It’s been a while, but I have a special interview for December: an In World interview! Today, “I” stepped into Diana L. Wicker’s world of Feyron to talk to the Storyteller and learn a little bit more about the world.
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The Dreamweaver was sitting on the tufted bench below the fresco of the Guardians, the soft blue glow of the Sacred Fire flickered over the scroll she was reading. The red-gold of her wavy hair was just beginning to sparkle with the silver kisses of age and her cheeks were rosy from much time spent outdoors in the lovely flower garden that now adorned the greensward beyond the tile mosaic before the Temple of Pyli. A small, misty white bird nestled beside her among the folds of her sueded cotton gown.
Nearby an elderly gentleman dressed in long, brown robes topped by an apron holding various writing implements paced about the wide, open space of the hall. “It just isn’t done, Dreamweaver,” he grumbled as he turned on his route and wandered back towards her. “To bring someone into Feyron who’s not bound to a clan of magic…well, it just isn’t…”
“It IS, because the Guardians wish it,” a soft baritone echoed through the chamber. A golden griffin stood within the open doors of the Temple.
Before the scribe could object further, an arched gateway beyond the left colonnade began to glow a soft silvery blue as the visitors from the World Beyond stepped through into Feyron. The young man accompanying the visitor held her elbow and placed a hand on her back to steady her as traveling through the gateways could be terribly disconcerting.
Pressing the heel of her hand to her temple, the woman with short black hair and glasses closed her eyes and waited for the disorientation to pass. “Oh, geez, and I thought low blood pressure was a b…” She stopped, suddenly remembering that not everyone was okay with cursing. She finally opened her eyes and the world is its normal shades and not spinning. Or, at least, normal shades as far as she knows… “Wow.” Maybe not the most eloquent statement, considering she writes, but it was the best she had as she looks around.
“Welcome to Feyron,” the Dreamweaver called warmly as she stood from the bench, the little bird fluttering about before vanishing in a swirl of mist. “I am the Dreamweaver, the head of the Temple of Pyli. I am pleased you have been able to join us. I understand you are interested in visiting wirh our Storyteller and perhaps hearing a few of the old tales.”
The young man at the visitor’s side bowed to her and discretely exited the hall as another young man peered around the griffin sitting in the doorway.
Mia smiled at the woman and then nodded at the exiting young man before approaching the Dreamweaver. “It’s a pleasure to meet you. And…a real honor to have the chance to be here. Folk don’t get chances like this too often. Or, you know, ever really…”
The Dreamweaver smiled and held out her hands to grasp her visitor’s hands. “It is rare than anyone of non-magical lineage comes to Feyron, as in our experience on most Worlds Beyond, few of the Nimisa have understanding of realms other than their own. I hope the journey was not too difficult.”
Off to the side, near a narrow door in the wall farther away from the grand fresco which rose above them, the scribe scribbled away on a parchment as he leaned on a writing stand, recording the historic moment for the Archives. Looking over towards the gentleman hanging just outside of the doorway, he motioned for him to enter and then returned to his work.
“Well, I guess I got a pretty open mind to these things,” Mia chuckled. “But hell…” She winced. “Quite a thing to discover that worlds like what I dream up are actually real.” Running her hands through her hair, she paused before going on, “I don’t want to keep you too long if you have something you need to be doing. I know I came through to talk to the Storyteller.” Another pause. “Not that I don’t want to talk to you too, of course. Just hate to keep someone tied up when they got other places to be.”
“It’s quite alright, my dear. If you’ll step towards the door, Tua will take you outside where I expect your next escort is waiting.” The Storyteller patted her visitor’s hand before returning to her seat. With a look of consternation, the scribe picked up his little stand and prepared to follow the visitor.
“Welcome!” the griffin called in a cheerful baritone. “So, you have visions in your dreams, do you? Perhaps you’ve a touch of magic within you then…a touch of divination or mists maybe…” He paused, cocking his head first one way, and then the other before nodding. “Come into the light and have a look around. I believe there is still a little dispute over the best way to take you to where you need to be to see the Storyteller.”
Upon exiting the hall, the visitor found herself standing among a row of tall marble columns at the top of a wide flight of stairs about a story off the ground. At the base of the stairs, a colorful tile mosaic mirrored the fresco in the hall behind her depicting a stone gateway surrounded by creatures of myth and legend on her own world – a white unicorn, a golden griffin, and a red dragon. Beyond the mosaic a maze of colorful flowers cultivated in the shape of an eternity knot, much like a mosaic in the floor of the hall behind her.
A young man with curly brown hair and clothes of misty grey linen stood a bit off to the side absently stroking something of opalescent white about his neck. Tua cleared his throat and the young man looked up. “Well, have you come to a decision? Our visitor doesn’t have all day.”
“Oh yes, if you’ll come with me, I’m afraid I’ll have to ask your indulgence with a little more traveling by mist. It would take so long to cross the Great Lake by ferry, and though Grandmere would be pleased to host you, I wasn’t sure you wanted to stay the night.” He twitched a little and giggled as he shrugged his shoulder and uncoiled a satiny white serpent from about his neck.
“I’m so sorry, where are my manners? I am Eliyahu and this is Annaliesse.” He walked to the mosaic and set the serpent down. In a shimmer of soft blue light, the serpent became a winged unicorn. Placing one of the visitor’s hands on the unicorn’s back, Eliyahu stood behind her as the mists began to swirl up around them. When the mists receded, they were standing beside a small pool behind a little stone cottage, a vast red desert just beyond seemingly held at bay by a long, stone wall.
Sitting on a low stool beneath a large, pink flowering tree sat a woman with pearl white hair tied back in a long, fluffy ponytail. She wore a long skirt in a colorful swirling pattern and a bodice of cream laced with a ribbon of silver. She looked up from her work of spreading pink petals over the waters and smiled. “Ah, my young friend, Mia. I am so glad you could make it to Feyron to see me again. So kind of you to indulge my by listening to my tales. Eliyahu, pull over a bench for her and fetch refreshments. I wouldn’t be surprised if she needs a restorative after all that travel.”
“Yes, Grandmere,” Eliyahu replied as he bowed to the Storyteller. He quickly pulled a bench over to the tree and then scooted off into the cottage, his shapeshifting companion nowhere to be seen.
Mia’s mind was filled with a great variety of emotions: wonder, shock, disbelief, enchantment, excitement…but she managed to piece things together in her head so she could still speak coherently as she smiled in thanks and took the seat. “A little something could help. My head is still a little light.” She chuckled again. “It’s…great to be here in Feyron. Some part of me still doesn’t believe it, you know? But…I’m thrilled to hear your stories. I’m pretty fond of stories and all.”
Eliyahu returned with a small tray. Flipping open the scissors style legs under the tray, he carefully stood it in the grass and poured two cups of warm, fragrant liquid. The Storyteller sprinkled a few of the pink petals into a cup before passing it to Mia. “That’s about as much restorative as I dare give you, but it should help with the wooziness. I never did grow accustomed to traveling by mist myself.”
A young woman walked out of the cottage carrying a small basket of pastries. Her hair was long and white, like the Storyteller’s, and her long, flowing gown appeared to almost shimmer silver. She set the basket in the grass beside the Storyteller and then stood behind Eliyahu, almost like a shy child, and peered around his shoulder at Mia.
“So, my dear. Was there a particular Age in Feyron’s history that you wanted to learn about, or a bit of lore that you wanted to hear?” the Storyteller asked as she held the basket out to Mia.
With an appreciative smile, Mia accepted the drink and the food. Then she laughed. “I was afraid you’d ask that,” she said. “There is so much to choose from. Like looking at a stack of textbooks when someone says, pick a story from history! The brain goes rather blank.” Pausing to take a sip, she did begin to feel better. “I’ll admit curiosity about the Age of Fading…”
“Ah, the Age of Fading…now that is a big age with many stories to tell from many different worlds. Eliyahu may well be the better storyteller for that, as he is the NoleLinde, the lore keeper for The Circle, but I doubt you wanted to hear about the many worlds where magic faded, for many of those tales are quite a lot to tell. Tell me, what about the Fading draws you, and perhaps I can think of a small story to share with you today.”
Mia thought about this. “I’m kinda just intrigued by the darker stories I guess,” she admitted with a sheepish smile and shrug. “I guess…we know a lot about the…” She took a moment to go over the right terms in her head. “Creatures of the Light?” She laughed a little self-consciously. “And of the Mists… What about the Shadow?”
“Now there’s a question I don’t get asked too often.” The Storyteller chuckled before sipping her drink. “Not many within Feyron like to remember the Realm of Darkness, and few can hear the whispers in the shadows when visiting the Mists in their dreams. Hmm…”
The Storyteller paused and nibbled at a sweet cake for a moment while thinking. “Ah!” She smiled. “I think I know the one ”
The Land of Feyron has always been; it is the origin of all things magical, the axis point where all the worlds meet. When most people think of Feyron, they picture in their minds the Realms of Light, those realms belonging to the Guardians and the clans of Faie. Some may also think of the Realm of Mists where the sparks of life return to the Beyond, but before a handful of generations ago only a few had even heard of the Realm of Darkness.
The Realm of Darkness lies beyond that of the Mists, and like the other realms, has its own residents and its own Guardian. Senja’kala is not like the Guardians of light who shared the gifts of magic and left their kin to guide the clans of Faie. She is more like Samanya the Unknowable, Guardian of the mists. Both aware of the happenings in their realms, but rarely take a direct role; for both realms are timeless and generally these guardians pay little heed to what we “twinkling moments” see as the passage of time.
The Storyteller paused and leaned forward towards Mia. “The ‘twinkling moments’ are what Samanya, Guardian of the mists calls all those who have come to know the sacred.” With a wink she sat back on her stool, took another sip of her drink, and continued the tale.
There are beings within the darkness, much as there are residents of the mists, but they are not like the helpful, albeit sometimes mischievous, beings that some can summon from the mists. These are beings of darkness, which is something else entirely; and some, much like the beings of Wild Magics, are not so contented to remain in their own realm and await invitations to leave.
Where the Realms of Mist and Darkness mingle, a new region developed, one of made of memories and shadows where the dreams of the “twinkling moments” play out. This has become known as the realm of dream and shadow. For you see, the depths of sleep are ever like the edge of death, and the mind often wanders through its memories and feelings of darkness during sleep.
The Azdaja residing in the darkness were drawn to the dreams as they flickered through the mists; and watching scenes from the Worlds Beyond, they longed to join the other beings of magic and receive recognition and adoration from the dreamers. In the dreams of those seeded by The Tree, those sparks of life known to us as Nimisa, they first found an opening in the mists and a way into the worlds beyond. For you see, there are always those who have the same desires as the Azdaja, to gain the recognition and adoration of others.
They found that those not touched by the Guardians, those who are not of the clans of Faie often made willing hosts, but having no magic of their own to protect them, the darkness consumes the spark of light from the tree, changing the host into something it was not. Thus once the darkness has entered a world, it tends to continue spreading. For this reason the Azdaja became known as the Bringers of Darkness. On many of those worlds, the battle between the spread of darkness and the light of Feyron began, for where the darkness outweighs the light, the light is often consumed.
A splash of water from the pool distracted the Storyteller, and she chuckled as she brushed the water from her skirt. “I see the children disapprove of my story. The prefer the stories of the Age of Beginnings. Were there any other stories you wanted to hear today, or perhaps a tour of the gardens? I believe there’s a bit of a garden party planned for you at the manor before you return home.”
“A tour of the gardens sounds nice,” Mia replied. “Gotta admit, after that story, I’m a little worried to go home and find out what’s coming in my dreams.” She laughed. “Something to distract me from that thought sounds nice, though I hope no one went to any trouble on my account.”
Eliyahu assisted the Storyteller to her feet. Together they began to walk towards the gardens that flowed between the Storyteller’s cottage and the manor of clan Rakasha.
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Author Bio: Diana lives in the balmy climate of the US south with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, a cantankerous rabbit, and a dwarf african frog. She enjoys reading, sewing (clothing, costuming, and experimental toy making), and RPG games. (She grew up with the old school paper/pencil style of gaming, but has transitioned happily to the highly interactive world of video games.)
The idea for Feyron started with a map, a place for her daughter to tell stories and live out storytelling role playing adventures with her friends. The lore grew around the map, for every world needs lore if you are going to “live” there. The idea for a series, Tales from Feyron, grew out of the lore, for if you’re going to invent a world, you may as well play there too. The stories are continuing to grow through the various historical ages of Feyron and may yet “ripple” outwards to the Worlds Beyond touched by magic.