Old Dominion

Conjunctures and Conjectures – Vol. 6

Conjunctures and Conjectures

by Benjamin Tok

Volume 6 – Divine Influences on Social Evolution and Decay

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We are fully aware that our research and theories will once more be scrutinized, then ridiculed, being attributed to a so-called mental condition and an apparent “brilliance in analyzing patterns that unfortunately often serves as fuel for a need to find patterns when none exist.” It has also been suggested that this researcher’s studies in three different Chapters as well as this researcher’s field of expertise in “Influences of Primordial Motes on Time and Space” cloud rationality and allow for external influences to constantly overshadow the power and influence of pure human nature in historical events. Our reply to such criticisms is simple: Five volumes in this popular and financially profitable series of “Conjunctures and Conjectures,” I am caoutchouc, you are resin. Rather than provide answers with a mantle of self-appointed authority, our works are meant to inspire questions and challenge dogma, based on rational patterns; an attitude that could have, perhaps, averted disaster once.

The dates proposed in this timeline are – with the exception of course of certain, well-documented events – not accurate in the most traditional sense and are, in fact, mostly speculations. Speculations, however, that are based on the application of specific patterns and rules of time and social evolution – such as Fatima’s Regulations, Endestus’ Law of Momentary Threes, Solon’s Rule of Social Pattern Repetition and our own Tok’s Paradigm of Entwined Chronomarks. As the influence of divine intervention in the advancement of a society is hard to record or account for, we will admit that the applications of these patterns and laws were done by approximation. Later in this introduction, we will present exactly which patterns were applied, why those were chosen, examples of other applications of said patterns and the projected influence of the divine on them. Before we dive into that analysis however, it is imperative that we attempt a glimpse of the grand picture. Time is the Great Dance of the Cosmos and before we explore its pattern step by step, it is to the benefit of learning that we first observe the entire routine:

Circa 1900 A.R. – The Discovery of Hazlia.

This we believe to be a misrepresentation of the truth and a convenient simplification of facts. Pre-humans had existed for millennia before this, as made evident by the proto-myths concerning the Breaking and the First War. We propose that a more accurate representation would be “The First Tribe Discovers a Primordial Mote and Begins a Systematic Worship That Will Eventually Forge Hazlia,” which is admittedly less catchy and a bit of a mouthful. In this tome we will explore the possibility of more than one tribe having discovered the primordial mote before the First Tribe, as well as their gruesome fate at the hands of the things that dwell in the Deeps below abandoned and unguarded Holds.

1900 -1700 A.R. – The Firestone.

At this time, the Mote-That-Would-Be-Hazlia is slowly shaped as a life-giving god of fire and stone by the primitive minds of the First Tribe. Its people begin to wield fire but are slow to master its use. Modern linguists propose that, because of this, the name “Hazlia” means “Burning Stone,” “Firestone” or “Inner Sun.” Others underline the lack of evidence to this and propose that it is connected to the Sorcerer word for “Origin.” Others still suggest that it is a case of onomatopoeia, attributing to the sound a fire would make when trying to speak. In this chapter we will explore the possibility that Hazlia is indeed a name, one, however, discovered, not forged, by the First Tribe. One that was always meant to describe just one thing: that small aspect of Creation, that specific primordial mote.

1700-1600 A.R. – The Bronze Covenant.

The evolution of the First Tribe’s society accelerates, as Hazlia’s own consciousness resembles that of a newborn. The creation of tools fitting for human needs allows for agriculture to evolve. It is generally believed that at this time a large portion of the First Tribe migrated outside the Hold and put their new tools to use. In this chapter we will explore the inconsistencies of these paradigms. We will suggest that, while possibly still largely instinctual, the foundations of Hazlia’s individuality had already been largely formed and that the exodus from the Hold was part of a covenant between a god and his faithful: his proto-clergy would force the main Tribe outside – paving the way for Hazlia’s own escape – in exchange for knowledge privy only to them.

1600-1400 A.R. – The Iron Covenant.

Having been propelled through a bronze age within decades, the cult of the old god immerges clad in iron, the progenitors of his Legions. While bronze tools and weaponry had ensured the safety of the First Tribe from the predations of other tribes, iron will ensure dominance and expansion. Here we will reinforce our suspicions from the previous chapter, that the symbiosis of Hazlia with the First Tribe and especially his clergy was deliberate, and a new covenant had been forged. In exchange for dominance over the fields of battle, and therefore expansion of their rule, Hazlia would gain more followers and, thus, more worship.

1400-1300 A.R. – The Sun’s Son.

The academic society generally accepts that at this time Hazlia’s longing for the times of Creation are interpreted by his clergy as him once being a part of the Sun, come to the world to teach and guide them. Thus, the paradigm of conquest will shift into one of assimilation where possible. It will be our suggestion that there is enough evidence to suggest that, by this time, Hazlia has already formed full consciousness and a solid understanding of human nature. Surprised by how fast the warring tribes had assimilated his teachings in terms of handling Bronze and Iron, Hazlia is plagued by two things: humanity’s balanced nature and its slow understanding of his new, more advanced teachings, as well as the memories of warring Dweghom and what war did to their society and unity. He therefore shifts the paradigm of conquest and introduces gold, the “sun’s metal,” allowing for trade to develop.

Circa 1300 A.R. – The Exodus

With gold and steel wielded in equal measure, Hazlia has now expanded his influence over a much larger pool of worshippers. This offers him the strength to finally break free from the Dragon Forge and follow his worshippers to the surface. It is our suggestion that this was a necessity as much as it was a desire for freedom; spurred by the return of the dwellers Below, Hazlia leaves the Hold for fear of confronting the motes of Destruction and their hosts that plague the depths of his Hold.

1300-1100 A.R. – The Careful Approach and the birth of Adversaries

The aforementioned encounters will in the end serve him. In the surface, he will perceive more motes and primordial shards attached to other tribes and human groups. These he will approach with care, assimilating some or cooperating with others. While it is largely believed that with those of Destruction, his people go to war to eliminate their pools of worship, we will explore evidence to the contrary. At this time, an elaborate group of adversaries will be brought into the dogma and familiar names such as Belzul, Baalbus, Jrukul etc. will first appear in religious preaching. While the details of that period’s dogma elude us, we believe that their inclusion to the Faith allowed for their sustenance through controlled worship, while enhancing Hazlia’s image as a savior. These adversaries come to resemble demonic beings of fire and magma coming from below – where else would a mote of Creation place the origin of its Enemies? This, we will suggest, also explains why such an important landmark, such as the First Tribe’s Hold, has been forgotten. Shedding the primal, barbaric worship of the past that possibly included anything from human sacrifices to Aspects know what else, while dispelling the anathema of his imprisonment, Hazlia turns his old dwelling place into a promise of hell.

1100-800 A.R. – The Years of Expansion

In a scant three hundred years, Hazlia will come to forge the single largest empire the continent has ever known. It is generally believed that the aftermath of the First War, as well as the isolationism of the Elder Races, largely allowed for this to happen unopposed. This we will question through a series of events that can be highlighted in this period. Circa 1000 A.R., Hazlia will fight a coalition of neighboring tribes of Galtonni that worshipped another shard of Creation, Cleon. Even though his Legions lost a significant battle, peace will be brokered, mainly due to trade’s influence and an understanding reached between Cleon and Hazlia. A few decades later, circa 950 A.R. the Berawe, worshippers of Nen – or Ninuah – will also join Hazlia’s empire. By 800 A.R. the Triumvirate reigns over the Pantheon of Twelve, while an entire legion of lesser deities complete Hazlia’s fledgling celestial host. On a divine level, therefore, a semblance of peace has been established. And yet, the Keltonni, who follow Ninuah, will not really join until 700 A.R. and the Seuvruss, who revered Sabauf – another name for Cleon – will continue to resist the Dominion’s influences, even until the Fall. While many attribute these to Ninuah’s and Cleon’s mistrust towards Hazlia, we will propose, and support, that the influence of the Weavers and the Spires respectively would sway those two tribes to constantly challenge the Dominion – and Hazlia – from within, paving the way for its Fall.

800-313 A.R. – The Golden Age

The so-called Golden Age of the Dominion will see Capitas become the center of the civilized world, the flourish of magic and knowledge and the advancement of humanity to levels we have yet to rediscover. This, we propose, is but a façade and humanity’s advancement should be attributed to the relative peace they were offered. The short-lived glory of the Triumvirate will fade as quickly as it rose and the complex realities of such vast an empire will lead to constant shifts in the dogmas of the theocracy, multiple name-changes in gods and unending adjustments to divine domains of certain deities. Already by 750 A.R. the Legions will be forbidden to worship any deity, as celestial power struggles turned from the fields of battle of the previous centuries to the political intricacies of a theocracy’s bureaucracy, where Hazlia had the upper hand. By 600 A.R. the Domini Dominium will be established, suggesting that Hazlia’s quest for power had become unending. All these, we propose, can serve as proof that the Fall of the Dominion was already a matter of time.  

313 A.R. – The Last Crusade

Nothing summarizes Hazlia’s decay and power lust more than the words that launched the Last Crusade: “Build ships. You have run out of men to conquer.” To this popular understanding we will add the possibility that there was method in the madness. While we offer little insight to the events of the northern “Ragnarök,” we will postulate that this rushed, almost suicidal crusade was neither the desperate act of a divine monarch challenged by a distant pantheon, nor the maddened whim of a deranged mind. Instead, we will propose that it is conceivable that such a surgical strike to the Dominion’s infrastructure through a failure of such proportions could, conceivably, have been deliberate, heralding what was to follow.

301 A.R. – Falling

The next, last, centuries of the Dominion are largely attributed to Hazlia’s absence, rather than his design. While we are inclined to accept this, we will challenge this theory: if Hazlia was gone, why would none of the rest of the Pantheon – much more so the other two of the old Triumvirate – try and rein in the obvious destruction that was befalling the Dominion? Were they rendered useless by the machinations of Hazlia? Or did perhaps “humanity’s last hopes” allow for the destruction to occur? We will explore this possibility with certain arguments and theories in the following subchapters.

280 A.R – The Keltonni Wave

If Hazlia had indeed gone without trace, it is easy to attribute the exodus of Ninuah’s “favorite children” to her foresight. As we are disinclined to base historical certainties to divine mysteries, however, we will explore the possibility that Ninuah had more than foresight to count on for her decision. Similar principal questions can be asked about both the Galtonni Wave and the Remnant Wave.

151 A.R. – The Battle of the Waste

From Cleon’s point of view, rather than try and stop the rapid decline of the Dominion, we see him actively and strongly support the exodus with his Last Legion, to the point of direct confrontation with the Caelesor. Could this battle mirror the confrontations of the heavens? If so, why did Cleon’s chosen stand alone?

98 A.R. – The Exile Campaign

Even as the Elder Races ravage the Dominion’s people and lands, Cleon, Ninuah and the old pantheon do little to protect their worshippers. Were they engaged in their own skirmishes and power struggles, stopped, perhaps, by one or more of their own? Or was it a deliberate decision to allow for the destruction to come and, more importantly, for Hazlia to be destroyed?

0 – The Fall. 

In this, our epilogue, we will examine how inevitable the Fall was. Reviewing all the previous suggested evidence and theories, we will present a pattern in its totality that will attempt not to answer questions but raise them. Was the Fall as inevitable as it seems in retrospect? Did fault lie in the gods, humans or even the Elder Races for this destruction?

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