Across the outer realms our shadows dance,
Unfettered by those grim bonds of here and now,
To that ephemeral place where souls abide.
But what of inwards, to that obscure domain where delyrium lies?
There, constrained by dark delights, we would surely linger,
But there, within those hallowed halls, is a place we fear to tread…
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Red, and I am in Askalhabdar.
At my back, the fertile slopes wend their way down to the sea,
Before me, an endless ocean of grassland beckons,
And today, on its nearest shore, floats a ribbon of raucous glee.
Today, this day that offers light and dark in equal measure,
Begins the Festival of Delights.
It is in the faces of the musicians as they pound their frantic beat,
It is in the rhythm of the dancers as they quicken across the floor,
It is in the eyes of the lovers as their passions break all bounds.
It is Life and it is Death and is the red that I remember most of all.
Orange, and I am in Kathustra Pavalorn,
Where the desert comes down to the ocean wide.
Behind me, the mountains frame the setting sun,
And rich textures merge:
Vermilion rock into amber sand, amber sand into darkening sea.
But it is neither this setting sun nor the quickening breeze that make me shiver.
It is the skeletons that stretch before me,
Victims of a treacherous shore.
Bleached timber bones laid out to dry in sinking light.
And this is the orange that I remember most of all.
Yellow, and I am in Robahar.
The sound of the forge is all about.
Blistering air singes my hair,
Hammers rise and fall.
The birth of a great sword is at hand.
The runes have been inscribed,
A thousand times it has been turned,
And now for the final quench!
But when, and only when, the metal is the color of the autumn moon.
And this is the yellow that I remember most of all.
Green, and I am in Kartha Nagal.
The oaks of the forest are all around.
Their leaves float silently down to the sullen river below.
I stand beneath the great archway,
Torchlight flickers, beckoning me to the tombs beyond.
Moss carpets the massive stones, whilst between, wormwood burrows.
Leaves, lichen, water, weeds; green abounds.
But above hangs the copper bell that tolls for all souls, for thee and for me.
Upon it, within it, clings shimmering verdigris.
And this is the green that I remember most of all.
Blue, and I am in Ihmlahadistan,
Where the dead are not set in catacombs deep for worms to chew
But laid on platforms high that scrape the void,
Where noble hawks may feast and eagles dine.
Prayer flags strain against the ever-present wind,
Their colors fading fast in the death chill of its breath.
Not so the sky above,
It thrives in this gaunt land.
Boundless, vibrant, constant, unsullied, evocative.
And this is the blue that I remember most of all.
Indigo, and I am in Zora-Rak.
The stark stone lines of the bell tower surround me, the city a tapestry below.
Rain slants down across its ancient slate roofs,
Which merge seamlessly with the Outer Seas, cold and gray.
The ponderous architecture, granite and gloomy, weighs down upon me.
I descend the spiral stairway into the temple, cavernous and candle-filled.
Chanting follows me eastward and I cross the transept, echoes of rain to either side.
Before me now the stone god rises, serene and indifferent,
Bathed in light from windows tall, whose stain is opaque, virulent, chilling.
And this is the indigo that I remember most of all.
Violet, and I am I know not where.
It matters not, this place, that place?
For every place pales in his presence,
All people bend before his will.
We prostrate ourselves before him, obey his every whim.
Can it be the aura that is about him, blazing clear and bright?
No, rather it is that which is upon him that keeps us in silent thrall,
That robe the color of poison or shadows of the night,
That robe which fades and dazzles, confuses and confounds.
And this is the violet that I remember most of all.