xhrir soên qlalaTusùrthir
Puîyos kae yontet Éfhelìnye
Writ of Introduction
From the Sisteren of the Royal and Divine Twyndyllyngs
Puîyos and Éfhelìnye
Oh our dear and beloved children,
This even, this twilight the Emperor and Empress passed away into the protection of the Ancestors. We who are part of their family knew that their time was drawing nigh and were with them at the end. Empress Éfhelìnye was reading aloud of her book even this morn, and Emperor Puîyos was playing the harp an hour before his passing. All of the children, grandchildren, great·grandchildren, and the little great·great·grandprince were present, as well as we their Sisters and our families. Our dear Brother and Sister kiss’d us each before they lay down to sleep in the light of the Ancestors. Already the rituals are begun for the new xhreyána, the apotheosis and coronation of the new Emperor and Empress, and the next generation prepares for the world that Puîyos and Éfhelìnye created together, they who lived a long life, full of years and love.
Even though Puîyos and Éfhelìnye always retained the full authority of the Crystalline Throne and the Starburst Crown, in fact, and those in the goverance knew this, they granted the power of ruling to their Sisters and kith and then later the children and grandchildren who were born in the millennia to come. However our dear Brother and Sister remained important symbols even though they did not always sit upon the throne, for they were the ones who defeated the old regime, who restored both life and language, who ended Winter eternal, and created the new Suns and Moons of Glossopoeia, the Land of Story. And so, even though they may no longer be with us within these life·giving dreamlands, we know that the safety of future generations will remain secure because of them, and that those to come will not endure such a War as came unto us born of the Oânthekhon at the end of the age.
So now that rites are begun for the interring of Puîyos and Éfhelìnye, we, Fhermáta and Siêthiyal and Karuláta, who are Sisteren unto Puîyos, and I, Ixhúja, Sister unto Éfhelìnye, are happy to present unto the public the famous Book. This is the story that Empress Éfhelìnye began writing even as a young girl, the story which she wrote in several different versions, whereon she inkled and painted anew, the story that she took apart several times and wove again into different dreams, the story which in her life she only shared with her family, but which, when she was younger, she always intended to let the rest of the Real People of the Land read one day. The composition of the Story is quite convoluted indeed, and in this last year our Sister gave us permission to do whatever we wished with the story, to change or edit it in any way that suited us. We have decided not to change it in the least but rather to let the versions and words remain as surely she must have dreamed of it. There are some sections where we have had to amend the order, and we have debated about the inclusion of digressions and monologues, and have had to make many minor changes for consistency, for our Sister experimented as much with language as she did with breathing the plot into life, but we are certain that she would approve of these alterations.
As all children know, Empress Éfhelìnye is famous for two main accomplishments. The first is the myth of her life story, how she was born in the old Dreamtime of the old Sun Emperor and Moon Empress, and how she and Puîyos met each other and found themselves in a vast and brewing War which was inevitable from the very alchemy that had created the Land, and yet the two of them managed to survive and create a new world in peace. However, she is equally famed for the creation of the Babel Language, or Khlìjha as she oft called it in her notes. She wrote a vast Encyclopædia available in this age in every temple, abbey, and intimate bookstore, a series known as Empress Éfhelìnye’s Compleate Babel Grammar and Lexicon. Several different versions of this work are now available, from the comprehensive multivolume set which she originally wrote, to shorten’d condensed versions, and later on the holy Sylvanhood began producing volumes of her Lexicon just by itself. The Compleate Grammar and Lexicon she revised many times in her life as continued she to refine her ideas on language and unify it as it had never been before. The Lexicon itself she was able greatly to expand throughout her reign as she collected words from all of the species, castes, and timelines of the Empire. It may be difficult for the younger generations to imagine, but there was a tide before language was understood. When we were children there were many grammar books and dictionaries, but they were often contradictory unto each other, and no one had even conceived the idea of somehow making sense out of all of the words. We know, for we were there at the beginning, that Éfhelìnye was creating language even as a young child, she used to spend her days fashioning new writing systems and improving on declensions and trying to understand valence; of course the rest of us were not at all interested in that, but looking back on it we realize that we miss her little lectures on the pronunciation of one word and the history of another. Younger generations also may take it for granted that the Empress created language for them; such an idea should seem as natural to them as it ended up being surprising for us. How difficult it is for us to tell our children just how her grammar changed all the worlds. It brought order unto the endless kindreds of the Real People, it gave voice to every tree and hill and petal and branch, it gave us all the same song, it gave us all the same exaulted myth. And so it is that in the tides to come, children will know the names of beasts because Puîyos thus hight them, and children will know how participles, personal pronouns, relative pronouns, and affixes dance the ballet of syntax. But of course, how and why Éfhelìnye ended up creating language is revealed in the story that she wrote, for Éfhelìnye’s language and story are one..
So famous as Éfhelìnye’s Grammar and Lexicon are become, so private ek was the Story that she was writing. As she grew older she began to consider her story to be a bit too personal for those outside of her family, and especially she thought so when the Wise began to teach of her grammar texts and use examples of her own life to explain the correct use of Langauge. Primarly the Book that she was writing was the Love Story that explained how she and Puîyos met each other in the last day of Winter. This Book she wrote primarly in little volumes that Puîyos used to bind himself for her; he used to spend hours cutting the pages and measuring the leather and sewing it together, and whatever Éfhelìnye wrote he would read several times and paint comments around the words or upon the sides. This story, whereon she was working all of her life even until a few hours ago, was a grand adventure filled with all manner of family lore and history, mythology and monsters, candy pirates, ninja spies, laughing scaramouches, deranged clockwork automata, aliens of all and every sort, imperial mad scientists, crashing chariots, clockwork trains and trolleys, chases through street and rainbow cannal and upon rooftop, the most terrible War that has e'er been fought, blue unicorns and cloud·gathering Dragons, and chivalry and hugs and affection, and the kiss of true love. We, her Sisters, find ourselves in the story quite a bit, although if any of us had written it we would have focused upon other areas, our own adventures and quests, but we leave the story as it is, as she experienced it and remembered it. Indeed, it was not just her story, though. The only one we know for certain to have read all of the pages in all of their versions was Puîyos himself, and we have found his changes and annotations throughout her books. Many of these changes she herself recopied in a fair hand in later versions, othertimes she just wrote a note to herself to include what he had written, and so as we present the book to you we do include a fair amount of what he experienced. He helped a great deal with the battle scenes and also scenes that involved plantimals, for he so loved them all the days of his life. In addition, I, Fhermáta, did help Éfhelìnye in writing many of the scenes involving the Sweqhàngqu and other members of her husband’s family. I, Siêthiyal, helped her with some of the peiratical scenes. I, Akhlísa, probably read almost as much as Puîyos did, and I did end up repainting large portions of her book, not to mention it was I who copied out her entire Grammar Encyclopædia, even though I don’t get much credit for it. And I, Ixhúja, helped my Sister write about the Clockwork Heresy as well as some of the places where she did not visit. And of course Éfhelìnye’s children and nieces and nephews and grandchildren read many portions of the book, and had much of it read aloud to them as bedtime stories, and the questions that they asked ended up creating scenes and adding characters that the Empress did not originally think had to be included.
As our Sister composed her Book it began to take upon itself a structure of its own. The entire Book essentially takes place in a single Day which is divided into the Seven Hours of the Day. However the story meanders unto legends, dreams of what were, and tales, so that time itself became Éfhelìnye’s plaything, and the Hours of the Day take upon themselves a bit more of a fluidic meaning. In the first Hour of the Day we are introduced to Princess Éfhelìnye and learn about her and about Puîyus’ family, and we gain a glimpse of the Empire as it was in the old times when Winter all things ensorcelled. In the second Hour the War begins upon the horizon frontier. By the middle of the day the War is come unto Jaràqtu, that was Puîyus’ and our homeland. By the end of the Day Puîyus has been made Crown Prince Puîyos, and he and Éfhelìnye end the War and save the Land. Some of the scholars in our family have begun to view The Compleate Grammar and Lexicon as the eighth Hour of the Day, for the language itself is a coda of peace and creativity and gives form to the world. In her writings, tended she to use language in a far more complex and playful way than we can; our writ of prologue is crafted in a simple manner, but she was unafraid to shift language all the while.
We who are Sisters to the Empress paint this writ of introduction not just to inform the generations to come and tell them a little about what our Sister was like, but also because we believe that this Book will end up being invaluable to the historians of the future who will wonder about the myths that have formed about the Child Emperor and Child Empress. We wish for those to come to know that Puîyos, or Puey as we his Siblings called him, was a very kind and gentle wiht, and that no one was more loyal and loving than Éfhelìnye, and even after they became the Emperor and Empress they did not change save perhaps to become more kind and more loving not just to their family but unto all in need. In sooth, not only did Éfhelìnye never write an introduction to her Book in all of the versions that she wrote, but she seemed to have been blithely ignorant as to its importance for future generations. For instance, we have found written on the back of one cover this little noteling:
On the occasion of mine hundredth Starday, oh my Dearest Puey I have painted out for you a new version of the story, our Story together. I find it quite fitting that now that we are permitted to live in our own household and no longer with my parents, that we should have a new copy of our life, our story, &c. Many aspects of the story I hope you will help me rewrite. Details about your family. Dreamlands we visited together. Certain mythopoeias. Some parts I find very funny but others sad, too sad. Must work together. In years to come when we have children of our own hope to share the story with them. Silly nonsense story, I know, but ‘tis surely entertaining.
In another book we find this, painted out in a fair hand:
All my kisses and love unto thee, on the tide of the one thousandth anniversary of our marriage and coronation, oh my Sweetest Puey. I have written a new version of the book for you and incorporated your changes, added many new scenes, tried to find better places for the background material. Karuláta Akhlísa has provided me with histories of our entire family and helped me to paint some of the pages.
In rereading this I find that the biggest change in this version is in the portrayal of the adults. Now that thou and I are parents, I find myself having a different perspective on some of the hijinx of our youth, and I gain’d admiration for the patience that Auntie Qtìmine and Great·Uncle Táto and Grandfather Pátifhar had in dealing with us. I was very sad last year when my Parents became part of the Heavens. Even though thou and I were already adults and had children of our own, when my Parents announced that they would be dwelling with the Stars, the part of me that remembers the Forbidden Gardens felt as if I were being abandoned once again. But now I understand some of the difficulties that they faced in the old times and cannot fault them for what they did or failed to do.
Puey, I still can’t think of a name for the story. But I suppose it matters not, since the only ones who would be interested are those in our own family, who just call it My Book or My Story or something like that.
We, the Sisters of the Empress, have written a brief summarizing of the first canto of the first chapter of the book. We have had to interpret some scenes, and the readers should be aware that the following is strictly our opinion and not perhaps what Éfhelìnye intended. The plot of this portion, in so far as one can reduce her dreams unto a plot, we believe to be as follows:
Ól Oaqiyòjhwan Xhwóxing Jhasqewàyuqei
There Entereth the Quire of Ravens:
In the Dreamtime, in Glossopoeia, the Land of Story, where language is alive, the Caelestial Emperor Kàrijoi and Empress Khnoqwísi have ruled in peace the endless quadrillion, quadrillion souls of the Winter Empire for almost one hundred million years. The Sun Emperor and the Moon Empress were the source of all life and energy and brought fertility to the land. It was the Golden Age, a time of peace and plenty. The only blemish upon this paradise was that the Emperor and Empress were childless and the Dreamtime without an heir.
Upon the first day of spring, at the end of the Golden Age, their only child was born to them, a Princess they named Éfhelìnye. When the sylvan priests drew up the birth auguries for her they learned that she was destined to destroy her Father the Emperor and all the Winter Empire of the Dreamtime. Try as they may, the will of the Immortals was implacable. The deathless Ása bade the Emperor to slay his newly born child. He considered. The Emperor, rather than obey the Immortals, slew all the priests who knew of the prophecy save for his Father by marriage, Grandfather Pátifhar, and knew that his doom was nigh.
Shortly thereafter the Great War began and changed all the Winter Empire. Endless years of peace came to an end, and a generation was lost upon the crimson sands and ice of Tsànyun. The Emperor’s chief Holy Rose Knight and Assassin·Executioner Sieur Íngìkhmar fought valiantly for his liege. But it was not enough. The war was a font of endless sorrows. The Empress mysteriously passed away. The Winter Empire survived, but just barely. Nothing was the same. When the Empress died, the Emperor cursed the land, and no new children could be born, nor could any new marriages be celebrated. For the Empress was no more. At the end of the Great War the Emperor had all the folk of Tsànyun slaughtered, except for three princes he saved for a special purpose. Then he returned to his Holy City and slaughtered most of the servants in his Ice Palace, maid and eunuch and guard alike. The last action the Emperor did before he disappeared was to bade Sieur Íngìkhmar, his faithful servant, to return to the Holy City upon a matter of honor upon his Son’s eleventh starday. Then the Emperor cast all of his Holy City into winter, into ritual mourning for the Empress, and none have seen him since. His daughter, the Princess Éfhelìnye he took and imprisoned her within the Forbidden Gardens, deep within the Ice Palace, upon ensorcelled island planets surrounded by seas of dragons and dragon flames and hidden somewhere within the Emperor’s imagination.
The book begins upon the first hour upon the first day of autumn upon that day when Sieur Íngìkhmar returns to the Emperor’s Holy City when his Son Puîyus is to celebrated his eleventh starday. All the events in this chapter take place in a single hour, the one that the Real People of the Dreamtime call the Darkness before the Dawn.
The Starflower Princess Éfhelìnye has only seen her Father the Emperor twice in her life. She dwells in the Hidden Gardens with her Great Uncle Táto, a large dodo bird, the Imperial Tutor. Her Grandfather Pátifhar visits her from time to time when he is not busy training Puîyus, Íngìkhmar’s Son. Great Uncle Táto and Grandfather Pátifhar have been commanded never to permit anyone to enter the gardens, nor to expose her to music. Natheless, of her own accord, musicless she has taught herself to dance and is a ballerina, an artist, and a creater or words. But all of her life the Princess has been having strange dreams about a boy her own age, a lad who lives in a distant land from beyond the northwind. She dreams of Puîyus of course, called Puey by his friends and family. She awakens from disturbing dreams of her Father and sneaks out of the cabin. Her Tutor finds her and tells her that her Grandfather will soon be returning for important visitors are come to the Palace, but her Grandfather will have to be leaving her to accompany them. She grows afraid thinking she will never see her Grandfather again, and she runs away into unexplored regions of the gardens.
Meanwhile in her dreams Éfhelìnye sees that Puîyus has been having strange dreams of his own. When he was very young dragons had come slithering, sneaking out from the Emperor’s thoughts and memories and come flying upon the garthlands of Jaràqtu. The dragons chased Puîyus onto holy land, even accursed dreamlands, unto tombs that living men may not touch. Puîyus was trapped. He took a sword, almost by accident, and slew the dragon. As the dragon died it revealed that the Emperor was intending something with Puîyus. The people of Jaràqtu marvelled that this young child was already a dragon slayer, a Son of Raven. So Éfhelìnye was dreaming. But upon this very day, some years later, in the dreams within dreams, it was a very sad day indeed. The matriarch of Puîyus’ family has passed away and all were in mourning. It is especially sad since all the families of the Land are declining, now that no more children can be born. Puîyus takes the loss to heart. He has never spoken before in his life and so cannot speak his grief in the Language of Immortals and Spirits and Men, but all of the plantimals can understand him. All the denizens of the forest, field, and hill arise and sympathize with him, fish, kine, bird, dinosaur. For although he does not talk, he has the strength of beasts and communes with them in their own wordless dream language. The clan is busy for it must prepare funereal games and the rites of internment itself before they can return to the Emperor’s Holy City Eilasaîyanor as the Emperor bade them eleven years ago. Puîyus’ three Sisters have plans of their own on what they’ll do in the City. Fhermáta the oldest wants to find new pie ingredients. She loves to cook. Siêthiyal, the middle sister has heard rumors that during the Great Peace the Emperor used to make toys for all the good children of the worlds, and she wants to find the Emperor’s lost toys. Akhlísa, the youngest sister, wants the Emperor to permit more children to be born. As the youngest child she’s always on the bottom of the hierarchy and bossed around by everyone else. She dreams of being able to boss someone else around in turn. Puîyus usually dreams of being a candy pirate. In the funeral games for his grandmother Puîyus takes little part and lets his older cousins win the glory. After the games comes the funeral and the Elders lament the end of the days of peace. So appear the dreams and memories of Puîyus, the Knight’s Son.
All this Princess Éfhelìnye sees and creates in pictures, upon loose leaves of paper, and upon the flowing strand while she runs away from her guardians. She notices something strange. Weird beings are appearing and flowing upon the edge of the gardens. All the while she thinks she created Puîyus and his family, or perchance they are images created by her Father, formed from his imagination.
Puîyus’ family, the Sweqhàngqu, make ready to leave for the Holy City. The starday is nigh. The sylvan priests are drawing up their auguries and learn that tomorrow is the day the Emperor has appointed. They make ready their blood sacrifice. During the rite the Sweqhàngqu children are bickering all the while and trying to get packt. They have to put on formal and stiff clothing. Everyone gathers upon the fields. The hoop dancers are come. The children have to kneel in the back while the priests bring sacrificial plantimals. Puîyus distracts himself with ducklings and dinosaurlings. The will of the Immortals is appeased when the victims are slain. The pathway is forming untowards the Holy City. Sieur Íngìkhmar gathers his children together into a covered wagon drawn by a triceratops. and they ride off unto the edge of their realm where rings of fire arise, a spell formed by bloodshed, a spell that becomes a ship of crystals and flame. It takes the Sweqhàngqu family and translates them through thought and memory unto the Holy City Eilasaîyanor.
Thus is the story of the first Canto of the first Chapter.
We, the Sisteren of the Divine Twyndyllyngs must take our leave of pen and parchment and attend unto the funereal rituals for Puîyos and Éfhelìnye. In the meantime we present this Book unto all of the clans, castes, nations, and timelines of the Real People in memory of the two that we love so much. May it be that ye experience some of the love that they felt in life. May it be that ye consider and grow lost in the dreams of this book. For the Story and the Language that Éfhelìnye created were naught but an expression of the love that she felt for our Brother and all of our family, and long after the story becomes myth and the language becomes song, may the love endure until the end of the age.
Puîyos’ dear Sisters
Karuláta Khniêma Akhlísa
Éfhelìnye’s dear Sister
Although in her own lifetime Éfhelìnye never found a title for her book, we who knew her even in girlhood have all decided that only one title would be appropriate for her story. And so we are glad to present unto all peoples the Book that we call:
Puîye xhnoe Stélaring
Puey and the Princess