The Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon, a holy book with rather few adherents, which claims to present a history as well. Worth reading, I think.
Zerthimon was the first to know the way of freedom. Yet it was not he that first came to know the way of rebellion.

The knowing of rebellion came to the warrior-queen Gith, one of the People. She had served the illithids upon many of the False Worlds as a soldier, and she had come to know war and carried it in her heart. She had come to know how others might be organized to subjugate others. She knew the paths of power, and she knew the art of taking from the conquerors the weapons by which they could be defeated. Her mind was focused, and both her will and her blade were as one.

The turning in which Zerthimon came to know Gith, Zerthimon ceased to know himself. Her words were as fires lit in the hearts of all who heard her. In hearing her words, he wished to know war. He knew not what afflicted him, but he knew he wished to join his blade to Gith. He wished to give his hate expression and share his pain with the illithid.

Gith was one of the People, but her knowing of herself was greater than any Zerthimon had ever encountered. She knew the ways of flesh, she knew the illithids and in knowing herself, she was to know how to defeat them in battle. The strength of her knowing was so great, that all those that walked her path came to know themselves.

Gith was but one. Her strength was such that it caused others to know their strength. And Zerthimon laid his steel at her feet.
Discussion — In what way might this parallel the Christian Bible?
The Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon, a holy book with rather few adherents, which claims to present a history as well. Worth reading, I think.
Know that the Rising of the People against the illithid was a thing built upon many ten-turnings of labor. Many of the People were gathered and taught in secret the ways of defeating their illithid masters. They were taught to shield their minds, and use them as weapons. They were taught the scripture of steel, and most importantly, they were given the knowing of freedom.

Some of the People learned the nature of freedom and took it into their hearts. The knowing gave them strength. Others feared freedom and kept silent. But there were those that knew freedom and knew slavery, and it was their choice that the People remain chained. One of these was Vilquar.

Vilquar saw no freedom in the Rising, but opportunity. He saw that the illithid had spawned across many of the False Worlds. Their Worlds numbered so many that their vision was turned only outwards, to all they did not already touch. Vilquar’s eye saw that much took place that the illithid did not see. To the Rising, the illithid were blinded.

Vilquar came before his master, the illithid Zhijitaris, with the knowing of the Rising. Vilquar added to his chains and offered to be their eyes against the Rising. In exchange, Vilquar asked that he be rewarded for his service. The illithid agreed to his contract.

At the bonding of the contract, a dark time occurred. Many were betrayals Vilquar committed and many were the People that the illithids fed upon to stem the Rising. It seemed that the Rising would die before it could occur, and the illithid were pleased with Vilquar’s eye.

It was near the end of this dark time when Zerthimon came to know Vilquar’s treacheries. In knowing Vilquar’s eye, Zerthimon forced the Rising to silence itself, so that Vilquar might think at last his treacheries had succeeded, and the Rising had fallen. He knew that Vilquar eye was filled only with the reward he had been promised. He would see what he wished to see.

With greed beating in his heart, Vilquar came upon the illithid Zhijitaris and spoke to his master of his success. He said that the Rising had fallen, and the illithids were safe to turn their eyes outwards once more. He praised their wisdom in using Vilquar’s eye, and he asked them for his reward.

In his greed-blindness, Vilquar had forgotten the knowing of why the People had sought freedom. He had lost the knowing of what slavery meant. He had forgotten what his illithid masters saw when they looked upon him. And so Vilquar’s betrayal of the People was ended with another betrayal. Vilquar came to know that when Vilquar’s eye has nothing left to see, Vilquar’s eye is useless.

The illithid gave to Vilquar his reward, opening the cavity of his skull and devouring his brain. Vilquar’s corpse was cast upon the Fields of Husks so its blood might water the poison-stemmed grasses.
Discussion — Do this chapter and the previous one praise or condemn subterfuge?
The Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon, a holy book with rather few adherents, which claims to present a history as well. Worth reading, I think.
Zerthimon labored many turnings for the illithid Arlathii Twice-Deceased and his partnership in the cavernous heavens of the False Worlds. His duties would have broken the backs of many others, but Zerthimon labored on, suffering torment and exhaustion.

It came to pass that the illithid Arlathii Twice-Deceased ordered Zerthimon before him in his many-veined galleria. He claimed that Zerthimon had committed slights of obstinance and cowardice against his partnership. The claim had no weight of truth, for Arlathii only wished to know if flames raged within Zerthimon’s heart. He wished to know if Zerthimon’s heart was one of a slave or of a rebel.

Zerthimon surrendered to the illithid punishment rather than reveal his new-found strength. He knew that were he to show the hatred in his heart, it would serve nothing, and it would harm others that felt as he. He chose to endure the punishment and was placed within the Pillars of Silence so he might suffer for a turning.

Lashed upon the Pillars, Zerthimon moved his mind to a place where pain could not reach, leaving his body behind. He lasted a turning, and when he was brought before Arlathii Twice-Deceased, he gave gratitude for his punishment to the illithid as was custom. In so doing, he proved himself a slave in the illithid eyes while his heart remained free.

By enduring and quenching the fires of his hatred, he allowed Arlathii Twice-Deceased to think him weak. When the time of the Rising came, Arlathii was the first of the illithid to know death by Zerthimon’s hand and die a third death.
The Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon, a holy book with rather few adherents, which claims to present a history as well. Worth reading, I think.
Know that flesh cannot mark steel. Know that steel may mark flesh. In knowing this, Zerthimon became free.

Know that the tentacled ones were of flesh. They relied on the flesh and used it as tools for their will. One of the places where flesh served their will was the Fields of Husks on the False Worlds of the illithids.

The Fields were where the bodies of the People were cast after the illithids had consumed their brains. When the brain had been devoured, the husks came to be fertilizer to grow the poison-stemmed grasses of the illithids. Zerthimon worked the Fields with no knowing of himself or what he had become. He was a tool of flesh, and the flesh was content.

It was upon these Fields that Zerthimon came to know the scripture of steel. During one of the turnings, as Zerthimon tilled the Fields with his hands, he came across a husk whose brain remained within it. It had not been used as food. Yet it was dead.

The thought that one of the husks had died a death without serving as food for the illithids was a thought Zerthimon had difficulty understanding. From that thought, came a desire to know what had happened to the husk.

Embedded in the skull of the husk was a steel blade. It had pierced the bone. Zerthimon realized that was what had killed the husk. The steel had marked the flesh, but the flesh had not marked the steel.

Zerthimon took the blade and studied its surface. In it, he saw his reflection. It was in the reflection of the steel that Zerthimon first knew himself. Its edge was sharp, its will the wearer's. It was the blade that would come to be raised against Gith when Zerthimon made the Pronouncement of Two Skies.

Zerthimon kept the blade for many turnings, and many were the thoughts he had about it. He used it in the fields to aid his work. In using it, he thought about how it was not used.

The illithids were powerful. Zerthimon had believed that there was nothing that they did not know. Yet the illithids never carried tools of steel. They only used flesh as tools. Everything was done through flesh, for the tentacled ones were made of flesh and they knew flesh. Yet steel was superior to flesh. When the blade had killed the husk, it was the flesh that had been weaker than the steel.

It was then that Zerthimon came to know that flesh yielded to steel. In knowing that, he came to know that steel was stronger than the illithids.

Steel became the scripture of the People. Know that steel is the scripture by which the People came to know freedom.
Discussion — What is the meaning of the discovery of the sword?
The Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon, a holy book with rather few adherents, which claims to present a history as well. Worth reading, I think.
Know that we are the First People.

Once all was chaos. The First People were thought drawn from chaos. When the First People came to know themselves, they were chaos no longer, and became flesh.

With their thoughts and knowing of matter, the People shaped the First World and dwelled there with their knowing to sustain them.

Yet the flesh was new to the People and with it, the People came not to know themselves. The flesh gave rise to new thoughts. Greed and hates, pains and joys, jealousies and doubts. All of these fed on each other and the minds of the People were divided. In their division, the People were punished.

The emotions of the flesh were strong. The greed and hates, the pains and joys, the jealousies and doubts, all of these served as a guiding stone to enemies. In becoming flesh, the First People became enslaved to those who knew flesh only as tools for their will. Know these beasts were the illithids.

The illithids were a race that had come not to know themselves. They had learned how to make other races not know themselves.

They were the tentacled ones. They lived in flesh and saw flesh as tools for their will. Their blood was as water and they shaped minds with their thoughts. When the illithids came upon the People, the People were a people no more. The People became slaves.

The illithids took the People from the First World and brought them to the False Worlds. As the People labored upon the False Worlds, the illithids taught them the Way of the Flesh. Through them, the People came to know loss. They came to know suffering. They came to know death, both of the body and mind. They came to know what it is to be the herd of another and have their flesh consumed. They came to know the horror of being made to feel joy in such things.

The Unbroken Circle of Zerthimon is the knowing of how the People lost themselves. And how they came to know themselves again.


Julianna Lacroix

July 2010

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