Lore illuminated ~ The elderwoman

lands imagined by eye and ear

The elders made themselves hard to miss in the pageant of our people…

Flying foremost among them in a silken sheen of lavender and gold, which we could still see despite the distance, waved a banner bearing the fabled bloodname of Pum. The letter runes lilted by graceful design, each embroidered in the finest thread of angel hare with the chilling skill of the netherworld’s needles in a heavenly hand. Above was depicted a scene of supreme glory — of a young Poxanna the Picked, courtess of Pum, adorned in sacred white robes and anointed by the Semperor himself with a glowing touch upon her forehead. So holy the image… though, between you and me, the artist may have taken some liberties. Especially in the fresh-faced maiden portrayed, a breathtaking beauty of pure and perfect female form with flowing flaxen hair, soft full lips, and the pyre-hot peace — the knowing innocence — of one who’s caught glimpse of a godsign. That figure bore little likeness to the tall, almost manly woman of late middle age who rode under it. She who sat stiff and high above all in a grand sedan chair that had been mounted on a heavy chevox and decked in regal fabrics and frills…

No, this woman who headed the body of elders could not be called comely by any stretch. It was more a skin of shields she wore, battle-pocked and built-up thick, formed at the peak of her powers — a face for fearing, not endearing to young ones like us. We had always avoided her ironwood eyes, too stern their stare, for surely they’d turn us to stone.

The photography of Michael Leacher ~ The elderwoman

So we had to be sly, even to spy her. “She must not catch our count,” cautioned Ayrie, as he figured the flags in his head…


The illuminated lore project is an ongoing collaboration of
photographer Michael Leacher
and Lore of the Underlings author John Klobucher

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