Ancient Mythology

"The woman answered the serpent, 'We may eat the fruit of any tree in the garden, except for the tree in the middle of the garden; God has forbidden us either to to eat or to touch the fruit of that; if we do, we shall die.'

"The serpent said 'Of course you will not die. God knows that as soon as you eat it, your eyes will be opened and you will be like Gods knowing both good and evil.'"


My dear Apprentice:

With this note, which I am quite sure you were not surprised to find in your room, I give you my congratulations. I made it quite clear to your group that they should do well to look both left and right, for only one of you would remain here when the week of testing was finished. That one, this time, is you.

To get this far means that you have not only excelled in the what the Cabal would expect from one such as you, but that you have impressed even me. And that, I do not mind telling you, is a feat worth its weight in gold. It is also a bar that I expect you to continue leaping over.

To celebrate this moment, I have a gift to you. Soon, you will be read to from The Book. However, as with most esoteric works, it can provide a number of problems for the beginning student - problems that might hobble and restrain an otherwise-extraordinary talent. I find that a bit of preparation can make the difference between full comprehension and mere hearing of a complicated text.

So, in the hopes that they will aid you in your goal to serve the Cabal, I present to you these introductory notes to The Book, as they were presented to me by my instructor, all those ages ago. I would urge you to take the first half of this day to study them, and then meet me in the main hall when you feel you can speak of them at length.

Onward and upward, my pupil! The only way out is something your former classmates know full well of, now.

To hear we Solicitors tell the tale, our intricate dance of desire and fulfillment was going on well before Stygia even existed. And it is no mere fairy story with which to soothe nervous enfants and scare wayward Apprentices. It is the truth, and that truth is the cornerstone upon which we base our labors.

That would make us the first Guild, surely, but we take great pains to distance ourselves from that name. You have been taught as much by now. We allow others ­ especially the Guildwraiths ­ to think of us that way, because it makes for such a wonderful camouflage. But a Guild? No. Our concepts of doing things were ancient long before the mercantile notions of "Guilds" ever came into being. The Guilds play at hoary antiquity to lend some sense of ritual to an otherwise straightforward working arrangement, but we do not play at such things. We are.

Here, in our inner sanctums, where the truth can be told without fear, we insist rightfully that we were the first group of Wraiths anywhere. And though the names used to describe us might have changed, we ourselves have never changed that much. What we are now, we have always been: a Cabal of tireless guardians, watching over a trusted secret that must not fall into the wrong hands.

We are the watchers of the world and the wardens of the heart. We are the keepers of the sacred fire that burns in the secret places. We have a thousand eyes and a thousand hands, and perhaps a thousand thousand names, but one true purpose. The knife that cuts the hand that holds the skin that bleeds the blood that stains - we are the Solicitors.

And this is our story.

(pause) Riiiiight...

"Everyone believes very easily whatever they fear or desire."

- Jean de La Fontaine

What you're about to read is going to sound really out there, to say the least. Old Gods? Ancient religions? Secret Societies? Mind-blasting secrets known only to the restless dead? That, 3 cents and a tinfoil hat'll get you a cup of coffee at O'Tolley's, right?

But here's the catch - the Solicitors believe every word of it. This is their reason for existence. This is how they justify what they do, provided they don't groove off of that sort of thing, already. This is what they tell their Apprentices, and only those who nod along and believe ­ or at least put up a good act ­ get to become Novices.

These are the beliefs of the Solicitors, and they hold them very close to their hearts. It might not be anywhere near what really happened, but as far as the Cabal is concerned, it's nothing less than the absolute truth.

And one thing you never, ever, ever do is tell a zealot he's wrong: especially a zealot with Intimation...

In The Beginning


Legendary Complications


Creating the Wheel


Spreading the Word


The Coming of The Great Lie

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