The idea of Faith is that you act as though you had perfect knowledge, while understanding that you don’t. Faith and hope oft go hand-in-hand, and their diametric opposite is Fear. Faith is a principle of Action and Power. Actions of Faith must be in-line with a being’s core in order to find root and flourish.
The Hearts and Minds of the Gods are above mortals’. They think and act and feel on a level that we, their worshipers could never hope to reach. Like children, we look to the safety of their bosoms, and the hope of their protection and rewards in the world to come. As such, we can’t possibly hope to know what they know, though we must obey their commands despite that lack of knowledge. That’s where Faith comes in.
When I was learning of Osiris, I was told a metaphor. The Word of a God is a maze we must walk through to exit to exaltation. We are blind to know the direction or material by which the maze is created, but Faith is the guide that urges us onward, and gives us the confidence to finish.
Faith and Hope are partners; Hope is the fuel of Faith, which guides and sustains in the maze. Hope is often equated to Light, whose brethren are Love and Trust. If fueled, it will tamp out the Fear in our hearts, which Fear is the festering disease that eats at Hope and Faith, and causes us to stop in our progression through the maze.
Partnered with Hope, for eternal life and exaltation, Faith becomes a principle of Action and Power. Priests have no knowledge of spellcraft, nor do they make pacts with demonic beings face-to-face. Their entire source of power comes from Faith that their god is there, and that they listen to their cries. True, there are scholarly priests that are well versed, and claim to have perfect knowledge of the existence and power of gods, but none of them is acting on more than faith and scripture. Even so, they have such power to rival the most powerful Wizards.
Even with perfect Faith that a God is real, you truly cannot thrive and flourish without personally matching the God’s essence. That is why I have stopped most of my trickery. I had found a God that was in line with my core, but discovered his treachery and sin. My God, the Great One, the Lord Osiris, is the one to whom I have devotion. I have, through Faith and Devotion, become more like Osiris.
Seaweed cannot grow in the desert; neither can a Cactus grow in the Yin-Sloth Jungles. Faith can only go so far. You can only call so much power from a god you don’t imitate in your core, or is against all you believe in. Much like Seaweed or Cactus, Faith and Hope can only thrive in a vessel and environment that’s appropriate.
Three people’s faith surprised me this week.
Indaris Excellar, the well-meaning priest of Isis, and chamberlain of CrIsis, followed his faith to a path that to my understanding is absolutely not what the average worshipper expects of the Strict and Scrupulous Isis. I know better, though. Isis is ‘The One of Countless Names.’ The ‘Queen of War,’ and the ‘Lady in Red,’ Isis is the premiere goddess of War and Retribution. She is the ‘Queen of the Thunderbolt,’ the ‘Queen of the Underworld.’ All of her domains, even the Underworld, bow to her as her power and fury shake their foundations. She is the Queen of the Gods, and many of her children have pierced her heart. Long has she held back her fury and rage, but no more! She will avenge the death of her King and Husband, Osiris. She will return to Palladium, and the many universes, The Great One to whom all owe allegiance.
She will Overcome. She will Succeed.
When we tried to make entrance to Xerx’ses’ penultimate event, a legion of elves barred our way. They had the same worries that I had, that such a difference of race and ability absolutely ruin the spirit of the Lopanic Games. The victory of Xerx’ses is almost hollow to me, though I know that the simple and honest being was not entering in the hopes of ruining the competition. I think, though, that most of his inhuman strength is stripped as he enters the arenas, to level the playing field for the others.
They barred our entrance, and members of CrIsis inadvertently incited the innocent bystanders to riot against the seasoned Elven troops between us and the pitch. Before there was bloodshed, however, a resonant baritone, magically enhanced over the din of protestors, called overall and demanded peace. The voice belonged to none other than Sir Thurgood. I normally would insert an insulting name in place of his, but I no longer feel it fits.
Though his authority is absolute in Lopania, he met resistance. And though his loathing was evident in his face, he fell in alongside CrIsis in a skirmish for our very lives against dozens of magicians and assassins. Several magical attacks and a few poisoned darts each hit Xerx’ses and Sir Thurgood. It is so refreshing to go up against a foe that is well-trained and seasoned, though I wish I never had to. It is so much easier to defeat enemies otherwise.
Asher, despite danger of physical and mental personal harm, rushed to Sir Thurgood’s aid before his brother-at-arms Xerx’ses. He labored feverishly over the soldier’s listless form, and in a matter of moments, Thurgood’s eyes fluttered open. Asher wiped the sweat from his brow, and after asking Thurgood’s condition from him, walked back to Xerx’ses.
The look on Thurgood’s face was utterly priceless. A mixture of loathing, begrudging respect that almost looked like he was having a stroke. He turned his head from the Kobold before the throbbing blood vessel in his forehead burst, and ended the debacle.
As was expected, the Minotaur won the race, though he had reason to worry, as the fastest human in Palladium raced against him, though it’s too bad the late Danzi wasn’t around to race. I am sure he would have been in the running for first. Hah, get it? In the Running? In the end, it came down to stride length.
Indaris, through a struggle of his faith, decided to follow the word and command of Isis.
Many months back, the Priest received a personal vision from his Goddess. How he could look the Mother of Gods in the face, I have no idea. Such images fill me with waves of awe and terror, even sitting safely on my pallet, writing by candlelight. In this vision, they spoke of the Quest; mainly they spoke of the Lung of Her Husband. Indaris was commanded in this vision to use all that the Gods have given him to succeed, despite anything any other being might say. He was filled with Hope of victory, and Faith that Her word was law. He was told that his Holy Runic Mace would be able to conceal itself, and that the word of the Gods would see him to victory, and he believed.
Watching him win duel after duel against battle-hardened swordmasters, I struggled with my own Faith. I wondered how this was righteous, and how Isis, the Queen of the Lawgiver, could condone this to happen, much less command it. As I prayed to Osiris, though, I realized that the Only Law that matters is the Word from Osiris’ Wife, as Osiris’ proxy in the world of the living.
Any law that contradicts that Prime Law is evil, and is not worthy of following.
Xerx’ses and Asher disagree with me. They believe that all law is just in that it protects the innocent, despite being enacted by evil men. As the Leader on Land, I must honor and embrace all of the desires and needs of those in CrIsis.
That is, in the end, why I, together with CrIsis, allowed Indaris to be remanded into custody of Sir Thurgood when the holy ruse failed. Thurgood’s seeds of his Faith grew with that act. His vessel was already in tune with our vessels, and the purpose that we have – that of ensuring that Good vanquish Evil – is also his purpose. Asher’s unfaltering words of obeisance to the law tipped the scales, and our subjection to his JUST authority caused him to grant us clemency from the angry crowds surrounding us in the stands.
We shall see if the Law of Isis will buoy us above the dark events of a Priest of Isis, Contender in the Lopanic Games, and Member of Crisis, directly and outwardly defying a pact with Rurga.
Power to Ra, Glory to Osiris.
>>An essay on Faith from his journal, in the section spanning from Thoth 1st through the 15th in the 23rd Year of Emperor Voelkian Itomas II, by Azariel, Apprentice Alchemist. Acolyte of Osiris and the Lady Luck.<<
First Picture by FBCA
Second Picture by Wikimedia
Third Picture: Wikia.