My Graceful Island Crane Document in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

My Graceful Island Crane

For the prompt "A secret love letter has been found in your world - who was it intended for and what was inside?"
How can I rest in this frosted trench, my dear, when my heart beats with you beneath that Rostral sun?
— A Holdsman on the Medial D front
An Elovisian Holdsman soldier from the Medial D front of the War of Reunification was recently found deceased. He was carrying a letter, entitled My Graceful Island Crane, which spoke of a secret love between a human man on the front lines and a Rostran woman who might never see him again. The publication of this letter in an effort to reconnect - or provide closure for - the distant lovers has led to increased public interest in the personal lives of the soldiers fighting the largest ongoing conflict in the Manifold Sky.
Craterhold Unity Flag by BCGR_Wurth


This letter, entitled 'My Graceful Island Crane' by the anonymous author, uses flowery Eliov prose to express a deep sense of longing on the part of the writer for a certain High Rostran lady.
RAC Travel Standard by BCGR_Wurth
The author waxes poetically about the woman's features, grace, and intellectual stature, and expresses a deep desire to call on her again in her home in the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy. From the context of the prose, it can be surmised that the woman in question is a High Rostran woman of some means, likely well-educated and from a well-to-do Archipelago family.
While the letter is written in Eliov, suggesting that the recipient is capable of speaking this in addition to her native Iuxat, the author demonstrates a surprising degree of familiarity with High Rostran culture. For example, High Rostrans usually conduct all romantic overtures under a veil of secrecy, valuing discretion and perception above all else; the writer is fulfulling this requirement through the very act of letter smuggling despite the lack of any confidential information therein.

Historical Details


The remains of the soldier carrying My Graceful Island Crane were discovered in the edge mountains between D4 and D6 cube faces, where the man had apparently died as a result of a sniper's bullet. Judging by his equipment and his direction of travel, he was likely a courier delivering messages from the Coalition emplacements on D4, making the providence of the letter he was carrying a matter of speculation - had he been the one carrying on in such an unusual tryst, or was he merely entrusted with the feelings of another? As both relationships between humans and Rostrans and Holdsmen soldiers who have travelled far abroad are uncommon, the true author of A Graceful Island Crane has never been identified.  
The scouts who discovered the courier's body found only the single letter in his mailbag which had not been degraded by exposure to damp winter snows the week before, that letter being My Graceful Island Crane. This letter featured no delivery address and was concealed in the mailbag in such a way that it was likely intended to evade wartime censors. This level of secrecy was likely unneccessary, as the letter ultimately contained no information which would have endangered the wartime operations of the Coalition.
Coalition Insignia by BCGR_wurth


Fragments of My Graceful Island Crane have been published in The Guild Gazette public editorial section in an effort to identify the sender (as some have expressed interest in more of his style of prose) and make sure that the message made it through to his beloved. Both Voxelian and Coalition officials have expressed disfavor with this publication, albiet for different reasons, but the Gazette's connections to the Navigator's Guild have rendered it above any serious censure in this regard.
Text, Letter
Authoring Date
Late Abseldun, 9,999 AR

Cover image: by BCGR_Wurth


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Dec 1, 2020 00:50 by R. Dylon Elder

Oooo that opening line. Again your writing style is fantastic. Love how this has a social impact, getting people to care about soldiers lives and the like. Again, well done. It's an excellent take on the prompt.