The Butterfly Sylfaone
He was there when I first entered the twilight mists. He's been there ever since. I fall asleep, I dream, and I return. The butterflies find me and lead me to him.
This is a World Anvil Summer Camp 2023 Winning Article
See below for the artwork awarded as a prize!
See below for the artwork awarded as a prize!
In this document:
All artwork by Shanda Nelson unless otherwise stated
Who Am I?I do not know. My past is in shadows and mists, and when I reach for the memories, they flit away, like the butterflies that keep me company. My fingertips brush them, but they elude my grasp. I woke in my shelter, surrounded by blue ice and jagged-edged snow. I know nothing before that. Temberest, the exiled dragon, and the crone promised me answers. They promised me my past. I did as they asked. I left my shelter of jagged edges and blue ice, to sit in darkness, surrounded by the rot of the corrupted wed to blood. I guard their heavenly captive. It is for naught.
What Am I?Before Below, I flitted from one dream to another, from one hazy pain and exalted happiness to another. These belonged to other people, in other places, some calling for help, some offering thanks. Why did I see these things? I would look at my shelter, of blue ice and jagged edges, and wonder why I experienced them. 1
The dreams took me to others, in distant places of bright gold and glowing white, of sweet air, rich foliage, and mild clime. I asked them, why do I see these things? What can I do to help those in need? They laughed and brushed aside my questions, me. 2
Temberest, the exiled dragon and the crone, found me outside these dreams. They whispered to me. Sylfaone, they said. A lesser, one of power so diminished I may simply be an immortal rather than a deity. I did not believe them. What, in me, is beautific? They insisted, and offered me purpose. Offered me answers to questions I did not know to ask. Desperation is devastating when contemplating ramifications. I should have retreated, remained in my shelter, but their lure overcame my suspicions. I lost my sanctuary, my blue ice, my jagged edges, for empty words. 3
Where Am I?I do not know, other than within a cave system. The above world is nebulous, unset, and when I dream of it, it is cast in murky shadows. But the cave, Below. It is filled with heat and the stench of decay. Day by day I contemplate the reddish rock of the stone shelf upon which I sit, yearning for my shelter, of ice and jagged edges, of searing-cold winds and star-sprinkled, frozen nights. I misunderstood the intent, I misunderstood . . . and now I must suffer the red-robed ones. I must suffer the heat, though my nature is wed to ice. I am stubborn; I will not lose myself. 1
They wander in and out of peripheral view, the red-robed ones. They have kept me company since my initial steps into Below, at the bidding of Temberest, the exiled dragon, and the crone. The first ones, they grew old, collapsed, turned to dust. The ones after did the same, for once here, the twisting ways, the traps that lead to more twisting ways, confuse the trail. Above is lost to them. It is lost to me, but for another reason. My purpose below is not theirs, for heat and blood and rot do not define me. 2
Is it any wonder, then, that I followed the butterflies? As blue as the comforting ice, as soft as the patter of snow. They twirl and bob and flutter glitter upon the ground, chasing the heat away. I walked the path they laid and found another place, of soft twilight, of mist, of dreams softened by a grey blanket of in between. The mists called, a sweet chorus. I chose to remain. 3
When Am I?I do not know the year, or which calendar I should track. The red-robed ones speak of millennia. Have I sat within the cave for so long? I do not think so, but time eludes me as well. When I leave the ashen heat, indulge in dreams of the mists, I lose the days, the weeks, the seasons. Rain and snow, heat and cold, plod along on their yearly course, many times redundant, many times ignored. 1
Perhaps that is why the creeping darkness surprised me. It snuck through the twilight, a faint hint of terror infused with malicious intent. I know not how much time passed, from its appearance to when the tendrils found me, but it attempted to touch me. The twilight blanketed me, hid me, and within its haze, I discovered a harp leaning against a tree stump. Desire for soft sweetness struck, and I swept my nails across the strings. 2
Iced fruit and honey were never so sweet. The notes hovered in the air and the tendrils jerked, retreated, faded away. The music was much against its nature, and it could not remain. They return, though I know not how much time passes between. They continue to creep, to scrouge for an elusive hold, something that will keep them tethered when the harp sings true. I know, if I neglect the strings, it will achieve that want. It is something I cannot allow. 3
Why Am I here?I know why I am Below. I seek my memories. I endure the crush of heat, of blood, of rot, to retrieve that which I failed to grasp on my own. I know not why the butterflies sought me out. I know not why they led me through dreams to the twilight mists. Perhaps I again act as caretaker, making certain the tendrils of malicious intent do not take root. Instinctively, I know devastation will follow if they do. 1
Perhaps. But, in the coolness of twilight, I can think rather than squirm. I can expand, contemplate, wonder. Dream of better days, snow-touched nights. Sometimes I see another who walks in twilight, who sees the mists as I do. Who sees what's hidden beneath. I am curious about them, but other than butterflies, my existence is solitary. They do not belong here, where Below mingles with creeping darkness. I will remain as I am, no comfort, no friend, until memories fill me again. 2
When I think of the Butterfly Sylfaone, this is the song that always pops to mind: My World by Colony 5. Really, the album Black has a lot of songs that fit his view (some of which will become more apparent in future Wellspring Dragons books)