In the darkness of night, standing in the middle of a vast expanse of gray, a single ‘Beast’ howled. Its voice did not cause the air to vibrate and produce sound in the traditional sense. And of course, within the range of its cries, not a single living being existed.
So nothing was there to listen to or understand the voice of the Shiantor, ‘The First Beast’. But still, the ‘Beast’ continued to howl, not growing tired nor losing hope, or perhaps not even understanding those concepts, forever and ever, producing a meaningless sound which reached no one’s ears.
Gazing down from Regul Aire, the gray landscape may look the same everywhere, but if you actually come down to the ground, you would be surprised at how many of the ups and downs of the previous terrain you can notice. Where a hill used to be, a gently sloping sand dune now sits. A gray peak where a steep, towering mountain used to be. And in places where stone buildings used to stand, you can clearly see ruins, still containing traces of the former architecture. Because of this, the salvagers can weave through the ashen debris, searching for vestiges of the long lost civilization.
Now, let’s talk about the land right at the foot of the howling ‘Beast’. Just a little longer than five hundred years ago, there was a small town here. It wasn’t very prosperous and didn’t have any significant industries, but what it did have was a long history. From the stone paving on the streets and the trees planted alongside it and the stops of the patrol wagons, all the way to the cheap apartments, everything in the town seemed to stand proudly with a certain personality which seemed to say ‘I’ve been here for hundreds of years, you know’.
The orphanage on the outskirts of town was no exception. Originally an old kindergarten, the repurposed building stood with a mighty pose that reminded you of its lengthy past. In other words, it was falling apart. Every time rain fell or the wind blew, its inhabitants ran about with wooden boards and hammer at the ready.
The town had a total population of about three thousand. And the orphanage, about twenty. That was 526 years ago. Now, those scenes remain only in the memories of a certain someone.
And now, the ‘Beast’ continues to howl, releasing scream after scream which go nowhere and reach no one.
Let me tell you a little secret.
It is said that the Elven elders used to be able to exchange words solely using their minds, not creating any vibrations in the air. What the ‘Beast’ is now doing is almost identical to that: a type of telepathic communication which only one from a similar species with a similar mental structure can receive.
And each of the seventeen ‘Beasts’ counts as its own species. The words of a Shiantor will reach only another Shiantor.
And the Shiantor is the only one of its kind. Its entire existence, so close to completeness, remains inside a single body. Even if you search the whole world, you’ll never find anything that could be called its kin.
So the voice of the ‘Beast’ will truly reach nowhere and be heard by no one. It simply continues to howl a soundless symphony, as it has been doing since it first appeared in this world, and as it will continue to do for eternity.
The cries of the lone ‘Beast’, without touching anyone, without resounding with anyone, simply melt into the infinite ashen wasteland and disappear.