Reflections in the Mind's Eye 
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The Books of the Unicorn

Before there was Light there was Darkness
And before there was Hope there was Despair
And before there was Order, there was Chaos
And what was Once, shall be Again.

The Book of Light
The Book of Hope
The Book of Order

The Book of the Unicorn, said to have been written by Dworkin from the Unicorn's own words, is actually three books written at the very beginning of Amber's history. The originals re rumored to be lost, though the Church will not say one way or another.

The Book of Light was the first, and of the three is the most coherent. It tells the story of the Universes' beginning, though hides the true nature of the Universe itself, and was wriiten within days of the Pattern's creation.

The Books of Hope and Order, for the most part, are filled with notations and broken bits of observations, many of which make no sense. Some say that they are filled with prophesies, but if so, they are so garbled that they could come to pass and still no one would know. The Book of Hope was written in the first years after Amber's creation, and the Book of Order was written during the early years of Oberon's reign.

The Book of Light

The tale has been told, and lost and told again. And before it ends, it will end. And be lost before it is told one last time.

Long before All Things- before Time, before the Stars, before Love and Hate, the Avatars of the Beginning strode forth from their long slumber. Darkness and Light, Serpent and Unicorn, Chaos and Order.

For untold time they walked opposed, Darkness giving way to Light, and Light giving way to Darkness in a cycle that pervades all things. But the Serpent in His Dark and formless Chaos found that He wished more. Why indeed should He give way to the Light, let the Unicorn shine Her bright and blinding Light upon His treasured Darkness?

And so for many, many Turnings He pondered this, until He came to His decision. And He called to the Unicorn across the gulf of Light and Darkness, and begged Her, voice heavy with Despair, to come to Him, to stay just a moment at that point in the great Cycle where He gave up His hold over Reality to Her. For He wished to speak with Her on a matter of great Urgency and Import, He said.

The Unicorn heard the Urgent cry of Her brother, and came as He asked, fearing some Calamity had befallen the the great Cycle.

And when She came to Him, the Serpent ensnared Her in Darkness and Despair, locking Her away where Her Light would never Shine upon His Eyes again.

But the Serpent in his Greed thought not of the Consequences his action might have to the Balance of All Things. And so ever so slowly, so slowly that the Serpent in his Chaotic Realm did not see, the Balance collapsed, sending the Great Cycle of All Things spinning wildly out of control.

And so the Serpent continued on in his Oblivion, for He saw no more than the Chaos He had always known. For aeons He lived alone with his Discord and Change. But eventually He came to realize power over the force of Primal Chaos was not enough to occupy his time. And so He created his Children. He cast off his Dark Skin, and as the Scales dropped from His Ebon form, He breathed Life upon them as they fell into the Void

So the Void of Chaos was filled but the Serpent's Children, being Creatures of Discord and Despair, fell to fighting, and so began the first of the Great Wars, the War of Creation.

And for Millenia did this Great War last, until the Changers of Form won out over their brethren. But the Peace of Chaos is a thing of no lasting resolve, and soon the Second Great War of Discord followed.

And through all of this, the Unicorn remained in Her prision. But Light, though it can diminished, cannot be extinguished completely. And from Her prision the Unicorn reached out into the formless Void of the Serpent's Realm.

And alone in the Chaos was a sad and lonely genius, whose ideas were far ahead of his time. The Unicorn's call touched his heart, and she sent him dreams of Order, inscribing within his Mind's eye the image of a figure.

It is said by some that these dreams started the Genius down his long road into madness, and by others that it started him down a long road to enlightment. Or perhaps those roads were one and the same. But he went, following the Call, and freed the Unicorn from Her prision.

And the Unicorn saw the damage wrought by the Serpent's Greed, and Her Heart filled with Despair. In her Despair, and Her Anger at what the Serpent had done, She embarked upon a Desperate plan to Balance the Cycle. She stole the Serpent's Eye, and all its Power. And giving the Eye to the Genius, She begged him to help Her restart the Cycle.

The Genius, driven by the sigil inscribed in his mind, took the Eye into the Chaos, and there Drew the Pattern into the formless Void, forcing Chaos into Order.

And from this Pattern was cast out a place of Harmony and Symmetry, a counterpoint to the Anarchy and Discord of the Darkness. And the Cycle was Balanced, and once again, Light had a place from which to Shine.

And with the Creation of the place of Order and Light the Cycle began anew, and a new Age came to pass, an Age of Hope for the Light, and an Age of Despair for the Darkness. For Chaos, in and of itself, was as natural a force as Order. But Chaos fueled by the power of Madness becomes the Darkest of Darkness. And so Chaos fell into a Dark Despair so deep that none yet know what will come of it.

Except for one.

I see all things - as they are, as they will be, as they have been, as they might never come to pass. I see Darkness and Light reflected in the mind and heart, though shattered into madness they be. I see the end, and the beginning, and all that shall pass between and beyond them. I see eternity in the moment that passes now.

And my heart cries out for what has been wrought in a moment's thoughtlessness, for all who shall pass with no meaning in their soul, for the redemption that may never come in the end of fire.

For in fire it shall end, as it always does - for that is the only way Light shall again be returned to the Darkness.

The Book of Hope

It is what could be, what will be. What is past, and what is yet to come - what might never be.

The age of Hope winds to an end in a moment of eternity. An end none will ever see.

It is said that once, long ago, there was a man of great intellect, who followed a call that stole his very heart. It is also said that this man held in his mind's eye the secrets to all things - that he knew more in a single moment than all the wisest men from all the shadows would ever know throughout all time.

And it is told that he lost all that he saw in the following moment, and was driven mad by his loss.

Perhaps they were right.

Dust and shadows, fools and prophets, dancing on the sun. Who will mark their passing, one by lonely one?

But madness is a matter of perspective. And perspective depends on position. Things seen from one end of reality loook very different when seen from the opposite pole. Perhaps this man is not mad at all, but is unique in his position of having seen all things from both perspectives.

Or perhaps that is what drove him mad.

So let us no longer speak of madness, but of things brighter. Yet without darkness to compare against, nothing seems bright. So perhaps to have hope, one must be mad.

With the counterpoint of Order established, and the Cycle again spun as it should be, hope was wrought out of madness, and Light once again shone in the Darkness. Things were again as they once had been, and life continued.

And the Unicorn gave birth to her son in a grove of oaks on the slope of a mountain. And below, on the slopes of the Mount named Kolvir, lay nothing.

And above, in the twilight sky graced by silver moonlight, rose a place of dreams. And the Genius, who had followed the Unicorn to this place, for there was nothing left for him elsewhere, saw there a city amongst the clouds and stars. Perhaps he had dreamed of it long ago, and it had been cast in the eternity of moonlight as the universe reformed from the Pattern in his mind.

But there it was, and as he ascended the stairs to its starlit streets, he looked down and saw it reflected in the waves of the ocean below.

And so he returned to the earth, and began to build. But the streets were empty and quiet, and he wanted more than a kingdom of loneliness for the Unicorn's child. So he cast out into the shadows, and drew to his new city wanderers, dreamers, farmers, artisans from all walks of life. And he gave to them the city, and in turn gave the city to the Unicorn's son.

And so was born Amber, a realm created of a moment's dream, frozen in the eternity of moonlight and water.

Watch the flame as the candle dies. Watch it dance, reflected in His Eyes. Watch the shadows cast as the flame light falls. Watch your step in the darkened halls.

And time went on, moving as it will, with no regard for the thoughts of those it sweeps along. And the Genius stayed to raise the Unicorn's child, and stayed to chronicle the Universe's rebirth. He scribed Her words upon these pages, recording the Light as She spoke to him in waking dreams.

Light cannot exist without Darkness was Her first lesson, just as Darkness must give way to light. Indeed there are times one must walk deep into Darkness to be able to see the Light. Forget not that the Cycle is of both Light and Darkness. We have already seen what may happen if one tries to exist without the other.

Life is sacred, She told me next. It is a brief and fragile thing that must be held close and nurtured. Without life, there is no Light.

She cast her Light across the Shadows, illuminating their Life as the mirror reflects the Candle's Flame. "We have cast forth Life from your mind and my heart," she told me in quiet words. "It is ours as much as the child I bore. We are its guardians, as are those who will follow us."

And these I knew, in my heart to be true. But She took me and showed me more.

She showed me the Dreams cast by the Air.

She bathed me in the Life of the Water.

She spake to me the Truth of the Earth.

And last we stood in Judgement at the Fire, the Sigil from my mind burning its path along the ground. I could feel it, hear it, nestled in the back of my mind. "What we have wrought," She said as She gazed out over Her dream and my reality, "is something not even the Great Ones could have imagined. So great only Light's Blood may destroy it. And with its end would the Balance fall again."

"And it is upon us," She continued, eyes bright with the souls of stars, "to keep the Cycle at Balance, no matter what the cost..."

And so She charged me Guardian of Order and bade me protect the lineage of Light.

"But," I asked, "why me, when Your Light will shine upon the Shadows, and illuminate Order?"

And she cast her gaze upon me, and my heart broke at what I saw there. "For I must leave you, Genius, and my son to your arms. For sometimes one must cast deep into the Darkness to find the Light, as I must cast myself away to save what I have wrought."

For heavy weighed our creation upon Her soul, and dangerous was the wrath of Her brother for what She had taken from Him.

And so She faded with the Cycle's turn, no longer seen, but the heart-rending cry of Her anguish echoed for some time.

Moved by Her words and Her Sacrifice, I cried them into the light of day, as the Cycle turned, and those I had brought to fill my great city heard my declaration upon the winds of change.

And so it came to pass that others saw Her Light, and begged to Follow it to Redemption. And so I gave them the souls of stars to drink, and bade them ascend the Stairs to the City of Dreams on the final night of the moon and walk Redemption down the dark of dreams to the Tears and there await the Light's call.

What is the chance one should walk behind the city of moonlight? Will paths and roads lead to the Light or to the Darkness? Or perhaps, they will fall off into nothingness and all things will pass beyond where none can touch or see what comes before or what follows, only watch what they are blinded to. And when the Angels of the Silences cry out in the Dark, their voice will herald the coming of the Light.

Go down the stairs to the end of time and towers where the sun rides above the shadows of death and destruction. It is there the stars dwell in the mountains lost in twilight. Listen there for the sound of silence. It is the sound of sorrow and joy as one, the sound of hope and despair. The Heart has cast the tears of damnation. What battles comes on wings of morning? A battle with shadows and dust.

And when the martyrs fall tumbling down the hills of the thousand souls the messenger's epsitle will call forth. Yet ill omens of the night run rampant in the eyes who watch with hatred brewing in the soul of the mountains and the womb of the earth.

Life is but brief and fragile. It dies with the Light.

The seeds of anarchy thrive in the mists of oblivion. Watch, watch! Watch always for the Serpent's bride!

Walk down the dark of dreams to the tears of desolation and look into the walls of light's heart falling into the tears of pride to seek a soul's redemption. Sun shines Darkness in the place where no shadows fall, Moon reflects madness in the echo of the raven's call.

The Book of Order

Order does not necessarily breed habit, as Chaos does not always breed anarchy.

Beyond the Great Wars, and the political bickerings of a semi-organized people, Chaos was not the great Evil we tell our children of, either to promote good behavior or patriotism. It was only in the aoens after the Serpent lost His Eye that the dark edge became so prominent.

And it came to pass that such Anarchy bled into Order, and tears of blood were shed. And so the Son of Light, the fire of vengance casting forth from his eyes stode forth into the Shadows and walked the path of Darkness to the point of Balance. And there he stood at center of the Great Cycle and his sorrow bled into the Darkness and the Light.

And great grew the Seeds of Anguish, which is the line between Hope and Despair.

And great grew the Seeds of Rage in the son of Light's heart, rage at the Darkness and at the Light. And soon did the rage take from him the joy of the Light, casting it into darkened Shadows. And thus did his shadowed Soul pass to his children, and thus did his Pattern of Wrath they follow.

And thus the Guardians of Life fell to damnation.

And thus I did fail my Beloved Light.

And thus did the Cycle die.

All are but reflections in the serpent's eye.

Fall, fall down the tears of blood in which redemption lies the steel born in flames of hope and despair. Walk wise the ways through darkness to the tears of shame lest fall the tears of vanity, wrought by the death of treasured misconceptions. Cry the tears of mercy for the end comes like a sudden rain, to wash clean the sword of redemption in the blood of hope's last guardians.

Yet the one who walks in Darkness shall guide the Hand of Light to open the final door, where Watcher becomes Warder as Light grows weak and Time runs to its end when the cycle falls to darkness and despair, where the Champion betrays the Martyr, and ill omens of the night run rampant in the eyes who watch.

There is but fire... then Darkness again...