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Hovertext: The premise for a competition, which would test the worthy, and return their freedom.

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In the Words of Soliam Murr, the Last of His Name

Page 107 - Rites of Flame[]

With these blackened nails do I hereby inscribe the Rites of Flame. The bylaws shall be written here in full.

We the Eight decree the Rites a test of one's true worth in body, mind, and spirit.

Now, until the stars abandon us, this shall be binding law within the Downside.

Those deemed worthy in the Rites are to re-gain their freedom from the Downside, and return from whence they came.

Exiles shall conduct the Rites as one of nine triumvirates, and look toward the stars for guidance on their path.

Exiles shall bear this Book as status.

Page 109 - Essential Structure[]

The essential structure of a Rite shall be as follows:

Where chosen by the stars, within the dark of night, shall two triumvirates stand in opposition, far enough afield, beside their consecrated Pyres symbolizing their resolve.

In each triumvirate, the three shall act as one, to demonstrate their trust in one another, not just in themselves.

Triumvirates shall endeavor to extinguish the Pyre of their adversary, whose flames are only to be staunched through a Celestial Orb descended from the stars.

Whosever Pyre remains burning shall prevail. The triumvirates are to disperse.

Page 111 - Searching the Stars[]

We, the Eight, have seen the turning of the stars from now until the ending of our age. Heed their guidance, and ours.

The stars take many cyclic turns. The Rites commence at their behest, upon Celestial Landmarks where the Downside's Greater Titans fell before the heavens.

Bearing this the Book bestowed on your triumvirate, you, the Reader, shall perceive under which stars you are to congregate.

Follow where they lead, as your adversaries shall. If either of you fails to appear, then neither of you walks the Path.

Whether you prevail or you fail, from that point the stars shall guide you on.

Page 113 - Before Each Rite[]

The Rite shall not commence unless the necessary preparations are complete at a Celestial Landmark, ere the stars align.

Exiles shall conduct the Rites bearing this Book, of which there are but forty copies, each bound in astral hide.

Exiles shall wear the sacred raiments, fashioned in our likeness at the summit of Mount Alodiel. Their identities are to be concealed, for they shall represent us all.

Exiles shall set a metal sigil for their Pyre, and consecrate the grounds using the words, 'The Eight Scribes gave their freedom so that we may yet have ours.'

The heavens shall respond when all is set.

Page 115 - Law of Three[]

During the Rite, each triumvirate shall act as one, unerringly, and without question. The disobedient shall suffer banishment, or permanent expulsion.

Exiles shall move as of a single mind, to demonstrate their faith, and recognize that they, as we the Eight, cannot prevail alone. Their worth shall be determined both by their actions, and their peers.

Triumvirates lacking experience in this may designate a Reader, whose focus on this Book may help the others to coordinate.

However, only those who shall conduct the Rites firsthand shall walk the path toward Enlightenment, and become eligible to re-gain their freedom.

Page 117 - The Burning Pyre[]

At the appointed time, at the aligning of the stars, the heavens shall rain down upon the ground sufficiently prepared, and thus the two opposing Pyres shall be set ablaze. Thus shall commence the Rite.

Triumvirates are to protect their Pyres, as they would their life-blood.

Life-blood, itself, is never to be shed, before, during, or after any Rite, lest the disobeyer suffer permanent expulsion. Exile is injury enough; the Rite is an act of mercy.

Fear not the purifying flame! Plunge into it headlong and without fear, for you shall be protected by the stars themselves.

Seek freedom in the flame.

Page 119 - The Aura[]

Exiles bearing the raiments and this Book reveal their hidden inner Aura, in the color of their flame.

The Aura is the Exile's solitary weapon in the Rites. Should one's adversary cross one's Aura, the adversary shall be banished.

Banishment is fleeting nothingness; seek the Pyre's light, and thus make your return!

The Exile's Presence shapes the Aura.

Exiles gain greater Auras whilst standing side-by-side with their triumvirates, for we gain strength, together.

Exiles may cast their Aura through sheer force of focus on this Book.

Page 121 - The Celestial Orb[]

As the two flames are lit, so shall the Celestial Orb fall from the heavens.

But one such Orb shall be availed by the stars, requiring triumvirates to vie for it.

Its cosmic connection to the flames, the raiments, and this Book bestows the necessary qualities for its bearer to prevail.

Effortlessly sails the Orb between the three in a triumvirate. It seeks the grasp of whosoever acts among the three.

Once grasped, the Orb shall draw within it all the bearer's Aura, fueled by the triumvirate's own flame.

It is to be cast into the flame!

Page 123 - The Path[]

In each Rite, we gain Enlightenment, whether we prevail, or we fail. Indeed, through failure do we tend to learn the most valued lessons, provided we survive. None among us have prevailed without end.

Exiles who walk the path toward Enlightenment shall, at times, be struck by an epiphany, and achieve Mastery in some respect.

Choose well amongst these blessing we bestow. Thus, you may yet achieve your potential, and surpass your adversaries.

Whenever you prevail, your triumvirate earns Favor. In time, the triumvirate with the most Favor shall be summoned to the Liberation Rite, to earn a chance at freedom.

Then, the cycle shall begin anew.

Page 125 - Liberation[]

The Liberation Rite takes place upon the Fall of Soliam, under a blooded moon, witnessed by the heralds from the stars.

There, the most-favored triumvirate shall confront the one which we appoint.

These two triumvirates first shall pass through Scribesgate, where their worth shall be assessed under the stars.

Only the most enlightened Exiles within each triumvirate may be anointed for a chance at freedom. Two of their companions shall support them whilst they strive.

The anointed champion of the triumvirate which prevails then shall plunge into the Shimmer-Pool, and return in glory!

Next chapter: The Book of Rites: Nine Triumvirates

See also[]