Domhnall Guivarch's Black Book

Started by Erudiche, June 29, 2023, 01:08:34 AM

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[A small black book, contained at all times within the breast pocket of Domhnall Guivarch. It is filled with tight, professional writing.]

Tabbah 29, 7787

My home appears to me as though in a watercolor. I cannot remember the smell of it now, except of honeysuckle, but it is faint and empty.  I do not remember my mother's face, nor her voice, only the warmth of her presence as she held me in her sick and dying. Is this what death feels like?

My return was miserable. I could hear the funeral calls and the great dirges echoing in my mind. I worked all night at a pamphlet which will be thrown to soak in a gutter. The meeting at the Offices was a disgrace. There is no one I can trust. The greatest argument against Asterabadian method is to meet its followers. I care, only and deeply, about the preservation of the world. That is my sole goal. For the love of the world I give this to you! But words deny me that true feeling and sincerity, they are the pharmakon -- poison and remedy in one. I can exchange my ideas but never truly reach another. As Alejandro stated, there are secret languages for all things, and true communication unimpeded by trickery and cynicism is impossible, all for a love which never came to anything... sweet and sorrowful world, you've been left to burn in the sun.

I'll need to find him, need advice on what I saw out there. This is the stuff of revelation. Miracle. There is a coming age, the quickening of the end is upon us. I may not live to see it, but I shall be thrice damned if I cannot contribute to our salvation. We must build an ark here, to carry this small mote of mud and dust through the end of this world and into the next. This world is dying. Perhaps it is already dead.

Yet it falls to my hands to save it.
Redemption! Redemption!


Illul 4, 7787

I feel sick.

Averroes, go now into the great dust. Let sleep have his house.

Averroes, why couldn't I save you?
Redemption! Redemption!


Illul 12, 7787

So hard to get a hold of anyone in this city. Think I might be starting to lose it a bit. Keep cursing in public, bad habit, but what am I to do? Why is everyone so fucking stupid?

In any case, need to get a hold of Mae. Salvatore. Lynneth. Urgently. If I ever see Alvaro again I'll kill him... must also converse with Amelie, Echemmon, anyone else who had dealings with Averroes. They'll slander her even after death, well, well...

Bind her, grind her, burn her with fire,
Cast her ashes into the sea,
She shall escape, she shall aspire,
She shall arise to make men free:
She shall arise in a sacred scorn,
Lighting the lives that are yet unborn;
Spirit supernal, Splendour eternal,
⁠⁠⁠Averroes Tashfhin will yet be.

They want to play games. They'll get games. A hagiography. She's due for one.

And while we mourn the past, think evermore to the future. See it now, you, audience of the future, who shall live in the city I have built for you: walls which shall defy gravity, well-lighted homes without smoke or fire, a great green expanse to feed and work the people. We shall have a Great Temple, fit for the former capital of the world. We shall have brilliant windows to filter the light into beauty. We shall have a forum for learning, barracks for living, mess halls for eating, pavillions for lounging. We shall have everything we could ever need, a city hitherto impossible on this wretched Disc.
Redemption! Redemption!


Qdim 1, 7787

Ozymandias -- I want his head on a pike. Orentid fuck.
Qari Alriyh -- Don't know fully what to make of him. But he's dangerous. And up to something. And useless to me, now. What kind of idiot pays to be Magistrate, or to meet with some nitwit who will ignore your counsel? Couldn't even have Gers executed. When I win, he will serve as a terrible obstruction... what to be done, what to be done...?
Hornsby -- Dangerous. Very dangerous. Elusive in equal measure. Watch closely.

Need to keep a grip. Momentous days are upon us. What was it that Bruno liked to say? Fortune favors the bold. Well, if audacity shall win the day, then it is audacity, audacity, and always audacity...

I will enjoy seeing the shock on their faces as the bottom gives out. Serve them right.
Redemption! Redemption!


I don't remember the date, fuck if I care.

Honey, mizzar, bandages, water. Tablet is dying.

They're all after me. They all want something. Everyone always wants something. I always want things, too, and I'm in truth little better than the rest of these rats. What madness has consumed this city? Where are the gods? Won't anyone intercede, won't anyone save us?

People will die. People will have to die. How many, I wonder, must it be? And who shall bear this burden?

Too many, too many. Too much to tackle, I've not enough of me. It's madnesss. Oh, I'm only one man, and I can't do anything. It's all out of my hands, isn't it?

It looked so peaceful, up on the Terrace. I wish I could spend forever at that height. I miss that view, I wish I could live in it. I could imagine the people who lived in the lights were worth saving.
Redemption! Redemption!


Redemption! Redemption!


Estellise Azimi
Aubrey Domergue
Oscar Kreutz

My temper got the better of me. Time and time again. But what else can I do when faced with complete insanity? I am dealing with lunatics who seek to undo my works at every turn! Traitors and snakes and the deranged dregs of the world...

We must remember our lessons. Too many lies. Too many equivocations. Too many reversals. No more. If damned I be, then let me be damned all the way. No more shifting courses. I must strengthen my resolve and pursue my course with fearless and inexorable tread. I must seek out my ends to the absolute and utter maximum. No more games. If I win, I shall be a Legate of Steel. If I lose, I will correct my course, I will tear down any obstacle that stands in the way of the full empowerment of the people.

I must not lose my temper again. I must not double-back again. I must not bend again. I must be as stable and eternal as the great Monoliths. Failure in this shall result in my death.

Must find new Tribunes.

Must stop taking Ephians at their word, forked-tongues.

Must stop disclosing anything to anyone. Better nothing than a lie.

Must make examples of those who betray me. Those who attack me. An object lesson in betraying the people. I have been desperate to unify, to make friends of all. This has only succeeded in making enemies. Very well. There shall be no more honeyed words, no more pleas. Anything now that stands in my path must be destroyed, the earth salted where it stood. If I may not be loved, I pray that I might be feared.
Redemption! Redemption!


Reading Estellise's response to my letter, I'm beside myself. I am just absolutely out of my mind at this moment. What the fuck is going on?

Either I have brain-damage or everyone else does. Why would they do this? Aubrey's spite is one thing, but this is just... she's working with Mae! The reason she hated me! What the fuck! This is deranged. People say she's a Purple, I never believed it, but this is so insane and nonsensical that I think she might actually be a Purple. Why would she do that? Why would she do that? Why would she do that?

What is going on here?

Whatever. I will go out and about to do my business. Let's raise some money, put the Tablet back together, grovel before the requisite liars. Fine.
Redemption! Redemption!


It's so close, I can taste it.

The rose is so beautiful. Alejandro was too kind to give it to me, I hardly deserve it. I keep it close to my heart, where the world can't see it. It's mine. Am I not entitled to something nice?

But I fear I am not a good person. So many deals. So many compromises. What is becoming of our better world? Is all I am to be an arbiter of the petty feuds of the same filth I entered politics to cast down?

Impossibilists such as Ghalish have their merit. Their analysis is right, if only they had solutions. Yet it is the duty of the Populist to bring light and life into the world, and so that is what I shall do. Oh, but I hear intoning from my future demise, caught in the final struggles of my life, I might call out: 'How shall I ever escape this labyrinth?'

Without the order of the stars to guide me, what am I to do...?

And why do my prayers go ever unanswered. Even the living gods may be dead.
Redemption! Redemption!


A small good deed. Not many will notice. Even less will understand. But you were owed nothing less. I'm so sorry I couldn't save you. I wish you were here at my side, there to guide me. But you are not, and so often I err, or turn my back on your legacy, what you would have wanted...

I was never a very good disciple, in sooth truth. Perhaps I have never loved with all my heart, and this is why her miracles avert their gaze. Perhaps this is why you spoke to Salvatore, and left me to wander the mists of confusion. Why I cannot work sacred signs. But you stood by me, and I stood by you at that terminus. I ask myself, often, although less and less with time, whether I could have done more, or better. But that's not for us, that kind of world. It could only ever have ended one way. You knew that better than anyone.

Thank you, Averroes. For everything.
Redemption! Redemption!


Who is Constaine Diakos?

Since the day I stepped foot in this city, it has been his dark shadow looming over the horizon. More real, more salient, more pressing, than that of the Terrace, of distant Baz'eel, that the churning atrocities below. Watch as it turns our beloved White to Gray, dissolves all certainty and meaning.

It is my task to redeem the League of White from his legacy. To rescue the banner from his evil. Did he ever call it his own, I wonder, in his heart of hearts? This man, who stood alongside Ordrem Klard, Ibn Ghalish, the Marquis de Savary, during the days when blood ran through the streets. How could it have been false? Ten years, and for what end? To throw it all away in a fit of madness?

I have sang the song of his destruction. I have called for his death. But I do not know him. No one knows him, except perhaps for the Wyrm.

I look in the mirror and I see his features looking back. I am so much like him, I am told. He was an intellectual, an illuminator, a statesman... a gentleman. We drink the same tea. We keep the same company. We advance the same policy. What is it, in truth, that separates my heart from his? Is it merely circumstance, merely that I am an outsider and he -- a relic of a dead world, perhaps a better world, that is unable to die? Would I, in his position, be consumed by such insanity?

It seems likely. I feel as though I am but a... shadow. The Magus, in his great humor, put it so eloquently: "Boulos remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce." And so it is that I enter the stage, some ghoulish caricature of that which goes before, helpless before the forces which assail. Are men truly the prisoners of fate? Or by will can these tracks be broken? Can the mime become a man? Can the puppet cut its strings?

In asking who is Constantine Diakos, I must first ask: who am I?
Redemption! Redemption!


So that the blood which will stain my toga will be my responsibility alone.

Is this what we anticipated, in the great march to bring light into the world?

The oak of liberty must be watered with blood. A nation will only regenerate itself on heaps of corpses.
Redemption! Redemption!


I was right, but we needn't linger on it, I suppose. I am vindicated, and each of those returning children is as a blessing from heaven!

I am settling into the seat. Soon will come Gold Dust, which shall be momentous to either make or break my reputation among the Accords and Baz'eel. It relies on a pack of unsteady people, all bound by mutual hatred.

On another note, I feel fine. I'm not a drug addict. I told them so.

There are some people in this city I could really do without. A pack of meddlers, inbreds, and bird-brains.

Aubrey Domergue -- I have warned her. Whatever comes as a consequence for that old ghost is her doing.
Boops Margo -- Up-jumped pissmonger, cretin, clown!
Qari Alriyh -- He went completely insane, along with the rest of the League of Gold. Perhaps it's all the syphilis.
Aaisha -- Always so prickly, but her contempt is evident and her actions are malign. Tsk tsk, but ever so hard to do something about while she sits on Frederica's lap.

But none of them, in truth, are worthy of too much contempt or wrath. None pose much of a threat, so long as I can remain astride the tiger of our world-historic moment. It is all mine to lose, and all mine to win. Deliver to the world the first days of Popular Government or die, this is the proposition. Free the imprisoned divinity of our Lady, Ephia, or see prevail the great gaol of Pra'raj. This is the singular question which has been posed!

Friends in turn? Estellise, Nebtu, Hypatia, of course. Lucrecia is a kind girl. Alejandro, my sweet... who else?

Bashir? -- Not my man, but kind and dilligent, despite a languid manner.
Squeev? -- Well, of a sort, of course.
Cosine -- Despite his eccentricities, agreeable. Amenable to some reason.
Mae -- Breaks my heart, my poor dear Mae, why has it come to this?
Khalid -- Loyal, brave, benevolent Khalid. My heart weeps that the world hates you so.
Oscar -- Promising, despite his insanity.

Dire straits, I am afraid. Yet we will perservere. The past few days have presented me victories, and I feel my grasp on the levers of state strengthening as time goes by. We must steer this Leviathan, this Behemoth, this great Colossus, away from ruin.
Redemption! Redemption!


Hello Averroes. I know you will read these words, some day.

I sat where she sat, and she sat where you sat. I remember that day, by your side, facing up at what seemed like all the greed and hatred and wrath in the world -- what looked like divine, sacred theomeny, come to strike the land clean. I remember their jeers, and the betrayal of my own League, my home, as I took up your cause.

I couldn't save you.

But as I saw her there, arguing her case, making her arguments, I wondered if she, even for a moment, thought about you. If she remembered that girl she sent to die in the sands. If she remembered taking credit for your martyrdom, as if she had done the world a favor.

No, Averroes. I don't think she did.

I delivered the sentence, Averroes. I watched her die. It made me sick. Even if she had well-earned it, even a thousand times over... I am weak, I fear. Too weak. You were not, you were strong, Averroes. You knew the meaning of a sentence. You would not feel this dread. And you would not be as wicked, cruel, and foul as I am. Averroes, why did you have to die? I miss you. I would like badly to return to our quest, those days of study and learning.

I learned from Mari Blacke, at your will. I learned from Lynneth, Echemmon, Amenya, Khalid... so many ghosts. So many phantoms. I feel I have failed them all.

Will anyone miss me when I am dead? The way that Ferric misses you? The way that I do?
Redemption! Redemption!


These are the dregs
The last grains of the age
Redemption! Redemption!