of Tulips and Birchwood

Valle Waling was wailing in agony as he awoke, his nightmares had tormented him yet again. Who was that olde Witchmaster in his mare-dreams?

Tulip fields and windmills near Rijnsburg by Claude Monet
Tulip fields and windmills

Valle lived his life among flowering tulips, calm canals and wonderful windmills. Yet his dreams of horror were set in another land entirely. A land of darkness, a land of frost and and deep deep forests.

In his dreams he once saw a mighty Birch-tree, it stood lonely on a frozen field. The skies were (…) There was something carved into the tree, he walked closer and he saw the name “Matteo”.

Suddenly day became night,
and the birch-tree was in flames!
He was approaching, yes,
the Witchmaster was there!

Valle awoke, wailing.

Winds blew, windmills turned and the tulips danced. But for Valle, every night was terror, and every day was waking agony. When would it be over? Sun would rise, summer would come, and again turn into autumn and winter. And the Witchmaster would torment him in his dreams.

Valle would walk aimlessly among the tulips, neither asleep nor awake. Days and nights were one, and he saw no other escape than death. Valle took his knife and opened his wrist. As his life emptied onto the ground, he felt the power of the Witchmaster diminish. His mind was clearer, he would soon be free! He laid down among the tulips, yes, it was finally over. As he closed his eyes, he saw the shadow of a figure standing above him. He opened his eyes one last time. The lands froze, it was Matteo the Witchmaster!

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Sorrows of Korbu and Far-Altaij

They went east to find their roots. Through forests, over steppes, across great floods and along narrow mountain paths and passes. Sami and Ville, friends and brothers, journeyed far, to Far-Altaij. They came in search of their roots, but what would they find? Could the grand tree of their heritage already be blackened, rotten? Or was it not such a wooden creation, but of a more floating and fleeting, yet grander, construction?

At a great lake, Ville turned left. But he was soon regretting his decision, and turned back, walking instead to the right, completely opposite to his original direction. Sami, never one for initiative or originality, followed behind. Ville strolled on for a few miles, along the lake, listening to songbirds and shamans in the breeze. It was then he came upon Korbu!

Your magnificence
Your blue, clean waters

Korbu, my Korbu
The greatest of Far-Altaij

You are as gold!

Yes, it was Korbu. The greatest and oldest waterfall along the lake, and in all of Far-Altaij, and, perhaps, the world. Ville was taken by its immenseness!

Sami, however, was not! And thus their friendship broke. Was he taken by the Nerichian logik? Had he fallen to logik untrue? These questions were there to be asked, but Ville cared not. He had Korbu, and only Korbu, on his mind!

They journeyed on, but no longer in friendship, nor brotherhood. And soon they took different paths, their lines through life diverging. Many days and nights passed, and then some more.

Korbu, immense
Bless its waters!

One day, Ville again stood by the falls of Korbu. Sami had long since returned west, returned home. Sami was weak. However, for Ville there was no longer a home there, in the narrow forest of the forgotten west, among the puny droplet-lakes of his birthplace. He had found his true home, along the much greater lake of Far-Altaij, where he would always hear the mighty roar of Korbu! He had found his roots and his destiny: the torrential stream rose above him, stronger than any oak.

Ville stood on the shore and waded into the waters. He felt the fresh coldness, and its immense immenseness. He let his body fall into the river, and it was taken over the falls. He and Korbu was now one.

Ville was quiet, Korbu triumphed on.

The Ensimmäinen Engine

Krimaläinen would to construct the wicked machine. The Ensimmäinen Engine, so cruel a creation, that would produce for its master worldly goods unnumbered, yet in time render all Earth a spiritual desert.

His first attempt was in olde Pikkiya, once the land of the blessed Arch-Angel Myklye. Yes, Jakko crossed the Dictum Borderlands and entered olde Pikkiya under cover of night. And night was now his only ally: As he in greedy pursuit abandoned Krim and morals, so Krim abandoned him, along with all sanity. Arch-Angel Mykyle watched, and wept.

Then came his First Failure, echoing that of the Krymean creation – The Ensimäinen Engine, first among machines, was born without soul:

Surely I am no man
For I feel
no joy,
no fear,
not remorse
nor regret.

Is it within? Is it within?
These are my only emotions.

Jakko, wild and free, did not lose hope, for he was a true and faithful heretic. As Kyrim had first failed, yet on a second attempt successfully created Life, Soul and all that is in our Astronomie, so would Jakko again attempt the creation of the Ensimmäinen Engine. The poor, mad philosopher never understood the deeply un-logikal paradoxes of his ambitions. To create again the first creation is simply a Nerichian impossibility of deep and dark proportions.

As the soulful, second metal child arose from Jakko’s workshop at the shores of Gurskaya, the original Ensimmäinen Engine, so cold and cruel, struck his sister with immortal power. As bright as her light had flashed, it was now snuffed to darkness, and in Jakko grew also a tumor of cold, black realisation. He shrunk in un-logikal nightmares and lay as a husk on the white sands of island he had now cursed, on the shores of fallen Gurskaya. The Ensimmäinen Engine set out across the sea, determined forever to whisper its insane and unsound algorithmikal spells into the hearts of men and machine alike.

Arch-Angel Mykyle watched, and wept.

Georg, traveler of the World! In the footsteps of Krim

Olde Evropa

from Belgrad to Bruxelles, and onward still …

From humble birth, Georg soon found fascination in the world and its many people of oh-so-many letters. His father told him stories of distant lands and great men, and the local libraries overflowed with quality reading. But the stories closest to young Georg’s heart were those of obscurity, especially those that told of the great Krim Jacob. From young of age Georg knew his destiny was to travel the world, to follow that great Krim, and perhaps, like Krim, find a land of eternal bliss.

From Belgrad to Bruxelles, and onward still. Even in fertile Mures his feet landed once or twice (or thrice, or even seven times). Yet he did not seem to find a land, a town, a field or forest without the ever-present un-logik. Was his Evropa already damned? Had the keys to the Krimean creation been stolen out of its ancient cradle?

Roma old, Rusia vast, România relevant! Georg saw them all!

Yet, did you ever go to that Congolese Africii?
Did you ever see that great jungle flood?
Did you experience that most immense Energie
form that most terrific branching factor?

Did you, my old friend Georg?
And when did you grow those wings?

Georg believed he was traveling to the cursed city of El Fahir, that home to exiles and wayward Ladds, but his destination was Death. Only in spirit could he ever fly on to the dark stream of the Congo, and only in these words is his memory intact and true. Perhaps he soars still amongst clouds and mist, watching over Belgrad, Bruxelles and El Fahir, and all the Krimean creation …

Yet, did you ever go to that Congolese Africii?
Did you ever cross the black desert gates?
Did you ever experience that most immense Energie
and traverse the deathly mountain passes?

Did you, my old friend Georg?
And how you soar the sky!

Migratory Birds Flying at Sunset

Josef and Jacob Becher; Ice And Fire

krymska
Krymská Trees, as seen in autumn (Google Street View)

In the street of Krymská, in the town of Bömische Karlsbad two boys were once born. Given traditional names Josef and Jacob,  most knew them just as Ice and Fire. The brothers were close during their childhood years, but the life would soon pull them towards different paths.

Ice, man of spirit.

ice

Josef Becher is the most known of the two, being a famous man of spirit. His spirit and factory lives to this day, and an alcoholic liqueur has been made to tribute the two brothers.

Fire, wanderer and seeker.

fire

Jacob, however, is a mystery to most. He spent his adult life wandering the long winters of the world, seeking answers, singing songs, conversing with crows. His interpretation of “Folanés Folly” is known by many, but fewer know of his own Follies.

A man who spent the majority of his life walking in circles in the worlds mysteries, Jacob was both confused and wise. On the Asian steppes, he followed the trail laid down by the great Khans, he sung from his throat with the Tuvan masters and he visited Jurii far north. His presence warmed those around him, just as it did in his fiery youth.

Towards the end, Jacob turned to song and poetic poetry. He sang the songs of his homeland, lands he had traveled and lands of myth and legend. He sang of life and death, hope and happiness, despair and suicide. Yet the love for his brother and his spirit was always central, in those songs of brothers two, of Ice and of Fire…

Ingo Schweitzer, the possessive Prussian (Chapter 1)

Being Chapter 1 from Part 3 of "The Armed Forces" by Jan C. Zločin. 
Ostuda Press, Brünn, 1942.
Now in the public domain.
This excerpt translated from German by the Targu Mures Historical Society.

Ingo

Suum cuique

Despite his family name suggesting Swiss or Austrian origin, Ingo Schweitzer had always been (and ever would be) a Prussian in soul and heart. Indeed, his body was cut from that firm and strictly northern stock that in more ancient times so terrorized mighty Rom herself.

A weathered, leather-bound notebook (which I acquired in what is likely the muskiest of all bookstores in temperate Europa) bears his name on the first, second and final page. Its narrative ends on these words:

I have traveled the ever-expanding recesses of this state since its modern inception and never have I felt more lost than I am now.

How does it begin, you ask? In time you will know, but for now we must step even further back and examine the somewhat peculiar circumstances that would later propel Mister Schweitzer onto his unfortunate wanderings. To properly admire a painting, I find, one should always start with the frame.

Ingo suffered through an unusually slow and long adolescence in an unimportant town of exactly average size. At 17, he refused to follow his father Aloys (as Aloys had once followed his own father, Johann, and as Johann had followed his father, Martin, and so on) in the moderately prosperous family business of tailoring and cobbling. Instead, Ingo opted to join the local regiment in the city of Elbing. Aloys passed away two years later; with him crumbled also the family business and, ultimately, his stubborn branch of the long Schweitzer lineage. Content with being a disappointment to his kin, Ingo never returned to his hometown, instead focusing all his youth and effort into a budding military career. Ingo stood tall, a young man in flower, but all that shines must dull in time.

At the age of 21, Ingo was expelled from the Akademie for reasons that have never have become quite clear. Explanations and rumors among his acquaintances varied wildly: boredom, involvement in some petty crime, even an unhealthy interest in the occult.  Some suggested the expulsion as something of a mutual agreement between the senior staff of the Akademie and Ingo himself.  No matter the motivations, we know that in the very same year, one Ingo Jakovius Blestemat Sweitser purchased the estate Mare Gramada near the city Targu Mures (now in Hungary [Translators note:  Romania since the end of the second world war]) from its previous owner, Igal Migdala, head of the recently impoverished Migdala family.

The local populace did not at all welcome its new citizen (“Lord”, some mumbled bitterly). Tensions were high in Europe at that time, as they are today, and a German controlling one of the primary estates of the region was not at all agreeable to the stubborn inhabitants of the Mures valley. Claims were made, some say fabricated,  that the land was stolen from Migdala, or that the initial negotiations had involved some kind of trickery, and even that Blestemat had the aid of supernatural  forces and intended to use Mare Gramada in ceremonies of sacrifices to the heathen deities of the old north; the mighty sky-gods once worshipped in his homeland, long before the Baltic crusades: Nerthus, Wodanaz, Kurim Jakos, and that Ingo was loyal to Widewuto, mythic king  of the Pomesanian clans

Widewuto and crew

While wildly imaginative and greatly exaggerated, we can not deny that in these rumors there is a kernel of truth, albeit obscure, an almond enshrined or entombed in protective bark-like layers. Among the vague scribblings of the first pages of his notebook we find a prayer of invitation in old-Sudovian, beckoning Kurim Jakos and his host to visit the world of mortals again:

Beigeite beygeyte peckolle
Kails naussen gnigethe
Beigeite beygeyte peckolle
Kails naussen gnigethe Kurim Jacove

We will find that even though Kurim might not have visited ours, this plane of base physicality, Ingo certainly did visit Kurim’s. For better or worse, for doom or salvation, Ingo was to be a man both possessed and possessing.

On such a Krimean night

Krymska Cabin
I can almost see that wild Krim on the forest trail!

Jean, Jean! What a lovely night, I can almost see that wild Krim on the forest trail!

Is he like the Manné Rock, ever falling, tumbling? Or is he of the deep, deep mountain? I have seen him, Jean. I saw him! You need only count to three, and with every step a statement is stated, yet Krim is never sated! He is eating the world, Jean … Gnaws on our fundament, our testament.

East and West, all-encompassing! Such compassion! Tell not my brother of my dreams. Oh, Krim, Allfather of the Allforest …

Yours always,
Hermione Lynn Ploppel

Johann and I

We sailed the seas, Johann and I.
The sails ripped, in the middle of the storm.
The heavens opened, our hopes fell.
No fish, no food, but company.
Johann and I.

Into the the darkness we gazed, Johann and I.
Spoke of drought and the almonds demise.
Spoke in the storm of our future travels.
A bird landed, it was calm.
We saluted death!
Johann and I.

– unknown origin, early 1900s
some scholars indicate Jakko Krimälainen as the original author

Krim Jacob and the Demons of Old

They say he walks these woods,
and in these dark winter days I must meet him

Yes, so are the words of the wise man Jakko, who dedicated his life to the pursuit of truth and blessings.

Nicolaus and Rosu and the cave-dwellers
only laugh at my despair

He would not be granted a single blessing. The truth he found, he was not prepared to face.

I leave the safe hearth fire
and throw myself into his domain

Folklore has it a single star twinkles, dull, each and every year.

 I know, Krim Rosu
that you are here
somewhere

Peer Nerich – A Soul of Eternal Violence

During the dark years of the Nerich reign, few men were feared more than the vicious Peer “The Mountain” Nerich. As the commander of the castle dungeons he became the most experienced and gruesome torturer the Mures Valley has ever seen. As the nephew of Lord Gregorius, he obeyed his uncle and master in every task. He happily did his work with great joy and fantasy. His methods ripped many soul apart, making them scream of agony, suffering in both body and mind.

His methods of torture were many, some aimed at the mind and soul and many at the flesh and gut of his subjects. But at his worst he ripped it all apart, sucking and squeezing  every trace of life out of his victim. The agony of the victims lasted for days, or maybe weeks, before the relief of death. One could tell Peer both true and false, good or evil, but his  would not stop, and ones body were mistreated until the very end.  The very fear of The Mountain made the Mures town folk silent and submissive.

The Mures town folk still dread Peer Nerich and his wicked ways, although he is believed dead. But his body was never found after the Krim uprising, and there is whispers that his evil soul still lurk in the darkest forests, waiting for a new opportunity to serve his master and rule the Mures Valley.

It is still said that his blood was not red, but black as the darkest moonless night.

Adrŷan Nerich – Historian –  Targu Mures Historical Society