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Posted by on 1998 Dec 25 |

Commentary: The Butterfly & Ignorance

(The Provinces: 167 Uthmor 356)

Standing in Leth pondering where to get trailbread, a butterfly flew across my face, appearing to momentarily consider my nose as a possible landing place. Before it could make a decision, it was frightened by a dark shadow and it flitted quickly away.

The plague continues. I like others am scared to die. I have seen the coughing of the blood foam, and heard the curses and whimpers of the dying. I am afraid to play the lilt for them because when they cough I will catch the plague.

It occured to me to travel among the aethers of the mindwalkers trying to feel the mental voices of the many who are my teachers. What I heard in my mind’s ear disheartened me even more.

Elders and others were thinking loudly of how there may be no cure to this consumption from herbs, because those in the lands need to realize how empaths and clerics are being crushed under foot.

Thoughts flew back and forth on how our empaths and priests (aye, even the priestesses) are being taken for granted, treated like furniture and being told it’s their job to heal or raise folk.

I felt other thoughts careen through my mind ringing with concern about travelers in the land not taking the favor of the gods with enough ardency. **if a favorless gets to ogres and dies, let them ride is what I say** was one overwhelming thought.

My own mind reeled. How is it that most oft when exploring the murky aethers of the gweth one finds much grousing, snarling and yowling, but one seldom finds a … cure.

No one need believe in a diety, they simply must take responsibility for their own beliefs. Dying and walking the path are part of living. Favors involve sacrifice, a part of ourselves — some of what we know and live. Not everyone knows that a cleric must make that sacrifice for the dead one who has not sought favor.

Certainly clerics must spend their time, training, and passion to get the favors that they lose when they raise one who has sought no connection with any of the gods. It takes many weeks of preparation and sacrifice for a cleric accomplish a raising.

Healers also make great sacrifice to be able to make the magic that moves our wounds to them. Their sacrifice sometimes included the choice of potential poverty in the physical world.

Had someone not taken the time to lecture me when I when I was younger I would not be alive this moment. Then they called it teaching. I sought it then, and I seek it now.

Amidst the cacophony of thoughts I felt a softer one, one not entirely popular with the flow of energy through the mindspeak aethers. **Were all of you born with the knowledge of gaining favors? or can you think back to a time when Crossing was a big place and you didn’t know where you were..**

Then it struck me. The butterfly zigged past again as if intoxicated by the very air, a streak of bright yellow flashing like the sun. I cannot find the answers to these consumption puzzlements — I do not even know how the elders obtain much of their knowledge. Yet in the midst of this I can do something. Two things.

I can teach what little I know, and lecture often while I am teaching. I can lecture on the trials our healers and clerics are presented with to obtain their fantastic magics. I can teach others how to lecture so we do not lose the valuable information passed on mouth to ear.

The second thing I can do is urge the elders to realize they have a responsibility to those like me if they want their lives to go smoother. Very few beings learn from rantings in the mindspeak, but we do learn when listening to a lecturer … especially, to an elder … propounding on things the teacher feels are important.

I am but a poor foolish jester, singing in taverns and streetways for my food, drink and pleasure I am most certainly not an elder.

Yet this need not stop me from lecturing about things that are not musical, rather than teaching in silence and with absence of mind, or because it is just too much trouble to put thoughts into words. It is up to me to teach others how to cure — aye not the plague of consumption but the plague of ignorance — by illustration.

I found myself cross-eyed, peering at what seemed to be a slip of melting butter on my nose, until the wing moved and I realized it was the butterfly.

(Chronicler’s note: thanks to the scribe who set this to parchment, for D’Randthlu’s broken common can be difficult to understand. And while her voice may be sweet in song, there’s no telling what her words would look like in script.)