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The conversation takes place over dinner, far from the prying eyes of the world in the Blackmane Manor. Dazarus explains the concept of evil being a natural and necessary force to his old mentor's son.
"It's an intriguing concept, is it not?"
"Indeed. But a little elaboration would go a long way, if you don't mind,” said Vellith, as he sat relaxed at the dinner table. He did not bother to partake in that night's feast, but there was an air of curiosity that stayed his feet as he conversed with the man across the table. In-between long pauses as the man continued to eat, he occasionally glanced into the roaring fire, the flames casting a dancing orange light that entertained his wandering mind. But as his gaze inevitably returned to the other side of the room, he couldn't help but notice that the flames did not illuminate as much of the man as he'd expected.
"Some things are. . . difficult to explain properly with mere elaboration-"
"Try me," Vellith demanded.
The man continued eating. After a few tense minutes, he set aside his silverware, drank deeply from a wine glass, and sighed. He looked over the cleanly-picked bones of a chicken, which then began to move and click back into their natural standing positions.
“Consider, if you will, the natural order of things on the most basic scale. You live, and then you die – of course, what we do in that time is largely irrelevant to what is and what is not natural. No matter what we do, our actions will be a natural course of action. . .” Dazarus thought for a moment, and then backtracked, “as. . . as we are irreversibly part of nature, so are our actions. For example,” with a snap of his fingers, the skeleton burst into flames, now waddling around on the table. “We may. . . light the world ablaze, and everything would burn to the ground, we could. . . blow up the entire planet with a massive influx of magical energies, not to put too fine a point on it. Of course, we'd all be dead - but who is to say that is not the natural course?” A second snap and the flames blew out. Wisps of smoke rose, spreading and coalescing as they rose towards the vaulted stone ceiling, tinted red with the light of the fireplace. Dazarus eyed the seared chicken skeleton on the table, slowly pacing around and occasionally prodding the other foodstuffs.
"The priesthood, the druids-"
“The druids! The priests, the knights, the shamanic councils – splinter groups, all of them, in the greater picture. And they always like to say that the natural order is what would occur if we did not exist. Or did not consume more than we required, always. . . always something along those lines,” he said, casting a look of absurdity across the room, “as if we, ourselves and our ambitions, were unnatural.” Dazarus began dancing his fingers through the air, playing like he held the skeleton aloft as a marionette.
“No, what those with power in this world choose to do is just as much a part of the natural order as anything else. They think us better than highly intelligent animals – I think otherwise. They think that what they call evil is unnatural – and it's not. Evil is as much a part of the natural order as is good.” Dazarus shrugged and returned to his meal, the chicken continuing to strut around in peculiar fashions.
Vellith sat silently, the gears in his mind turning more quickly than he'd have liked. He struggled to find a fault in the man's argument. The flames continued to dance, the skeleton marched around the dinner table on parade, even the air began to change, albeit subtle. The way he spoke-
Dazarus peered up from his plate at him, watching. His stare was. . . unpleasant. Before he could come up with a counter-argument, the man continued.
Edited by Dazarus on 8/30/2012 6:16 PM PDT
“In the end, all you have to do is decide if it's worth it – the evil for the good. . . or vice versa. And that's partly where ethics come in, and believe me, ethics are more or less pointless. The end justifies the means more often than is required to give it a second thought,” Dazarus said, as the room slowly grew darker, and rain began to batter the windows in sheets.
“Am I going too fast for you? No? Alright then. . . tell me where this fits in to the natural order,” Dazarus asked as he lifted the skeleton from the table with a flick of his hand. He then made a circle in the air with his finger, and the chicken began to rotate in place.
“It. . . it doesn't,” Vellith replied, his eyes fixated on the display, “it was brought back into the order after death. It doesn't belong. It's unnatural, and by extension, so are the means.” Dazarus grinned, his eyes glinting in the fire.
“As long as I have the power to do so, what makes it unnatural for me to raise the dead? If the power exists, why is it unnatural for me to use it?” The bird stopped spinning and dropped to the table, where another skeleton erupted out of an uneaten chicken. The two birds began to do battle. “But you are right, the bird is indeed, dead.”
“Dead. The bird is very, very dead,” Dazarus said amusingly as the fight unraveled before their eyes, “but it's body is now under my control. An extension of my will, nothing more. No longer. . . a separate entity in the order of things.”
“And what of the real thing? These are poultry, destined for nothing more than food. What about those like us?” said Vellith. Dazarus sat perfectly still for a moment.
“Hands-on examples are always so much more enlightening. Let me get one for you,” Dazarus said, quickly becoming more interested. With another snap of his fingers, a loud bang echoed through the hall, followed by a loud thump as a wrathguard appeared out of the air and fell to the ground, next to the table, atop the man he had been fighting a moment ago. In the confusion, the man lost his bearings and fell quickly to the repeated, savage strikes of the demon above.
“Not dead, if you'd be so kind,” he said, as the wrathguard lifted the broken man and slammed him down on the table, crushing the fighting skeletons. For a moment, everyone simply sat in their chairs, staring at the scene before them. Vellith was stunned.
“Another one falls to the demons. Well, he won't be missed – unfortunate for him, but he was dead anyway, and you need to see what his death has to show you.” Dazarus stood quickly, and walked over to the side of the table. The flames jumped and roared as he approached.
“You cannot have light without the darkness. Never falter, or you waste the life you are given – or the one you are taking. Hold an open mind to the truths of the universe, even if it means going against the accepted ways.”
Dazarus put his hand over the man's face, closing his eyes. The man let out a muffled groan.
“And remember what I told you about ethics.”
In one swift and fluid motion, Dazarus slid a dagger from his sleeve, flipped it to face the man, gripped the handle tight, and plunged it downwards.
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