12 Jun 2015

Musings on the Fallen Saga

If you’ve been reading this blog of mine, you’ll have realised I’ve promised a lot—analysis, poetry, reviews, and an upcoming book all plan to make a debut. You may even be wondering if I, perhaps, am capable of so many a mean feat. But rest assured: I never decline a challenge.

For starters, the aforementioned book review—on Epiphanies whilst High out of One’s Mind, by Abigail Lee—is to be released on the 18th of June. It concerns marijuana (or ‘pot’): the author details her personal experiences of the dubious substance, along with presenting evidence and argument for its liberalisation. Will she convince me? I doubt it; but the book has thus far proven informative and entertaining. And I am certain my review shall be pleasing, both for her—and for you, my dear reader.

Dubious substances aside, let’s get down to the subject of this post: the Fallen Saga.

The Narrative

The Fallen Saga, of course, is as yet incomplete. Nevertheless, I have several musings to share with you, both on the nature of its present narrative arc; and on likely future additions.

If you haven’t done so already, do read the Fallen Saga.

We begin with Peace, in which we are introduced to the setting:

In lands cold and far
The mighty castle gazes
Upon peaks of rocky countenance
Enmeshed in Winter’s mellow grasp…

Though this installment does not detail the setting by name, I will in fact mention it to be the Valley of Souls. The theologically minded among you may wonder if I am referring to the ‘Valley of Soulmaking’ of the Irenaean theodicies proposed by the likes of Hick; this is indeed the case.

In simpler terms, the Valley of Souls is a place of free will; good may exist, and so may evil. In some ways, the struggle between the Angels of the Light and their dark brethren is one of man’s struggle to ascertain his place in the world: to find meaning in an existence without explanation, purpose in a world defined by its very freedom.

‘Alex!’ you may cry; ‘does this not present these characters of yours as being less the mighty angels, more the confused children?’ Indeed; this very critique is levelled against the Iranaean theodicy (among many more). Nevertheless, there is a kernel of truth to it: for both man and angel suffer from confusion, uncertainty; vascillation in matters crucial. Make of this what you wish.

Queer theological musings aside, the Fallen Saga’s next incarnation is simple enough in purpose: our world—though possessed the verisimilitudinal qualities that are named peace, order, and life—is still, at its heart, a place of chaos. Such quaint metaphors as:

The trees shiver in tremulous awe
As if they fear not the fires from the ether.

Only serve to show that such calm, permanent features—the trees, the sky, the power of our weapons (‘The cries of mighty dragons / Fall silent.’)—are but illusion in the face of greater things.

In the Darkness Arisen, our narrative progresses to the dawn before the war. We begin with an insight into the great discontent—even injustice—that marks the Dark Ones:

Exiled, we were;
Exiled, for we dared to question—dared
To believe
Not in empty promises light
But in a future ruled
By the free.

Is freedom—no matter where it leads, no matter what the cost—a worthy ideal? And is it worth fighting for?

Moving on, we are later introduced to Merthiol. He’s a curious hero, is Merthiol—and by this I do mean hero in the classical sense: human, god-like… somehow quietly ordinary, yet truly exceptional. And of course, Merthiol is a saviour. Of what, well; that’s a difficult question. Does he support the Light—or the Dark? Or has he transcended this bitter schism, to view life as an experience not marked by polarities; by purpose in strife: but rather, by the common experience of beautiful existence?

Our next chapter is aptly entitled Dulce Bellum Inexpertis (‘how sweet is war, for those that know it not’).

My love for metaphors, as you may know, is only superceded by my love of pathetic fallacy (itself a kind of metaphor). Take this:

Oh, how sweet is war!
How the very earth trembles in awe
And delighted fear; how even the sky—seemingly
So insouciant; so untroubled by dark countenance—
How even it must grow vermilion
As if in sweet expectancy.

There’s a fitting irony to it: the sky, initially an object of wonder (at its immutable face as well as it grace) is now an accomplice in this distinctly dark turn of events.

In any case: Dulce Bellum Inexpertis does, indeed, bring in war. There’s an inevitability to it; as if—for all the posturing on discussion and diplomacy—at the end of it all, fate is decided only by battle.

Merthiol, interestingly, actually does debate—with the narrator. (I shall make no mention of the narrator, thought their identity is one you perhaps ought guess.) In one stanza, the narrator urges Merthiol to act; but not for the sake of angel or demon—no: Merthiol ought act for the sake of humanity.

Merthiol! Do you not wish
To see the moon reflect your eyes once more;
Do you not wish
Sweet peace; sweet human life
Stop them, Merthiol!

You may however notice that humanity hasn’t actually come into play yet. Why? Well, that may be because it’s been about humanity all along. But I shan’t say no more of that! Instead, permit me to offer a suggestion:

‘Aye, teller of truth,’ says he;
‘Do you wish me—indeed—
‘To bring peace to tormented souls?’ he asks
As if in jest.
‘In light, shall they not abandon us for good?’

Our hitherto latest episode is entitled Lucifer. His portrayal is a sympathetic one, it may be argued: for Lucifer rebelled not for arrogance’s vacuous placations, nor for the sake of Pride’s empty promises. Lucifer is a warrior; his fate was foretold, created, and destined for all of eternity.

And yet, he is a warrior pledged to nothing. Battle—though grand and awesome—can bring neither contentment nor resolution. Though perhaps this battle; perhaps it may change the course of Fate.

I have spoken enough. If you wish for further musings, do tell. But now, I must leave you. Expect further installments—soon. Until then: may the stars be with you…

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