Everything is chaos and war. No longer do any distinguish an enemy from a friend; there is no word or honor.
The old [guild] tags are gone, and nobody would recognise Myrland. Every day I go to the cities and I see people with tags that I don't know. Who the fuck are they? TOFU? I don't even know what TOFU is! In Spanish, TOFU means caramel cream! It is impossible to understand anything!
Certainly, Ruben, Master Merchant Ibarruri, my son in the faith of the Radiant Lord:
First of all, recall that-- in this lovely yet harsh world of Nave-- all have known defeat and mysterious turns of "fortune": the faithful and followers of every God, Greatest, Great, and small; even the followers of no-god-at-all. We are sustained through struggle, and (as the malachite tablets that, it is said, survived the doom that came to Shinaria say):
Man supports himself only on that which resists.
So this world must resist man else he existeth not.
* * *
Into men's hearts, I looked by my wisdom,
found them not free from the bondage of strife.
Free from the toils, thy fire, O my brother,
lest it be buried in the shadow of night!
Hark ye, O man, and list to this wisdom:
where do name and form cease?
Only in consciousness, invisible,
an infinite force of radiance bright.
Man is a star bound to a body,
until in the end,
he is freed through his strife.
Only by struggle and toiling thy
utmost shall the star within thee
bloom out in new life.
He who knows the commencement of all things,
free is his star from the realm of night.
Remember, O man, that all which exists
is only another form of that which exists not.
Everything that has being is passing into yet other
being and thou thyself are not an exception.
-- courtesy of the ,:.A.:.I.:. Archives
In our Mortal lives, we cannot all travel across the face of Nave, ascend her heights or plumb her depths, wielding divine power to create miracles; but, we can oppose oppression, suffering & disease of mind and body-- acknowledge and acquaint men with the concept of their Inner Sparks -- unite them, as possible, in the name of Soldeus and spread the words of his teachings among them.
In any situation, we can remind ourselves of the Obligations (beginning with, but not ending with, prayer) which we men owe to the Divine Father who loves us, in loving memory of she (Nave) who bore us with His Light in our eyes¹:
Where there is darkness, Your Light will shine through;
Where there is despair, Your Love will bring Hope;
Where there is doubt, Your Lessons will rekindle Faith;
Until the hour of reckoning, when all Sparks become one.
As it is written, so shall it be.
This is especially important in the inevitable times of mortal trouble, for Umbra is always waiting to snare the unwary. In struggling against his Radiant Brother, Umbra interferes with the Children of Soldeus, striving to corrupt and destroy each of them. He does so through the enticements of the world and the flesh, making those stronger and more deceptive, and also by tempting us with sinful suggestions of all kinds, whether delivered personally by demons such as Mastema, or not.² Outright defeat, or great loss is not the worst fate; the worst is the loss of conscience, which in truth is the Light Within Us.
Whenever your path is broken and seems pointless, your body is weary, and your temper frays like a cheap cotton Robe, remember your Moral Compass:
Remember that Courage is the form that all virtues take at their testing point-- do the right thing and fear not. You came from Light, and to Light³ you shall return; in the end, what will you have lost? Nothing!
Remember, also, if you will, my blessing upon you in these words from the Fire Sermon of what is vulgarly called "The Night of Umbra":
Darkness may surround us. Darkness may grieve us. Darkness may beguile us. Darkness may, for a time, inhabit us. But again and again, we see, the DARK always ends.
For it is always darkest before Dawn, but then comes the Light and with it, the Awakening. Now, we see the world as in a Dream but soon, we shall Awaken, and Rise.
As Soldeus rises, so shall we. Even as Light was the beginning of the first creation so, in the new creation, the light of the Spirit shall be His first work upon the souls of men.
We His Faithful stand already in His Sight. We shall rebuild his Altars, we shall replenish his Hosts, we shall be ready when the Noon Day comes.
Praise His Mercy, that can preserve us until this time can come!
I think your greatest caution is advisable, now, so that you don't end up paying people who another pair of deep pockets have already rewarded with the aim of betraying you as much as possible. To get paid *twice* would be a great temptation for the unscrupulous, who are many. Maybe even "legion".