Do you remember me?
There is an island floating in the chilling emptiness between the worlds. From above, the island looks like a crescent moon, with two stretches of land closing like pincers across the mouth of the bay. The water has a silvery sheen, glimmering with moonlight. As beautiful as the beach is, the tide is jerky, erratic- it stutters like the film of a camera, or the halting breaths of the dying. Creatures called “Dusks” fly above your head. They are navy-blue bird-like creatures; and I say “bird-like” for one does not have to be a bird to wear its shape. Their tail feathers glisten silver, like the moon, and in their flight they trail pale auroras behind them in the midnight sky.
There is a dark serenity in this place. You feel like resting here wouldn’t be uncomfortable at all, that this place would pose no difficulty in you drifting off to sleep.
But you are certain that if you did, you would never wake up again.
The Palace at Silverfall
There is a palace nestled in the mountain. The blades of the crescent isle reach forward like open arms, welcoming the visitor to this forgotten, forbidden place. The palace is protected by a veil of water on all sides. Silverfall gets its name from the eight waterfalls that surround the palace. The water flows up as well as down, giving the Palace an hourglass figure.
To call these “ruins” would be misleading; the Palace is remarkably intact. The Palace is grand yet surreal in its beauty. The architecture of the palace revels in chaos. Arches and corridors curve and connect in ways that should be impossible. There is no sense of outright malice here; the place is welcoming, and beautiful, in its way. But simply being here fills you with a deep disquiet, a gnawing, primal anxiety that settles in your spine.
You are being watched. This palace is inhabited by Silhouettes, Constructs of animated shadow bound within a chalk outline. The creatures look grotesque, but they seem only curious, friendly, even. Theirs is a language all their own; you can speak to them, and they will try to understand. Though cooperative, they are apprehensive, hesitant, as if they fear you. They will help you in any way they can, but they will not linger long.
At the top of the tower, there is a room bounded by colored mirrors. An arcane mark is drawn on the floor. Gazing at its intricate whorls for more than a second makes your eyes water, and you look away. As you approach the room, a large Silhouette hurriedly blocks your way. It seems almost apologetic as it holds the doors to the mirror-room shut, but it is adamant that you do not enter.
The creatures of this place have taken a strange fascination in you, their visitor. Though horrifying in visage, they are helpful, and kind. You do not feel threatened here. This place is one of the Free Houses, where the old laws still hold sway, and hospitality is a sacred pact that dare not be broken. The creatures could not harm you, even if they wanted to, just as you could not harm them even if you tried. Yet, menacing as they appear, they are kind, helpful, yet fearful in their gaze, hesitant and quiet, almost as if in mourning.
You realize by now that this must be someone’s home- but whose? What kind of being could create a place that so whimsically defies the laws of nature? And moreover, what happened to them? This place is old, yet was abandoned only recently. Standing at the top of the tower, you have but an inkling of who this Palace housed, but her name dances on the tip of your tongue.
There is a voice in the night calling you, urging you to remember.
When your time here is finished, you will depart, and you will return to your life as if you stepped out of a dream.
You will visit this place again, in your dreams, and you will recall everything down to the tiniest detail…
…You will hear her voice forever, but you will never remember her name.
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