Day of the Dawn
Section I: Episode 12
October 5, 2014
Though we often say that life is short, the measure of a lifetime is also very long.
In the hundred years that a mate may live, they will dine upon dozens of thousands of meals, and look upon tens of thousands of sunrises. As it is written in the Panath: "Vepeyhuraes said to the villages of Antaerim, 'We shall set our placements each with a bowl and plate, and a knife and spoon, and we shall dine at surge and calar, for have our elders not taught us that the blessing of the bright hours is the labor we perform beneath them?'"
In those hundred years, a mate will carry out a million conversations, and bear witness to the passage of four generations, and walk the length of the world many times over. As it is written: "And Vepeyhuraes said, 'Though you may only walk the length of your field, you will walk the length of the world. And though you may only know your neighbors, you will speak with them all your life, again and more, and your words will remark upon the passage of the seasons.'"
And in those hundred years that a mate could live, they may see the rise and fall of entire nations, the death and birth of whole languages. Certainly, they will have to face the changing of the traditions of the age; as it is written: "And Suacry said to Vepeyhuraes, 'By the time you are elder, these customs will be gone.'"
That is a lifetime, Ornithate. Now imagine, if you will, the length of a single day. How very much can be done in a day! How many breaths we take; how many thoughts we think. How many words, and how many deeds. What it is to spend a day in sickness, or hunger, or dread. A day is a long time. Yet how many days there are in the span of a lifetime!
And, yet, if an entire year were but a single day, there would still not be enough days in your whole life, from beginning to end, to reach back into history for as many years as stand between us and the War of the Gods.
For it was in those long-gone days that the Gods did war. Our Kindred ancestors allied themselves with the One or the Other, and, being mighty in that era, their strokes of decision doomed the world. As it is written in the Panath: "A curse upon the heart of Kindred ambition." And as it is written: "For the War of the Gods, so now ends our record, and the world fades to smoke."
What had begun as a beautiful contest of ideas degenerated into the Wars of Dissonance, and the Kindred suffered more years of agony than there are days in your life, tens of thousands of years of warfare. And in all that time, the Gates of Junction remained closed, and no help came forth from them; as it is written: "And the Gates of Junction were closed." In time, the world was unmade.
At last, Civilization was destroyed. Only then, when the Kindred had forgotten war itself, could the few animals who remained begin to live and build again. Mates who had never known how to speak coherent words, created language anew. The forgotten sciences began to reemerge, and the arts awoke from an ineffable slumber. And with the plow and the horse, a new plenty arose. So began our third chance to live, and our second chance as the Kindred. It took over a thousand years for these ascensions to root firm, and, when they did, even that was more than twelve thousand years ago.
The children of that era did not remember what it was they had arisen from. It was only millennia afterwards, with the reopening of the Gates of Junction and the gradual discovery of surviving antiques all around Relance, that historians came to piece together our true heritage. As this understanding spread, then, finally, did the Emperor of Panathar establish the Day of the Dawn, to commemorate our escape from the Wars of Dissonance after millennia of perdition. The Day of the Dawn is the memory of what we arose from, and it is homage to the new Civilization we have built, so that nearly every nation on Relance observes it now, as we do, tomorrow.
The Day of the Dawn marks the dawn of modern time.
But there is one more piece to this tale, and that is what Galavar mentioned. Sourros' words to us tonight, on the Eve of the Day of the Dawn, evoke the will and ambitions of the Other Goddess, the counterpart of Sourros, the Unnameable One, whom we remember as Derishodsaelvaj, or Derishodsa. If Sourros has always been God of Thoughts, Derishodsa was the Goddess of Deeds.
Sourros does not customarily call we Ieikili to action. On the contrary, he implores us to pause and consider, that the encumbrance of ignorance may not rest so heavy upon us when at last we do act. Yet tonight the God of Logic and Wisdom would seem to have called us to stir. Tonight of all nights, as we prepare to remember the ultimate evil of action, Sourros has seemingly told us to depart the roads of knowing, and commit deeds, as Derishodsa would surely have commanded, once.
Sourros prevailed in the War of the Gods, and split Derishodsael in two. He lifted up all that he cared for and fashioned Derishos, Goddess of Compassion, and set her atop the clouds. Then he poured all that he loathed into Sulvajos, Goddess of Self, and imprisoned her beneath Junction. That is what the legends say, and that is what the books of old record.
For Sourros to speak in the tones of his anciently rent rival is unusual, if not unprecedented. But that Sourros would speak in the tradition of Derishodsa on the Eve of the Dawn, now that is so curious it unsettles me. And that we do not truly understand his words, all the more so.
What might he desire for us, I wonder? And do we understand as much as we think, though we think we understand but little?
O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!