Mist Harbor Library Lectures - 2020-09-27 - Age of Darkness (log)
The following was the first lecture in the Mist Harbor Library lecture series, where Xorus was the guest speaker, which was given on 9/27/5120. The topics must be lore based but otherwise are at the discretion of the invited speaker. This lecture is on the pre-historical period known as the Age of Darkness. Most of the noise is cut from the lecture, but it is mostly left in the Q&A session.
[Library, Meeting Hall]
A trio of wide stairs lead down from a wide archway into this brightly lit room. A small podium stands atop a small dais opposite the archway, and several cushioned benches have been arranged throughout the space, each offering an excellent line of sight. A number of elliptical windows line the walls of the hall, and a rich crimson-patterned carpet covers the entirety of the floor underfoot. You also see a small silver tray with some stuff on it.
Also here: Caissius, Cruxophim, Akenna, High Lord Erek who is sitting, Xortrin, Alisaire, Nimaera who is sitting, Loremaster Rohese, Rhaenor who is sitting, High Lord Azanoth who is sitting, Mistress Naamit, Yukito, Lady Elysia who is sitting, Magister Raelee who is sitting, Meril who is sitting, Xorus, Lord Thrassus, Great Lord Nazarr who is sitting, Chatelaine Traiva who is sitting
Obvious exits: none
A few townsfolk sidle in, talking quietly amongst themselves. They take a seat on one of the cushioned benches, continuing their hushed conversations in private.
Xorus says, "Ordinarily when I give lectures it is on things that I know. This time will be different, more an exercise in skepticism."
Loremaster Rohese just arrived.
(Rohese takes up a position behind the small podium.)
Rohese sharply claps her hands together twice, calling for attention.
Rohese excitedly greets, "Good afternoon and welcome to the first of the Mist Harbor Library Lectures."
Rohese deliberately adds, "It's so lovely to see so many here today."
Rohese softly explains, "The aim of this series is to provide a platform for imparting knowledge and to encourage discussion."
Rohese softly exclaims, "The first of many ... we hope!"
Rohese wrinkles her nose.
Rohese gently reminds, "I ask that everyone be considerate to our speaker and to those who raise points or ask questions."
Rohese softly reiterates, "All opinions are welcome as long as they are courteously expressed."
Xorus nods slowly.
Rohese softly says, "I am also delighted to be holding this inaugural event in the new Meeting Hall."
Rohese gazes with interest at her surroundings.
Rohese softly says, "I'm sure you will agree with me that it is a perfect venue for our lectures."
Rohese nods approvingly.
Rohese softly exclaims, "So, please help yourselves to refreshments and find yourself a seat!"
Rohese glances around the room.
Rohese gazes thoughtfully at a small silver tray.
Rohese softly says, "As it now gives me great pleasure to hand over to our first speaker ..."
You hear very soft footsteps.
The darkness suffusing the area gently wafts away.
Rohese softly introduces, "Lord Xorus Kul'shin!"
Rohese gets a strange look on her face and glances about suspiciously.
Rohese nods appreciatively at Xorus.
(Rohese steps away from the small podium.)
Xorus says, "Good afternoon."
[General] Peggyanne thinks, "Ummm..."
[General] Najeira thinks, "I am a bit concerned..."
Xorus says, "When I was an elder historian in Ta'Faendryl, one of my special interests was heterodox or apocryphal theology from the Age of Darkness, and the archaeology of cryptic and malevolent pre-historical sites."
[General] Peggyanne thinks, "Thats an unnatural esclipse."
Xorus says, "The simplest explanation is that the legends of those times are largely the truth. I, personally, do not trust religious texts at all."
[General] Grutak thinks, "Fun times."
[General] Cruxophim thinks, "That would be Alisaire."
[General] Najeira thinks, "I do not remember seeing news of one.."
Xorus says, "Whether they are mostly right with bits of wrongness, or mostly wrong with bits of rightness, one cannot know."
Xorus says, "So today I will be asking what might be the case if it is the latter."
[General] Eyvindr asks, "Lornan is poised to strike the sun?"
Xorus says, "Much ink has been spilled on 'history', the stories of past civilizations, which are reconstructed in later ages from their surviving records."
[General] Cruxophim thinks, "She does bring a certain panache wherever she goes."
[General] Peggyanne exclaims, "They didnt listen!!! Dharthir will return... you desecrated the resting place of an ancient evil. Did you think there wouldnt be concequences?!"
Xorus says, "History is never an immaculate window on the past. It is a twisting of imperfections into conformity with contemporary prejudices."
Xorus says, "Often the story itself is paramount over the historical figures, histories more concerned with telling 'truths' than facts."
Xorus says, "I will be speaking today instead of the time before history and what we truly know about it."
Xorus says, "Of course, this will only be a glancing blow at the matter, as the subject is vast."
Xorus says, "I will be disputing what we may be too cavalier in treating as settled wisdom."
Xorus says, "What we do not know, or only think we know, if you will."
Xorus wryly says, "Even if it puts me at terribly high risk of being wrong."
Xorus says, "In truth this term is relative to ourselves and not the higher powers, who might themselves distinguish the times in other ways."
Xorus says, "In her own words, 'An eternity has passed for me since your last attempt to commune.' It was only days." (4)
Xorus says, "This is not a rhetorical flourish. The 'gods' are often in other worlds."
Xorus says, "The dark ages are those that took place before written language. Those times which are 'pre-historical' compared to the early Elven Empire sixty thousand years ago." (6)
Xorus says, "There were only oral traditions for the thousands of years preceding it, which means by itself much of what we say of those times is distorted or wrong." (7)
Xorus says, "Most any sacred truth you may seek in the religious legends, what we all 'know' to be so, will be found to be in contradiction with one or more of the other legends."
Xorus says, "Thus, I will be questioning what we truly know, and what we have only taken from myth and legend."
Xorus says, "These legends are not even remotely consistent. They interest us in the vestiges of truth surviving within them. What they betray about the history of our own ideas."
Xorus says, "The Age of Darkness might be considered to consist of two distinct periods. The Age of the Drakes and the Arkati guided era before the Elven Empire."
Xorus says, "The association of the Age of Darkness with dragon rule is deep. It was used as political rhetoric in the early empire." (14)
Xorus says, "This is not an indisputable dichotomy. The dark ages in such rhetoric includes the Arkati tutelage period."
Xorus says, "In some ways the latter is laden with assumptions passed down on religious authority."
Xorus says, "One might object that there may have been a time before the dragons. That the role of the Arkati may have been overstated in all periods."
Xorus says, "There is perhaps no way to speak intelligibly about a time before the great drakes other than by studying rocks."
Xorus says, "The dragons were, however, once the rulers of this world. Of this there is no question."
Xorus says, "Which is not to imply, as some scholars do, that this was a 'civilization'."
Xorus says, "There were very few Great Drakes compared to our own populations."
Xorus says, "The Loremasters think, perhaps, one hundred." (15)
Xorus says, "The dragons have been seen fighting with enormous demons in various time warps. We have found surviving colossal bones and more terrible remnants." (16)
Xorus says, "Whether the Arkati were 'servants' of the Drakes, born of them or fashioned of the essence as were the 'lesser drakes', is much more dubious." (8)
Xorus says, "This is strange considering those same legends also regard him as among the very eldest of the Arkati."
Xorus says, "He plays into this with a relic he made, now in Library Aies, called the Grandfather's Stone." (7)
Xorus says, "In a certain sense Fash'lo'nae even has an authorized biography." (18)
Xorus says, "Much as Eorgina has a palace that 'proves' her theology." (19)
Xanthium chuckles to herself.
Raelee nods at Xorus.
Xorus says, "It is important to remember that the gods are notorious for allowing the various cultures of the world to misinterpret them."
Xorus says, "I refer to them as 'the gods' not out of any veneration, but rather because the word 'Arkati' is not neutral."
(Xortrin walks in, trying to keep quiet so as not to disturb the lecture.)
Xorus says, "This only deviates so far because of shared cultural roots through the imperial elves."
Xorus says, "More extreme is the case of the krolvin, who have other names for the gods entirely, as well as a radically divergent theology."
(Rohese indicates a spare seat near the front for Xortrin to sit in.)
Meril leans to her left slightly.
Xorus asks, "Why would we, the peoples of Elanith, be privileged with the truth?"
(Xortrin takes the seat indicated by Rohese with a slight smile.)
Xorus says, "If they have no interest in telling us the truth, or if they somehow only reflect what we read into them, what they tell us cannot be trusted."
Xanthium says, "Or they all are. Of a singular being."
Xorus says, "But we are still able to interrogate our own history of ideas for vestigial remnants of the forgotten past."
Xorus nods at Xanthium.
Xanthium blushes a rosy pink shade at Xorus.
Xanthium touches one finger to her lips.
Speaking to Xanthium, Xorus says, "I have encountered that sort of One monism." (22)
Rohese smiles quietly to herself.
Xorus says, "In the case of this continent we must look back to the ancient elven legends. What was recorded of the oral traditions in the early Elven Empire."
Xorus says, "These might only reflect the beliefs of sixty thousand years ago, even though they speak of events twice as far back." (7)
Xorus says, "Of special interest is the legend of Yadzari, supposedly an ancestor of the Illistim, who was a great heretic for doubting the divinity of the gods." (23)
Rohese nods appreciatively.
Xorus says, "What is most remarkable about the elven dogma is that in it the Arkati were not regarded as servants of the dragons by our ancestors until later."
Nazarr turns an inquisitive ear toward Xorus.
Xorus says, "The dragons were regarded as great sky monsters, and the gods were our protectors who kept them at bay."
Xorus says, "Yadzari questioned why the dragons were allowed to be terrors if the gods were more powerful."
Xorus asks, "Why did they treat with the dragons, as if they were servants rather than rulers?"
Xorus says, "The legend remarkably, if read closely, implies the gods were not exiled."
Xorus says, "That they were surprised by the Ur-Daemon rather than not present."
Xorus says, "Yadzari asks why the gods 'hid from the rampages', and why 'did they not take them away to someplace safe', which is a matter I will bring up again later."
Xorus says, "The heresy of Yadzari was not believed until the gods failed to protect us from the Ur-Daemon War and the dead body of an Arkati was found."
Xorus says, "This was discovered by Amas, son of Faendryl, ancestor of Korthyr. What scholars might charitably call a 'just so' story."
Xorus says, "Thus, in the elven dogma, the Arkati are merely a more powerful race, mortal as the elves and liars, worthy of respect but not worship."
Xorus says, "Now, this is absurd as proof of mortality, as we know 'the gods' are fundamentally incorporeal."
Cruxophim holds his right palm over the bone teacup on the floor, allowing the blood to flow down into it. As the teacup fills, the flow eventually decreases to a trickle, then stops.
Xorus says, "They only take on manifestations, projections, avatars when interacting with us."
Rohese surreptitiously glances at Cruxophim.
Cruxophim runs a finger along the edge of his dagger's blade.
Rohese's face turns slightly pale.
Xorus says, "The destruction of such a form implies nothing of mortality."
Cruxophim takes a drink from his bone teacup.
Cruxophim gives Rohese a strong, encouraging smile.
Nimaera raises an eyebrow.
Xorus says, "Dead gods seem to be more akin to when Meyno was imprisoned in her shrine. Unconscious and unable to manifest. But still remaining in the world as a source of magical power."
Xorus says, "Of these merely mortal god-things, the 'Arkati' are those who served the Drakes, while the others are said without proof to be demi-gods or else 'ascended'."
Xorus says, "Elaborate familial relationships are imagined for them, while in other legends, they originate instead in some fanciful way from dragons."
Elysia takes a drink from her spiked anise tea.
Xortrin mutters under his breath.
Xorus says, "Except Ronan and Sheru are brothers born of the 'Shadow With Wings', not related to Phoen or Lorminstra at all." (24)
Xorus says, "It is incoherent nonsense and owes itself to contradictory beliefs about their inherent natures."
Rohese rubs her chin thoughtfully.
Xorus says, "Regardless, the religion of Arkati as servants of the Drakes may descend from this irreligious argument, twisting it to reconcile it with faith."
Traiva looks thoughtfully at Xorus.
Xorus says, "Others attribute the darkness of the Lornon gods to the corrupting influence of that moon." (15)
Xorus says, "The dragon born myths instead ascribe all of their natures to their formative experiences, whether during or prior to the Ur-Daemon War or its aftermath."
Xorus says, "They must be treated as foreign to the moons for religion. They must have been exiled before, or perhaps at the very beginning, of the Ur-Daemon War."
Xorus says, "It is not difficult to see in this excuse making by our religious ancestors for abandonment by their gods."
Rohese's expression is thoughtful, but her furrowed brow indicates she's working something out for herself.
Xorus says, "The 'dead' Arkati itself may be apologetics, for then some did try, but were not strong enough."
Xorus says, "The irreligious argument is then superficial, making it less difficult to swallow."
Xorus says, "The dragons thus become considered more powerful than the gods, even though in elven legend our ancestors made this up after the fact, or else the whole conceit falls apart."
Xorus says, "From this we assume the dragons that survive today must be weaker than their ancestors, and the Ur-Daemon must therefore also have been that much more powerful." (27)
Xorus says, "Suppose it were true the Arkati were weaker and formed mostly from dragons. It would not follow that they are weaker now, today, than the drakes were in antiquity."
Xorus says, "It is widely thought these beings become more or less powerful over time owing to their followers and spheres of influence." (19)
Xorus says, "Eorgina said as much herself when she manifested at her palace Li'aerion in the DragonSpine Mountains."
Xorus says, "Which does not at all look its age, in spite of having supposedly been built by elves."
Xorus says, "Ironically its deterioration in the absence of elves is part of its legend." (32)
Rohese nods slowly.
Xorus wryly says, "Replace all of the parts of a ship, it is still the same ship. Renovate a palace for a hundred thousand years, it is the same as a palace built yesterday."
Xorus says, "Now, there are surely grains of truth in all of this, and it is not difficult to construct heterodox interpretations."
Xorus says, "When the dragons were the dominant beast they may have had a lot of effect on 'Arkati' spheres of influence."
Xorus says, "The Arkati may have entreated with them on behalf of the lesser races. They may have shown some deference in terrestrial affairs, as they have always done with mortals."
Xorus says, "Perhaps newly formed 'gods' really were weaker than the dragons, but some of them were becoming too powerful."
Xorus says, "They may fundamentally be of spiritual planes and only projecting themselves."
Xorus says, "This might imply they are fundamentally immortal, if they become powerful enough, but a great dragon or demon would still be able to strike down their incarnations."
Xorus says, "Our ancestors would not have been able to conceive of such subtleties. The balances of powers and politics that occur at such heights."
Xorus says, "The domination of the lands by dragons, indeed, implies nothing of the intrinsic power of the great spirits."
Xorus says, "They may have been more powerful than the dragons but incapable of ruling the world themselves."
Xorus says, "This is hardly implausible considering they still do not rule the world."
Xorus says, "When one has an unassailable fortress, this says nothing for whether one is able to lay siege to other fortresses, which may be too far away to be contested."
Xorus says, "In the aftermath of the demonic war there was a great deal of instability. This balance of powers was deeply impacted by the deaths of many dragons."
Xorus says, "Althedeus, incidentally, was a 'demon' limited to another plane of existence, but formed by the powers unleashed on this world."
Xorus says, "It would seem that Koar himself spends his time and energy on keeping the world sealed off from the extraplanar powers rather than ruling."
Xorus says, "The irony is that the ancient question of 'why good gods allow bad things' remains in spite of theology."
Traiva takes a drink from her golden jasmine tea.
Rohese glances away.
Xorus says, "The so-called Drake's Shrine is marvelously strange in its own right."
Xorus says, "It must have been constructed a hundred thousand years ago and was sealed off until two decades ago in the incident with the Vvrael."
Xorus says, "While the shrine is covered in very ancient runes, quite indecipherable, there is also writing in contemporary Common."
Xorus says, "The stone letters of it are impossibly ancient. They were not crafted by human hands."
Xorus says, "If such powers of prophecy were possible, it raises more problems than answers."
Xorus says, "There are frescoes of dragons with vast armies against legions of darkness, bas-reliefs depicting dragons alongside what must be mortals on steeds, with siege engines pulled by oxen."
Xorus says, "This is violently inconsistent with what we think we know of the Age of Darkness, where such a scene would have made no sense whatsoever."
Xorus says, "It is imagery invoking concepts that should not have existed and heralding a future war of mortals against the darkness."
Elysia places one hand over her brushed silver locket, closing her eyes briefly.
Xorus says, "And that the lesser races had no such civilization or role in the demon war." (6)
Xorus , "This is not without its own vestigial support in myth. The legends of Lumnis have her teaching the lesser races, who had wars between themselves, prior to the Ur-Daemon War." (39)
You hear very soft footsteps.
Erek sits down next to Elysia.
Xorus says, "They even speak of her sitting 'with holy men as they penned the first scrolls', and books, which as far as we know first happened many tens of thousands of years later."
Naamit grins wryly.
Xorus says, "There is the narrative of our hiding from the dragons, who tolerated no other civilizations, and the narrative of their tolerating it for the Arkati."
Xorus says, "Something in all of this is terribly wrong. This was long before it is thought the elves and sylvans split." (40)
Xorus says, "The Yadzari legend for instance is strikingly inconsistent with the legend of L'Naere, who the Arkati never speak of, and whose existence the Illistim elites kept secret as too dubious." (23) (38)
Xorus says, "In the L'Naere legend the elves knew the Arkati were servants and were exiled, and L'Naere was a traitor offering to bring them to safe haven off world."
Xorus says, "The Aelotoi prove there is at least some truth in it. But the Loremaster account is almost certainly corrupted with more modern beliefs."
Xorus says, "And it should come as no surprise the Aelotoi oral traditions do not speak of her as a traitor."
Rohese nods gravely.
Traiva chortles softly at some secret joke.
Xorus says, "The Yadzari legend, in contrast, is very old. It was used during the Elven Empire to criticize excessive veneration of monarchs." (41)
Xorus says, "Yadzari questions why the gods have not saved them by bringing them somewhere else."
Xorus says, "What might have truly happened was some number of gods were hoarding followers, and some 'lesser races' were keeping the faith by staying on Elanthia."
Xorus says, "Suppose they were not servants of the Drakes, and by foresight or design knew the impending doom, and set about securing their own interests."
Xorus says, "The seeds of the 'exiled off world' myth may owe more to this than any truth in dragons sending their beloved servants away." (42)
Xorus says, "In the legends of Lumnis this is instead described as having been a violent dispute among the Drakes." (39)
Xorus says, "And the notion of Eorgina hoarding elven slaves survives in her own legends." (32)
Xorus says, "There are subtleties in the myths concerning the lesser races. Imaera is widely thought to have re-created the life on this world and manipulated the physical forms of the living." (2)
Xorus says, "And filling that world of Bre'Naere with the flora and fauna of this world to save it."
Xorus says, "The Giver of Life, as they call her. Who disappeared."
Xorus says, "In my opinion there was likely only one 'humanoid' race originally, and through various intentional or accidental processes, we acquired major differences from each other." (45)
Rohese furrows her brow.
Xorus says, "The elves imagine themselves to be most ancient, for obvious reasons. But I think humans would be the ones most similar to such a common ancestor."
Elysia takes a drink from her spiked anise tea.
Xorus says, "They seem to be the most adept at interbreeding with other bloodlines without unnatural methods."
Xanthium nods slowly at Xorus.
Raelee looks thoughtfully at Xorus.
Rohese lowers her gaze.
Rohese smiles quietly to herself.
Xorus says, "There are other tantalizing hints in the surviving fragments."
Naamit chortles softly at some secret joke.
Nimaera raises an eyebrow.
Xorus says, "The earliest written records of Marlu refer to a blackness speaking of being in shackles in the cold moon, which even then possessed within it the infamous conspiracy of Eorgina and Fash'lo'nae to burn the world." (7) (15) (23)
Xorus says, "This was before there was any understanding of extraplanar entities, and the primordial demons were understood more as personifications of darkness." (47)
Tsarmina takes a drink from her cinnamon tea.
Xorus says, "It is interpreted to be an attempt to usurp the dragon masters. But if the dragons were not more powerful, it has some more subtle meaning."
Xorus says, "It is remarkable that the legends of Kai hold that he killed more of the Ur-Daemon than any of the Drakes." (48)
Xorus says, "One wonders if it really true, after all, that the gods never warred with each other." (36)
Xorus says, "Other matters are more subtle and imply differences in the world itself."
Xorus says, "The legends imply the DragonSpine Mountains were once warmer than now. In the Second Age they were colder, we know the seas were lower." (49)
Xorus says, "That the seas were higher than today in the Age of Darkness is clear from tropical islands. Those apparently made from dead coral." (51)
Rohese bites her lip.
Erek helps himself to a handful of nutty toffee popcorn.
Raelee takes a drink from her golden jasmine tea.
Xorus asks, "Mysteries remain beyond theology in physical sites. Where did the bizarre spire of Talon Isle come from, with its shrine of Charl?"
Xorus asks, "How is such a thing possible if the demons were too powerful for the gods?"
Xorus asks, "When Kai was the only Arkati to survive participating in the war?" (48)
Xorus says, "While I cannot tell you what really happened so long ago, one must beware legends when they agree with each other."
Naamit places her hand on her pierced heart tattoo.
Xorus concludes, "This may speak more to borrowing fabrications from each other to void difficult questions."
Questions and Answers
The background noise has been left in for the Question and Answer session. It is included up until it started veering off topic.
Speaking to Xorus, Xanthium says, "Analogies of convenience, rather than scholarship." Rohese stands up. Cruxophim nods absently. Speaking to Xanthium, Xorus says, "Or it might all be true except for some wrinkles." Cruxophim tilts his bone teacup side to side, making the light play off it. Xanthium nods slowly at Xorus. Speaking to Xorus, Xanthium says, "Who knows who all might be trapped under the sands." A small group of townsfolk applaud politely, their faces thoughtful. Xanthium glances at Alisaire. Cruxophim snickers. Speaking to Alisaire, Xanthium says, "Or loose under the moons." Speaking to Xanthium, Naamit comments, "Fifteen scholars citing a single source should lead one to question the origins with scrutiny." Speaking appreciatively to Xortrin, Rohese says, "I'm sure I speak for everyone here when I say thank you! A most enlightening lecture and one that leaves us with more questions than answers." Xortrin shakes his head. Xortrin beckons Xorus closer with a slow curl of his forefinger. Xorus smirks. Rohese blushes a nice shade of rosy pink. Cruxophim applauds Xorus warmly. Yukito grins. Cruxophim chuckles. Thrassus stands up. Thrassus nods to Xorus. Nazarr applauds with enthusiasm, seemingly oblivious to his surroundings. Speaking simply to Xorus, Naamit says, "Thank you." Xorus says, "Unfortunately, that is the limitation of pre-historical subjects, unless we appeal to authority." Xorus says, "The Arkati have never cared for straight answers." Meril applauds politely. Rohese softly asks, "Perhaps we can open the floor for a question or two?" Erek takes a bite of his nutty toffee popcorn. Rohese glances around the room. Tsarmina smiles. Speaking amicably to Xorus, Cruxophim echoes, "Indeed, thank you." Cruxophim takes a drink from his bone teacup. Nazarr asks, "What do you recall of that time?" Xanthium raises her hand. Naamit takes a drink from her lavender teacup. Xanthium snickers at Nazarr. Alisaire smiles pleasantly. Thrassus snickers. Speaking to Nazarr, Xorus says, "Fash'lo'nae is rather clever in spite of his relative youth and inexperience, but he is starting to come into his own as a scholar." Thrassus ponders. Speaking to Xorus, Xanthium asks, "Do you have any other thoughts on how the Arkati became associated with the spheres we know of, despite the divergence of such from culture to culture?" Raelee squints at Xorus. Nazarr chuckles. The powerful look leaves Thrassus. Xanthium laughs! Yukito raises his hand. Cruxophim grins at Raelee. Erek takes a bite of his nutty toffee popcorn. Rohese smiles. Xanthium takes a drink from her golden jasmine tea. Speaking to Xanthium, Xorus says, "I suspect their spheres of influence are part of their inherent nature, that they are in some way personifications of such forces." Cruxophim takes a drink from his bone teacup. Rohese nods encouragingly at Yukito. Speaking to Xorus, Xanthium says, "Do you think those might well be related to their origins? It leads to some interesting speculation in...well, all of them, but one or two in particular..." Thrassus nods eagerly to Xorus. Azanoth becomes solid again. Xanthium gives a sidelong glance at Naamit. Xanthium takes a drink from her golden jasmine tea. Naamit cocks her head at Xanthium. Cruxophim raises his eyebrow, the tiny metal spikes set within only enhancing his skeptical expression. Cruxophim chuckles. Cruxophim slips a hand to his ankle, deftly retrieving a black-veined jawbone dagger. Tucking his jawbone dagger against his body, Cruxophim squeezes his right hand into a fist and holds it out over an elegant bone teacup fashioned from a small abyran'ra skull. Blood streams through his fingers and along his hand, splattering down into it. Tsarmina takes a drink from her cinnamon tea. Momentarily revealing the small dark ankle sheath hidden at his ankle, Cruxophim deftly sheathes his jawbone dagger, concealing both it and the sheath once more. Naamit smirks. Faerinn asks, "What do you think the Arkati taste like?" Cruxophim takes a drink from his bone teacup. Rohese blinks at Faerinn. Cruxophim gives a sidelong glance at Faerinn. Xanthium says, "Sorry, that's two questions. I can keep quiet and let someone else talk." Xorus says, "Much as Althedeus was apparently formed on another plane from the magical forces unleashed in this world, one wonders if it is possible that the Arkati exist in spiritual realms but formed by the imprints of this world." Elysia blinks at Faerinn. Xanthium looks thoughtfully at Xorus. Speaking dryly to Faerinn, Traiva quips, "Chicken." Azanoth raises an eyebrow. Faerinn takes a drink from his ice cold lemonade. Rohese laughs softly, trying to hide her amusement from Traiva. Speaking drolly to Faerinn, Cruxophim answers, "Warm." Faerinn nods at Traiva. Erek takes a bite of his nutty toffee popcorn. Cruxophim nods absently at Xorus. Speaking to Xorus, Xanthium says, "A possible correlation. Maybe even causation." Cruxophim begins chuckling at Traiva! Speaking politely to Xorus, Rohese interjects, "I do believe young Yukito had a question." Xanthium stares off into space. Xorus says, "This would be consistent with the dragon born myths. Where they appear after some emotive or impressive experience." Xanthium takes a drink from her golden jasmine tea. Rohese glances at Yukito. Yukito signals, "If the idea were that all forgein denizens are 'demons', and so all arkati and dragons could be classified as 'demons', do you think it could be possible that the dragons shut themselves away, and that the arkati are beings that open and close plane entrances to this one at their whim?" Cruxophim gives Yukito a strong, encouraging smile. Speaking to Traiva, Faerinn says, "You are likely right." Yukito bites his lip. Yukito nods politely at Rohese. Thrassus looks thoughtfully at Yukito. Faerinn says, "I suppose a drake or ur-daemon would know." Traiva asks, "Yukito asks, If the idea were that all forgein denizens are 'demons', and so all arkati and dragons could be classified as 'demons', do you think it could be possible that the dragons shut themselves away, and that the arkati are beings that open and close plane entrances to this one at their whim?" Xanthium looks thoughtfully at Yukito. Xorus nods slowly. Yukito beams happily at Traiva! Speaking to Yukito, Xanthium says, "...that is...a most creative question." Xanthium nods once at Yukito. The dim aura fades from around Xorus. (Yukito places on hand on top of the other, flat, layering them.) Rohese agrees with Xanthium. Cruxophim gives Yukito a strong, encouraging smile. Raelee takes a drink from her golden jasmine tea. Traiva looks thoughtfully at Yukito. The mirror images surrounding Elysia undulate and grow stronger. Elysia renews her songs. Erek takes a bite of his nutty toffee popcorn. Xorus says, "This is related to the nebulous definition of the word 'demon'. Some use the word to refer to all extra-planar beings whatsoever, and others something more restricted, the outer planes or even more narrowly the chaotic and violent ones or the highly alien." Xanthium takes a drink from her golden jasmine tea. The blood on Cruxophim's articulated gauntlets dries up and flakes off. Tsarmina takes a drink from her cinnamon tea. Speaking thoughtfully to Yukito, Traiva ponders, "I suppose that makes the Aelotoi "demons".. and did the Arkati, then, open the portal?" Yukito grins at Xorus. Xorus says, "The elementals are not considered to be demons, even though they are extra-planar. Of the elemental planes." (45) Raelee states, "Demon. Creature of extraplanar origin not otherwise categorized." Cruxophim nods absently to Xorus. Cruxophim laughs softly, trying to hide his amusement from Traiva. Xorus says, "Marlu is speculated to draw power from the opening and loosening of portals." (29) Yukito signals, "Technically, that is what a book in the Library in Illistim says about elementals and planar beings. Which also begs the question about arkati and the dragons." Yukito nods at Traiva. Xanthium asks, "It would depend. What counts another plane? Are all other worlds beyond the veil?" Yukito signals, "Demon is too broad a word." Traiva says, "Yukito says, Technically, that is what a book in the Library in Illistim says about elementals and planar beings. Which also begs the question about arkati and the dragons." Cruxophim flashes Traiva a toothy grin. Cruxophim's eyes suddenly flash with a shadow-infused sanguine glow. Rohese softly muses, "And does that include beyond the Ebon Gate?" Xorus says, "Cosmology is something of a speculative convention because we cannot stand outside the cosmos." Faerinn says, "I don't think the Aelotoi count as demons since they are technically from here originally." Thrassus says, "Yet." Speaking to Yukito, Cruxophim remarks, "Fair point." Xanthium asks, "What of the moons? Do they exist beyond, do we cross the veil when we go to the Broken Lands? Do we then become the demons?" Thrassus nods at Xorus. Raelee gives a sidelong glance at Thrassus. Thrassus snickers. Traiva says, "Yukito says Demon is too broad a word." Elysia grabs a shot of well-aged whiskey from small moonstone-edged pockets inside of her velvet longcoat. Elysia offers Erek a shot of well-aged whiskey. Erek accepts Elysia's well-aged whiskey. Erek beams happily at Elysia! Tsarmina stands up. Tsarmina nods politely. Lady Tsarmina just went through a wide archway. Akenna just arrived. Rohese smiles at Akenna. (Faerinn leans back and licks his lips.) Xanthium begins chuckling at Faerinn! Speaking softly to Akenna, Rohese laments, "You have missed a fascinating lecture." Erek sniffs at his well-aged whiskey. Cruxophim takes a drink from his bone teacup. Erek takes a drink from his well-aged whiskey. He holds his whiskey up to give it a quick glance after taking a sip of his whiskey. Erek looks rather relaxed. Speaking to Faerinn, Xanthium asks, "Still thinking about seasoning, aren't you?" Xorus says, "The trouble is that facts are inherently theory laden. We may surreptitiously prove things that we defined as a sleight of hand." Nimaera waves to Akenna. Erek slowly empties his lungs. Speaking to Rohese, Akenna says, "Oh well." Akenna smiles. Yukito nods at Xorus. Xanthium indicates her ceramic cup with a smile. Akenna says, "I had some pressing business." Naamit takes a drink from her lavender teacup. Xanthium put a white ceramic cup in her jade green robe. Speaking sympathetically to Akenna, Rohese says, "Understandable and you are, of course, forgiven." Rohese gives Akenna a lingering kiss on the cheek. Xanthium grins at Akenna. Cruxophim turns toward Xanthium and renders a sharp salute with his bone teacup. Xanthium kisses Akenna tenderly on the cheek. Cruxophim takes a drink from his bone teacup. Xanthium hugs Cruxophim. Cruxophim hugs Xanthium, who wraps him in a warm embrace. Xanthium says, "I must be off, I'm afraid, or I'll break my word again and ask another dozen questions." Rohese softly says, "I'd like to thank Lord Xorus Kul'shin for his extremely enlightening lecture on the Age of Darkness." Traiva flutters her wings at Xanthium. Xanthium says, "So instead I'll get dinner." Xanthium hugs Traiva, who wraps her in a warm embrace. Cruxophim applauds warmly. Xanthium smiles at Alisaire. Traiva kisses Xanthium tenderly on the cheek. Xanthium kisses Rohese tenderly on the cheek. Rhaenor adopts an agreeable expression. Speaking affably to Xanthium, Cruxophim notes, "Same, I believe." Traiva applauds Xorus. Rohese softly says, "I'm sure you will all join me in showing our appreciation in the traditional manner." Faerinn says, "Dinner sounds good." Xanthium applauds Xorus. Yukito applauds Xortrin. Rohese applauds politely. Yukito applauds Xorus. Faerinn applauds Xorus. Elysia applauds Xorus. Xanthium kisses Faerinn tenderly on the cheek. Xorus says, "With cosmology the question is whether there are meaningful structures of planes where we could create categorical distinctions that are metaphysically correct." Cruxophim warmly wishes, "Fair eve, folks. Excellent lecture." Faerinn turns to Xorus and cheers! Meril applauds. Cruxophim's eyes cloud over with dark shadows as he prepares a spell... Cruxophim gestures. The magic fizzles ineffectually. Raelee nods at Xorus. Xanthium smiles at Yukito. Azanoth tugs on the shadowy cowl of his black leather cloak, allowing it to shadow his face. Rhaenor applauds Xortrin. Naamit applauds Xorus. Cruxophim stands up. Naamit stands up. Cruxophim shakes your hand. Uncrossing her ankles, Xanthium places her left hand and the flat of her right foot upon the floor, and then pushes herself into a standing position. She pauses for a moment after gaining her feet and brushes out any potential wrinkles in the seat and hem of her jade green robe. Azanoth applauds. Xorus says, "Or if we are merely pattern matching similar properties." Erek waves to Cruxophim. Xanthium smiles at Raelee. Speaking to Xorus, Elysia says, "Thank you for the interesting discussion." Cruxophim hoots. Faerinn says, "One cannot live on academia alone." Faerinn stands up. Faerinn waves. Cruxophim gives Erek a friendly hug. Xorus nods at Elysia. Cruxophim gives Elysia a friendly hug. Xanthium snickers at Faerinn. Speaking to Xorus, Raelee asks, "Have you time for a lingering question?" Xorus says, "Thank you." Xorus nods at Raelee. Faerinn gives Cruxophim a warm buss on the lips. Xanthium strides over to stand before Xorus. Elysia hugs Cruxophim. Cruxophim snickers. Xanthium hugs Xorus. Xanthium leans back. Cruxophim nods while tilting his black silk capotain forward and giving a quick, teeth-flashing grin. Shadowy tendrils rise from the ground and wrap around Cruxophim's legs as they quickly engulf his entire body. The shadows quickly retreat back into the surroundings, leaving no trace of Cruxophim. Speaking to Xorus, Raelee says, "Can we not attribute many of these inconsistances to our own fault, as mortals with a limited scope of understanding? As in to say... they say much more about us than they do about the nature of the Arkati and other otherwoldly beings. Many of these tales of the Arkati are developed as a means to explain what we, at the time, otherwise could not. They can simply be reflective of our collective arrogance that makes it so very difficult to simply admit... we do not know the answers. Voiding difficult questions, as you put it." Xortrin applauds. Faerinn exclaims, "Evening everyone!" Xanthium gives Thrassus a lingering kiss on the cheek. Meril nods at Raelee. Meril says, "I rather think many of the old debates about the power of the Arkati are born out of an old elven belief, that power can only be proved by dominating others." Xanthium rests a gentle hand on Thrassus's arm. Speaking to Rohese, Faerinn exclaims, "Thanks for having us!" Faerinn just left. Speaking to Xorus, Traiva says, "Thank you for the insightful lecture. It gives much to think on." Shadowy tendrils rise from the ground and quickly coalesce into a humanoid form. As quickly as they appeared, the shadows retreat back into the surroundings, leaving Cruxophim in their place. Rohese glances around the room. Rohese softly giggles. Cruxophim just went through a wide archway. Xanthium traces the edges of her wisp armband tattoo, carefully highlighting the rosy, dusk hues inked near its lower edge. Akenna says, "Well I am sad I missed the lecture." The light blue glow leaves Akenna. Meril takes a drink from her raspberry-mango tea. Emissary Xanthium just went through a wide archway. Akenna says, "Perhaps next time." Shadowy tendrils rise from the ground and quickly coalesce into a humanoid form. As quickly as they appeared, the shadows retreat back into the surroundings, leaving Cruxophim in their place. Speaking to Raelee, Xorus says, "Yes. Much of it is our own fault. Which is why I feel we must interrogate such things with the present state of our arcane knowledge." Rohese smiles at Akenna. Speaking to Akenna, Traiva says, "I am sure there will be notes on it." Speaking offhandedly to Raelee, Naamit comments, "Absolutely yes." Akenna nods once. The deep blue glow leaves Akenna. Deep blue motes swirl away from Akenna and fade. Speaking softly to Akenna, Rohese says, "The first of many, we hope." Yukito nods. Cruxophim grins at Rohese. Cruxophim just went through a wide archway. Akenna smiles. Speaking to Xorus, Raelee says, "Which is ultimately likely still insufficient." Erek takes a drink from his well-aged whiskey. He holds his whiskey up to give it a quick glance after taking a sip of his whiskey. Erek looks rather relaxed. Shadowy tendrils rise from the ground and quickly coalesce into a humanoid form. As quickly as they appeared, the shadows retreat back into the surroundings, leaving Cruxophim in their place. Akenna smiles at Nimaera. Speaking to Xorus, Nimaera says, "Thank you for the lecture, it was very interesting." Xorus says, "Reconsidering what we might have thought if we had a deeper understanding." Cruxophim rubs his chin thoughtfully. Erek glances at Cruxophim. Cruxophim just went through a wide archway. Yukito stands up. Raelee nods at Xorus. Alisaire says, "This has been quite engaging." Xorus says, "Much as the Ur-Daemon are now considered to have been extra-planar beings." (27) Alisaire inclines her head. Rohese smiles at Alisaire. Shadowy tendrils rise from the ground and quickly coalesce into a humanoid form. As quickly as they appeared, the shadows retreat back into the surroundings, leaving Cruxophim in their place. The dim aura fades from around Thrassus. Thrassus begins to breathe less deeply. Alisaire says, "Good evening." Speaking to Rohese, Elysia says, "Do you have thoughts on a future schedule for these talks? I have enjoyed this lecture very much." Yukito nods politely at Xortrin. Yukito nods politely to Xorus. Shadowy tendrils rise from the ground and wrap around Cruxophim's legs as they quickly engulf his entire body. The shadows quickly retreat back into the surroundings, leaving no trace of Cruxophim. Alisaire pivots sharply on her heel, gauzy folds of night billowing about her form like a storm-driven tempest. You hear very soft footsteps. Speaking to Xorus, Xortrin asks, "Were they not always thought to be so?" Speaking softly to Elysia, Rohese says, "The aim is to make it a monthly event." Rohese smiles at Elysia. Erek stands up. Erek stretches. Thrassus nods, ambient light briefly haloing his pallid grey skin from within the confines of the hood on his slate grey cowl. Traiva smiles at Rohese. Yukito just went through a wide archway. Elysia nods in agreement at Rohese. Thrassus gestures crisply and utters a practiced phrase as raw elemental energies issue forth from his dimly glowing eyes. Thrassus gestures. The magic fizzles ineffectually. Lord Thrassus just strode through a wide archway. Nazarr nods at Rohese. Nazarr stands up. Shadowy tendrils rise from the ground and quickly coalesce into a humanoid form. As quickly as they appeared, the shadows retreat back into the surroundings, leaving Cruxophim in their place. Speaking to Rohese, Elysia says, "I'll be sure to watch for these." Erek tickles Cruxophim. Cruxophim snickers. Nazarr says, "So will I." Elysia grins at Cruxophim. Speaking to Rohese, Raelee asks, "Have you a plan for future subject matter?" Naamit touches her small iron stickpin and gives a slight shudder. A blood red mist surrounds her as her skin begins to peel from her body in thin strips. As the flayed skin unravels, the muscles, tendons, and ligaments beneath begin to unwind and vanish in to the crimson cloud around her. A final shudder runs through the cloud, and it vanishes with a faint popping sound. Traiva smiles at Nimaera. Speaking appreciatively to Elysia, Rohese says, "Thank you so much for coming." Cruxophim squints. Nimaera winks at Traiva. Speaking to Xortrin, Xorus says, "There is some myth making in Second Age history, but the Faendryl maintain that the veil was first pierced by Elizhabet Mahkra, some thousands of years after the founding of the Elven Empire." (47) The mirror images surrounding Elysia undulate and grow stronger. Elysia renews her songs. A faint popping sound heralds the arrival of a cloud of blood red mist. Tendrils and strips can be seen whirling inside the crimson cloud at great speed. The movement within the cloud rapidly builds in to a humanoid outline. With a final shudder, Naamit steps out of the mist, drops of crimson vanishing from her skin at a swift pace. Cruxophim begins chuckling at Naamit! Nazarr bows. Speaking to Xorus, Elysia says, "We should try, next time, to explain the... loop Cruxophim seems to be repeating at present." Elysia starts chortling. Xortrin nods slowly to Xorus. Cruxophim tosses a knowing glance toward Naamit, taps his nose, and then points at her. Speaking softly to Raelee, Rohese says, "No fixed plan, I leave it to our speakers to decide on their subject matter." Rohese smiles at Raelee. Traiva begins chortling at Nimaera. Meril takes a drink from her raspberry-mango tea. Cruxophim amusedly notes, "Curious." Speaking to Rohese, Raelee says, "Of course." Nazarr says, "Thank you, Lord Xorus. A most interesting talk." Elysia just nudged Cruxophim. Xorus says, "The concept of veils, planes, and so on, is a development of knowledge that did not always exist." (The discussion after this was Cruxophim's issues with teleportation in that room, time rifts, and Xorus comparing the temporal rifts to the geometry of a dodecahedron.)
The following is a list of texts or physical evidence specifically being referenced by the speaker.
 Timeline of Elanthian History - Meachreasim Illistim, 5100
 Gods of Elanthia: Imaera, Lady of the Green (2000)
 Purgatory is one name for the place where souls go upon departing or spirit death.
 Eorgina manifested on 3/31/5119 for a commune near the end of the reign of Queen Daukhera Darkflorr in Icemule Trace.
 See, for example, the Eternal Dream or Schism of Dreams, Inorios Plateau, The Pale, and the Maw of Luukos.
 History of Elanthia: I. The Age of the Drakes (100,000+ years ago?) - Meachreasim Illistim, 5100 (original is 1995)
 History of Fash'lo'nae: Results - Vaelsoth Inzuniel, 5108 (2010)
 Wyvern - Kartus Il'Tarq Vaalor, 5119
 History of Leya (1997?)
 History of Elanthia: III. The Age of Chaos (20,000 - 5,000 years ago) - Meachreasim Illistim, 5100 (original is 1995)
 Linsandrych's Legacy: A Detailed Examination of the Dynastic Argent Mirrors and Their Contributions to Illistimi Society With Notes On Selected Post-Lanenreat Figures - Hiraani Gael Illistim, 5110
 Half-Elves: From Outsiders to Heroes - Chapter One - The History of Half-Elves - Specifically the Illistim archivist Tirnelle Maefyrne.
 For instance, the words of Linsandrych Illistim, circa -49,080: "Frae Naira vers Deiam, Jae esais bevre Tua ae te Draekeche."
 The Faendryl Empire: The History of the Faendryl (2002)
 Gods of Elanthia: Introduction to the Arkati (2000)
 Planar shift rifts and time warps under Melgorehn's Reach have shown both the dragons and demons.
 History of Fash'lo'nae: Birth - Vaelsoth Inzuniel, 5108 (2010)
 Fash'lo'nae himself released Vaelsoth's account through a puzzlebox while pretending to be an old human named Reshum in Phoenatos 5110.
 History of Eorgina: Early Years (2002)
 A Short Primer on Half-Krolvin Society and Faith - Fentol Braunich, 5109
 Former curator of the Wehnimer's Landing Museum, Glethad, identified Khar'ta as Charl during a lecture in the year 5112.
 History of Elanthia: The Beginning - Meachreasim Illistim, 5100 (2000)
 Elven Dogma and Theology (2001)
 Sins in Shadow: Of Sheru and Ronan - From the "Books of Midnight", apocryphal texts in the private collection of Indethrion XI Faendryl, or "Indethrion the Mad" (2015)
 History of Fash'lo'nae: Lornon - Vaelsoth Inzuniel, 5108 (2010)
 History of Luukos - From the "Compendium of Elven Legend", condensed by Larelle Aiv'thyline Loenthra, based on the compilation of archivist Ytrhyn Siv'aendas Illistim. (2004)
 History of Elanthia: I. B. The Ur-Daemon War - Meachreasim Illistim, 5100 (actually 1995)
 Gods of Elanthia: Koar, King of the Gods (2000)
 Gods of Elanthia: Marlu, the Destroyer (2000)
 History of Fash'lo'nae: "Action." - Vaelsoth Inzuniel, 5108 (2000)
 The Origins of Tonis - Found in a cache of elven texts in the Western DragonSpine (2017)
 History of Eorgina: Lornon (2002)
 Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire: Disciples of the Shadows - Lord Brieson Cassle, 5115 (2015)
 Elementals: The Children of the Planes - Lords Ulithian Feras and Isymir Ril-Galad, Chapter 6 (2002)
 History of Fash'lo'nae: "Consequence." - Vaelsoth Inzuniel, 5108 (2010)
 History of Elanthia: I. C. The Coming of the Arkati (100,000 years ago?) - Meachreasim Illistim, 5100 (actually 1995)
 Orders of the Turamzzyrian Empire: The Blameless - Lord Brieson Cassle, 5115 (2015)
 Legend of L'Naere - Meachreasim Illistim, 5103 (2003)
 History of Lumnis: Part 2: Banishment (2002)
 History of the Sylvan Elves: Chapter One - Early History, Approximately ca. -130,000 to ca. -60,000 - Contemporary scholars hold the elves of this period only had temporary, nomadic dwellings.
 Museum Alerreth in Ta'Illistim has a pendant with the hair of Linsandrych Illistim, passed down by a cult of worshippers. Lilorandrych forbade Tenesi to wear it in public.
 The lack of proof of this is noted, for example, in "Elanthian Moons: Lornon". (2001)
 Gods of Elanthia: Jaston, the Windrunner (2000)
 Gods of Elanthia: Kuon, the Green (2000)
 Elementals: The Children of the Planes - Lords Ulithian Feras and Isymir Ril-Galad, Chapter 2 (2002)
 Regarding the Half-Krolvin: The Breeding of the Half-Krolvin - Drawn from the Illistim libraries by Meachreasim Illistim (2003) (Note: This section is probably going to be retconned by staff.)
 The Faendryl Empire: The History of the Faendryl - The Growth of Faendryl Magic (2002)
 Gods of Elanthia: Kai, Master of Battle (2000)
 An Unfinished Smuggler’s History of River's Rest: Part II - Casler Huntington (2014)
 Of Krolvin and Reivers (2015)
 Surmised for the limestone Bone Island off the Southron Wastes, possessed by the bone eater god Kyr'orvrad with its cultists.
 There is an enormous demon trapped in lava, glaes, and a chamber of veil iron, weeping on an anvil. This blood was used by the Palestra Blade Aralyte to charge the Eye of Ith'can.
 History of Elanthia: II. Second Age, The Elven Empire (50,000 - 20,000 years ago) - Meachreasim Illistim, 5100 (actually 1995)
 History of the Dhe'nar: I. The Beginning (80,000 - 55,000 years ago) - Compiled by Aeranch Jaern of Library Aies, 5102. (official version, 2002)