Virtues of the Shadow, By Silane
Greetings to all on this warm summer’s eve. This sermon will focus solely on the virtues of the Cult and while I would normally welcome an open forum at the lectures close, I must regretfully say that I simply do not possess the time this evening. Of course, all of you are welcome to seek me out if you have unanswered questions or wish to discuss the faith more personally.
Now then, if I may have everyone’s attention I believe I will begin.
The Cult has five virtues opposed to the three of the Light; these five virtues are divided between primary and secondary virtues. The primary virtues are those that are believed to be the most important to the success of the individual while the secondary virtues are those that are most important to the longevity of the individual.
The primary virtues consist of respect, tenacity and power.
Respect; one must view our reality as a manifestation of each others will. Things form and occur because of the power of someone or something else. It is vital to not only recognize this power but to respect it. Exerting one’s will upon the universe without first examining the strength of those around you puts one in a dangerous position; therefore, it is important to be constantly aware of your situation and your fellows. Seeking power and results too quickly can mean potential conflict with those of higher power than yourself. Only a foolish follower seeks to challenge his superiors right away. Showing respect ensures a measure of self-protection which ensures potential results.
Tenacity; one must not lose themselves in the face of the great despair. It is vital to the success of the individual to possess the tenacity to endure the struggles of existence in order to achieve their goals. When faced with the existential despair one must always remember that they are responsible for their own results and achievements in life. All situations have the power to change in the favor of the individual but only if the individual is committed to making the changes.
With great persistence everything is achievable.
Power; one must be patient when seeking power. As it has been spoken there is a constant struggle of power within the universe and one must always be aware that there will always be someone or something possessing more power than yourself. Power may be obtained at a steady pace, this method ensures that the individual is achieving a desired goal but not alerting potential threats. Learning patience while acquiring power leads to a greater success of your potential goal as it decreases the amount of threat you will receive on your journey.
It is important to speak of the great despair when speaking of the virtue of Power. The great despair is an existential break through that occurs when an individual realizes that the foundations of their identity have the potential to or have crumbled; therefore leaving the individual with nothing of what defines or drives their existence. One must then realize that existence is in a perpetual state of despair as their is nothing concrete to base one’s identity on within this universe. One must create a purpose for their own existence; those who do not seek this power have no reason to exist. Forsaken who do not seek to better themselves might as well still be a part of the Scourge.
The pursuit of power- to a purpose of existence requires one to not only be patient but cautious and subtle.
Now I will briefly discuss the secondary virtues, those that are most important to the longevity of the individual; death and compassion.
Death; one would reach the pinnacle of power when one has mastered death. It is vital to understand the importance of taking life as well as preserving it. A Forsaken must not kill indiscriminately, nor can they withhold death from the weak. To kill without reason only escalates the Forsaken’s risk of encountering a power too great to overcome. One who slays without cause may find themselves exhausted and therefore defenseless in the face of a true adversary. Likewise, a Forsaken who shows mercy to the weak and forgoes regular exercise of their power may gain a reputation for weakness, therefore drawing predators.
A balance must be met and an individual must learn to read situations in order to best use the power of death for their own betterment.
Compassion; a follower of the faith must always remember the hardships of the Forsaken people. We must never forget the struggles that we each face- while we do seek individual gains we must always recognize the importance of community and the survival of our kin. By showing compassion to your fellows you are increasing your own potential to achieve your goals. In dire times, such as these, we are all only as strong as those we surround ourselves with.