The Fiftieth Leaf


Inside this Book of Sorren is the only place I feel safe in what I have to say, for I fear that my speculations, should they be known, would bring apprehension and distrust to those of whom I hold such authority. I have no desire to cause such fear and distrust. A King must be strong, but in truth, from the moment I have come in contact with this book my life has changed, and I cannot say that I like this change.  But in truth, it may also be that this book is the only place that I should never speak, and it may be that this is a cursed book.  I am in doubt, for my nightmares have returned once again.  I have always had an active dream life, and I have even come to suspect that my dreams are preordained, or in some way, glimpses of the future.  When I opened up this Book of Sorren, everything changed.  Sometimes, early on when I first received the book, I felt like I was being watched, even when I was alone.  This feeling often would be so vivid and powerful that I would wake up and have no chance of returning to sleep again.  And then I started to notice that Sorren also spoke about this very same thing, as if the book itself was directly affecting his connection to the present world and that some form of connection existed into another world, another time.  Sorren named this experience.  The Watchers he called them, and he was convinced that it was more than one entity.  My fear is that this strange phenomenon may be intrinsic to this book, and that the book itself is some form of sympathetic magic.  This book may be the source of the nightmares which haunt my nights.  And now I know that I must reexamine the conditions under which Sorren received this book.  He has written about it at the beginning, and I thought he was merely trying to sound clever, but now I suspect something else, something very peculiar was happening from the very beginning of his exposure of this book.  Somehow I feel partially responsible, for it was I that taught Sorren how to read, and I am very proud of him, but I never could have anticipated this strange condition to which he would be subjected, and that he was chosen to have this book for reasons that were not his own.  I fear too that this book may be causing my dreams to become manifest, but if this is true, I fear for my kingdom even more.  I must not let this book out of my sight . . . or I must destroy it.


And the theme returns once again: that this book has a power not described by anything that we can understand. It speaks to the owner through dreams and intimation. While this is a very literary and interesting idea, I am pressed to ask why this power has not affected me. How is it that I am removed from this influence? And so now I feel like an agnostic in a roomful of believers and I begin to entertain the idea that I will likely never understand the central mysteries submerged within this endeavor. I have had great difficulty in developing this response to the Fiftieth Leaf and have left the words of Sigmus uncurated for some time now. Normally, I receive a bit of feedback from my brother about either the leaf, or my commentary, or some new excitement or insight he has had. But I have received no word from him in several weeks now. His additions to The Tree of Fragments have also abruptly stopped. While I remain unaffected by this book, I fear that my brother may still be under its power, and that while I struggle to continue this story, that he may be caught within the currents of time.

- D