The Gnome's Horde is the Second Book of The Master of Planets Trilogy.
These stories have Apocalyptic perspective, fantastic but anchored in realism, in metaphysic, and in faith.
The mystery of ages is finally unraveled by an elf, his inmate who awaits execution in an imperial prison.
Work in progress -The third and final Tome of The Nystol cycle. A series of short stories. Krithusel Eloniah, a gnome who once adventured with the great heroes in days of yore, has waited a thousand years in his hill outside of Whigg. The Time of the Harvester approaches. With his collection of tales he describes the wizards of the ancient world and their mage-city Nystol. He convicts the tower-dwellers of Sorcery, of transgressing the logos, and breaking the All-Law. The collection of stories chronicle the mystery of iniquity, how the once great Nystol became a harlot of a city and contrived a matrix of false philosophy to decieve mankind. At last they come to violent ruin...but what must therefore transpire in the burning end of ages? Stories include: Claws of The Moho, The Last Letter of The Gnome, the Nagamaud Amulet, The DeepTracker's Guide, The Intermundane Bestiary, The Curse of the Dwarf-Emperor, The Demon's Tale, Dialogue with an Elf, The Last Days of the Magi, The Scroll of Illumination. NB: Some tales still in revision, please wait, bookmark.
...A gnome tries to catalogue all the various beasts and magical beings of earth's enchanted caves. His research leads him to discern the strange forces that corrupted wizardry, sending the Furth into an age of darkness. His strange assemblege of "furthlore" traces their apocalyptic plans throughout history.
THIS IS NOT HARRY POTTER FAN WRITING. I have never read the harry potter series, so there are no intentional thematic similarities with the famous book series.
FROM the third book, The Fall of Nystol (As told by Krithusel (Kruth the gnome):he has been caught snooping around the sanctuaries of wicked cult leader Shahi Nuzzib: now in a dungeon, the gnome awaits being sacrificed to a demon prince).
What is most dangerous about being in prison, for me, a Gnome, is the fact of how things go for our kind when we slip into one of our “great sleeps.” The extremely subtle matter that comprises our corporeal state begins to become fixed in a certain fabulous pattern, and soon assumes an invisible mode. It is part of a hibernation tactic our physical attributes employ. After that happens, is there anyone known who can find a gnome and cause him to awake? There is no one so keen, save those animals which employ superior olfactory, like some breeds of dog.
With no one to awaken me, I might doze for a hundred years or more, during which time anything might transpire! Kingdoms might fall, races vanish, the Black Book go missing again. On the other hand, were I awoken prematurely from a great sleep, it were likely that I should suffer a twelve year massive headache, (in this case to be put to an end probably by the stranglehold of some chanting sacrificer). There must be something, I was pondering, that could occupy my thoughts and keep me awake.
“I will stay awake for several days,” I said to myself, “at least as long as I can, but I am in danger without my planet-clock alarm. If I do happen to nap, it will be a short snooze no doubt.”
My eyelids were already becoming heavy and I felt tired. I nodded a couple of times, catching myself...just in the nick of time. We gnomes really do not need much sleep, and its really a luxury for us in times of complete boredom. But I had no alarm device, nor any hawk or fox-friend to awaken me if I went deep into sleep.
Suddenly I was startled by a movement in the shadows. I looked about and remembered again that I was in some sort of dark cell, and the only light came from a highly placed and very narrow wall-slit.
I then heard the screams of those who, in some room distant and below me, were being horribly tortured in the other grim places of that terrible dungeon. Finally the screaming ceased and my mind could rest from troubled imaginings, (and perhaps their pitiful bodies too could rest from pain). I prayed for those poor souls.
Had I really been asleep? No, but I had closed my eyes for just a moment, feigning sleep for the sake of my weary eyelids.
Something moved about in the other corner of the shadowy cell, in the hay. Was it a human? No, it was man-like, but not man, rather elven, an elven figure veiled in shadow. I soon discerned that the figure's flesh was terribly torn with many scars.
Relieved that I was at least awake, I resolved to somehow uphold my discipline at least to avoid any despairing sloth, but the nap had left me steeped in dizziness. I thought it wise to at least address the unknown prisoner sitting before me in my cell.
“My eyes perceive a being who breathes there in shadow. Tell me, Whosoever thou art, what is this catacomb of screams and horrors?”
An extended silence followed. After some time, a low voice returned answer with resounding melancholy.
“It is a place where the guilty rule the innocent.” replied the figure in a low voice.
“And yourself? Say if you are innocent, whether, being righteous, you are imprisoned here unjustly like myself, or if not, what malice was it that you once accomplished, a deed which no doubt you now rue in pain." There was a silence. Then I spoke with a demanding tone.
“Declare yourself, for there is still strength in me, and though small, I am trained in combat unearthly.”
“And wherefore, or what manner of elphim art thou,” He replied in a tone of admonition. “... who suddenly appears in my cell after so many years, being so bold as to address a prince of the Avim thusly?”
Startled by such a reply, I declared myself to be Kruth, disciple of Duggan of old, and asked him move into the light, so that I could get a good look at his face. Now did I recognize him as one of the nobility of Ayrs, for his features were not unlike many that issue from that remote realm. His skin was ever so slightly of veridian shade, but seemed not fully elven. I gave him word.
“My sympathy I offer unto thee, high one, for the awful treatment of having been cast into such a loathsome dungeon as this, unworthy treatment for a noble of so high an issue, and to be cell-mate with me, so unworthy a servant. I am a gnome, just as I appear, nogoth in your elven tongue, and my years are advanced into ages, though my heart is young. Allow me therefore to dress thy wounds . .”
I then looked after his wounds with certain powerful ointments, a bag of medicines, my personal narthecium, which by secretive gnome power the guards could not find when they stripped me.
He had recently been beaten, quite severely, and whipped within a camel's hair of his life. I questioned him as to the cause of his punishments and he replied.
“I was arrested for teaching moral doctrines contrary to those popularly held. . .and I was even accused of aspiring to seize the state, as if that were the interest of elf kind.”
“Merely for teaching, high one?” I wondered.
“They say that my teachings are designed to inspire impiety in the youth, and that I secretly conspired to seize the Imperial throne, but all my teachings were offered openly, in the presence of all, and nothing was left hidden. They have been scourging me more and more often, and I foresee that very soon they shall execute me, and I shall no longer dwell in this age.”
He thus explained, and I did not need to weigh in my mind this elf’s character, for indeed his manner was noble, but also gentle and kind by pattern of speech. He did not seem like other elf-kind that I have known, for there was much in him that was of men, so I asked,
“Why have ye then left thy native kingdom? Were ye not happy in that glorious Elf kingdom of the North, Ayrs of deep forests?”
Then, answering, he replied.
“As you have already doubtless detected, I am only partly elf, but my elven inclination is great indeed. The higher nature encourages me to remain unseen and solitary, in remote contemplation, at peace in the forest’s of my father’s kingdom. ..but I am also born of woman, a half-elf. I saw fit to go forth into the broad world and be among men, for the princedoms of mortal men have declined greatly and are in need, and long have the many been going astray from righteousness and instead accomplish evils. Little hospitality and charity abides in their hearts, my friend, and all think it a wondrous thing if they merely do not sin. With high teachings imparted to me by my ancestors I hoped to steer all men of good will from woe.”
I gave him encouragement and right away told him the recent events of my journey, which thou hath heard, emphasizing unto him that I had almost recovered a long missing volume of The Black Book. I asked him how he had come to this desert, and he then told his own story.
“How did I end here? I too quested for a section of the seventy-seven volumed Black Books, one that had much detail concerning the lost relics of my kind, as well as ancientmost teachings of men dating back to the world's dawn. Indeed, I have heard of ye in the songs, the famous Kruth the long-living, known for bold exploits across many lands in the company of Duke Ikonn, one whom all confess seemed more than a man...and I know of thy ever-hungry quest for knowledge. Such things do not impress we Elphic folk of Ayrs.”
Now mortals might take exception with such a statement, and esteem it a challenge to honour, but the elphim are otherwise in speech. In accord with custom, it is necessary for high elves to gently tease other kindreds. A good chastisement it was, for in truth how arrogant my own kind had sometimes been, and I did have such a flaw of curiosity just like many other gnomes. I could not fathom that he was born of woman, for it is known by the learned and common alike that elves do not mate with humans. Nor has it ever been heard that an elf’s union with a human would give rise to a child, for this is thought impossible. Many have claimed the existence of half-elves, but this has been disproven by the elves themselves who claim that some of their kind may bear semblance close to humans but are in fact not at all related.
The existence of a half-elf also poses a strange labyrinthine dilemma for philosophic inquiry. What sort of soul would such a being possess, immortal or passing?.. .supernatural or natural? Like the Minotaur who is neither bull nor man, this being must be neither elf nor man, but some tertium quid which is at once both and neither. Truly, all non-human intellectons, elphim and such, are intellectual spirits and have a natural soul which will pass away at the end of time like the rest of the cosmoid. Mortal men however have a supernatural soul which informs their spirits as well as their bodies, and these bodies perish. . .
As I was working through this dilemma in my mind, I found my reasoning power to have become somewhat like a rusty mill. I was rather dazed having come out of that nap and was suspecting that it had lasted longer than a couple of minutes, so I asked the man-elf what year he had been imprisoned. His answer was not surprising to me, for after we had calculated the number of human years reckoned according to his answer in lunar eclipses of Calduin, it came out that I had slept for some one hundred seventy five years! The time lapse lasted what seemed but a blink of an eye to me.
“What has come to pass during those many passings of Calduin?” There was a prolonged silence, unnerving.
“Doth thou truly desire knowledge of such great changes wrought upon the waning world?” he replied in ominous tone. “Heed of these tidings shall confound thy mind.”
I nodded and so consented to learning fearsome news.
“Thou must then listen whilst I tell thee the history of what hath come to pass whilst ye slept, little friend.”
I agreed readily.
“Then I will say it, and mean no pretense or guile, but rather the hard truth entire give: Thy beloved and wondrous city of scrolls, Nystol, is no more. Its towers have fallen and burned in holocaust. The hands of untaught men accomplished the deed.”
He paused briefly and I sat there in silence, under the blanket of shadows, unable to digest his words or imagine the Illystran continent and all the Furth kingdoms without the magic of Nystol. He passed me his smoking long-pipe.
“I keep this pipe hidden from the guards.” He continued, (as one who talks trivia while worlds collide). “The tobacco is brought to me by the friendly sparrows. Thy mind may need this, friend, smoke well. Thou must surely be wondering, that so great a cataclysm unfolded, a ruin which hath thrown the furthworld into this present darkness, to the extent that even the demon-gods of old are again worshiped anew!”
“It is not possible,” I muttered, “nor can my mind conceive of so dire an event as thou describe, and I would call it false had it been from someone else’s lips.”
“Trust then that the soul about to learn the tortures of the bloody stake does not speak untruth. In the eyes of most mortals these events are long past, and how they transpired and what they meant is a mystery which they shall never contemplate. Here is how I came to experience the grave events which have been lost to thy dreams: long before anyone had ever imagined that the high-towered city might be in danger, (and here I start with thyself), I had acquired a copy of thine own famous work, Kruth’s Handy World Map, and though it is inaccurate, it served me well as guide to those wondrous pavilions.
“There was certain knowledge I sought in Nystol, and I did make my way there journeying for two passings of Calduin. I traveled Hermius’ Canyon and the Eager Dog Trail disguised as a Kutaal herdsman until I reached the Sardu mesa. Finally leaving the dry lands and reaching lower Nystol, the lofty walls and many towers. The scribes there welcomed me and questioned me on the conditions of my native land. They proposed I stay and work for them, and so I undertook the long task and wrote them an exhaustive history of the dynasties of the Avim in the lands of Ayrs.
Now I stayed there for many years and received great kindness as a guest, but declined to enter into an order. And, as may be of interest, I befriended the great Nicodemus Blackrobe who had just been appointed High Magus and was in the middle of prosecutions against a certain Simon Infernalius. He spent much time with me describing the delicate matters of high philosophy and sage craft, and pointing out historical matters which Voethius’ famous history, Decline of the Eldark, had neglected.”
After an extended period of silence he continued.
“The account of the history of Nystol I wish to divulge for thee, my friend, contains an array of highly technical terms, not meant to impress thee but rather give a feel for the actual thoughts, thoughts of most subtle argument, barely able to be grasped by terrestrial minds. It seems to me that ye are no fool and have no small training in philosophy, and if this is so, then I shall continue without delay to describe in full the customs and orders of Nystol’s Ancient Rises.”
Looking at him and feeling somewhat dumbfounded, or perhaps intimidated by his vastly superior elven intellect, I nevertheless felt honored that he would impart to me such deep learning, and with nothing but time on our hands in that dark prison, I nodded and replied in earnest.
“Please, speak without hesitation, friend, but surely there will be concepts and words which I will not fully comprehend, so strange is that lofty land of Nystol, and I hope ye will not let me become confused.”
“Indeed, stop me when thy mind by labyrinthine verbiage is confounded,” he replied smiling, “. . .for a complete description of their ancient wisdom I cannot impart, but only a sketch, if ye will.” He took a long hit of his sparrow-gift tobacco and then breathing out he began.
“In the second era of the world, when men first took to the sea in ships, when they first began to encircle their cities with walls and fight with bronze, the race of Maceonid kings gave birth to heroes. These great ones found it not enough to conquer princes and their armies, but wished even to conquer death itself. Accordingly, they devised expeditions into the underworld to achieve this end. Many tombs they found, vaults hiding silver and gold, gems, and treasure beyond imagining, the remnant of the antediluvian kings. The heroes soon forgot about conquering death. Instead, they began to return into the dark of the underworld and loot the treasures of these sleeping kings. Great hordes were hidden away in tombs guarded with many ingenious traps. Thus did heroes employ the prayers of clerics to dispel the forbidden glyphs and curses which were placed to protect these gleaming treasures, piles of metal, the bane of men, for the gods of old not always answered prayers to their benefit.
Since such things attracted men to their doom, the nobility of many nations had no princes to give their daughters in marriage and many wars were uprisen in the land. Wizards tried to solve this problem by employing various magics, but their magic was unharnessed, and they ended by causing only more chaos and greater wars.
It is sacrilige to steal from the dead. In so doing the magics opened many spirit-holes that had best been left closed. Terrible nephelids, bestial demons known as the Netherbeasts, crept up out of the pits of deepest Hell.
Although the light of the Ammouric faith was not well known, some good-willed chiefs, seeing that the race of men was in peril, warlords like Ikonn duke of Gorre, installed fortresses and massive iron gates in subterraneous areas, at the hell-holes, that is, the upward passes into the intermundian caves. In this way they meant to hinder the comings of these Netherbeasts, huge creatures unleashed from Hell to harrass the world. It did but a very little help. Soon the eyes of these creatures adjusted to the sun.
It was not only Netherbeasts. In those days many other terrible creatures also became numerous, monsters and lawless races who had no fear of the light and who did not stay in their caves. Some were sent against men as divine chastisement for sins, others had been designed by mischievous wizards conducting unwise experiments. How perilous had become the forests and the lakes, the hills and every pathway through the Furthlands! Aware of a growing threat, a league of foreseeing the wizards sent notification throughout all the kingdoms for a great assembly in order to decide how to confront the problem.
The assembly met, and it was decided that no more wizardry be permitted in the civil lands, lest worse creatures arise from the ever more foolish manipulations of the cosmic spindle that resides within flesh. Only in one place would the knowledge of the arcane arts be preserved and survive, a place secluded in the remoteness of the desert wilderness. A special order of wizards, the Eldari, was commissioned to found a new city and act as a advisory council for its colleges. The Maceonid Kings signed a treaty that the wizards must journey into The Great Desert and found a city in one of the oases there, where they could study magic but, being far removed, would not cause chaos in the civil lands.
Explorers found a vast mesa hidden away in the Great South Desert. It was dotted with caves and deserted cliff-villages in which lived a handful of exiled sorcerers from various lands, and the shamans of the remnant Sardu people. It boasted subterrene cisterns of a plenteous water supply and easy access to lush forests in the south, whereas to the north it dropped by sheer inaccessible cliffs and the shifting sands of dreadful desert.
So it was that wizards and sorcerers were now required by universal decree on pain of death to remove from their native Furth Kingdoms and build the new city on the mesa of Sardu, remaining there until they rounded out their lives.
Wizardry in all the Furthreaches was outlawed and the clerics of Allfather throughout the kingdoms enforced the decrees of the high priest Iraltus.
As the years passed however, the monsters increased in number, evil armies grew, especially the goblins and trolls, for there were no wizards remaining in the civil lands to combat them or at least keep them at bay, the might of the sword being far from adequate. Entire cities were destroyed by the bolg and orc tribes. Ambassadors went to Mt. Argunizial with great tributes, and beseeched the prophetess for answers. The only answer was this: “The crimes of men reek to heaven, what they suffer is the fruit of it: they have brought it upon themselves. But lest all men perish for the wickedness of a few, let the Eldari appear before the gate that girds the sacred groves of Argunizial, and there do penance, and beg for help, but let them not set foot upon the holy threshold.
So the Eldari were called forth out of Nystol and appeared in sackcloth before the sacred assembly of priests at the gate of the holy mountain. There they beat their chests and, renouncing their pride, petitioned the priests, that their arcane powers be permitted, and be used to combat the horrors that tread the earth, in order that all men might not die. Indeed, this was granted to them, and this was known as The Indulgence unto the Mages.
In order that all things may proceed in righteousness, the sacred assembly appointed a soothfold to be established in Nystol, to oversee any new developments in arcane knowledge. Many restrictions they placed upon the mages, the most important ones being that only battle magic may be employed, and that it never be used against another human soul or on a day sacred to Allfather. Often, throughout centuries, were these rules broken, but the Indulgence was never suspended universally. Later, after the revelations of the third age, this council became known as The Ammouric Soothfold. It came to pass that they built their own spires in Nystol.
The Ancient Thought-Vortices
Let the story of Nystol be described first by explaining the thoughts of those who developed the primitive system. Then ye shall imagine centuries passing, innovators and wise men arising who develop alternative and more advanced systems. Knowledge doth increase and a golden age early dawns. Seven wondrous towers are built to house many a scroll and numberless thaumaturgical books. Learning from all over the Illystran continent and beyond are collected. The libraries come to boast a collection of works in hundreds of different languages and literary wonders from thirty-three cultures. The sages and other schools work together to build an eighth massive and towering library in the center of the Ancient Rises, the Library of Hennsooth in the Tower of Manihord, a labyrinth of corridors and winding staircases. A time of universal wisdom and order lasts and men come to understand many mysteries of the world. Then, later, as in many things, prideful and disobedient children arise, these are the Sorcerers, Gulthangir in our tongue. Due to a subtle imperfection of philosophic integrity, the balance of things changes and soon a great spiritual Rift occurs, and men fail to confront falsehood. Their consequent sins bring about divine wrath upon the towers of Nystol.
Recently, vulgar and sophistic speculations of how exactly magical powers are “tapped into” have been even recorded as historical accounts. Entire libraries of garbage and sensationalism about Wizards and Sorcerers have begun to dominate the popular imagination. From certain truisms, such as consort with spirits (which is done only by certain lawless orders), to such nebulous notions of “tapping into the astral plane” or “using innate powers”, these vagaries must only confuse posterity, and add nothing to genuine knowledge. May those works be commissa in voraginem!
The culture of lofty Nystol has mostly perished and whatever remains almost no mortal knows how to translate or employ. I here commit to thee what may possibly be all that is left of those once vast halls of learning. The Archsage Voethius wrote an incomplete history entitled The Decline of the Eldark, which I have read, but this also has been lost with all others, and now I commit this story, the true version, to thee. It includes everything from the beginnings to the last day, and the maze of turning ages in between, and do thou rememberest it, for ye may be the last with whom I may speak.”
So did the man-elf explain his need, and I assented, vowing to affix his teachings in my mind. Every detail of his spoken account and conversation is here recorded, and thanks to a gnomic soul my memory on this conversation is without error. Voethius’ terminology is complex and arcane, but I have omitted nothing and have followed it with a glossary to aid the discerning.
The man-elf continued. . .
“The ancient orders of Nystol had no established cults whereby to win divine aid. The closest they ever came to religious observance were the hymns of Ammouri and some proto-avestic chants derived from the Antediluvians. Although they were free to make pious offerings and thanksgiving to the traditional gods, there were no accepted formulas of religious observance. This may be attributed to the prohibitions against ritual magic which are found in the Ammouric Decrees as well as almost every traditional cult of the natural gods, the penalty for which was often death.
Some historians have typically confused elphic or natural magic (dos Valaris) with the kind that has always been prohibited to mortals. It was this prohibition, some say, that drove the early magicians to the remote rises of Nystol, which is surrounded by deserts to the north and inaccessible jungles to the south. I do not agree with this version of the history, but I assert that they were driven there to find refuge in the time of the dragon terror of the second world, or perhaps they had been there from the time of Anathron.
The requisites for entrance into the orders of Nystol were as follows: One must have passed the Gordian Exam of the Urguard Scribolium or successfully resolved an official ethical dilemma of the Rumilian Nomotorium. Initiates must also be willing not to bring women anywhere on the Sardu Mesa upon which the Ancient Rises sat. It was not forbidden to marry however, although children, with all their playful ruckus, are a rather serious a distraction in the depth’s of concentration. It is said that no Mage was ever known to have married and continued in the fold, probably since few wives would consent to their husbands living in a remote restricted fortress. . .who would also very likely outlive them for many years.”
At this point I cut in and asked:
“Friend, tell me, I have heard it said that the place up on those distant Rises is filled with peaceful solitude, is this possible for human folk?” The man-elf nodded and continued.
“For a thousand years, everyday life in Nystol did not consist of fire-shows, magical ceremonies, or contests, or the fashioning of monstrosities (contrary to popular notions), but was involved in the gathering of sustenance from the Lower Red Forests, the copying of manuscripts, and the collecting of data from the natural world. This involved everything, all the way from galactic modal measurements to developing superstantial formulae out of snail secretions. “We live in thought pools of relative tranquility,” wrote the Sage Ptoleus,“detatched from hapless waves in the sea of human passions,” in fact, “spells” were originally used as inducements for overcoming the demands of various human weaknesses, distractions for the soul whose eye is fixed on the beyond. Seldom did an Arcane wish to expend his synergies on impressing others or trying to escape the inevitable flow of the logos.”
I again spoke my own thoughts.
“Surely some men think that magic should be used for personal gain, but that seems wrong to me. There must be some mental starting point at which the ancient mages, those who were of good ethic, had kept in their hearts the one true Good.”
“Yes indeed, my noble gnome,” (his complement was also a jested in reply), “The basic principle of the magian art is something known as the Paraphysik: part of this is the realization that all things which exist have certain potentialities that can be activated. For example, a farmer has the potential to be a warrior, and even though he may be untrained and old, trace potentialities still remain. A frog has the potential to be a giant beast (but not a prince), and a crystal has the potential to be an eye or a prison. The mage discerns the formal vibration of the potentiality and activates it by stripping it of its limitors. Radiant matter is released when the limitors are stripped.
“A most important state of matter which may be manipulated by subtle percepts projected from the imagination. Any object, such as salt cube, is a both the form of something, in this case a crystal cube, and the matter, the salt itself. Thereby one can perceive a substance. There is also the superstantial reality, a cosmic mirroring which anchors the salt cube or any substance in time and place. Although the superstantial reality shares the formal cause of the substance, radiant matter subsists as the energetic cause.”
“I am confused already. Your words are perplexing.”
“Ignore the discomfort of your mind and pretend that you understand. After much pretending you will realize that you are be comprehending. Now listen: the radiant matter of the four elements permeates the entire Terrestrial Sphere and can be likened to a rarified gas that exhibits extra-ordinary properties. This state comprises the energetic causes necessary to activate battle-magic, such as a fireball or magic missile. (Note however, that in the case of such spells as lightening strike, one of the five incandescent elements of the Celestial Sphere must be magnetized into radiant matter).”
“But how possibly can this accomplished, the astral plane being so remote?”
“As am I trying to impart, this is done by knowing how to project the proper phantasms or percepts which the mind constructs.
That which is invisible is superior to the visible, thought is superior to matter, and therefore thought has authority over matter. Although one is superior to another they are nevertheless equal in importance, just as a human mind is equal in importance to the body, though one serves the other.
Any change in matter can be brought about by causing the potential to become actual.
Most elements have many potentialities, and since they are often mixed, as in the case of primordial mud, there may be even more. Yet a mage could never fashion a complex being like a toad out of mud, since the complex form resides in the Nous (cosmic Mind).
Nevertheless, he could well fashion, for example, an instantaneous brick wall out of mud. Such folk tales describing a frog turning into a prince or vice versa are vain imaginings and have nothing to do with the actual powers of a mage. A man can never potentially be a frog or vice versa. The element of air however is indeed potentially fire or water, and so “fireball” or “ice-summoning” are possible and these as well as similar paraphysiks were used often in magical warfare.”
“Two interdependent trains of thought would develop and exchange information, dominating the sciences of Nystol: the mathematic contemplative school (initiated by Ptoleus), and the vibrational naturalism (initiated by Rhistogorst), and now good friend, listen close while I explain in detail.” He continued in depth.
“Those who in days of old did accept the reality of the traditional doctrines about the supernatural usually posited a single impersonal self-generated and omnipotent ground of being; an all-seeing, crystalyn, thought-reflect, manifesting as a detached demiurge, a power which came dangerously close to the description of Thendil the Archdeceiver, who has always tried to assume such a title.
Some others were pantheistic and worshiped the “Titanic forces of Nature” as impersonal “dynameis” (powers), or they developed a dyadic system called Zhet derived from the meditations of the distant Khitai.
For a long time it had been thought that to liken the Prime Mover to having personality like a human was superstitious and even impious. It was not until the later times, the first years of Nicodemus Blackrobe, that belief in a personal divinity was accepted as tolerable, but even then the belief was looked upon with contempt. The faithful of the Ammouri were always relegated to servile positions and could never gain influence on the great mesa, save for only the brilliant Nicodemus. He wrote about the dystrophic spiritual condition of the Arcanes in a letter to his faithful brethren, let me think now, how does that paragraph go...
...they are ever learning, these comfortable, world-conscious men, and never attaining to the true path, and so, just as they resisted the warnings of Maceon of old, their descendants now also have resisted the true doctrines I unveiled to them, which are not my own, but have been passed down to me (and which I have no desire or authority to change), and those men thus reveal that they are men corrupt of mind and heart”.
It is a bazaar twist that Nicodemus Blackrobe presided over the Nystoli as Archmage in the hours of greatest turbulence.”
When the illustrious narrator paused to hit his pipe again I took the opportunity to speak.
“Whoa, that’s alot, but what was this great spiritual rift you speak of and how did it unfold?”
He answered through the haze of smoke.
“It was called The Hypostatic Rift, after the disagreement over how matter and form combine to become a given substantial (and corresponding superstantial) reality. As the centuries passed, the two schools, the contemplative and the naturalist, together thrived, and a congenial pattern of science and learning was developed by various sub-schools, which kept one another in check. But centuries later, nearer the time of Nystol’s fall, the wide spread acceptance of novel meditations, the “incomprehensibles” (the work of one Scardetes writing sometime in the second century before the Nystol-destruction), showed that the golden era of Rhistogorst’s system had begun to falter. The arcane schools experienced extensive thought-disruptions.”
“Incomprehensibles?” I wondered.