[And I have just finished the second and almost-final draft of “I Hate Your Prophecy”. Most excerpts are on my Patreon, but I wanted to put this up for you.]
And still did the White Wizards feast on hunger.
Sometimes they had plenty. They drank wines reserved for generations of families which were now certain they’d reached an end. They cracked the marrow of ideas which might have lived very much longer, if they’d been kept in the hands of the right authorities. They sucked up donations from every portion of the world.
But much of that money went forth. A hypocrite would enjoy eating a meal, donated to a holy cause, by someone who felt that the spirit needed revivification more than the flesh. But a true believer would send the money straight back into the world, to try to stem the tend of Villainy. And the vast majority of White Wizards were true believers; even the ones who saw a few of them gorging on donated morsels merely said: “This must be their way. They must need the sustenance to keep up the fight.”
To doubt the fitness of the white robe of your colleague was to doubt the fitness of your own. And while, in a larger sense, White Wizards knew that Evil could be anywhere and was everywhere, they also knew that nobody could see Evil as well as they. And if they didn’t see it in themselves, it wasn’t there; if they could spot Evil far away, how could they miss it up close?
For all their learning, no-one had ever successfully taught White Wizards the meaning of “myopia”.
Where there was panic, there was a White Wizard. Where there was fear, there was a White Wizard. Where there was pain, there was a White Wizard.
Once you have enough White Wizards, they will have diverse feelings and motives.
This one will tear down the village to save it from a worse fate.
That one will encourage the village to tear itself down, to show that it has learned the most important of lessons.
And if some other one just really, really likes to see wreckage…
Look: Who can blame the White Wizards for being intoxicated? For drowning in their own fear, their own hope, their own conviction? White Wizards were passion incarnate, and if that meant that their beliefs didn’t always predict Reality, that just showed how wrong reality is.
It’s that damned Broken Rune.
And there’s that ugly challenge about being a trencherman for cataclysm:
There’s never enough Apocalypse to feed the emptiness in your gut.
My name is Jeff Mach (“Dark Lord” is optional) and I build communities, put on events, and make stories come into being. I also tweet a lot over @darklordjournal.