Shirua’s Teachings

Also called The Parable of the Riverside Crag.

This book can be found in the Drehua Temple in the [[2.2 Demo]].

It was well into my tenure as the head Teacher of Drehua when a year came that was uniquely hot and dry. Few children of the Ruxihuadel flowed at all, and even the mighty Erwu was nothing more than a lazy stream. It is said that when times are at their hardest, everyone seeks a grey head. And so it was that I found myself faced with a contingent of area farmers seeking advice for how they could save the season's harvest. My preliminary suggestions included diverting more water from the Erwu and trading with the Kahlans, but of course these had already been tried and were insufficient. Unsure and deeply troubled, I nonetheless assured the farmers that I would think of a solution.

That day, I traveled as fast as my old legs could carry me to all the rune-carvers in Palisahd and asked their advice. While some had heard of a rune that could create water that was used long ago in the age of Aspects and empires, it had been lost to time.

Suddenly possessed by an energy unfitting for a dignified old Drehmari nun, I knew what I had to do. Retrieving my walking stick and canteen and telling my husband where I was going, I set off along a recent slithermark.

Though my back and knees started to ache, I continued on my adventure all day. It was in the early evening, as the Torahn bathed the world in spectacular fiery hues, when I came to where the Great Serpent was growing a stand of mighty oaks on a hillside. Placing my walking stick at my side, I knelt and bowed my head, before shouting as loudly as I could in my reedy, failing voice. "O Drehmal, Realmbinder, Shaper-Serpent, Liege of All, Final Aspect and Last Divine. My great friend and mentor. I humbly require your assistance."

The Serpent's horns stopped glowing, and They gently and fluidly curled their body around the hillside to face me. Their enormous green eyes looked as kind as usual.

"Ah, Shirua. You are always welcome company. Thank you for guiding your people well. They make our realm a better place."

Despite myself, I could not help but smile widely when They complimented me. "You are too kind. We are fortunate to have a creator who cares about us. If I am honest, I do not come under the best of circumstances. The rivers have nearly run dry, and the heat is unbearable for our poor crops. I am looking for a rune that was used in the days long past to create drinkable water. Could you teach it to me?"

The Serpent closed Their eyes for a moment in thought, and then spoke: "I see. You are right to seek your own solution to this problem." Suddenly beginning to move, They rested Their great head on the meadow grasses. I shuddered at Their colossal size. Then They spoke once more: "Climb onto my head. I believe I know where to find the knowledge you seek."

Laboriously, I began to climb Their huge scales with the help of the tip of Their tail, and found a comfortable place to sit. Then, they began to slither. A great volume of air moved through my long grey and white hair, as I saw the lands move past me like a blur.

Finally, we arrived at what appeared to be an ancient fort of mountainous proportions, sitting in a grey wasteland which stretched to the horizon. The Serpent's horns glowed once more, and a stone as large as our town and the temple combined came to rest near me. On it were carved many runes alongside descriptions of their functions written in ancient Rihselch. After squinting for a few moments, I identified a few runes that seemed helpful for our community, and laboriously copied them onto my calligraphy scroll.

As I worked, the Serpent spoke:

"Shirua, I have told you many things throughout the years, but this is among my closest-held beliefs. Individual Drehmari may be transient, but that does not mean that your work and your paths are unimportant. By using your memories and awareness, you can accumulate great knowledge throughout your lifetimes. By passing that knowledge onto your children directly, you can make their lives easier and allow for more time to be spent on creation rather than survival. But memory is short, and even the most important practices are lost to time. Therefore, you must teach your people to write. By recording the successes and mistakes, the achievements and the tragedies, future Drehmari can begin their paths from a strong foundation instead of a few bricks, even if those bricks are strong and solid."

Finally looking up from my work, I nodded enthusiastically. "It will most certainly be done. Thank you for everything. I have lived a truly blessed life."

Drehmal seemed to smile, revealing Their long sharp teeth and forked tongue. Then, They took me back to the outskirts of our town. My husband could not believe his eyes when he saw me dismount the towering form of my god and friend.

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