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Hovertext: Principles of a truly free society formed on the basis of this Book.

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In the Words of Triesta Tithis, the Blessed-Born

Page 149

We, the Eight, assembled here together in the Downside, and we gave our freedom so that you may yet have yours. It is an exchange we have not lightly made.

It is my charge to ensure that, you, should you re-gain your freedom, first off recognize its qualities, and also use it wisely.

You do not need a pair of wings in order to be free. My own wings, I once thought that they could take me anywhere, and then they took me here, where I am bound.

It is your charge to be free, and not to make the same mistakes. Spring from here, and learn from what we did, and build a new and great society, a free society, with wings spread wide for everyone...

Page 151

Mercy is the beating heart of a truly free society. Mercy, even for the perpetrators of the darkest deeds.

As our liege Soliam Murr drifted in an ocean of regret, he found there mercy, or rather, it found him, and it saved his life. Mercy! Freedom! They are intertwined.

A society which raises a clenched fist against its own shall follow the doomed path of the Empire of Sahr. Ours shall be a merciful society. May the perpetrators of the darkest deeds be sent to join us here, where they may learn, as we have.

Mercy shall engender union among all our different kind. We shall stand shoulder to shoulder, equals in the same society...

Page 153

Each one of us within the Eight, besides the imp Ha'ub, we would have perished in the Downside had we not found each other and, together, formed our union.

Here, in the Downside, all are bound. But, that which binds us here does have some latitude. We chose the bond of kinship.

Our exile took precedence over our differences. The Empire, which had subjugated all our kind into a tense alliance, shall give way to a society in which our differences are paramount. There, may you embrace your ancient cultures, whilst jointly forming a great culture all its own.

Next to mercy, it is kinship that shall form the bedrock of our Commonwealth...

Page 155

The fallen Empire of Sahr was ruled according to an ancient bloodline thought to be infallible. Our society shall instead be by those who earn the privilege.

We the Eight, we cannot bear the burden of determining your worth. It shall be determined by your peers, and by you, yourself.

We shall provide a framing, through the Rites, to put you to the test, against yourselves, against your kin, against your adversaries. The Downside cannot let us all go free. Thus, freedom to the Worthy.

As the Worthy, your true calling then begins, as you return to a society which longs to learn the wisdom you have gained along your path. The Worthy shall lead...

Page 157

This Book cannot accompany you, if you should earn your freedom. It is to remain here, for your successors, for it is bound, together, inextricably, with us.

There is no sorcery, however, to prohibit you from spreading forth its teachings.

We charge you to go forth, and share what you have learned along your path! Reveal not the Rites themselves, nor the existence of this Book. Transcend its bounded limitations, for it cannot be transcribed; any such attempts shall fail.

Beware of those who would dare to read it on the other side. Under their guise of seeking wisdom may yet lurk a much darker desire, to undo that which we strive to do...

Page 159

Reader! Though you shall always bear a burden, it is much lighter than the burden of a lonesome exile.

Go forth, and become free! Then, join with others such as you, and lead, with mercy, continuing to demonstrate your worth, and knowing that the Empire's fall formed the foundation of our Commonwealth.

You shall cease to be a Reader, and become a Voice. A Voice, both to the free, and to your successors here, who shall take up this Book when you no longer need it.

The cycle of the Rites shall see to it that you, and others like you, shall be liberated, ere the coming of another age. May the stars shine ever brightly on us all.