The Engine of Creation
Essence was eternal, it could be neither created nor destroyed, but there were patterns – objects, concepts – creation had never known, and there in lay his opportunity.
It annoyed him, in his interactions with his past self, how much Kharum had lost sight of that drive. It was clear that they had shared it once. That it was the nature of their anima to build, create, and know. But with all the power and skills needed to truly fulfill that motivation – abilities which Kadon had yet to master, much to his frustration – his first age incarnation had gone another way. Squandered his genius for creation on building schemes and plans. Intangibles that could not last.
Intellectually, Kadon understood that his predecessor had simply done what needed to be done, but in moments of frustration such as this, it still irked him. Now there was no time for painstaking study, and lacking the skills he had once mastered, he would have to rely upon the knowledge of others. At least, he consoled himself, he might have access now to beings who shared his creative drive. It was just a matter of convincing them to help.
Refocusing his attention on the tissue thin sheet of translucent adamant alloy before him, he composed his thoughts, and began transcribing them to the page, infusing honesty and earnest need into every stroke of the stylus:
Gaia, Spirit of Creation
Though in times past it would have been wholly outside my nature, I write to you now in humility, humbled by the lessons I have learned, and the scope of all that I do not know, to seek your aid and council.
I have learned, these past days, a secret we exalted were never meant to know, and though I survived the learning, I understand now why you could not share it with us. With this enlightenment however, I have come to appreciate that it is knowledge that cannot remain secret. If there is any hope for us, we must know our own weakness, and learn to master ourselves.
To this end, I have endeavored these past days to devise a means of protecting my peers from the devastating consequences of the lesson they must be taught. Many of them will prove difficult to contain – indeed it was fortunate I caused as little harm as I did at the moment of revelation – and so I have sought some way of insuring that they are safe from themselves, and creation in turn from them.
In short, I hope – I believe – I have found a way, but it is beyond the skills of this mortal incarnation to realize the details of the design. Indeed, parts of the design are beyond the nature of us both, with our bonds to the loom of fate.
As the shaper of elements, yours is mastery over all they represent, and so I can conceive of no being better suited for this undertaking. Please, I beseech you, lend your hand to the designs I have included here, that creation may be saved from its saviors.
Setting his stylus aside, and scanning the page for any errant stroke, Kadon closed his eyes, and opened himself to his essence. From within him, a great light welled up, and even with his eyes tight shut he could see his anima flare – a ghost image like the phantom of a hand held out in pitch darkness, visible where the mind knows its own extents.
Around him, glyphs swirled and darted, forming columns and rows, recombining into an infinite array of words. A never-ending stream of cogency and meaning which defined his being down to the most fundamental level, and then defined the fundamentals of existence itself.
The symbols swarmed and gathered, growing smaller like objects receding in the distance, and revealing shapes which had been too large to see before. Shapes and figures of radiant sunlight, describing in perfect detail the form and composition of a great machine.
And from these drawings of light within light his totem emerged, a great nested complex of interlocking gears and leavers and plates. Their function was beyond comprehension, but their form was in the likeness of great golden wings, feather-plates of metallic radiance spread in glory, and extended to gather all things under their shelter.
The Engine of Creation was unveiled, and with an effort of will Kadon imprinted its likeness on the metallic page before him, marking it with an indelible, unmistakable signature.
As his anima slowly subsided, he gathered up the page and a sheaf of notes describing his designs for the Ninefold Manse, and rolled them up into a beautifully wrought scroll case of ivory and orichalcum. He sealed the tube with five dollops of essence infused wax in the colors of the elements, impressed each with his own seal, and set it next to its star-metal bound cousin, which bore a similar missive for the Design Weavers of Authocthon.