I feel I need to compose some thoughts on parchment. Today we collected the Dawnbringer fragment of Snowblade’s scroll by entering the temple in the wild magic zone of the swamp. I got some incidental effects where I’m now leaf-covered and no longer breathing. But that will fade… as today’s discovery shall not.
The temple was guarded by two magical guardian statues. All the Avvists got in by saying “Hail Avva!” The statues either replied “Greetings, servant of mighty Avva” or "Depart, thou who servest not the eyes of heaven.” (Grok clearly failed to get in, hence we know what they say for those situations.) Well, we had to get in to finish the mission; so I approached the statues and said “Hail Avva.” I hoped my doubts, driven by the discoveries about the Unknown God, would not result in the statues barring me entrance.
I think it nearly did. The statues started to say “Depart, thou…” and then… they stopped, and got a guilty expression. Movement that shouldn’t have been possible to a statue. Then they replied “Welcome, thou servant of the Most High!” Isabis then challenged them by saying “Hail to the Most High” and they let her in, too – looking even more disconcerted. The Dawnbringers present were shocked and nearly apoplectic.
How can I describe this day? Has it confirmed our discoveries? No, but I think it’s changed my state of mind. The magic in Avva’s own temple, cast to prevent all but his servants to enter, saw me not as a follower of Avva, but as a servant of the Most High. And still they let me enter. The Most High: know there’s a title worthy of that which I seek. Above every other, without peer or equal. The guardians of Avva’s own temple cannot bar me – the power of my master compels them to stand aside.
I am a servant of the Most High! The philosophizing Isabis and I have done – ideas based on our evidence, scant as it may be to convince others – it pales to this revelation. Isabis and I prayed to the Unknown God, asking to learn his name and know him. We’ve gained evidence of his existence… but today, from the mouths of these statues, we were recognized as servants of the Most High.
If HE were not there, if HE did not listen, then the statues would not recognize us as HIS servants. And if HE did not hear us and did not accept our prayer, then we would not have HIM as master. It means we have a relationship with HIM, a living and Most High God.
Why me? I suppose I understand how HE might have reached out to Isabis… she’s a scholar, from a noble Matha house, a princess. I was raised in a swamp with scant wealth to the family name, then I was taken for a mad elf’s slave. Certainly not the worst captivity, but one of the most degrading. At the lowest point of my despair, when I embraced Logair’s lies, justification for my race’s arrogance… that was when the Most High sent me a message, the poem I’ve burned into my mind. It challenged me to find the truth – but moreover, to start walking stumbling steps toward a relationship with the Most High.
Isabis speaks occasionally of inference, drawing results from known events. What then may I infer about the nature of the Most High?
The Most High is the highest power of existence. Even Avva and Moru must bow to HIM.
The Most High heard us when we prayed – HE listened, and responded.
The Most High is the Master of Circumstance – HE preserved the small clues to lead us to HIM.
The Most High showed mercy – HE called me when I was at my darkest, as far from HIM as I could be.
Most High, I am your servant. You know how far into darkness I have descended, just as the Crone dragged men down into slavery. I don’t know why you chose to show me a glimpse of yourself, but I want to chase you until I know who you are.
If you are the highest power, the creator of all creation, what can I offer you, even as a servant? I am nothing, and I know it. With the mercy I know you have, please take the nothing I am. It is all I have, Master.