The Architect's Essence, The Diary of Sunrise

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12th Soreen, 2649 A.R.T

I know that I have skipped forwards several hundred years from the events of my last entry but as I’ve sat here in the Reformed Library of Mount Bedlam recalling the extraordinary events of 2479 with my good friends Yarn and Script, Mount Bedlam and the surrounding lands have fallen under the spell of winter and we have experienced a most beautiful show of the seasons magnificence.

Earlier today, to clear my head and to help loosen the memories of my trip to the Foundations, myself, Yarn and Script took a stroll through Mount Bedlam’s Southern Gardens and I had been so captivated by the natural beauty of the winter scenery that I thought it deserved recording in literature before Spring destroys the fine artistry and workmanship which the Architect has clearly employed in its design and creation. I am well aware that up to this point my diary has been quite damning of the Architect and his mysterious workings, so much so that Script has referred to it on more than one occasion as a --346 page dossier of the Architect’s failings, a falsehood which I hope to invalidate with my following clumsy portrayal of the winter’s beauty.

Before we ventured out on our winter excursion, Yarn insisted that we equip ourselves with several layers of knitted garments including; scarves, hats, jumpers, gloves, mittens, socks, balaclavas, vests, underpants, jackets, leggings, arm socks, shrugs, shawls and earmuffs, (an accessory which, though comfy, I find hard to accurately position on an Orderly’s ear-less head.) Yarn also presented us with an intricate piece of knitmanship, (a term coined by Yarn himself that has yet to make it into Miss Samuela’s book of words,) an item which he had called a bazonenga, a winter accessory of his own design which consists of a knitted cosy and a sash that is applied to the beak of an Orderly’s mask to keep it toasty warm on cold days.

Yarn has also requested that I urge all readers who are about to embark upon the following description of winter’s majesty to swaddle themselves in all of the aforementioned woolly garments for fear that I will somehow channel the current frigidness of the outside world through my descriptions and chill you to the bone, (clearly he has more faith in the power of my writing than I do.)

To help keep you toasty warm during the following account, Yarn has included a bazonenga knit pattern on page 342 which he promises will keep your beak at a comfortable temperature even during the chilliest of winter days.

The first scene I’d encountered upon entering the Southern Gardens was that of the pond, a large body of water which was created by Oat’s as a habitat for skitorbs, ducks, bugles and as a stop-off point for absorbent to use during their annual migration from the Cherubim Ocean to Wishing Falls in the Chaarn Rainforest. Today however the pond was completely frozen over, its surface a glossy sheet of snow-speckled ice which was fringed with frost-encrusted bulrushes, all of which were sparkling quite gayly in a shaft of cold winter sunlight. Due to the inclement weather and current solidity of her watery home, our resident duck Clementine has taken up temporary residence in a tin bath in Cloud’s personal chambers, a cosy warm refuge where she receives daily petting and several servings of stale wholemeal bread.

After viewing the ponds stirring exhibition of winter wetland fashion, we had headed left down the west-bound nut walk which leads towards the topiary paddock and the southern lawn, an expanse of manicured grass which, prior to its mysterious disappearance some twenty-one years ago, once offered spectacular views of Zorrogon City and the Creation Tree. I sincerely hope that one day the Creation Tree will again grace the view from the Southern Lawn with its majesty. May the evils which have concealed Zorrogon and our beloved Tree of Creation forever be banished from the Expanse.

Near the edge of the lawn we encountered a rather grand snowman whom I am guessing was a creation of one of our patients. The snowman had been equipped with stick arms, the traditional coal eyes and mouth and a rather handsome-looking carrot which I’m sure is the absolute pinnacle in root vegetable face adornments. The snowman had a rather melancholy look about him and unfortunately, I believe that Yarn may have discovered him before us as he was swaddled in all manner of woolly garments including a rather oppressive looking scarf, earmuffs and even a specially designed carrot-cosy. Though, as he had done with us, I’d known Yarn had been trying to pay the snowman a kindness in dressing him against the frigid elements, Myself, Pulida and Script had decided that such warm attire may be potentially deadly for a snowman, an outfit which could potentially reduce him to fashionably dressed puddle. Therefore, in the interests of health and safety, we had decided it would be prudent to strip the snowman naked, an activity which had twice seen him loose his carrot nose and coal features, appendages which, though I’d tried my hardest, I could not quite reposition correctly on his face. As we had bid the snowman farewell and had continued on our walk I could not help but worry that we had done more harm than good, but as the snowman’s expression seemed a great deal happier than when we had met him, I had decided that it was a job well done.

After skirting the southern lawn, we came to the Topiary Paddock, a large fenced enclosure in which Oats corralled his enchanted topiary collection. Today, due to the inclement weather, the topiary had been quite inert and still and even the griffin, which normally escaped and ran amok through Oats’ vegetable patch was unmoving, a blanket of snow steadily accumulating upon its wings and back. The snow lay piled over the path ahead and it had drifted against the paddock’s outer wall in a most beautiful and unusual fashion, sculpted by the glistening wind into icy formations which arched and curved back on themselves to resemble turbulent, frozen waves. Myself, Pulida and Script had decided that the path ahead was far too beautiful for us to devastate with our clumsy footsteps and so we had decided to alter our planned route and had instead taken a shortcut through the orchard, a course which led us toward the butterfly house at the rear of the garden.

The butterfly house had been lit with many syphon orbs and through the frosted glass we had spied Butterfly hard at work within, tending his caterpillars and chrysalises. Several snugs snoozed in the vegetation surrounding him, all of them on loan from the Snug Barracks and tasked with warming the butterfly house during the cold weather.

Despite the best efforts of the assembled snugs, in places the glass of the butterfly house was coated in thick ice which had formed a most extraordinary and beautiful floral pattern over its surface. It had seemed as if some master artist who specialised in the medium of the seasons had hand painted the glass with frost, creating a most intricate mural of winter’s majesty. The eves of the butterfly house had also been adorned with rows of glittery icicles which had varied in length from that of a snowman’s carroty nose to that of a snowman’s carroty nose which had been inadvertently knocked off and had been mistakenly replaced with a courgette. Though the icicles were beautiful to behold we kept ourselves at a safe distance from them, cautious of the health and safety risks which they posed. I understand that impalement can be quite an uncomfortable affair but I imagine impalement on ice is doubly unpleasant.

As we’d gazed upon the attractive yet pointy beauty of the icicles, Butterfly himself had emerged from the butterfly house, a small cage in his hands. He had greeted us with a wave and had proceed to open the cage, releasing a rabble of butterflies into the snow-strewn sky. At first, I had thought they had escaped, but upon questioning him on the matter, he had informed us that the escapees in question were in fact his latest brood of jacquard butterfly and that the day’s frigid weather was the ideal conditions to release them. (As you may remember, the jacquard butterfly is the cold-loving and critically endangered species which Butterfly has been endeavouring to save from extinction.) He had informed us that since he’d begun his breeding program wild jacquard butterfly numbers had drastically increased and with any luck the strong north-easterly wind would help guide the newly emerged butterflies back to their natural habitat in the Abyss Mountains. It was news that, despite the cold weather, had warmed me.

After bidding Butterfly farewell and leaving him to his work we had come across two sets of footprints in the snow, and, curious of who they belonged to we had followed them back through the frozen gardens, passing through the weed garden and the wetland boarders in their pursuit. Eventually we had caught up with a heavily swaddled Orderly near the zen garden, another victim of Yarn’s knitwear enforcement. The individual had turned out to be Po-po whom had informed us that he had decided to take a stroll to clear his head before undertaking his stock taking duties in the chalk closet. Upon querying whom he had been walking with he suggested that we all invest in some spectacles as he was clearly walking with his good friend Po-po whom he claimed to be the owner of the second set of footprints. After a round of bemused shrugs we had informed Po-po that our stroll had also been undertaken in order to clear our heads, hoping to blow away the cobwebs of the past whilst trying to re-write the story of our origins.

Upon hearing this Po-po had nodded enthusiastically and had reminded me to include the events of another snowy day which had occurred over a century ago. It had been a day when someone very special had stumbled into our lives, a day when we had all truly been speechless in the snow and a day which, all being well, I will relate to you before the conclusion of this diary.

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