A Thousand Nights (V)

A Thousand Nights (V)
A Thousand Nights (V)NameA Thousand Nights (V)
Type (Ingame)Quest Item
FamilyBook, A Thousand Nights
DescriptionA wandering researcher once walked through rainforest, desert, and city during a time of great catastrophe, collecting these stories along the way. It is said that the original work truly did contain countless tales and that naught but a fragment of that is still extant today.

Item Story

The Tale of the Mirror, the Palace, and the Dreamer

Night after night, she would always dream about that distant palace. Its intricate structure was formed of infinite corners, arcades, and passages, and at each corner would be hung a silver mirror with a gilded frame. It was said that the king spent 200 years (6 years more must be added if one wishes to follow the numbering of years in those days) to design this place, and when seated upon the throne, he could gaze into any mirror, and through its exquisitely planned and winding paths of light, one could glimpse any corner of his realm. Yet when she looked into the mirrors at the ends of the hallways in her dream, all she could see was a blurry image: that of a masked young woman garbed in fine raiment, wearing lovely ornaments, walking through the opulent corridors, like a heat haze in the flaming gold of day. She knew then her purpose, though it might seem strange — she wished to gain an audience with that king and tell him something, for these words had been put into her heart and were not hers to command, though she would always leave those words somewhere in the warping mirror-lights each time she awoke with a start.
Year after year, in her dreams as clear as dawn, she would try — and fail — to find the way to the throne, nor would she ever witness that king in person. The young lady who was once lost amongst the mirrors was now a famed magician, and even so, in those stolen dreaming moments, in those flashes of unconscious lucidity, those fantastical thoughts still had her soul in their iron grip. One day, the great mage discovered clues to reaching that distant kingdom at last. Forsaking all that the worldly might hold dear, she set out on her journey alone. Across mottled moonlight she sailed, through the shadowed valleys she strode, and the darkest forests she braved, until she, at last, reached that realm of her dreams. But alas, alas! That city had been annihilated in a terrible fire a few hundred years ago, and the once-prosperous kingdom was now no more. It is just as the poets say:

The morning breeze is forgotten by all,
Song and color have faded from sight.
Only the dim gleam of towers tall,
Lights the ruined, barren night.

She entered the devastated palace and walked amidst its ruins. The mirrors and their gilded frames had long been shattered, with naught but their shattered wrack remaining, each splinter reflecting a beam of chilling moonlight. The court was not as bizarre or strange as it had been in her dreams — in a few mere corners and a few corridors, she was knocking on the door of the throne room. It was a circular hall with hundreds of mirrors hanging from the stone walls — though like the mirrors in the hallways, these had also mostly been destroyed. The mage subconsciously walked towards that long-vacated throne and sat down, casting her gaze upon one of the still-whole mirrors.
In that mirror, she beheld again that masked young woman garbed in fine raiment, walking amidst the opulent halls, and behind her, the mirrors — mirrors that had never been shattered — reflected a thousand reflections of her form.
She startled and raised her head, for that young woman now stood before her, silently watching, unimaginable pain in her eyes. The mage had only just thought of something to say when the woman drew a dagger — before stabbing her in the heart. A lustrous rose-bloom graced the silent tip of the blade as flames ignited all around them, consuming the hall that had once been destroyed by a great blaze once more.
She smiled in confusion, astonishment, and relief, for the woman then took her mask off, revealing the features of the mage herself, dry lips quivering ever so slightly.
This time, the mage could finally hear the other person's words — words that had become lost across the decades and centuries within this labyrinthine dream and its eventide bewilderment. It was a story, a story told by her to herself, a story reflected in thousands of shattered slivers of silver, echoing on and on, forever...

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