Middle October, European Calendar; Mekhir Waxing, the time of Going Forth, Stygian Civil Calendar
Here in the quiet of Vacluse…far from the grinding and constant noise of Avignon and recent battles…only the buzzing and croaking of night creatures disturb one’s thoughts. On nights like this, I look up at the sky and the myriad stars and wonder at the beauty of this place.
And in doing so I am reminded of the Prophet Anok-Sebek’s teaching on the Way of the Creator. If I can recall this lesson, it was –
‘Do you want, my brother, to go into solitude? Would you seek the way yourself? Pause just a moment and listen to me.
‘He who seeks may easily get lost himself. All solitude is guilt – or so proclaims the herd. You, brother, have so long belonged to the herd that it’s voice echoes deep within you. When you say, “I no longer have a common conscience with the herd “ it will be a lament and an agony.
‘For that agony itself was born of one and the same conscience and the last glimmer of that conscience still glows within you and betrays your affliction.”
‘You say you want to go the way of your affliction, which you expect is the way to yourself? If you are true, then show your right and the strength to do so! Do you possess some new strength or a new right? Are you a first motion? A self-propelling wheel? Can you compel the stars in the heavens to revolve around you?
‘No. You can not. Yet there is so much lusting for heights! There is a convulsion of ambition! So me that you are not of the lustful and ambitious!
‘There are so many great thoughts that do no more than a bellows: they puff up and make emptier.
‘You call yourself free? I want to hear your ruling thought – not that you are escaped from a yoke.
‘Are you one of those entitled to escape from a yoke? There are many who cast away there final worth when they cast away their servitude.
‘Free from what, then?! What does it matter to old Anok-Sebek! Even so, your eye should clearly show me – FREE FOR WHAT?!
‘Can you give yourself you evil and your good and hang your will above your head as law? Can you be judge for your own self and avenger of your law?
‘It is terrible to be alone with the judge and avenger of one’s own law. Thus is a star thrown forth into the void and into the icy breath of solitude.
‘Today you still suffer from the multitude, you individual: today you still have all your courage and your hopes.
‘One day solitude will weary you. One day your pride will yield and your courage will quail. You will one day cry: “I am alone!”
‘One day you will no longer see your loftiness and will see your lowliness. Your sublimity of self will frighten you as if it were a ghost! You will then cry out: “All is false!”
‘There are feelings that will want to kill the lonesome one; and if they do not succeed, they themselves must die! Are you capable of murder?
‘Have you ever known, brother, the word “contempt”? In so doing have you known the anguish of your justice in being just to those who despise you?
‘You force many to think differently about you; they charge that heavily to your account. You came near them and yet went past: for that most will never forgive!
‘You go above and beyond them; but the higher you rise, the smaller you appear in the eye of envy. Even so, the one who flies is hated most of all.
‘How could you be just to me? You must instead say, “I choose your injustice as my due portion.”
‘They throw their injustice and filth at the lonely one: but brother, if you would be a star, you must shine no less for them on that account!
‘In so doing, beware the good and just! They would crucify those that devise their own virtue – they hate the lonely one.
‘Be wary of holy simplicity! All that is not simple is unholy to it – and it plays with fire too – as well as the stake.
‘To many men you should not give your hand – only a paw; and I would want your paw to have claws too!
‘Know these things and that the worst enemy will always be one’s own self; you lie in wait for yourself in caverns and forests.
‘Lonely one, you are going the way to yourself! And your way goes past yourself and to your seven devils!
‘You will be a heretic to yourself and a witch and soothsayer and fool and doubter and unholy one and a villain!
‘You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame: how could you become new if you do not first become ashes!
‘Lonely one, you are going the way of the Creator; you would create a god of yourself from your seven devils!
‘My tears follow you into your loneliness, my brother. I treasure him who seeks to create over and beyond himself and thus – perishes.’
These were the words of Anok-Sebek.
I am alone. I have companions, but they are not of like mind. They hop about like frogs from one desire to the next. They fear and avoid focus as if it were an executioner’s killing stroke.
We are a collection of individuals and, as such, are weaker as a result.
I am alone. My own kinsman, Olliver, seems distant even though we are the only two of our kind we would find even in months of travel. He partakes of devotions, but we have shared only a few memories of distant Stygia. Now Connor, even, has been claimed by some malignant force. I would be eager to match his enthusiasm for bringing down the Deceiver…if the words were his.
I am alone. While I keep devotions, I do not hear the fiery voice of Sutekh Djet. His touch is distant and his will unknown.
These situations have brought me into dealings with Emrys. I do not trust her, but I will see our agreement through to aid Connor and sow madness within the ranks of the Deluded. Our plan is a simple thing – and it serves Emrys well to travel our agreed course to conclusion.
If we work together, we can serve multiple purposes and create great advantage for ourselves. For some, however, this is not enough reason!
If she reveals herself false, may Darkness curse me in death and set me on the path of vengeance.