Hard Fought Truths
—A journal kept by Isihaht-Slovoh-Iskrivy, a controversial sociopolitical figure in sha’an history.
Class: Journal, Philosophy & Religion
Dt: 392 A.T.
Behold shani! For I am the sole survivor of the hard fought battles against our reality and beyond! I alone have faced the rituals and trials of the magik entrusted to us by Sham’ayn and have survived—no—thrived! I alone have the truths to relay of our continued survival. I am unlike those who embrace the magik and seclude themselves far from other shani; I am unlike those who shun the magik and preside over their own crumbling institutions. I am both of these shani! I am neither! I am Isihaht-Slovoh-Iskrivy and I say these words:
No shani have been born into the Reign of Vulpek for hundreds of years – and though we are meager record keepers there no record of this Reign aside from tales of long ago. No shani will be born into this Reign, no shani born separate or free from this mortal existence. No shani will inherit by right of birth alone any latent magiks of the wild – no shani by any colour, size, or gender. We shani are mortals, despite any attempts of magik otherwise, and are born into and die of the flesh.
Mother shani will oversee their pups as long as they can. Believing in a mother’s care is no mistake, but it is folly to assume it will last. Harsh is the world that separates mothers from their pups at birth, but harsh is the world we live in. A mother can succumb to an unspeakable number of afflictions, fall to a beast, or find herself caught in an inter-Remnant struggle as each seeks to become a Reign. All the planet-stars in The Blade cannot produce pups, but we fight amongst each other not for mothers.
No guarantees come from passion. Not even the birth of pups can be a guarantee, nor that the mother will survive the birth. Like mothers, fathers too can die, Reigns and Remnants can collapse and there are several species around The Blade who would take the easy meal of a newborn pup. If born in the wilds, traversal to return to dwellings can be life-threatening for a new mother and her pup(s). The creation of life is in many ways dangerous, just as living the life itself will be until each life ends.
Home is not a place where you are under constant threat. Home is a place to relax, a home is dedicated to you and your safety. Sham’ayn promised us no land among the stars; we are relegated to The Blade. Do not make the mistake of thinking that since we are the Sentient Species of these planet-stars, of this portion of Omneutta, that this is our lands. We fight over them but they are not ours, even when victorious. We fight each other in a cruel and wicked attempt to seek the favour of Sham’ayn when no favour has been promised and the terms of which are unknown. We live here, fighting ourselves as if it is our best hope of survival. It might just be.
How can we trust Sha’mayn—why should we presume to know her intentions? An act of trust is inherently wicked, even more so for a shani. To trust is to believe that we know the actions or thoughts of another, or of a future event. To believe we can even know these is not only unwise, but arrogant. Sham’ayn, and thus shani, are cursed by the forces of Omneutta. And yet still many shani persist in worship centered in these rituals asking, no, begging for her help. If we cannot—and should not—trust our own Singer, our own Priestess of the Shadow, how can and why should we trust other mortal beings. We cannot and should not.
There are no guarantees of passion, and none inherent in life. What one considers a safe place to sleep may not be safe before the light of Astran is seen again. The life of mortals in The Blade is rough, but we are familiar with it. Many shani as of late have been inspired to seek a more stable and predictable life outside of these lands, but have been asked to give up much of what makes them shani in return. A shani would be mistaken to put anything off until the next light that can be done today.
Symbols of status do not inherently hold or confer power to the wearers, and the masks of Achrans are no exception. Even the tales of Domo-Starako and the first shani that became the Reign of Vulpek – recognized by some now as the mythos of our culture – make no claim that any mask or Achran wields power by creation or rank alone. Achrans are selected to and fight for these positions based on the power – physical, magikal or some mix – they have, not that the position grants them.