True Songs of the Cloud Seer
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True Songs of the Cloud Seer by Melila Cald
Martha Truesong, the cloud seer, has long been a figure of fascination for me. She satisfied many of the tropes of the age for a prophet; her family is unknown, her words few and cryptic, she spent most of her time above the clouds in the Korlayra mountains, and her demeanour was always the very definition of witchlike. But in truth, she was as much a performer as she was a truthsayer. Martha was distinct in a number of ways. But perhaps most famous of all was her tendency to deliver her predictions in the form of song, hence her adopted surname, Truesong. This quirk earned her considerable criticism from other witches of her age, and several seers who have proceeded her. On one occasion she even attended one of King Hirald III's lavish banquets in Empo Sar, although it didn't occur as the king might have wished. Well known for his taste in fine wine, music and women, King Hirald asked Truesong to sing for him during the banquet. Not wanting to anger the king, but — as was her way — still wanting to defy him, she sang a light ballet of her own writing. It started out bursting with praise and pride of Emposia, as was the custom for almost any singer of King Hirald's court. However, the king's attention shortly began to wander from the singer's words, and so Truesong re—fashioned the song as she saw fit. Ending on the verse:
Now lion sits, infirm but crowned, Kept dim and amused, by skin and sound, 'til paramour—wept, sees opportune, to whet his mane, for different tune. King Hirald was entirely unaware that he was being mocked, or even threatened. However others of his court, who were less easily distracted, made plan to remove Truesong for her insolence. With the king otherwise engaged, guards were ordered to remove the seer. Ever the showman, however, Truesong gave a flick of her cloak and vanished into a cloud of nightfall powder. Two years later, King Hirald III died of an illness that many have reasoned should not have killed him. Whispers were abound, with many pointing fingers at one suspect in particular: a previous favourite paramour of the king.
Truesong made numerous predictions throughout her time, though few have shown more resonance with the public than her songs of the lost treasures of the god, Marmos "the Overseer". Given the dark connotations of this prediction, let us hope that Truesong's critics are right. If not, then may the gods be merciful. Her song read as follows: One shall wield sword and shield in wonder, No lesser man could release our banes, And so shall break the world asunder, As he tears a devil from his chains.