From The Jackals To The Shepherds 23: Six of Diamonds

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Battlebards Tracks used:

Elven Dirge – Farewell – Score Music – Philippe Payet

Druids Grove – Life Answers – Score Music – Richard Daskas


For a long time, we were at war with The Jackals. But now, we’ve driven them off, and we have this – a year of relative peace. In this moment, there is an opportunity to build something.

A week has passed

Eileen lays her sleeping head, nestled with her love, human on Llyana’s faithless arm. Soul and body have no bounds to the lovers as they lie upon her tolerant enchanted slope in their ordinary swoon, grave the vision Venus sends of supernatural sympathy, universal love and hope; while an abstract insight wakes among the glaciers and the rocks the hermit’s carnal ecstasy.

Djuna slumbers nearby, the large woman welcomed warmly into the community, and seeking out Eileen and Llyana’s company seems to have healed most of her panic and calmed her spirit. Eileen with her creativity and art uplifting and empowering Djuna’s expression, helps to process the time spent alone in the woods. Llyana takes a different approach to the same goal, as xe guides Djuna’s hand in the field and focuses her muscles into expressing for her. Certainty, from this night not a whisper, not a thought, not a kiss nor look was lost.

Beauty, midnight, vision dies: let the winds of dawn that blow softly round our dreaming heads such a day of welcome show eye and knocking heart may bless, find the mortal world enough; noons of dryness find us fed by the involuntary powers, nights of insult let us pass watched by every human love.

Early, at the first peak of the sun’s rays over the mountains, as the golden light splashes down into the mining camp, the foragers in the woods return to camp with more bodies than they had set out with. As we welcome, blanket, and feed the newcomers, Djuna brushes the morning dust from her eyes and catches a heartbeat as it nearly jumps from her chest. She runs to a small man in the new crowd and pulls him into her heavy arms with a strong embrace.

Down by the brimming river that night we heard a lover sing under an arch of the railway: love has no ending.

‘I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you ‘till the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street, till the ocean is folded and hung up to dry and the seven stars go squawking like geese about the sky.

‘O plunge your hands in water, plunge them in up to the wrist; stare, stare in the basin and wonder what you’ve missed.

‘O look, look in the mirror, o look in your distress: life remains a blessing although you cannot bless.

‘O stand, stand at the window as the tears scald and start; you shall love your crooked neighbour with your crooked heart.’

It was late, late in the evening, the lovers they were gone; The clocks had ceased their chiming, and the deep river ran on.

The shores are pummelled by the waves; in a lonely forest the rain lashes an abandoned mine cart; magpies fill the mountain caves. Unendowed with wealth or pity, clever birds with jet black legs, sitting on their speckled eggs, eye our happy community.

Altogether elsewhere, vast herds of antlered beasts move across miles and miles of golden moss, silently and very fast and lost in the forest a small ring of pines begins to chime: ‘O let not Time deceive you, you cannot conquer Time. In the chamber of the Shepherds where winter naked is, time watches from the shadow and coughs when we would kiss.

Ezekiel, playing with Yuen in the mud, as if no time and no feud between them has passed, kneels and digs with a small trowel. It strikes something in the mud and, as excited as he was on the first day in the camp, he scampers about in a small circle before resuming his dig. He finds a thick cable, buried in the rivers edge. However, unlike the frayed chord that led us to the old generator, this cable thickly plunges into the mud under deep waters.

Based on its direction, it looks to head directly into the dark and thick woods on the other side of the river. As Ezekiel and Yuen follow its course and try to guess where through the dirt it may travel, a harsh roar from across the river sends songbirds into flight. The two children rush from the river, without the protective girl who’s been with us a long time, their fear and memories of The Beast and The Creature make their flight stronger. As we sleep tonight the roars continue, quieter but no less hungry than the first.

And a week passes.

Thank you for joining us for the twenty third episode of From The Jackals To The Shepherds. If you like this show please give us a rating on iTunes, tell a friend, or share us on social media. As always the intro for the show was read by Dave Lapru, who is also our mapkeeper. You can find Dave on twitter at plantbird, and I’m at leviathan files. Please consider visiting our website at Riverhouse Games dot com, or supporting this show and other Riverhouse Games work on Patreon at patreon dot com slash Riverhouse Games. Music for this episode was provided by Battlebards dot com. Until next week, I hope your week goes well.

42 episodes available. A new episode about every 8 days .