Dorak - Principles and Platitudes
Dorak woke, much refreshed and stronger, having reflected on the experience of the day.
He bade the others to go to sleep, though Dusky seemed too animated to sleep. While not very good at discerning emotions, he had spent a lot of time discerning motives, and felt that her mind was both at ease and troubled.
Dorak didn’t know how much she wanted to say about the conversations that occurred while he slept. He was keenly interested, though the chance that she and Kumori were conspiring against him was low on the list, for he needed to know the unit’s morale, but he didn’t think he could bring it up tactfully. Instead, he began with a question: ‘I don’t know that much about what you two talk about while I snore… but I know meeting others and hearing of their faith and views can be intriguing. Have we told you much of Qasim? Well, there isn’t much to say – he was from the lands we are about to journey into, and was as much of a warrior of the bow as a priest of nature.’
‘In his lands, there was a philosopher, possibly even a prophet or priest, called Plotinus. He spoke of The One, a transcendental being that had no division or categorization. The One was Good and Beauty, Thinker and Concept, but not aware nor conscious. The One just is.’
Here, Dorak held his hand high.
‘This perfection stood in stark contrast to nothingness, imperfect, evil, and ugly.’
Here, Dorak put his hand low.
‘Everything between The One and nothingness emanated from The One without diminishing or affecting it. While Plotinus does not describe exactly how elves and dwarves and halflings came about, everything that is is a logical consequence of The One’s existence – not a choice The One made, but an emanation of The One – and the closer to The One that your emanation originated, the more divine you are.’
‘His pupils added hundreds of levels between The One and humans, but the original system was incredibly simple. However, in almost all views of this thought, we are closer to nothingness than we are to the divine.’
’There’s a certain overlap with The Nameless Maker, isn’t there? And if fire, or souls, came from The Nameless Maker and his deceitful fire keeper’s orders, then the divine spark has to be passed through the mad gods and the tree and the elementals to mix with the mud and clay that form us, by this view.’
‘However, there was another view, somewhat Ionian, that I’ve heard told. While I do not study religion, I do study people, so I hope I don’t muddle this up since you know more, Dusky. It says that in the beginning, there was nothing – no time, no space, no divine. That from this nothing came Order – but the act of introducing Order created Chaos, for the system went from a perfect state of nothingness to an imperfect state.’
‘The existence of Chaos caused all things to appear, and Chaos blossomed. Neutrality appeared, and used the existence of time and space to spread Chaos out, along the arc of countless lives and across countless planes. This created Good and Evil, for where Law and Chaos were not so evenly spread, there was Evil, and where Law and Chaos were more in harmony, there was Good.’
‘Oh, aye, there’s variations on this, but it depends on how much you love order and how much you’ve felt oppression. Anyone who has never known oppression and loves order tells the tale differently, and the telling of the tale helps to spread Order and Chaos.’
‘This also created the elemental planes, and the elemental planes were the first to bring life to this one. That life clashed among itself, and thus was born the mountains and the seas, the winds and the plants.’
‘It is also said that the union of the elemental beings gave birth to the races we know: the dwarves born of fire and earth, the elves born of fire and wind. I don’t know the tale well enough to tell you whence the halflings or humans came, but most of the evil races came from darkness and earth or darkness and fire.’
’It’s interesting to compare the stories of people. There are only a dozen stories. What matters is less the story arc but the feelings you evoke from the elements and your use of them. At least, that’s my understanding. I am no storywright.’
‘Keep your business between Kumori and you secret, if you wish, for I feel that he does not trust me as well as he trusts you, and you have a greater interest in his soul than I do. I hope that hearing more stories helps you to help him, for while he may not love me as he loves your companionship, he is a brother in arms to me.’