the only known native animal and whose venomous bite brings out a nasty purple rash that spreads and causes the limbs to wither).
There is an Elven colony, as one would almost expect in a place so densely populated with trees, that have self-appointed themselves as guardians of something they refer to as the moon’s ‘soul’ (much like the Druids of Cyralost who call the planet ‘Telluria’ and worship it’s ‘soul’). The ‘soul’ the Elves of Panishar revere is actually a trapped tree spirit that was parted from his sister the Dryad when the realm of Faerie was attacked during the War of the Races and somehow brought to Panishar where one can only guess it was intended to do something special with the trees of this moon but was misplaced or forgotten before its release.
Panishar is also home to an Oarken colony, a tribe that found its way to Panishar shortly after they were changed in to the monsters they are today, following The Great Betrayal. Having not had the contact and experience of Cyralost’s Oarken, these are bestial creatures, pure evil and ruthless beings that delight in cruelty. The Elves and Oarken are not alone on the moon though as there are various Human settlements and a Slarth (Lizard-man) village as well as a variety of monsters that one would expect to find in these verdant surroundings.
The Human civilization on Panishar is a fairly recent enterprise and has met with a great deal of difficulty in its construction as the Elves are covetous of their tree spirit ‘soul’ and believe the Humans are after it (despite constant assurance that they are not, though they are extremely curious about it due to the extents the Elves go to in order to keep anyone from entering their territory) and the hostile Oarken are bent on destroying everything and everyone; not to mention (though I have now mentioned) the natural predators.
Every tree imaginable appears to be present on Panishar with the exception of Dendrids (Tree People) which is unusual and a shame, considering the forest community. Perhaps the Dendrids have no knowledge of Panishar’s topography or know too much and purposely refrain from venturing there because of something they wish to avoid (one suspects the later as these ancient and venerable beings seem to know almost as much as Faezteaochaelon, the Giant turtle who is both oracle and Mistress of Lore.
There is still much to be discovered on the green moon and updated reports return to Cyralost fairly regularly, including a rumour of an ancient evil lurking in the caves west of the Oark Fort.
Sailors on Cyralost believe it is a good omen when the green moon’s light is the predominant moonshine on the sea. The Druids refuse to comment on any discovery found on Panishar, claiming the moon was stolen from Telluria (what they call ancient Cyralost) hence the Open Ocean, which makes sense to some but is disregarded as mythology or the theology of ‘hippy zealots’.
All attempts to bring timber back to Cyralost from the trees felled on Panishar have met with strange accidents to date, a mystery that is being investigated to this day. Some theories suggest the Druids are sabotaging efforts to bring back wood from the moon whilst others believe it is the will of the gods. Who knows?
The largest moon (which is also closest to Cyralost) is the scarlet moon, often referred to as the ‘Blood Moon’ or ‘Demon’s Eye’. We know from reports of the few surviving explorers who discovered and ventured through the eleighxander that opens between the Temple of the Moons on Rim and the scarlet moon, Faeran; that the place is a hellish devastation that one would expect to find far below Nazdaelund.
Covered in volcanoes, molten rivers, land masses of red sand and seas of lava; Faeran’s air is often noxious and the terrain is exceptionally difficult to travel over. Not much of this moon has been explored as the temperature there is scorching, hotter than most deserts and heat waves can roll across the land as the wind changes to burn the skin; sometimes so much as to blister.
In some areas, ash falls like snow and there is nowhere hospitable to stay for more than a night as the few inhabitants of Faeran, like an occasional Demon, a few Æfreeti that were misplaced after The Great Betrayal, Lava Monsters (for which no name has been given but varying descriptions report serpents or animals similar to bears forming out of the molten rivers and attacking) and Charcoal Hounds (large dogs that rise out of the black rock of the volcanoes and are exceptionally hard to kill as they are made of rock, so hammers are more useful than blades) are very hostile.
There is no sign of any settlement, no civilization unless underground, which is highly unlikely as it would be even hotter below the surface. The light of the scarlet moon has often been misinterpreted by those who claim it is an ill omen, a bad sign, ‘there will be blood’ etc. Complete nonsense and coincidental if poor fate has followed such an auger, it is no more magical than a donkey’s bottom.
Samples of rock and similar from Faeran have made high prices from those wishing to research its properties (and bloody right too, considering the danger and discomfort involved acquiring it!) but nothing magical has been discovered within these to date.
This moon is the second smallest and second nearest to Cyralost, a desert moon that shines golden in the night sky (a light that tricksters and conmen use to illuminate certain products at night to sell to desperate and gullible customers who are led to believe all kinds of nonsense. The light of the moon is the only thing golden about it and a curious phenomenon as the sands of the deserts there are more grey and brown than golden yellow, some resembling dry baked soil more than sand; though nothing grows there.
There was some civilization on Angar at one point in time as powerful scrying spells have revealed structures that resemble pyramids built by the lost tribe on the Island of Secrets and not dissimilar to those built by the barbarians in the Eastern Wastes of Tenera and other remote areas.
There are also statues and a dried up canal system but no more is known as yet. Considering the fact that there was a civilization there at some point in time, there must also have been animal life to sustain it but no one knows what it may have been or if it still lives there. It is possible that there is still life on Angar as some things thrive in the most inhospitable terrain one can imagine, especially if magical. Experts suspect certain insects (beetles in particular), serpents and perhaps rodents may still be present but there is no conclusive evidence.
No eleighxander has been reported opening to Angar and the one in the Temple of the Moons on Rim has never worked as the Temple was attacked during the ceremony that opened these void avoiding portals and the worshipers (whoever they may have been, there is little record of the temple’s purpose or any religion surrounding it and no recognised faith on Cyralost has laid claim to it) were scattered or slain. Any worshipers of the religion that built the Temple of the Moons on Rim have either gone in to hiding and kept their faith secret all these centuries or adopted another set of beliefs and allowed the strange moon related religion to fade in to obscurity (quick note, it is also unknown who attacked the temple or why and only the skeletons and broken statues or relics to show that any of this occurred in the first place).
Needless to say (but I shall say it anyway), steer clear of anyone trying to sell you the ‘Magical Sands of Angar’ and maybe point out that it is the wrong colour. Scrying remains the only way to view this moon’s surface at present and it would take a very powerful mage to see that far.