Seekers of Lore
Visions of Toherol
I have faithfully translated this text from the second scroll of the Visions of Toherol, the only one of the scrolls I have been able to locate. I do not know whether or not the ecstatic visions of this ancient seer bear any hidden meaning, or any fact behind the myths, but nevertheless one must admit their historical importance is immeasurable. Without the Visions, the Founding of Thindar would never have taken place, and Kor Oleth would never have gone to a fateful yet glorious end in the War of Emmedi. I therefore present my translation of these writings in the spirit of scholarly good interest.
And then I moved beyond and saw the thrones of the Stars, and they were so many I could not count them. And upon the greatest throne was the red star whose secret name is JURTILVO, and he spoke unto me, saying: “Favoured are you, O mortal, for you come bearing the gift of gifts.” And indeed I beheld that my hands still carried the True Stone. And the Stars gathered around me and spoke further, saying: “Give us now this gift, and all riches shall be given unto you.” But I perceived malice in their hearts, and withheld it from them. Then they were angered, and cast me into a great pit.
And as I fell into the pit, I beheld the Shadow of the Words, and indeed it pressed close against me so that I must stop my ears against its murmurings. And the Shadow took on the form of a great Beast, and sought to wrest from me that which I bore. My arm the Beast tore from its socket and consumed utterly; and yet still I clutched the Stone, for I knew the Shadow of the Words and that its number was 1300.
At length I fell to the floor of the pit, for it was not without extent, and the Shadow of the Words must needs depart, for here was the Grave of the Deeds, and none may touch that place save Her who is to come. And truly my feet and my hands began to burn with the touch of the Grave of the Deeds, for a mere mortal am I and may not dwell in that place. And I cried out, and the Angel of Bones heard my cry, and took pity on me. And straightaway he bore me up and took me to the domain of the Hooded Ones.
And my strength quailed as I looked upon that realm, for it was empty of substance and vigour. And I beheld the Hooded Ones themselves ascending the ramps of their grey city, making their pitiful rites in the crumbling walls of despair. No word did the Hooded Ones speak to me, and truly I was gladdened not to hear their sayings. But I thanked them for their vigilance in the rites, for it was known to me that by these symbols alone is the Fourth Pillar preserved. And the names of these symbols are TOLDE, MANQE, and ERENI; yea, even YOULNA and HOULI.
Then the Hooded Ones showed me the places of the books of bones, and I read and had my fill. And my heart was cheered greatly by the things that were written therein. As I made to write these matters upon my parchment, the Angel of Bones came again unto me and spoke, saying: “Nay, mortal! These things must remain sealed until the proper time.” And so he took from me the parchment and sealed it with three seals, which are the three hearts of the world.
Then the Angel took me up to a high place and showed me a strange sight, being as it were a great engine, wreathed in darkness of smoke, and driven by figures who seemed to me exceeding large; and I asked the Angel the meaning of this thing. Then the Angel spoke, saying: “This is the Engine of the Luxury, and these who labour so upon it are the enslaved gods of the Hungry One.” And even I wondered at this, behold there came forth a great Cat, which cruelly smote the backs of the slave-gods with a scourge. Then the Angel of Bones indicated to me that we must depart in haste, and so we left the place of the Luxury; and truly I was glad to leave it.
And we passed beyond and came to the Palaces of the Seven Kings, and there I was in awe of the splendour of their dwellings. And the Angel of Bones departed from me, for there is no place for him there. Then I sought an audience with the six Kings (for I knew the seventh sleeps an eternal sleep), but I was denied. And I made to shew unto the gatekeeper the True Stone which I had brought, but alas I found my hand empty! And I fell to the ground and wept, and the gatekeepers threw me out as one who comes before the Seven Kings without a gift; and I knew not where the Stone had fallen.
And as I lay weeping, the Angel of Feathers came to me; and I was sore afraid. But he laid not his dreadful Sword upon me, but bade me take up my scroll and write. And he took me to the outer River, where the waters are shattered in many shards; and I saw in the broken waters the images of the Sapphires which were and are lost; and I wept the more for the sight of it. Then the Angel touched the waters and stirred them, and I saw no more the images of that beauty which was destroyed forever.
Then the Angel of Feathers took me by the hand, and truly I saw that his hand was as blood. And he took me amongst the shattered waters until we reached the City-castles of the Elder Gods, which sail along the River unceasingly. And the Angel made to take me within, but I was afraid, and shrank back. And I beheld the darkest of the City-castles, whose name is TORDON, and straightaway I hid my face.
Then the Angel took me to a hidden place where he showed me the secret Book of the Names of the Beginnings, and its clasp was silver and its casing of pure gold. And I made to open it, to read within the Names which are older than the mountains, and which have been sealed since the foundations of the First Pillar were laid. But at this the Angel of Feathers was greatly vexed, for he sought only to show me the cover of the Book; and indeed it is sealed until She comes who is to come. And the Angel was enraged, and took me up and threw me into a terrible ocean.
In that limitless ocean I foundered and was greatly afraid, for I could not swim in that place. And indeed I beheld that the ocean was not water but a sea of fearsome light that ever rose in mighty waves and threatened to engulf me. Then after a short time it indeed consumed me, and I sank beneath the roiling sea of light that ever strikes hard upon the heart of man.
And in the depths of that terrible sea I met the heart of change, and indeed I beheld it was a great Queen, who ruled by right and not by conquest, and I bowed my face low before her. And she laughed, and scowled, and spoke in many riddles which I could not understand. At length I cried out to beseech this great Queen that she might speak plainly with me, a most humble mortal. Then the Queen spoke, saying: “It is not permitted for any god to understand my utterance; and do you indeed dare to address me?”. And she rose up to strike me, and I beheld in her eyes the death of Reason. And she kissed me upon the cheek, and at once I knew the terror of true loneliness.
Then I passed beyond, and came once more to the lands of men.
Translated from the second scroll of the Visions of Toherol by Baron Jyostan Hyordruton.