(20 Olaesta 5115; Ta’Illistim)

Around every corner was something new in the Shining City. She was a stranger here, yet he did not make her feel like an interloper.

“Have you ever been to Veythorne Manor?” he asked her.

She shook her head, it did not ring any bells.

“I think you will like it. Do you have time now? I will show you,” he offered.

It was the deep of night, she was not sure what this manor might be, but she had completed a new song tonight, and she was quite spent after the effort of that. She was going to get nothing else done tonight anyway. She nodded at him.

They maneuvered through the city streets, well, he did, she just followed. If he left her here, she had a map that she was confident she could find her way back to the Inn with. As they stepped through the gates to the garden, she grew quiet.

Everything was bathed in the crystalline tints of moonbeams. The trees by night were astonishing. Some flowers still showed their bloom along the flower beds. A delicate, rooted, magnificence permeated the Manor’s gardens. In places, she could feel the timelessness of Elanthia’s blood flowing deep. She could even hear it on the breeze as it rustled through the garden.

She was so glad she saw the gardens by night for the first time. She was humbled in the presence of so much of Nature’s raw magic. There were no colors to distract her. There were only a few night birds calling, and in the distance a soft keening she could not quite place, but the sound drew her along the path, growing louder. She drew a deep breath as they passed a tree planted in a place of honor, it’s roots seemingly as deep as the land itself.

“Oh, my,” she softly exclaimed a few times; brilliant conversationalist just this moment, she was not.

Then she saw the glow. the glow from the center of the garden grounds. He guided her to it; the Glowbark Tree. She had never seen one. The tree was in the company of a bed of sirenflowers, which she quickly identified as the source of the sounds she had been hearing. She was fascinated by their whispers, by their outcries, by their song of sighs upon the breeze.

Her guide tonight was telling her things about the Garden, and she would ask questions from time to time, but the night was so distracting here in the Garden. It was hard to focus. Quiet awe kept her attention rapt upon the things that lay upon this path.

And this, alone, would have made for an incredible adventure tonight. But it was not all. He showed her the lake, and said there were canoes one could take upon the lake. She made a mental note to look into that during the day, and soon.

However, he had other plans, and quickly showed her into a canoe, maybe it was a rowboat, she had no idea what the difference was. She should have asked, if anyone would know, he would. But she did not ask. Touring the entire lake and surrounding gardens by the misty moonlight was nothing short of enchanting. He rowed and pointed things out as she just sat there in mouth-agape stunned silence.

She wondered if this should be considered a Wonder Of Elanthia, it was that inspiring.

He helped her out of the boat and back on to the dock. She felt so exhilarated she thought she might have been able to walk on the waters of the lake. She dreamed of rippling waters that night.

The next day, he sent his messenger with a souvenir of the Gardens. She tucked the Glowbark Leaf safely into the compartment of her instrument case with other treasured things.

Author: GSBardess

A young bardess named Luxelle is currently learning her trade and hoping to one day make a name for her songs in GemStone IV. Follow along with her adventures in life and song.

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