Pharamne's Urn (updated 4/25/12) - Page 115





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  1. #1141
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bloodcookie View Post
    Sadomasochism - the path to transcendental power. Who knew?
    Or as I like to call it, "Friday night".
    the Jester

    The Monster Project

    Buy my first self-published weird sci-fi novel from Amazon here!

 

  • #1142
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    Some Random Thoughts

    On Kschiff
    Kschiff (“kss-chiff”) was first encountered by Ortwin and Mostin on their visit to Siir Traag; I invented the name on the fly – or rather I stole the name: the Kschiff are a race of “little green men” who appear in a Traveller adventure called “Green Horizon” from an old copy of White Dwarf. Even though it was out of keeping with what I’d determined at that point would form the basis of the Tongue of Shûth – i.e. Sanskrit – I decided to keep it.

    Kschiff is a cocktail of psychoactive alkaloids dissolved in alcohol – something like laudanum, I suppose, but with the ritual and religious overtones of soma and lotus extract. Whether as an intoxicant, aphrodisiac, gateway of mystical experience – or whatever else was useful to advance the plot at the time – kschiff always had the connotation of being something forbidden or dangerous. The concentration and balance of alkaloids varies, depending on quality of local supply and intended use; Shomei gets the good stuff, naturally.

    As it appeared more and more – especially with regard to Shomei’s addiction/dependency – the name began to aggravate me more and more. Its etymology was eventually back-engineered: kschiff became the “Northern” (i.e. Wyrish) pronunciation, a corruption of the “Southern” (i.e. Shûthite) kas’shiv, which means “auspicious sound” – a reference to the experience of some kind of Aum/Shabda/Nam/Logos which is induced by the drug when used in its proper ritual context. Soneillon – as one invoked in such rites – is more familiar with this pronunciation; as one of her appellations is Kaalakamala – the Death Lotus – contact with her in the dream-state is probably deemed perilous.


    On Stars
    I’ve used familiar stars – although not our constellations – when describing objects in the night sky of Wyre. I also track lunar cycles; it gives me ideas.

    The Eye of Cheshne is Antares, the Heart of the Scorpion; its symbolism has been explored at length for the last ten years, so I won’t belabor the point. It is invisible in the night sky for around 6 weeks prior to the winter solstice and for a few days afterwards, due to its proximity to the Sun.

    The Follower – the star associated with the Eleos – is Aldebaran in Taurus; in opposition to the Eye of Cheshne: as one reaches its zenith, so the other reaches its nadir. Al Dabaran actually means “The Follower” in Arabic – probably because it follows the Pleiades; this might also be a reference to Nehael in her guise as Eleos – Sovereign Compassion – following the seven “original” Sovereignties. Symbols – fictitious or otherwise – have a habit of organizing themselves without any real intervention required.

    The Rod’s Tip – associated with an enkindled Shomei – is Regulus in Leo. It is approximately square to both the Eye of Cheshne and The Follower, and can be understood as a fulcrum of power. Ancient Akkadian belief envisaged Regulus as a part of a sceptre (Pa-pil-sak); notions of rulership have always been associated with it.

    Together, these are three of the four “Royal Stars” of Persian antiquity.
    Last edited by Sepulchrave II; Monday, 19th December, 2011 at 01:03 AM.

  • #1143
    Quote Originally Posted by Sepulchrave II View Post
    Midwinter Goddess – Final Part

    She cocked her head and raised an eyebrow in surprise. “Well…the Ahma is bold; perhaps he has been drinking kasshiv again. That is no trivial undertaking, by any measure. She – the first one, that is – knows that you have come, of course?”

    “Yes.”

    “And she offered some kind of blessing, I presume; an article of empathy and compassion, couched in terms of my need?”

    “Soneillon, does it matter?” Eadric asked. “That is a perspective which I must hold true in any event. You know this.”

    “From you, I will endure it – at least, provisionally. But not from her: she understands me better than you. And consider your supplication to Cheshne and the Void, because make no mistake: that is what this is. If you have doubts or would prefer lighter fare tonight, now would be the time to articulate these feelings.”

    He remained silent.

    “Will you then do as I beseech of you?” She inquired.

    “Yes.”

    “And will you trust me?” She asked archly.

    “I must.”

    “You need not sound so enthused, Eadric. Do you speak out of feeling, or from some misplaced sense of obligation?”

    “It is a choice, Soneillon.”

    “Very well, then.” Her mood became at once both serious and playful. She approached, drew a thin stiletto fashioned of cold iron, and pressed it into his hand.

    *

    At Deorham, the Sun reached its nadir on Midwinter’s night, even as, at Khu, the Eye of Cheshne did likewise and Soneillon waxed to power. Above, The Follower – the star of the Eleos – shone serenely at the midheaven, and the Dragon coiled yet tighter around the Tree.

    In Nizkur, Nehael awoke to her full potential; to Sovereignty. Her sight penetrated the World.


    **
    There has got to be some sort of deeper connection between Soneillon and Nehael. Is there some link between them that is escaping me or I'm forgetting?

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  • #1145
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rackhir View Post
    There has got to be some sort of deeper connection between Soneillon and Nehael. Is there some link between them that is escaping me or I'm forgetting?
    Well, they are both (former) succubi who have (by chance? by divine preordination?) come to embody paradigm-defining principles. Whether any quantum entanglement between them is a cause or an effect of these characteristics, I'm not sure...
    Pursuing irrational ends by any means necessary.

  • #1146
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    Well, this exchange between Eadric's brother and Soneillon is more resonant now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sepulchrave II
    "I had anticipated a painful and degrading death."

    "If you desire. When I have devised one suitable, I will come and find you."

    "My anticipation is not wishful," Orm explained.

    "Tastes differ," Soneillon shrugged.
    This is a tentative thought, but it seems to me that the feminine aspects of the Goddess do not seem adequately balanced by the forces on the masculine side. I'm sure that Eadric is quite the stud as far as mortals go, but virility is not exactly a part of his portfolio qua godling. That's more Hummaz. Indeed, it makes sense that something like Hummaz would arise; the Sun is weakening and there arises an imbalance between masculine and feminine energies in the cosmos. But is Instinct enough to deal with Soneillon, Nehael and Shomei? I don't think so.

    Is Graz'zt still in his bottle? He'd supply an essential missing ingredient. Perhaps he is a lower aspect of some higher-order Power. A deity, perhaps, whose portfolio is Love, Pain and Secrets. Unfallen, he could be a St. Sebastian figure, or a Romeo. He embodies the ability of love to suffer for the beloved as well as the cruelty that can be directed at those we love. The ability to understand the beloved, but maybe also the snooping, mind-games and stalker-ish behavior that a lover can fall into.

    Maybe it is appropriate that Graz'zt is in his bottle. This is an aspect of Eadric's personality that, I think, is bottled up. Eadric condemns it and represses it. All this mayhem may result from it.

    After all, the story does not really begin with Eadric trying to convert a succubus. Well it does, since we began in media res, but the enmity with Graz'zt is why Nehael appeared in the first place. And if Nehael was never merely a succubus, maybe Graz'zt is not merely a demon prince.

  • #1147
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    Perspective (Midwinter Goddess: Epilogue)



    [Nehael/Eleos]: Shomei…

    [Shomei]: Piss off.


    **


    Mostin stood upon the veranda with Mulissu, watching as the shape approached at incredible speed from the south through the swagging winter skies.

    Qematiel landed in an inferno, obliterating trees within a swathe a hundred yards across, and setting many more ablaze. A great gout of steam erupted as snow melted and boiled, blown outward by a shockwave of ionizing gas. Shomei leaped down, and strode towards them; the frozen earth shuddered and ignited at her passage. A gale of hellfire preceded her.

    “She is upset,” the Alienist observed.

    “I should probably go,” Mulissu said.

    “That might be best,” Mostin agreed.

    The savant discreetly absented herself.

    Shomei paused at the bottom of the steps, closing her eyes tightly and clenching her fists. She slowly mastered her rage. The flames subsided.

    “Would you like tea?” Mostin asked.

    She glared at him. His hat began to smoulder.

    “Enough!” Mostin thundered, casting off his headgear and stamping on it. “I will tolerate the damage to my shrubbery, but this is my favorite felt. Control yourself. And don’t think you can intimidate me with your dragon; have you ever seen an Ú?” The vowel was pronounced with undue length, and accompanied a tilted head and a mad stare.

    The fire left her. She suddenly seemed exhausted.

    “Gooood…” Mostin said. “Now. Perhaps you should slow down; I think you might be pushing yourself too hard.”

    “I want the Urn, Mostin,” she sighed.

    “Well, yes dear. We all want the Urn, don’t we?”


    **


    “Marriage?” Mostin scoffed. “Don’t be absurd. Wizards don’t get married; matrimony is for inferior beings. You are letting your infernality dictate your actions above your proper calling. And your social graces are also suffering.”

    “He is the Ahma. It would be a sound alliance.” Shomei lounged. She was intoxicated. “But Soneillon has him all confused and irrational again. I even offered to practice compassion.”

    “You are too religious, Shomei,” the Alienist grumbled. “That’s your problem. It’s always been your problem. All of this nonsense about God and now compassion. Interfering with their doctrine because you think that their mystical claptrap needs reformulating. And planting trees? Your automagnification is all very well, but you’ll end madder than Hlioth at this rate.”

    “Nehael is manipulating him,” Shomei sighed. “He seems oblivious; he’s elevated her to the status of Oronthon’s empathic function because of some off-the-cuff remark which the Sela made to Nwm. And he has such potential, Mostin. Meanwhile, he empowers her instead; she just sits back and waits for him to bring her the Urn. Her lack of agency – or rather her persistent need to act through him – is beginning to annoy me. She is so disingenuous.”

    “She would be the first to admit to her own inertia,” Mostin nodded. “Have you considered approaching Soneillon non-violently?”

    “She is unlikely to surrender the Urn willingly, Mostin. The Ahma is of the opinion that an assault is unwarranted; Soneillon’s demons have yet to wreak havoc. And now he is at Deorham, indulging her whims and demonstrating compassion; which Nehael sucks out of him like some green vampire. I can’t stage an assault while he’s there.”

    “Why ever not?” Mostin inquired. “Not that I’d like to see any harm come to Eadric.” He hastily added.

    “He is the Ahma, Mostin.”

    “I do not understand,” the Alienist sighed.

    “It is a religious thing, Mostin. You wouldn’t.”

    “Well, no. I suppose not. Would you like to stay for supper? I plan to infuse Mei with pseudostuff tomorrow, and would like your opinion on the formula.”

    “Sorry, Mostin,” she stood uncertainly. “I should probably go; I have more devils to conjure. And I’m sorry about the hat,” she dusted it off, and placed it on her head. “Do you think it suits me?”

    “Yes,” Mostin replied. “But you can’t have it.”

    “A shame. Thank-you, Mostin. You’re a good influence on me.”

    “Yes. I am.”

    She walked unsteadily towards the door.

    “And Shomei?”

    She turned to face him.

    “If you set yourself against the Claviger, I will be forced to protect the Articles. Just so we’re clear.”


    *

  • #1148
    awesome.

  • #1149
    Bad Eadric. Made girl jealous. And Mostin is a swell guy.

  • #1150
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    Just so we're clear.

    Brilliant!

    Right, I'm off to find xp-worthy posts so I can give Sepulchrave some more :-)
    D&D, frankly, is the most fun when you get your ass handed to you but you still manage to find away to come out on top of the pile of corpses, looking like a typical Conan novel cover. - joachim

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