Tales of Saint Zar'shia Anointed-In-Shadow and Her Pupil, Houngaer

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La Villa Strangiato
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Tales of Saint Zar'shia Anointed-In-Shadow and Her Pupil, Houngaer

Post by La Villa Strangiato » Tue Nov 23, 2021 8:42 am

FOREWORD

These are tales that were spoken to me when I was a young girl, whispered to me by my father before reverie and later expounded upon in philosophy by my mother. There is very little evidence to support the existence of a high priestess or divine warrior of the Masked Lord named Zar'shia; it is likely it was intended as an allegorical tale, with her as a mouthpiece for the lessons.

The lessons themselves are largely esoteric, but my interpretation of them has shone through in my transcription of them. It's possible other interpretations of the myths that I was told exist in a different form, passed down different masked clergies.

Regardless, reader, I hope you find them enlightening.


I. How Houngaer Prostrated Himself Before Zar'shia

It is said that Houngaer, who was the third and last son of spore farmers, journeyed over cavern and cliff to find Zar'shia, She-Who-Is-Anointed-In-Shade, and he prostrated himself before her.

Houngaer said; "I wish to learn the blade from you."

Zar'shia said; "And why is it me you have sought?"

Houngaer said; "I am bowed before your might, which is still feminine, and holding that weight over me. By your power of limitless creation, you too must also be versed in death. I am told you hold the ear of Our Lord In Shadow, and He has whispered unto you His secrets. Thus I ask, O Anointed, deliver these secrets unto me."

"You have a way with words, for a commoner male," spoke Zar'shia, "but I am afraid you lack wisdom in your demands. You have asked to learn the blade but you know nothing of Royalty."

Said Houngaer, "Then, O Anointed, what is Royalty?"

"I will tell you what Royalty is," Zar'shia said. "It is a continuous cutting motion."


Saraskyn
Nemerarie Athol Adventuring on the surface
Rio Salazar Gone to Athkatla

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La Villa Strangiato
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Re: Tales of Saint Zar'shia Anointed-In-Shadow and Her Pupil, Houngaer

Post by La Villa Strangiato » Wed Nov 24, 2021 2:25 am

II. How Houngaer Learned of Order and Chaos

It is said Zar'shia was one well-versed in where the world material met immaterial, and so she brought Houngaer to one of these bleeding edges and they found themselves in Baator. Zar'shia bargained with the daemons that forded that River through all the layers, and the skull-faced daemon took them both on a raft where wyrms looped through the waves, with acidic water dripping off their pale and misty scales.

On the First Layer, Avernus, there was a great battle between tanar'ri and baatezu. "Look," Zar'shia said, "see how the fiends duel. What difference is there between them?"

Houngaer looked on the battle and observed. The baatezu marched in legions of square and rigid movement, each Hell-forged pike bouncing in time, each shield held out in front of them. The tanar'ri twisted and rumbled forward like a horde of ever-moving snakes, their myriad tendrils and tongues and flaming eyes lashing the air.

"It is clear to me that the devils are creatures of order, and the demons creatures of chaos," Houngaer said.

"You are wrong," spoke the daemon that forded. "The devils sneak and whisper and claw their way to the top and stifle the mind that may be greater but is below them. This is no order. This is chaos at a gentle and easy pace to swallow."

"Then do you think there is honour in the slaughter that demons insist on?" inquired Houngaer.

The yugoloth laughed. "Fool! Demons are mindless. They can only kill and unmake and have no mind for a world that is stable. This is reflected in their plane which is ever-shifting."

Houngaer asked; "Then, yugoloth, what of you? What of your kind is most superior to tanar'ri or baatezu?"

The daemon scoffed and said; "We are the finest of the fiends for we are self-serving and this we know. We fight for no greater cause, we scheme and slaughter and make no bones about it to serve something greater. There is only the Self and whoever claims otherwise is mindless, like the maggots that make themselves from your mortal soul. There is no order, there is no chaos."

At this Zar'shia stopped the boat and stepped on the shore, and bid the yugoloth farewell. Houngaer followed. Zar'shia asked; "What lessons have you learned? Shall we follow the way of devils, demons, or neither?"

"I know not," Houngaer said. "To live by Law is to live by a fist of iron-- it means the torture of the soul unheard and unseen through actions and deed. It is unlike Orthodoxy in that it claims to seperate itself from Orthodoxy, but is merely a guise for the same tenets, slower-acting. To live by Chaos means the Orthodoxy, the way of the Wretch-Queen-- to always slaughter and take and fight with no reason or crafted world."

Zar'shia smiled mysteriously and said, "Then you think we should abandon Law and Chaos entirely."

Houngaer pondered this. "No," said he, "for to fully abandon Law and Chaos means to have nothing to strive for. It is the position of they who claim they have reached enlightenment but truly have nothing that enlightens them, for their earthly connections are naught. My conclusion is that we should not strive to follow the ways of fiends who are like or unalike the Wretch-Queen."

"You have grown wise indeed this cycle," said Zar'shia. "And this is the truth. For we are not beings of the Planes, and thus we should not strive fully to emulate their ways. Law and Chaos do not matter-- only that which allows the safety and growth of our People matter."


Saraskyn
Nemerarie Athol Adventuring on the surface
Rio Salazar Gone to Athkatla

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