Tiresias, The Sage
The Following is Secret Lore, Told by Tiresias, Most Respected Sage, and Enemy of the Order of the Flame and the Lighted Races of Cellinor. Simply hearing this tale is considered High Treason by the Inquisition of the Crimson Order.
An oaken door on rusty iron hinges creaks open. The slightest hint of various laboratory chemicals meets your nose, the aroma masked by a fragrance of beautiful sweetness, something floral. All around the room spreads a vast collection of dusty things, and other oddities draped with linens. Columns of stone rise from the floor to the ceiling, with stern images carved into them of both ghastly demons and creatures of soft beauty in white stone. The room is large, and the ceiling exaggeratedly tall. There is too much to take in, but your eyes fall upon a table placed nearly central to the odd shaped room, it’s top is orderly and clean, and is almost as out of place as is a faint but traceable wild and earthy smell masking the odors of the items held on innumerable shelves. Seated at the table is a ragged old man in simple clothes, with his head bent low, a shaking quill in his hand. As you walk forward, his hand stops and he looks up through long, thick golden hair streaked with grey. His eyes are hidden through the strands, and when he speaks, he does so in a hoarse, yet elegantly fluid tone.
“Welcome. My name is Tiresias.” He then poignantly leans back over his scroll, and completes the line. Dropping his quill back into the ink bottle, he looks up and this time, you realize that he is blind.
“My friends tell me that you have come to learn more of the past, and perhaps of your future. Is that so?”
“Well then, we should get started. We never know when the Inquisition will beat down our doors, now do we?” Tiresias chuckles to himself, and rising slowly and with great care, makes his way with the help of a servant to a table covered in maps, and other parchments scribbled in various signs and other notes. What looks like bones still protruding from rough hewn slabs of earth removed from some hole and brought here rest atop the stacked sheets. As he walks, his hands glide gently along feeling what must be a familiar route, and they land next to the pile where rests a pitcher. Amongst the fossils, Tiresias gingerly finds the pitcher with trembling fingertips outstretched and pours you something to drink. He invites you to sit on pillows scattered on the floor.
“Well, then, where shall we begin, my friends….it’s so hard to know when so much of it is…well, what do they know?” Tiresias looks blankly around and with a call from your sponsor, finally in the direction of your host with a patient expression.
“They know nothing, my Lord. They must hear it all.”
“All? Is that it?” Tiresias smiles, “Well, then, we better pour our drink slowly, and talk quickly. The wine of the Southern Valley’s best orchards is hard to come by these last few months and I fear we won’t have enough to complete a tale of ALL. If it’s all for you, then for the Sake of All, we best begin at the beginning.”
Tiresias leans back on a pillow embroidered with the image of a snakelike beast. A moth flutters up and disappears amongst his many dusty piles of ancient treasures. “The world was not always as simple as it is now. It was once, complex. Complex and much more… misinformed, even than you are now. Long ago, long before Kasil, Mankind was all there was. The maker, the creator, the thinker, the dreamer. The user. The slave. Yes, but we were also the Slaver!
You see my goodly Celns, the Order is most correct about many things. Mankind is who made the elves, the dwarves, the Halfs as you most likely call them as well. Mankind was the manipulator of the world. He changed himself in order to live longer, to live heartier, to live with less. He changed the earth to give more to him. He was invincible, but not….to himself. He used the resources of the land, and then he overused them. He destroyed the world, and then he nearly destroyed himself. But that, was a very, very long time ago. And little of THAT time is known.
We do know that sometime after this ancient destruction, Mankind discovered two very important things, and they would change the world forever. They were not tools of the world, or machinery, but a part of his nature. Mankind discovered magic, and he discovered true divinity.
What’s that you say? Different? Not so fast, children of Cellinor!! Magic, as Man found, was the manifested, the external will of his being. The use of his conscious mind to do great works. Far superior to His muscles! Far superior to “machinery”. He had hintings of it, but ancient man could not recognize them. It wasn’t until his tinkerings with Himself that he discovered it’s raw power. It has always been thus, nothing more. Some can harness it. Some cannot. Divinity, though, as the Flame will surely tell you, is nothing more than that collected will, meant to do great works to better All. For those who can’t use It, others can. Religion, my friends, is the government of our souls.” Tiresias’s words echo around the chamber. You find yourself leaning closer, Tiresias seems to sense the looks you share with your comrades.
“Well, then, I can ‘see’ we are getting somewhere with you lot at least….”
“Many a generation passed, Mankind used both Magics and Divine Powers to create the Gods, that’s right! He created the Gods! In this the Order is most ardently correct as well. But Mankind was deceived. And over eons, as the Liberation Texts tell, He forgot who had created who, and his worship left him a slave to the will of vast and powerful beings. Beings which arose from the leaders of the time, as Lords of Man, Gods. The Immortal Ones!
And in this time, with his new powers he began to work the land for the betterment of his race. Governed now by his WILL, his Gods manifested. But power breeds more power. He then created those who could serve his will, to do the “dirty work” as we say. Other races who could harness this power did the same. Some for benign gain, and others for the taking of it. Thus the age of Kasil, was a time of Glory. A time of harmony and beauty on Gaia for those in the Light at least. Mankind lived in harmony on the surface, achieving great things, building incredible monuments, but not all were happy.”