Theology Part I: The Arrival

Be it known to the Last Church, to the Brotherhood of the Night Sky, and to the representatives of all creeds that the author undertakes this writing without intent to blaspheme or besmirch any scripture or canon. Rather, the author, one Ryuiwo of Iurd, is but a humble scholar seeking to collect and comment upon the various verses, lays, and traditions concerning our Gods, the venerable Outsiders. He does so in the hope that any who seek to deepen their understanding of the ways in which their legacy has been interpreted throughout time and throughout the world might find, in this text, a valuable resource.

The Arrival

It is known that the Outsiders manifested themselves in our world in the very distant past. This event has come to be known, nearly universally, as the Arrival. Alas, pending the discovery of as-yet-unknown evidence, this is all that can be definitively stated about the Arrival. The reason the Outsiders Arrived at the time that they did, rather than any other, is unknown. The nature of our ancestors’ first contact with divinity is unknown. What is known is that the Arrival marked the end of the ancient First Age—the Deep Past—in which humanity wandered as a blind man through the darkness, stagnant and directionless. 

In the canon of the December Ebulliant, the Arrival is said to have occurred on the 12th of December. Because of this, and because December was once the twelfth month of the standard year, the December Ebulliant esteem the dodecahedron above all other polyhedrons (save the icosahedron, of course). In their tradition, as in most, the Arrival was an unspeakably joyous occasion. The people of Icosa were lifted from the mire of sin and confusion, directed toward a holy purpose, shown a better way. The following verse from their liturgy recounts the Arrival and compares the Deep Past to the current Age of Abandonment:

Oh, to see the boats descending with their holds replete with light  

Oh, to feel the hardship ending in the wake of perfect might

How the darkness fled before the fury of Attendance

How it cravenly returned to witness mortal penance

Verse 3 of Summer in Winter, from Abidin’s Mass

The December Ebulliant, the Last Church, and many other sects describe the sudden appearance of an Outsider—often depicted as a Hedron called Water Flowing Over Stone—which served as an emissary of the divine Arrival. After Water Flowing Over Stone enlightened the joyously gathered masses, it apoptosed to cleanse humanity of its sins. Then, a triumphant procession of Hedrons and the great sky-boats of the other Outsiders graced the sky. They circled the world for twenty days and twenty nights, heralding the advent of the Age of Attendance.

Water Flowing Over Stone, artist’s interpretation

Other accounts of the Arrival depict a certain degree of initial resistance to the Outsiders. The most notable attestation is derived from an excerpt from a text known as the Book of Sherman, cited in a collection that the Last Church has declared to be apocryphal. This collection was recovered from the ruins of the Cathedral of Tranquility after it was destroyed in the Damonian Civil War. Note that the dialect is archaic and informal; it may prove difficult to read. The germane portion of the text is provided below:

When I try to picture it in my mind, I feel like I ain’t remembering right. Giant pyramid, like Egypt*, but with three sides instead of four. And it looked like it was made out of chrome. Ninety miles off the coast of Hawaii**, floating about ten feet over the waves. It kept making these head-splitting sounds, like a foghorn or something. I asked it what it was, and then I saw, in my mind, clear as day, a river of dark water, water coursing over a bed of black shale. I asked it what it wanted and I saw such horrors as I can’t bear to put on the page. Mankind in shackles. It wanted everything. I gave the order to attack. Shells and rockets didn’t do anything. It started carving up our battleships with some kind of laser beam. I ordered a full retreat. It didn’t follow us. We nuked*** it as soon as we could get the greenlight. That did the job, but… One minute the sky was clear. Next minute it was black, like a plague of locusts, full of those floating shapes. They came from nowhere. All different shapes and sizes, and one with twelve sides that was so big it blocked out the sun. I think I might be the man responsible for the end of the world. When I attacked that thing, I might have doomed the human race. May God help us.****

The Book of Sherman, 19:62, The Deep Past

* Egypt is suspected to be the name of a monument created in the shape of a pyramid at some point in the Deep Past.

** A number of possible locations have been proposed, but to date, none have been conclusively proven to be the mythical Hawaii.

*** Whatever form of attack this was, the account seems to suggest that it actually wounded or killed the Tetratron—that this “nuking,” rather than voluntary apoptosis, was responsible for the destruction of the Outsider. The implication that humanity possessed deicidal weapons before the Age of Attendance is puzzling and bears further consideration.

**** The reference to a monotheistic deity is curious. Perhaps humanity had other religions in the Deep Past. Could the Outsiders have Arrived to correct humanity’s erroneous faith?

The author wishes to reaffirm that this text is not representative of the canon of the Last Church. It is apocryphal, likely never intended to leave the vaults of the Cathedral of Tranquility. It is reproduced here solely for the sake of historical interest.

Nonetheless, even the rare accounts that mention initial disharmony between humanity and divinity agree that the Age of Attendance changed everything. Once humanity accepted the wisdom and providence of the Outsiders, the prejudices and suffering of the Deep Past were annihilated in the utter transformation of the world. 


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