Chapter 7:


A Snowed Abode

There was a library in the middle of this village down below, the wooden house the people referred to before; not quite noticeable it was from the outside, but within it was unmistakably a place for books, and... statues, it so seemed, for some reason. There was this gigantic one of a dragon that seemed almost plucked out of the sky to leave near a bunch of bookshelves, along with two smaller ones, one of some kind of knight, ensconced in this silver they build these objects with, that seemed to have inscribed...Bookmark here

"The fundament of oppression is what?
The tip of this sword's impression?
Or the mind of a horde?"

Pax thought this might have been ever so slightly more straightforward than the ones before, but why would anyone bother with this when there are books that can even more readily impart information? Or so he wondered... but then again, perhaps, it is another facet with which impressions, as indeed it talked about (but faintly different definition now), can be made...Bookmark here

The other, that of a magician of some sort, seemed, as if in dialogue, to say...Bookmark here

"From thine pointed sword
to mine magical cord
is there no disjointed continuum?"Bookmark here

This, he thought, must have been more obscure than most, but then so is this strange concoction called 'magic', no? The very word 'occult', meaning secret, implies as such, one supposes... still, it seemed to be making a comparison between the tools of both characters, and how different, or not, their implementations might be... perhaps?Bookmark here

Either way, he decided not to spend too much time on it, as it did not matter that much, ultimately... he always indeed seemed to explore all for the sake of curiosity, but sometimes going too far with this reduces still the possibility of wonder...Bookmark here

Finally, the aforementioned dragon, almost in the middle of the room, as if channelling another atmosphere and dimension, equivocated...Bookmark here

"Choices once made, in time...
could chime, in blood and monologues...
would, though, ideologues climb?"Bookmark here

These might or might not make sense in the future, Pax thought, but at any rate the books did make... slightly... more sense...Bookmark here

First, though, he went upwards, ignoring the stack of weapons oddly hanging in a library nearby, in order to talk to the sole person there...Bookmark here

"Who might you be...?" He said, looking above the spectacles waiting, as if with grudge, on top of his nose, with a slightly wrinkly face... not that it had anything to do with any of this, but trivia could be sometimes almost as interesting as other types of information...Bookmark here

"I am Pax from the northern frontier, and I came here to investigate what exactly is happening in regards to the apparent threat... I assume you are the one known as Prudens?"Bookmark here

"Why, yes, I am... I was once this monarch's advisor... before madness set in, although it always seemed to be almost seeping in... now it is thoroughly infused, though..." Wait, how? Infused like a lemon juice might do with water? Or perhaps, more relevantly, dopamine in the amygdala? I suppose some monarch's advisor might not think of it in these terms, but what else is madness?Bookmark here

"Infused...? How, ever? And how is it that there always seemed to be something?" Pax asked, as if he was so eager to know the answer, which considering the wording and grammar one might suppose it was relevant to clarify, for something 'seeps' interestingly..Bookmark here

"You see, try to understand this from a personal and subjective perspective... a psychological first-person view, if you can... ego can grow or shrink based on differing experiences..." So, is it like a balloon? Metaphors are not so metaphorical after all, then? And one wonders, are we also to deal with the id and superego, perchance? Who knows...Bookmark here

"Uh huh..." Pax ascertained, as if totally listening in onto a lecture but he was really about to fall asleep, for what does 'peace' do realistically at every hurdle?Bookmark here

"Advisors try to steer the course in case of an irrational perspective, but can only do so much - so it was in my case. I even stayed as much as I could, but in the end it became dangerous." So, are we talking volcano about to explode danger, or maybe a more infectious type? Well, one surmises, madness might be a slight bit more internal and subjective, but if one were to compare then infection would be more relevant, as interpersonal interactions inevitably affect each other, but then it is more of a sociological influence, rather than raw biology...Bookmark here

"How...?" Pax asked, eager (or not) to know the mysteries that lay behind the fiery castle.Bookmark here

"The ego grew out of proportion... but not out of character... and more power was desired. In this monarch's mind that was equivalent to destruction, though... deceit too." So... the status quo? One really does not know how this is quite so different from... well, the world is down to one now, but before they were almost collectible... Bookmark here

"The ego thought that as long as one can do all that, that one held the capability... it is actually the reason why monarchs were usually overthrown... this inevitability." Well, yes, it is how exponents work, and minds, which house the ego, work heuristically too...Bookmark here

"Hm, so, now the last remaining monarch wants to take over the whole world? How does it not appear to them an impossible task? There must be quite some delusion inculcated..." Pax figured out... which was not exactly the wrong kind of figuring out, but the kind that missed some vital information as we shall see...Bookmark here

"There is that, but there is also... something else. Something more... unnerving. It seems to be of an otherworldly nature, as if an ethereal essence pervades the castle..." There always is in castles, though, no? I mean, this is not quite something unusual... and with the ego and all one might say it is merely quotidian... but, what can one say, Prudens here has been inside this structure, beyond the towering infernos, not I, nor Pax so far, so one can never exactly presume, you see...Bookmark here

"In other words, I can only assume there are external forces aiding this potency... which is why I had to seal off the castle after the situation became oppressively bleak..." But what external force might this be? Perhaps alien? Or some underground creature that has not seen the light of day for millennia? One can only speculate...Bookmark here

"Hm, I did notice the raging fires... hard to miss on our way here. Two questions, how was the situation bleak, and.... how can we put out the fires?" Suddenly Clemens interjected, as if he could not possibly hold back from saying nothing anymore, but why not give us his opinion? A variety of perspectives are always refreshing, after all... raging fires or not.Bookmark here

"I can dissolve them if you wish, but... be careful. I put them there in the first place due to a spill of the monarch's insanity... his ego leaking, metaphorically..." Are you sure it was not leaking literally? I suppose, it can, possibly, but what would it look like? And does it just ooze, or merely drop all at once? (Why am I even thinking all this nonsense...?)Bookmark here

"A certain miasma was already filtering out to this town... the one the monarch was supposed to protect by treaty, once... well, things never pan out according to papers." Yes, what miasma? Like a dark, ominous cloud? Ah, who knows, it might be as relevant as those obscure rhymes...Bookmark here

"I feared all sorts of creatures might have thus overwhelmed this place... they appear to be resident at the castle now, so be warned... they might be violent, but mostly... mad, too." If they are merely mad creatures, then... they are merely in reality? I mean, who is not mad these days?Bookmark here

"Mad creatures? That should be a spectacle... I do, though, suppose that going there is my only course of action, lest the flames are overcome anyway and both our habitats..." Pax also opined, but so he would in any case... and sure enough, this waiting on a problem is quite the classic dilemma... a problem of strategy too if one so would think, although strategy might be a bit much if the only reason someone 'waits' in some incident is due to procrastination...Bookmark here

"Indeed. Also, if the last remaining monarchy is overcome instead... surely that would lead to a better future? Perhaps? One could only possibly hope for..." Prudens prudently proclaimed, but then again was it prudent of him to be an advisor in the first place? Or does mitigation indeed become so important that it overcomes the inhibition? Or... is it merely an excuse?Bookmark here

"I shall break down the fiery barriers for you but, also, feel free to peruse the many books here for a more thorough background into this world's affairs..." Well, how studious of him... and how exactly can a mere advisor break down some huge flames, at any rate? Is he also a magician without telling anyone, maybe? If so, could he not have used his capabilities to stop the maddening monarch...? Or perhaps this mystical practice holds no candle to psychology...Bookmark here

So, after this slightly bit prolonged conversation (according to Pax, Clemens though seemed curiously interested...) - they, of course, went to the nearby shelves to indeed see what else they could learn, for why would they go to a library without reading its contents? A library, like a jar of coffee, spilling all over the table... or into glasses, where they can be more readily tackled...Bookmark here

"It was such a world of wonder, once... when life sprung into being, but why? It was the question many had asked thereafter... why, especially with extremes as readily accessible as the median? Why would life even be needed?" So, one assumes they are attempting a chronology of all world history or such? Quite an aspirational beginning, at any rate... how are extremes accessible, though? If they are extremes then surely, by definition, they are not as accessible? Or perhaps this is sort of has an artistic licence type over it like many prior inscriptions seemed to have...Bookmark here

"It was, thus, that existence happened... not that before life matter did not exist, but how would matter perceive itself were it not for consciousness? Life, therefore, was a matter of mere focus, but then what would distraction be?" Uh huh, just the topic for a procrastinator... but maybe not all of cosmology or such... generally, though, this seemed too long-winded if we are to find out specifically what might have happened at the castle, although this is a library, can never exactly expect concise now, can we? That is more for dictionaries...Bookmark here

"After life hung about, what was to make of it? Could it be a serious affair, or merely a punchline to the absurdity of existence? This is what those alive thought, or might have thought in the annals long forgotten... perhaps." Oh, so now we are comparing all of biology to comedy, are we? I am not sure I have heard many biological jokes, but alright... one could entertain the absurdity of it all, presumably, but then would that also not be the thoughts of those long forgotten...?Bookmark here

"Why should anyone care about life if there was a before? Or could it perhaps be that, once born, existence becomes merely solipsistic, whereas before it is... diffused? One would ask, does any of this make sense, and should it?" Is this not more philosophical than psychological, which one thought this 'external force' was more about? Not to mention sociology, of course... but then again, philosophy is always there in the background, I suppose... solipsism is consistently a fun topic to discuss though, is it not? I mean, if it is such a universe, then who am I supposed to discuss it with...? Why, also, should no one care about before life, if it is effectively how life came about? How could it be diffused, though? All of life being spread out like butter makes it a somewhat funny, if strange picture...Bookmark here

"Conflict was destined to clash with the inevitability of fate forevermore, both in the past and present. One may try to prevent it in the future, but could it ever succeed? For if resources are limited what can two do?" Pax at this point had some sort of minor mental breakdown... he did not know the meaning of many things, but more crucially, he thought, what ever might that 'two' refer to...? Conflict and fate, perhaps? But would that not be anthropomorphizing them? Or... maybe the 'two' refers to the past and present? But then how can 'they' 'do' anything? For now, with Pax at least, he decided to leave the matter at bay. This was entirely theoretical, at any rate, and not at all anything required in order to go through this castle finally and understand exactly what is happening with this maddened monarch...Bookmark here

"Indeed, then, when resources become bountiful it is but theoretical that clashes will cease, for even in ideology what would there be to fight over? But the world is not so light, it so seemed, and humans created artificial limits." How is my subconsciousness even discussing theory when future books do the same...? Never mind... well, this does make more sense at least, when it comes to logistical ecology... or such (one is by no means knowledgeable at this point). What limits, though? Is it, perhaps, like with digital games and their programmed capabilities? But then, this world is not digital... is it? Pax decided to move on to another book, anyway...Bookmark here

"It is, one can say, how the very essence of physics works. Through supply and demand, but in the case for geology, it is the need for tension that drove continents apart, and so it is with societies and cultures, ever driven away..." Well, that is quite a pessimistic outlook, is it not? Or... perhaps it is backed up by centuries of strife, one admits, but is the future inevitably like that? Could this 'essence' truly be something so much at the core of all interactions? Almost biology?Bookmark here

"They did try to quell anger through common governance, but does this also quell lust, greed? For that another solution was needed, one rooted in psychology, one that might touch on the very archetypes of life... if such were in place." What is this hinting at, exactly? Perhaps Jung? But then, how does this relate to society at large or any of its structures and strictures?Bookmark here

"It is from this archetypal well of chaos that a diamond of insight was found; here societies were built upon from the ground up, and so, just as with any fundament, the root can be pulled up, then either manipulated or destroyed..." So, kind of like reverse engineering it? But then, how will anything still work after? Well, gene editing seems to, so one assumes... this might too, even though it is, as of yet, a bit specious and hypothetical?Bookmark here

"This, after many conflicts throughout all of time, is when this capability was found. This abyss from which the very primordial essence of life could be found. Creatures that defied expectations, creatures that fulfilled no patterns..." Chaos, then? But no, that is not a creature per se; perhaps there are 'packets' of chaos? Pax thought this fantastical, at any rate...Bookmark here

"This existence was comparable to the hadal zone, in the depths of the dark oceans. The archetypes thus rose up from an undying, unconscious manifestation, and through this quintessence of life the mechanism for nigh perfection seen." This seemed to have that inscriptional licence yet again, but for the sake of understanding one admits that metaphors are useful... still then, are not creatures of the deep like any other life? Why would they specifically be compared with these archetypes? Or is it perhaps merely relative, and a holistic comparison of the entire seabed along with said creatures? Wherefore perfection, however?Bookmark here

"Would anyone notice if the roots of the psyche were altered, though? If a minute neuron was exchanged with another while the populace slept? Would it also not be for the better good if the end result was more peaceful societies?" Ah, but this now verges on morals and ethics surely, Clemens (this time) thought, and somewhat an inception of ideas? But still, were they not 'creatures' before? Or is this simply a way to explain their method of acting? Strange books...Bookmark here

"This is what some thought, that an improvement would be made; just like the Industrial Revolution improved efficiency, but that included wars. What the archetypes unleashed was slightly more subtle; it was a change barely noticeable, subjectively." Shall we say, then, that this was an... archetypal revolution? One would wonder, still, how this relates to the situation at the castle, though? Has an archetypical abyss plunged all to their (psychological, perhaps) doom? What, also, is the equivalent of the 'wars' here? And is it personal, or sociological? So many questions the two did not know the answers to, but then, their journey had just begun, so they will, mayhap, give it time...Bookmark here

"Like prions in brains, the archetypes seemed to envelop the whole essence of what life is, but crucially it changed relations. Perception was altered, as if some parasite was nested, and so did society." So this must be closing in on what occurred, why the change seemed palpable, and yet conceivably similar in nature to what was already the essence... prions, though, are lethal... are these archetypes similarly? One also questions how perception changed, and if it was possibly the reason for the altered relations?Bookmark here

"Societies, thus, emerged out of this renewed symbolism of the limits of what could be. But it was not all plain sailing, no, for the archetypes developed a shadow of their own, and like the very emergence of energy in cells, they almost merged with societies to form what limits the imagination. The only question remained then, were these the same creatures as before, with their innate, raw reactions, or were they truly, possibly altered?" And thus did the books end with, not quite any actual conclusions, but with questions, for where would anyone be without questions? If science never did ask where something came from? This is what Pax is on a journey to find out, the reasons for why, the answers for how, if at all possible.Bookmark here

"Did you happen to learn any more about our situation? I shall remain in hope that ego does not transform this world into a desert of mere desire..." Prudens then said, as a last farewell to the two, before venturing out beyond the vanished towering conflagrations. The two might have or not...Bookmark here

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