Saturday, March 31, 2012

Abandoned By Reason (Wermspittle)

“Fantasy, abandoned by reason, produces impossible monsters; united with it, she is the mother of the arts and the origin of marvels.”
In Wermspittle it is said that 'Genius is but Madness, after a fashion.' They appreciate Madness in Wermspittle. They truly do. It has been a staple of their existence for as long back as anyone can remember, recall or recollect, even among the hierarchies of the dead and the spirits imprisoned within the most ancient reliquaries, ossuaries, and mausoleums.
Conventional wisdom broke down before it ever even reached this place; so say the Midwives.
It is considered bad luck to kill a lunatic at night.

Change, transformation and transgression circulate through Wermspittle like the smoke pouring off of the military crematoria used to clear out those of the Low Land villages, towns or enclaves where the plagues have done their worst. In these days when the dead rise to wage war, flesh melts into strange new forms under the influence of thinking diseases, and even immortals are not above the ravages of a terrible wasting that obeys no established rule or diagnosis; nothing is what it once seemed nor will any of it ever be again.

A Prodigy can be either a beautiful or a terrible thing, and often are a bit of both.

But in truth, nothing ever really was as it might have once seemed. The Past is as much fiction as the Future, only now the Present has caught-up with them both and we know them all to be ambiguous pluralities, overlapping and interpenetrating, like a bezoar caught in a Goddesses' throat. Like a bit of barbed-wire stuck in the craw of a fat magpie. A tumor metastasizing within the guts of a walking corpse. In a place so riddled with Weak Points, surrounded by the Cold Roads, where the Adjacent Worlds and Parallel Realms are imminent and accessible, no longer theories or abstractions...Time grows strange and the Unreal often has its own feelings about things.
Wermspittle was abandoned by reason, or else it was killed and eaten during one of the first Winters; so say the Butchers along the Low Streets.
Horrors are the warped reflections of Wonders and Marvels.

Plague victims are as often turned prophetic as monstrous by the horrid effects of contagions carried up from the Low Lands. Patients may be possessed, Unfortunates might still be vectors for fresh teratogenic effects or after-shocks. The Poxed are to be pitied because they lost all semblance to whatever humanity they might have once had long, long ago when their infections were still only diseases that might have been treated.

Once. Long ago. When it might still have mattered.
Dice play God with the Universe; so say the gamblers hiding in squalid cellars and filthy dens to avoid the Debt-Collectors and Catchpoles.
Ignorance proliferates wherever fear is catered to and not challenged.

Worst of times? Best of times? What does any of that matter when it is survival that occupies every waking thought, invades ones dreams and demands outrageous sacrifices, imposes terrible consequences and forces everyone into confronting decisions both horrific and unconscionable.

Evil flourishes in the absence of action on the part of those who know better.

What is, frankly, should not be. It cannot, should not persist, let alone endure. Flux, turmoil, transition--if ever there was a time for a determined few to make a very real difference...

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