22 Dec Fading Suns Designer Diary — December 2018
Happy Lux Splendor to you all!
December 25th, by the reckoning of the Holy Terra calendar, is the celebration of the Radiance of Light — Lux Splendor. On one level, it is a time of sadness, for it is the death-day of the Prophet Zebulon. Hence, this most bright of holidays retains an undercurrent of mournfulness for all we have lost. But it is also the day that the Prophet’s sacrifice cleansed and consecrated the jumproutes against the Dark, making them safe for travel.
Celebrants light candles, fires, lamps, and turn on all electric lighting, to remind everyone of the blinding grace delivered to all beings by the Pancreator. Each is expected to give presents, symbolizing the reflection of the Empyrean’s grace from one soul to another, Universe without end.
It is believed that this date’s coincidence with an ancient Urth festival is evidence of divine synchrony, not a convenience of the Church’s manufacture.
Each year, the Patriarch delivers a Lux Splendor address. This year, as perhaps the beginning of a new tradition, the Empress Freya has chosen to deliver her own address, as a means to unite her Vuldrok family and her new subjects in the Known Worlds. We present the Town Criers guild report below. The speech was delivered from the terrace of the Imperial Palace on Byzantium Secundus. During her speech, the misty rain turned to crystalline snow. (A sign of grace to some; a sign to others that the Emperor’s technicians have developed fine control over the planet’s ancient weather machines.)
5018 Lux Splendor Address from Empress Freya Hawkwood (née Eldridsdottir)
Greetings, my new friends. I am pleased to be able to speak with you today. As you know, I was not raised with the sermons of the Prophet and his Disciples on my lips. My spiritual milk was instead the deeds of my ancestors and the spirits of the worlds they walked upon. I am new to the Prophet’s grace, but Pancreator willing, I hope to prove my courage to you all. No darkness shall stand between me and the true teachings of the faith. Let my axe banish all resistance!
My people seem so distant from you, strange of ways, dress, and word. And yet, if you walk with our ancestors far, far back into their time, you will find that we were once kindred, citizens of a single commonwealth, thanes of the Republic. And before that, our grand-kin trod the same soil of Holy Terra.
Our estrangement is an illusion of time. As we come to see this more clearly, so will our kinship grow and our oathbonds become stronger.
[Empress Freya then activated the laser tower, which sent forth a pulse of energy from planetside into the void. The year’s luck will be measured by the astronomical distance over which the beam maintains coherence. The audience cheered and performed the traditional toast to the Emperor — and, this year, to his family.]
Core Book Excerpt:
As our Lux Splendor gift to you, we present this excerpt from the Fading Suns 4th Edition core book. Each chapter has its own patron saint. The Introduction belongs to the Prophet. (Taken from The Pilgrim’s Path: H0w to Read the Omega Gospels by Charioteer Captain Zelina Hamid-Sandor.)
Patron: Zebulon the Prophet
Hail Zebulon, greatest of us all. Pilgrim, it is to the Prophet that we pray when the Dark grows deepest and all hope is lost. Like a lamp in the night, he shows us the way back into the Light.
None have seen the Light as did Zebulon, who removed from our eyes the blindfold that the Dark had placed upon us during our long, hard trials from the dirt to the stars. “In 2723, the Prophet saw the Holy Flame.” On that far-flung world, now lost to us, he saw in full the Pancreator’s radiance, and it shone ever forth from the Pancreator’s brow.
Humans on their cradle world of Holy Terra had known glimpses of this Light, dimly seen in visions in elder ages. Only now, only through Zebulon’s eyes, was it revealed in full glory: the primal star that burns at the center of all existence, the pole around which all the galaxies orbit.
We walk in the Prophet’s footsteps on the trail he blazed through the stellar spaces, traveling along the routes he sanctified with his death, seeking, ever seeking, for some spark of that original Light that he did witness: the Flame Eternal.
Pray for Zebulon’s return, that he might bring forth the Light and reignite the stars forever and ever, Universe without end.
— Bill Bridges, Product Line Manager