Archives for posts with tag: SeriaYi

The half-blind hermit lord, Sokosozuin, performs SeriaYi, the formal recounting of an episode from one’s life

…‘There is a play of the poet Aginsozura, from the Perfect Calm Era, which tells the terrible story of the RoMayZine Lord Ysokan of the Clouded Era: and in that bloody play, Ysokan, finding that in a fit of MalSol, he has put to death the members of his own blood family, gouges out his own eyes, so that he may never see the pure light of the wonderful day again – well, it is a harrowing story. To my imperishable shame, I would have wished to gouge out my own mind, in order to rid myself of the dirty illumination that had taken root there, and was continuing to grow like a fibrous and vigorous weed – but I could not, for one’s own mind is the very basis of the universe, and we are taught that the life of our own mind is the foundation of the Way.

Sai. It is so. It is like that.

And still, the rain fell.

Perhaps I slipped into a doze. The story of Lord Ysokan was on my mind. I remembered once, in a small town in Chian canton, a place of wool, in summer, seeing a group of travelling players performing Lord Ysokan for a ragged crowd of souls. The stage was a simple thing, and the make-up and acting loud and rude, with great clashing of swords and shields, when a battle was made out of yelled words, and five actors made up conflicting armies. The performance was beyond the perimeter of the town, in a clearing among the trees, held by night and lit by lanterns. Despite the crudeness of the stage, and the rough-and-ready talents of the troupe, Aginsozura’s poetry shone out and lifted all – actors and audience alike, and even the watching officers of KinChogan, who stood in attendance to ensure no impure scenes were played out there – all were taken from their present mind, and transported to the turbulent Clouded Era, and to the home of Shion Ysokan, over four thousand years ago. And when the time came for the shion to put out his own eyes, the bumpkin audience moaned and wailed, and called out to him to stop, pleading with the shion to show himself mercy, and to forgive himself. And when the play had finished, after the scene where the barbarian killers come, and find their great enemy blinded and helpless, and despatch him, such a silence fell on that clearing for a little while, it seemed as if we might have heard the needle from one of the nearby pines drop to the forest floor and make a soft noise as it landed.

At the time, I had been very struck by the power of art to transform the flow of our minds, to divert their courses, to canalise them along new directions, and to lift us from our substantial state into the world of imagination, where different laws apply.

Now, as I sat, slumped, leaning against the planking wall of that unoccupied beach house, listening to the sound of the rain and to the bash and drawl of waves as the tide heightened, images from that play played themselves across my wandering mind. The work was purely done, according to the legislation, in the old way, uncorrupted, in the Perfect Calm Era Style: the actors’ faces were masked in lurid facepaint, which shone in the hanging paper lanterns; the toy armour tinkled with a trashy sound during the acts of combat; and for long periods the actor playing Lord Ysokan wore a metal mask, which was only removed for the most tragic moments… The blinding scene was terrifying… Even there, shipwrecked on the coast of the MarIsQuess, destitute under an alien sun, I myself dreamily flinched when Ysokan raised his thumbs to his own eyes, and began to speak the words: World, too beautiful for these violent eyes of mine / and eyes which rage with sight of unforgiving blood / tender things, both, will this night meet no more / not even for one particle of a lonely moment…

I had begun to shiver. I saw in the theatre of my mind the tormented Lord of the Mountain Mark unlatch his visor, and the effect of seeing his naked face – and his eyes – so often hidden under the tin prop of his mask, and knowing his intention, seemed to suspend the blood in my veins.

A cold darkness fell across my soul. For a few moments, I assumed my feeling of approaching horror was related to the play. A sense of silence entered me, just like the silence of the audience as they held their breath, mesmerised by the scene before them.

My mind began to tingle. I can describe the sensation in no other way: there was a curious agitation in my mind, as if of wind chimes stirring at the approach of a breeze. And a shadow encroached upon my thought. I felt intensely sensitive. And yet, I also felt impersonal: it was as if my own thoughts were like insects in a nest, running here and there, organising themselves, making preparations for some coming event.

I opened my eye. Two riders were approaching through the dunes…

Excerpt from Comb, Volume 8 of Dustless


‘…I have heard that there are many wonderful cities in the unimaginable spaces of the SolTanZoZon,’ the hermit was saying, ‘but it is difficult for me to believe there is a more beautiful city on earth than LuinZirQuil. It stands upon an intricate harbour, the entrance to which is guarded by two immense headlands; and once the oceanic waters pass through the promontories, they run unfolding into a series of bays, which in turn give birth to smaller coves and inlets, to form a ceaselessly involving landscape, and it is around this complex organism of waters that LuinZirQuil has developed since Ancient days.

Carved from its own sandstone, it is a city of slopes and hills. Wherever you walk in ZirQuil, the city opens up for you, in an endless necklace of vistas, a sense of perpetual variation. It is as if ZirQuil seeks always to surprise and energise you: it seems almost to rotate itself without your needing to move, and with every slight shift of angle, reveals another loveliness waiting to be explored. It is a city of crannies and nooks, niches of vision, tumbled and wayward. The climate is benign, and summer is long there. Sometimes, enfolded in an unfamiliar district, walking along a maze of lanes, from the top of a slope, you will turn a hot corner and glance down the street to find a flash of water where the land reaches into the sparkling grasp of a bay, and where a wooden terminal may stand, and people will be gathered, waiting for a ferry…

Yes. Yes, it is like that…’ Sokosozuin murmured, with a strange, sad excitement, as if he were discovering something new, or finding that his memory, certain muscles of which he hadn’t used for many years, still worked, giving him powers he had forgotten…

Excerpt from Comb, Volume 8 of Dustless

Land | SolTanZoZon | literally “Pure • Simple • Way • Place”. The “Empire of the pure Way”, or the “pure Way state”. The area of land between the BisMarian mountains in the east, and the Surean Ocean in the west. Also known, colloquially, as “the empire”, or “the Western Lands”. And further, known more formally as “the Land of O“, or simply as “O“, meaning “the land of everything”, or “the only land”. map
Clan | Sokosozuin | the name follows the classical clan style: Soko-so-zuin, “Soko, son of Zuin”. enhance

Lord Akzasosan is performing SeriaYi, the formal recounting of an episode from one’s life

‘…I don’t know. Lord Marsodor, my master of SenZatsu, the art of the killing edge, had told me, as I have recalled, that of the three acts of killing, killing itself is simple. This is RoMayZine philosophy: they have a different understanding. In one sense, it seems true: killing a man is simple. The metal enters him and exits him; and between the zuth entering and exiting, the man turns from flesh to dust. It can take an instant. But Master Marsodor also said that the first and third killing acts are complex, difficult. I have always supposed that the first act of killing is the will to kill, an act inseparable from the events leading up to the simple act itself. The nature of the third killing act – the act that follows the killing – is perhaps the most enigmatic and strange: after a killing, what action can you take? Of this, the third killing act, my Master did not speak.’

 Excerpt from Flowing House, Volume 7 of Dustless

Lord Akzasosan is performing SeriaYi, the formal recounting of an episode from one’s life

…’SurZuth was the metal beloved by the Ancient swordmakers. As with all Ancient zuthhir, the composition and forging of sur is a mystery. But a sword made of SurZuth is highly prized among us, we the inheritors in Paper days. For the Fine and the Subtle, the blades are objects of aesthetic veneration, expressing the unadorned purity and asceticism for which the Ancients are renowned. It is well known, so precious are the blades, so hallowed, austere RoMayZine Marks use these weapons as components of their meditation practice. And such swords were, to my younger eye, at least, utterly beautiful: what is more essential than a sword? And swords of SurZuth, the “morning metal”, with its radiant, milky sheen in certain lights, and in others a cold, chaste silver glow, are the most lovely of all blades.

The RoMayZine, for whom all weapons are of the mind, have a terse epigram on the form of these classical, OnDomin swords: Nothing less. Nothing more. Beside them, the wonderful structures of flowers seem languid and overblown; nothing in nature, or at least nothing visible to unaided eyes, possesses the absolute simplicity of a SurZuth sword. Form perfects function; and function, form.

We are indeed blessed by our revered and vigilant ancestors that the uses to which most of us will put a SurZuth blade are exclusively ceremonial, or celebratory of beauty: we live in a peaceful land.

These swords, when resting, are mysterious. They mix in their life, death. How peaceful fine blades seem. How lean their glory.

It is true that now, for myself, I would rather look at a spray of cherry blossom against a spring sky than the rarest and most exquisite sword in all of O – but then, I have seen a lot of SurZuth in the past decade, and I have tired of metal.

Please listen, and understand: I do not question the basis of the esteem in which these, the finest of swords, are held. I am rare amongst those who move among rivers and trees, stones and flowers, in that my knowledge of these blades is not one simply of contemplation or of limpid ritual alone. I know why these sur blades were made. I know not just how they appear, but what they are. I know what they do.
It is not a knowledge I would wish on anyone.’

Excerpt from Flowing House, Volume 7 of Dustless