Chapter I: Serentiy’s Sorrow
Beneath the eldest sun-sprent shades
of the far-off Emerald Forest deep,
amid those hallow�d, ancient glades,
a band of Woodnymphs keep.
When eternal youth and beauty fail
to bind a heart immortal rent,
thus begins the hapless tale:
A Dryad�s dark descent.<
Copyright � 2002-2017 by Dustin Jon Scott
[Last Update: Decemberrd, 2017]
§αI�I. Vyasaŋimbulaono maninoda-rutalititsu raodilineuraudivilipinouta Źadivilapumbinoda vailaliniridaliniFainipanopatu vyasiŋeraoneValadomiwoda vyasiŋaliniFaininoda ainilinijinapipada, aoneraonekwisiniokkimpi ViliNimbinaeda, dikanomerini, neraonenamiwaa Tokayo, Faenayo, Mitsayo, Raodayo, Simikayo, Aameyo, Valiyo, Muolayo, Taŋiyo, Mualeyo, Kihiyo, Tsokiuhayo, Samiyonta. Nuraonenalao radinitto taŋilinivilikoraneda, vidikinodanda vurenodanta, vaulanodanda kidilodanta, furanodanda samenodanta. Valuliniuvilimanilao avyetaonuutakeamanilasta, failiniunilao sinomanotsa vyasaruanetakeamanilasta takeamaniluvi, benilaoniukalitalinininilaotti rutatuaniniliottista ŋuradinompa umbivilihukinida-derinio pinompi: burineDerilau raidalinivyuniu pieliniubi, komalinivyuniulta radilinikweninovi, dukwalinimahilau ninauda ruadilinihadilaldavi raadilinikweþilaukaltavi, muralinivyulilta raudiraadilinimihalovi, tsikora ninauda-benivyuhiniumpa apiraonevyuluu radiliniraedalinihikorominodalda raidilinivilikorominowilta, tsikora liþilirodaraonempiniumbi ninauda,
Translation: Back in the day, hidden deeply away beyond the bowers of Man amid the lustrous untamed wylds of the great Emerald Forest outlying the crosshatched foreign Fairlands of Elphame that veiled the unseen realm of Fairy from this ephemeral middle-earth, throve in those ethereal mysts a band of Sylvan Nymphs, numbering but ten , whose names were Destiny, Faith, Charity, Glory, Harmony, Trust, Divinity, Grace, Eternity, Solace, Felicity, Ecstasy, and Serenity. Theirs was the beauty of eternal springtide, virginity and lust, wisdom and innocence, ferocity and temperance. More wondrous were these winsome Woodwights than any mortal woman had ever imaged being, fairer were they beyond measure than any mortal maiden had ever beforetime been by a mortal man beheld, and comelier these callipygian creatures than aught which embowered beneath cover broad of canopy�s bays had ever therein beforetime been: Dryads bearing faces fair and by faint dustings of freckles dappled, dight by fair fallow, by cain coiffure or gold-glimmer of fax manes their pates deflowing, or framed by fiery red or ruddy blonde hair, whilst beneath their bonny brows sat eyen either of brightly bespangled blue or aglow with glinting green, or of still some shade the twain between, whenas sveltely were sculpted their physiques� forms about their slender centers, yet also sonsy were their shapes; beset with large, sphery paps steeled high upon their breasts, borne far above the waspish waists and stomachs slightly incurved before which proudly stood their mammets uphove and below which were bestowed these bonny wights the brawniest of bombous napes sloping faultlessly from the piths of their tith waists behind robust hips, for strongly thus neath spheripygian haunches were limbed they each nimbly upon lithe legs. Propertied such amaranthine feature were these and all Nymphs that yet the least of them was possessed of a face forever so softly and perfectly hewn as to doubtless have rapt from any living man his breath, and also so supple and sonsie in its every proportion blest a form of such bellitude as to surely have reft from still the strongest of men his might. And no mortal woman durst her mind delude to dream herself match to such evermore mignon maids. All throughout their lenitive days gamboled and romped these libidinous maids through the greenest of holts, napped they by cover of shade-dappled glades, and made they love by hot kells in lush glens. Never was among them the faintest thought of worry or concern to burthen their frolicsome hearts, and never had they known true sorrow. Until, very late one morrow, poor Serenity was grown forlorn.
§αI�II. There in a glade post high upon the crest aloft of a rock amid the high-flown horsetails and ferns of the forest floor nigh, sat curled into herself the Dryad Serenity, arisen from her slumber amid the white blows bespangling both bole and bough bedight in mosses and with soft, bedewed drapes of silvern greybeard strewn, yonderly now weeping the wan-haired wight neath the flickering morntide rays that in hovering lightmotes besprent upon her naked form shone through the dancing pied shades of ancient yew and oak, of elm and of elder, of alder, rowan and ash, of boxwood, of hornbeam, and beech, apple and holly, and of poplar, of the willows sprawled weeping and of high hedges of laurel and hemp, and of aspen aloft, of hazel and hemlock high, of broad birch, of cherry, and of maple among many an other, wheedling astir the sweet smells of the underwood�s oping, dew-laden blows, and wisped away the morntide haze, crept over her shivery skin. There in that perfection sat the Woodnymph Serenity, inly chilled by the dull of the woodland�s still, returning afore at times her tear-sodden gaze to see little �yond wafts of her own golden mane dancing for and fro across her vise, and ever the while lamenting a whit she knew could never be -- for a whit abandoned of yore by her most ancient of kin, and wanted never for again. For Serenity this morrow longed to do as the ancestral Elves of all Nymphs had done countless a milliad gone: to become herself unto a man mated, and to rear their own bairn. And futile was to hope of her Adryad kin that any of her sistren might even feign comprehend.
§αI�III. Yet whenas it was that Serenity�s sistren heard her lonely there atop the stone jutting out from amidst yon ferny glade as she so lachrymally did list beneath the churning myst evanescing through the spangled, moss-clad boughs and boles in mantles of ivies and herbs, spangles of white catkins, tufts of tree ferns, sundry sprays of sallow lichens and curtains of greybeard dight about her into the soaring blue expanse of clear morrow sky above the sunlit canopy, so deeply grew woe and doled those feal-fellow sistren of Serenity by such sorrowed sounds of their weeping sister�s sobs that unto her they hastened, seeking wherefore her heart had in the morrow�s idyll grown so dourly discomposed. Counted foremost among them was Lady Destiny , exalted prelate of her Adryad sistren twelve, than whom few were for fairness and fealty more farfamed. Destiny was first to approach, by a diadem bedight with white lily spathes, orchid, pink carnations, and white roses darraigned in a crant circlet of laurel, ivy and honeysuckle was her costard crowned, her hips and napes girt in a hiplace of garland bound in ivy and arrayed with aster, blue roses, and mayflowers concealing her coney, and ivied was she in a carcinet, armlets, wristlets, bond bracelets, and a waistlet of living leaves and climbers, having gathered shortly below her shoulders a baldachin cope of samel dyed in woad with silverweave knotwork trim clasped by a penannular thistle brooch wrought of ornate silver, nielloed and studded with garnets, and bore before her a staff of ivorine ruelwood inlaid with runes of niello filigree. And Destiny clomb upon the rock and there atop the stony crest perched herself abreast her sister�s dextral side, setting her staff beside her. And tenderly wrapped Destiny her sinistral arm �round the small of Serenity�s back, and with the backs of her fingertips lovely wiped from Serenity�s cheek her tears.
§αI�IV. �My Serenity,� said Destiny, �wherefore so verily sorrowed art thou? Whereof sithence the yestern eventide could so suddenly become now thine heart despaired?�
§αI�V. Aback from her sister�s clasp then daffed Serenity slightly, with an uncertain, thoughtful gaze delving longly into the sparkling sheen of her sister�s eyen so emerald green, seeking desperately some subtle hint from her Destiny as to how she might tell the highth of her sorrow in words her Dryad kin might somehow apprehend.
§αI�VI. �Never couldst thou feign to comprehend,� erelong said Serenity, her pate in dismissal swaying as it hung ashamed from her languid shoulders.
§αI�VII. Into her sister�s vise deeply then wry-necked stared Destiny, queathing herself what doom could so woe her Serenity mistide as she began tucking behind Serenity�s pointed dexter ear awaft locks of her silken mane whilst along Serenity�s pith she stroked, when forth from the band came Lady Faith. In many a manner of seid and spellcraft learned, adorsed was Faith above her eyen of azure blue with a crownet of larkspur, hemp and Witch-hazel borne upon her brow, beset with mallow blows, spathes of scarlet lilies, and blossoms of blue rose and of aster, whenas wreathed about her hips was a crant girding in laurel and ivy bound, bedight with blossoms of plum and primrose, of red poppy, and of lion�s tooth and yellowred rose, bearing forth before her an ebony staff inlaid with gilt runes and with a crook of gold wrought in the form of a hooded serpent bearing forth arched menacingly as its lower portion coiled about the tip of the isentreen shaft. Then as well upon the rock clomb Faith and abreast her sister�s sinistrad side atop the high stone she then there promptly sat. And belike Destiny before she warmly held her sister, and her sister�s cheek she bussed with her arm wreathed �round Serenity�s waspish waist, and smiled unsurely, quite unknowing how she might return unto Serenity�s face her smile.
§αI�VIII. �Wherefore, O Serenity, must thou so coldly draw away?� queried Faith, fondling the long and silken gold waves of Serenity�s shimmering mane. �Wherefore�st thou away from us here hidden upon this lofty stone amidst the glade, bewaring how we so love and need thee?�
§αI�IX. Serenity sighed. �Earlier this morrow northwest yode I the Emerald Forest whither it intersecteth the Covered Highway betwixt the gates of Fairmark and the Worldmarch, the latter of whence trekked I easterly unto the Elfton Stanleigh ,� said she, deeply into her Faith�s arms curling as their Destiny then both sistren braced, �and there within the outer-nigh wood had raught I long eft crossing the sparsely dappled ogive vaulting of trestled bough and branch ceiling the Treen Hall I spied me as I lurked agaze thence �yond a procession of Elvards in polished white armor patrolling paths paved in broad slabs of ruby, sapphire, emerald, amethyst, garnet, diopside, shamrock, citrine, adamance, corund, jacynthe, peridot, amber, topaz, spinel, and blue beryl beset in a mortar of beveled silver, which wound about founted pools and lily-clad ponds, �round flagstone verandas and terraced arbors, strolling casually thereupon an Elvendam near to whom fussed incessantly a pair of Elflings nigh a towering fount of black marble twinkling bedewed in a haze of brume under shafts of light beaming through the canopy above, its fountainhead in the form of a Sea-Wyvern forged in sejent attitude with legs raised bearing their falcate talons, and with wings displayed inverted as it stood with delphine tail nowed upon a pedestal gilt not of mere silver but of rare argence, its awful luster stripled in veins of faintly flecked crimson and ringed in darker metallic hue, nielloed and with motley gems encrusted, capitalizing a fluted column about which Crinyads splashed at each other playfully in the basin below with its brim bejeweled; -- O to be a Fountnymph in that city! and yet queerly was thence drawn my gaze unto the vaulted, fern-framed paths and hoary, ivied flagstone pavilions and arbors whither looked I upon another Elven, herself achilding, traversing a stony path with her Elf�s arm in hers betwixt ivied arcades of marble and flagstone enclosed under the ribbed vaulting of the stoic berceau, and still another Elven spied I thence wandering about the hanging gardens -- motes of viridian luster cloistered amidst the hewn stone of the city and the aqueducts whence nourished them nigh lush as that splendor which we indwell -- cradling within her arms her mewling infant as astride her the father-Elf ambled through the tamed herbage with a child upon his back in a pouch identic to that which hung empty from the shoulders of the mother-Elven apace him wending. Yet these spectations were nobbut the first to draw mine eyen. Blithely squalled Elflings as they larked about the motley gemstone streets, playing their childish games whilst strove vainly their parents to sonantly still them. Hobs played harps as their Hoblings skipped about to their harmonious thrumming, whilst Dwarflings dodged the adult Dwarrows� gripes and Gnomes chased after their children. And whensoever they ceased their importunate bellows the adults amongst themselves chattered, with were adoring wife and mother relaying rede to counsel daughter as father attended son. I ken not why, but in that moment stirred up mine heart and woke it suddenly as if by fearsome sweven evilly upon me visited by some quade-beshrewing mare designed to steal me from the rapturous slumb�ring of my long and stilly sleep, and in sobriety�s cold and heartless clasp grew I woe as it happed to me that never should have I a man unto me betrothed, nor bear I forth a child of mine own.�
§αI�X. At these words Serenity�s sistren were silently then started, harrowed inly by the stirring within their sister of desires so longly agone forsaken, lest dark desires unwont wake and roil brimming to surfeit. And Destiny and Faith continued to cradle their sister there as the other Adryad kin looked agaze to Solace for her ken.
§αI�XI. �But, my Serenity,� said Solace, �we are to our Destiny betrothed. She is our Alpha Dryad. Of all among us solely she should fertile be , for only to lie with her have we, and serve her, and her womb should itself then seed and unto us bear a gravid caul . And after twenteen years should hatch that cauligenous amnion and thence a Nymphet bear, who should thus the bellibone bairn sain be of the One Love for our sistren all keep we; a new sister with whom for all eterne to rejoice in the splendor of Our Way . That�th the Way of Nymphs been sithence a time now far abaft even the forest�s recall.�
§αI�XII. �Of all this I know,� said Serenity, sitting herself up sharply from her sisters� brace, her countenance palled high eft being suffered so thoughtless a word of concern, �for neither be I a dullard nor mad!�
§αI�XIII. A sullen grimace then crossed Solace�s face, and she assayed assure Serenity: �I meant not....�
§αI�XIV. �Thou meant not what? that thou arret me either insulse or daft... � charged Serenity. �Thus must thou me regard! else due not wouldst think thou to remind me anent such whits of which thou well-knowest I agnize!�
§αI�XV. �Hast thou truly these whits foremind,� replied Divinity, �wherefore art attended thou such discontent? Wert thou to become Alpha Dryad of thine own band, thine own offspring couldst then thou bear, just as thou list.�
§αI�XVI. �Never �twould be wherefore mine heart acheth so,� argued Serenity. �Aged fully twenteen years by a caul from my loins borne to be taken and nested deeply within the attending boughs of a warding tree to nourish and foster eft nobbut several sennights of achilding spent, albeit possessed the nativity of mine own womb, nigh adult should that selfsame Nymphet whenas emerged thus be. However to truly be a mother an to bear never nor whelp a child of mine own am I? Nay, meseemeth for ever shall I be made endure this hollowness that within me so deeply delving feel I, crawling wretched and purposeless amidst these groves till cometh a day the Fates decide me an end that be fitting.�
§αI�XVII. �How durst thou such horridness speak anent the Way of Nymphs?� asked Destiny, releasing her Faith and Serenity as she pulled aback startly from them. �Doth the Way of thy kindred so greatly disgust thee?�
§αI�XVIII. �Of the Way of Nymphs say I naught,� said Serenity, staring at her Destiny sharply. �Nobbut the way of myself say I, and I am not whole!�
§αI�XIX. �I prithee our unknowing forgive us, my Serenity,� pled Harmony, �but strangely doth thy wordage alight upon our ears, for of what thou speakest know we naught. Only to ken this thy plight list we, our beloved Serenity, that better might thee aid we.�
§αI�XX. �An this could ye ken know I not; this unbidden longing that so indelibly and each moment so evermore verily and cruelly mine aching heart doth sorrow,� replied Serenity. �For treacherous be the wise of these desires I feel grasp me.�
§αI�XXI. �An that be the case, my Serenity,� said Harmony, �How might we thee avail? What wouldst thou that we could do to quell for thee thy sorrow? Kenning or not, we all yet thy sistren be, and we thee all should fain therefore oblige.�
§αI�XXII. �Naught ken I of what for me could ye do, as so yblent of these yearnings am I that nary a mote wist I whence or how come them myself, for naught was ever it within the vasty breadth of mine expectation to discover myself thus listing,� said Serenity, still barely weeping. �Meseemeth rent mightily my heart�th discovered itself upon the icy shoals of some foreign rime-land which shall for ever and anon be unto the dark of perpetual, wintry night accursed, by the frothing spate of yon land�s tumultuous tempests to nobbut a crimson spilth forever in those frozen verges of eternal dearth wonning forsook upon the jagged rocks of longly derelict dreams now afflicting my dolorous marrow, though wherefore ken I not.�
§αI�XXIII. Then Faith, overcome by pity for her sister, said unto her: �Fret thou not! O my Serenity, though terrible must be thy plight! for at the fullest monthly Moon Queen�s sennight , in that hour yon risen Moon doth in Her barque sail aloft Her greatest height, shall upon yon sacred time I thee spell a tailored rite; a Rite of Purgation, that shall requiem bring unto the sorrow of thine heart, and will for thee quell thy woe.�
§αI�XXIV. And to this Serenity nodded affirm, saying there naught as she allowed herself fall aback into the warmth of her twain sistren�s arms. And there with them she lovely lay until the morrow�s end.