Good citizens of Enonia and the midlands of Irecia, my fellow worshipers of the Light, I bid you good morning.
I come before you today as a humble servant of the Light. I come before you as someone who shares your pain, your struggles, your sorrows and your joys. You have suffered especially hard for these past few years – war, disease, uncertainty, loss. You have preservered despite the many challenges before you. Truly, you shine with a Light all of your own, a Light which has lead us in the darkness, a Light which makes us strong and whole.
The Light. We call to it, we pray to it, we do acts in its name, but what is the Light? What does it mean? What does it stand for? Where does it come from and where does it lead us?
I know that as a little girl, I was raised in uncertain times, then in tragic times. I was born in the rubble of the Doom and I was raised during the wars with the Bestials that saw us driven to our knees. In those first few years, we as a race cast about, praying to old gods who did not seem to listen or care. It was a priest of Light who healed me of sickness, who helped us to find shelter… who prayed over my Father’s body when he died. He was always telling us to stand, to be strong, to find the Light within. I did so, in his honor and now in honor of all those who strive to shine Light into this darkness.
I believe that we sometimes forget the most important aspect of the Light… that it is from within. We pray to it, but in reality, we are praying to ourselves and each other. We call to it, but in reality, we are calling to ourselves and each other. We do acts in its name, but in reality, we are doing acts for each other and with the support of each other. The Light shines within you, within me, within all of us. It is our destiny to let that Light shine forth… or not.
Think about sunlight, about the light of a fire, of a lamp or candle. It seeks to shine in all directions, to all corners. Darkness persists when the light is not strong enough, or when it is blocked. You can see the shadows, sometimes clearly, sometimes fuzzy. The light seeks to get around the darkness. When there are multiple candles, lanterns or windows, then the light can reach in all directions and no shadows remain. That is what the Light in us tries to do. Alone, we are one flame. Together, we are brighter than the sun above and no darkness may remain.
There are other things that seek to exist alongside the light. The light still shines. These other things may seek to catch ones eye, but the light still shines. And although a flame or two may not be lit anymore, the light that still shines from other lanterns and candles still shines, still seeks to cast away the shadow and darkness.
There are those who seek to use the Light to their own purposes, to “catch” the Light and bend it, reshape it. They tell you that the Darkness is because of those who do not let their Light out, who rather harness their light within to other purposes, such as praying to the old gods. They seek to make you afraid, to hold that fear as a weapon and to hurt others, to deny others, to drive out others.
Some lights are different colors, different flames, different shapes. The light of candle and of the lantern is different from the light of the torch, the fireplace, the sun, and the stars above. Yet they are all flames, and they drive away the darkness in their own way.
I do not believe in the old gods. Whatever they are, they chose to be silent, to turn their backs on us in our time of greatest need. They showed that they live for us to worship them and that they cannot or will not help us. It was our light within, our belief in ourselves, and the miracles that WE can perform that has saved us from everlasting darkness. This I believe in all of you, that you can open your light and continue to do wonderful, good things because of yourself.
Yet I do not deny the light of those who seek out the old gods. Just as a candle may be removed from a chandelier, and it may be used elsewhere, it still shines. It’s own purpose. So too, I see the pagans. They are us. They are men, women, children of our flesh and blood. Their light may be elsewhere, but we are all still walking the same life, and we all contribute to shining away the Darkness. In time, they may rejoin the Light, the great chandelier, or they may not. None can deny that they have found some power of the divine within. Although I believe it is their misguided light that shines forth in the name of another, it is still divine and it still pushes away that which would overwhelm us.
As of this moment, as High Priestess of the Duchy of Irecia, I declare the group known as the “Lightbringers” to be heretical and unwelcome in our churches, in our homes, in our lives. They seek to pervert the light to a means that darkens the Light and makes us weaker, not stronger. If you are a Lightbringer, I forgive you. Your light has been used, but you may rejoin us, by renouncing the darkness of this group. If you continue to opress the misguided pagans, you are not acting in the Light, you are acting no better than the Bestials who would enslave us. I will not forgive such acts anymore.
To the pagans, I say this – I see your faith and your beliefs and your searching for the truth. To those who believe in the Light and yet still put a cup of water on the window sill for an old god, or put a small flower on the bed to appease an old god, I see that you are hoping for help and guidance from anywhere. Despair and fear are powerful, but be strong and the Light will shine forth for you. I forgive you, I love you and I will not push you aside. I will sit with you, pray with you and we will push away the darkness together. I do not cast you away, but rather walk with you, and welcome you with open arms. I believe in YOU and your Light. Not your god. Rather in YOU.
I know many of you have come here to learn of my intentions for the priests and leaders who have misguided many of us. They will be held accountable and atone for these acts. Those of the Light will be dealt with by me and a council of priests. We will take care of our own and perhaps heal our own. Darkness and despair can damage and harm, but we will seek to heal them and guide them back. Those who are of the Duke or the King must answer to the laws of the Kingdom of Men. I will pray for them and seek to counsel them.
My dear travelers of the road of Life… I pray that the Light comforts you, guides you, shines in darkness and lifts you up. I pray that when you feel weak, or sick, or injured, that you see the Light within and know that we are all connected through it. May the Light shine ever always in your heart and mind.