There are very few original ideas in the world. As I learn runes, more fully than I had ever before I am discovering this. People use language for the same reason Diabolists write in Runes. They use combinations that inspire power, and evoke change. When one phrase is discovered to be more efficient and powerful than others, it travels along the lines of communication, and is used again and again. Gossip churns, and its tender is decrepit phrases falling from lips desiccated from years of misuse and neglect.
I love you.
It is a phrase that has lost all meaning or power in most areas. It is used in every brothel, by every poet, in every common room ‘connection,’ used as a payment for services rendered.
I hate you.
It is a phrase that has also lost its power and meaning. Used by soldiers, lovers, certain priests. Its power has changed the meaning to mere dislike.
A Heart of Gold.
The Bard wrote this phrase, and at the time it was instantly assumed by the aristocracy and plebes alike. Now it is thrown to the streets like chaff, and trampled underfoot like midden.
This, much like most religious cantations, has lost its meaning and power in obscurity – especially those that use it as often as breathing. I have thought to how often I have said it, and have taken to observe my speech, because I am through slogging through the mundane wordcraft of normal men. I want what I do to be new, to be important, to be powerful.
In Diabolism there are very few original Rune Phrases. Sure, it is more open than Wizardry, but sentry wards are sentry wards, and traps are traps. There are four traps always used, and maybe four sentries. Why hasn’t there been an innovation in the field for thousands of years? Aren’t there any new words? I named my horse Lictalon because he has always intrigued me. He was a mortal elf. He was not created by the universe, or the Old Ones, or the Gods to be an ideal of power. He made himself one. What could I do? I am yet young. I am well on my way to becoming the youngest, most prominent alchemist in a thousand years. That means nothing but money. Money is not power. Power is not success, unless power is your only goal, but searching power for power’s sake leads to a hollow victory. Why do I want to be an alchemist?
I want to Save the World.
I sat down this evening to write in my journal, but the words did not come. The last few months have refined me like a blacksmith’s forge. I needed to write a Declaration of Purpose – a Declaration to the known world that I am here, and I Think.
I left White Ash in early spring. I passed by the Temple at Shandala, and had the most relieving, transcendent experience of my life. To avoid sullying it with words I will say no more than a paragraph depicting my time there. I felt the eyes on my back leave as the Lady washed my past errors from me.
I learned that I was showing everything to Bes, and was his mole. I am done being someone’s pawn. I am done reacting. It’s time to act.
It relieved me to know that Bes was damned – and It scared me to realize that.
I travelled for a month through the Western Empire. My only companion was Lictalon, and we came to know my homeland intimately. We travelled along the coastline, and came across all types of people. Some we saved, some we didn’t, and others saved us. The most important thing I saw was the strife in the Middle Kingdoms, or rather, sensed. I was informed by friends of CrIsis to stay clear of them. Her Ladyship Daera Kaze is waging war, and looks to destroy all that is light and good. It is a disease that needs to be cut out.
There is nothing short of unity that I will stop at. We are on the way to another world war, one to rival the Great War, and I aim to avoid it at all costs. The great elfen strategist, Sunsioux, wrote that “the best war strategy is to avoid it altogether.” In my study of strategists, I have neglected that wisdom, and have neglected the study of the great negotiators, the great diplomats. Granted, there aren’t many at all, since there aren’t many original ideas in the world, but that makes their arguments all the more important to study. I intend to be the next greatest Diplomat.
I love my country, the Western Empire, but it is stagnant. It is the center of all civilization, but there hasn’t been a truly original idea there for centuries – The last great invention was the smooth-riding carriage, a century or more ago. For instance Lady S, My Mother, has been alive for centuries, and she keeps doing the same thing year in and year out – and she is the most successful beast in the heard.
I finally made it to the capitol, and was lost immediately. I traveled with my gaudy vestments and barding, and was set upon by thieves and silver-tongued vipers. I worked my way through it, and met the most wonderful woman I have ever known. Despite the inappropriateness, we spent the night together; talking, laughing, singing, crying, kissing, sleeping. Her love of Goddess trumps her love of anything else, a refreshing sight, even considering – and maybe because of – my travel companions.
In the golden rays of early morning I immortalized her face on a piece of parchment, upon which I will place a silver rune. I left quickly, as she had a visitor arrive. A group of soldiers without heraldry asked after me, and an old woman entered, talking to Adriana about me as well. The Lady S. I waited for her to leave, and ran to Adriana’s side when they were gone.
The Magnanimous Lady S sequestered me to some dungeon, wherein she drained me almost to permanent death, both of my magical energies and life blood, both of which are equally important to a magister. I woke once during the fortnight she had me kept. Long enough to say the worst three words I could have imagined coming from her vile, blasphemous lips. “I’m Your Mother.” A vehement “NO!” eschewed from my mouth, but luckily she let me keep my hand. She spoke to me of how my father was her lifeline for years, connected through my blood. His illness was due to her lust for immortality. With his death, she might have died in a few years, had I not wandered into her web. She also told me the most bittersweet news anyone might receive in the situation; I was going to be a father.
She nearly killed me, though I do not know what sick twist of fate kept her hand. I awoke in an inn, with Nipshank’s ugly face hovering over me, rancid meat breath curling my nose hairs. He found me naked in the street with all of my gear placed carefully around me. I noticed 72 scars along my arms, the only physical mark left from the ordeal. That day I prepared myself, and readied every needful thing for my impending return to CrIsis. I set up a joint account for Nipshanks and me, and left my fortune with him. He was as thankful as you would expect from a goblin, whose only pay requirement is “More.”
My call did not come that night, or in the morning, even after inscribing sentry wards in my items. I took a chance, and checked on my child’s mother. She was in a terrible situation, poisoned and dying. I rushed to her Temple of Isis, but no one was there, at that time of night. A beggar lead me to the main Temple Plaza, and while there he revealed he was in fact the head priest of Isis! He demanded I take him to Adriana. We were set upon by an assassin, most likely the same that attacked my beloved. The Priest held off the assassin while I took Adriana to Priest Donal of the Church of Apis, a prominent healer, and one of the only ones familiar with the strange poison ailing her.
He was slow to trust me, but that is nothing to defame him about. It is a laudable trait in today’s climates. He healed Addie, and vetted me.
This was the most important conversation I have had in years.
Priest Donal, a priest of light in the most prominent city in the known universe, had no idea that CrIsis was anything more than children’s stories. Rings are sold on the streets to copy the Torch Rings, players perform stories from the books as if they are ancient history, or a fabrication.
We talked on the state of the Church of Light, the plight of CrIsis, and the plight of the individual churches of the Pantheon. He was in the dark about the alliances of Utu and Vald-Tegor with Set, pun intended, but I was able to reveal this to him. The conversation turned to a very serious discussion of what we should do, as icons of the Pantheon of Ra, to save the parishioners of the Church. I suggested something that will either kill me for blasphemy, or it will save us and all our children.
I suggested we ally ourselves with the Gods of Light of all pantheons. Set and Anubis are dipping into the pantheons of barbaric cultures, like Utu and Vald-Tegor. It is time we asked for help. It is no longer a war between Ra and Set. It is a war between eternal life or eternal damnation of all peoples, creeds and faiths on Palladium. We cannot hold to our old prejudice.
I know the problems that this generates. In my studies of religion at the Guild I learned why there are segregations among the gods. They are in Pantheons because they gain power from it. It’s the difference between letting rain water flow freely down a hill, or building a trench and irrigation. Gods get their power from the faith of their followers. The more followers, and the stronger faith, the more power they get. If all gods went without pantheon, they would have to rely solely on the faith of those that followed them specifically, as opposed to those who believe in any higher power. With a pantheon, it’s like an irrigation canal that keeps all of the faith directed at them, and they get the overlap of faith when a believer doesn’t just worship their one god.
The war plaguing this world is more than petty squabbles between believers. This war is set to destroy all pantheons of Light. All gods, independent of pantheon, are and should get involved. In order to save the segregation, we need to put it away.
Priest Donal understood the importance of this, and will be holding conferences with priests of Good Dragonwright. This is the first step toward victory. A great diplomat once said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” This was said in regard to a small kingdom that became a major power in its time, but it applies to our time as it did then. Gods of Light, divided against themselves, cannot stand against the Gods of Dark, unified and strong. It is time we won this war, and this war will be won in the hearts of the people, lead by the Priesthood. The gods can only do so much alone, and their treaties and pacts have tied their hands.
It is from here that the mortal men must start. I will have distributed through all channels that I can the following proclamation, given of Azariel, no title or honorific.
>To all Nations, Cultures, and Peoples! Band together in brotherly love and faith! The Gods are waging a war of faith, and it will not leave the mortal realms untouched! I speak to you not as an Elf, or as a Wizard, Summoner, or Diabolist, and not even as a called messenger of Ra’s Pantheon. I speak to you as a fellow mortal, whose blood stains the ground upon death, whose heart breaks in sadness, whose spirit rejoices in righteousness! I am as you, born of mortal loins, bound to Palladium, and will die when my time comes. Please, join with me against the Hatred and Prejudice that wishes to rape the mother of all, Palladium. I strive to revive a God, with deific guidance. I do not wish ANY poor fate upon the peoples of palladium, my brethren. Any acts or mistakes taken in the past by the Group known as CrIsis were always done with Palladium’s Interest at heart. Know that you are all in my prayers, and that I sacrifice my life for you.
And a ballad to be sung by the great Bard Terramore.
Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck.
Some nights, I call it a draw.
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they’d just fall off
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what we’ll stand for oh
What do we stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore… oh woah
This is it, boys, this is war, what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the mold already?
I was never one to believe the hype – save that for the Dark and Light
I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked, but here they come again to jack
And that’s alright; I found a martyr in my bed tonight
She stops my bones from wondering just who I am, who I am, who I am
Oh, who am I? Oh, who am I? mmm… mmm…
Well, Some nights, I wish that this all would end
Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights, I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights, I always win, I always win…
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I still not sure what I stand for
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know… (come on)
When I see stars, when I see, when I see stars that’s all they are
When I hear songs, they sound like this one, so come on
Well, This is it, guys, that is all – five minutes in and I’m bored again
Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands
This one is not for the folks back home; Sorry to leave, mom, I had to
Who really wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?
My heart is breaking for my sister and the con called “Set’s Love”
Man when I look into a child’s eyes…
Man, you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things that can come from…
Some terrible lies
The other night, you wouldn’t believe the dream I just had about you and me
I wrote to you, but we’d both agree
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance… oh…
The church of Light and Dark is breaking
It’s for the best, we’ll get our chance… oh…
First Picture Credit: Wikia
Second Picture Credit: Wallpapers for Me
Third Picture Credit: Wikipedia
Fourth picture from Will Dan.
Fifth picture from Displate.com
Sixth Picture thrown together by Gaitkeeper
Seventh Picture from the amazing Genzoman.
Eighth Picture courtesy of LDS.org
Ballad meter and lyrics adapted from the song “Some Nights” by Fun.