The Winds of Change Blow Freely

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The Winds of Change Blow Freely

Post by Thelos on Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:58 am

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The Winds of Change blow freely

The Psylosopher was wearing great rimmed spectacles whose glasses were very much like the bottoms of the glass jars the peasants kept their jams in. His sharp beard was ever-so neatly groomed and his flowing robes were as spotless as the day in which they were purchased – which so happened to have been yesterday.

Directly opposite of him sat his current object of study: a bronze-skinned and raven-haired man who, when he was brought in, was wearing a dusty turban and a fitting mask that covered his facial features – of course, for the sake of science and an unperturbed examination of the subject, it had been removed upon the Psylosopher’s request. Besides his turban and mask, the criminal had worn a long mantle that hid his faded yellow leather jerkin – and more importantly, his many knives and poisons he had intended to use for his foiled assassination. Now he was dressed in the tacky black-and-white prison garments so commonly used by the guards to shame their captives.

At some distance from these two sat the guardsman that had arrested the hoodlum that had been into custody for some time now. He wasn’t entirely sure how this charlatan of a “Psylosopher” (what the title even meant eluded the guardsman) managed to weasel his way into gaining the right to enquire the criminal and him being a honest man his disgruntlement was easily read on his face. It must have been some nobleman’s fancy: the latest fad was to treat criminals as patients that needed healing, rather than violators of the law that needed to be punished. His hand nestled uneasily on his sheath, his fingers constantly twitching. Should the prisoner make any unsuspected moves, the guardsman would be ready to strike him down and deliver upon him the just punishment that he was momentarily excused from.

“Listen. Mister Rimsheer-“ the Psylosopher started, before being cut off by the questioned, who saw need to correct him:


“It says ‘Francis Rimshaw’ right here in the file, mister Rimshaw. Do you feel the file is mistaken?” Halfway in saying this, the Psylosopher turned his head to address the guardsman.

“There was no file before we made one,” the guardsman said coldly, “so we picked a first name at random and used Rimshaw as his surname on the assumption that the victim was, indeed, the estranged twin brother of mister Timothy Rimshaw.”

“Potential victim,” the Psylosopher said, “I will remind you that this man has not killed anyone as such and deserves to be treated better than a common murderer.”

The guardsman, acknowledging the Psylospher’s authority over this enquiry for the time being, swallowed the sneer with dignity and looked on in solemn silence. He did, however, not think any better of the good doctor for it.

The Psylosopher knew exactly what tone to use to win over the trust of the prisoner. He’d spin his web carefully and sweetly; appearing to be on the prisoner’s side and making him believe that, trough entering into dialogue with him there was chance he could get his sentence reduced. In proper Psylosophy, it was important that the patient thinks the session to be in his best interest. A dialogue with an unwilling patient, as any freshmen knew, bears no fruit.

“Remember, son, I’m here to help.” the Psylosopher said musingly, “So what do you want to be called? Mister Rimshaw, Francis, or…” the Psylosopher hesitated for a moment, weighing the pros and cons of playing along with this obvious delusion, before deciding: “…Zephyr?”

“Rimshaw is the name of the instantiation of the temporal form in this particular singular timeline. I am also an instantiation of this temporal form, but from a different timeline.” said Zephyr, “My trans-temporal name is Zephyr. Given the nature of my being here, the proper way to address me is Zephyr.”

The Psylosopher adjusted his spectacles and glanced at the guardsman. The latter gave him a curt nod, confirming the Psylosopher’s suspicion that, yes, the criminal always talked like this. The Psylosopher wrung his hands greedily.

“Whatever makes you feel most at ease, Zephyr. I’m here to help you” said the Psylosopher.

The Psylosopher had often theorized about a possible malediction of the mind that would inflict upon the hapless sap that suffered from it the false belief that he was a temporally displaced time traveler. Fabulous tales of time-traveling bronze drakes from the western continent had no doubt twisted more than one frail mind into believing that he too could break out of the insufferable rut of his life’s routine by hopping into some muddy puddle he perceived to be a time portal. To travel back in time to rectify this or that mistake, to seize a lost opportunity or to experience that one perfect moment over and over again…Which sane mind wouldn’t dream of that?

The same sane mind , no doubt, that would discard these fancies to be the stuff of fairy tales. Even if there had been time traveling dragons – a notion almost too absurd for an academic to entertain – their power would be far out of the reach of mortals and they would be foolish to indulge so unworthy a race in their mysteries.

But the promise of time travel wasn’t just fed to the soft criminal minds by bronze dragons alone: some eccentric magi, styling themselves Chronomancers, had recently been popping up in greater numbers as well. These mavericks were shunned by the more respected archmagi for their mad experimental magicks – at most, chronomancy might be able to slow time for the caster: but cold science teaches us that, when a conscience is sped up, the world around it grows slower. That was all chronomancy was: a niche branch of mind enchantment, the speeding or slowing of the cognitive functions and thereby changing the perception of time. Time travel? At most, one could journey trough one’s memories and beseech the divine wisdom of the oracles, nothing more. Diviners and scryers could see in time, but there were none that could travel trough it.

The halfwit in front of him had been arrested attempting to assassinate the local town drunk, who so happened to carry an uncanny resemblance to him. Zephyr claimed that he was acting according to the will of a rather shady sounding “Doomed Prophet”. This “Singular instance”, as Zephyr was keen on calling his intended victim, had to be eliminated to “prevent the obstruction of the free-blowing wind”. (All of these quotes were on record and had already been comprehensively reviewed by the Psylosopher before the interview.)

Though many of his colleagues would discard this particular madness as just one in a million crazy pathological serial killer who used cultism as an excuse for their horrible crimes against humanity. the Psylosopher saw in this Zephyr a unique and entirely new chronic confusion – one worth of study and certainly enough to build an upstart’s career on.

“Let us talk about the man you tried to kill, Zephyr” the Psylosopher said in his therapeutic voice.

“I do not kill this singular instance. I understand this well” Zephyr awnsered.

“Singular instance?” the Psylosopher asked.

“Yes. The man Rimshaw is one of an infinite amount of possible instances of a particular temporal form. The Prophet decrees him to be obstructive to the wind and is therefore eliminated”

Is? Did the criminal honestly think he succeeded in his fever-induced aims? The pathology grew increasingly fascinating with every passing minute.

“And with temporal form I suppose you mean yourself, Zephyr?” the Psylosopher asked cautiously, “Are you the temporal form of Rimshaw – the form of which this town drunk is a mere shadow of?”

“No, no. You do not understand, chrono-typical.” Zephyr said, “I, like the instantiation you call Rimshaw, am an instance of a temporal form Rimshaw – so called for your convenience – only I, unlike this singular Rimshaw, am temporally enlightened and am therefore referred to by the trans-temporal name of ‘Zephyr’”.

“Fascinating” said the Psylosopher. “So if I understand correctly, you are Rimshaw, but from the future?”

“In a sense, yes” Zephyr said mechanically.

“But…If you kill yourself from the past, wouldn’t you be, well, killing yourself?” asked the Psylosopher.

“No. A chrono-typical such as yourself does not understand, never did and never will; in that sense, you are the same as the particular instance of Rimshaw I am tasked to destroy” said Zephyr.

“Is that why you wish to destroy your double? Is it to safeguard your current enlightenment? Does he form a threat to your current enlightened existence? I am trying to understand what moves you, Zephyr. Please, for the sake of us both – especially yourself – help me out here” the Psylosopher added with a note of desperation.

“The Prophet shall write that it has been so and we obey. For the sake of the Prophecy, we obey” said Zephyr.

“Prophet?” the Psylosopher asked.

“Yes. The Thief of Time, Shatterer of Glass and Scatterer of Sands; first and last of the trans-temporals: Zakir Al’attoya, the Doomed Prophet on whose divine breath we sail trough time” Zephyr said, betraying some emotion in his voice at last.

“And this…Prophet is from the future, much like yourself, I take it?” the Psylosopher asked cautiously.

“And the past, yes. He is trans-temporal” said Zephyr.

“I…I see” stammered the Psylosopher. He was truly at a loss for words: such intricate and complicated fabrications! Delusions as fine as these would take years of professional help to untangle and deconstruct, help the Psylosopher would be happy to provide, as long as it gave him ample material to publish. He could already see the smug faces of his colleagues, not-so-smug anymore as he introduced them to Zephyr.

“Are you quite trough entertaining this lunatic, Doctor?” the guardsman finally spoke, his patience having been spent. “I got streets to patrol. I can’t be standing here watching you yap all day – who knows how many lunatics like this freak are stalking the nights as we speak!”

“Patience, guardsman” the Psylosopher said patronizingly. The simpleton had done his job admirably, but obviously did not know when to make space for the proper help this confused soul truly needed. The guards of Stormwind had always been needlessly rough – they never had any consideration for the psycho-somatic sensitivities of their patients.

“I have been patient enough with you, Doctor.” the guardsman barked, “I think it is high time you heard my alternative hypothesis”

“I would be honored if you’d humor us with it, Guardsman” the Psylosopher smirked bemusedly.

“This lunatic whose delusions you so willingly indulge in ran afoul of a cruel trick of the Gods: either they created two creatures equal to one another in every way, or more likely, separated these twin brothers at birth and made damn sure they did not know of each other’s existence. It’s an oddity, to be sure, but hardly a miracle. This poor sap couldn’t cope with the fact that he shared his cherished uniqueness – you know, weird robes, turban ‘n mask and all – with another bloke. He couldn’t make sense of there being a person just like him, so he spun a story in which this duplicate was him, just from the past, himself being from the future and send back to kill himself by some whacky prophet to prevent the end of the world or what have you. I’ve seen this kind of babbling before – this scumbag is no better than a Twilight Cultist, excusing his murders by appealing to some insane divine scheme he has no control over, putting the blame someplace else.”

“King’s Honor, Guardsman – that’s my hypothesis exactly, by the dot!” the Psylosopher exclaimed ecstatically.

“Then what are we wasting words for!” the guardsman growled, “Lock him up!”

“No, no – not just yet. I still have some questions to ask my patient” the Psylosopher said.

“Patient?!” the Guardsman barked back.

At this point there was a loud bang and a flash; a bronze-skinned and raven-haired man in exotic desert garments appeared and, without rite or ceremony, skewered the guardsman right trough the visor with his jagged kris. Before the Psylosopher realized what was going on, he had his neck snapped rather brutishly by his patient. The exotic newcomer lowered his mask, revealing a face eerily similar to that of Zephyr. They shook hands.

“Zephyr” the newcomer said.

“Borealis” Zephyr responded in an identical voice.

“The winds of change blow freely, Brother” Borealis said, “I kill the Singular and bring you his head”. Borealis opened a brown bag dripping with blood to Zephyr, who nodded appreciatively.

“The Prophet tells you to do it and you believe you are tasked with it; which in turn allows me to do it – but only if you do not know of this” Borealis said. “My apologies”.

“That is quite all right, friend,” said Zephyr, “it is a small sacrifice I gladly make, as you make it many times, I am sure”

“Indeed. We kill the Singular - the winds of change blow freely” said Borealis.

“The winds of change blow freely” admitted Zephyr.

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Re: The Winds of Change Blow Freely

Post by erwtenpeller on Mon Mar 25, 2013 4:38 pm

Extremely confusing yet highly entertaining.

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Re: The Winds of Change Blow Freely

Post by Fyffe on Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:58 am

YES! I especially liked how you circumvent the Tense issues that can potentialy arise with this sort of topic, and have come up with a reasonable grammar for it. I look forward to seeing where this goes, and perhaps even getting involved Very Happy

Meanwhile, while on his usual amble through the city, a street illusionist routinely looks about the notice board for the latest news, before chancing upon the poster. Growing slightly pale, he reads it again.
With a worried glance about him, he tears the poster off the board, rolls it up inside his satchel and hurries back to the palace library.
He is later seen leaving the city that day, heading southwards in travelgarb towards Booty Bay...

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Re: The Winds of Change Blow Freely

Post by Skarain on Tue Mar 26, 2013 3:08 am

I do not believe myself capable of wording it better than the elf in pink, so i'll simply state: What he said.

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Re: The Winds of Change Blow Freely

Post by Thelos on Tue Mar 26, 2013 5:00 am

The Winds of Change Blow Freely.

Now the winds of change blow freely
Over the unperturbed naked dunes
Astride simaltenouslyy rising and setting suns

Arise now, children; recieve thy boons
hatchlings of the Infinite, Zakir's sons!
For the winds of change once again blow freely.

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Re: The Winds of Change Blow Freely

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