“For six seasons you have come here, bringing me water and sweet figs. You have washed linen for me. You have swept my floors. You have cared for my dog. You have done all this and never once stolen from me, though I am too frail to stop you, and never asked for anything in recompense. I feel that I shall soon pass from this world, so you may make one wish and I will grant it.”
The young woman cried a little then, for she loved Iogu and was sad to think of his passing. She knew he could not grant any wish she might make, so she made a whimsical one in the home that it might as least make him smile. She wished that her lost love, who had been slain by a bear whilst out hunting, might be with her once more.
Iogu patted her hand, then rose with an effort from his bed and began to rummage through his belongings. She wished that he would rest, but he was so determined to undertake this task that she thought it better to let him finish. At last he found an old scroll and began to read from it. As he did so he moved around the room with lurching steps and great sweeps of his free arm. Like a dance, he would sometimes stamp a foot against the boards. His few wisps of hair flew around him.
Night fell and Iogu slept. The dawn came and he did not wake, having passed in his sleep. The woman held his hand, reluctant to depart for the last time, when she heard the sound of a horse approaching. There upon its back was her love and at his side was a purse heavy with coin, he wore a cloak of good blue cloth and upon his back was a fine bow. She rode with him then as if in a dream, but he had missed her not one single day and it was the fateful hunt which was a dream and it was her dream alone.
Kouros was a city rumoured to have existed during the mythic epoch, but no trace of it survives in recorded history and nothing is known of its former location. Aside from stories, the city does live on indirectly through a set of artifacts which allegedly originated there: the scrolls of Kouros.
At the height of Dornade’s struggle against the Etiki he managed to obtain the scrolls in exchange for a number of priceless treasures. He then attempted to employ their power against the Etiki, although he was only partially successful in wielding it, since by then illness had begun to cloud his mind.
History follows only a single path as perceived by mortals, but often along this road there are branching possibilities in which different choices might have led to different futures. The true power of the scrolls of Kouros, known only to a few, is to reach across to these other paths and exchange elements from them with our own. By means of this power a broken sword might be made whole, a timid monarch replaced by a version of himself who is brave or a blank canvas transformed into a masterpiece that was before painted on the next one sold by the same trader.
For all the many possibilities, the difficulty of wielding the secret of the scrolls lies in knowing how to find the possibilities one seeks amidst the whirling tangle of possible histories and then how to enact a careful change without unrelated elements being drawn in.