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Opening QuoteEdit

Here we see philosophy brought to what is, in fact, a precarious position, which should be made fast even though it is supported by nothing in either heaven or earth.  Here philosophy must show its purity as the absolute sustainer of its laws, and not as a herald of laws which implanted sense or who knows what tutelary nature whispers to it.
—IMMANUEL KANT, FOUNDATIONS OF THE METAPHYSICS OF MORALS

Chapter One: AnsercaEdit

Ignorance is trust.
—ANCIENT KÛNIÜRIC PROVERB

Chapter Two: AnsercaEdit

Duty measures the distance between the animal and the divine.
—EKYANNUS I, 44 EPISTLES

The days and weeks before battle are a strange thing.  All the contingents, the Conriyans, the Galeoth, the Nansur, the Thunyeri, the Tydonni, the Ainoni, and the Scarlet Spires, marched to the fortress of Asgilioch, to the Southron Gates and the heathen frontier.  And though many bent their thoughts to Skauras, the heathen Sapatishah who would contest us, he was still woven of the same cloth as a thousand other abstract concerns.  Once could still confuse war with everyday living …
—DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR

Chapter Three: AsgiliochEdit

The proposition “I am the centre” need never be uttered.  It is the assumption upon which all certainty and all doubt turns.
—AJENCIS, THE THIRD ANALYTIC OF MEN

See your enemies content and your lovers melancholy.
—AINONI PROVERB

Chapter Four: AsgiliochEdit

No decision is so fine as to not bind us to its consequences.
No consequence is so unexpected as to absolve us of our decisions.
Not even death.
—XIUS, THE TRUCIAN DRAMAS

It seems a strange thing to recall these events, like walking to find I had narrowly missed a fatal fall in the darkness.  Whenever I think back, I’m filled with wonder that I still live, and with horror that I still travel by night.
—DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR

Chapter Five: The Plains of MengeddaEdit

Why must I conquer, you ask? War makes clear.  Life or Death.  Freedom or Bondage.  War strikes the sediment from the water of life.
—TRIAMIS I, JOURNALS AND DIALOGUES

Chapter Six: The Plains of MengeddaEdit

One sorcerer, the ancients say, is worth a thousand warriors in battle and ten thousand sinners in Hell.
—DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR

When shields become crutches, and swords become canes,
Some hearts are put to rout.
When wives become plunder, and foes become thanes,
All hope has guttered out.
—ANONYMOUS, “LAMENT FOR THE CONQUERED”

Chapter Seven: MengeddaEdit

Sleep, when deep enough, is indistinguishable from vigilance.
—SORAINAS, THE BOOK OF CIRCLES AND SPIRALS

Chapter Eight: MengeddaEdit

All men are greater than dead men.
—AINONI PROVERB

Every monumental work of the State is measured by cubits.  Every cubit is measured by the length of the Aspect-Emperor’s arm.  And the Aspect-Emperor’s arm, they say, stands beyond measure.  But I say the Aspect-Emperor’s arm is measured by the length of a cubit, and that all cubits are measured by the works of the State.  Not even the All stands beyond measure, for it is more than what lies within it, and “more” is a kind of measure.  Even the God has His cubits.
—IMPARRHAS, PSÜKALOGUES

Chapter Nine: HinnerethEdit

One can look into the future, or one can look at the future.  The latter is by far the more instructive.
—AJENCIS, THE THIRD ANALYTIC OF MEN

If one doubts that passion and unreason govern the fate of nations, one need only look to meetings between the Great.  Kings and emperors are unused to treating with equals, and are often excessively relieved or repelled as a result.  The Nilnameshi have a saying, “When princes meet, they find either brothers or themselves,” which is to say, peace or war.
—DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR

Chapter Ten: Atsushan HighlandsEdit

Love is lust made meaningful.  Hope is hunger made human.
—AJENCIS, THE THIRD ANALYTIC OF MEN

How does one learn innocence?  How does one teach ignorance?  For to be them is to know them not.  And yet they are the immovable point from which the compass of life swings, the measure of all crime and compassion, the rule of all wisdom and folly.  They are the Absolute.
—ANONYMOUS, THE IMPROMPTA

Chapter Eleven: ShigekEdit

If all human events possess purpose, then all human deeds possess purpose.  And yet when men vie with men, the purpose of no man comes to fruition: the result always falls somewhere in between.  The purpose of deeds, then, cannot derive from the purposes of men, because all men vie with all men.  This means the deeds of men must be willed by something other than men.  From this it follows that we are all slaves.
Who then is our Master?
—MEMGOWA, THE BOOK OF DIVINE ACTS

What is practicality but one moment betrayed for the next?
—TRIAMIS I, JOURNALS AND DIALOGUES

Chapter Twelve: IothiahEdit

… the ends of the earth shall be wracked by the howls of the wicked, and the idols shall be cast down and shattered, stone against stone.  And the demons of the idolaters shall hold open their mouths, like starving lepers, for no man living will answer their outrageous hunger.
—16:4:22 THE WITNESS OF FANE

Though you lose your soul, you shall win the world.
—MANDATE CATECHISM

Chapter Thirteen: ShigekEdit

Men are forever pointing at others, which is why I always follow the knuckle and not the nail.
—ONTILLAS, ON THE FOLLY OF MEN

A day with no noon,
A year with no fall,
Love is forever new,
Or love is not at all.
—ANONYMOUS, “ODE TO THE LOSS OF LOSSES”

Chapter Fourteen: Anwurat Edit

It is the difference in knowledge that commands respect.  This is why the true test of every student lies in the humiliation of his master.
—GOTAGGA, THE PRIMA ARCANATA

The children here play with bones instead of sticks, and whenever I see them, I cannot but wonder whether the humeri they brandish are faithful or heathen.
Heathen, I should think, for the bones seem bent.
—ANONYMOUS, LETTER FROM ANWURAT

Chapter Fifteen: AnwuratEdit

Where the holy take men for fools, the mad take the world.
—PROTATHIS, THE GOAT’S HEART

Chapter Sixteen: ShigekEdit

Men never resemble one another so much as when asleep or dead.
—OPPARITHA, ON THE CARNAL

The arrogance of the Inrithi waxed bright in the days following Anwurat.  Though sober-minded demanded they press the attack, the great majority clamored for respite.  They thought the Fanim doomed, just as they thought them doomed after Mengedda.  But while the Men of the Tusk tarried, the Padirajah plotted.  He would make the world his shield.
—DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR

Chapter Seventeen: ShigekEdit

In terror, all men throw up their hands and turn aside their faces.  Remember, Tratta, always preserve the face! For that is where you are.
—THROSEANIS, TRIAMIS IMPERATOR

The Poet will yield up his stylus only when the Geometer can explain how Life can at once be a point and a line.  How can all time, all creation, come to the now?  Make no mistake: this moment, the instant of this very breath, is the frail thread from which all creation hangs.
That men dare to be thoughtless…
—TERES ANSANSIUS, THE CITY OF MEN

Chapter Eighteen: KhememaEdit

To piss across water is to piss across your reflection.
—KHIRGWI PROVERB

Chapter Nineteen: EnathpaneahEdit

What vengeance is this?  That he should slumber while I endure?  Blood douses no hatred, cleanses no sin.  Like seed, it spills of its own volition, and leaves naught but sorrow in its wake.
—HAMISHAZA, TEMPIRAS THE KING

… and my soldiers, they say, make idols of their swords.  But does not the sword make certain?  Does not the sword make plain?  Does not the sword compel kindness from those who kneel in its shadow?  I need no other god.
—TRIAMIS, JOURNALS AND DIALOGUES

Chapter Twenty: CaraskandEdit

The vulgar think the God by analogy to man and so worship Him in the form of the Gods.  The learned think the God by analogy to principles and so worship Him in the form of Love or Truth.  But the wise think the God not at all.  They know that thought, which is finite, can only do violence to the God, who is infinite.
It is enough, they say, that the God thinks them.
—MEMGOWA, THE BOOK OF DIVINE ACTS
… for the sin of the idolater is not that he worships stone, but that he worships one stone over others.
—8:9:4 THE WITNESS OF FANE

Chapter Twenty-one: CaraskandEdit

And We will give over all of them, slain, to the Children of Eänna; you shall hamstring their horses and burn their chariots with fire.  You shall bathe your feet in the blood of the wicked.
—TRIBES 21:13, THE CHRONICLE OF THE TUSK

Chapter Twenty-two: CaraskandEdit

For all things there is a toll.  We pay in breaths, and our purse is soon empty.
—SONGS 57:3, THE CHRONICLE OF THE TUSK

Like many old tyrants, I dote upon my grandchildren.  I delight in their tantrums, their squealing laughter, their peculiar fancies.  I willfully spoil them with honey sticks.  And I find myself wondering at their blessed ignorance of the world and its million grinning teeth.  Should I, like my grandfather, knock such childishness from them?  Or should I indulge their delusions?  Even now, as death’s shadowy pickets gather about me, I ask, Why should innocence answer to the world? Perhaps the world should answer to innocence…
Yes, I rather like that.  I tire of bearing the blame.
—STAJANAS II, RUMINATIONS

Chapter Twenty-three: CaraskandEdit

For Men, no circle is ever closed.  We walk ever in spirals.
—DRUSAS ACHAMIAN, COMPENDIUM OF THE FIRST HOLY WAR

Bring he who has spoken prophecy to the judgement of the priests, and if his prophecy is judged true, acclaim him, for he is clean, and if his prophecy is judged false, bind him to the corpse of his wife, and hang him one cubit above the earth, for he is unclean, an anathema unto the Gods.
—WARRANTS 7:48, THE CHRONICLE OF THE TUSK

Chapter Twenty-four: CaraskandEdit

They strike down the weak and call it justice.  They ungird their loins and call it reparation.  They bark like dogs and call it reason.
—ONTILLAS, ON THE FOLLY OF MEN

Chapter Twenty-five: CaraskandEdit

What is the meaning of a deluded life?
—AJENCIS, THE THIRD ANALYTIC OF MEN

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