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Library: Awakenings


Author: Desos
Date:Nov 2 2002

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                |       Awakenings      |
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A Cold and Bleak Morning in The Northeastern Quadrant of BatCity.

As transcribed by Desos Tranquilios, also known as The Voice of
The Common and quite possibly the only depressing sprite around.

                I - The Awakening of The Body

        The Kayser-Mosel tastes even fouler the next day. The
pain is manageable, not that bad actually. Had worse. And keep
telling that to yourself, else you might not ever move from this
spot. And talking about moving, don't. Don't move. Don't talk.
If you do, the pain will be worse than what you've had. Just lie
down, eyes closed, feel the coarse burlap against your skin, the
throbbing behind your eyes. And recall.
        Recall another night, another day. The boys, the girls.
You. The work was heavy, or perhaps there wasn't any work at all.
Times were tough. No need for craftsmen, apprentices, messengers.
Magic was to be the key - the merchants saved a pretty penny in
using golems and navigators instead of woodsmen and carriages.
The way of the future, they said, out with the old, in with the
new. And don't listen to the mad old gypsy women and their talks
about mad gods and greedy magics.
        None of that magic of the old whiskey bottle.
        Now, remember - the hearth is cold, no embers in the ash.
It is spring, the month of Rozgayn, but the mornings feel as 
cold as the deepest of winter. Too cold for this season, like
a drapery had been hung in front of the distant sun. And rain 
was pouring down in the darkness. It seems as though night never
left this realm. This realm of thieves and poverty.
        Now wake.

                II - The Awakening of The Eyes

        Slowly the light stabs through your eyes. Even in the 
absence of the sun the world seems to find ways to muster just
enough light to make you wish for a greater darkness spell.
Still, no use in lying about. You do what you've always done,
wake up, gather the last remains of your strength, curse like
your mother taught you to do. Mortal men do as they are told,
as they've learned to do through the ages. There isn't anything
that would change the Patterns.
        You work for the lord, use your pennies for the benefit
of the merchants who in turn try to look like lords and hope to
marry into them, eventually. All high above the land and its
inhabitants the royal look down and frown, pass laws to wring
out the last in the land and smile to merchants turned nobles.
        And in the morning they're found with their purses gone
and their faces green of the poisonous envy the old hold for
the noveau rich. And the common gossip, like pigeons flocking
after every crumb of bad news, so gleeful to hear how the fates
and the Gods have humiliated those so far beyond the grasp of
the masses. The herd bleats as the herder falls over. 
        The Powers fluctuate. The Patterns never change.
        Now see.

                III - The Awakening of The Mind

        The fire burns again in the small hearth, crackling
beneath the gaze of too tired eyes. You have the stale bread
from your cupboard and not much else. Even the water is grey.
But all men need to eat. The working, the selling, the ones in 
command. All men need to eat. And where do the lords get their 
food from? From the merchants and their booths. And they in 
turn receive it from the hunters, from the farmers, from the 
pickers and the foragers.
        There is a giant that stands on the back of an even
greater creature, a beast of such unfathomable strength that
even the mention of it's (long forgotten) name sends shivers
down the spine of Esachen, the Protector of Stability. A giant
of many heads and feet, still one thought and heart, a beast
of fury and fire that is only anticipated in the shared dream.
        Because there is balance, and there is need to preserve 
this balance. Thus this balance can be shaken, can be shattered, 
and the voice to wake the beast is sounding. If the words of the 
lords can be outspoken, the chains of the ages unfettered, there 
will wake an age of common men, of men sharing their strenghts 
for the land, not for one above anothers. There will not be one 
above the other.
        Now believe.

                IV - The Awakening of The Heart

        There isn't any sky when you walk outside, just a blanket
of something you might have called clouds when you still were but
a gutter child, one with too nimble fingers for your own good. 
More than once the guards pulled you around by your ears but that
just made you more headstrong, hell bent on making it on your own
devices. To this day you can't say where it all went wrong.
        The streets are slick with the cold rain as you watch in
disgust how the up-on-their-luck "adventurers", glorified thieves
and graverobbers, roll into town to spend their ill-begotten goods
on women and drinks, slashing down any cityfolk that doesn't get
out of their way in time. Any beggar children get too close and
those brave heroes in silver and steel cut them down like hay, so
intent on keeping their shining mithril pieces.
        Whores and dice. Really just the same as any man here 
does or dreams about. And gold and adventure, out in the dungeons
and woods - weren't those the things you once thought you'd find?
What is more pitiful, misery on these streets or on the road? Who
is the one to be blamed, when Death, clad in black looks at you
through his black lense? The bleakness of the days ia a law, not
some cloth that you've chosen or been forced to wear. None go naked.
        Still, there is love. In those that travel. In those that
stay. But not like in fairytales, the fairies are jealous of those
that lose their way in those misty forests. Not like heroes, for
heroes lose more than they have to give and those empty husks 
cannot sustain any love or lovers. And not like the celestials,
for the love of the immortals rages like the molten rivers and is
a thing that wears and withers. But love like men love, terrified
of the darkness, hugging and tearing into the flesh next to them.
A terrible love that bleeds, but bleeds pure, a embracement that
all women sigh after. And love like the forsaken have, finding for
that singular moment the forgiveness of the Gods.
        Somehow that is shared. But does it limit to that? As you
shake these empty thoughts from your mind a sparrow lifts from the 
ramshackle streets and flies to a crack in the skyline.
        And thus, understand.