The Dying Lands
A human bard.
I am Qingron Cadhir (Kin-grow Cah-deer), and I play the guitar. I was secretly, and illicitly, instructed in the arts of musical performance and the derivation of magic thereof by a phajio (fay-joe), a roaming spirit in the form of an spectral animal that roamed the crypts and came to me, asserting that it was the purgatorial reincarnation of a long dead bard. As a child, I would wander amidst lost catacombs, which I was capable of accessing via my dreams, and learn from this creature, sometimes staying for hours before returning to the conscious world of the city. The phajio confided in me secrets of the old world, the venerable kingdoms and dungeons of the Verdant Age. These teachings rarely lingered upon my return to the surface, but the music of the crypts stayed with me. I was an adept pupil, and I grew to have aspirations of leaving the stifling oppression of Communism and journeying to a fabled world where I would be judged by my natural talents, away from the suffocating despotism and insufferable stratification of Athandro. I longed for an environment in which I could find application, worth, and appreciation for my talents, where I could make a living off abilities borne of innumerable hours of study. At a young age, I believed that these catacombs were real, that I might someday find an entrance during my waking hours to them. However, as I grew older, my dreams diminished in lucidity, and I found myself shut-off from this reality, the world of the Phajio, the spirits whom I encountered in the eternal sepia of the tomb. Even now, though I have no need for a teacher, I long once more to descend into the shadows, where the Heart of Melody lies in wait, the beatific center of the all there is and all there will be. It is hidden, buried deep within the recesses of suppressed awareness, in the immeasurable vastness of the dreamland, the unexplored frontier of humanity’s essential aversions and desires. Existentially, I hope that through music I might become attuned with these eternal, spiritual forces, so that I may once more explore the secret topography of my inner mind, where the Heart may fill me with its pure, transcendent, apotheosizing light. After reaching this state of musical enlightenment, I will travel throughout the world, preaching the way of the Heart to the mortal-dwellers, who live in the shallow world of materiality, deprived of the whole of experience that musical enlightenment can offer. Spurred by my commitment to this ideology and a fiery hate for communism (called “Extinguishment”), I aspire to exact bloody retribution on my enemies and wipe this godforsaken city off the face of the earth with the aid of powerful magic. If I can’t do the latter, I at least want to get the hell out of there. However, until this seems accomplishable, I will continue simply living out the day-to-day routine of cut-throat survival tactics and brutality.