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There is a tale that is carried on the wind

It tells of a cat as black as night who lived on the edge of an old city.
Each evening she would pick herself up and walk away from the city toward the moon looking for adventure.As she walks she whispers songs and pussycat purrs, she walks through the sleeping streets and into the woods, which lead to a town.
Each night she keeps one eye on the moon to see where it travels and by this she knows the coming of the sun and can make her return to the city before the market begins.

But this night the moon kept on and refused to set.

The cat walked further and further into the woods following the path away from the city.
As she came further into the trees she began to hear them whisper and sing to each other.

She stopped… sat down… and began to clean herself. She listened quietly to the trees talking to one another.

‘The boy the colour of the moon’ they whispered.

Her ears pricked up with this and her tail began to twitch.
‘I should like to find this boy of the moon…’ she thought to herself.

The cat padded around for a little while considering what she should do.
‘It would seem to me…’ she thought, ‘that my path is the right one, I head towards the moon each night… but perhaps I take too long looking at things and I’m simply not speedy enough!’

So off she set, into the woods following the fallen light of the moon, a little spring in her step.
That night the moon never set, the sun never rose; the darkness endured and the cat continued along her silver road with both eyes watching the moon.

Eventually she came to the edge of the woods and as she did she saw a town filled with people staring to the sky and crying out at a hidden sun.

‘What is this?’ she thought.
‘What is this wailing and gnashing of teeth…?’

She sat and watched the townsfolk with her head tipped… and listened to their cries.

Within the sound she heard a different voice, one that sounded like the sea rising and falling, a voice which sang out in pure tone and light.

“For the love of life ~ for the light of life”

She faced the sound and there she spied a crane beside a lake beside the town. She took herself up and padded down towards the lake. As she approached she called to him.

“Dear crane, why do you sing such a sweet song while these people cry to an empty sky? You should take yourself over and teach them how to sing!’

The crane looked towards the cat slightly startled and she could see that he had been crying.

“Oh cat!” Replied the crane, “I am the undoing of these people. I am the song that set them searching the skies for unity!”
“But they sing without harmony, they have no song of their own… and nothing can be done for them.”

“Cry not for them.” Said the cat as she approached the crane.

“They are themselves and nothing more ~ nothing can be done from this.”
“You should take yourself and sing with them… as one of them… dear boy like the moon.”

The crane stood tall and fixed his gaze upon the cat.
“How do you know this? He asked her, “How do you know that I am this?”

“By the seas in your eyes dear crane…” she replied, “by the seas in your eyes.”

“Indeed IAM!” whispered the crane. He looked at her with his large blue eyes and tilted his head sideways before saying.
“Further still ~ for now we are ~ as you see me ~ I too see you ~ dear girl who wears the mask of a cat.”

The cat looked at the crane and her heart began to beat so loudly that she thought she might pass out. She raised her paw to her chest and saw a human hand; that she had started to become a girl.

“So we are returned to each other,” she whispered, “as we have always been.”

The fish within the lake heard their whispers and told the tale of the town and the crane and of the cat to the swan who lived on the lake.
The swan thought of this while she slept and in this way she told the tale to the air where it was carried across the earth

all things hidden, all things shown, all things to be, all things passed

The universe within which these stories are set is not something foreign, nor is it something similar; it is quite simply the universe within our own.

The stories you will read are written for you, to be read by you, to be loved by you and to be shared by you with anyone or everyone you might think would understand them as you do.

They are tales of majicks and spirits, of adventures and mysteries but most of all they are tales of potential and of dreams; the motion of love and of light as it passes through time along with our hearts.

Some of the words are invented, others are taken from various languages.

There is a rough timeline to some of the tales, others exist outside of any time and should be taken as inner events or dreams. Aspects of the whole universe will become clearer as new tales arrive. The aim is not to understand them as a collected whole or to reach the end, it is to experience them and to see if you might find yourselves somewhere within.

These tales are free in their current form. That is not to say that you may reproduce them for profit, it is also not to say that you may use the characters or concepts yourselves but you are welcome to print them out or send them on or read them to strangers. In time, a book will appear with new tales and more things to be revealed.

I’d be happy to hear from you.

Bastet

Bastet is an ancient black cat who also takes the form of a human named Nihil.

Bastet’s origin is unknown, although her name can be found throughout our history.

Bastet is in love with Tsuru-san, the crane / boy.

Bastet is a black medium size cat with green eyes. Nihil is a beautiful girl with dark hair and green eyes, she has a wicked sense of humor and a fascination for all things mysterious and adventerious.

Tsuru-san

Tsuru-san is an ancient Japanese crane who also takes the form of a human named Aleph.

Tsuru’s origin is unknown, he has existed as long as thought has existed but it is unsure which came first.

Tsuru is in love with Bastet, the cat / girl.

Tsuru the crane is white and black with blue eyes. Aleph is tall with pale skin and blue eyes, he is soflly spoken and able to conjour majicks, although he only seems to be able to do this in the presence of Bastet.

Full, crescent or eclipsed – the moon remains

The crane tilted his head sideways.
“Whatcha doing cat?” he asked.

The cat looked up at the crane.

“What does it look like boy, I’m singing.” she replied.

The crane hopped down to where the cat was and said:
“Yes, yes… I know this, but who are you singing to?”

The cat looked at the crane and wiggled her nose before replying:
“To the moon of course, dear boy.”

The crane looked up at the moon and back at the cat.

“Does she listen cat?” he asked, “Does she ever sing back?”

The cat looked at the crane and tiled her head sideways.

“Why are you asking me questions you know the answer to?” she asked.

The crane looked at her with a shocked expression…
“ME?” he said, “Why I’m just a boy… I don’t know these things!”

“You monster!!” she cried, “You are making a joke with me!”

The cat pounced upon the crane and bit him with a soft bite.

“HAHAHAAHAha,” laughed the crane.
“Come on girl, I’ve made some cake.” he giggled.

The cat hopped up and looked at the crane with half closed eyes
“Wicked boy!!” she mouthed.

“Love you too,” replied the crane and gave her a kiss on her nose.

Ostensibly

The cat’s eyes opened, awoken by a breeze. She sat up and stared through slightly blurred vision out into the room.

“Boy?” she said, noticing a figure sitting on the ledge of the window.
“What’s up, why aren’t you sleeping?”

Tsuru shrugged his shoulders and without turning around replied in a quiet voice:
“I can’t sleep cat, the dreams keep coming back and so I wake up crying.”

The cat picked herself up and padded over to the window ledge.
“Boy…” she said softly, “You can usually sleep the sleep of a newborn, what is it that is troubling you?”

Tsuru turned and looked toward the cat, his eyes large and blue but elsewhere and said:
“I’m homesick cat, here much longer than I realised I would be… Time is a funny old thing it seems. It’s far down here too, things are I mean; sometimes the distance between 2 things seems so much I could scream… And the play of it all, the twist and turn…”

The cat hopped up onto the ledge with Tsuru and nuzzled into his feathers, sat back against the frame and looked at him with a slight smile but open eyes.
“I know…” she sighed, “But what shall we do, there are no exits here and you know as well as I the rules of such things; if one is in then all are in until…” she stopped and looked down.

“Cat?” asked Tsuru.

“You are right,” she said, now looking out the window, “It’s long down here and I too will wake with tears in my eyes if I sleep tonight.”
She turned and looked at the boy, a long and wanton look.
“We aren’t ever leaving, are we boy…” she whispered.

“Never.” said Tsuru, “How would one get out of one’s self when simply being one’s self is enough to never let us go?”

“True…” said the cat, “But we have love boy and we have grace… Perhaps there is nothing else.”

“Bastet…” said Tsuru, “I think we should go to sleep, take human form and stay asleep this time. It will be like a game within this game, we should be in love like the stories of man describe.”

“With children??” asked Bastet, pricking up her ears.

“With children.” replied the crane, “With warm skin and kisses to wake up to each morning, with no more tears and quiet majicks.”

Bastet nuzzled into Tsuru’s feathers again.
“I think that is what I have wanted all along.” she said, “I don’t feel now I should want for anything more.”

“Me too girl.” replied the boy, “I think it’s why I have been waking with tears, I have been crying for our children, for pieces of home.”

The cat and the crane sat in the window and looked out into the night, across the old city and toward the moon hanging in the great western sky…
The moon looked down on them, smiling as always.

“Hush now, hush now.” whispered the stars, “Sleep our children and dream a life for yourselves, home will find you in time.”

keikoku

“I can’t do it…” said the cat, “I simply cannot think this puzzle through with all that noise going on!!”

Tsuru looked at her with a slight smile.

“Don’t mock me boy…” she said, “I’m serious, how can this be done with all that happening… I’ve a mind to…”

Before she could finish, the crane raised his hand and with a slight laugh said:
“Ok, ok, I’ll have a word… wait here.”

The cat, who had already started to get up, sat back down again and frowned towards a tree across from them. Her frown turned to a wince as the noise came again.

CAWW, CAWW, CAWWW.

Tsuru hopped across the field to the base of the tree and called up into the branches:
“Hoi… Caranaux… Hoi!”

CAWW, CAWW, CAWWW.

“HOI… Caranaux… Caranaux… HOI I say.”

CAWW, CAWW, CAWWWW.

Tsuru sighed, bent down, and picked up a small stone… With one eye closed he threw the stone up into the branches.

CAWWW, CAWWW, CA…!!!!!

“… MERCY… MERCY!” came a cry down from the tree.

“Caranaux…” shouted up the crane.

A head popped out of the top of the tree and looked around… Upon spying Tsuru at the bottom the crow shouted down:
“HOI… What gives? You can’t just jolly well go around throwing stones at people in trees you know…”

“I’m sorry…” said the crane, “I called only you didn’t hear becau…”

“Could have a fellows eye out with that… dangerous things stones, you know what happened to Hillundra after all.” said the crow smartly.

“Yes… I mean no… I mean I’m not here to talk about that…” said the crane shaking his head.
“I tried calling but you were cawing so loudly.”

“Well that’s what I do,” said the crow raising his wings, “I’m a crow, it’s in the blood you know.”

“Yes… I mean no… I mean… lets start again!” Tsuru was becoming a little confused at this point.

CAWW, CAWW, CA…

“CARANAUX !!!!!”

The crow popped his head out again and looking down cried out:
“WHAT… WHAT NOW?!”

The crane sighed, and momentarily considered picking up another stone.”Look, dear crow…” said Tsuru, “I came over to ask you to quiet down a little… cat and I are trying to solve a puzzle over there and all ‘this’ that you are making is frightfully distracting!”

The crow looked at the crane for a short time with a blank expression before whispering down:
“I can’t… Gotta scare the humans away, can’t let them camp up around here… No way… No how!”

“Why ever not, they aren’t going to eat you!” replied the crane.

“B e c a u s e…” the crow said in a drawn out way, “Because they will camp here and then there will be trouble, so I caw… it’s in my blood you know!”

“I know…” sighed Tsuru, “But do you HAVE to do it so loudly?!”

“The louder the better, it is all theatrics you know…” Said Caranaux, “It’s all just a show this cawing – Really we crows can sing the most beautiful songs but their sound is more dangerous than the sirens… So I frighten mankind away, I have to… Otherwise there will be all kinds of trouble!”

“I don’t believe you, you are making this up!” cried up the Crane.
“I’ve met many crows, and I’ve only ever hea…”
Tsuru suddenly found himself on his back, on the floor… Dazed he went to stand up and realised he was crying.

“See…” said the crow, “And that was only a verse… If I’d sung anymore you’d have forgotten who you were and been up this tree all googly eyed and waving your arms about like an Orang-utan!!”
“So I caw, with full theatrics, to keep the humans away you know… Lest they hear my secret song and end up gibbering jelly apes.”

“I see…” said the crane, and wandered off back towards the cat.

CAWWW, CAWWWW, CAWWWW.

The cat, who had not heard the song but had obviously noticed the crow was still cawing, opened her mouth to ask the crane just exactly which part of hushing him up hadn’t been understood when she saw something that made her change her mind…
“What’s wrong with your face?!” she asked the crane, “It’s all funny looking and your eyes are weird.”

The crane looked at her with the most curious blank face and quietly told her about the crow and his song…
“… And then I found myself on the floor, but I’d been dreaming you see cat, I dreamt I was eating red berries from a beautiful tree and the berries put me to sleep and gave me the most wonderful dreams!”

The cat looked at the crane, moving her face in towards him.
“That sounds like the berries from old Goyanakazu’s tree… Remember, remember I told you!!” whispered the cat.
“… Hang on… is that THE Caranaux making all that racket?!” she cried, “I should have eaten him after all!!”

The crane now looked puzzled.
“But I planted that tree cat…” he said, “I mean, I planted the seed on the island. Hillundra gave it to me just before she… Just before… Well you know… Before.”

The cat looked at the crane.
“I’m lost.” she said, “You mean you planted Hillundra’s seed, which grew into a tree, which bore fruit on Goyanakazu’s island, which Cauranux ate and dreamt the great dreams – But now he is here cawing because he can sing a song which makes the listener dream the great dream without the fruit and humans go googly for it?!”

“Yes… No… I mean… I don’t know…” said the crane, “I mean I planted the tree, the seed, so it’s my fault Caranaux can sing because he ate the fruit? But Hillundra told me to plant the seed there because she said ‘The fruit of its fruit will one day set me free’…”
The crane sighed.
“… I don’t understand this at all!” he said.

“Well,” said the cat, “Do you feel free?”

The crane looked about, he looked up, he looked down and he looked behind…
“I am free.” he said, not feeling like he really understood how he wouldn’t have been free in any case before.

“Well I guess that is that then!” said the cat.
“Now help me solve this puzzle please, it’s making my ears hurt trying to figure it.”

“Ok, ok…” said Tsuru. “What was the question again?”

“Two hands clap and there is a sound; what is the sound of one hand?” Said the cat.

The Cage

The cage wasn’t quite flat on the ground… It wasn’t quite straight either.
This meant that Tsuru had to always lean or lay on the bars rather than the bottom, and if he ever fell asleep he would wake when part of him, caught by gravity, fell out through the bars, startling him.

It had been four days now since he had been caught by the trappers, and though he was in a darkened cave he knew time had passed because the trappers slept and ate but the crane didn’t eat.
Tsuru had been drinking by the side of a river when it happened, too quickly for him to understand it, they were upon him, and he was in a net.
He cried out, and struggled, but the men were deaf to him, and cared not for anything he had to say. To them he was a prize and a prize to them means two things – Either money or food, or sometimes both.

During the four days he had watched the trappers leave and return with other creatures, each time Tsuru tried to speak to them but they were simple creatures and didn’t understand his tongue. The men didn’t understand him either, because their spirits were dead and Tsuru felt pity for them because of this.
On the night of the fourth day the men started to move the creatures out of the cave. Tsuru heard them talking amongst themselves about a boat and arguing about coins. A large man came over and picked up the cage the crane was in, Tsuru fell into a corner and stayed there. He felt afraid but he knew that calling out would do nothing for him, so he kept quiet. The other animals simply panicked as they were picked up, screeching or tumbling around trying desperately to escape. Some of the men ignored them as they picked up the cages, some laughed at their faces and one man shook a creature within its cage until it lay still again.
The cages were loaded onto a boat which, as far as Tsuru could make out, sailed for one week, during which the remains of the food the men ate was given to the creatures – Although it was barely enough for a mouthful and each animal had to try and pick out what little it could digest.
During this time Tsuru could hear the other creatures crying and though he tried to comfort them it did no good. Tsuru found this very saddening, and he wondered about the world of these creatures and how alone they must feel.
The boat eventually stopped and men came to the hull. A sheet was thrown over the crane’s cage and he was carried out.

———–

He had been flying for what felt like hours, though what an hour was didn’t even actually feature in his understanding of it all – In fact nothing really featured in his understanding of anything, only that he was flying, had been flying and would continue to fly until he reached her, his ivory mistress…
… Not that he knew what ivory was for that matter, or mistress come to that; either way though he was flying and must continue…

‘Wait… What’s that, I like that… I WANT that!’

He changed course and flew towards the house, not that he knew it was a house; he just saw it… And wanted it… REALLY wanted it.

‘I really want it!’ he thought, ‘I really want to…’

Suddenly he felt a rush of air and then it was gone, everything was gone in fact… Not that he noticed, this was the end and it came as much of a surprise to him as anything.

The owl snapped his beak and gave a little shiver:
‘Hurrblurgh!!’ he thought, ‘Why I continue to eat them is beyond me.’

It had been a quiet night… The moon was out in full, which meant hunting was easy, but it also meant the better creatures to eat were more cautious, leaving only the moths bumbling around with no real idea at all.
As he flew, he passed over the edge of the city. It was there… With his keen eyes… He saw something that made his blood run cold.

‘Trappers…” he thought to himself, “those poor creatu…’

The owl’s thoughts stopped, suddenly he had seen something even more terrible… Below him, beside the docks he saw a cage and inside the cage…
“Tsuru!” cried out the owl.

The crane looked up, “Hormuncu!” he shouted, “Hormuncu!”

The owl landed atop the cage,
“Oh Tsuru, oh no… No… I’ve been looking for you for days. We had given up hope… Cat is beside herself!”

“I got caught on the eastern island while looking for the coin.” said Tsuru.

“We’ve got to get you out… Quick open the cage as a boy!” said the owl.

“I can’t…” said the crane, “The men are too close… If they see me I’m done for.”
“You’ve got to distract them for me owl.”

“I don’t know what to do!?” cried the owl, “How can I get rid of all these humans… They will surely catch me too!”

The crane looked at the owl and looked at all the animals in the cages…
“Caranaux!!!” said Tsuru, “Quickly fly to cat and find Caranaux… Tell her I understand why I planted the seed now.”

“But I don’t…”

“Just fly!” called out Tsuru, “They are coming back!”

Hormuncu launched into the air and flew; he flew faster and with more fever than he had ever flown before. Owls can be large creatures, but Hormuncu was an ancient breed of owl – He was a Tullinum, the greatest of all owls, and as he flew he thanked his birth and his stars that his wings were strong.

———–

The cat was lying on some rocks, unable to sleep, when she heard the sound. She hadn’t really slept or eaten for over a week now; Tsuru was missing and Bastet was dying from the loss in her heart. What little sleep she had came of its own accord, and what little food she had was placed there in her mouth by creatures as she slept, unable to bear to see her so distraught.

The sound was like a cry she had never heard before and all at once her hair stood up and her heart sank.
“BASTET… BAASSTEETT!!” cried out the owl as he landed beside her. “It’s Tsuru… I found him… I found him… THE TRAPPERS HAVE HIM!” he said frantically.

Bastet let out a howl, her eyes burst into tears and she fell to the ground sobbing… Hormuncu caught her with his wing and pulled her close into him.

“We’ve got to help him…” said the owl, “But I don’t know how, there are so many men and they are carrying sticks.”

Bastet just cried into the owl’s chest.

“He told me to find you and Caranaux…” said the owl, “He told me to tell you that he understands why he planted the seed!?”
The owl was starting to become upset; he didn’t understand what Tsuru had meant.

The cat looked up at Hormuncu.
“The seed…” she echoed, “The crow… Get the crow!”

Hormuncu lifted his head and let out a great call, if anything in the vicinity was asleep it surely was awake now!
“CARANAUX!” he called out.

The crow popped his head out from the top of a nearby tree.
“Mercy! Mercy!” he called out, still half asleep. He looked around tilting his head and blinking when he spied the owl and the cat.
“What are you doing!” cried the crow in horror, “Don’t eat her!”

“Wha… I’m not going to… Just get down here!” called the owl.

Caranaux flew down to them, the owl told him about Tsuru and the trappers – The crow started to cry a little but the cat stopped him, grabbing him she said:
“You have to go Caranaux, you have to go and set him free!”

“But what can I do?” Cried the crow, “How can I…”

“You can stop the men crow; you can put them to sleep!” she said.

Caranaux turned to the owl.
“Take me to Tsuru.” he said.

The ancient Tullinum owl picked the crow up carefully with his feet and took to the air again.

———–

Tsuru sat in the back of his cage, the trappers had returned and were beginning to move the other animals onto large carts.
All of a sudden he heard a sound, at first he thought he imagined it but then he heard it again, this time stronger like it was travelling towards him…
… The men too heard something because they all looked up towards the sky, and there in silhouette against the moon was the great figure of Hormuncu!
Tsuru understood the sound he had heard and covered his ears. The other creatures started crying out, terrified by the sound and sight of the owl. The men started darting around; rattling the creature’s cages, angry at their noises… Then… Suddenly… One by one… They started falling to the ground…
Tsuru looked up and saw what looked like a black falling star coming towards them!
Caranaux fell towards the earth; his wings folded back like the owl had said to do… As he fell he sang out as loudly as he could his secret song and as each human heard it they fell to the ground, knocked out and dreaming the greatest of dreams.

“WAHH AHH AHHHHH URRGH” cried out the crow as he tried to slow down, and landed with a bump.

“Oh crow… You did it… You did it!” said Tsuru.

The crow looked around and chuckled.
“I did rather didn’t I!” he said. “Come on, let’s get you out… Cat is beside herself you know!”

With all the humans asleep Tsuru took the form of a boy and opened his cage. Caranaux hopped about on the other cages trying to open the locks – The creatures inside were frantic, half scared, half sensing help was at hand.
Eventually all the cages were open, and the animals had run off into the night.

Tsuru waved to the owl and called out his thanks; he and the crow then took flight – Returning home to cat.

———–

Hormuncu sat in a tree and watched them leave the city. As he watched, a tear rolled down the feathers on his face and fell to the ground; he breathed a great sigh and took flight. Seeing all those animals in cages had made him think, they were so dumb he thought, and so afraid… Even when he tried to talk to them it made no difference. He felt sorrow for them, not because they were simple creatures and could not speak, but because they had fallen foul to greater creatures who could speak… He felt sorrow for how little their tiny lives meant to the trappers.

As he flew Hormuncu thought of the moth he had eaten earlier, a creature of very little he thought – A thing that does not even know it is a thing.

Hormuncu said a prayer for the moth, thanked him for his life and blessed him on his way back to the stars…
… If he is going to eat these creatures, the least he can do is show them respect he thought.

Hillundria intro

At the end of each day, as the mighty sun sets and the final shards of light withdraw themselves from the world, the shadows set in… And with the shadows come the things that dwell within. With the coming of night all manner of creatures, sprites and apparitions emerge from caves or gaps between the earth; they come and they enter into the sleeping world of the daylight dwellers.

This wasn’t always so, there was a time when the dark stayed in the dark, when creatures of day and night never crossed paths save for an adventurer on each side who was foolhardy enough to find a route into the home of an other. There was a time when the goblins, the djin, the lycanthrope and the vampire existed as happily as they might, amongst their kind and under their Queen.

This time no longer exists because the great Queen Hillundria is dead and with her death all that served her have turned to wandering and are left wanting, so they enter into the woods and the sea and creep through the villages at night searching for something they can never find again, searching for the dreams their Queen gave them.

This is the tale of Hillundria; the birth of the great tree and the beginning of the end of the world…

There is a tale that is told by the mountains

If you stand in the right place… At the right time… And press your ear against the rock you might catch a sound within its walls that tells the tale of time on time.

~ It tells of a town that was filled with light.
And of a peoples wandering through the night.

Of a crane by a lake with ocean eyes, and a cat from the city who secretly cries.
It tells of turtles and of swans, and sweetly sung children’s songs ~

It tells of one fine night when the moon was fat, a cat out wandering came across a crane, and there, under luna light, she caught a glimpse of a boy within the crane; stood well beside the black water.
And, as she spied him he also saw her, as simple as the stars… A girl who wears the mask of a cat.

The mountains tell that they spoke each other’s names, and that they took out their hearts, which they ate, so that they might never be apart.

And, with this done they changed themselves into a boy and a girl, standing, staring at each other under the moon.

It tells of the way the stars twinkled as they kissed and sent nine of themselves falling, singing:
“He has found our sister… Our dear Bastet… And brought to her, calm seas to reside within.”

It tells of how they took each other’s hand and set about walking around the lake the way a clock moves, and as they walked the girl spoke:
“You know majick, don’t you dear boy like the moon.”
She pulled on his hand.
“Show me some tonight, majicks as we are here in majicks.”

He looked to her and smiled a kind smile then began to hum…

“Ahh, you are wicked to me!’ she joked, but kissed his cheek all the same.

And in the trees an owl hooted with laughter that she didn’t notice they were walking on air.

That winter the boy and the girl returned to the city and started a children’s school for singing,
where it taught every child born forevermore how to sing to the stars and to the sun and to the moon…
~ for the love of life ~