Up From the Ashes

Meditation #1

What am I? I am a Solar, Chosen of the Sun. But what does that mean? How does that define my place in the Order of Things? To answer that, I suppose I must search further. I am not only a Chosen of the Sun, but I am a Zenith Caste. What does that mean? In the progression of the Sun’s chosen path, He reaches His Zenith at the very peak of His daily journey. The Zenith of that arc is no more or less important than the Brightening, the Relenting, the Repose, or the Sharing, but it is the step of the journey during which the Sun makes His presence the most known, the most inescapable, and perhaps the most implacable. As any child raised under the magnificence of the Sun in the Southern sky can tell you, the noontide Sun is the brightest part of the day, illuminating everything under the harshest light. It is both when the Sun feels the furthest away, on high beyond measure, far above our mortal reach…and when the Sun feels the closest to us, warming our faces, visible to us even when our eyes are closed. It is when the light is revealed in all its undimmed majesty and unconquered power, when shadows recede or vanish, and the hazy fog of illusion evaporates into clarity of vision.

It is thusly that the Zenith Caste stands as example and inspiration, illuminating the way so that others may find or make theirs. The role of the Zenith is both active and passive, enacting change and preserving the way simply by showing that it can be done. He is a leader by example, who does not seek to convince others of the right way, but simply ensures that the right way is clearly illuminated, and allows the rightness of the way to guide those who would follow. A guiding light, shining on all equally. But towards what end?

The world has fallen far, from the First Age. There are many ways forward, but the journey is so far, that many paths begin nearly identical to the other. One way forward would be to take us back, to the way things once were, with the power of the Solars ruling and protecting all of Creation. Back to the way things were meant to be, with the Exalted ruling the gods who ran the machinery of the world, fed and sustained by the grateful prayers of the mortals they served. But too far along that path would risk restarting the very cycle that brought us to this point, where the Solars of old became too used to power, and let matters deteriorate until our very allies and advisers turned against us. Another way forward would be to forge a new world order, a new Order of Things, but do we have the wisdom to envision a more perfect order than set in place by the Sun and the mightiest of Exalts of the First Age? We cannot afford the hubris to imagine we do, on our own. This must be accomplished with the aid of all Creation’s resources, which includes the gods of Heaven and Creation. For either way to succeed, their cooperation must be enlisted. It is not enough to inspire a man towards the light, if the light holds no reward for him. But inspiring him to properly empower the gods that can and will improve his lot, and that of Creation on the whole, is a worthy direction to steer towards. For Creation was intended to have a place for god and mortal alike —without one doing their job, the other will quickly wither and fade.

Whether the path to a new Age lies in the past or the future, there is little doubt in my mind that the power of the gods must be harnessed — and the duties of mortal prayers as well, in return. Ultimately, the light of the Zenith must serve to inspire both the mortal world and the divine, and in so doing, do its part to restore the world’s faltering spirituality to its proper place in the Order of Things.

Night Rhymes

In the shadow of the darkest night,
comes the only chance I got to write,
there’s too many wrongs to right,
too many crimes to fight,
not enough heroes in sight,
from where I stand,
on these jagged heights,
I’m just a man,
Without time to waste,
So many problems to face,
A puzzle to trace,
Through the dregs of the human race.

Sometimes I gotta stop and wonder,
what it’s gonna take to tear asunder,
all this shadow—will I ever see the sun, or,
will I drown,
bogged down,
as the darkness in man pulls me under?

But no, the city’s not empty,
not as long as it’s got me,
and other folks crazy,
enough to see,
that if we can believe,
then we can achieve,
a new destiny.

But Chiaroscuro don’t sleep and so I can’t either,
Got promises to keep, gotta keep my believers,
Just me and my mask,
me and my task,
and six golden feet,
to stop blood in the street.

Spread the word.

Rokotsu's Poem Book, Entry for 23 Ascending Fire

The town was dead, awash in silent screams
The poisoning, the monstrous theft of dreams

Then came the sun, a bier of holy light
But even that could never make it right

For even Lethe could not change the theme:
There is no going back in life, it seems.

Rokotsu's Poem Book, Entry for 21 Ascending Fire

Weird day. Desert’s nice.

Thought of a haiku:

Sun-kissed desolates
Beautiful, but too severe
Destiny beckons

Ghost Notes, 21 Ascending Fire

major events of the day:

-the feeling
*someone needs my help. no idea why or how or who or what the fuck.
*it seems like it’s a solar thing. more on that below.
*maybe it’s a trap.

-rescued girl from slavers
*jumping warning, kind of lame
*slid under her horse, sword out, totally chill (best moment)
*ganked bag of silver from mercenary dude. also, took his horse, named it cudgel. haven’t told anyone i named it that yet.

-girl turned out to be like me
*stood on horse, wtf
*horse magic. horses go forever.
*who brings a cat in the desert?
*hot, though. serious delzahn chick. like a clerk or something. should probably find out more.
*crushes rocks and seals oaths with a touch. kinda wish i could do that, but not really.
*name’s aleena.

-realm dude also like me
*not as dorky as he seems. still pretty dorky.
*dude never stops telling his life story.
*he can hear everything. like, EVERYTHING. gotta stop talking to myself. or only do it for pranks.
*people know right from wrong. ha ha right.
*decent fist fighter, scary how he can pull info right out of people. can’t let him do that shit to me.
*he knows the offensive lies unveiled concentration. gotta be careful.
*like a bunch of cousins or employees or something? vassals, that’s a good word. what’s with the cute serious chicks all of a sudden?
*name’s rokotsu.

-secret identity in question: rokotsu’s cousin xifa knows. told her not to tell. really hope she doesn’t, don’t want to have to get violent.

-captured slaver, sent her back to chiaroscuro.
*she wouldn’t swear to change her ways, thought i’d have to kill her.
*freed slaves. gave out the ghost name, guess i’ll have to stick with that.
*i go out of town, the ghost shows up on the road. knew this shit would happen. the watch is gonna be so smug when i get back to town.
*called us solars. maybe i should’ve researched anathema more but w/e.

-weird-ass memories
*i was a chick. wtf. still had the shades, though.
*rokotsu was a dude with weird glasses.
*aleena was a dude who sealed oaths with magic. are we like fair folk or something?
*we were too late. we lost a circlemate. which is a term i just made up i guess? w/e.
*and then we just go find a new one. this one’s a little girl. she smiles like we’re already friends.
*did we seriously just move on? and it sounded like we’d done that before.
*and what are these memories, anyway?

-chiaroscuro notes
*gotta deal with secret identity issues. maybe i can use magic? fuck if i know how yet.
*gotta research aleena. maybe we’re like friends or something? i dunno. but she doesn’t like slavers any more than me.
*gotta be prepared for rokotsu/immaculate issues. dude seems to think aleena’s vague “have a good reputation, then tell them to step off” is the best advice ever. i think he was just waiting for someone to tell him what he wanted to hear.

lines i want to use:

“A child rushed out of the stuffy wagon to wrap her arms around him. The Ghost didn’t know what to do. In that moment, he was no hero.”


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