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Turginosto: Love Testament and Power
Notes from Shataina, Reflective Regent in Rumour, Lady of Legends
In the Kingswar of Sun and Scale, one of those who fought with courage and conviction was Turginosto. A venerable sage even by the high standards of his kind, the Dragon King was known particularly for his mastery of the Paths of Solid Earth and Clear Air. They said that he had learned powers beyond the capacity of his race, that he had gone beyond the limits the Unconquered Sun had thought to set upon his first children. He was audited for spirit-bribery -- even accused of trafficking with Polythia, as so many of his kind were. Still, no action was brought against him, and he remained a wise teacher and a sought-after mentor until the war and his disappearance.
A tiny place, Andalusite, and not worth much notice until it began to produce a unique gemlike stone -- such a commercial success that the place renamed itself for the new export. The most activity the place had seen before then was the battle in which Lord Turginosto fought Lady Yearning Earth, whose unique birthrights should have made her an ideal opponent. Yet she was slaughtered, and Lord Turginosto disappeared. The Essence-burns on her body indicated that some powerful magic of the earth had backlashed upon her, and yet no successful analysis was performed before her burial.
This was regretted, later, when the gemlike andalusite began to surface, and strange geomantic phenomena assailed the area. What, it was wondered, had Yearning Earth done? No one could immediately say, and the earth's forces, harmless-seeming, were something that the locals became accustomed to -- even, eventually, took for granted.
III. The warrior.
A nameless samurai was born in Andalusite some time later -- a woman who would doubtless been lost to the ages had it not been for the Ha-Chon-Ji wars, and her strange role in recounting them. She served Kisoto Khan, brother and rival to Barsoto Khan, faithfully through the war. She, we learn from the Love Testament and Power, was highly superstitious about andalusite: the stone, she believed, would lend her strength and power and a greater connection to her homeland, and she carried a number of talismans constructed of it. Love Testament and Power picks up just as she has paid an astronomical sum to an anonymous mage to "bind her to the stone of her land", as she puts it, and it has often been considered a shame that she did not more faithfully describe his ritual, for subsequent events have lent it an intriguing cast.
IV. The writing.
The sage Xi Pou passed through Andalusite only once, on his honeymoon with Jelani Laughing-Flame. She knew she had wed a serious and introspective man, so his frequent, lonely walks did not bother her; still, she accompanied him on a few, and became intrigued to see him observing the native geomancy, even manipulating it on a small scale. "What are you doing, my love?" she asked; his reply was, "I am speaking with the earth." She did not recall this comment, which she had taken for one of his strange jokes, until years later after his tragic death, as she tearfully sifted through his personal belongings and found Turginosto: Love Testament and Power.
V. Love Testament and Power.
Love Testament and Power exists in only one copy, currently in the possession of the Forbidding Manse of Ivy's impenetrable bureaucracy. On the flyleaf, it states, "This I, Xi Pou, have merely translated; its author ought properly to be noted as Lord Turginosto." It is the account of an unnamed samurai and her faithfulness to her master -- her service, her loyalty, and indeed, her love. Valued for its rare insights into the Ha-Chon-Ji wars, its accuracy is still frequently called into question. Where, it is asked, could Xi Pou have found such a record? Lady Jelani recognized Love Testament and Power as a book that her lost love wrote in when he returned from his long walks in Andalusite; and yet, as she has said, he consulted no documents on these walks, read no books.
What if, the audacious ask, the vanished Turginosto was somehow enchanted into the land, his mind becoming a vast force of the earth of its own? What if the warrior's ritual to bind her to the land bound her into Turginosto, and he read and learned her consciousness, her life and feeling, so well that he could later recite it? What if the forces of Andalusite were Turginosto's attempts to communicate, and only the mute genius Xi Pou -- so accustomed to unusual forms of speech -- recognized the language for what it was, and learned to speak it, taking down what Lord Turginosto told him?
Such an idea is plainly ridiculous, detractors say; and after all, if it is true, then how is it that Love Testament and Power goes on reporting the Ha-Chon-Ji wars after the samurai's suicide? Would not her consciousness end, and would not the supposed earth-bound Turginosto then have nothing to remember of her, nothing to report later?
These speculations and questions must remain so, for when the last fragment of andalusite was mined, every piece of the mineral in Creation simultaneously crumbled to sand. The geomancy of Andalusite subsequently returned to normal, and a group dispatched by the Forbidding Manse of Ivy shortly after their acquisition of Love Testament and Power found nothing save empty mines, ruins from the wars, and dust.
See also Shataina's other Lexicon entries