Scholar on “Confessions of a Confused Priest” From the Voltan Apocrypha
A tale I’m sure you’ve never heard, if it even exists at all in the canonized texts, concerns the origins of the First Rift of the Priests of Voltan. Who can say from where this apocryphal story comes from; if the whispering reeds betrayed the confidence of their informant, or if a dark power, brandishing deceit and controversy, devised this tale for some foul purpose. Or perhaps some false poet, fancying himself clever, took the Voltan Mythos as his muse and, spying a weakness in the chronology, sought to make his indelible imprint on the embossed edifice of unverified history. In any case, the tale certainly complicates the superficial view of a light-dark dichotomous continuum.
When Voltan fought Mallok, a grazing blast of holy fire smote the ground and continued, in defiance of its earthly fuel, to burn. After Voltan fell and Mallok was defeated, the holy priests took the fire, the living warmth of their master, and used it to light their monastery. In the darkness of the midnight hour, the highest ranked and most holy priest would carry the fire on a scepter and light the grand brazier, illuminating the entire monastery. The fire served as a reminder of Voltan and his constant stand against darkness. In time it came to pass that the first Light-Bringer, in his pride and envy, saw in the eternal flame his own likeness. Seizing Voltan’s power as his own, he wielded the scepter as a weapon and brandished the holy fire as a claim to his own divinity. The monastery split, half seeking to honor their old master and his teachings and the other half, desperate for a new leader, proclaimed that the Light-Bringer was a new god. In the rebellion, the monastery was destroyed and each sect fled to reestablish themselves. It was said that Voltan, enraged at this betrayal, extinguished the holy fire and in its place created a void so powerful that not even light could escape its pull. The followers of the Light-Bringer, now cast in eternal darkness, lived in the dead waste of the middle of night, worshipping the black hole. It was then that the first shadow priests, profane worshippers of light, established their own church and teachings.
There’s a lesson somewhere in the mythos; perhaps the outward righteousness of glory against the inward righteousness of pride, alike the differences between Gloriana and Lucifera. I’m not so concerned with the dogmatic teachings of sanctimonious priests, but yet even I find wisdom in their texts, namely this; not all that gives light is good.
--Some Ardent Scholar
An Invocation of the Priest
Two paths diverge beyond, my grant to choose
A fate assured and one assured to lose
And thus a gift by its giver confound
To walk two unique ways into the ground
Voltan, grandmaster of the liminal
Between the light and forces dismal
Steady my shambles and grant me the strength
To walk either of two paths their full length
Or by divine virtue of your teaching,
With the actions of your very being
I may have cause to go between the rows
And bring together the disparate foes
For oft one can be blinded by the light
And in darkness dwell in eternal night
As the brightest of stars make blackest holes
With consuming fires spitting pitch black coals
Righteous fury! Endowed with the power
To weather my most uncertain hour
Tempered in the fires of wavering faith
A righteous soul, renewed thus breaks;
Take up the scepter, bear the burning fire
Stand your proudest self, and you’ll stand higher
For what is Voltan but an echoed name
To live like him, we are one and the same
Thanks for the kind words. Lots of latent wordplay and thematic blending are at work in the poem (the prose piece adds depth, but I just wanted to write as a snooty scholar lol). Hopefully we can have more poetry/literature from the fanbase, perhaps even a writers guild?