Experiments in Ontological Relativism

and Other Brain Farts

NaNoWriMo Day 3 (and 4)

Posted by Jason on November 5, 2010

Yet again, I managed to write on day 3 and not on 4. I meant to post this yesterday, but I was hoping to get a little more down so that there wasn’t quite so abrupt an ending. Oh well. Comments are always welcome!


Forgive me for being so detailed, for, though I could write of the wonders of your beauty for days on end, you are no doubt wondering what this other matter is that has me so excited. In the due course of time, our Ark arrived at Angelorum, and we stirred from our months-long dreaming to see that blue-brown orb perched in the firmament like an exceptionally subtle gem on some immeasurable jeweler’s velvet. The countours of its continents were, of course, familiar to me as they are to all members of the Order; I found myself searching the coast-lines, half expecting to see the ruins of the great ancient cities. They were, of course, invisible from such distance, and I felt like a silly schoolboy for letting my eagerness overwhelm my reason.

 I exchanged my usual rough-hewn but functional habit for ceremonial vestments, affixing with the proper invocations first the symbol of the Order on the right shoulder, that of my Chapter on the right, the seal of my Mentor’s house at my collar, and the Raven-and-sun crest which is my own over my heart. I left my cabin to be greeted by Proctor Silas, similarly arrayed. I had thought myself childish in my eagerness to reach Angelorum, but the delight of expectation which shone on the Proctor’s wrinkled face far exceeded my own.

 “Good, good,” he said with a precise nod as he surveyed my vestments. “Quite acceptable. I presume you have studied the disembarkation rites?”

 “Yes, Proctor,” I replied.

 “The extended rites for Angelorum, of course.” It was not a question.

 “Yes, Proctor,” I stated again.

 “This is your first time on the Sacred World.” Again, it was not a question, and he did not wait for a response. “The Brothers of Chapter Praetorian are very strict, and will brook no abridgment of the rituals demanded of pilgrims.”

 I nodded, trying to hide my annoyance at being lectured on points of which any Novice is aware. I must not have been entirely successful, for the Proctor narrowed his eyes and scowled at me. His voice took on that intonation which marks the formal mode of instruction. “Ah. So familiar are you with Chapter Praetorian? Then let us test your expertise. Recite!” He turned sharply on his heel and strode down the corridor with a speed which belied his age.

 I stumbled forward, off balance both mentally and physically. My mind tripped over itself as it raced to meet the unexpected challenges of recalling both the requested information and how to propel my body in the unaccustomed garb. “Chapter Praetorian.” I began, fumbling. “Founded Anno Ordinis 414 on the world—”

 “Name its founder.” Proctor Silas demanded without turning.

 “Er… Brother Malachi Steinem the Protector?”

 “Is there a question? Are we not speaking of facts?” Proctor Silas asked.

 I swallowed. “No question, Proctor.” By this time I had finally managed to match pace with the older man, shuffling dutifully three paces behind. “Brother Malachi founded Chapter Praetorian on the world of Ash Rain in response to escalating conflicts with adherents of the Adamite Heresy, declaring that Angelorum is the seat of truth, and must be protected against any attack, physical or spiritual. Originally a subsect of Brother Malachai’s birth Chapter, Chapter Resplendent, the Council of Priors officially granted it Chapter status in—”

 “Tell me that which is unique about Order Praetorian.”

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