Arcadia of my Youth

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an ancient weathered white-leather-bound paper tome
    The writing is in Cilaghai, and reads:
Arcadia of My Youth
    This is a thick volume of paper bound in white leather.  A title is gracefully lettered upon
the front cover.  It is closed.  It is closed.  You estimate that it is worth something upward of
three thousand five hundred gold.  
    It looks about a quarter of a dimin long, one and seventeen twentieths dimins wide, and two and
nine twentieths dimins tall.  It weighs about thirteen twentieths of a dekan.
    The commands 'open <item>', 'close <item>', and 'turn page [in <item>] [to <number>]' may be
used with it.  Keeping the ancient weathered white-leather-bound paper tome costs twelve keep
points.  The ancient weathered white-leather-bound paper tome was created by Marcosy, who wishes to
credit J.R.R. Tolkien as inspiring this work, and is maintained by Ler; the source code was last
updated Tue Jun 13 12:15:27 2017.  The material leather was created by Lost Souls; the source code
was last updated Tue Mar 15 02:18:23 2016.  The material paper was created by Lost Souls; the
source code was last updated Tue Mar 15 02:18:43 2016.
Spoiler warning: information below includes details, such as solutions to puzzles or quest procedures, that you may prefer to discover on your own.


   The writing is in Cilaghai, and reads:
       Arcadia of My Youth

   By Finwe the Bold of Valathyr

  The world as most of our people know it today is, it cannot be disputed, 
beautiful.  Filled with grace and bounteous life, its azure skies and verdant 
woodlands are a testament to the endless and sublime majesty of life, in all 
its forms.  Yet, in the ancient past, there was a land so heartbreakingly 
perfect for those of our kind as to render this lesser world drab and tragic 
by comparison.  Before war and privation, before oppression and mortality, 
there was, and shall always be in the hearts of my people...Arcadia.

  The Arcadia into which I was born can only be described as perfect.  Where 
the mortal realms have living trees, quick of sap and green of leaf, the 
trees of Arcadia were poetry and music in motion -- emerald joined with gold 
that flowed and breathed.  In all light, there was life, and in life, there 
was grace, so touched by majesty and beneficience that even a simple 
afternoon pass'd in peaceful contemplation would rightly be called a paradise 
that any mortal would be grateful to spend their lives striving for.  Among 
such splendour and innocence, I came into being, nurtured by loving parents 
and schooled in the ways of my people ere I could toddle.
  Surrounded by such beneficience and grandeur, I believe I could have 
dwelled in such a state for all eternity, quietly partaking of such delights 
in unending fashion.  Incredibly, my dam and sire told me tales I could 
scarce credit that even such present splendor was but a pale shadow of 
Arcadia's original transcendency, an infinite realm of multiplicity and 
supernal depth with dimensions of beauty and richness that our people had 
never needed words to describe, ere it was lost.  Torn asunder by a planar 
cataclysm hundreds of years prior, Arcadia had been reduced to a mere 
adumbration of its original munificence.  I could scarce even credit their 
tales, which seemed to me fantastic in the extreme, of having more than one 
expression of one's physical form, capable of altering one's orientation to 
flit up to a tree as easily as our truncated forms would reach up to pluck 
an item from a shelf.  Nevertheless, though I marveled at such ideas, I was 
content with the form I possessed and the refulgent realm in which I dwelled.
 To my amazed inquiries, my sire and dam related that Arcadia had once 
suffered, and suffered greatly -- in the aftermath of the sundering which 
abrupted our original states of grace, its fertile lands were blasted and 
seared by the unleashed energies.  Our people's cities and structures, formed 
for a deeper reality than the paler one we now inhabited, groped aimlessly 
at the sky like abbreviated limbs.  Starvation and exposure were new 
discoveries to our ancestors, and for a time it was feared that they would 
perish utterly from creation.  Then, suddenly, salvation -- through the grace 
of good fortune, our forebears discovered the silirala.  Silima gems of 
exquisite form and size, they glowed from within with a shimmering radiance 
that brought wonder to any who beheld them.  Where the silirala shed their 
light, plants sprouted and flowers bloomed; trickling runnels blossomed into 
bubbling brooks of sweet water, and the torn earth was covered with rich 
blankets of sleeping grass to assuage the land's hurt.  Invigorated by such 
wonder, my people thanked the earth and sky for their mercy, and turned anew 
to rebuilding their communities and their lives.  As a young child, I was 
once taken to gaze briefly upon the heavenly radiance of one of the silirala, 
in the great city of Norulir, and the flame of pride for my people was 
kindled within my breast, that we should be so blessed that the very land 
itself should provide us such bounty and provenance.
  Alas, such peace was not to last.  Less than a century after I had attained 
my adulthood, the first rumblings of strife began.  The fomori, those brutish 
and jealous creatures that had ever been covetous of our grace and prosperity, 
sent an envoy to us demanding that we hand over the silirala.  In their greed, 
the fomori were willing to doom our homeland to another bout of the 
devastation and suffering that we had only just recently recovered from.  Ever 
merciful, we chastised them instead of slaying them, and cast them out, 
bidding them return to their own savage realms.  To our sorrow, however, our 
  Shortly thereafter, the cowardly and cruel fomori attacked us unprovoked; 
our people were terrified and quickly overrun as multiple strike forces 
emerged into our realms, striking with monstrous precision at the locations 
where our precious silirala were kept.  However, some few of our number, 
rightly mistrustful of the fomori, had managed to arrange for the relocation 
of some precious few of the silirala after their previous threats; as a 
result, only roughly half of our silirala were captured and stolen away by 
the fomori.  However, even this loss was sufficient to cause large swathes 
of our land to collapse into dust and ruin, with only a few vital pockets of 
land kept alive by the remaining artifacts; my people, bonded with the land 
as we were, suffered greatly and despaired.  How could we hope to stand 
against such cruelty and wanton disregard for the sanctity of our lives?  
Those of us who dared rose to take up the sword, and I counted myself among 
them, but our efforts were a glimmer of light in an ever-expanding shadow.  
It seemed inevitable that the fomori would extinguish us, and we would perish 
utterly from creation.
  In our darkest hour, however, our light was not to be snuffed.  Adonai, the 
god of goodness and holiness, saw our plight and was stricken; he could not 
bear to see beings of such grace and innocence as ourselves suffer so. 
Reaching out, he blessed our people with his power, and created an ally for 
us: Yehovah, the strong sword of justice and light.  Thus empowered, we went 
forth with the light of goodness in our hearts, bringing righteous vengeance 
and devastation to the foul hordes of the fomori.  Trembling in cowardly fear, 
they turned to Asmodai, the lord of Evil, and besought the aid of his corrupt 
demons and hellfires, but their crimes against good and life did not avail 
them.  Their evil fled before our holiness, and the tides of the war began to 
turn in our favour.
  Just when our well-deserved victory seemed assured, the fomori made a final, 
desparate play for power.  Selecting the most evil and abhorrent among them, 
they chose a ferocious slaughterer named Ahrikol to be the recipient of 
teachings of pure evil, directly from Asmodai himself.  Schooled and steeped 
in sin and foulness, Ahrikol the accursed used his dark powers and knowledge 
to escalate the war, committing such atrocities upon my people that our 
peaceful hearts quailed within us.  In desperation, we begged our ally Yehovah 
for the might of his angels, and a strike force was dispatched into the heart 
of enemy territory with the intent of cutting the head from the loathsome 
snake.  Though many of my comrades bravely gave their lives, we were only 
narrowly victorious, and I returned home with the iniquitous Ahrikol in 
chains.  Despite his heinous crimes, my people were ever merciful, and 
forebore in slaying him.  In hopes that his evil might be redeemed, we gave 
Ahrikol over to Yehovah's angels, to be taken to the Empyrean realm to 
contemplate his sins.
  Deprived of their nefarious leader, the foul hordes of the fomori could not 
withstand the righteous might of our advances, and soon we had decimated them 
and driven them utterly from our lands.  The blessed silirala we reclaimed, 
and we entreated the aid of Yehovah's angels to imprison the depraved 
creatures in their own hellish plane for all eternity.  To our cost, however, 
the foul one Asmodai had a final trick left to play, and corrupted the angel's 
wards, sealing our own plane as well.  Those of us who had been abroad in the 
mortal realms suddenly found ourselves stranded, unable to return to our 
ancestral home.
  Over many years, we have done our best to create works of beauty and life 
with our cousins the dana and the faerie, and become accustomed to life in the 
mortal realms.  But never shall I forget the sapphire skies, the gold and 
emerald trees, and the unbroken innocence of my childhood home.  In my 
memories, the light of the silirala shall always shine upon the Arcadia of 
my youth.

Relevant Skills

You feel that reading this material has broadened your perspective and increased your knowledge of elder lore and legend lore.

End of spoiler information.
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