Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Kingdom come

This is a dark and fallen world, but there's a new day coming. The promised land is just around the bend; the new world we've been hoping for is here any day now.

A generation ago the world fell in darkness.  The starving time killed off most who lived, and their bodies lay upon the ground with no one to bury them.

People these days grew up hearing tales of the end of the world.  It's only natural that their view of the world involves change.  Most people believe the ultimate destination is coming, a new kingdom to be built on earth.  Most people think it's going to be better.  Some don't.

Through the trial to the glory

Pretty much everyone agrees that there's a step that has to happen first, some kind of trial or transformation.

Scientific and industrially-minded people think this is going to be an age of reason, a time when superstition and backwardness are banished and a glorious new age dawns upon the world.  Their faith sustains them as much as it does anyone else.  They're quite sure that education is the key, that all the backward tribes and hidebound bureaucrats will recognize the brilliance of the shining future they intend to build, if they're only willing to learn.

A common refrain is repentance, a call for the people to turn away from sinful ways to reach the better future.  A prophet among the humans near Lake Ataska teaches that repentance will reveal the way to the promised land, a bountiful place for those whose homeland has been lost.

Peaceable Kingdom of the Branch (Edward Hicks)

Old Orthodox elves are less optimistic.  They mourn the loss of the great temple in the old homeland and they refuse to accept that the Emperor himself (long may he reign) could be dead (though concede that no one has heard from him in quite some time).  They believe there will be still darker days ahead, but that in the darkest times the Emperor will be revealed and the temple will be restored and all will be well in the world again.

The New Ancestors movement has taken a darker turn.  These are elves who also mourn the loss of so many temples and the ancestral spirits enshrined within, but they've decided to replace the spirits with those of new elves.  For now it means they'll be capturing and killing elves, enshrining their spirits in makeshift houses, but they know the ancestors will see their faithful obedience and return to the shrines to protect the living once again.

The new kingdom

A typical message of the new era to come has two parts: a period of trial and a new way of things.

Trial (d4)
1repentanceThe people must give up their sinful ways.
2judgementEveryone will be judged for their deeds.
3warStrife and warfare will wash over the world.
4enlightenmentIgnorant and backward thinking must be replaced by knowledge and wisdom.

New way (d6)
1the promised landA new and bountiful land is promised to those who have wandered far from their old home.
2invulnerability in battleThough so many have fallen in battle with our enemies, this new way will surely bring victory if we are worthy.
3abundance and prosperityDirt-poor folks are glad to hear that a time is coming when there shall be no hunger, with a roof over every head.
4deliverance from evilBeaten-down people seek freedom from oppression and evildoers.
5peace among the nationsAfter so much war and strife, an era of peace is surely at hand.
6apocalypticThe dark days came to cleanse wickedness from the earth, and they will come again right soon.

Roll up your own message of things to come:
message of things to come
new way

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