Monday, 15 May 2017

Letter Concerning the Elder Ones

Firstly, hello! It's been a while since my last post, and I decided to let you all know that, yes, this is still a thing and, no, I haven't given up. Things are taking longer than anticipated regarding the next story (that can't even be called shortish anymore, as it's novel-length), but wheels are slowly turning there. I hope to be able to get it out to you all at some point in the near future, but I currently can't put a date or any kind of time-frame on it. Again, as I have done before, I apologise for this.
For those who haven't ever read a Lore post before, the first thing you need to know is that I'm an MA Medieval Historian. These fictional documents are snapshots into the history of Esdaria. I spend a vast amount of my time with my nose buried in documents similar to those that I create as Lore posts (but often far more dull). When one such document is placed in front of you as a real-world historian, you look at it and have to draw out the intricacies of it: who is writing? When are they writing? Who are they writing for? What circumstances does the document reflect? Why is this included here? What's that doing there?
When I started this blog, I decided it might be interesting to produce similar documents that relate to Esdaria's past and present that are both telling and ambiguous about certain truths and fictions from within the fantastical world. I provide a few scholarly-style notes in the voice of an unnamed Esdarian scholar to accompany the text, giving a vague overview of the document and its context, but ultimately allow the reader to make their own mind up about what is going on. I thought that this could be a slightly unique way of allowing those interested in Esdaria and its stories to obtain a much more personal, in-depth look at the details of the world.

I found myself with a little time free a few evenings ago and decided to create this, as it loosely ties in with a few ideas I've been toying with recently. As with all previous Lore posts, this both directly and indirectly pertains to Esdaria's ongoing history, as well as the overall grand narrative that I'm gradually working towards.
The following document is what appears to be the last surviving of a number of letters sent out at the behest of Empress Vidoria herself around the beginning of the fortieth year of the Second Era of Imperial History (40Y2E). At this time, the Vidorian Empire was seen, as it has been argued by some, as being at its peak. It was enjoying a peace and prosperity that has not been seen for many years since, with the entirety of the western kingdoms securely vassal-provinces. Although Altmeria to the east was not a part of the Empire, and would remain separate for another century, relations between the Empire and King Loris II of Altmeria were cordial enough to allow for free-passage and prosperous trade between territories.

Empress Vidoria, now an aging woman and due to pass away some eight years after this letter was produced, was already considered by many to be divine during her lifetime. As such, although the letter below contains an order for its destruction, it seems that whoever received it did not destroy it due to the fact it carried her seal – a mark only the Empress’ hand could bestow. Shortly after her death, a law was passed stating that all items touched or in possession of the Divine Empress during her lifetime were sanctified, and destruction of any such object was punishable by death.

Because of this, when the letter was later discovered by the Vidorian Inquisition in the private collection of Duke Farad Oswier of the Northern Imperial Heartlands in 198Y2E – it was quite possibly sent to one of his ancestors or former owners of one of his estates – it was removed and placed in the Black Athenaeum, the highly-guarded and exclusive library only available to the highest-ranking Vidorian Inquisitors and the Emperor himself.

The letter refers extensively to both one Ordbald Hygaelec, and a group called the Elder Ones, though no mention of either has been found elsewhere. It seems probable, therefore, that either no other record of Ordbald and the Elder Ones exists within the accessible parts of the Imperial Archive, or that all previously-existing records of both were either destroyed or moved elsewhere. Also, it is just as plausible that this document overstated the threat of Ordbald Hygaelec and the Elder Ones, and they simply never became came to fruition and, as a result, there was never any need to mention them again.

The letter is written in the most upstanding and formal manner, typical of early imperial documentation, and the use of the first-person plural pronoun of ‘we’ throughout is a common feature of the Divine Empress’ other missives, suggesting the letter is written with the direct input of the Divine Empress herself.. It has been suggested by scholars that she kept close counsel with a group of her most trusted advisors and most learned scholars, to whom this ‘we’ may refer.


Know all to whom this present document comes, that its contents are confidential and are not to be repeated, nor shared, with or to anyone.

Following the capture of the notorious Old God preacher and lawbreaker, Shaman Ordbald Hygaelec, who himself was captured during a heretic preaching-sermon on the north-western bank of Lake Vierda in Westernaea, certain news has been made clear to us that we deemed necessary in sharing to you, the most high of the Empire. Following his captivity, the heathen-shaman revealed a new element of his taught heresy that we thought it wise to inform you all of, for he claims that the return of those he calls the Elder Beings is nigh, and that this is a signal of forthcoming strife to Esdaria.

This heretical prattle is nonsense, but we thought it best to inform you of this should whispers of it spread into your territories. Furthermore, we fear that, though this heresy is new, that the falsely-prophesied Elder Ones may provoke the unlearned and as-yet unconverted heathen masses to rash action. For, as interrogation has proven to us, the Elder Ones, as Hygaelec calls them, are said to be ordinary men and women touched by the hands of the Old Gods, selected to be uplifted from others in their lifetimes through their own incredible deeds, themselves becoming in-part deified. Hygaelec called them the Avatars of the Old Gods and their Will Made Flesh, his heathen Old Gods' own creations and personal playthings during times of great strife in Esdaria. Because of this, we fear that the more zealous of Hygaelec’s followers, as well as the unlearned masses, may feel as if they are in some way qualify as an Elder One, and thus are spurned to rash heathen action that comes at the detriment to us and our Empire.

Though there is only the Light which Guides, the unlearned must be themselves led away from Darkness to understand this Truth, not cast down into the pits of heresy. We advise that those to whom this present letter comes take steps to remain vigilant following the revelation of this new heresy. Furthermore, to prevent the spread of whispers within those unlearned immediately close to those to whom this present letter comes, see to it that this present letter is destroyed. It is ordered by Empress Vidoria I that, after being read, this present letter should be destroyed by fire until no scrap of it remains. This present letter also bears her direct seal, affirming this order.

The Light is One and All, which we must attain, and which Vidoria shall lead us to.

Praise Her.

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