The Metaphysical Roundtable

Started by DONT PANIC, November 21, 2023, 01:26:07 AM

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The Metaphysical Roundtable
Jordan Clearcreek


Authors Note:

The following is an abridged accounting of the debate held by the Students of Sandstone College. Let any who feels misrepresented come forward for an immediate issue change.

The afternoon began with a bellows, and within the final thirty minutes until start, people started flooding in from all over Ephia's Well, hungry for knowledge, perspective, and the experiences of others. Janissary, Rose, and Palatial employee alike filled our lecture hall, with four special guests to the far left.

I spoke first. I gave an introduction of myself, the college, and the Moderator of the event, Zol Nur. Next came the introductions of the guests of the event. They are:

Acolyte Amelie of the Sibylline speaking for the Wyld, Kula.
Atticus Naros speaking for the Magi, Izdu.
Khalid al-Hayim speaking for the Wanderer, Warad.
Ariel Hysair of the Consortium speaking for the Warrior, Agaslakku.

(Late to arrive was Farideh Goldbard speaking for the Mother, B'aara.)

(Honorable mention to Legate Marcellus Saenus for his short sermon in name of the Magi, Izdu.)

The first questions posed were simply that to explain the purpose of their Spoke, and the message that they embody.

Of the Warrior:

The Warrior protects the others of the Wheel. He is the 'Strong Brother'. He is a grizzled soldier, planted upon the battlements. He promotes strength to triumph in each battle of your own, protection of the weaker castes, and mental fortitude to accomplish that which should terrify.

Of the Wanderer:

The Wanderer is vigilant, and merciful. The Wanderer is ever willing to fill the needs of B'aara, no matter the ask. He recognizes the imperfect state of the disk, and urges his ken to endure and inhabit it fruitfully all the same. He encourages constant motion, and yet exists upon our disk.

Of the Wyld:

The Wyld s is at B'aara's command, taking up seed and ensuring that the world will be verdant once more. She encourages us to recognize that even with the state of the Disk, there is yet green, and thus, yet hope. Life should flourish.

Of the Magi:
The Magi is the guard of the fundament. He has manifested the wards that protect our world. T'was Izdu who held the sun in one hand, and a sword in the other, but cast away the former for the great quill he used to shape our protections. He encourages learning of our fate, and standing against it when the Wheel starts to slow.

Following this, our first philosophical question is asked. What is a miracle? It is a trick of magic? a fundamental truth? Is it the way by which the Wheel alter fate?

Of the Warrior:

The priests of the Wheel do not provide miracles. They simply appreciate the Spoke they worship, for their lessons, and their morals which get instilled through active worship. A miracle, thus, is something that is beyond our understanding. There is no reason to a miracle, it simply is. It is an action taken by the Wheel to ensure that it keeps spinning.

Of the Warad:

A miracle is hard to quantify, because it opens the door of a lot of other questions. A miracle is the purposeful acting of the divine upon the Disk. Is there a difference between the work a Waradiim does, and a miracle? Yes. They share the same source, but are of two natures. One is direct, and one is indirect.

Of the Wyld:

To Kula, life itself is a miracle, for it was born out of the miracle of the Immolation of B'aara when the world was new. A miracle is something truely Awesome, unequaled and core to the very mysteries of Faith.

Of the Magi:

A miracle is not wrought by the hands of the Divine, but the way we interpret the world. A miracle does not need to be good, to be. There are bad miracles too, such as the immaculate conception of Djinn and other foul things. The word is intended for its ties to uncertainty, and the unknown.

Following this round of questioning, the chance was offered to argue against any points made. It was taken up first, by Amelie.

Of the Wyld:

A miracle can not be quantified as that which is wrought by our own eyes, for then we would be arbiter on what is and is not Divine. A miracle must be 'divine essentia', foundational and core.

Of the Magi(Rebut):

What makes one clerical, but the determination, interpretation, and actions on the behalf of the whim of a God? No divinity would call their actions a miracle, but a simple breath. Miracles are perception.

At this point, it was Legate Marcellus Saenus who took to the lectern, stirred by the debate and eager to contribute to the fount of knowledge.

Of the Magi(Legate Saenus):

One can only quantify what is not a miracle. There are those who call themselves clergy, who have faith as frail as ancient papyrus. The workings of magic are not miracles. What is a miracle is a man who who follows in the footsteps of their God and asks nothing in return. True miracles come from the receipt of gifts, none-the-less, such as a scholar learning a new language, or a warrior mastering his weapon. A miracle is a man who grasps his destiny by the reigns and does not let go, no matter how much it may buck and try to throw them, screaming in defiance.

The next challenge came from an audience member, Jamileh Attar of the College. She posed:

What does constitute a divine being? Is a miracle what gives them their claim to divinity? Does the feat of creating life, for example or performing an intervention that makes lives better like healing the infirmed, constitute as being equally miraculous?

Of the Wyld:

We are not able to quantify what is and is not a miracle, for a miracle is by its nature, inexplicable. If we are capable of defining miracles, then we would take some aspect of Divinity unto ourselves. It is one of the core pillars of faith; mystery.

With this question asked, the next was posed by Zol Nur. What is our purpose to the Wheel? What is our role upon this Disk, in relation to the Wheel?

Of the Warrior:

Our purpose is to simply live. We are to triumph, amass hoards of treasure and spoils, and live. To the Wheel we are the servants, the water that lets it spin so freely. To Agaslakku, we are the ax that cuts our way though war. We must take wins and losses, and simply live.

Of the Wanderer:

We are to live, yes, but they have too given us means to understand them. We should strive to embody an aspect of the divine, that we may grow closer to our God. We must not simply live, but live righteously.

Of the Wyld:

Kula answers this in her psalms. Tend the garden in the self, and tend the garden in the Well, and tend the Garden of the world as you encounter it.

Of the Magi:

One may expect the answer to be to learn. The purpose is not to learn. The purpose is to live as He did, and does. We are to suffer for the glory of our world. Our purpose is to Illuminate. This is different from learning, in that, you spread the light of knowledge further, and to darker destinations.

Of the Mother(First interaction with late B'aarat):

Life is the purpose, itself. We must strive to protect it. Life will spring, even in the sandy dunes of the desert. B'aara gave life so we would live. She gave it so harmony among her children could be preserved. Life is not meant to flourish without pain, it is not meant to be easy. When the wheel gives its fourth turn, we must be ready to make the ultimate sacrifice, for further life to flourish.

When it was time to offer any disputing arguments, none were raised. And that had concluded it for prepared questions. The audience was offered a chance now to ask questions of their own to whoever wished to answer, and myself, being terminal in my curiosity, posed this when none else raised hand:

Is our relationship with the Wheel symbiotic in nature? Do they need us, as we them?

Of the Magi:

These questions; What is a miracle, what is the meaning to life, are we fuel to faith – all lead us back to a fundamental starting point to the why of faith. As the Wheel is round, so too is it cyclical. But the divines don't need us. They exist on a higher echelon to us, and act in broader strokes than we. We carry on our own lives, and duties. They need us, as a colossi would need a regular sized ant. – Unless they need to bring their battles to an anthill.

Of the Warrior:

This comparison of ants is wrong. We faithful don't go around preaching and converting people to the faith for merriment, or theatrical. They are in need of us, and the point is made by the Small Gods of pre-Ringfall. These divines have fallen off the face of the disk, because their power has waned. None believe in them, and their old names are forgotten. If they did not need us, then they would still be around.

Of the Magi(Rebut):

Old and dark Gods yet engage with the disk despite their lack of worshippers. A God does not need followers or faith for its powers. It was personally witnessed, such dark risings.

Of the Wyld:

The Wheel came to be because there was life to live. It was B'aara who kept nascent life from destruction of Pra'raj. We are needed, as a mother needs her children, or a shepherd loves her flock. The Wheel is not bound to we, nor shaped by our perceptions. The Wheel is eternal.

The next question offered, came as a surprise to me. It was offered by Acolyte Imizael of the Sisters.

Please explain how these Q'tolipian efforts to study, examine, and quantify the realm of faith is any less than an act of Heresy. [...]

Of the Warrior:

There is no heresy in exploring faith. In fact, it is the opposite. This chance was seized, so that more of other faiths could be learned.

Of the Wanderer:

The Eagles Mount is a closed place, wherein one would not know if this this debate is anything like what they do.

Of the Mother:

Some might find heresy in this inquiry. It is troubling that that is the case, when it was not considered when asked. A book interpretation of the text "On the Deception of Cults", which stated that scholars that seek books on what should be taught by scriptures of Water and canonical history, could be a sign of an adherent of Pra'raj.

Of the Wyld(Rebut):

The question is astute, but the act of engaging in inquiry is not in itself heretical. It can lead to heresy, and heretical actions. However, this forum was engaged with members of every church that would be represented and was cloaked in naut but earnest advocacy. We must be vigilant for those who would pick apart words, piecemeal, for that is heresy.

In conclusion:

The college gives its absolute greatest gratitude to all the participants of the debate, and the Well citizens who came to expand their horizons. Amelie was chosen by her peers in the participants to be the winner of the affair, and given a silver medal for her wonderful insights.

The Author thanks you, Reader. For you too have come to expand your horizons, and see the world from the different perspectives of the wheel. Remember, from the sky, even a great pyramid looks like a simple square... We must strive to see things from every angle, so we know exactly what we're looking at.