Prota 19
Prota 19

Artwork is currently being commissioned.

Prota 19
The Search for Everything

The young boy was famed throughout the region for his song and melodies. He had been gifted with an angelically soft voice that was accompanied by the sweet playing of his gentle harp. His style was unique, but he was also handsome to the people—further setting him apart from the rest of the entertainers in his region.

The town of Valoni had a small population that he had quickly outgrown. It was a neighboring town of Draka, which he often traveled to for most of the year to play in the Forum amongst other venues. The Forum would flood with massive audiences of all ages that would watch him perform. Citizens would gift him with food, money, and beds in their homes to sleep for the night. He would awake to women and men desiring to pleasure him while their spouses slept, and he often indulged.

Pythros embraced a pleasurable lifestyle, and as he grew, so did his eroticism. His soft voice swayed many lustful women, and he spoke to them with his eyes for hours as his gaze had a unique ability to undress hidden layers beneath their already naked bodies. While great passion fueled many of his relationships, they ended as quickly as they began.

Pythros spent much of his time in the affluent communities of Draka and often sailed to neighboring lands with wealthy families to provide their entertainment. He met many monarchs and played for thousands of aristocrats. However, as time went by, his relationships began to feel hollow and empty. People started sounding the same, wine became stale, and the art scenes became repetitive. He craved for new flavors and relationships, but joy started to leave his life as he felt unfulfilled with each passing experience. He eventually lost the enjoyment to entertain and stopped publicly performing as depression overtook him.

One late evening, Pythros found himself tipsy in a tavern asking his empty wine bottle if he should move back to Valoni, but it refused to give an answer. A young group of friends spotted the lonely Pythros and invited him to sit with them. After exchanging stories and emptying more cups of wine together, they all left and brought Pythros to a secluded spot in a nearby forest and circled around a small bonfire.

One of them pulled out a clay brazier with a flat surface in the middle and unrolled a parchment filled with an unusual strain of a crushed plant that released a strong scent. They all became excited and looked around to make sure they were alone. Pythros nervously asked what it was, while the girl compiled the center of the brazier with the substance. She explained that it was a divine plant cultivated by the gods to see the world through their eyes. Pythros was intrigued as a new flame of excitement and adventure sparked. She continued to explain that it was banned in all of The Lands and kept secret by the leaders out of fear that citizens would possess godly attributes and expose hidden truths of the world. She picked up a stick next to her feet and lit it on fire and slowly aimed it in the centre of the brazier. The crushed plant lit on fire and a rush of cloudy grey smoke exhausted upwards. She threw the stick into the bonfire, and each of them started taking turns to inhale the fumes while holding the brazen under their nose. Pythros was next, but he hesitated. The girl explained that they were good people and to trust them. He pointed his face over the fumes and began inhaling the incredibly pungent smoke. The rest cheered him on as he smiled and started to aggressively cough. He was reassured that it was normal for first-timers to cough in preparation to seeing the world through the eyes of the gods.

Pythros sat back down and they all quietly watched the fumes dissipate into the air. The crackling of the bonfire and whistling winds became louder. The starry night sky and moonlight glowed brighter. The crumbling soil beneath his feet and hands felt warmer. He picked up a fistful of dirt and unclenched a small opening to let it whither away in the gentle breeze. Each piece separated from the another and tumbled over on the ground. He did it again and the same thing happened—tiny clumps of dirt and rocks flew from his hand and were carried into the soft ground by the wind. As they dispersed onto the ground, he was no longer able to tell the tiny pieces apart. Pythros kept doing this until realizing that no matter how many times he separated the rocks and soil, they all fell back into the same place to unite as one. Pythros felt an unusual deeper connection with the earth and related it to those around him. Some were gazing quietly into the fire while others exchanged smiles. Like the soil and rocks, each person possessed unique traits that distinguished each from the other. One had short curly brown hair with a belly and laughed the loudest to capture attention from the others. Another had blue eyes with blonde shaggy hair that drooped over his forehead, who remained quiet and observant. Regardless of these subtle differences, they were all brought into the same spot and made of the same matter, similar like the unified dirt and rocks on the ground to which he was not able to tell apart anymore.

Pythros quietly pondered his new thoughts until the girl broke his concentration. She whispered that this plant only grew in the warmest climates. Pythros listened intently and marveled at the new found beauty that he did not find in her before. She continued telling him about a region where an abundance of these plants grew and that the people who lived there were free from any laws or limitations and could indulge in anything and everything without consequences. The others started cheering and broke into a song as they laughed and danced around the bonfire. Pythros silently drowned in the ideas of such a place until the young woman broke the silence again to invite him on their journey to get there. Pythros asked what the region was called. She paused with a juvenile grin and replied, “Hedona.”