By Chaltier in Dark Ages, Priest of the Goddess Glioca
I would like to begin this theoretical analysis with my thanks to philosophers and historians who have provided insight into this work concerning the Dark Lord Chadul, and subsequently Sgrios : Daravon Ragnar, for his piece " Treatise of the Nature of the Dark Masters", which has provided valuable research in determining the nature of the dark; Etienne Suarven Lorneau, for his essay concerning the elements, and their relation to Light, as well as Darkness, in "De Obscurité et Lumière"; Rookerin, for his excellent writing "The League and its Pact of Anaman", as well as his history class during Deoch 6; Dryst's short essay concerning the discovery of text of the Sgrios priest Grimorvis, entitled "Farashyid"; finally, Chloe Ta' Null's defining of the Temuairan pantheon in " Reflections on Interactions between the Gods ".
The following work has been written in the interests of providing input for the philosophical theorists... an extension of the current writings to begin to understand not only the Dark Gods, but to ascertain their next actions...
Understand this, however - all ideas presented in this essay are merely ideas... they are not the spoken truth, but nor are they falsehoods written to please the eye. Philosophy itself is an ever-changing idea - all Aislings are allowed to believe what they would like to believe, and if this essay should cause you to analyze your outlook of your planar presence, I ask that you consider both philosophies, and determine your own conclusion.
As I have stated my preface, let me continue with the subject of the subject of this essay: the analysis of the Darkness, Light, and Soul.
1. Elements, Light and Dark
In an effort to provide the least confusion in the following piece, it would be best for me to reiterate the definition of the Fifth and Sixth Elements in a relatively short passage.
A. Darkness, the Fifth Element
Darkness has been defined as the chosen element of Sgrios and Chadul, a
blackness which occurs in the absence of Light. It was originally created
or introduced, supposedly, by wizards in an attempt to control the greater
powers - in essence a bid for domination. It is questionable that
this power was deemed "Darkness" at the time, because we had no previous
experience with the Sixth Element, Light. For the common Aisling, it is
by the presence of Light that we know the Darkness, as the concept was
beyond our ancestors without the presence of the Sixth. It would be in
my best interests to quote Etienne Suarven Lorneau for the remainder of
the definition of darkness:
"Darkness, as an element in its raw state, has no form. It is like Fire: can not be touched, has no weight, no defined shape. What separates Darkness from Fire is the way each one is used.Etienne has provided ample description to what Darkness in its 'physical' manifestation, and I will enunciate a few specific points. Darkness itself has no form... it is an absence of Light, and is therefore subject to the power of Fire. Only Light can truly 'harm' the Darkness, as Fire emanates this Element, while other Elements (Water, Wind, and Earth) merely limit the extent of the Darkness, as they are Matter, where Darkness is not. Darkness pervades in two of the three Elements, however - Darkness in Earth's deepest crevices and Darkness in Water's deepest depths. This Darkness can be summoned into a physical form by the attendants of Sgrios, but such practices have not been recorded.
Fire can be used for creation or destruction. Creation, when controlled by a skilled blacksmith, who will use its power to forge the iron and bronze, giving the metal life, shape, meaning. Destruction, when put to use by unskilled, ignorant or evil hands, who will unleash the energy of the Element without any care, letting it free to burn all that can be burned.
Darkness, like Fire, can be controlled; but unlike the latter, not completely. First, because it has no origin like Fire does (a lump of coal or a campfire). Darkness is not tied to any material body, thus making it impossible to raise its strength by adding more of such matter or lower its power by removing some of the nameless matter. This leads to the second reason: there is no way to extinguish it. Water will cause it no damage; Air, as breeze or hurricane, will not cease its existence; Earth, being inert, has no effect on it, nor can it be dissolved in Darkness like in Water to make it impure. However, the element Fire can harm Darkness, as it brings bound within it the power of the Sixth Element, Light. But being the Light bound in Fire not of divine origin, its effects are not as desired, thus most of the times making more harm than good at the end."
"De Oscurite et Lumiere" pg. 1, subject 'An Element Above four: Darkness"
B. Light, the Sixth Element
Light is said to have been born in the creation of goddess Danaan, to whom we owe our existence, and is our means of preventing the onslaught of Chadul and Sgrios. It is said that the capability of building Light was bestowed also as a significant beacon for the Aisling, a means of establishing Danaan's presence after her sacrifice to protect her children. There are only a few means of creating this Sixth element, although research conducted has proven that there are possibly other means to its creation. One such means is by ignition of a combustible material, such as coal, which in turn creates Fire, which naturally creates Light. A second means is through the invoking of Light by a member of the circles of magic, priestly, as well as wizardly in the casting of magicks. Whether Light is directly tied to the creation of the magical forces will be debated next.
C. Spell Casting and Prayer
It has been said that Light itself is the reason behind the healing art of priests, but this is improbable, given the nature of Light. Bestowed by Danaan, Light is but a means of preventing the Darkness from completely 'overshadowing' Temuair. If you state otherwise, then it would be best to remind you of the paradox of the priest of Sgrios. Does he heal others with the Light of Danaan? Or does he heal with the Darkness? Had there been any influence by either element, their would be some type of indication of its presence, such as a darkening of the skin tissue ( a change in colour of the tissue, mind you) , but there is none. As of this time in our land's history, it would be best to define spells of priests, like beag ioc and ioc, as mere manifestations of innate power bestowed by Danaan upon all Aislings, until this may be proven otherwise.
2. Darkness and the Dark Masters
Chadul and successor Sgrios, by definition of all Aislings, are the motivating forces of evil, and are therefore subject to connection with the Darkness, and things whose origination are of dubious nature ( which I will not comment upon at this time ). Chadul and Sgrios do not exist upon the Darkness, as they were not created as Danaan was... but subsist on the soul energy of Aislings, mundanes, and others. They prey upon the soul energy as their means of survival, and their priests will do everything in their power to assist their gods in the accumulation of such energy, in hopes that they would become stronger in the absorption of the abundant energy. This is not Darkness, as Darkness does not feed upon the soul, like the Dark Masters. Darkness is merely an element which is connected between evil and the Dark Masters, who are beings of desire, and not accumulations of Darkness. Such an example of this experience would be the account by the wizard Daravon, as he describes one of his many encounters with Sgrios :
"Anger for having me invade his territory and kill him, and fear... of the third entity in the room. I then turned my attention towards it and I was overcome with awe. Our existences seemed completely insignificant in relation to the sheer power of that being. There were several ethereal structures much like the tentacles of a squid but thicker, coming out of it's main body and moving towards the centipede, until it was completely engulfed. The tentacles then retreated back and I watched in terror as nothing but vestigial energies could be felt from where the centipede once was. The tentacles then slowly came in my direction, just like before. But when they were about to touch me, something best described as a bubble of pure light emerged from my soul, completely enveloping myself. The entity, that I now understand was Sgrios, seemed frustrated and kept poking the impenetrable shell for a few minutes and then, all of a sudden, I was back at my material body. It seemed like my soul had been "wounded" after that though."
Daravon Ragnar, "Treatise on the Nature of the Dark Masters", pg. 1, subject: 'The Impenetrable Shield"
3. What We Might Define as the 'Soul' Element
A. The Soul Element
In the previous account of Daravon, we notice that in the falling of both Daravon and a centipede in the Mileth catacombs, they are taken to the realm of Sgrios, who is quick to act against both the centipede and Daravon. It seems, that in this instance, the centipede's energy is being completely absorbed by this evil being. This energy, as I have stated earlier, can only be the soul energy of the centipede, as there is nothing for the Dark Lord himself to take, after the physical destruction of the body. This leads me to believe that this 'Soul' energy is a force unto itself - it is not created by the first four elements, and is not bound by the elements Darkness and Light - it is a Seventh Element - the natural power of any being of this, as well as other, plane(s). As Daravon states in his treatise, the reason behind the protection of his soul (the Bubble of Light) could only be the work of Danaan, in her last bid to protect her children from the evil desires of Sgrios. Although Light did originate from Danaan herself, it is very unlikely that the Sixth Element had any type of effect upon the powers of Sgrios, who feeds upon souls; therefore, the legacy of Danaan is actually a 'soul shield' of incredible strength - the ability to protect all Aislings, as well as their Aisling offspring.
B. What is this 'Soul' Element really then?
The Soul Element is what defines who we are on the Astral Plane - it is
the measurement by which all astral beings are compared, such as the Temuairan
Pantheon. For Aislings, after reading Daravon's encounter, it is obvious
that there is skepticism as to how we deal with a greater power... We need
not worry of such an encounter, however, as manifestations of Sgrios
cannot destroy Danaan's Legacy... yet.
What truly, then, separates Aislings from the rest of the world? It is the amount of the Soul Element that was given to us that separates us. We have been given the capability to grow in strength and intelligence beyond any other being to this date. This Soul Element is not only the reason for this growth, but also the capability to wield the powers without... the magicks that exist within Temuair. Although others have been able to wield these magicks, the Aisling race has been given the greatest advantage by the goddess Danaan in all skill- and spell- based mannerisms.
Naturally, one would argue the fact that the centipede was created with the Soul Element as well, and that all beings have been given the strength to cast magicks. This is quite true; all beings have a certain level of the Soul Element within them, which provides a well of potential magic casting ability. Like I have stated before, however, it is the Aisling, the inheritor of Danaan, that has been given the greatest amount of the Soul Element, and in the largest quantities to a race ever before.
4. The Relevance of the Soul Element : History
You might be quite frustrated with this latest consideration... but I will hopefully provide enough insight as to how this affects not only you, but all of Temuair as well. What will be the final portion of this essay will be to provide evidence of the relevance of the Soul Element through a theoretical study of history. To best illustrate this, I would refer you to Rookerin's essay entitled "The League and its Pact of Anaman" as a means to better disclose the history of Tenes. At my first class with the esteemed professor, I suggested that there was slightly more to the marriage of the Dark Star and Tenes as it seems, and that Chadul could have been a greater influence to the rise of Tenes than what has been previously suggested. One such example would be the first battle of Tenes, who lead the good people of Piet against a power obsessed Rucesion, and soundly defeated them. As Rookerin states, the reason behind the success is truly a mystery, and none have stepped forward to clarify. I would not think that, after hardships throughout the kingdom, that a god such as Chadul would be careless to ignore the potential of the charismatic leader known as Dorch Tenes, a person in whom he could influence to further his own ends. 'Why would he further the cause of life and stability?' one would ask, but the answer is simple - to allow potential for even greater death, war, and utter chaos. It is then during Tenes rise to power that Chadul first initiates contact with the ambitious man, allowing for doubt in creating Hy-Brasyl to enter the mind of the contacted. Rookerin states that a conversation with a friend of Tenes revealed his contact with Chadul : "I... Don't know what to do anymore! I have a chance, there is one way we can bring peace to our land -- but at what cost? ( Pause ) I will make the deal, Please forgive me my friend." ( Section 2, Paragraph 3) This, I believe, is the beginning of the evil which swept the land at the time. In this contract, it is possible that Tenes ceded control of his kingdom to (possibly) an avatar form of Chadul, namely the prophesied "Dark Star", Lady Dubhreal, who captured the heart of many a male and female. At this point in history, it is no longer Tenes in control, but the Lady Dubhreal who is master of Loures. An excerpt from the essay by Dryst describes an important creation headed by the Dark Star:
" The priests of Sgrios have been chosen as the ambassadors as death. The dubhaimid are not our servants but our kindred, they are the darkness, which lies in all of us. A reservoir of untapped power. Hatred, revenge, and spite are all part of the human nature and the dubhaimid have attained knowledge far beyond ours on how to harness this energy. North of Rucesion an island has been chosen to house both the temple of our father Sgrios and our kindred the Dubhaimid. According to maps this island has been previously labeled Farashyid (meaning place of fog). When the construction of our temple and castle is complete we will rename the island, the Isle of Man. For this is the place where man will evolve, be reborn into a new beginning. The Dubhaimid and Temuairan shall become one and this Island shall be the birthplace of that miracle.
Lady Dubhreal has informed us that Lord Tenes is occupied in negotiations
on the mainland
construction on the island will go undisturbed. Wizards from Rucesion are
for the purposes of sacrifice and slave labor. Their knowledge of the elements
shall be properly
5th element darkness, when the time is ready. The core of this island is
said to contain the planar
is here that a proper link to the underworld can be established but only
the chaining of the 1st four
to the 5th can create such a portal. The cavern must be completely devoid
of what the Dubhaimid
6th element light or the planar void will collapse. I have included a diagram
of the instructions by
Farashyid, translated by Dryst Ravenshroud
Farashyid, translated by Dryst Ravenshroud
Why is it that the Dark Star would support the son of Chadul, Sgrios, when
she could support Chadul himself? This is where the ingenuity of Chadul
lies... where the ultimate in events to occur to Temuair may take
5. Resurrection - A Dark Possibility
"Resurrection", you might think, is a terrible impossibility, and could never occur in the rebuilding of the original Dark Lord. However, I would think that there is a great deal of evidence to support such a statement, which will be reviewed in the following passage.
A. The Diverging of the Soul Element
As it states, the essay by Daravon describes the possibility that Sgrios was given the Soul Element that Chadul did not require during his reign, which allowed Sgrios to grow beyond the mortal coil and into a being of greater astral strength. However, there is no reason provided as to why this Dark Lord would do so without a previous arrangement. As an astral entity, wouldn't you claim all power to yourself? It would be in Chadul's best interest to hoard all of the Soul Element... but he chose not to. He has provided himself a link to the Temuair over world in elevating the status of Sgrios to that of a Temuair Pantheon god.
B. The Dark Star's Creation of the Temple of Sgrios
To reiterate the passage translated by Dryst Ravenshroud of the Sgrios priest, it is evident that it was by the hand of Dubhreal that the Temple of Sgrios was created, and therefore the area of the domination of the Dubhaimid and the god Sgrios. Notice, however, what the priest states as well the function of the temple: "The core of this island is said to contain the planar void... ... which will be our link to the underworld...". Granted that the two examples are taken from two entirely different sections, they are of critical importance. It states that they can possibly create a direct link to the underworld, which could spawn the very beginning of the end. Why hasn't this occurred? It is obvious that they do not have the required amount of energy to sustain the portal, and have failed a number of times due to incorrect invocations and summonings.
C. The Scar of Sgrios
The Scar of Sgrios has been shown to be the result of Sgrios' inability to remove the barrier separating the Soul Element of the Aisling and the entity, as Daravon has described in his encounter. This scar is the degradation of the power behind the spell placed by Danaan. As Daravon states: "It seemed like my soul had been "wounded" after that though." Each time you encounter the god Sgrios, he drains a bit of power out of the legacy of Danaan, as well as a small portion of the Aisling's Soul Element... similar to a slight cut made by a knife, which is infected from the start. This infection does not spread, however... it simply represents the damage done to the shield. Our only protection...? The removal of this damage to the shield by members of the priesthood.
D. The Final Result
Let us define the situation described above: Sgrios was given the capability
by Chadul to absorb the Soul Element in mass quantities. The Dark Star
has provided a stage to link the Temuair over world with the underworld
of Chadul. And at this very moment, Sgrios is stealing a small portion
of Aislings' Soul Element as they pass from the over world, to the underworld,
and back. You do the math.
Yes... I have suggested an almost improbable sequence of events that could change the very way we Aislings live our lives. Similar to what I stated at the beginning, this is a description what I believe is a terrible anomaly / misconception that could be of great importance to us. You are entitled to whatever opinion that you wish to believe, and may speak such a philosophy to the philosophers of our wondrous institutions. I would only hope that you consider this as being a possible... viable... solution.
Chaltier, Priest of Her Lady of Compassion