Feneng 6

Today at Red Cliff, it is very quiet and the halls thrum with excitement, because with his old books, Blackbird Lantern brought sweet-bitter news: the famous grave play Rûnâ Srighaxindvaroùn, Songs of the Serpent Archivist, is to be performed on the night of the harvest moon at Floating Cove.

The grave play, you may recall, is a custom adopted from the worshippers of Láyammúra'mu, who wrote in the Book of Emperors, "Sing songs upon me and the joy I have built for you, for only one thing pleases me better: the tears in eyes and the cracking of hearts that are the regalia of grief." They hold that performance and grieving are the most exalted forms of worship, and so, one famous priest, whose name is lost to us, devised a new thing: a play that was performed only once each generation, and then not again until all those that witnessed it have passed away, so that each time it was shown, it would be as though it were the last time, and each line would be like a mourner's wail, singing for the dead.

It is somewhat a dark custom.

So, he says, it has finally happened that the last of the audience of the previous performance, a Tarag Tháni prince by the name Careless Sword, died on military campaign, eighty-eight years after the play was last performed, and it will be shown to commemorate the first anniversary of his demise. This particular play is a legend told by a snake spirit of ancient times, who recounts the tale of Rustam the hero with a boat of living trees, and Rustam's quest to slay the selfsame demon, aided and impeded by the romantically fickle circle of allies he has gathered.

It is a beautiful tale, which I have heard retold many times and in many versions, but the grave play is said to be the best version of it by leaps and bounds, and I look forward to seeing it.

To turn death into gleeful anticipation! Such was the art of this nameless priest.

Rûnâ Srighaxindvaroùn:
Songs of the Serpent Archivist; rûnâ srighaxi-n(d)-varo-ùn play (serpent-archivist spirit)-song-NOM.p Like all Murammite grave plays, written and performed in Nrittandih, the sorceror's language.
Floating Cove:
Lethre-rayri Lúsyewem flying-(swamped by water) water-landing
Star Garland; láya-múmu-rá star-neck-enclosure, refers to a myth which concerns the lighting of the sky; the deity (no gender is given) is said to pluck the jewels from its necklace and place them in the firmament as the stars and planets.
Careless Sword:
Tháfyarar Rómo care-(lack abnormally)-3.s sword


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