Beyond the Ice-capped peaks of the north, on top of a tiny glacier that drifts like many others, but magically glows in the dark, a woman with no name carves shapes into the ice walls of her frozen castle.
The shapes, so detailed and terrible, are her friends and she smiles at them and gives them names and tells them stories, and then… the shapes take motion and begin to travel across the walls of the glacier, hatefully hunting the ghosts of times past, and breeding new creatures that will outlive any of us.
This is how frosted flakes first came to be, and they’re gr-r-r-r-r-reat!
It is I, your Headmaster,
Collector of Beetle Souls
Informant of the Bouncy Ball Brigade
Author of “Tennis: A Beginner’s Guide to Staring into the Terrible Dark Light”
And I bring to you a very special edition of…
The Montavera Chronicle
- We have a treat for you today, Seekers. In preparation for your Shrine Novice Entry Exams, also known as SNEE… Also, also known as DEAR GOD NOT THAT!!! I will be conducting seminar, reviewing the Shrine Clans of Montavera - Yes, even the silly new Wind Clan which is sure to fail.
I’m doing this in hopes that you, Seekers, may feel more confident when preparing to face the Guru of Yonder, and don’t begin to screen and peel the skin off your face at the sight of his glorious vision. (A girl did that last week)
In past years, seekers have felt that the Historical portion of the exam was a bit difficult, overly buttery, and impressively mystic, but mostly imaginary.
To help with that, I’ve curated the review material myself, basing it on past exams, so you can be sure to that it will be completely useless.
- But first, a message from our sponsor, the Shrouded Merchant of Yonder:
Quiet your mind and tune into the voice gnawing at your brain. Come to my Fundraiser, Children. Come see what I have brought from across the world. Come taste the cultures of people you shall never know and allow their peculiar curiosities to plant ideas into your mind that will soon be erased by the sound of my voice. Come, Children. I await you.
- The 1st Shrine I’ll review is the Earth Shrine. The founder was Tefuguru, and he built the Earth Shrine after digging a hole in the ground and finding that rather than being tired, he was more filled with energy than ever before. He soon dug more such holes but did not have the same result. He decided to dedicate himself to the study of harnessing energy from holes, and eventually tapped into a bit of wisdom. It was his relationship with the earth, itself, his love for the way it felt as it clung to his hands. His love for its fragrance. It was when he handled earth in that way that the magic began to happen. He soon built a school around this philosophy. It should be noted that the Earth Shrine was the first Shrine dedicated to the harnessing of Aura.
- Seekers! I am being told by the communications representative from the Montavera Clinic for Strangers with Unknown Origins Who Won’t Wake Up (or MCSWUOWWWU) for short, that Lenka has woken up! Everyone at the clinic is running around with excitement, stabbing each other with pencils, and throwing patients out through the windows. They’re just all so happy and who can blame them? We’ve all been waiting for this!
- Health Tip: Last night, as you slept, shadow slivers hungrily watched over your body, while golden angels proudly watched over your soul. Unless, of course, you are one of The Others who have no soul. If you are one of them, then it was something else who watched over the void that animates you.
Not sure what you are? There’s a simple test for that. Splash water on your face and look in the mirror. If the other you in the mirror offers you a towel, you are one of the others. If the other you in the mirror refuses to offer you a towel, then you have a soul… but your face will remain wet… because you have no towel.
- The Water Shrine was created soon after Tefuguru’s Earth Shrine, as one of his star pupils decided to leave the earth shrine, mainly due to an age gap between himself and the others. He was far younger than the others and always felt out of place, so he ventured down south, to the other end of Yonder, until he was face-to-face with the open Sea. There, with his feet in the waves, he felt a sudden calmness overtake him, and he began to cry, and all his pain washed away into the ocean, leaving him void. Then, a great wave knocked him down and when he got back up he felt a surge of energy, unlike what he’d felt with the earth. Not greater, or lesser, just different. More… fluid. It didn’t take long before he - Aliaguru - went on to build the First Water Shrine.
- An update on the Lenka Situation: It seems that after all the excitement, people around Lenka have begun to mope around and pout. They’ve begun to draw images of dark spirals with the words “it comes” all around the spirals outer edges, and they’re drawing this on any surface they can find. They’ve begun to make phone calls to complete strangers using their Nokia 8210s, which no one owns or knows what that is.
The doctors are the only ones not suffering from these symptoms because… well, it’s obvious… they’re doctors and are therefore immune to all form of illness and disease as was the agreement they made with the Father Spirit of the 9th Circle. They have determined what we all feared… I’m sure you already know what I’m going to say. I mean, I just told you the symptoms… Lenka has given everyone the Cooties.
- We don’t really know the origins of the Sun Shrine. It was just there, one bright and sunny day. Sun Shrine gurus have varying tales of the origin, but they all differ from one another, and when asked about a different origin story, they typically reply, “Oh yes, that sounds better. We’ll go with that.” The Sun Shrine gurus are the most tan and happy-go-lucky of the spectrum of gurus. Nothing ever seems to bug them.
- The Church of the Eversworn Beast will be changing its Sunday schedule. Instead of the 9am reading from the book of bones, they will be performing a millennium cry - it doesn’t explain what that is, but i’m sure it’ll be uplifting.
At noon, they’ll be replacing the community lunch with a community sleep. All will sleep on black mats made of raven feathers as the Ageless goat walks about, peering into your souls, touching the loneliest recesses of your spirit.
Finally, at 6, there will be no change. Everyone is welcome to join in for the weekly plucking of the traitor in the ceremonial circle.
- Jeriguru was the founder of the Starlight Shrine. He was once a very bad Montaveran, who even went to prison for violating the Montavera Code of Secrecy - you know - the one I can’t repeat on air - this once fearful individual was abducted by extraterrestrial visitors. Yes, yes, I know, what’s so weird about that, right? We’ve all been abducted at one point or another. It’s the Montavera way. But Jeriguru returned to us with Montavera’s first sample of visible aura. Before this, aura could be felt, but never seen. This changed the game, forcing other Shrines to find ways to keep up. Jeriguru went on to use this sparkling aura to teach how in space, this substance was used to heal wounds, and how we should totally use it here too. These days, not all, but many Montaverans forgo clinics altogether, and opt to visit the Starlight Shrines to be healed of their ailments.
- A reminder from the council of Montavera. Festival of Starlight is next week. Contrary to what the Opposition has been saying, there WILL a petting zoo. Come one and all and lie down as we pour buckets of live tarantulas, angry rats, and little brown scorpions over you bodies. Children are encouraged to try to stick the limbs into holes that manifest from thin air whispering “this is the planet.” If any of you plan to stay for the main event - the star gift of the blue beings - make sure to wear your old traditional brown wool sweaters, and if you see anyone wearing anything else at all, scream at their face until your throat hurt. It’s the Montaveran Way. If there are any changes with the schedule, we’ll make sure to task you with their destruction since nothing can get in the way of this - the Festival MUST go on. It’s the Montaveran way.
- If any of you follow the Chirps we posts on Chirper, then you surely knew about the Adidas shoes and the threatening letter inside… I’ll read it for those who didn’t catch the original chirp….. the guru vanished for three days after that, then, yesterday, was back in his chamber and has made no mention of any of it to anyone… he’s just been in there… writing in a black notebook. Even stranger is that the Council of Montavera never replied when we sent word to them of the event… they simply said, “Unicorns? We are not uuuuuuuunicorns. No. We are peeeeeeople. Not animals… we don’t animal. We not that.” They attached a selfie of themselves to this letter. They have the faces of white horses and glorious rainbow horns on their foreheads… but… you know what… when you look at them long enough… yeah… they’re right… theeeeey not animals. They people.
Finally, a message from Gagaguru, the baby guru who just got his first tooth. Hope and Fear are two sides of the same coin. That coin is a person’s reaction to being faced with the unknown. In this situation, you have no experience to guide you, and so you either expect the worst or expect the best, but either way, your expectation - your hope or your fear - is an imagination and not a reality. The only reality is that you are where and how you are, right now. But hope and fear are two examples of what is often referred to as “Living in the Future.” Too much of that - whether fear or hope - can be bad for the nerves.