Of the Coming of Day to the City of Light

It came to pass, as it so often has in eons of old, and likely shall in eons to come, that the kingdom of Silence was suddenly and cruelly shaken by that strange and undoubting herald who abides ever near the dwellings of Man, and whom Man has named the rooster. And when the rooster crowed, whom Petlondail knew well and praised, for he, too, was servant to the Sun, then the Sun raised in triumph his banner over the horizon, and overthrew the bastions of Darkness, whose master was the Night. And the Night perceived the downfall of the empire it had wrenched away from the Sun, and shivered to its core in dread when the song-birds raised their cries to the lightening sky, praising the coming of the Sun.

Then the Night made ready to ride forth and make war upon the Sun and his servants, and it was terrible to behold; for its face was twisted in fury, and its raven hair flew wildly behind it, but its eyes were pits of malice which could shed no light upon the world and froze the blood of all who looked upon them. And it was armoured in the nightly frosts, and wreathed itself in the ghostly mists of the meadows and valleys to serve as its billowing cloak. Then the Night rode out upon a great black steed, which stood seventy hands tall; and its captains, whose names were Silence and Darkness, rode also out at their master's side, and summoned to themselves all their servants, who were the shadows and the quiet, and the stillness and the calm, which Silence had perversed and bound to service under its lord, the Night.

Then upon the plains, and up to the white walls of Petlondail, the armies of the Night clashed with the Sun and his servants; and Darkness sent his shadows to stretch themselves over the fields, and drown out the light which crept towards them. And for a little while the shadows of Darkness held back the light; but the Sun shone brightly upon the earth, and dispersed them, so that they hid from its glory behind the trees and the grass, and behind hills and homes and boulders, and cowered there in fear. Then the Night unclasped its billowing cloak of mists, and sent it down to cover the earth, that the Sun's light may never reach it. And the mists crawled silently over the plains before Petlondail to do their master's bidding, leaving in their wake unnumbered dewdrops upon the grasses, and they did it well; for the Sun could not pierce their murky depths, nor shine his light upon the earth.

But from the East, at the bidding of the Sun, came suddenly the Eastern Wind, who was captain under its lord, and who oft served as a messenger, and brought tidings to Petlondail of the coming of the Sun. Then the Wind fell upon the mists of the Night, and drove them away, and brought at last the light of the Sun to the earth. It was then that the dewdrops of the mists decried their master, the Night, and shone brightly in the light of the Sun; and the shadows, who had hidden behind the grass-stalks and the stones, fled in terror from this new and treacherous foe.

But the Night did not relent, though its armies faltered. And it sent the retreating mists towards the wooded form of Rosack, who draws the forests up about himself, that he may be warm; for in the woods upon the flanks of Rosack sang the song-birds, whom the Night had silenced when it had wrenched the kingdom of the Sun away. Then with the mists of the Night came also its great captain, whose name was Silence; and it fell upon the wooded hills, and there did its cruel work. And the mists found solace from the brightness of the Sun among the trees, but the song-birds were distraught, and fled in terror from the captain of the Night, or succumbed, and cried aloud no more; for they feared the coming of the owls, who now awoke once more to wreak their havoc upon the servants of the Sun at the bidding of Silence.

Still the battle on the plains before the walls of Petlondail raged, and shadow and light flowed and flickered in the early hours; and it seemed for a moment that the Night would turn back the Sun, and refuse him his rightful lands. But lo! the white spires and tall pillars of Petlondail stretched up towards the sky, and were bathed in the light of the Sun; and this light they took, and sent towards the forces of the Night, so that it was assailed furiously from two sides. Then the armies of the Night plunged into chaos; for the light reflecting from the spires of Petlondail was cruel to them, and stung them like fire. And the shadows of Darkness, greatest of Night's captains, fled away from the plains in panic; and Darkness itself was struck down by a stray glimmer, and fell wounded to the earth, to crawl stricken and pained into some ditch and lie there in wait. Then the Sun turned his attention to the North, and there dispersed the mists in the woods with the aid of his captain-messenger. And the owls returned to their roosts, and the song-birds returned to their trees, and sang songs of praise for the Eastern Wind; but Silence fled from their raucous cries, and hid somewhere among the caves of rocky Tartagis.

And seeing this, Petlondail held aloft His bright sword, and cried out His battle-cry, which was the ringing of the bells in His tallest towers; and He strode forth from His white battlements unto the plains to challenge the Night. Then the Night turned its dark steed against its new foe, and charged towards Him, drawing a long black blade; and Petlondail advanced to meet His enemy, and the enemy of His master. They dueled there upon the plains a hundred times; and each time the Night charged, wielding its dark sword, and each time stony Petlondail repelled the blow. But He could never wound the Night, for it was ever too quick for Him; and the Night many times came close to marking Him with its dreadful blade. But as the sky grew brighter, so too did the power of Night lessen; and soon it fled West from the plains of Petlondail, cursing its enemies venomously as it flew across the Sea.

And the Sea lapped softly at the bows of anchored ships, and said naught.

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