Saturday 3 April 2021

Cult of the New Colossus: Beauty of the Beast

Brother Olaus Wermius Augustine surveyed the scene before him, eyes bright with both academic fervour and the reflected light of the pallid moon that waxed and leered horribly above the unearthly scene. However his nose still hadn’t come to terms with the wall of musk and noisome odour that assaulted it and his ears still rang with the cacophony of squawks, yelps and guttural snarls emanating from the braying crowd. Yet still he endeavoured to focus all his concentration on the task at hand. For he was Cataloguer and Compiler of all the wonders and miracles the New Colossus felt fit to bestow upon the world. It was his calling to codify and crystallise the teachings that could be learned from this munificence in to the one, all embracing orthodoxy that would inevitably bring the word to the world. The endless march that was their mission to bring truth to the unbeliever had been called to a halt for the night and his brother clergy, terminators and the rest of the Crusade were setting up pickets or bedding down for a few hours sleep. However, this brief respite was an excellent opportunity for Olaus to observe the behaviour and mien of these most outlandish followers of their God and he must not waste it. 

Yet the young cleric couldn’t help but marvel at how far he had come after escaping the shadow of his former teacher. That old fool’s inhibitions and petty worries had threatened to bury Olaus in all the stultifying blanket of dogma and petty moral precepts that the Royal College of Magic cowered behind. How could that old vulture not see that the interminable hours spent in studying the complex symbolism and endless rituals needed for even the most minor spell were such a waste. The memory of the acres of dusty parchment and ancient forbidden magical texts that were fearfully hidden away because of the knowledge they contained still filled him with a burning anger. No - magic was a living, dynamic thing and true power and knowledge could be had only if one were to commune with those who would share it. If one had the courage and force of will to reach out into the black gulfs of essence and entity, to push the confines of mind and spirit beyond all spheres of force, matter, space and time then one would find themselves in the company of those other Gods!  How fitting it was that that pathetic shadow of a man had died as he lived... afraid. His death had been at the hands of one of the foetid and rushing, airy presences that the old Wizard had so greatly feared. To the old man's surprise, Olaus had been its summoner.