The Light at the End of the Tunnel.
‘To ash all things return, so to this flesh will burn, but I am Tehlu [&Aleph]. Son of myself. Father of myself. I was before and I will be after. If I am a sacrifice then it is to myself alone.’
So imagine yourself back in Atur, an hour, or a day, after Encanis and Tehlu’s flesh has been burnt to ashes in the fiery pit. Both of these major powers have now apparently left the world together and so their combined influence is over. People were witness to these events and so it was that they carried the story onwards into what became The Book of the Path. I would bet that Selitos one-eye is lurking around nearby, Skarpi too, probably, and therefore a few other ruach as well. (Trapis himself perhaps!! After all, Aleph did appoint a priest from among those who gathered to organise the fire pit!) There was also his first named follower, Rengen son of Engen (son of Ergen?) who has since had his name changed to Wereth, the forger of the path (I would also bet a drab that he was the original model for the Cealdim nation.) and Tehlu’s holy mother, Perial needs accounting for too…
But I digress. Start with what we know. Energy can ever be destroyed or created… only moved around a bit. That is a fundamental law. So ‘where does all the energy go to?’
‘Some energy is lost to the air, some goes into the objects themselves, and some goes into the body of the sympathist who is controlling the link. That can get dangerful.’
The energy and power of Aleph and Encanis are no more but of their bodies, the ashes to which they have returned will still have a physical presence in the world of significant importance. There are religious groups in our world who revere supposed saints body parts as holy relics, imagine if they had an urn with the ashes of God inside it? What a relic that would make! There are folk in the world who keep body parts in glass jars for future study. People like Gibea, the amyr’s equivanent to master Arwyll. And what power could a pinch of these ashes hold if a sympathist used them as a link to God himself!
What came next was history as we know it, how the ruach who crossed to Tehlu’s side of the path were rewarded for their choice. The demon daze are over and they have been given another chance to start again from scratch. Rebuild the world afresh as the Cealdim, Modegans, Vints and Yllish to name but a few. A new dawn under a new moon…but we haven’t heard the start of this Hi-fi story yet…until now.
The place where the fire burnt has been forever after been worshipped as holy ground. Enter the Tehlin priests appointed by Tehlu. A temple would be built around this pit in Atur a capitol, which just happens to be found at the exact centre of the known world, the place which all the truth revolves around. The place where Master Cartograper’s wheel is centred. This is the centre of the world, the equivalent of the middle of the record where the spindle fits in the Faen realm, the hole that is plugged by the location of the Cthaeh’s tree, only now the DJ has flipped the disc and we are now playing side two and on this side is ‘The song of the Four Corners’… and there STILL appears to be an annoying little bit of fluff stuck under the needle.
So, if you were one of those folk who were actually there that day, standing by the fiery pit until the final spark had gone out and the show was over, making sure there were no nasty surprises still lurking.If you were watching and looking and see’ing with the proper E’lir sight to see such things for what they really are, then you may well have been aware of something undefinably ‘other’ being subliminally present too, a sort of third silence, so to speak…
The Broken Binding.
By the laws of the world as we understand them, there should have been a shadowy, shrouded presence still hanging around the scene somewhere. Selitos’ aeternal curse is still holding strong since the world has not ended, although the aleu may have or have not fallen from the sky depending on your perception of such things (hmmm..) and so the original micro% in the mix that was once a man called Lanre still cannot die. No matter what they put him through his name still burns with the power within him and he will always return, pulled like iron to a loden stone, which means that he should be making his reappearance any time soon, still bearing the shadow hame but now standing on Tehlu’s side of the path.The lines from the Waystone Inn about what happens when a skin dancer has it’s link broken are the best guide that we have here.
‘They’re supposed to look like a dark shadow or smoke when they leave the body.’
That sounds very much like our mysterious form of darkness once again, and therefore would appear like a reincarnation of Lanre in his hood, finally free from his bondage but still all wrapped up in Selitos dark cloak of doom. There are a few moments in Trapis’ tale when such a thing may have shown itself, the broken hammer on the roadside is an important piece of it, the broken chains by the pitside are another but the main piece is ‘the shadow that rose from him like a tongue of darkening flame’. All of these are parts of the whole struggle, but the exact moment for the telling blow which finally secured Lanre’s freedom was denoted by the sound of a broken bell.
On the eight day, Tehlu struck down the form of Encanis with his iron hammer and this day was named Felling day. The iron itself shattered at the impact of the blow but the name of iron had done it’s job and Encanis fell lifeless at the roadside. It is worth noting here that if true iron is to ever become truly broken then it must be turned into false iron in the process (Lhin ta Lu soren hea!) which would mean that it would have had all of it’s polar alignments switched and would now have negative iron properties and should therefore, by all my perception of physics, become the exact opposite to it’s original longiron name and therefore need to have a new one. This name is Loden which is also called drawstone because of it’s drawing properties.
The body of Encanis was carried to Atur overnight which suggests the road where his broken hammer now lay was probably the Great Stone Road which runs just south of the capitol, but we don’t know that for sure…yet ;0) The men of Atur thought that encarnis was dead, but Tehlu knew that such things were not easily done.And here lies the rub.
This was the wrath of god’s very best shot. His most powerful weapon was the true name of iron in one physical form… and it worked well enough to overcome most demons. Everything he had went into that blow, but it wasn’t enough to kill Encanis for good, and sure enough Encanis did not die. Why? Because Encanis form is made up from a fusion of two seperate identities, two different but connected names, one large and powerful, and one merely mortal. If death ever took the demon part of the body then the anchor of Lanre’s name would never allow this and would always pull them back to life towing the other part alongside him too. Lanre has passed this way before and it is apparently a one way ticket. Bound together as the combination Haliax, a mix of encarnalised flesh encased in a haubergeon of black dragon’s armour and with the curse of Selitos on top for good measure, not even Aleph could defeat them together as a pair by himself. He and Cthaeh are eqally matched as light is to darkness, and Lanre’s name was tipping the balance of power towards the demon. You might suggest that Lanre was effectively acting like a gram here, soaking up all of the assault… but we are also told that you can overwhelm a gram, if you throw enough at it.
The Wheel of Truth
And so it was that, a day or so later, Encanis did indeed awaken from this blow as if death itself had rejected him and life had called him back again. For him it was as though he were ‘pulled like iron to a loden stone’ and this is why having Lanre’s body as a tool was such a good move by his possessor in the first place. Since the Lanre part can never die then as long as they are bound together, neither will that of his tormentor. The link here is not absolutely perfect although the difference in power control is probably far in excess of 99% to the demon. But Lanre’s contribution to the link is essentiel. Without him acting as a safety line supplying the necessary link to life, it will always fail. He is still in there somewhere making up this other <1% like he has been doing for so many long, sane and sleepless years. We can even see a glimpse of Lanre in Trapis’ words when a desperate demon needs his human voice to speak in a ploy to fool Tehlu’s ‘wheel of truth’.
The iron wheel no lies may be spoken was forged from Iron by the hand of God himself.
‘Wrought all of black iron, the wheel stood taller than a man. It had six spokes, each thicker than a hammer’s haft and it’s rim was a handspan across. It weighed as much as forty men, and was cold to the touch. The sound of it’s name was terrible and none could speak it.’
Encanis own language was intelligible to all those who watched, it was probably Eld Faen in my opinion, like that used by the mercenary in the Waystone Inn. However, as Tehlu commands, it is within Encanis power to speak the mortal tongue since one small part of it is still mortal.
‘Lord Tehlu [Aleph], I am not Encanis.’ For that brief moment the demon’s voice was pitiful, and all who heard it were moved to sorrow.’
This was NOT the voice of the demon that was heard, oh no, this was the pitiful sorrow of a Man speaking, a trick to fool Aleph into pitying his mortal hostage and freeing the master, this was the monkey talking and not the organ grinder. However although Lanre’s voice was sincere, the wheel of truth rang and his words are perceived as a lie because technically… they are both one and the same thing. So this small pitiful voice, that of the <1%Lanre, was still playing anchor the Haliax hybrid as it were, and during his brief moment of control he had a chance at speaking to the one whom he acknowledged as a LORD Tehlu. This was his one chance to show that he was truly repentant and should therefore be allowed to also cross to Aleph’s side of the path. This would also be the very same Lord Aleph that he would have remembered from a time long before in Ergen as a power of Ergen along with his wife Lady Lyra, Lord Selitos and Iax. This Man who betrayed the world is still alive and active within his demonic encarnalised form aslo deserves a chance to repent, all were wicked once and justice must apply equally to all. He is still sane, still awake and still remembers everything that he has been put through, perfectly. His torment has known no bounds across all the uncounted time up until now, when finally there is a situation happening in front of him which he might still grasp, if his repentance is sincere and if his will is strong enough. If he can take his chance then this Lanre% can prove to be the weakest link.
I imagine that a good analogy to his link to life here would be gravity. Toss something in the air and it will return, Hurl it into the air and it will take longer to reach apogee, but it will still return. Fire it out of a cannon pointing straight up and you will get the longest gap yet, but after a while it shall still run out of momentum, pause in its trajectory and it will always return back down to earth. You cannot throw a rock and hit the moon because of gravity and so it is with Lanre trying to die, his name will always pull him back down to earth in the end. In this instance though, all that he needs to do to cross over is to break the chains that bind him and escape from a 20ft deep fiery pit.
Tehlu later burnt all 100% of Encanis in a pyre of iron and fire, and whilst all of the flesh was consumed, this tiny <1% part must have eventually found a way to return back from the brink. It can do nothing else except act according to it’s name and nature and this is it’s only task, to bring the encarnalised flesh back to life, only on the final occasion when it arrived back to Atur it would have found itself free. Lanre would have survived where Encanis and Tehlu could not. All lives end in death, excepting one…that of Lanre, the eternal man. Such is the way of things.