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Author Topic: Under the Rose-An Unlikely Prophet  (Read 2397 times)

Dishman

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Under the Rose-An Unlikely Prophet
« Topic Start: February 16, 2014, 03:58:05 AM »
A Declaration from Central Toprak

How long had he waited to pull the rug? Perhaps not long after becoming friends with Bowie Ironsides. Little schemes and minor heresys, then. Why, the group just wasn't the same without Bowie. It was such a shame to lose a partner to plot with. Someone with a taste for the theatrical, the absurd, and the most enraging mockery. How many years had he spent as a priest?

Enoch gathered at the Temple, making a declaration to the faithful. A well practiced smile, and a little enthusiasm really did go far. "Long have I sought the signs from the stars to show me the way. On journey for them, in service under them...I have always sought their message."

Crusade had been a hoot. How much gold had he looted, people roughed up? How much liquor? The bender from central Toprak to the beach in Darfix would make a great tale if he ever dared tell it.

"It is now, that I must declare the most glorious message I have been blessed with as the Regent of Sanguis Astroism. I have seen the prophet reborn!"

She had been an unlikely accomplice. He had first met her as she was trying to ferret out Bowie in service to the church. Oh, how the cat and mouse games had been a lark.

"She has served the church to her fullest extent. Yet, her service was shunned by this earthly realm. She was cast adrift in her time of need. Yet she continued to toil in harmony with the Bloodstars."

It was always hard to keep a straight face at the punch-line.

"It is my honor and service to you, to announce the great Jonsu Himoura as the holy prophet refound! Let the stars bless us for our fortune!"

And it was done. More pleasantries and exuberance over the news would have to be faked, but it was done. Now if only he could play a rim-shot for all of Dwilight.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 04:31:37 AM by Dishman »
Eoric the Dim (Perdan), Enoch the Bright (Asylon), Emeric the Dark (Obsidian Islands)

Orobos, The Insatiable Snake (Sandalak)

Dishman

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Re: Under the Rose-An Unlikely Prophet
« Reply #1: February 16, 2014, 04:05:32 AM »
A Pilgrim's Alarm

There was much chaos after events unfolded. Questions, denunciations, dreams haunted by anger. Yet one group of faithful followers of Sanguis Astroism did what was needed. They looked into it.

Roland was the captain of Pilgrims of the Stars, and lived his more tranquil life as a woodsmen. He, and several other pilgrims, combat buddies, and crusaders resigned to peasantry after the holy trip. He still dreamed of the Niselur and Libero soldiers he first met under his sword. How many thousands of fellow faithful had he killed? For all he knew, they held a sword for no other reason than a noble;s word. They may have been in harmony with the stars more than he and all his men. How easily brotherhood is broken.

When the announcements were made in Shyussei, Roland looked to the source. It wasn't far, he still lived within the land of Shyussei, where his lord and regent Enoch resided. It wasn't a surprise to find two other of his comrades already heading toward the Coastal Villa.

The estate's manor was empty. Not only of people, but much of the furniture and decor. Signs pointed to many people going in different directions with heavy objects, so theft (or perhaps unconventional donation) seems to have ransacked the house.

In an unfurnished study, piles of papers were found. PILES UPON PILES. Correspondences with countless nobles, peasants, and priests of different realms and affiliations. All innocuous upon first glance. Pleasantries, mundane duties, boring diplomacy. It would take time to go through what was found, but a local tomb on paganism was found; with a bookmark on the page of the following torn passage:
   
Quote
“Suddenly your entire perspective changes, suddenly, you are a mystic.”
    Attributed to the Rogue Mystic when asked by the Black Army why he wrote the Forbidden Journal.

    Mysticism is an absolute religion which collects all religions into one tradition. It is a religious concept that says all gods belong to a greater order of the universe and are placed into the Hierarchy of the Gods. Mystics believe that gods follow a class system very different from our own. Fundamental to Mysticism is the belief in the Soul, and that their soul can ascend or descend the Hierarchy. Mystics worship through prayer and temple building, as well as the ways each religion deem necessary to worship their particular god. By worshiping, they hope, they will earn a recommendation from their god to earn the first rank in the Hierarchy.

    All who seek to understand Mysticism must read its sourcebook, the Forbidden Journal.....
The bookmark itself is of note as well. 9 items, most illegible, but apparently region names...and a quote:
Quote
Covet is the Mother of All Schemes.
Sifting through the papers in his commanders broken home, Roland found little. Fairly busy, Enoch had been. Yet, so much of it WAS normal church affairs. Tending temples, preaching tirelessly. Why, there was a mountain of correspondence with peasants in almost every church. Why would the Regent have so much direct correspondence? So few announcements from the Regent's office, so little done?

Roland couldn't help but recall a story often told around Shyussei of Enoch when he first arrived in Dwilight. Wounded and forced to run by small bands of great wolves that often pop up, why, there was even that one story about him kissing his Queen.

Quote
http://wiki.battlemaster.org/wiki/Swordfell/Spring_Opener/Walk_in_the_Garden

Roland jumped up with a start and called for his brothers-in-arms to join him.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2014, 10:10:41 PM by Dishman »
Eoric the Dim (Perdan), Enoch the Bright (Asylon), Emeric the Dark (Obsidian Islands)

Orobos, The Insatiable Snake (Sandalak)

Dishman

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Re: Under the Rose-An Unlikely Prophet
« Reply #2: February 16, 2014, 04:11:25 AM »
A Pilgrim's Lament

Roland and his friends carried bags of what seemed vaguely important. They headed toward Flowrestown. Sifting through bits and pieces of Enoch's papers...
Quote
    ...it is an honor to see that the temple of....

    ....your tireless work upholds the church....

    ...the church is blessed by your efforts....
All to commoners from what the old pilgrims could ascertain. So many letters, why so personable with so many unmentionables? Some were well known nobles, as well, but it was difficult to comprehend when high-born talked to each other, but maybe there was something there. Skimming, through, he wondered...
Quote
    To S:....I appreciate your nomination for Regent. In a time when the prophet is missing, the role of the Regent becomes very important. I have barely begun my communion with the stars, and am wary to lead the entirety of the flock. I fear that I do not yet know my capability as a leader of such magnitude. Would I embolden heretics with hesitation and careful meditation? Would I cause conflict and misery with hasty action? Then again, I could usher in a new age.....

    To A:....(The Bloodstars') sentience, I could be convinced of, if given evidence. I do not recall an act of the stars that was not orchestrated through one of its earthly denizens, though......

    To R....I agree with the sentiment, but they may be looking for us to throw down the gauntlet. How much damage can they do to our priesthood and temples when the purge begins....
All out of context....so difficult to tell what was being done for what reason. The two days that they trekked were much the same with the letters. It would be difficult to say who hadn't had at least some correspondence with Enoch. Yet they continued. They knew more answers lay in Flowrestown.

Roland and his band arrived in Flowrestown a few days after the announcement and betrayal. On their way, he was surprised how much people had accepted this with little word. Roland himself only knew of Jonsu because she had been in Asylon, his families homeland. Common folk seemed content with what the church did. "wait...what happened? who is Regent right now...well then now who is? This sounds an awful lot like politics and I'd like to get back to my fields or monster problem."

He was even surprised to see preachers and wisemen accepting of the annoucement. Of course Swordfell was Enoch's homeland, but their preachings and explanations of the event seemed....practiced. Not to say insincere. They BELIEVED. Jonsu was the new prophet, who (as the trek continued) declared a Kabrinski a Prophet. The history of service both these families had made were exulted, and the list was long....yet it seemed forgotten that they struggle against the church. It was the same all the way into Flowrestown, where at old Casino Ironsides they found the shack.

It was burnt. A ruined foundation stood in the tucked away place. They searched the area. All of it burnt, except a priest's robes hidden in a cellar compartment. The robes were unsinged, although most of the group assumed a conspirator had placed them. Especially when they found the scrap of paper within the robe's pockets. It read:
Quote
    A Mystic's Manifesto

    In the promotion of paganism, and the establishment of a more diverse and powerful pantheon, I have given the church to it's enemy. A kind of homage to my mentor. A man who appreciated irony. One who also appreciated belief. It was through belief that I gave the church to Jonsu. I am sure there are many wails about the charter, the sanctity of the 'real' prophet, and such dressings. But those that prepare your food, feed your larders, and run your church's temples do not believe in the church...they believe in the Bloodstars. Charter, politics, bureaucracy....these were secondary. The peasants sought the church to guide them to the Bloodstars, little more. It is much the same as we treat them, we use them to our benefit but care little for their affairs.

    This helped me greatly in orchestrating such a reform. The prophet gone, the theocracies defeated. Many feared that the church had faltered without the prophet and true guidance was needed. Given the option of denouncing her, they embraced her. They wanted to believe. They wanted to believe these strange omens were the Bloodstars preparing them for their tribulations into harmony. A new prophet was just one of those tribulations. How convenient that the monsters would stir? I had thought the toppling of a theocracy and the surrender of the remaining three would be enough. How strange belief is.

    Belief, the core of a religion, is malleable. A few words here, a few there. Anyone can believe anything you want if you know how to approach them. Of course, it didn't hurt to be declared 'closest to the prophet'. It was difficult to believe in a bickering council or a priest army...but a prophet, a god, or a messiah. A singular entity seems to draw people. A focus of faith and guidance, a father to show the way. The irony!

    It was not my intent to destroy Sanguis Astroism, as I know that it will persevere. Once a faith has been added to the registry, it is eternal. Yet I expect SA to continue with strength. Perhaps diminished, but that is the point. The stifling of paganism, new religions, or any attempt to deny freedom of belief shall be met with undesirable consequences. Let this be Dwilight's first warning.

    -Sub Rosa
Roland was distraught. Many things had been revealed, many things left unanswered. Betrayed by the most important force in his life, he was left empty. He needed to be alone.

Tasking his comrades with delivering the documents to the church, he left. He did not return home. He searched. For what he did not know.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 10:07:10 PM by Dishman »
Eoric the Dim (Perdan), Enoch the Bright (Asylon), Emeric the Dark (Obsidian Islands)

Orobos, The Insatiable Snake (Sandalak)

Dishman

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Re: Under the Rose-An Unlikely Prophet
« Reply #3: March 08, 2014, 09:54:55 PM »
Enoch's Dissent

Enoch had abandoned all he had. Lost in the Sea of Silence, the gold on his person meant little. No servants, no personal affects, no title. Well, one title...

It is as Sub Rosa that he came to the strange island off the sea. He paid the trader and his men to hold the ship at shore and rowed alone to the island. As he rowed, he drank Ambrosia.

A strange concoction, he had discovered it with an alchemist in Shyussei. They never found the alchemist, but Enoch knew enough to replicate once he had no more. Bloodmoon fruit, diviners sage, and a wide assortment of other mind altering substances. Distilled, it had caused a trip of a lifetime....
Quote
    For almost a season Enoch had wandered the streets of Flowrestown. Somehow, he had become lost....which is odd. He knew the city. He knew nooks and crannies from back at his first estate and had grown to love the city. It had grown while he was away, but not in such ways. A man should not be able to walk straight for three weeks.

    He recalled strolling through the town, seeing new construction and the bustle of new life. It hadn't seemed odd to turn a familiar corner and walk through an emptied sector. Walking in the emptied streets was a pleasant reminiscence of his coming to Dwilight. It wasn't until he turned the same famliar corner at an intersection that should have been a mile in the opposite direction. After revisiting the familiar corner a half dozen times, darkness grew and he spent his first night.

Now he drank it for a second time. A god of emptiness had found him on his trial run, and now he sought true power....

 He came to a jagged shore, twisting through spires of rock. In the beginnings of his 'enlightenment', the spires began to twist to the sky. Where once there were few, more and more grew toward the sky. Before the light came, there were too many to count. A labyrinth of daggers into blood-red moonlight.

Blinded by a sudden white light, he fell from his boat, plunging into the darkened waters. Deep he sank, even as the violent waters settled.

"Fear not, young journeyman. It is known who you are and what you have done. It is also known what you seek..."

Enoch floated under the water. He could see the light above, but he could not swim up, it was as if he was held stationary. The voice seemed to come from inside his ears.

"You seek the 'paramount god'. A lofty task. Yet you have support. Your efforts to weaken the god of the bloodstars has attracted the patronage of many lesser beings who will advocate for you in exchange for continued effort. Give a part of yourself to them, and they will give a part to you. You have made a deal in the soul exchange."

I am Metatron: the administrate of the macrocosm in your limited communication. You will become a demi-god, as you had desired...but more is required of you for knowledge of all."

Enoch awoke on the road to Via. He recalled the voice, what it had said, the darkness and the floating....but how had he arrived so far inland? Surely he had not washed hundreds of miles past the shore. How long had it been? His last trip had taken him a season....it didn't even seem winter yet.   
« Last Edit: March 08, 2014, 10:08:13 PM by Dishman »
Eoric the Dim (Perdan), Enoch the Bright (Asylon), Emeric the Dark (Obsidian Islands)

Orobos, The Insatiable Snake (Sandalak)

Dishman

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Re: Under the Rose-An Unlikely Prophet
« Reply #4: March 08, 2014, 10:53:12 PM »
Enoch's Cresendo

Quote
  Looting Activity
    Someone from our realm has plundered Duil (Astrum), stealing food from the grain stores.
The mystics dispatched with the damned. In payment for the grain they took, they spared these poor souls a fate unfitting men. They would need the grain far more. The fat stripped off peasants, at a monsters delight, would have served them poorly.

Enoch and his men rode toward the Mountains of Remorse. The path he laid required that he and his men face all that they wrought into the world. Remorse for what they had done and what they would do. The magnitude of this must be faced in the divine realm. Only then, will we truly accept our path.

Circling a campfire in the dark of night, at the highest peak of the Mountains of Remorse, Enoch and his Mystic Riders drank the Ambrosia of the divine realm. At first all that could be heard was the wind. The shuffle of the horses here. A owls hoot there. At first the wails bellowed with the wind and one wouldn't notice, but the labored howls became more distinct as they picked up in volume.

The modest fire rose. Seemingly stoked by the wind and the howls, it grew with intensity. Yet when Enoch and his men looked beyond each other, the blackness grew closer. The fire cast no light, no heat, but seemed to cast the wails from within.

"You seek knowledge of yourself, but can you bear the burden?" A voice boomed from the fire.

"Show us. We would see past the veil!" Enoch exclaimed. As soon as the words were out, the fire was gone and they were left in blackness.

A mother, a boy, a father, a son, a grandfather, a grand daughter....All come to pass so that you may pass as well. A panorama of each man's ancestry stood before their eyes. The past, the present, and the future.

A temple stood before Enoch. Not a grand affair, but a modest gathering place barred shut. Behind it, power glowed. Power above kings, yet of kings. Power above the veil, yet within it. As he reached for the lock, the wailing returned. As each man saw the power behind the temple, they heard the wails. Again blackness overtook their vision.

In the dark, the wails could be felt. Like a breath in the ear, the rumble of the bass. It was when the torment manifested itself into the dead, did Enoch and his men drink a second dose of Ambrosia.

The Mystics eyes rolled and they interlock hands. All the while the dead gather around them. This soul died at the battle of Darfix. This soul will die at the battle of Mimer. This soul was poisoned for knowing too much, because of my future involvement. These were their dead. Those brought to the veil by them and their vibrations through time. It was time for atonement.

Together they cast themselves into the darkness where once the fire grew. There, at the source of the pained anguish, they lived the lives of the dead. Felt their every joy and sorrow. Felt their own betrayal from the other's eyes. They wept and joined the piteous wails for the night. When dawn finally broke, a millennium of sorrow weighed on the Mystics.

"You have seen past the veil, our deal is struck." the voice boomed as the horrors ceased. "The dead shall see appeasement, through living again. They will take the land as their own, freed from their bondage."

Enoch saw the vast fields of Asylon overrun by the dead. The walls of Darfix a home to motionless skeletons. Even the daimons shivered behind ethereal walls. "Go back to the emptiness, your answers lie at your start."

Those last were not the words of the Mountain of Remorse. The light behind the temple flashed into vision. It was the voice of the Metatron. "All will be clear."
« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 04:42:35 AM by Dishman »
Eoric the Dim (Perdan), Enoch the Bright (Asylon), Emeric the Dark (Obsidian Islands)

Orobos, The Insatiable Snake (Sandalak)

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Re: Under the Rose-An Unlikely Prophet
« Reply #5: March 22, 2014, 03:34:25 AM »
The Metatron's Awakening


Flowrestown was now what it should have been when Enoch had first arrived to Dwilight. It, as he himself, had grown well in the years and now was at a prime. It was a pleasure to turn the familiar corner and head toward the Mystic's cache.

The burnt ruin next to old Casino Ironsides still seemed to smolder. There was no heat, but locals could not recall a time when there wasn't at least a hint of mist in the garden. He removed a few blocks, and knocked a hidden compartment from a block.

Taking a small bottle from the cache, he prepared what was to come. His mystic brethren would not be joining him here. This was his last drink of Ambrosia. In his studies, it was clear that the fifth trip behind the veil of reality was one way. None returned from the fifth trip. His alchemist friend was the first lost to the ethereal realm.

A fitting place, the mother of my schemes manifest, Enoch thought, then he drank deeply. As he drank, it seemed the rubble smoldered more, as mist began to gather and eminate from the foundation. As the last drop of Ambrosia passed Enoch's lips, he saw a figure coming from the thick fog.

"How far have I come?" The figure asked. As it became distinguishable, he saw that it was himself! Younger, in his old family garb, as if he was fresh off the boat from East Continent. "I wonder if Imperatrix Abbigal will make me the royal concubine?" the figure mocked with a wink.

I was such a fool. Enoch mused.

"True, but I had a fool's delight!" the figure continued to jest.

With no warning or transition, the figure held a few years of age and the Regent of Astroism's robes.

"Prophet this, stars that, I swear the necks of these people are bent into the sky. If their star-god hinted that they should use a bellows in their bowels, they would  not hesitate."

They were fools, just of a different nature.

"Are you sure?"

Everything went black. As if the mist had transformed to smoke and covered his eyes with a film of char.

"Of course you are. You may waiver, but not at this time." The figure seemed to form from the darkness. It was him again, but a sense if blinding power could be sensed in his mirror image. "I wear the blood of the blood-star god as a trinket, emboldened by proof."

With that, a blood-red ancient vest appear on his image's chest. He looked down, and saw it on himself as well. "As to the knowledge you seek, you already know."

He did. It was not the truth he had hoped, but it sufficed. The truth of the paramount god must be seen through the divine realm. As a part of the divine realm. Outside of time, the elements, and reality...yet apart of all. He would be a god in his time, but time was not a constraint of the ethereal. He would see the truth. After his time, yet out of time, he would know. He would even give himself a trinket vest as proof. The figure laughed, then boomed "Clear enough?".

Enoch joined in the laughter. As the laughter faded, the blackness faded. Enoch was not sitting on the rubble of the old Mystic gathering. He was riding to Flowrestown. His mystic's battered armor was yet to be repaired, and he had never visited Flowrestown. His own blood-red vest was in good condition though. Yes, very clear.

[Side note: My Dwilight advy (<30% skill) took down an alpha right before Enoch was ready to return to Swordfell. "Ancient Vest of Blood" off of blind luck!.]
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 03:40:56 AM by Dishman »
Eoric the Dim (Perdan), Enoch the Bright (Asylon), Emeric the Dark (Obsidian Islands)

Orobos, The Insatiable Snake (Sandalak)