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Conclusions

 
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Three men entered the clearing ready to draw weapons; and noting, a good sized, well built fire, with three, large, flat-topped stones sitting before it. Just as one man opened his mouth to whisper to the lead man, something moved behind the flame. A figure stepped out from behind it… or from within it.

“Welcome gentlemen to my clearing. I believe you have been looking for me.” The figure said. “I am called, Xenagos. Please. Sit down.”

As the men released their weapons, and sat atop the rocks, they could tell something was amiss. Before any could speak however, their strange host spoke again.

“I assume you’re wondering why you found yourselves willing to follow my commands; especially since you suspect me of being the kidnapper who’s raided your villages lately. You’re sitting because I have a better understanding of passion than most: how to generate it, and how to quell it. I have removed from all three of you, the passions which brought you here, and which readied you for battle. But don’t worry. I’ll return your passion soon enough.”

Xenagos began pacing in the empty space between the fire, and the men as he continued speaking. “First the basics: Your eyes do not deceive you, I am in fact a satyr. Next, your suspicions are correct, I abducted your people. Why? Because there are many species, (my own included) on Theros who choose to live in harmony with nature. You humans however are arrogant enough to brutally beat nature into whatever submissive shape you choose, before populating the region like rabbits. Being mortals, with practices that offend me, and people to spare, makes you the perfect test subjects for my purposes.

What testing, and purposes you ask? Or at least you would if you were currently capable of doing more than listening.” Xenagos stopped pacing and turned back to the men. “A slight digression. Gentlemen, I am a rare breed of creature. One able to walk between worlds as you walk between houses. But I have found a deeply troubling truth in my travels between worlds. Our Gods claim to possess absolute power. But their power extends no farther than the world of Theros iteself. In fact, the only difference between you and they, is the amount of power they possess.”

Xenagos looked up at the stars of the night sky. “But I possess the power to walk upon worlds they can only dream of. If I can go where the Gods cannot, then who is truly more powerful? They? Or I? On Theros it is they.” He said looking back down at the men. “But I am looking to rectify that.”

Xenagos began pacing again. “I have been using the people I took from your villages in the same manner as other people I took from the villages before yours; and for the same experiments: the study of the nature of “Faith”. It’s creation in the mortal mind, it’s transference from a mortal to one or more Gods; how it is stored within an object or a person; and even to a greater or lesser degree how a God makes usage of it. I have come to two major conclusions.” The satyr said stopping before the men again, and looking them in the eyes.

“First, the study of Faith is a mental discipline; thus it is almost entirely of a blue magical nature. Blue magic is not something well suited to my temperament, my methods or my experience. My expertise lies in red and green magic. But the second conclusion fits me like a well-made glove.” He said, holding his hand high and clenching it into a fist.

“My people are revelers.” Xenagos said, smiling wide, with his back to the flames. “We are passionate in everything we do… often enough to extremes. I was born to passionate revelry. It was our most fervent celebratory ceremony which awoke my dormant power of world- walking. I tired of revelry; but I should have known that I wouldn’t be able to stay away. You see, revelry if done right, produces Faith. Generally speaking it takes more revelers, celebrating more passionately than normal, to generate the same amount of faith for a God, that a single temple full of devout worshippers would create; but if you don’t limit yourself to the devotion of a few; then you are free to take any and all faith offered up by anyone. And therein lies the key: I shall become the God of Revelry to all of Theros.”

Looking down at the men Xenagos begins to look them over in earnest. “I see from your garb that you are wilderness men. Hunters, rangers, trackers, and the like, no doubt. That’s very good. You see, the people I abducted are useless now for everyone’s purposes; and I am turning my studies to other types of experimentation.” He says walking very nearly to the forest line. With a cry, the men, finding themselves back in control of their bodies, spring up and drew weapons only to find themselves facing Xenagos, and a small army of satyrs just emerging from the forest. “You will fight and die, or be slaughtered like lambs, I care not which. Either way, you will call to your Gods as you die; offering your Faith in a last blaze of glory. And I shall watch. I expect it to be most… enlightening.”


 

 

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