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【书籍搬运】The Seed 萌芽

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原文地址:http://www.uesp.net/wiki/Skyrim:The_Seed
作者:马罗巴·苏尔
翻译:花溪流萤
Lorikh是一个依偎在 Dejasyte灰棕色沙丘与砂砾间的平和矮人村落。此地寸草不生,只有暗淡的枯树遗骸四处散布。随大篷车前来的Kamdida望着自己的新家园,心中充满绝望。(毕竟)在她家被驱逐之前,她一直都生活在北方的林地之中。而此处鲜见亮色,水源匮乏,唯有浩瀚无垠的空旷。好一片死寂之地。

她母亲的亲族收留了Kamdida和她的弟弟Nevith,对这对遗腹子也非常友善,然而在异乡的村落中,她还是觉得孤独。直到她在水源供给地结识了一位在此工作的亚龙女人。她的名字叫做Sigerthe,远在矮人到达之前数百年就世居于Lorikh,那时这里还是一片雄奇壮丽的森林。

“为什么树木都死去了?”Kamdida问道

“在这片土地上只有亚龙人生活时,我们从来不砍伐树木,我们不像你们一样需求柴禾。”当矮人来临时,我们同意他们可以对植物尽取所需,只要发誓不碰被我们以及这片土地视为圣物的Hist。此后很长年,我们和谐相处,无欲无求。”

“后来发生什么事情了?”

“你们之中的一些科学家发现将木材中的水分熏干,铸造成型,之后进行晾晒提炼出的树胶,可以制造出一种弹性甚佳的他们称作resin的铠甲,”Sigerthe说道。“此处绝大多数树木产胶稀少,唯有Hist盛产树胶。有些甚至满溢到闪闪发亮,这激发了矮人商人的贪婪之心。在利益的驱动下,他们聘用了一个叫 Juhnin的樵夫砍伐这些神圣的乔木。”

苍老的亚龙女人望向满布砂砾的土地叹息道:“当然,我们亚龙人极力反对。这里是我们的家园,而且Hist一旦倾倒,永不再生。商人们退缩了,但是Juhnin为了击垮我们的意志独自采取了行动。在那些血腥的恐惧之日里,他用他的战斧昭告天下,他娴熟的伐木技巧照样可以用来砍人,任何敢于阻止他的亚龙人都劈成碎片,罔论老幼。 居于Lorikh的矮人们,紧闭着大门,对屠杀的哀嚎充耳不闻。”

“好可怕” Kamdida叹道

“一言难尽”Sigerthe说道。“残存的亚龙人并不畏死,死亡给予我们的阵痛远不及树木的消逝可怕。你必须懂得Hist乃吾之所生,吾之所往。吾躯不足惜,然树之消亡足坼人心。当Juhnin最终向Hist挥起斧头,他便抹杀了这片土地的意义。河床开始干涸,动物纷纷倒毙,树木荫庇下的其余生灵亦分崩离析,湮灭于尘土。”

“那为什么你们还留在这里?” Kamdida问道“不想离开么?”

“我们只是留下来束手待毙,只不过我走的晚些罢了。我们之中很少有人足以强壮到走出世代生存的枯林。长久以往,直至现在,Lorikh的空气中仍散布着芬芳的生命之息,它曾赐予我们生机。但随着我们沉沉逝去,生命之息终将渐行渐远。”

Kamdida流着泪说道:“那时我将在此孤零零的生活,没有树木,也没有朋友。”

“我们亚龙人有句谚语”Sigerthe握着Kamdida的手悲伤笑道。“种子最好的沃土是人之心灵。”

Kamdida望向Sigerthe的手掌,一粒黑色小球静静躺在肌肤的纹理之间。那是颗种子。“可这颗种子看起来已经死了”

“Lorikh只有一处地方尚可令其成长,”亚龙老人说道。“那是坐落于远离村落的某处山栾间的小屋。我无法接近那里,因为它的主人会一眼认出我的种族,然后将我杀掉,我的求生之心令我萎顿不前。但是你可以去往哪里,将种子种下。”

“这会怎么样呢?”Kamdida问道。“Hist可以死而复生么?”

“不会,但是他们的部分力量会回归。”

是夜,Kamdida悄悄离开自己的小屋,走入层层山峦之中。他听说过Sigerthe提及的小屋。她的叔叔婶婶曾警告她永远不要靠近哪里。即将抵达时,门开了,一位苍老而不失雄壮的男人扛着一把大斧走了出来。

“你在这里干什么,小孩儿?”他问道。“夜色中,我差点把你误认为亚龙人。”

“我在黑暗中迷路了,”她不假思索的回道。“我正在找回Lorikh家的路。”

“那么赶紧离开这里。”

“你可以给我一根蜡烛么?”她可怜兮兮的问道。“我一直在到处打转,恐怕不借助蜡烛照明,一会儿就会绕回来。”

老人嘟囔着返回屋中。Kamdida马上开始在干土上挖洞,尽可能深的将种子撒了进去。随后取着蜡烛回家了。

“最好别再让我看见你,”他咆哮道。“否则我就把你劈成两半。”

说完他便返回屋子并点亮了另一根蜡烛。下一个清晨,当他醒来后,打开门望去,他发现自己的小屋几乎被一颗参天大树笼罩。他抓起大斧一斧又一斧的砍向大树,却怎么砍都无法砍倒。每当看出一个缺角,大树就会自动愈合。他高高低低的砍了无数缺口,但每次树木都会自愈。

很久之后,有人发现苍老的Juhnin倒毙于敞开的大门前,手中仍然握着斧刃已卷起的烂斧。他死前所经历了何种骇然景象至今成迷,然而有关他被一柄沾有树胶的宝剑刺穿的传说已散布开来。

此后不久,不知名的荒原小花重新绽放,将原本贫瘠的土地点缀的生机盎然。新播种的树木也开始茁壮成长,虽然还不繁盛。Hist并没有归来,但Kamdida以及Lorikh的人们始终相信,在不久之后的清晨亦或黄昏,这种雄壮古老的参天大树的宽大阴影将再次笼罩此地的山山水水。

出版者按:

“萌芽”由马罗巴·苏尔改编自一个起源于晨风南部亚龙人奴隶之间,如今已广为流传的故事。"马罗巴·苏尔" 仅仅将原文中的黑暗精灵替换为矮人,并声称自己取材于矮人遗迹。更有甚者,他随后辩称亚龙人版本是抄袭他的“原创”作品。

显然Lorikh并不是矮人名字,甚至并存在这种名字,事实上,“Lorikh" 倒是常常作为错误的命名出现在戈尔·菲林戏剧中的黑暗精灵男身上。在亚龙人的口头相传中,这个故事的发生地通常位于瓦丹非尔,Sadrith Mora的泰尔梵尼 城。当然,那些Zero Temple的所谓“学者”们会声称这个故事在此影射“洛可汗”,仅仅因为小镇名字的首字母是L。

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The hamlet village of Lorikh was a quiet, peaceful Dwemer community nestled in the monochrome grey and tan dunes and boulders of the Dejasyte. No vegetation of any kind grew in Lorikh, though there were blackened vestiges of long dead trees scattered throughout the town. Kamdida arriving by caravan looked at her new home with despair. She was used to the forestland of the north where her father's family had haled. Here there was no shade, little water, and a great open sky. It looked like a dead land.
Her mother's family took Kamdida and her younger brother Nevith in, and was very kind to the orphans, but she felt lonely in the alien village. It was not until she met an old Argonian woman who worked at the water factory that Kamdida found a friend. Her name was Sigerthe, and she said that her family had lived in Lorikh centuries before the Dwemer arrived, when it was a great and beauteous forest.
"Why did the trees die?" asked Kamdida.
"When there were Argonians only in this land, we never cut trees for we had no need for fuel or wooden structures such as you use. When the Dwemer came, we allowed them to use the plants as they needed them, provided they never touched the Hist, which are sacred to us and to the land. For many years, we lived peaceably. No one wanted for anything."
"What happened?"
"Some of your scientists discovered that distilling a certain tree sap, molding it and drying it, they could create a resilient kind of armor called resin," said Sigerthe. "Most of the trees that grew here had very thin ichor in their branches, but not the Hist. Many of them fairly glistened with sap, which made the Dwemer merchants greedy. They hired a woodsman named Juhnin to start clearing the sacred arbors for profit."
The old Argonian woman looked to the dusty ground and sighed, "Of course, we Argonians cried out against it. It was our home, and the Hist, once gone, would never return. The merchants reconsidered, but Juhnin took it on his own to break our spirit. He proved one terrible, bloody day that his prodigious skill with the axe could be used against people as well as trees. Any Argonian who stood in his way was hewn asunder, children as well. The Dwemer people of Lorikh closed their doors and their ears to the cries of murder."
"Horrible," gasped Kamdida.
"It is difficult to explain," said Sigerthe. "But the deaths of our living ones was not nearly as horrible to us as the death of our trees. You must understand that to my people, the Hist are where we come from and where we are going. To destroy our bodies is nothing; to destroy our trees is to annihilate us utterly. When Juhnin then turned his axe on the Hist, he killed the land. The water disappeared, the animals died, and all the other life that the trees nourished crumbled and dried to dust."
"But you are still here?" asked Kamdida. "Why didn't you leave?"
"For us, we are trapped. I am one of the last of a dying people. Few of us are strong enough to live away from our ancestral groves, and sometimes, even now, there is a perfume in the air of Lorikh that gives us life. It will not be long until we are all gone."
Kamdida felt tears welling up in her eyes. "Then I will be alone in this horrible place with no trees and no friends."
'We Argonians have an expression," said Sigerthe with a sad smile, taking Kamdida's hand. "That the best soil for a seed is found in your heart."
Kamdida looked into the palm of her hand and saw that Sigerthe had given her a small black pellet. It was a seed. "It looks dead."
"It can only grow in one place in all Lorikh," said the old Argonian. "Outside an old cottage in the hills outside town. I cannot go there, for the owner would kill me on sight and like all my people, I am too frail to defend myself now. But you can go there and plant the seed."
"What will happen?" asked Kamdida. "Will the Hist return?"
"No. But some part of their power will."
That night, Kamdida stole from her house and into the hills. She knew the cottage Sigerthe had spoken of. Her aunt and uncle had told her never to go there. As she approached it, the door opened and an old but powerfully built man appeared, a mighty axe slung over his shoulder.
"What are you doing here, child?" he demanded. "In the dark, I almost took you to be a lizard man."
"I've lost my way in the dark," she said quickly. "I'm trying to get back to my home in Lorikh."
"Be on your way then."
"Do you have a candle I might have?" she asked piteously. "I've been walking in circles and I'm afraid I'll only return back here without any light."
The old man grumbled and walked into his house. Quickly, Kamdida dug a hole in the dry dirt and buried the seed as deeply as she could. He returned with a lit candle.
"See to it you don't come back here," he growled. "Or I'll chop you in half."
He returned to his house and fire. The next morning when he awoke and opened the door, he found that his cottage was entirely sealed within an enormous tree. He picked up his axe and delivered blow and after blow to the wood, but he could never break through. He tried side chops, but the wood healed itself. He tried an upper chop followed by an under chop to form a wedge, but the wood sealed.
Much time went by before someone discovered old Juhnin's emaciated body lying in front of his open door, still holding his blunted, broken axe. It was a mystery to all what he had been chopping with it, but the legend began circulating through Lorikh that Hist sap was found on the blade.
Shortly thereafter, small desert flowers began pushing through the dry dirt in the town. Trees and plants newly sown began to live tolerably well, if not luxuriantly. The Hist did not return, but Kamdida and the people of Lorikh noticed that at a certain time around twilight, long, wide shadows of great, bygone trees would fill the streets and hills.
Publisher's Note
"The Seed" is one of Marobar Sul's tales whose origins are well known. This tale originated from the Argonian slaves of southern Morrowind. "Marobar Sul" merely replaced the Dunmer with Dwemer and claimed he found it in a Dwemer ruin. Furthermore, he later claimed that the Argonian version of the tale was merely a retelling of his "original!"
Lorikh, while clearly not a Dwemer name, simply does not exist, and in fact "Lorikh" was a name commonly used, incorrectly, for Dunmer men in Gor Felim's plays. The Argonian versions of the story usually take place on Vvardenfell, usually in the Telvanni city of Sadrith Mora. Of course the so-called "scholars" of Temple Zero will probably claim this story has something to do with "Lorkhan" simply because the town starts with the letter L.

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