THE CORE OF THIS WORLD THRUMS WITH MUSIC. The music of branches, of footsteps, of vibrating stars. Of hiccups, of ripped flesh, of wood crackling to ash. The refrains of the wilds are echoes in caves plunged deep within the earth, ecstasies in chants that shake the very fabric of the sky.
The WITCH SYLV was crafted from such things. From wings fluttering against the grip of webs, from water dripping upon sun-beat stones, from hearts pumping blood to dance, to laugh, to spill upon the dirt. His fingers tap arpeggios into the very fabric of the wilds. They say he drapes his eyes in woven cloth to block all unnecessary sense, to tune his ears to each whistle of the woods.
I quite like him. He makes a good dinner guest. When presented with an instrument, he will weigh it between his hands. He will press it to his ear. He will ask, so politely you cannot bear to deny him, to take it with him when he leaves. When he next returns, in days or months or years, he will play the most beautiful melody you have never heard and will never hear again. He will accompany himself, dark and brooding, hands light upon the strings, the brass, the keys. He is remixing himself, always. He captures sounds both yours and his — nails tapping against glass, the crackle of oil in a pan — and replays them from his mouth. Repeats and refurbishes, spins and syncopates. He calls this a new kind of music. I do not understand it, myself.
When he next returns, in days or months or years, he will play the most beautiful melody you have never heard and will never hear again. He will accompany himself, dark and brooding, hands light upon the strings, the brass, the keys.
When he disappears he is in search of a sound. A hunt that never ends, a pursuit of perfection indiscernible to those without such music in their marrow. He lures ravens with bits of silver and shine then lays in the grass to hear their gossipy caw. He follows in the paths of WITCHES to harvest their sounds — a SYLV melody may hold an OCCULTIST’s rip of gristle from bone, the ring of a HAG's wooden chime, the harmony of an ENCHANTRESS’s gilded words. He will follow a NECROMANCER to coo gentle lullabies to the dying, claim nothing but the exhale of their ghostly sigh in return. He will watch a MAGE scribe his sounds only to collect the scratch of their quill on bark. It is his gift as a SEER to hear music in everything, to follow its sumptuous call. He can hear the shifting of fate in birdsong, in new growth, in the grip of your hand in his.
If you’re lucky, the luckiest WITCH in all the wilds, you may hear the call of SYLV's most precious sound. A sound he waited lifetimes to fruit, a single note of the utmost joyful sorrow. When SYLV awoke to the cacophony of his creation, his first SEER vision was of a heron. Neck curved, legs bowed, beak triumphant as it pierced the expanse of the sky. He knew this heron would, at the moment of their meeting, let forth the most harrowing, hopeful sound. A sound that would ripple the stillness of the WITCH SYLV's consciousness forever until heard and clutched to his ever-pumping heart. For decades he pursued this creature, making his home among reeds and wetting his ankles in every pool of water in the wilds. When they met — finally, fastidiously — the whole of this world quaked. I’ve been begging to hear this moment in composition. Perhaps one of you finally will.
Give the first accolade