What is more precious than the core of one’s self, solid and resolute, a stony cradle for all that came before and shall come after, tucked away from prying eyes?
What emerges from such secret nurturings but the most precious of gifts, given freely, from one who can choose to make that gift?
And so it is in the depths of Burelac’s vast and chthonic heart. Through solid immensity of stone, implacable as black basalt, wind countless labyrinthine passages; from these paths, like beads on a cord or a heavy harvest hanging from bowing limbs,vast chambers piled on chambers expand and meld together, each lined with dense black soil that glitters like mica.
From such earths the coal-scaled primals of Burelac till, and hoe, and plant, and reap: harvests of pale curling shoots, of delicate leaves, of sweetly-tender fruits of strange appealing shapes, all of softly glowing, shimmering, translucent jewels. Each such, it’s said, carries the gift of resolution, of stability, of cycles of gain and loss and time — of long-lost secrets, of lives long past lived, and more rarified things yet. And the gardeners save over but one seed, one kernel, from each of their charges, to begin again when they grind the precious things to dust and turn the soil.
Sometimes a new tendril sprouts, unknown; a gift, tended and tested and brought into the fold.
Sometimes gnawing horrors of broken stone and keening shards break through the chambers seeking to devour or corrupt garden and gardeners both.
Conflicts between enclaves spill, not primal blood, but the shards of shattered crops, the gifts they bear lost forever. Fruits are stolen; soil is scoured with acids. There are whispers, also, of growing disruption of the very core of Burelac’s endless rhythms; the light-veins fade, the sawclans gather, and dissent whispers through the labyrinths.
* earth * cycles * centering * secrets * resolution * preciousness *