Paths, pt 5

Monday, June 9, 2008 - 10:02 AM

Eoan adored history. He never tired of studying how the threads of event and counter-event were mirrored again and again, nor of watching new threads weave themselves from what had come before. It was easy for him to understand why time was sacred to his people, the Cyroi, and that made him well-suited to be a priest.

To the Cyroi, there were three kinds of priest. Historians were the primary sort, and Eoan was one of these. They recorded, studied, pored over and confirmed the long history of their people, and considered this a prayer to their austere deity, Annum. Of course, Historians were expected to participate actively, whether as witnesses or instigators, in whatever sort of history they focused on, and in that, Eoan was something of a tragic figure.

When the Time for Duty had come to him, he was given to become a Historian of War.

To the Cyroi, to do something is to be resolved utterly to the task. All things were art, and worthy of refinement, if they were going to be done at all. But war was a terrible and repugnant act, and so the Cyroi feared it because they did not like to think about what they became when it was a time for war. Yet, the Unity of Annum demanded that sacrifices be made for the whole, and war, however monstrous, was one of these.

So other Cyroi saw Eoan with respect and sympathy. He was expected to learn war in all forms, to be ready to lead his people if the necessity would ever come, and none ever hoped for it. Like many Cyroi, after the fervor of war had left him, Eoan would weep for those he had slain, but on the field he was a machine of efficiency as cold and inscrutable as the weapons he used.

But studying the wars of the past was not the same. It still tugged at his heart, the death and misery of it all, but he could pore through the scrolls and books and take delight in the patterns there. There was much to learn. Annum taught that strategy is all that is necessary for resolution of conflict. Superior forces and superior numbers can be overcome by intellect.

Every war the Cyroi had been in, they had won because of this teaching. But the cost had been very high indeed, and Eoan's people had long since begun to fade from the world.

Humans, on the other hand, thrived despite all their victories and losses. To the Cyroi view, they were impatient, irrational creatures who kept no vision beyond their children or their children's children, and most were impossibly selfish. But Eoan found them fascinating. He enjoyed charting their progress through history, watching them achieve great things without seeming to think about it, or understand the significance of their actions. Being young, it was only recently that he'd even met a human being, but those had been notable exceptions to the rule.

When his Call had come, the great storm-oracle Maharwen had taken him in, and through her, he'd met the four humans who had rediscovered Camwhyr's tomb, Camwhyr the Seventh King. They'd brought the Fragment from the tomb to the Cyroi people, and that was significant beyond understanding, and he had been impressed with their sense of obligation. The Fragment was, in many ways, part of a greater key to the Cyroi future, and he knew what it meant.

But in his heart, Eoan most adored the four for bringing out the poetry of Camwhyr's age. They'd recovered the Lament of Minmordhan, the death-poem of a guardian soldier whose name was lost to Duty, the paen for Camwhyr, and so many more. For Eoan, their recognition of that beauty was an inspiration to him. As he sat under the stars, lost in thoughts of his race's golden age, he remembered the four who had given his people some of their lost grace, and he prayed that when it came his time, his Duty ended, that he would be as eloquent as Camwhyr himself had been.

“Stone by stone
I built my heart into a temple to my people

Now it is the open sky
And the clouds are my memories to them”

-Death poem of Camwhyr, Virtue of the East Wind, Thunder at Dawn, Master of the Field of Haoon.

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