Lihan Hawkhome, Part I

Tuesday August 12, 2003 @ 01:43 PM (UTC)

I thought I’d try something a little different with this Exalted character backstory, as the length of the other ones made viewing them rather upsetting to the stomach (lurch! lurch!) and as I haven’t finished it. So this is a serial character backstory. This is the first ever male character I’ve created. I don’t know why, he just insists on being male. For general info on Exalted, see the first character I posted here.

Lihan Hawkhome

Lihan walked towards the Manse, pausing to touch the stone of the doorway, and tsking under his breath as his hand came away sooty. He dusted his hands and stepped into the building, anxiety and awe swimming in his belly. The anxiety he always felt upon entering a new place; the awe was for the place itself. “Lovely,” he sighed. The six or seven children who trailed behind him stared curiously. “Oh, hurry along, hurry along,” he said briskly, “I’ll meet you by the Hearth as soon as I’ve looked about a bit.”

Lihan paused by the steel-armored guards, leaning lazily against the doorframe, and peered back outside. This was an Air manse. There would have to be another door, this one’s equal, on the other side. Neither would ever be closed. If something went wrong, he would run for that opposite portal, and steal a horse if necessary — the House stables were that way. Not that a lecture on First Age architecture to a passel of Dynasts barely out of diapers held much potential for disaster, but Lihan, in spite of his staid and respectable life, always had an escape plan.

He studied the stone more closely, then traced the fine tile lines on the floor, chords of the great circle, back to the Hearth.” All right, now, children. Little redhead in the back! I doubt you’re meant to be putting chiblees in that boy’s hair. That’s right."

“Now, this manse is indeed a splendid one. You are lucky to be in the House that holds it. And you are lucky to be here on a clear day. In a moment, it will be noon, and the warmth of the sun will coax air spirits up to those lumens — holes — in the upper dome. It is a special time. If you are allowed to attune yourself to this Manse when you are grown, this moment will be an important part of the ritual.” He paused, and held his thin hands out for silence as the sun aligned overhead. A soft rushing sound, like someone stepping into bed, was followed by a sweet mellow whistling voice, joined in a moment by another and another, as the Air Manse sang under the sun.

The children’s faces, lit with noonlight, were full of awe. Doubtless, each imagined himself or herself grown, Aspected, splendid and bold, blessed by that spectral voice. Lihan Hawkhome smiled gently. It was good to see those little faces lit in love for this building – he had caught them young enough that they did not recoil from the marvel of the Manse because it came from the Sun. Perhaps they would not neglect and ignore this Manse, as their ancestors had. He had to keep them rapt, he thought, as the note faded into time.

“Now, while my studies, and the knowledge your House has shared with me, had told me about the wonders of the Singing Manse, there are things I couldn’t learn until I was here. For instance, now that I can see the building, I am convinced that this manse is the work of the Great Artificer, a mysterious architect from the First Age. We don’t know very much about the Great Artificer -” except that he was an ‘Unclean’ Anathema in love with a ’Blasphemer’. — “but we do know he was a very gifted man, responsible for several of the most renowned manses in the Realm — the Many Floating Gardens, where whole islands are suspended by living vines; the Still Place, where an attuned Dragon Blooded may form his thoughts out of the very earth. And there are rumours of still further wonders hidden in the Threshold — manses that would get up and walk on command, dragging their dragon-track with them; tombs that are invisible to those not of the House they hold…but a manse was not just curiosity or a dull temple. It was and still is, here, the heart of a city. And what cities…” and he told them, told them of what he’d learned — vast cities made of glass and walls that melted like ice at a secret command, and reappeared when called for — cities of vast creatures formed by coaxing living trees.

“There were towers built like reeds, that only swayed gently when the earth shook; there were canopies of flowing water that caught the rain and did not wet the heads below. There were messenger birds grown out of crystal that rang when the wind touched their wings. There were stones that held the scent of fresh flowers.” He had closed his eyes to the children’s gaze, and ignored that part of him that protested that he had not known some of these things a moment ago, which he now saw and felt and remembered.

“There were concert halls whose walls showed pictures flowing from the music, there were fountains where the spray formed the faces of heroes, there were houses of ice in desert climes, in the City there was an egg flight that became a sunburst at the first rays of dawn, a palace of rays that was a temple to the Unconquered…” he just now noticed that he was feeling unaccountably warm. He opened his eyes. “Sun…” he trailed off. Why were they looking at him thus? What had he been saying? And what…he gazed in bewilderment at the cityscape suspended in the air around him like dust-motes in sunbeams. It seemed to flow out of the warm glow about him and he realized that he remembered this place, this wonder, this coruscating metropolis. Even as he reached out to touch the dream, it vanished, and he saw the children’s faces clearly, decaying from wonder into fear.

“Anathema,” he heard the redhead whisper, and, as if started out of slumber, the guards reached for their swords.

To be continued…


I think I know this guy too.

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