Trees grow slowly.

A tree stands still while the world moves around it. Wind and rain and people come and go, and each touch the tree, bend it or scratch it or break it, and the tree remembers. Here is the curve of the trunk where the young sapling was bent by the long storm; here is the broken branch where Pren Starmap tried to climb too hastily, and broke her leg; here is the long split where Pren Hallow took the spring-rite.

The world moves, and the movement touches the tree. The world moves on, but the tree keeps the marks for ever.

The tree remembers.

Eventually, a tree dies. The large wood is carved into useful things, and the curve of the grain remains on the face of the new shape. The small wood is ground down, pulped, and made into paper for books. The final fate is the same as the first: it receives, and it stores, and remembers.

Trees grow slowly, but not as slowly as stone.

A tree remembers decades, but a mountain remembers aeons. Here are the strata of soil and stone; here is the bank of a river long since run dry. Here is the smoke-stain where Pren Fire took shelter beneath the outcrop, and here – here is the entrance to the labyrinth.

There is no Pren Labyrinth. This is the work of many hands.

There is no record of who began the work. There were at least five architects before Pren History, and of her work on the subject, much is hidden deep in the labyrinth itself. Still, if one seeks to attribute the labyrinth to a single name, then the name of Pren Cipher stands out, for it was she who instituted – or at least formalized – the tradition of secrets.

The secrets of the labyrinth are not like the knowledge-locks of the common buildings. There, the secrets exist for the sake of the building; here, the labyrinth exists for the sake of the secrets. Pren Cipher established the tradition of recreational puzzles, mysteries for their own sake.

So it is that there are no maps of the Labyrinth. There are clues, coded messages hidden among the abstract art that decorates the walls and conceals the doors, but these are oblique, often misleading and always incomplete. Or perhaps I have simply not yet discovered what they truly mean.

If you take this journal with you, or if you make a copy, be sure not to remove it from the labyrinth. Such direct hints as are found in the paragraph above must be kept deep enough that they will only be found by those who no longer need them.

May your eyes shine slowly in the dark.

Pren 167

This post: 455 words
Running total: 878 words
End-of-day target: 3000 words