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on Friday, 12pm SLT (19hTU), Elf Dream Meetings and stories, in our virtual region Daur Lysaer (How to enter)
This text is a part of a larger plot. So it is better to read first «The Kiss of the Worlds», in order not to spoil it.
By Yichard Muni, elf bard
This story took place in the elven world Dauriath, about 250 years after the Elves were exiled here. They were still far from inhabiting all the available lands, so that they preferred to better tender some selected places.
One of these places was named Garmalen. It was a round plain, about six kilometres in diameter, surrounded by hills, as often in the Dauriath. The Nyidiath (the Human world) was not in sight from here. They knew that this plain was to remain a plain forever, safe from the ocean rising. So they reserved it for cultivations, in order to feed several villages on the slopes of the hills. The hills themselves were used for orchards, or left natural. There were about 12,000 Elves living here in Garmalen, but this setting allowed them to have several lovely small villages all around, instead of a crowded town.
This story took place at the end of the summer, and nearby all the plain was filled with golden crops and green orchards. It was a time of heavy work to gather and store all these grains and fruits, but after they knew that there would be a magnificent feast. So all the Elves of the surrounding villages were coming to help the farmers for harvesting. They had to reap wheat of course, for making good smelling bread for the winter. But there were too a lot or ripe fruits to gather in the orchards. Not the same fruits than on Earth, of course, but let us say they were apples, grapes and many others. Apples could be stored for months into sand, and still bring good prana for the cold days. They had to eat the grape at once, or to make juice with it.
But not all the Elves were working! Some had an irreplaceable role, that they could not stop doing, even in full harvest: the Bards! Yes, while everybody was busy carrying and picking, threshing and pressing, the bards were playing music, kinds of guitars, violins, flutes, hand held drums, giving a merry rhythm to the work, and much more spirit than a pay at the end of the month!
This explains why the Elves do not chatter as much as the Humans: they are much more concerned at enjoying this merry and energetic ambiance. But they often laugh, and sometimes make pranks, especially the young Elfs, who make jokes to attract the attention of the young Elves. But the general mood in Garmalen was rather enjoying the merry vibrations of music and nature. Elves at work are amazing: everybody takes his share, large or small, for adults or for children, and they do it, merry and very organized in the same time, and there is always some singing or music going on.
In the evening, when it is too dark for working outdoors, they gathered in the docks, or in large community houses, for dancing, playing music, telling stories, or for meeting with friends. This makes that, well after midnight, there was still some music going on. Later in the night, they had to lay in tents, or outdoors if weather allowed, as Elves still need some hours of dreaming or sleeping.
When the day broke, early in the morning, they quickly got up. Oh, well, some were more lazy, but nobody minded! After a good meal, they were back to work, and docks were filling fast.
The harvest time was also an occasion to meet new people. Some who did not meet often, others who never met before. So did artists and intellectuals. Youngsters too, but for other reasons...
When the work was done, they went to a final ball, which was a yearly festival and celebration. They set a huge fire of straw (or rather several, because 12,000 persons cannot gather around a single fire). They played music, and danced, and met... it was the occasion, as the remainder of the year saw them scattered into the villages.
When, the next morning, the feast was over, they slowly walked toward their nice elven villages, on the slopes of the hills all around the plain. Some villages for spiritual activities were farther into the mountains, but the loveliest places were some glens hidden between the hills. These peaceful settings were usually left without any built, just orchards and meadows, and some gazebos, to enjoy the peace and lively vibration of nature.
Nellio was a cute young Elf, slender with brown hairs, still celibate... and eager to find a wife!
So he decided not to go back to his parent's village, but instead to follow another path... because he had noticed Mellorëa, a wonderful Elve with auburn hair and generous shapes. However Mellorëa seemed not to see him... Instead, she was speaking with other Elfs and Elves... Nellio joined this group, trying to follow the conversation, in hope of something happening...
They arrived into Mellorëa's village, at the entrance of a small valley with a brook and refreshing undergrowth. The houses were strewn along the slope: community places at the bottom, large family houses a bit higher, with gardens and flowers. Still higher were small cottages for those who preferred quiet nature places, without many visitors.
As soon as arrived, Mellorëa dashed on a climbing path, so that Nellio soon lost her of sight. He was feeling frustrated, and a bit out of place... But okay, he was an Elf, and elven love gets intense only when it is reciprocal, so he was not really suffering. And anyway there were plenty of nice people in this village: they soon noticed him, and kindly invited him, gave him food and a place to sleep in a community house nearby, without asking any question.
They were speaking of many things, and he discovered this place with plenty of people he did not knew, all busy to varied activities: gardening, art, workshops, raising children, making them school, etc. But soon he noticed that they were alluding to something... something unique, which could not be found in other villages!
Late in the evening, Mellorëa came back to the community house... Nellio dared to speak to her, but not of love... he did well, Mellorëa was already married! With a sweet Elf, everybody said... but he was very busy «up there», to something mysterious.
Nellio was a bit sad, but, okay, he just had to let go. Elven love had not been created for bringing frustration, but for sharing happiness and bringing strength to each other! However, sweet Mellorëa probably sensed the problem, so she started to speak to Nellio. He was intrigued, so she invited him in «the other place», where her husband was. Yes, her husband was retained by his activity, and he could not attend the harvest, and even not the community meal.
This made that, the next morning, Nellio was climbing the path behind Mellorëa. They were both wearing a rucksack of food, as part of a collective transport system. The path was skirting the hills, among brown rocks and flowered bushes, into the merry late summer sun. At places, kinds of candocks were jutting above the shrubs, often draped with convolvulus vines of varied colours. Nellio enjoyed the discovery of this new landscape...
At last, they arrived into a glen... But at the surprise of Nellio, it was filled with buildings. Not really different of other elven building, but clogged together, an unusual feature. It was a clean place, and quiet. Mellorëa invited Nellio into teaching rooms. He first thought it was a school, but the blackboard was bearing symbols he did not knew... There also were workshops, containing phials and odd devices.
Then Nellio understood: It was a science laboratory and school! Nellio was really astonished to see one. He knew, as everybody, that Elves did not really needed science... At least not our material science! They had magic, which is more efficient... But he also heard, as all the other Elves, that the Humans remaining in the Nyidiath had broke all the religious taboos on science and technology, so that they were now quickly developing them. And into only a few centuries, they would come to a dangerous point, where anarchic building and pollution would threaten the very survival of their Nyidiath world... and also of the Dauriath world, which shares the same atmosphere!
They all knew that when the Horiathon (the pass between the two worlds) would be open in both ways, it would become very easy to travel between the two worlds, and Elves would be able to return to the human world, where their wisdom and love of nature would be really needed: bringing back wisdom to this human world!
This would be the only way to save their two worlds. But, to be able to do so, Elves also had to develop high science and technology!
But they were doing so cautiously and discretely, without destroying their own world. A wise science, respectful of life and nature.
So they would be soon able to reach the Human science level, and even outmatch it, well before the re-opening of the Horiathon. But they decided to do this in secret, where the Humans could not look at them, like this plain out of sight of the Nyidiath. So Mellorëa was a scientist, a true elven scientist, who knew that what she was discovering was only a material illusion, unable by itself to lead to happiness.
There were many other people around in the building, including Mellorëa's husband. At this moment, he was into some laboratory, monitoring an experiment, and needed not to be disturbed. But many others were arriving, and gathering into a teaching room, who seemed to be old friends.
When we speak of scientists, we imagine students in white blouses, or old suit and tie professors, into modern looking square buildings... This was precisely the contrary here: these people were primarily Elves, and they would never abandon their elvenhood for just some materialistic knowledge! So they were all clothed in the elven way with robes and tunics of nice colours, speaking with gentle voices or singing, into nice rounded rooms painted in rainbow hues...
Nellio did not liked the noisy apparatus into the workshop, but he accepted them, as he knew they were for some wide purpose. So he explored a bit, not daring to touch anything however: phials with odd names, Wimshurst machine, etc.
However there was more... Mellorëa brought Nellio into a large cave behind the buildings. It was a former iron mine, now exhausted. (Often in the Dauriath were small mines of native iron fallen from the sky). There was a large dark room, with plenty of strange devices, raw planks and materials, cupboards and thick wooden pillars. Near the entrance was a large oven for melting metal, and clay moulds. But what attracted the attention was a tall vertical cylinder in wooden planking, like a big barrel, in the centre of the room. In its lower part were glass windows, and cranks. When Nellio looked inside, he saw something strange: two balls of bronze, linked with a bronze bar, seeming to float in the air! Mellorëa explained that they were hanging after a thin steel wire, in the axis of the barrel, so thin that in the gloom it was invisible. So there was no magic here... Save that all this was looking really intriguing and useless! Besides the two bronze balls, separated by planking walls, were two much larger lead balls, and a mechanism to rotate these larger balls around the vertical axis of the barrel, with a crank. Around in the room were other unused ingots of lead or bronze, with still the shape which was used as both ballast and cargo in the Horiathon crossing ships.
Mellorëa lighted a candle near one of the windows, in order to have a good sight inside the dark interior. Then, she asked Nellio to look into one of the small telescopes piercing through the barrel's wall. It showed a fixed vertical line on a plate, and other vertical lines drawn on one of the bronze balls. All seemed immobile...
Mellorëa started turning a crank, making the large lead balls rotate around the vertical axis.
So the large lead balls started to slowly approach the small bronze balls... Nellio was well wondering what this experiment was!
He suddenly realised that the lines on the bronze balls were moving! Clearly, they passed one graduation, then several!
Amazed, Nellio understood that the two small bronze balls were moving as if they were attracted by the two big lead balls, without however any visible contact!
Nellio first looked for gears transmitting the movement of the lead balls, but even not wind could reach the bronze balls into their airtight enclosure. Second, he thought at some magic, but there was here only stone, wood and metal...
At last, Mellorëa explained: It was the gravitation of the two lead balls, which attracted the bronze balls! The experiment was a torsion pendulum, sensitive to weak forces like this.
Nellio was utterly fascinated, to see at work the very same force which moves the stars and the planets, captured into a device he could build with his own hands! For several hours, he looked at the two bronze balls oscillating, with the lines passing slowly... It took all this time to settle and stop, in a position which was definitively away of the original position.
Looking at this strange experiment was giving him the same awe feeling than seeing something impossible, magical, defying our common sense of reality! How could these bronze balls move without contact? Science was really magical!
At night, Mellorëa brought a dreamy Nellio back to one of the homes above the village. She had her idea... Nellio entered a nice room, all filled with cushions and set with flowery curtains... Mellorëa took some easy pretext to go in the office, asking Nellio to wait for some minutes... Nellio had time to admire the light of the candles showing through thin coloured paper, and to smell the delicious perfume... Probably fruits or flowers were stored in a cellar, in such a way that their fragrance went into the home.
There were some giggles an whispering voices, and suddenly TWO Mellorëa appeared! Nellio was first disoriented by this new trick, but it was not a new strange science experiment: he really had two nice elven ladies looking about the same, and clothed with the same robes! Then he understood, as Mellorëa introduced him to her sister Amalorëa...
Amalorëa was much resembling Mellorëa, but she was younger and still more lovely... and not married!
This was a wonderful night, where all three started to speak of science, sharing their interest... But soon, the conversation went on life, music, and love...
So, while Mellorëa ostentatiously went in the kitchen, under the pretext of making cookies, Nellio and Amalorëa, hum, married, on the large sofa in the living room!
This was Amalorëa's home, and she also was eager to find a husband... and she had prepared a love nest, with everything for a hubby to be happy, even including a fully equipped workshop, a cave and a garden... And Nellio was just too happy to fall into this delicious trap!
So this is how Nellio get married with an elven scientist, and eventually he studied himself too, and joined the team.
This is how the life of the Elves is going on, between marvel and lovely instants...
This is the end of this story, or the beginning of another...
This story is again an improvisation which took place in my bardic event in the Elf Circle lands in 2009 in Second Life. I first asked for seed words. I obtained «Harvest» and «dancing», «fertility», «farming», «fruitful» and «enjoy», «schön» (beautiful), «zufriedenheit» (satisfaction) and «vertrauen» (trust), «loss». The name «Garmalen» was offered by Belethil Ishtari.
This experiment was done on Earth, by Henri Cavendish, in 1797-98, and it proved that the gravitation law is universal, at every scale, from planets to human scale. It also allowed to measure gravitation with an accuracy of 1%. It is incredible that it could be performed, and give so accurate results, with the poor means available in this time: no electricity, wooden casing, candle lighting, rough hand made instruments, etc. This experiment is still the one used today to measure the gravitational constant.
The Cavendish experiment is one of the most astounding experiment of modern physics, where we can see the forces which move the stars and planets in the sky, moving ordinary human objects...
With this one, the elven science of the story was really getting ahead over the human science!
Scenario, graphics, sounds, colours, realization: Richard Trigaux.
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