The mind of the Protean rebelled at the assumption that Gods may die. It was unnaccepable and alien a concept, one that He had to refuse to acknowledge for even to entertain the thought might give it power it did not deserve. Shifting Himself, He moved to more important topics at hand.
With a voice deeper than oceans Phorys called into question the proposition of Heavens Trickster. "Schematicos, you wish to reap a harvest which we will all sow equally? I know not what you may do with such items, these sparks of infinity, but will you also be the one to deem what is with merit or without? What you may call squandered I may call worthy. What say you to that in your grand design?"
Post by Helter Swelter on Apr 18, 2020 17:59:53 GMT
A tempestuous wind cut into the conversation and silenced the others, but for a moment. "You would do well to mind your place, Schematicos. As he who governs death, it will be I who governs and judges the souls of the departed," Mirtis growled. "As for what happens to those souls upon their release from the mortal coil, I concur that they ought to be judged by a series of Divine Laws, the constitution of which we will need to decide upon forthwith. But first, as for the Conductor's conception of a heaven for the good, hell for the bad, and limbo for those who are neither, I refuse and propose an alternative more in line with his other suggestion - souls awaiting judgment should arrive somewhere between life and death, where they will await my decree. Those I deem just will go to the realm of the God they worshiped most devoutly to serve that God however the God sees most fit, while those I deem to have disobeyed our Divine Laws shall be returned to mortality - perhaps on another world, perhaps to their own - for another chance at redemption and paradise, without the memory of their past life."
He turned again to Phorys, "As for where this judgment will take place, I see no better place than the realm I've decided upon as my den: the winding network of caverns, the Zeroth layer. Departed souls will wander the higher caverns, awaiting my judgment and their fate. My servants, those mortals who devoted their lives to my worship, will live in the lower caverns and act as couriers, bringing fallen mens' souls to my realm."
Finally, Mirtis said, "I will allow the rest of you to codify the Divine Laws so that I might not favor or emphasize one I create over the others."
The cogs of Schematicos halted with a screech for a moment, then resumed ticking over at a calm pace.
"Phorys, my dear kin, I do not seek to harvest anything, only to motivate the mortals to feats of greatness. I would cast out the idle and praise those who take meaningful action. What would you deem worthy?"
"The Conductor makes an interesting proposal, but it falls apart when a mortal refuses the Gods. What shall we do with those who pledge themselves to none? Under my plan, we would not have this issue of disbelief."
Schematicos voice shifted pitch as he addressed Mirtis. The mists that surround him thickened briefly, before clearing once more.
"Mirtis, you govern death, that I do not disagree with. However, death is for the living. As a soul is immortal, it is beyond your domain! Your idea of reincarnating souls undermines the purpose of a soul. If a mortal may return to life after failing to prove themselves worthy, what motivation would they have?
Post by abominablesnowball on Apr 18, 2020 19:17:17 GMT
The echoing voice rings once more "An excellent proposal, to define sacred laws which govern each mortal and keep them in line. I have devised Three Laws:
One, a mortal may dedicate him or herself to only one God, and may not change loyalties. To do so is treachery and would permit mortals to violate other dictates of their God through pledging to another before their demise.
Two, a mortal dedicated to one God must fulfill any request by his or her God to the best of his or her ability. What use is loyalty should such lower beings decide they are above our calls to action?
Three, a mortal who violates one or more of his or her own God's personal decrees will be subject to a punishment of the God's own choosing."
"To the mortals, I shall grant them a fate. A divine positioning of their accomplishments or failures, of their lives and deaths. Something they will strive towards, or desperately fight against."
"I see no reason why a mortal shouldn't be able to have dynamic allegiances. They are born ignorant, how can we expect them to make the right choice? Why doom them to failure because they pledged themselves to a God who later proves itself unworthy? This would serve as motivation for ourselves, to maintain divine worth."
"The celestial laws a mortal must obey should be determined by the God they follow. How and if we punish or reward our followers should be up to us as individuals."
The divine form of Phorys fractured and reshaped as He meditated on the merit of what a mortal could have to him. What was it that He desired them to uphold? As He continued his divine reflection, He felt the need to address the question of devotion.
"The answer should be for them to choose which of us they are to dedicate themselves to. To force them into choice would be foolishness, and defeat the purpose of making these things. Instead we offer them a choice". Flowing into a lemniscate pattern the great shape in the darkness offered his prospective answer to the other primordials.
"The mortals after the first will not be made whole, they will have to grow. To learn in the world that is coming, to form their own thoughts from what their forebears pass down and from the world around them. When they come of an age where they can be considered mature they will then have to make a choice.
"Commit to one of us, learn our tenets, live to our will and when they cease they shall be judged by the one they are beholden to, and when they fall into the hands of their living god they are then ours to do with as we wish.
Luminescent eyes peer out from the blackness and behold each of His equals in turn. "Is this an acceptable arrangement?"
Post by abominablesnowball on Apr 19, 2020 5:39:36 GMT
The faceless God nods His head.
"Not one of Your proposals is in disagreement with My own. However, when a blasphemer takes up the torch and burns Our libraries, churches and favoured, are We not to act in Our own interests when the mortal still lives? To judge Our faithful beyond death is fair, but wrongdoers may perform much worse than simple violations of tenet. Shall We strike down the murderer of kin and silence the heretics? Or leave them to sow chaos and leave it to Our faithful?" Resounded Sjardic.
Sjardic's upper pair of hands closes, awaiting more input before calculating what would come next.
And so did the Primordial Gods take council, And great mysteries were divine among them. -1 Symphonies 5:12
The Conductor hovered through the void of nothingness, and listened as the others spoke. And so, a sing-song voice resounded, "It seems that our dear Mirtis has offered to preside over the 'souls' of the dead, at least for a time, so long as the rest of us are to decide upon the rulings. As the topic remains of those who are undeclared, I have a simple proposal - that those who die, without having offered a pledge, shall be enrolled into his own care. It will be trying for our brother to exert an influence over the World while dealing with one of his own, especially as the souls of the dead multiply with time. I consider this a fair reward for what is sure to be quite the trying service, particularly as he shall be taking on the harder part of our own work in offering judgement."
"That would be cleanest solution. As for blasphemers, the policy I believe would be best is this: We shall leave such things be, as they transpire, and await the prayers of our followers. And We shall act in accordance to those prayers... Of course, that proposes a different issue, as well, which is the matter of conflict between each other's followers. Thus, while We are faced with the challenge of establishing dictates for our followers, We must likewise establish Order among ourselves. Our own rules, so as to avoid strife among the Divine. It would not do if Man to suffer needlessly from our disagreements."
Phorys considers what supreme foolishness and intoxicating innocence it would take for one to deny and even then act act against their very creators. Countless teeth glint in darkness as a subterranean laugh bubbled out from one of His mouths. "Conductor, you are proving too kind. 'Man' will be crafted by our hands and are something to cherish but should one of these mortals seek to strike against us then they should be destroyed utterly. If they deny each of us in turn before seeking to act against the creators of their world then they must be ended, those that aided them shall be punished and so shall those that they came from and those that sprang from them in turn. Each shall be cut from creation until the foulness is gone. For even punishment eternal may promise one day a reprieve but to be stricken entirely from the fabric we are weaving is deserving of those who act against the very order of things"
He broke from His rhythmic movements as a new thought occurred to Him due to Sjardics questioning and the Universal Musics suggestions. "But this also opens possibilities. What would be done if when a mortal sworn to another god then in turn sought to do harm against the flock of yet anothers? Who shall be responsible, the mortal or the divine who inspired him? If we are to establish rules as the Conductor wishes we must account for such things"
Schematicos became deathly still and his cogs slowed to a crawl, the click of each movement audibly distinct.
"Aré-Nylied, I do not appreciate your dismissal. I was the one who proposed the concept of an immortal soul and volunteered to manage them, yet you defer to Mirtis, who has wrongly attempted to assert authority."
"Too address your concern, Phorys, clearly it is the mortal who is at fault. That is the responsibility of free will."
"Ah, forgive me, Schematicos. But as overseer of what is Living, such a concept of a record - of a soul - strike me as something fitting to the one concerned with the Dead. Of course, I have no care one way for another for the fate of the rest of mortalkin, but for Man in particular, I would seek to ensure something fitting his status as chief among mortals."
The child-like God hovered through space, passing by the whirring god of plots. "That being said, I have heard the fate Mirtis would have in store for the souls of the dead. What do you envision behind those cold eyes, brother? Oh, and I should add, I am in full agreement with you on the matter of changing allegiances. For as their dreamer, I shall cherish mankind as my children; and if they should choose to follow another, so be it - but I shall always await them, with my arms outstretched, should they choose to accept."
And Aré-Nylied's did stretch out, towards an empty void. And the god came to a stop near Phorys, and said, "For punishment, I would hold none accountable to the actions of another. All actions, regardless of their severity, must be responded only with regards to the actor. Nor would I seek to severe aught from creation, for it is the nature of creation, of Life, to consume and build. Man, regardless of his actions, shall die, and his body shall remain, to feed another, and the World shall spin on."
"In a scenario such as you offer, in most cases, I would it imagine it to be the mortal at fault. However, should there exist evidence that their actions, rather than born of their own mind, were commanded by another god, it would be right that we as a collective act in accordance to reprimand the trouble-maker."
"I would make this exception - that among our followers, we shall make a distinction between two categories. The first shall be the full flock, and they shall be a multitude. The second shall be our priests, and direct servants, who we shall dearly love, and shall speak of us in the world. Among the former, we shall allow them freedom - the freedom to wage war, among themselves or against others. And they shall live for themselves, save in following our commandments. But for the latter, who are bound entirely, and who shall act upon our every word, we shall watch closely. And those who act against them, we shall cast judgement. And through all the lands it would be known, to strike against a priest to the gods, is to invite the most severe retribution. And it shall be forbidden for a priest to hide their faith; and it shall be forbidden for any who is not a priest, to pretend to be one. This, I propose, we should all agree to."
"To me, it is simple. We gift the mortals their lives as a sign of our benevolence. However, if they wish to exist in eternity as we do, they must make an effort to aid a higher purpose. Whether it is as a small piece or a prime mover, all are important. I have no desire to watch over layabouts."
"I would also like to present the idea that a mortal that does not follow any God, has its soul destroyed upon death. Some mortals may not wish to exist eternally, so it is only fair that we allow them this mercy."
Post by Helter Swelter on Apr 22, 2020 1:33:11 GMT
"Men who follow no Gods would be Men who deny reality. In that case, it's reasonable to say that the Man was faulty, somehow - an issue with his mind prevented him from seeing the truth. Should Men not be given second chances? Perhaps, those Men who follow no Gods - few though they may be - should be returned to the Mortal realm anew, and only they, while those who devote themselves to a God may find salvation in their faith. Those who would attempt to strike at us, however, have proven that it is not reason they lack - rather, it is honor. To those men, no pardons will be granted."
Mirtis returned to the subject of devotion and the choice of worship, then, saying, "Men should be free to worship any of us that they wish - their souls will simply go to the God to which they were most devoted...if they are judged to be worthy of eternity with the divine rather than returned to the world of mortals as all those condemned will be."
Phorys weighs the merits of His fellows opinions. The shining form of the Conductor, perfectly formed, before the shifting bulk of the Protean and matched the gaze of His eyes. The shape of Phorys compressed sharply before coming to a conclusion and flowing gently outwards into a new form as easily as spilled ink, many small delicate legs crept into existence as bands of phosphorescent lights blinked in and out of existence along a lengthening segmented body. "I do not wish lightly for a final destruction of anything we will make. If you believe them deserving of leniency even if they try to strike at us then for now it will be as you wish. Let it be as Mirtis says, they can be given another chance as is worthy of our nature divine, and we will see through actions if they are truly worthy of your kindness"
"Then if we can agree upon a framework of laws that all must uphold then when they enter the halls of the God of the Dead let him account for their doings, from this life and the ones before. If their misdeeds have stained them then they shall face condemnation or be sent back to a life where they will abase themselves, to either learn try again or repeat their follies. What should happen after to one who cannot change I defer to the one with authority over Death for the final say."
Letting His words linger Phorys lapses back into silence. The bands of light upon his body quietly phasing in and out in a pearlescent display.