“Rus! Rus! I see you, from my lovely enchanted remoteness I see you: a country of dinginess, and bleakness and dispersal; no arrogant wonders of nature crowned by the arrogant wonders of art appear within you to delight or terrify the eyes…. So what is the incomprehensible secret force driving me towards you? Why do I constantly hear the echo of your mournful song as it is carried from sea to sea through your entire expanse?… And since you are without end yourself, is it not within you that a boundless thought will be born?” – Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol [Dead Souls, 1842].
Haggard eyes of sand – look!
At blackened, brittle trees shook
With gusts of groaning, ravaged fury,
Bursting with the leaves they took.
Like golden stars, they spin and swirl,
Glide on violent gale hurl!
Through grey force, the birds drown
And slide on through maelstrom curl.
The wind chases onward forth
From empty, endless miles North.
Ivy, creep! Cling to ruin,
Strangle dead a long lost worth.
Warmth forgotten, time is still,
Sun shine weak onto the hill.
Dim as a silver coin in the sky,
Yearning for sleep debt to fulfill.
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“Within uncharted forest, where ancient magic keeps the night sky ever-present, stands Tenebrae Manor. Within its dusky walls dwell beings of macabre whimsy, headed by the pedant demon, Bordeaux and the hedonistic gorgon, Lady Libra. These apparitions are content to live out their eternity in the half-lit gloom; that is until the arrival of a certain uninvited guest – a live human being – imperils the concealment of Tenebrae Manor and the livelihood of its residents. And in the forest surrounding a new threat emerges – a threat that is rattling the once still trees, and dooming the manor towards irreparable decay. But the characters are unmoored. While some seem desperate to maintain ascendancy over their ruinous home, others adopt a facade of mischievous indifference that could undo them all. And is Tenebrae Manor even worth saving? After all, eternity is a frightfully long time to spend alone…”