I have long been vexed by the notion of what Ankalimus writes in his Descentia’s prelude:
Down deep, we must go,
Down deep where the brother broke.
Down deep, we must go,
Down and down again, under the darkest cloak.
There they lie, infinite worlds untold,
Under the soil, under the earth, under a Dweghom Hold
There they lie, corridors without end
There mind, soul and matter, there they all bend.
Now, since I have no doubt that you have in fact come closer to putting your hands in open flames than you have to opening the Descentia, allow me to explain.
When not rhyming badly, Ankalimus was considered THE authority on all matters Dweghom. In fact, his Descentia is the holy book of all scholars who, for whatever reason, seem infatuated by those destructive short savages. Even today, our breath-afflicted descendants in the West would likely accept the Lord’s embrace where I to offer them a mere peek of the cover of my surviving copy.
Following me so far? Good.
Now, this six hundred and forty-two-page treatise on the sons of War, as he calls them, is indeed filled to the brim with information about them. I say information, however I suspect a large amount is theories as, apart from his – admittedly remarkable – work on their language and rune system, he admits he presents what he has extrapolated from scattered conversations with members of their species, which I suspect must have amounted to a grand total of a quarter-watch at best. Still, all things considered, Ankalimus has done a thorough job of gathering materials from other writers, from the amassed knowledge of the Collegia and, being a Magos himself, even from the Magi’s apocrypha. His findings are indeed limited but insightful and they span anything from history and modern social structure, to philosophical debates, their incomprehensible social standing system, nutritious needs and habits etc. To the language he dedicates, without exaggeration, half his book. To the rest he dedicates 49.9%.
But then there’s that 0.1.
Dedicating no more than a few paragraphs, Ankalimus speaks of a tradition one caste’s members undertake ritualistically, although none is barred from performing it either. It is called the Dheukorro, which he translates to “Descent,” and during it, the Dweghom simulate the path their ancestors took before the Breaking. “Surely,” Ankalimus writes and I quote, “this is an appropriate and adorable little tradition that befits their mythology.” He explains not what mythology he refers to, nor does he mention this tradition elsewhere in his book.
But then he names it Descentia. And, rather unfittingly, has a poem in his prelude urging that “down, down we must go.” Prelude and title best reflect the subject of a few paragraphs in a six hundred and forty-two pages.
I can think of two possible reasons as to why. One has to do with the very tangible disdain our Lord holds for the Dweghom. While scientific analysis was ever encouraged in His Dominion, I think we can admit that there were some restrictions in the past. Second is that Ankalimus was a Magos. Seeking knowledge beyond our Lord’s tolerance was what those blasphemous bastards lived for, wasn’t it? That and flaunting knowledge they possessed but did not share – especially with their peers. What better way for Ankalimus to tell his entire blasphemous community that he knew something he both wasn’t supposed to and which they didn’t, than putting in in plain sight as well?
Much as I admire the man’s playful nature in this matter, I, of course, condemn his practice and his hybris in seeking knowledge beyond what the Lord allowed at the time. Today, however, it is His Will that we know all, we reach all.
If there are corridors without end, I want to traverse them and, with the Lord’s gift, I have an eternity to put their description to the test. More importantly however, if there are infinite worlds untold, I want to bring the Lord’s Gift to them.
Now wouldn’t that humble our “First among equals?”
What say you?