Monday, 29 November 2021

Eclipse Knights - the Prescience Wars

 "In the absence of god the promise of the future itself becomes god."

Men read often, in those black times, dreams and visions, spectres in dark glass, angels in moonlight and the turning of cards. Visions of the future, maps of Time.

The future is the greatest wyrm and guards the greatest horde. What do you desire, what can you imagine to want, that does not ultimately lie there, wrapped in the coils of time? sliding over scales of moments, slipping, tumbling, flashing amid the darkness, both real and dreamed, but possible?

From the wisest to the worst, all dreamed and spun, turned cards and gutted beasts, tricked rhymes from witches and blinded snakes to watch the letters in their maddened coils, and the best were worst, for the dreams of criminals and peasants are simple to see and brutal to find - gold, safety and sex, position and petty power. A dukedom even, or the coding of a simple spell.

Singular, material dreams, easily found and fulfilled, moments in the maze of time.

And just as easily slipping away once found. The swineherd becomes a duke, and is deposed, the bandit becomes rich, and is quickly robbed and killed by those they once called friend. A marriage bound upon the prick of a fairy pin, dissolves, disappears before the leaves turn. Like waves of circumstance collapsing on the shore, making room for other prophecies, for other dreams, all while the many jibe and barter, scurrying in dross for a sniff of better times.

So much for empty souls, the hungry ghosts who make up the marrow of the world, simple minds, even en-masse, bound in littleness of harm.

Watching this, not the incidents, but the whole, the substance of society and time, churning and bubbling as shards and spumes of prophesied causality burst through both like sea-wrack smashed by waves against the shore, were greater minds, deeper men with finer and sharper and better ideals.

They did not hunger for power, not consciously, and not for material things. Not golds or crowns or flesh or land.

They wanted to change Time itself, to change mortalities relationship to time.

To what exactly, each differed, there was little consensus.

But not this.

Not this degrading and harrying and questing after trinkets and baubles of fate. Not this unstable dream-wracked world, turning always on a story, or the spin of a wheel, this land where the only currency was promises of possibility and the only sane work was to mine and harvest, harrow the land and batter down each soothsayers door in search of futures, or else to be a soothsayer, or a witch, false or real it mattered as much as the bite of two envenomed snakes. Trading and dealing and tripping over dreams dreams dreams, trade a dream of your dinner for food for the day, and dream harder that night for more dreams to sell.

So then thought the wisest of women and the greatest of men in those forgotten times, and though they agreed on very little, one thing they all held clear.

Not this.

Yet, where can a better world be found, except in that same future they abjured? And if a man might turn on family, sell his home for magic beans, or a housewife leave her babies in the brook, a child light the thatch on a winters night, all for the promise of a better fate, be it ever so small, some treasure, a lover, water in the well..

Then what might these potentates, Sorcerers, Philosophers, Emperors and Priests, what might they do, not for their own benefit, not for their own power, but for the world, nay, for reality itself? What crime was unforgivable if the alternative was this?

What is necessary can be no crime. Would you hang the mother who steals bread for her children? And what might not become necessary in time, when the harrowing of time became the aim? 

To break the axle of a sinful world, some sins must be committed, and if they must be done, they are no sin. 

The promise of the future forgives all.


  1. Worst case scenario: an eternal Hell born from Man's hubris from which even death holds no escape

    Best case scenario: no more Mondays

    I'll play that Russian roulette baby, spin spin spin!

  2. Re-reading it again, it reads as if a starting verse in something bigger.
    I do really like it, even if this 'something bigger' is just what I imagined it to be.

    1. It’s part of the philosophy of the Eclipse Knights, there are a number of posts throughout the years on these most wonderfully morally ambiguous fae.

      The list of the ‘Saints of the Black Church’ give you an idea of what they hold as holy and pure.

  3. Always happy to see Eclipse Knight posts. I’ll be the first to kickstart the book (when I gaze at the scales of the Wurm, that is what my dream entails.)