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Author MessageThe Poison of Pessimism
Admiral
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The Poison of PessimismAdmiral 06-19-2016

The Poison of Pessimism


I. Slavedriving

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should take up slavedriving for a craft. Why should I raise whip for the thralls of others?"

"Oversee, master, oversee! To control the will and life and labour of mortals lesser than yourself is true power, even if it is in the service of another. It is an honourable and reliable craft for respected men and women, and you need rarely if ever fear to pay out of your own purse for when slaves of others are killed for their laziness. You would hold their lives in your hands! You could vent your wrath upon them at will!"

"Now tell me why I should not take up slavedriving for a craft. Why should I forsake such power?"

"Do not oversee, master, do not oversee! It is a thankless and dirty task among the rabble. Ever would you be on the lookout for uprisings and assaults against your hated person, and ever would you and your ilk be surrounded by hundreds who wish your death. Only fear and chains and arms keeps them down, and the vile Hobgoblin taskmasters beneath you could never be trusted to stand when faced with strong danger. The work is petty, and the slaves you drive would fill coffers other than your own. The pay is low and rarely would you rise above your station. You would become an angry and sour man indeed, and marriage to you would be a miracle or shame. Your abilities are better spent in more worthwhile crafts!"

"O well slave, then I shall not take up slavedriving for a craft!"




II. Mining and Quarrying

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should take up mining and quarrying. Why should I raise my pickaxe in toil?"

"Dig, master, dig! To toil for wealth and search the riches of the earth sings in the hearts of your race. Ever would your wits and muscles be tested in pursuit of the fickle veins of ore, or the perfect blocks of stone. You would rise to the challenge and overcome it, and rejoice would you drink from your success. Respect and honour would be yours to sip. Fortunes could be made, glory extracted! The ores you mine will make tools and weapons and wonders, and the stones you quarry will make houses and fortress walls and towering ziggurats. Your greed would guide you. And you and your god would know it to be well!"

"Now tell me why I should not take up mining and quarrying. Why should I forsake such honest riches?"

"Do not dig, master, do not dig! The way of the miner and quarryman is slow and long and ponderous, and sweat and blood would you shed. Your back would bend and ache while stone dust would rasp your lungs. The yield is ever uncertain, and quicker ways to wealth there are aplenty in the world. You would dig until you die!"

"O well slave, then I shall not take up mining and quarrying!"




III. Crafts

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should take up a craft. Why should I labour meticulously for the making of items?"

"Craft, master, craft! To work with your hands and glory in your skills sings in the hearts of your race. The beasts and wild slaves do not craft, or craft but little and unwell. To forge or cobble or carpent or build or melt or blow glass or tailor or shape clay or weave basket or carve or sculpt or paint or lay pipes is to make for the benefit of community and god, to build His Order of Things and tame Chaos in your hands. Beauty would you make, and praise would you have for your fine handiwork. Respect and honour would be yours as well, and youngsters would flock to learn their craft under your tutelage. You would make the world around you!"

"Now tell me why I should not take up a craft. Why should I forsake such fine profession?"

"Do not craft, master, do not craft! The way of the craftsman is patient and arduous and demanding, and long would you toil beneath a master as apprentice and journeyman. The skills of yours would be sourly gained, and failures would gnaw at your heart. Your amassed wisdom would be taught to beardlings, who would in time rise themselves to rival your skills and your business. People would complain at you whenever your work is finished late, and they would curse your soul should the shafts or shoes or pipes and items made by you chafe or leak or break or fail their purpose. Your life would be difficult!"

"O well slave, then I shall not take up a craft!"




IV. Trade

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should become a merchant. Why should I haggle with coin and ingot and barter?"

"Trade, master, trade! To live by iron and silver and gold is to live by good wits. Buying and selling with goods in exchange raises us above the beasts and allow the raw materials and produce scattered across the world to reach where they are lacking yet sought for. Yours would be a welcome stranger's face in distant places, and folks would flock to you to hear of the world at large. With deft skill and luck could you fortunes make, and become soaring rich beyond your dreams!"

"Now tell me why I should not become a merchant. Why should I forsake such easy wealth?"

"Do not trade, master, do not trade! What is quickly gained is quickly lost, and the way of the merchant is fickle and fraught with danger. A caravan raided or a ship sunk or a store lost to fire could be your undoing, and you yourself could succumb with your wares in foreign parts, or else get lost beyond hope of returning. The world is filled with perils and savages and monsters, all hungering for travellers and tradesmen to devour in the wilds. Yet devoured too you may be within the safety of high walls and sturdy gates, for you would dance with theft and corruption and dishonesty and the whims of the mighty and divine, and all your possessions and profits could disappear in a heartbeat should ever your cunning and fixing of scales and shady deals fail to match the shrewdness of others. Your gold earned would gild the razor upon which you would balance!"

"O well slave, then I shall not become a merchant!"




V. Investing

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should invest silver and slaves in a venture. Why should I risk my savings?"

"Invest, master, invest! The man who does so keep his capital while his interest climb.The wise businessman who spreads his investments on many ventures will ever rarely find them all fail and collapse under his feet, and the gains to be had are enormous. Much would you earn from the efforts of others loaded with your gold, and power would you have over them and their kin and their enterprise. To own is to rule, and your god will view you favourably. Friends and allies are to be had among the rich and mighty, among who you yourself could enter. Don't sit on your stale savings, but invest them and watch them grow!"

"Now tell me why I should not invest silver and slaves in a venture. Why should I forsake such position and gains?"

"Do not invest, master, do not invest! Making loans is to hand your wealth away to others. They may fail or play you false and take away your capital and curse you for a miser. They may make you lose your interest on your investment. Who can you truly trust, and who can truly deliver?"

"O well slave, then I shall not invest silver and slaves in a venture!"




VI. Litigation

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should go to court. Why should I let my lord settle my dispute?"

"To court, master, to court! Beneath the gaze of your god and His shackled Daemons and mighty idols and Prophet surely none could speak falsely? If your cause is just, your words will be heard, and legal protection by extension of your overlord's power will you have from your rival should you win the litigation. Wealth and vengeance may be had under the wings of the mighty at court. Let justice reign!"

"Now tell me why I should not go to court. Why should I forsake such righteousness?"

"Do not go to court, master, do not go to court! Spells and curses and viler sorceries still will be worked against your person and hidden away in your home upon curse tablets to draw the evil eye and squander your cause.  The gods themselves might fall to confusion among such deceptive malice. Then how could you ever trust the judgements of the high and mighty when fell magics are at work against you? Whenever you speak, your words will be weighed against you. Whenever you remain silent, your silence will condemn you. Your rival will play you falser still than you do him and his bribes will be more vast. Your downfall will be bitter and beyond legal revenge, for your overlord will hold sway over court and its outcome. No, better settle your grievances with armed kinsmen at your side in the dark streets. Let justice rot!"

"O well slave, then I shall not go to court!"




VII. Intrigue

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should scheme against my betters. Why should I work upon their downfall?"

"Plot, master, plot! Treachery has opened the gates to fortresses and power where honest arms have failed. The world is false and scarcely rewards loyalty. Then why should you not play the game and master treachery for your own good? Women and wealth and worldly power are yours to be had, should you but grasp them from others. Spread lies and make pacts in secret. Break oaths and make the highest overlords of your race condemn your betters to exile or degradation. Fell them to make way for your own ascent!"

"Now tell me why I should not scheme against my betters. Why should I forsake such attempts at power?"

"Do not plot, master, do not plot! When playing false you yourself may be played false. What co-conspirator could you ever truly trust? Who will break the pact and betray your own treachery? The gains are towering, but so are the perils. How many plotters have we not seen drenched in molten metal or flayed alive or impaled or exiled into the dread Infernal Guard? How much shame and hardship and suffering have not failed schemers endured for the sake of their ambitions? And should they reach such high positions, they will only find themselves higher up the ladder, with ever more underlings thirsting for their place and plotting for their downfall. The march of the ambitous is a dance on molten gold!"

"O well slave, then I shall not scheme against my betters!"



VIII. Service to Lordship

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should offer up my services at the palace and receive honours. Why should I put my life and abilities wholly in the hands of my ruler?"

"Serve, master, serve! The strong and the mighty will make good use of your skills and set you on a course to greatness in their service. Loot and dark glory may be had from far-away lands, and secret prospecting, sharing of confidence and important tasks of the powerful may all be part of your duties. To be a lieutnant of the ruler is to share part of his might and prestige, and plunder and harlots will be yours for the taking. Lands could be earned, and walls and seat, and your loyalty and service could gain you much in the circles of the mighty. Serve the high ones!"

"Now tell me why I should not offer up my services at the palace and receive honours. Why should I forsake such golden opportunities?"

"Do not serve, master, do not serve! Your abilities could be judged wrongly by his lordship, and you could be accepted as a lowly underling or worse yet spurned. The missions your ruler would send you on would many times be hazardous, at risk to life and limb, and ever would you be in his thrall. You would be his pawn and ever could the ruler sacrifice you as yet another game piece. He would send you to gods know where, take you upon a way you do not know and which you would not have chosen for yourself. He will take away your free will and make you suffer agony day and night in his service. Eschew the high ones!"

"O well slave, then I shall not offer up my services at the palace and receive honours!"




IX. Service to Temple

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should offer up my services at the Temple and devote myself to my god. Why should I offer up my life and will wholesale to the priesthood?"

"Devote yourself, master, devote yourself! The priestly order wields power and status and wealth and dread, and far is its reach and heeded is its word. To be one of the priests is to wear divine and unholy power, in the name of your most high god. Your words would please Him and purchase a finer afterlife for yourself. And if He wills it you will rise high in the ranks, and mortals will bow to you and obey your command, and worldly wealth and women alike will be yours for the taking. Those ordained as Sorcerer-Prophets ever keeps the largest harems. Your pious faith and sacrifice will be rewarded with power from on high. The gods are good!"

"Now tell me why I should not offer up my services at the Temple and devote myself to my god. Why should I forsake such holy power?"

"Do not devote yourself, master, do not devote yourself! You would repeat endless rituals. Only those blessed with sorcerous talent and otherworldly blessings ever rise high in the ranks of the priesthood. To serve your whole life as the lowliest of acolytes is to sing dirges and recant hymns with ashes on your tounge and bitter blood in your heart, for century upon century. Knowing neither glory nor worldly wealth, you would languish in petty servitude while gifted beardlings rose above your station, for you to obey their will. And even if you would be so fortunate as to be blessed by high Hashut, a life of backstabbing and scheming and otherworldly horrors would await you. As a leader of your people, you would risk death upon the battlefield and torment at the hands of Daemons. Should you overcome such perils, you would nevertheless succumb to stone in time, and while still alive you would suffer to the hells of despair and pain as limbs and guts and phallus and eyes and beard turns into granite or obsidian. The gods are cruel!"

"O well slave, then I shall not offer up my services at the Temple and devote myself to my god!"



X. Scribe

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should become a scribe. Why should I put stylus to clay or feather to parchment in the service of others?"

"Write, master, write! He who masters the written word is the keeper of his race's memory, the torchbearer of knowledge and the writer of history. The written word is magic, and the Dark Tounge and stranger languages still would you learn, and mysteries would reveal themselves to your thirsting mind. Mighty deeds and great wisdom will flow beneath your fingers even where you yourself would be incapable of neither. Mortals will be but numbers under your fingers, and the mighty will lend you some of their prestige, for you to shine in the eyes of those who come after. Respect and honour will be yours in the community. Write yourself to mastery!"

"Now tell me why I should not become a scribe. Why should I forsake such status and legacy?"

"Do not write, master, do not write! The plight of the scribe is a lonely one of bent back and sore eyes and boredom. You would become a sheep-counter, a tallyman of filthy slaves and sacks of coal, a mathematician of barley and ingots and bricks. Endless records would you keep and incomprehensible laws would you write, and mysterious cipher of engineers and sorcerers would you be required to mimic, though barely a word would you understand, and readers would curse you for errors. Likewise, endless copies would you make of the works of others, a slave to the word in a long line of slaves, each copying the other and carrying the burden of history and lore. Long years would you write as an apprentice scribe, scuffed and harried by your teacher, and garbled script in foreign tongues must you master. Even when fully learned, the scribe longs for the last line on the tablet as the sailor for the harbour. Status you may have, but what wench would ever long for the arms of a scribe when she can have herself a lusty warrior? Do not write yourself to reclusion!"

"O well slave, then I shall not become a scribe!"




XI. Philantropy

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should perform a public benefit for my kinsmen. Why should I raise a finger for others without recompense?"

"Give, master, give! He who donates wealth for the good of his community will be lifted up in the eyes of the Father of Darkness and all his shackled court, and mortals will know him for a worthy soul and bear gratitude and respect to the donator. Build a shrine, and the worshippers will pray for you. Pave a road, and the wanderers will praise you. Raise a statue in a square, and all the people will admire you. Give your slaves to poorer clans, and they will all hail you. Adorn the temple and gods and men will know of your piety for ages to come. The philantropist's name will be carved in stone if his works and gifts meet approval with the Bull God!"

"Now tell me why I should not perform a public benefit for my kinsmen. Why should I forsake such admiration?"

"Do not give, master, do not give! The giving of alms is for nought but ingratitude. The benefit is there one day, gone the next. So too it is with the gifts and works of mortals. Go up to the ruins and wander among the skulls of high and low alike. Can you tell apart malefactor from benefactors amongst them?"

"O well slave, then I shall not perform a public benefit for my kinsmen!"




XII. Marriage

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should marry a woman and beget strong sons and precious daughters. Why should I pay the dowry and bind me for life?"

"Marry, master, marry! Life sings for life, and few lives are as merry as those who beget new life. With a family of your own you will never truly be lone or unloved, and your legacy will be assured in blood and name. The man with a cohort of sons and grandsons are more dangerous than the man without them, and he will always have kinsmen to avenge him. His offspring will remember his name and pass it down in the clan for ages to come, and in time he will become known as a great ancestor, Bull God willing. He may even have daughters, so precious and dear, and they will guarantee the continuation of his line in many, many children of their own. To marry a woman or several is to fulfill your manliness in deed and by law, and sweet is the homecoming of him who has a loving wife or willing harem to return to!"

"Now tell me why I should not marry a woman and beget strong sons and precious daughters. Why should I forsake such joy of heart and blood?"

"Do not marry, master, do not marry! Many are the shackles of responsibility and worry heaped upon the married man, and his woes are legion. What of the father's household that he breaks up by forming a family of his own? What of the dowry that will ruin his savings? What of the clan he marries into, will they welcome him or scour as unworthy at sight? What if his wife would be ill-tempered and vicious of tongue or deed, a she-tyrant of the house and trampler of her husband? What if she would be ugly with foul teeth and ungodly mind? What if the marriage union proves unfruitful, and the Dark Gods and their hosts of malignant Daemons make low the couple's effort at breeding to give them nought but barren loins or miscarriages or stillbirths or dead babes? What if the children grow up to bring nought but disappointment or hatred to their parents? What if war or feud or disaster befalls a happy family, and sends the children and grandchildren into the grave before their parents' time? Strong hearts have been rent asunder and cast into madness or despair for less!"

"O well slave, then I shall not marry a woman and beget strong sons and precious daughters!"




XIII. Whoring

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should grant my lusts their desire and lie with a whore. Why should I raise my manhood for a money-grubbing harlot?"

"Make love, master, make love! As the virile bull cannot live a full life without mounting females, so surely a strong man such as yourself cannot do likewise? The male being sings out for females, and even he who may not wed for lack of gold or ladies may from time satisfy his lusts. It is worth the price. To the Barren Shrine! Follow the red blood in your body and plow the fields of flesh!"

"Now tell me why I should not grant my lusts their desire and lie with a whore. Why should I forsake such bliss?"

"Do not make love, master, do not make love! A short while of lust costs a long while of loss. How much precious metals and gems and iron and slaves are not paid to the Barren Shrine each day by lonely men who cannot harness their desires? How much weaker does not the breeding man become before battle? Mount a harlot if you must, but look out for daggers and thieving fingers!"

"O well slave, then I shall not grant my lusts their desire and lie with a whore!"




XIV. Engineering

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should take up study of the lores of science and art of engineering. Why should I bury myself in numbers and tomes?"

"Count, master, count! Mathematics are key to unlock the worldly mysteries of creation and work wonders within the bounds of reality with bricks and steel and stone. Vaults and cupolas are beyond the ken of wild tribes and beasts, yet the engineer knows them and makes them just as he has the ken of the inner workings of machines and the forces of nature. As an inventor, your new contraptions and groundbreaking discoveries may live forever in infamy and dark glory, and your name with it. As a buildmaster, your name may be chiseled in unyielding stone to stand the teeth of time for long ages to come, and so will your great works that tower will over mere mortals. Knowledge is power!"

"Now tell me why I should not take up study of the lores of science and art of engineering. Why should I forsake such knowledge?"

"Do not count, master, do not count! Engineering is tedious work and its mathematics are full of pitfalls. Everyone will blame the builder when contraptions fall apart or blow to bits or topple. Dark renown and eternal shame in exile and damning history is to be had for the failed engineer and inventor. Knowledge is dangerous!"

"O well slave, then I shall not take up study of the lores of science and art of engineering!"



XV. Higher Mysteries

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should take up study of the divine and unholy mysteries. Why should I grasp for the arcane and godly and Daemonic?"

"Learn, master, learn! A man without magic in a world of sorcery is akin to one blind and unarmed, fit neither for surviving confrontations with those more gifted and wise, nor for making real his heart's innermost ambitions, for his rivals will be better equipped at every step. The codebreaker of faith's cryptic mysteries and the sage knowing the true will of the gods will be better armed than mundane folks, just as the sorcerer and master of arcane is, and they all may work wonders beyond the bounds of reality. Unlimited power could be at your fingertips, and fame and honour and dread and respect would all be yours. The items you make would be treasured and revered and envied by mortals and gods alike. Mastering the otherworldly lets you master the worldly!"

"Now tell me why I should not take up study of the divine and unholy mysteries. Why should I forsake such wisdom?"

"Do not learn, master, do not learn! The higher mysteries are all enigmas and riddles and traps, a great multitude hiding snares and pitfalls no less lethal than bared steel or raw starvation. To reach for the higher mysteries is to delve in maths and lore ever more convoluted and insane than any natural lore could ever be, in layers upon layers of meanings, the one more lethal than the other. Insanity beckons should you tread that part, or eternal damnation, or mayhap both. Take the plunge if you are willing to bet your soul upon the outcome!"

"O well slave, then I shall not take up study of the divine and unholy mysteries!"




XVI. War

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should become a warrior and slaver. Why should I raise my battle axe in the service of another?"

"Fight, master, fight! Every man dies, yet most die from sickness or starvation. Pale deaths. Empty deaths. Only the warrior truly dies in glory, weapon in hand and fighting to the last breath. Long-lasting fame and honour may be his come death, yet during life he may also profit from plunder and enslavement of defeated foes and their smallfolk. To see the feeble rabble break before your shieldwall and flee before your fuming wrath is true joy, red as blood and sharp as steel. To burn your enemy's fields and despoil his maids and slaughter his cattle and sack his cities are the height of worldly achievement. The warrior is strong, and the strong does what they want with the weak. Strength and cruelty are in themselves virtues in this world, and what could be more virtuous than to wield that strength of arms in service of kin and ruler and deity? To war!"

"Now tell me why I should not become a warrior and slaver? Why should I forsake such might?"

"Do not fight, master, do not fight! Blind obedience and iron discipline would be whipped into you until they were second nature, and you would be little more than a thug marching for endless leagues, risking your life and limb for the sake of an uncaring lord. Campaigning and raiding are fraught with danger. Many warriors die not in glorious battle, but of foul wounds afterwards or for hardship or starvation or disease while in camp. As victory is sweet, so is defeat a bitter cup to swallow. What if you met a foe stronger than yourself, and more cunning and numerous? What if you fought and fought for hours while comrades and friends and clansmen fell around you, until suddenly your heart broke and you fled in panic? Shame and dishonour and exile into the Infernal Guard would be yours, yet only if you could flee from the quick and ruthless foe. Lay down your arms!"

"O well slave, then I shall not become a warrior and slaver!"




XVII. Feasting

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should feast and glut myself on beer and meat with others. Why should I waste food and drink and wealth on a banquet?"

"Dine, master, dine! Gorge yourself on dishes and booze like the fire gorges itself on the flesh of sacrifices. Enjoy the company of kin and strangers and friends and rivals. Honour your deity by flaunting the wealth He has granted you for your labour. All troubling burdens will He lift from your shoulders while the feast lasts, and rejoice you shall in the joy of the moment. Laugh and drink and eat and dance and cavort!"

"Now tell me why I should not feast and glut myself on beer and meat with others. Why should I forsake such merry?"

"Do not feast, master, do not feast! It is best for a mortal to eat but when one is hungry, and drink but when one is thirsty. Excess is a vice and a squandering of wealth, and the purchase of hollow laughter and false jolly company gains you nothing. As the evening passes into night, vomit and fists and foul words and deeds will replace the merry. After the feast, indigestion and hangover will plague you. Feast if you would sick up amongst the filth of others!"

"O well slave, then I shall not feast and glut myself on beer and meat with others!"




XVIII. Adulating Hashut

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should sing His praise to the skies and pray fervently to him. Why should I offer the words of my tongue up to the Father of Darkness?"

"Worship, master, worship! The pious devotee will honour his god and receive worldly blessings and boons in return, for such is the nature of gods and mortals. Deeds suffice, but words must come to the fore to bring Him the obedience and devotion in your heart of hearts. Pray and praise, sing hymns and adulate His strong form and His mighty idols and shackled court. Flatter your god!"

"Now tell me why I should not sing His praise to the skies and pray fervently to him. Why should I forsake such devotion?"

"Do not worship, master, do not worship! Words are wind and yours may be wasted. Gods are fickle and listen but with half an ear, and they rarely grant your wish in the way you had intended, but make a cruel jest in their playing with the fates of mortals. Sometimes the wrong god will listen in to your prayers, and your existence will become a lingering in a vale of woe. No, better to hide away and trouble the gods as little as possible, to neither draw their wrath nor favour. Be sparse with the adulation, and the gods may spare you too!"

"O well slave, then I shall not sing His praise to the skies and pray fervently to him!"




XIX. Sacrifice

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me why I should offer up the life and blood of my property to honour my god. Why should I give my slave to the fire or molten gold?"

"Worship, master, worship! Nothing is more pure or true than to load your bitterly-gotten worldly wealth unto the pyre in view of His mighty idols and part with it to sustain and empower and honour the Father of Darkness. It is your duty and your privilege. A slave may not sacrifice, only be sacrificed. Honour and prestige will be yours in the community, and the miserly sinner will always be punished direly, so says the legends. The gains to be had in reward from divine and unholy hands are enormous. Load the pyre!"

"Now tell me why I should not offer up the life and blood of my property to honour my god. Why should I forsake such zeal?"

"Do not worship, master, do not worship! What if your sacrifice is deemed too small, or is outshone by your neightbour's offerings? Him on high may not take notice of you, and then the wealth will become but ash and nothing more. Or He may take affront at your pettiness, and punish you severely with lightning and fire! No, better to sacrifice but seldom and hide from your god. Save your savings for yourself and the life of this world. Shun the pyre!"

"O well slave, then I shall not offer up the life and blood of my property to honour my god!"




XX. Conclusion

"Slave, hear my words!"

"I am come master, I am come!"

"Tell me what then is good under heaven. Is life good? Is death good? Why should I not break your neck and limbs here and now? Or gut you where you stand? Or grab hold of you and throw you into a bubbling lava chasm?"

"Mercy, master, mercy! Who is so risen of height as to ascend to heaven? Who is so bloatedly fat as to cover the entire world? Who is so great as to blot out all the petty mortals from the sight of the gods? None of us ever had such perfection, such greatness, and none of us ever will. A failing mortal might spare another, for none will be the greater for the other's death."

"O well slave, then I will slay you! Your petty words no longer hold sway."

"Yes, but my master would certainly not survive me for twelve days!"




XXI. Fate

And yet again the master plagued by doubt and weak mind hesitated, and stayed his hand, as he had stayed his course and stayed his will and stayed his ambition. And high Hashut saw that this will ill.

For the sin of holding back in apathy where the godly man would have grasped eagerly and toiled for the glory of his god, the fiery Bull God sent down a Daemonic bastard son, Mzarbhul, with sharp horns of bronze and cloven hooves of iron and cracked hide of melting stone, and its breath was fire and its gaze was torment.

For the sin of confiding in, and seeking honest counsel to act upon from a lowly slave, He Who Rapes the World ordered His bastard son Mzarbhul to trample the slave into nothing and flay the master alive to teach the failing mortal the true Order of Things, as established by Him for high to lord it over low.

For the sin of forsaking his one and only true deity, the Father of Darkness let His bastard son Mzarbhul impale the master and carry him screaming and wailing and bleeding into His otherworldly realm of fire and darkness, where Mzarbhul cast him off into a giant steel cauldron from which the master could not escape, and there he is tormented forever more until the end of days, for hot flames lick the cauldron's outside walls and eternally roasts the master slowly to cinders.

And his shrieks of agony echoes through the Realm of Chaos and beyond whenever the Wind of Aqshy meets the Wind of Chamon.

And high Hashut saw that this was good.


-
The Poison of Pessimism, a nine-tablet story wedged into ashen clay by the scribe Harmukknezharr the Crafty


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This post was last modified: 06-21-2016 05:14 AM by Admiral.

06-19-2016 05:50 PM
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Admiral
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Post: #2
RE: The Poison of PessimismAdmiral 06-19-2016

Based upon the Akkadian version of the Dialogue of Pessimism. Does it work for Chaos Dwarfs?


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06-19-2016 05:55 PM
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ashur
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Post: #3
RE: The Poison of Pessimismashur 06-19-2016

Great. I love how you kept the mesopotamian style and mixed it with CD references. Just how I like them.
Besides, I don't know why, but this really sounds to me like the kind of things CD would think..


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This post was last modified: 06-19-2016 11:38 PM by ashur.

06-19-2016 11:36 PM
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Jackswift
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RE: The Poison of PessimismJackswift 06-20-2016

Nicely done!  The start is rather abrupt and it takes a few stanzas to get the feel for what this is, but I suspect that is as follows the original piece.  This is a great and fitting conversion of ancient text as a background piece.  Takes Hat off.  Though what true CD would actually listen to a slave...? Huff...  Unsure

06-20-2016 12:13 PM
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Fuggit Khan
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RE: The Poison of PessimismFuggit Khan 06-20-2016

I love it, although as Jackswift already pointed out, it took me a bit to get the feel for what it is.
And as Ashur also said, it really does seem to follow the thinking process of a CD.
I kept imagining the slave to be a sly Hobgoblin Wink


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06-20-2016 12:33 PM
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Admiral
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RE: The Poison of PessimismAdmiral 06-23-2016

Thank you kindly, folks! Takes Hat off

Perhaps something short along the lines of "This being an account of a most unnatural conversation between slave and master, and the consequences thereof" as introduction at the very start would improve the piece?

The abruptness is indeed plucked directly from the original, but the original's style has already been expanded and polished upon a lot, so a smoother beginning wouldn't be out of place.


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And thus there was Chaos. And Squats. Hobby Group Auxillia Work. On Dark Tides. Miscellaneous Commercial Sculpts. Flayman Tutorial.
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There's fourteen ways to skin a dwarf. Path to Glory: Chaos Dwarf Warband Rules.
06-23-2016 08:40 AM
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Abecedar
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RE: The Poison of PessimismAbecedar 06-23-2016

How do you find time for all of these.
Good work


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06-23-2016 07:50 PM
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