What thing is this?
It is an honour–
And yet I wonder…
From this place to another roam,
And still I try to understand:
What is this?
Why do we even bother?
Because there always is another,
To replace us,
And they will also,
Writhe and fight,
And have those moments of delight,
And then like fire burning low,
For life is but a fading glow,
Perhaps we’ll die,
Before the answer dare reply,
Let demons try,
To turn my eye.
A pointless question.
To live apart from “why” is the lesson,
The world will turn again I’m sure,
And chances are you’ll still be here,
In spite of all those churning fears,
And up against it all you’ll rise,
Like flames rekindled,
Feed, Fuel, Forge, Fire;
Shape a sword from your desire.
Whet the blade and make it sharp;
Enough to pierce a demon’s heart.
I know a place not far from here,
In fact: you’ll find it’s rather near.
Strip away the reality you see,
And you’ll see the reality that belongs to me.
I think I saw,
Something I’ve never seen–
I saw a thing,
That couldn’t possibly have been.
Sing us of the stone risings,
Like tooth buttresses of forgotten kings,
Much larger than man but with smaller souls,
Souls now wasted stain the land.
Giant kings once ruled and killed,
The mountains are their graves,
Rising cold to bleak grey sky,
While beneath them Craedus stalks its prey.
Centre of it stands a tower,
Unexceptional, not special, not this one,
But atop that spindly, darkened spire,
A red light flickers, always does.
The Craedus lives here, Ulterkaad,
No purpose served, no quest is won,
This is an empty, hollow place,
A howling place that’s nearly done.
A storm rages softly, soothing end-song,
The Craedus walks on, slowly now,
No sun lights passage, cold earth, cold souls,
The Ulterkaad lives on and on.
Now Craedus comes to mound of stone,
Once encouraging, human home,
It sifts through rubble, seeking nothing,
It finds a box that’s itsalone.
And in that box sits mounds of paper,
A pen with never-ending ink,
The Craedus inspects discovery, wondering,
About its words it stops to think.
Then tentative, strokes slow at first,
Craedus tells us of it first,
Of who it is, or who it could be,
And its forsaken, cursed course.
Course winding through the Ulterkaad,
Forgotten land where evil ruled,
And evil captured, so remained,
Locked in tower, trapped by good.
But such great evil touches much,
And poison yet remains,
The Ulterkaad grew poisoned such,
And poisoned, Ulterkaad remains.
The Craedus then is doomed to watch,
To warn nobody of escape,
To prowl and walk this haunted wasteland,
To live a hopeless, tortured fate.
For centuries enduring such,
Its old life is forgotten now,
There is no way to break the curse,
I see patterns where there are none,
And if there are none,
Well then I’ll make some.
We tell ourselves that it’s okay;
that it was just a dream.
But we know,
feels more eternal,
than even one moment awake.
We are told to reach for the stars,
When they seem so far away.
But if we try our hardest,
We might still fly to them one day.
The strange anachronistic writings of Mischa von Castellan were initially discovered at her family’s estate in late-2002. The writings were discovered behind a loose brick in the upper bedroom believed to belong to Mistress von Castellan herself, before her death in 1871.
The manuscripts were inherited by one Anne-Marie Tennant, von Castellan’s own great-great-great-great Grandniece. Thankfully, Miss Tennant possessed romantic inclinations and quickly became enamoured with the texts.
Thus desiring that her distant relative’s writings be shared with the wider world, Anne-Marie donated the complete collection to the Crystalline Archive in May 2009.
As you are, no-doubt, aware, the Crystalline Archive is a private museum operating in an unfindable cul-de-sac in Not-London, or Caladon, upon that parallel earth wherein all (most) magic is hidden.
I now have the great privilege, as a member of that enigmatic Illuminatus named “Dept. 38” to share some of these writings with the public.
Although Mistress von Castellan adopted an unconventional, if not aberrant, style there are wisdoms and truths amongst her words that are as relevant today as they were in her own parallel 19th Century. Of particular interest to the Department are the anachronisms located throughout her work, seeming to indicate that Mischa von Castellan was, in fact, some sort of vessel for retro-causal transmission.
Now, please enjoy this fragment, discovered on the first page of Mischa von Castellan’s unpublished masterpiece, “A Peculiar Whimsy”.
I ask myself: “What is the cost?”
If I get back in my box,
And all I love is lost,
Amidst some burning holocaust.
The rituals take shape,
In the sky beyond my eye,
As I see the things unseen,
Begin to rise,
BEGIN TO RISE.
The lamb walks to the slaughter,
Circled silently by sharks.
The scientist sits quietly,
Seeking answers from the quarks.
The madman chuckles wearily,
Amongst dismembered human parts.
While the poet waxes lyrical,
Attempting to make “art”.
But what IS art?
Except some whimsy of a convoluted brain,
An attempt to perform alchemy,
By transforming human pain.
(Here’s the transformation,
I know that spell, I have it written down…)
Pain MUST become rain,
And by rain I mean your tears,
If you let them trickle down your face,
They’ll release you from your fears.
And from that barrenness of suffering,
Where nothing wished to grow,
You’ll feel that soil yearning,
For whichever seeds you wish to sow.
A sacred blood-red orange in the sky,
Begins to rise,
BEGIN TO RISE.
But the light is far too brilliant yet,
So you must avert your eyes.
One day you will look upon it,
And bathe amidst its light,
But you mustn’t be some Icarus,
Attempting premature flight.
Take what you need from God’s great jungle,
Do what you must and heed the cost,
“Get back in your box”.
– Mischa von Castellan, “A Peculiar Whimsy”