Lore

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1363238943Ruinous Effigy"That's not right." Banshee-44 taps a spectral analyzer against the Effigy's frame. Commander Zavala turns, closes the lid on a small golden weapon case, and walks to Banshee's side. "What have you found?" "Well, it's not petrified wood, but it is organic." "That's troubling," Zavala says and moves to run his fingers over the weapon's frame. "I wouldn't." A shallow cold saps the heat from Zavala's fingertips; he pulls back. "This wasn't in Eris's report." His voice is thin and stark with disappointment, as if spoken through dead winter air. "Guardian doesn't seem to notice either." Banshee clinks the analyzer into a tool tray. "Leeches a bit, kicks out Void. Sig's hazy, though. Wild." Long quiet overtakes the workshop, imposed by shuttered windows and empty streets below. They stand over the weapon. Banshee stares down and nods along to the ambient static. "What were you saying?" The weapon master's voice is framed in apology. Zavala puts a hand on Banshee's shoulder, smiles, and gestures to the weapon. "Equipment that uses the wielder's Light is not unprecedented." "It doesn't use it; it eats it. Thing's got an appetite. Works almost like, uh… a converter." "Is it dangerous?" "Nah. Guardian doesn't even seem to notice. I'll get you a write-up."
410854224Solstice Cloak (Majestic)The knock-on effects of Ulan-Tan's Symmetry theory were wide reaching. They likely extended much further than Ulan-Tan himself ever intended. The idea of Light and Darkness as amoral, interdependent forces led to some extremely inconvenient questions. Chief among those was the following: If the Light and Darkness were interdependent, how could one ever "defeat" the Darkness? As Ulan-Tan himself said, "I wish the Light could 'win,' as you put it. But we must accept that it's just not that simple." This became a thorny subject for the Guardians, who had spent centuries asserting their combat capabilities. Inherent in their militarism was the idea that victory, or at least self-defense, was possible. However, if their use of the Light simply prompted the spontaneous generation of Darkness somewhere else in the universe, then their military efforts were inherently futile. They were simply propagating an eternal stalemate at the expense of their own pain and suffering. In short, Ulan-Tan's biggest sin was telling a ruling warrior class that their war was unwinnable. —Excerpts from "Ulan-Tan, Heretic Saint"
2335430633Solstice Cloak (Magnificent)The knock-on effects of Ulan-Tan's Symmetry theory were wide reaching. They likely extended much further than Ulan-Tan himself ever intended. The idea of Light and Darkness as amoral, interdependent forces led to some extremely inconvenient questions. Chief among those was the following: If the Light and Darkness were interdependent, how could one ever "defeat" the Darkness? As Ulan-Tan himself said, "I wish the Light could 'win,' as you put it. But we must accept that it's just not that simple." This became a thorny subject for the Guardians, who had spent centuries asserting their combat capabilities. Inherent in their militarism was the idea that victory, or at least self-defense, was possible. However, if their use of the Light simply prompted the spontaneous generation of Darkness somewhere else in the universe, then their military efforts were inherently futile. They were simply propagating an eternal stalemate at the expense of their own pain and suffering. In short, Ulan-Tan's biggest sin was telling a ruling warrior class that their war was unwinnable. —Excerpts from "Ulan-Tan, Heretic Saint"
578329058Solstice Mark (Majestic)Before the invention of the doctrine of Symmetry, the prevailing framework for talking about the Darkness was a moral one. Dark Age scholars directly mapped the paracausal forces to our preexisting moral codes. That is to say, they thought that [Light = Good] and [Darkness = Evil]. For them, the connection was innate. This was a natural assumption, given how the Darkness had razed the known worlds, and how the Traveler had saved humanity from destruction. However, once the dust from the Collapse settled, it became possible for City Age scholars to broaden their historical gazes. For the first time, they studied the Darkness from a holistic perspective, rather than a moral one. Most of these proto-Symmetrists hedged their theses by stating, as Mornighan put it in "Darkness Enlightened": "Though it may be true that the Darkness is a necessary Evil, we may countenance its existence by acknowledging that it gives way at all times to the force of Good. For wherever the Light shines, the Darkness recedes before it." It was in this intellectual space that Ulan-Tan first proposed the doctrine of Symmetry. His hypothesis discarded the Dark Age premise that the Darkness and Light were moral in nature. Instead, he postulated that our moral understanding of Light and Darkness were subjective experiences of absolute forces. If one accepts that the concepts of Light/Darkness and Good/Evil are not perfectly aligned, then there must necessarily exist liminal spaces where [Light = Evil] and [Darkness = Good]. If true, it would be the ultimate triumph of moral relativism. It was this (yet unspoken) tangent of Symmetry that the Vanguard found to be so threatening. —Excerpts from "Ulan-Tan, Heretic Saint"
3972410231Solstice Mark (Magnificent)Before the invention of the doctrine of Symmetry, the prevailing framework for talking about the Darkness was a moral one. Dark Age scholars directly mapped the paracausal forces to our preexisting moral codes. That is to say, they thought that [Light = Good] and [Darkness = Evil]. For them, the connection was innate. This was a natural assumption, given how the Darkness had razed the known worlds, and how the Traveler had saved humanity from destruction. However, once the dust from the Collapse settled, it became possible for City Age scholars to broaden their historical gazes. For the first time, they studied the Darkness from a holistic perspective, rather than a moral one. Most of these proto-Symmetrists hedged their theses by stating, as Mornighan put it in "Darkness Enlightened": "Though it may be true that the Darkness is a necessary Evil, we may countenance its existence by acknowledging that it gives way at all times to the force of Good. For wherever the Light shines, the Darkness recedes before it." It was in this intellectual space that Ulan-Tan first proposed the doctrine of Symmetry. His hypothesis discarded the Dark Age premise that the Darkness and Light were moral in nature. Instead, he postulated that our moral understanding of Light and Darkness were subjective experiences of absolute forces. If one accepts that the concepts of Light/Darkness and Good/Evil are not perfectly aligned, then there must necessarily exist liminal spaces where [Light = Evil] and [Darkness = Good]. If true, it would be the ultimate triumph of moral relativism. It was this (yet unspoken) tangent of Symmetry that the Vanguard found to be so threatening. —Excerpts from "Ulan-Tan, Heretic Saint"
3836262527Solstice Bond (Majestic)While Ulan-Tan was certainly unpopular within the ranks of the Guardians, he became persona non grata with the publication of a pamphlet entitled, "Finding Light in the Darkness." Though it was anonymously authored, the ideas within were widely credited to Ulan-Tan, and he bore the consequences of its publication. The most provocative ideas within the pamphlet were as follows: "Light cannot exist without Darkness! They are a bonded pair. They beget each other in eternal Symmetry. They are as One!" […] "If we claim Knowledge from Sister Light, then we must also claim Knowledge from Brother Dark. The Traveler shares only half of Life. Darkness provides the rest! We must know the Dark to know ourselves. We must Balance or Perish!" The idea of embracing the Darkness, even to learn from it, was the final provocation. One that the Vanguard could not let stand. So, while the true provenance of the document remains unknown, punishment was meted out against Ulan-Tan for having "let the cat out of the bag." Though authorities throughout the system attempted to discredit Ulan-Tan, essentially forcing him into hermitage for the latter half of his life, it speaks to the persuasiveness of his ideas that Symmetry is still a widely studied philosophy. It remains as controversial (some would say "heretical") today as it was during its inception. —Excerpts from "Ulan-Tan, Heretic Saint"
3009026026Solstice Bond (Magnificent)While Ulan-Tan was certainly unpopular within the ranks of the Guardians, he became persona non grata with the publication of a pamphlet entitled, "Finding Light in the Darkness." Though it was anonymously authored, the ideas within were widely credited to Ulan-Tan, and he bore the consequences of its publication. The most provocative ideas within the pamphlet were as follows: "Light cannot exist without Darkness! They are a bonded pair. They beget each other in eternal Symmetry. They are as One!" […] "If we claim Knowledge from Sister Light, then we must also claim Knowledge from Brother Dark. The Traveler shares only half of Life. Darkness provides the rest! We must know the Dark to know ourselves. We must Balance or Perish!" The idea of embracing the Darkness, even to learn from it, was the final provocation. One that the Vanguard could not let stand. So, while the true provenance of the document remains unknown, punishment was meted out against Ulan-Tan for having "let the cat out of the bag." Though authorities throughout the system attempted to discredit Ulan-Tan, essentially forcing him into hermitage for the latter half of his life, it speaks to the persuasiveness of his ideas that Symmetry is still a widely studied philosophy. It remains as controversial (some would say "heretical") today as it was during its inception. —Excerpts from "Ulan-Tan, Heretic Saint"
3658217196Eira's Grace"Pike racing is a dangerous game. Especially if the weapons are hot, which I insist they are. Lots of casualties. Lots of money. I like it." The Spider examines a dense data display on the specs of the proposed race. His HUD scrolls a rapid series of calculations. "And with a Sparrow like that as the prize, there's going to be plenty of interest. Where did you get it, anyway?" The Fallen gang leader shrugs his top pair of shoulders. "Guardians like to gamble. Badly." "That they do," the Spider says and collapses the data display, focusing his attention on his visitor. "Of course, there will be expenses: security, clean up, bribes. It won't be cheap." The Fallen thug clicks his teeth in annoyance. "You talk too much. Human talk. Name your price." The Spider continues, nonplused. "First, I want a cut of every bet placed. Five percent. Next, all the scrap and corpses from the wrecks belong to me. My turf, my salvage. And finally, I need to know who's going to win the race before it starts." The Fallen thug nods. "Three percent. Keep the scrap. Winner will be me. Always me." His entourage cackles in agreement. The Spider holds all four of his palms outward, signaling concurrence. "Then it's a deal. Happy hunting."