Finale – Now Available!
Dr. Consortia Keel, DA, OA Divinator General
Transcribed (with copious notes and crucial contextual information) by Jeremiah Flourish
(Dr. Keel approaches the podium.)
Orodi Yog Bamoun.
(The students respond.)
Yes, yes, yes. You’ve just vomited it back to me, as you do for every professor, in every class you take here, every day of your attendance. The day of your graduation from this institution, provided you do graduate, a matter of intense debate amongst the staff in some cases, the Ritual of Commencement may require you to say it as many as seventy times.
(She is radiant. Her eyes are black, like those of the Ifrit, and her heat is immense. To cross her is to die.)
It means “Gods Above and Below,” of course. As a language of intention - that is to say, of will codified - it presents many etymological challenges. We study Firstwise second-hand, as the language itself cannot truly be spoken or written without divine agency. So, yes. We write and speak a shadow of the truth, but is not mere shadow preferable to the plunging depths of the Evernight?
We speak it out of respect for the eight, though they are now four. We write it fearfully, and with great trepidation, because this we know: we mimic the omnipresent, ineluctable forces which bind together this world.
Because Firstwise congeals intention, the order of the language must also represent it. For example: Orodi, which conveys “lightness” or “bouyancy,” is placed at the beginning - the height of the phrase. Yog - which describes the infinite - can describe any number of gods. Once you have even one infinity, any other distinctions are merely hair-splitting. Bamoun, a word which thickens the tongue even to speak it, conjures depth - a wide word, a word with darkness held in it, a word who by its ponderous weight must fall last.
Many students ask why it should be that we retain the Orodi preface, when the luminous beings it refers to - such as Yog Kudl, God of Kittens and Yog Crimi, God of Cream - were obliterated by the four below shortly after the birth of our universe. It is a matter which receives the grave and proper attention it deserves in other courses. For now, let us say that glorifying them, even in their absence, has profound value.
We should take a moment to say what Firstwise is not. It is markedly differentiated it from what is, colloquially, called Witchmouth,
(at this, some in the audience titter.)
...but is perhaps better stated as “unspeech.” Unspeech is the precisely the reversal of intention, the unbinding of real things into their component notions. There are many dialects, as those of you in my other courses are well aware. But, in general terms, Firstwise always acts to channel being. That is not to say that it is always benevolent, simply because it is creative.
No, you must never think that. It must never be spoken without great care. It must never be written without absolute certainty. Any symbol, any speech, and we fear any thought may be emblazoned with divine will at virtually any moment. I have seen this myself. I have…
(It is at this point that Dr. Keel pauses, perhaps conferring with spirits, perhaps entranced by her own lectern’s extraordinary beauty in the reflection of the polished oak. She gathers her papers up, and - with the eternal composition of sculpted marble- takes her leave.)