Since Dark and his followers entered the city bounds, only Dark has been seen to leave, and then only to say his piece at meetings with the 'New Deathlords'. One wonders what a dedicated renegade is doing in such company?
Dark's activities have been focused around the Ashen palace, the Smiling Lords weapons facility (a concern) and the Pardoners guild house. As yet, only the Ashen palace has yielded to his efforts.
New followers arrive in dribs and drabs on average 2 a week. No assistance is provided to these wraiths, and they must make it to the Ashen Lady's palace alone. It is presumed that this is a 'proving ground' for new recruits. Whilst only one in 30 survive the trip, they are truly powerful wraiths.
THE INDIVIDUAL PARAMOUNT
The very foundations of our so-called civilization have tottered and fallen. The people have lost faith in the very institutions purporting to keep us from harm. We will be sheep no longer!
SHEEP CRYING FOR WOLVES
We hear it in the cry of every former faithful sheep of the Stygian empire "What shall we do," they cry, "Without the legions to protect us?" "Bring us new Leaders, new Deathlords!" The sheep think they bleat for lost Shepard's, when in fact they cry for the very wolves that fed from their herd!
The Sixth rages at our doorstep, and the sheep seek the protection of those very ones who brought the Spectral Doom upon us!
Our Deathlords. A weapon of mass destruction, a nuclear weapon, detonated at an unknown location in the Tempest. For what, I ask you?
Caught in their power struggles that would have been laughable had the consequences not been so dire, the Wolves unwittingly, unknowingly, stupidly, released this storm upon us to ensure individuals like us were cowed! To keep renegades afraid of their power! To force us to surrender on the basis of their might!
I say to you:
WE ARE NOT COWED!
Do not look for leaders, for if you do you will be lead! Lead like a dog on a leash. Lead like fools. Never again! No authority shall be higher than the individual.
CHARON THE DICTATOR
The authority of the council, the "rights" of our Deathlords came from on high; a power, almost a divinity Charon. Charon the Emperor.
Charon the Dictator!
Charon introduced slavery. Crushed the individual will. Made the council the highest authority to watch over our us, to protect us, to nurture us to control us, to use us and to finally forge us when all individuality was gone.
Charon's regime was a tyranny. Enquiry of any kind was condemned as near blasphemy. Servitude was the highest virtue.
By such training, certain things came to be regarded as self-evident, as sacred, not as a result of their truth, but rather because of constant and persistent repetition. I denounce three of these 'truths' today:
The first false precept
Look around you look at these charred buildings, feel the cold waters of the tempest swirl around your feet. This is what remains of the council.
The Deathlords were inflexible to withstand the spectral onslaught.
Authority is by its very nature conservative, static, intolerant of change and opposed to it. Whatever changes it undergoes are always the result of pressure exerted upon it, pressure strong enough to compel the ruling powers to submit peaceably or 'otherwise'. But against Oblivion, there is no peaceable resolution. And so the change was 'otherwise' - the near destruction of the city, and the scouring of the tempest and the Shadowlands.
Look around you again who is standing? Not the corrupt and stagnant Deathlord council. Not them. Its individuals, you, me, the person next to you. The individual triumphs where authority fails.
The second false precept
Wrong! The council acted for itself. It is in the nature of government not only to retain the power it has, but also to strengthen, widen and perpetuate it, and at the expense of us the individual.
The stronger authority grows, the greater its power, the less it can tolerate other authority or power apart side of itself. The psychology of government demands that its influence and prestige constantly grow, at home and abroad, and it exploits every opportunity to increase it. This tendency was motivated by the financial and commercial interests back of the Deathlords, represented and served by them. Them, and their shadows!
The third false precept
Order does not deny oblivion. How many of us have seen the regimental lines of Nephwrack generals leading their armies, acting as a single mind, as one. Order is Oblivion!
There is but one thing that denies the darkness of Oblivion the force of will of a strong individual, a belief in that will. Each true battle must be faced alone, and won alone.
How do we win against the order of Oblivion? By surprise, by acting as individuals. Distract, feint, bluff. Flexibility is the key, and the belief in yourself.
We must reject the lying, stagnant order of the council. We need a new social order.
A NEW SOCIAL ORDER
I bring to you the philosophy of a new social order based on the released energies of the individual and the free association of liberated individuals.
This order proclaims that society exists for people, not people for society. The sole legitimate purpose of society is to serve the needs and advance the aspiration of the individual. Only by doing so can it justify its existence and be an aid to progress and culture.
Our yearning for liberation from all authority and power will never be soothed by their cracked song. Man's quest for freedom from every shackle is eternal. It must and will go on.
Follow me into the ruins of the City of the Dead
We will build this new order within, on the ashes of the council, on the ashes of the Deathlords, on the ashes of Stygia.