Loneliness is not the way for most people. They seek the company of others, often to validate their own existence, to have their opinions and aspirations heard and shared and discussed. But often, the company of others overwhelms one’s own voice, supressing the sense of self. You must first know who you are, if you are to be anyone whose existence might one day be validated, and your opinions discussed.
An extract from the enigmatic Teachings of Sansaya, Lady Protector of the Dark Ruins of Einnor, 806NE
The gods warned our ancestors, saying, “You may climb any tree here in Paradise; except the Tree of Ascension. If you climb to the uppermost branches of this tree, you will fall, and you will die.” But the Sentience in its wisdom said, “You will not fall. Nor will you die. These gods know that when you climb to the uppermost branches of the Tree of Ascension, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like them, looking out upon the Universe and knowing its secrets.” Then the gods said, “Look, Humankind has become like us. They have climbed the Tree of Ascension and they know the secrets of the Universe. If we do not act, they will happen upon the Tree of Eternity, hidden in the shadows, and they will climb it, and they will live forever.” And so we remember to this day the guidance of the Sentience and the Tree of Ascension. For it was from that day that our eyes were opened and we knew the Universe. And it was from that day that we learned a great truth – that even the gods fear us.
From the ‘Observances of the Elect’, documents concerned with explaining the ceremonies and rituals of a significant sect attached to the Echad Federation. There is great debate as to whether the ‘Observances’ should be dated to before or after the Day of the Prophet, considering the reference to the Tree of Eternity. Many scholars researching the First Millennium NE suggest that this could not be a retrospective on the Day of the Prophet because of the tense used in reference to the gods. The problem, of course, is that the archives of the Echad Federation were destroyed by the Second Cen-Dith Incursion of 982NE.
In extremely arid conditions, it is fascinating to observe what are generically referred to as ‘Resurrection Plants’. These plants generally appear desiccated, as if life has abandoned them. Some are blown across shifting deserts, uprooted wanderers destined to be forgotten. Yet seemingly dead plants, devoid of water for years at a time, are revived within hours when the rain finally comes, taking immediate advantage of the situation to spore and propagate.
Ancient Earth Almanac, Author Unknown
The Sentience could be known, it could be felt in the heart and in the mind, yet still our people turned from its guidance. And so the Sentience brought the Cage, and with it a plague to make us slaves to mediocrity so that the unworthy might be judged. But Mannix Relland had prepared the way, and those of pure heart were Chosen for Renewal. Now the Sentinels oversee those who have yet to Ascend, guiding our children and keeping our ways. As the Sentience is righteous, so shall Ascension set us free.
Extract from the so-called ‘Monologues of Ascension’ (author unknown), restored from corrupted Psy-cells discovered in 709 NE in the ruins of the Great ‘Si’ Library in Berlin. The ‘Monologues’ are copies of earlier texts thought to be composed by a Presbyter of the Church of the New Elect c. 320-370 NE. They are now housed in the Millennium Temple on Kiranis. It is unclear as to whether ‘Ascension’ in this extract indicates a retrospective on the events of the year 330, or it was an ambiguous theological concept pre-dating those events; a concept to be later legitimated by them.
It’s late at night when I think of death; in the darkness, the silence…when I can hear my breath. To sleep’s embrace, perchance then to die, yet through my fears have wandered I. And seeing there the carriage-worn path of that poet’s journey in her musings’ wrath, I spied the flicker of life’s weak flame as it struggled ‘gainst the bellows of mortality’s reign. Beyond the hallowed ground of despair, the absence of senses awaited me there. But I laughed in disdain and delivered my scorn, for I had set face to a life reborn. So pour out the fuel running dry ‘pon the ground. No use I for light in this new dark I’ve found.
If we do not commemorate, and re-enact, and revisit in our minds the deeds and words of our ancestors, we will forget not only what they have done, but the world they created for us. Indeed, if we forget the past, the future is lost, for it is founded upon the world of today.
From the ‘Musings of Marcellus Echad’ (c. 440 NE), discovered in pseudo-Kwaios data-nodes in the wreckage of the Echad Orbiter. Ironically, little is known of this Echad patriarch, but his legend ensured the longevity of the family ideology, which remained firmly planted in stories of a bygone Earth and an ancestor murdered by their sworn enemy. Only after the 7th Century decimation of their legacy did the remnants of the Echad family actively seek to ingratiate themselves to posterity. Of course, considering the Millennium Event, it is likely much investigation into their past would inevitably have been undertaken.
After a long time, the Slavemaster died. Our Brothers and Sisters cried out in their anguish, praying to the Sentience to grant them peace. For they had been bred for war. But the Sentience remembered its Children, and took notice of them. Their cry was brought to the Breath of Ascension, and with him came hope, and life. He was the First, born of an age of endings.
In the ‘Lamentations of Omneri’, the author takes some liberties in reconstructing the history of our people held captive in the Sieltor System. The allusion to the events of 330 NE is more concrete here, but we can move our terminus post quem to a much later date, knowing that the eclectic works of the ‘Si’ Monks – to which the ‘Lamentations’ belong – was not begun until after the Reunification of the 7th century NE. Note especially the reference to Carak Tae Ahn in decidedly derogatory terms. This demonisation of the Garran Elder inherently overlooks the role he played in protecting the Echad line.
Some would say that Love and Death are polarised in the lives and works of Man. Despite both enduring great scrutiny and inspiring every measure of art and philosophy, Love eludes precise definition while Death is more tangible than we would wish it to be. Love is an experience, while Death is not; instead, it is the unburdening of experience, while Love is the experience of unburdening. Yet it is upon the mystery of love that we can rest our faith, lay out our sins and free ourselves from pain. And it is in this sense that I would see Love and Death as having much in common.
From the Sage Thoughts of Gaelius, Third Mage of New Antioch, Kiranis, c. 542NE
Segregation is, sadly, endemic to the Human condition. The fallacy of distinction is almost always extrapolated from social constructs pertaining to the realms of politics, religion, and other manifestations of culture, so that we might articulate a ‘counter-culture’ derived from the uncomfortable proximity of another constructed in precisely the same manner; and with precisely the same motivations. One of the most potent and yet ridiculous fallacies of distinction in the history of Humankind was constructed around the colour of the skin. This fallacy convinced the Human race that they were not, in fact, one single entity.
In these latest days of madness, a distinction has emerged which once again threatens to divide us in the same way. It is not a particularly new one, for people have long used constructed genealogies and notions of genetic purity to elevate themselves. The idea that blood can somehow be ‘pure’ or ‘true’ and that one man might be judged better than another by this criteria is the height of idiocy. And yet it is this distinction which has in our days come to the fore.
The only difference this time is that the distinction is real; and the well-nourished illusion of equality has been destroyed by the truth of supremacy.
From the eponymous Concessions of Evegutt (c. 358 NE), an eclectic collection of writings from a self-styled philosophising surgeon who was part of the earliest programs of Sensitive Identification. His resentment of our ancestors is abundantly clear.
Who are you? Do you know? Do you ever ask yourself? When you hide behind your deeds as if they might define you, do you wonder if one change in the past, one alteration of the course of your life might rewrite your present self? If it were possible to travel back and change one decision, would you do it? Would you risk not recognising yourself upon your return? Would you risk going insane from inner conflict? Or would you even remember that you made the decision to go back in the first place…only to find yourself less impressed with this new person you have created, with no idea that it was all your fault? But then, had this not already been the case?
Transcripts from the 3-hour long deliberations opening the 783NE trial of Dr. Julius Varen, former Director of Psychology for the Institute of Advancements in Memory & Identity in the Hanno Western Protectorate, Telena.
How is it that you don’t see the wonder of the stars and the magnificent glory of the Universe? Why would you simplify it with absurdities? The dead don’t go to the stars, unless to be consumed by fire, and no mystical realm awaits your soul when your heart stops beating. Don’t be caught up in this fantasy of a power binding us all together and mapping our fate across the Universe. The only power is the Universe itself, and while we should be in awe of it, it does not have a mind to oversee our existence and guide us to a beautiful end.
From a secret recording made by early Si Census-Takers at an anti-Church rally, c. 395NE. It is ironic that the man was so close to the truth, only to have his theology warped by semantics.
I will be dead for the rest of time. Why would I wish to risk my life and bring such terror upon me? And yet, if I do not, I risk only existing, being. And being is only a heartbeat short of not being. Still…there is no time longer than the rest of it.
From the Third Book of the Great Mage, one of the Seven taken from the Heart Crypt, the only structure known to have survived the First Dragon Purge. If we had known then what the dragons were, the galaxy would likely be very different today.
Pain makes us do terrible things, as if more pain in the world might allow us to be absorbed by it, or so overwhelmed by its prevalence that ours seems normal or fair by comparison. The retreat from pain may take many forms, not the least of which is a determination to avoid any good circumstance which might one day lead to its deterioration or loss. Yet it is pain which colours the world, making the experience of good circumstance recognisable for its value. Without pain, why would we feel so compelled to give thanks for its absence?
Anonymous, c. 330NE
This great Empire, this star-spanning phenomenon that even now struggles to keep the gods at bay, was born from that which has spawned many of humankind’s great empires; namely, death on a grand scale. There were heroes, of course, but these fighters possessed ideologies and agendas and even minds which had not from the start been their own. Of the rest, and especially the millions lost through Kwaios Transference, these had not been in possession of a mind with which they might have made a choice. But then martyrs, given the choice or not, are more often than not the vanguard of those who seek to build peace upon skeletal foundations.
Heragonnica 5, Data-Line 41a, Author Unknown, 1113NE
The future is infinite and inaccessible. As we approach it, as each of us will, it takes on a new form and moves farther from our grasp, promising and delivering, threatening and taking. Yet the future knows us. It watches us with omniscient desire, calling to us, singing to us with its Siren Song of fate. This is the line of our destiny, an ethereal path along which we are fated to travel. But like the music of hearts which are aggrieved, these lines of destiny resonate across the Universe with discordance if there is no dream at the end. To make our future real, we must first dream of it. For only through our dreams can our future find us.