Borost:Dialogue of the Founder and the Illuminated

From Bestiary of the Hypogriph

The Dialogue of the Founder and the Illuminated is one of the first recorded texts of the Dwaerkar. It was discovered in +329, buried in an unmarked grave outside Ouwestad. It has been translated from a more primitive variant of the Ouwestad Dwaerkar language.

The Dialogue[edit]

The Founder arrived with his people on a Monern of Aalderas, according to the Old Tales, for Aalderas means Landing, and Monern, Fortuitous.

The people of the Founder knew nothing of Life and Death. In those times, they did not comprehend Joy and Sorrow. They knew nothing of the lofty Gods, but viewed the lowly worms with scorn. They had created nothing of radiance, had performed nothing of virtue, knew nothing of grace, and failed to grasp beauty. As children they had come, and even the Founder bore the features of a Child -- so young and innocent he seemed. Confusion, apprehension, and fear had been permanently etched into his face. But now, the Illuminated revealed himself amidst trailing wisps of Moonlight, tall and dark and clad in shimmering cyan.

"Who goes there?" cried the Founder, his eyes blind under the simple light of the Moon.

"Fear has no place here," said He. And even the Illuminated was the least of their Kind. "If you will not forsake it, you must return the way you came."

"The way is fraught with perils. We have survived much to be here, to stand in your presence."

"And yet, you shiver like a Child. Extinguish that flame."

"I require it. My eyes are not used to the dark."

"The flame has no place here."

"We are the refugees of a Lost Land. We have escaped death. But at terrible cost..." [1]

"Once I was a King,
A monarch beyond compare.
Yes, I ruled over beasts of the land and monsters of the sea.
The mountains would shiver at my command:
The birds would all fly at my command,
And bow their heads in homage at my feet.
No Man walked the Earth who did not know my name,
And no droplet of Rain could fall without Authorization.

"I am no longer a King,
I am an Exile, an Outcast.
And if I had but a wish: I would be a worm in the Earth.
It is better to be a philandering fool,
Or a madman, wallowing alone in pitiful nonsense,
Or even a mindless beast, stalking the dark corners of the world,
Than to Have Been Monarch.
I am no longer King.

"I have robbed my children of their birthright.
They will wander the Earth as I do now,
And will have no place to rest.
For my children have been doomed to be homeless,
And they will be itinerant slaves.
They will wander without a place to remove their boots,
Or a hearth in which to warm their hands.
By my Act, they are Accursed.

"And so now I have come here.
Tell me, what is the name of this country?
For I would like to rest a while, if I may.
We have traveled far: Across many lands and oceans.
Our home is lost, and so we are vagabonds,
But we desire to be no longer.
Speak, if you will receive us,
Hearken, if your hearts can bear mercy."

— The Founder's salutation.

"Sympathy, then, is what you desire.
Mercy, then, is what you seek.
Are we not Sapient, then?
Would we have no Mother, no Father?
Would the Spirits be as the rocks:
And would the Moon turn its glance away from its furtive children,
Who crawl on the ground and are helpless? For so you are now.
And, more than sympathy, I feel pity.

"For in your features is carved
The legacy of a Monarch. And in your hands,
I can see the blood of a thousand foes,
Felled as game in the hunt.
Strong are the faces of your people,
And if you had not stepped up,
I would not have been able
To discover their Leader.

"But now you are worse than the dirt.
Yes, even the mud we tread upon
Is more fortunate than you are.
For I know there is no curse
More terrible than Satiation:
And, having drunk from the chalice,
You are now denied your sustenance,
And so you wander, seeking nourishment.

"But I cannot so easily answer your request.
For I am but a servant in this land,
A country of kings and scholars.
My hands are hard from work, many days I have tilled,
But my mind is fresh as the day I was born.
I cannot commune with the scholars,
And must remain quiet in the gatherings of the Great.
Heed my words, Exile, for you are in a Great Land."

— First reply of the Illuminated one.

"What land is this then,
Where Servants speak with the wisdom of Lords?
Where the one who is Illumed
Is but a shadow of the Illumination.
Aye, our landing must have been effected in a place
Where genius is as common as the rocks of the ground --
But, destined to wander eternally, we are now
Faced with the wisdom of Old.

"But still I must beseech your aid,
For if you are but a Servant,
Then I am rubbish in the dirt --
A petty ant who, borne by the wind,
Finds itself in the aeries of the Dragons.
And as an insect, so I must regard myself,
And so I wish to regard myself --
For in this I find hope.

"Illuminated one: I beseech your aid,
For if you are but a Servant,
Then I am rubbish in the dirt --
A petty ant who, borne by the wind,
Finds itself in the aeries of the Dragons.
And as an insect, so I must regard myself,
And so I wish to regard myself --
For in this I find hope.


"And so now I have come here.
Tell me, what is the name of this country?
For I would like to rest a while, if I may.
We have traveled far: Across many lands and oceans.
Our home is lost, and so we are vagabonds,
But we desire to be no longer.
Speak, if you will receive us,
Hearken, if your hearts can bear mercy."

— First reply of the Founder.
  1. Scholars agree that the introductory portion before the dialogue was added after the dialogue was written.