East Meets West
Top of the morning to you, Forename. Or is it the evening? It is so hard to tell locked up here in the Athenaeum day and night. Alright, technically speaking I can leave at any time of my choosing, but it is as if some strange force prevents me for stepping forth into the light... But enough of that. You are here to learn what became of your humble companions while you were off saving the realm.
Well, since Ishgard's quite abrupt change in leadership, the Vault has become somewhat more receptive to the contemporary ideas of Lady Leve─er, Master Rufin. They have even asked our compatriot-in-disguise to hold for them another symposium on Sharlayan astrology...and this time within the city–state proper, and not at some forsaken hamlet! (Nothing against the fine citizenry of Falcon's Nest, mind you.)
In fact, the good Rufin has foreseen your arrival in the stars, and awaits you in the Observatorium.
The look on your face tells me you are less than convinced. Still the skeptic after all we have been through together, eh? Allow me to recreate this morning's reading.
In the center of the Dawn Cross we have the Spear. To its left, the inverted Arrow. To its right, the inverted Balance. Beneath, we have the inverted Spire and the inverted Bole. And finally at the crown, is the Ewer.
Well...? Do you not see it? It is as plain as the stench of day-old piss in the Brume on a balmy summer's eve. “Though peace hath settled upon our great land, it will be along the path of coming destruction that friends new and old shall discover the bush that doth bear the fruit of knowledge and hope.” And to think it was you who attuned to all six heavens!
In other words, he who brought peace to Ishgard (that would be you) will walk the road south to the Observatorium where...I don't know, you shall read some books with Lady Leveva to discover a new spell for delivering excruciating pain to your enemies and their families? It all sounded more convincing when she explained it to me this morning over that bottle of wine. Or was it two bottles...?
At any rate, I would suggest you make haste. You know how our little protégée does not take kindly to those who make her wait. It was good seeing you again, Forename. And something tells me you will be back again soon. <wink>
The Dawn Cross uses all six of the major arcana to tell a person's fortune. The cards are shuffled and drawn one at a time. The first card drawn is placed face up in the scrying table's center. This card is also known as the “core” and represents the subject's present state. The second card is placed immediately to the core's left and represents what, in the past, has exerted influence over the subject.
The third card is placed immediately to the right of the core and represents what will most affect the subject in the near future. The fourth card is placed below the core, with the fifth card placed immediately below that one. These cards represent misfortune the subject may face in the foreseeable future and the root of that misfortune respectively. The sixth and final card is placed directly above the core to form the cross, and is representative of the subject's overall fortune... Or at least that is what it said in that tome I copied it from on introductory astrology.
Friend and fellow astrologian! It is so good to see you again. What has it been? Two...? Three...? Ah, let us just say that it has been too long.
Did Jannequinard speak to you of my reading? Well, then there is hope for that well-dressed dullard yet, though I've learned the key to success is not entrusting him with more than one task at a time, and making certain that task does not require much in the way of thinking...or acting, for that matter.
As for the reading, I believe it instructs as to my─as to our─next step in spreading the knowledge of─
Master Rufin! An injured traveler has arrived at our gates seeking succor!
An ill omen... With me, Forename.
Please... I can walk no further...
The stars were kind in guiding you to this place. The astrologians here have ways of easing one's hurts.
Astrologians!? I have no need of prophecy or prognosticatio─
Or...I could stay my tongue and allow you to tend to my wounds... My apologies.
May you have a quick recovery, friend. In time you will come to believe the power the stars wield.
Lady Levev─er, Master Rufin! Forename's felicitous return inspires me to step out for a breath of fresh air, and behold! Already does it appear a new adventure is upon us!
Ah, and here I was thinking you made the journey south to lend your talents in preparing for the forthcoming symposium.
Master Rufin. Or was it Lady Leveva? If I may, allow me to give you my thanks...and my apologies for earlier.
I have a tendency to─
Allow your unbridled emotions to get the best of you?
That was amazing! You knew what I was going to say...before I even said it! But where are my manners. I am Kyokuho of Hingashi, and have braved storm and sea to learn of the many wonders it is said are to be found in this magnificent realm...but you already knew that, didn't you!?
No. I did not. Now, if you would excuse me, I must get back to...um, matters...which are important.
Important matters? Such as...astrological matters? Could you show me? I wouldn't be a burden. I'd stand in the corner. In the shadows. Behind a curtain.
While I appreciate the somewhat forced enthusiasm, I'm afraid that won't be po─
Oh, I was merely hoping that we might be able to share insight into each other's fields.
Each other's fields...? You wouldn't happen to be a geomancer, would you!?
So-called masters of wind and water. My grandfather had a tome written on the Far Eastern art of elemental and directional divination. Though much of it seemed little more than folklore.
Lady Leveva, did not the morning's reading mention “friends new and old”? What if Forename were the friend old, and this peculiar little man the friend new?
The Spear pointing west, the Balance pointing east, the Arrow pointing in all directions and none... It might just mean...
Kyokuho. Though it pains me so to admit as much, it appears your arrival has been foretold.
Perhaps there is much that I can learn from you─nay, that we can learn from each other.
Hah hah! Oh, but there is! Soon you will learn the push and pull of the elements brings together those who require companionship most.
Er, yes... The elements... We will have to discuss that further at another juncture. For the time being, I am placing you in the care of my first and foremost pupil, Forename.
An excellent proposal...or as I believe the Hingans say, “keikaku.” I dabbled a bit in the language when I was younger but for the life of me that ebon-haired emissary would not afford me even a sidelong glan─
Ahem! Then might I hazard that there is no finer place to begin unlocking the secrets of the stars than under the Bole near Rootslake? I shall even lead good Kyokuho to the South Shroud myself...if, ah, Forename agrees to do the rest.
After you, then!
Next we meet, Kyokuho, you will have opened the first gate and better understand the influence the stars hold over all of us. Safe journeys.
If this all goes according to plan...or keikaku, or whatever, then not only will the Easterner teach me his people's secrets, but he will help spread the art of my homeland across the Three Great Continents to the far shores of Othard!
You most certainly do not need me telling you that Rootslake is located in the South Shroud near Camp Tranquil. You obviously remember the whereabouts of that particular location from that time that you, yourself opened the first gate. <wink>
It all begins here, under the earthly stars. By opening the gate to the first heaven, we embark on a journey to self-enlightenment, to self-betterment, to unlock secrets untold... Finishing that journey, now, is another matter altogether. Hah hah...hah... <sigh>
My lord, it is an honor to defend you once again.
There you are! I was beginning to wonder if you hadn't been eaten by the hoverflies on your way here! But I jest. Jannequinard tells me that you are quite the authority on all things relating the Bole. So enlighten me, oh, honorable sensei. I am, as you Westerners say, all eyes...or was it ears?
|The Bole's origin.||The Bole's blessing.|
So this is your Bole...
In the Far East we know of the constellation as something different, but know it all the same. I must admit, however, that seeing it under a different sky than my own fills my heart with a sense of both wonderment...and now confusion knowing what it represents to your people.
What I cannot wrap my head around is that you would truly believe a notion so foolish as that the power of earth─a word that by your own definition means “soil”─would not come from the land itself, but rather from six tiny lights flickering in the night skies.
We students of geomancy believe that such power naturally lies beneath our feet, ever flowing through creation, as blood does through our veins. Yet, despite the differences in our thinking, the similarities are encouraging. All trees are born of the earth, and their protection is universal.
A most thought-provoking opinion that I am certain Lady Leveva will be delighted to hear...though might I suggest you withhold the part about being unable to wrap your head around our “foolish notions”...unless you enjoy having a steel-toed boot wedged firmly 'twixt the bollocks.
Ahem! Shall we be going then? By this hour, Lady Leveva will have already made the journey back to the Athenaeum.
Our Far Eastern friend has quickly become acquainted with many of the Athenaeum's female apprentices, who all seem smitten with his exotic locks and trappings. Not that I am jealous. Why would I be jealous? I am of House Durendaire! Third in line to my uncle's title! Or was it second? The most eligible bachelor in all the See! Hm? Leveva? Over there.
I was just speaking with these fine ladies regarding their thoughts on the Sharlayan school of astrology. Your name came up quite often. Everyone here seems to think very highly of you. Of Jannequinard? Er...
My thanks for taking the Hingan off my hands. And not because I think our visitor an annoying little braggart with all the manners of a kobold foundling, which I still do, but because I needed the time to finish my work without distraction. So tell me, what did I miss?
I see. Perhaps I judged Kyokuho too hastily. I still have my reservations, but I shall afford him the benefit of the doubt...for now.
The teachings of geomancy may be grounded in faerie tales and falsehoods, but my grandfather told me that every lie is born of the truth. If I can find the truth within Kyokuho's backwards beliefs, it may provide insight into our own school of thought.
I see now that my choice to assign you as his tutor was a wise decision. Might I ask this of you, Forename?
I promise that once the symposium has ended, I shall assume the duties of Kyokuho's tutelage. I sense good fortune in our stars, my friend. Good fortune, indeed.