The Holden Stone

Reflections of a Fantasy Writer

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Home Library of Sorenzia

Still Lovely Waiting

(The Ballad of the Lover of Ambrose)1,2

 

The Halls of Ambrose are waiting.

When full bright the harvest moon

Shines its path across the sea

He"ll come. He swore he would save her

From wedding bells at noon.

 

Soft as doves cooing in the morning

Light as breezes on her lip

She walks the battlements waiting

For her love to keep his promise,

For signs of the returning ship.

 

By night the stars fall silent

By dawn, she’ll be married soon.

She clings her fate to his promise

On his knees he swore he’d come

Save her from wedding bells at noon.

 

The king is old and surly

His breath smells full of rum.

His Halls of Ambrose crowd around her

Stones whisper to her his taunt:

Your lover will never come.


Grey storm clouds fling him backwards

Giant waves sweep him off the ship.

Her scream as she leaps from the tower

Courses down through icy depths

Curses the promise he never kept.

 

Four score years the halls lie waiting.

When full bright each harvest moon

Shines its path across the sea

He comes, sworn still to save her

From wedding bells at noon.

 

He walks the sea on moon-pulled waves

Seaweed dripping from every step.

He passes through the halls of Ambrose

Cursed with eyes of glowing embers

For the promise he never kept.

 

The Maid of the Harvest is each year chosen

Her youth brings laughter to ev’ry stone

Her blush colors the peach next spring.

To the Halls of Ambrose she’s taken

To spend her Blessing of the Moon alone.

 

He walks through the halls of Ambrose

Seaweed dripping from every step

Through eyes of glowing embers

He sees his love still lovely waiting

For the promise he’s each year kept.

 

His hand on her neck feels cold

His kiss on her breast is frozen.

But the old king’s lust is never sated

Till the Halls of Ambrose see proof

She’s the one he's this year chosen.

 

 

 

1Version of the Ballad of Ambrose translated and transcribed to lute by Verl, Singer of Norgondy in the year 631YD.

2Often a subject of debate for the priests in the library of Sorenzia, is this note scrawled backwards in Verl’s handwriting on a copy of the ballad found among his personal papers. Read in front of a mirror, the note asks: "Did the Halls of Ambrose ever exist? There was once a Barony of Ambrust destroyed by a coastal volcano in the year 591YD. In Halven, north of the blighted coast, a belief still remains that the virgin births recorded each year by a "Maid of the Harvest" come from the moon god’s visit during their so-called Blessing of the Moon. Is this a connection?"

 

THE DOLMEN                                                      

[as recorded by Erinhart, ethnographer aboard the Dominiom, in the year 1101YD]

 

The dolmen are a race of people with strong psionic powers.  They do not believe they ever die.  They believe instead that upon their passing, they re-enter this world in a transformed state.  Like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, their freed souls become spirits of pure power that can at will materialise into another form of nature.   Most commonly, the dolmen believe they'll become a gemstone, a tree, a drop of waterfall, a face in the fire, or a whisper in the wind.  Their chosen mate passes with them, and together they continue to perform what they see as their everlasting duty: to use their powers both during and after life to grow and shape the world.  Whether their faith in such an afterlife comes true for them or not, dolmen do have telekinetic powers that can have influence over and be concentrated by water, fire, wind, stone or other lifeforces (the plants and animals around them).   Over the past two millenium that the dolmen have lived on Colonium, they have separated themselves into five sects, each aligned with the element of nature for which they feel the greatest connection.   The High Queen of the Otarin water dolmen, The Lady of the Lake, can tap into the powers of every dolman and combine them with hers to protect them all.

Several times over our shared history on Colonium, humans have had a different view of dolmen powers, noting that a dolman can enter any mind at will and change what a human thinks he is seeing.    It is true that dolmen projections can have a hypnotic effect on human minds, creating illusions (which include making themselves and the islands of their lake invisible to human perception), but no dolman has ever been known to read the minds of those around him without, at least, prior permission.   Doing so, they claim would be an abuse of power.   They don't understand humans distrusting or disbelieving such restraint is possible.   To the dolmen, it's a necessity of living life among other people, a necessity that each dolman must learn to accept in infancy.  By the time a dolman infant has learned to stop crying for attention, it has also learned not to invade the boundaries of privacy.   Or, so they say.

According to the long memory of the dolmen, they came from the same home world as the humans, a planet that human legend calls Earth.   The dolmen teach their children to identify one of the seven stars in the Southern Staghorn constellation as Gliddendel, home of their ancient world.  According to what is believed to be a map recently found among the artifacts of the Dominion starship, that area of the heavens may indeed be the location of Sol, the legendary star mentioned in the creation myths of several human cultures.  

Physically indistinguishable from humans other than their typically short stature and longer life span of 200 years before they start to age, dolmen are capable of interbreeding with humans.  It is believed by some researchers aboard the Dominion that the two races might have once been one in the far distant past of their original planet.  

The dolmen say they left Earth in that world's year count of 1672AD to escape the persecution they had been suffering from the hands of humans.    For centuries, the dolmen claim, the humans there had been burning them as witches for having powers and beliefs that the humans did not share nor understand.    When the dolmen arrived on Colonium, (Aristel in their language), they came to a world free of humans and prejudice. 

Paulnabrone Dolmen, Ireland1                                   

Iryn of the Dominion in the year 4 YD wrote that there are ancient stone menhirs on planet Earth that still bear the name dolmen.  Some of these structures look similar to the standing circles and other stone monuments the dolmen have built around Colonium.   There were also a few very ancient stone statues found on planet Earth near remains of stone circles.   One, called the Lord of the Glauburg, has the same face and design of the stone faces found in the halls of some of the oldest buildings, human and dolmen, on Colonium. [It must be remembered, however, that humans were the ones who built most of these statues as communication and transportation stations around Colonium when they first arrived on this world and still had a technology to build such machines.   Perhaps these humans copied the Glauburg picture to design their stone faces, thinking the dolmen would recognize it.  The evidence is unclear on this matter.] 

 Lord of the Glauberg Celtic statue, planet Earth picture found among archives of the Dominion3

Other researchers, trying to prove a greater link with the dolmen and human races, claim the word dolman is a mix-up of two human words "old man", but the dolmen heartily disclaim this, asserting this as another example of humans wanting to believe themselves the superior or progenitor race.  

The five sects of dolmen each settled in their own realms that originally were spread out across the entire southern continent.   A thousand years later, when humans arrived aboard the floundering spaceship of the Dominion in the year of descent 1 YD, the dolmen had forgotten much of their suffering on their old world and psionically felt the despair of Rolax, a descendent of an ancient union of dolman and human.  Rolax was an engineer aboard the dying ship, and the dolmen helped him guide his ship down to land on Colonium.   There are many dolmen now who regret that decision.   According to these dolmen, Colonium has become a world overrun by humans who have forgotten the help and goodwill the dolmen tried to give us for the first 200 years.  

After the Great Schizm of 200 YD, all five sects of the dolmen agreed to retreat into the Lake of the Édéveil in exchange for erasing mankind's memory of them.   Over the centuries since, most humans who have any vestigial memory of the dolmen call them Lakemen, a nightmare visitor similar to fairy folk and boogeymen of childhood stories.    Now the dolmen can again live in peace in a world without men crowded inside the Lake of the Édéveil, where no man can enter without the permission of the Lake.

The five sects of the dolmen--

 

Otarin Water Dreamers

Ishtarin Wood Growers

Fenarin Fire Dancers

Evarin Wind Spinners

Petrarin Stone Carvers

 

 

 1This image from PDPhoto.org has been released into the public domain by its author and copyright holder, Jon Sullivan, on Wikipedia.

2This image is published on Wikipedia under the "GNU Free Documentation License" by its author Sven Teschke.

 

 


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