Board :Tales of the People
Author :Archon Iyagi
Subject :"Light and Shadow" by Aldrych
Date :10/24
"Light and Shadow"

   In these lands they say only the followers of Kwi-Sin
   can truly appreciate life for they cherish the spirit
   and afterlife, and only the followers of Ming-Ken can
   appreciate death for they cherish life and the living.
   Similarly, The Good Book teaches us that Light and
   Shadow follow this pattern as well. The brightest Light
   casts the darkest Shadow and the blackest pitch
   amplifies the slightest spark to the brightness of suns.

   So it holds true for those who rise and those who fall.
   You see, in a world where no one falls so too can no
   one truly rise. The Good Book teaches us to admire
   those who rise, but cherish those who do not. To
   clarify, The Good Book teaches us to liken stagnancy
   to falling, for no middle ground exists between Light
   and Shadow.

   Please, allow me to introduce myself. No, you'll not
   have my name today. Names hold no relevancy in
   philosophy; only ideas and principles matter, and I
   wish today to speak of principles. I carry The Good Book,
   and I spread its wisdom to the world's darkest Shadows
   so that all may bask in its Light. I cherish the Shadow,
   for it gives meaning to the Light.

   Today, I'll tell you of one such Shadow: a young
   sorceress from my homelands, come hailed as an Angel for
   her kindness, whom I encountered before traveling here.
   She wielded her power for the good of all and brought
   much security to the lands, and yet as the years passed
   she found the fame and gratitude too heady a brew. She
   began to believe more and more fervently in herself, and
   though she felt firmly that her heart and her power lay
   beyond the tendrils of corruption she failed to see the
   Shadow growing within herself.

   I pity those who stare too long into the Light, for
   with time it blinds them. One would do well to find a
   healthy balance of Light and Shadow, for these things
   define us as people. Though we strive for perfection
   no one ever truly reaches it, including Yours Truly.
   In particular, those who hold too firmly to the Light
   tend to manifest their own righteousness.

   As the bearer of The Good Book, I had the responsibility
   to introduce her to Shadow.

   I hear she found my request for an audience humorous.
   She likened it to the call of a talented jester and
   welcomed it as such. How often does one receive a plea
   from a wandering retainer of some unknown religion come
   to preach of things no one has heard of much less cares
   about? She found the request almost as entertaining
   as the complaints from farmers bickering over their
   lands' boundaries. "What can I do of it?" she'd asked
   haughtily. "I am not your arbiter, so do not pester me
   with such matters. Come to me when raiders steal your
   crops."

   One such farmer came to me when she would not help him.
   Suffocating in her Shadow, he hoped my efforts could
   bring back the Light.

   Had she embraced Shadow, she might have seen the truth
   in my request. Alas, the Light had blinded her. She'd
   welcomed me into her stronghold for the audience, and
   had found my sermon so entertaining she insisted I have
   a meal from her servants in the kitchen before I left.

   Imagine the cook's surprise when I never arrived for
   that meal. At the time he or she may have thought I'd
   opted out and left, but surely knows of Shadow now.

   I hid from the Light in the sorceress's stronghold until
   well after it set beyond the horizon. After she'd gone
   to sleep for the night, I sprang from my hiding place
   and preached to her in finality of Shadow.

   Indeed, then, did her Light fade.

   The Good Book does teach us to cherish the fallen.  I
   like to think that on her final night, that fallen Angel
   appreciated my guidance. Though never may she rise
   again, now she may rest in Shadow forever.

Aldrych