Form & Void
Form & Void
Iara returns, with some reluctance,
to the Cave within the Rock of Islaad.
She avoids the gazes of the
daioko, and goes with her mother
to the Cave’s inner sanctum.
Once all has been prepared, a daioko rings
a chime, and the toki begins the ritual.
To become toki is to become
the link between the gods
and the Artemaean people.
The toki is the source of
wisdom, protection, and
healing for those she serves.
Do you accept
Iara draws a deep breath.
As she lets it out, the weight of
responsibility seems to push down upon
her as though it were a physical burden.
I believe you to have the wisdom required
to serve as toki to the Artemaean people
and to our god, Islaad.
Hear my words, Na'toki, and
I will teach my final lesson.
I hear your words, Mana Toki.
Please teach me.
Close your eyes.
Clear your mind of all want and desire,
all fears, all hopes. Seek serenity;
in it you will find clarity and truth.
Iara focuses and her breathing begins to slow.
Think of a place you know well,
and let it come to life around you.
When you seek it in this way, you will see it
not as it is in the physical world, but as it
Iara gasps as this new world
shimmers to life around her.
This is a place meant only for tokis…
…and for gods.
What you see is
Why am I…darkness?
You are of the Void, as I am,
as our grandmothers were, as
was the First Revered Mother,
the Oma’Ga’Mana herself.
It is this way with all tokis before and after
they hold the life-thread of their god.
In this space you may reach out
to Islaad with your heart and mind.
Though a great distance separates you
in the real world, here he will appear
to be standing before you.
Iara reaches out…
…but finds nothing.
Until you are toki and hold
the life-thread of Islaad,
he cannot appear before you.
However, if you have found
your way to this place,
you are ready.
Iara turns, still disappointed,
but marvels in the strangeness
of the space around her.
Startled, she takes a step back.
Then she realizes what it could mean…
Iara cries out and covers her head, her meditation shattered.
With wide, fearful eyes, she looks at her mother.
What did you see?
The sun journeys toward the horizon, while within
the Cave, explanation has turned to argument.
to kill me.
want to kill me.
They're the same creatures I've seen in my
nightmares since I was eight years old.
I’m not even toki yet!
I shouldn’t see
space; you said so yourself!
ever see the creatures?
shakes her head.
I only saw Islaad himself, and only
after I was raised toki...up until the
mountain temple was burned.
And the green man?
Islaad is not a man, nor does
he take the form of one.
But if Islaad is somehow
reaching out to us again
through these visions…
He can't possibly be reaching
out to me.
supposed to be connected to him!
Are you sure Islaad isn't
and these visions I'm having
aren't something else?
Iara sighs and turns back to continue
dusting the statue of Islaad.
Kagaya watches her for a moment,
then sighs with resignation.
I need to prepare for
the ceremony tonight.
to meditate and see if you can learn
something about these visions?
I do not believe they can
harm you in that space.
Iara's expression doesn't change.
It's only until sunset.
Kagaya waits a moment longer, but decides she's
unlikely to gain actual assent from her daughter.
She purses her lips and ducks out of the chamber.
Why don’t they clean you?
She runs her fingers over the carved
wooden hairs of the statue’s back…
Mortified, she tucks the wooden hair away
and walks stiffly back to the cushion to meditate.
End of Scene 5.