VIII: The Garden

This is a new addition to a tale (the tale, really) that had lain dormant for several months. If you’d like to catch up, you can start here.

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By the time the children had scampered back to the cemetery gates they were short of breath and nearly frantic with fright. How close they had come to their persecutor Herling, how near to that murderous goblin with the skulls dangling from his staff! And to think John Mus had led them straight into such a pickle. Come to think of it, where was John Mus and why had he not come to the meeting?

Mills and Gramm crept out through the still open iron gate. “Here, let’s go slower back to the barn. There might be people on the main road, and I don’t want to attract any attention. We’ll go quietly as we can,” said Amelia. Gramm would have preferred to keep running, but he was too frightened to argue. When things are bad, you trust your big sister.

It was good that the children did cross the field stealthily. As they neared the far edge of the field, which bordered the road into ToadChapel, they heard harsh voices bickering. Keeping their heads low, Mills and Gramm sneaked up behind the low stone wall beside the road and peered into the barnyard across the way.

Near to the barn where they had spent the first part of the night stood three nasty goblins arguing with one another. Two carried long sharp spears with wicked pointed heads, while the third bore a stout little bow and a quiver full of arrows. Though their conversation was hard to follow, it seemed that the one with the bow was urging the others to search the barn. Continue reading “VIII: The Garden”

Fountainhead

What can one say about Holos?

Holos, whose name means ‘whole’ or ‘complete,’ derives many of his views from the immortal Plato, the most important philosopher of all time. Plato was an Athenian born at the end of his city’s Fifth Century golden age and raised during the Peloponnesian War, which saw Athens’ defeat at the hands of Sparta and subsequent descent into political chaos. As a young man Plato fell under the influence of Socrates, a radical critic of just about everything who was executed for religious crimes and ‘corrupting the youth.’

Holos is a slippery eel, seldom committing himself totally to a given theory or judgement. He is a pure intellectual, ready to entertain any point of view, even if only to discard it. That said, Holos does tend to return to a few central ideas over and over again.

First and most importantly, Holos denies that the world revealed by our senses represents things as they are. For Holos, both our impressions and our reasoning about them are flawed. Unlike the world of objects, fleeting and overpowering emotions, and shared characteristics, Truth lies in a realm of non-physical, eternal, unchanging, concrete ideals. These ‘Forms’ stand behind the objects of experience, which partake of them only imperfectly. Where ‘the Beautiful’ is beautiful in itself and by itself, is in no way unbeautiful, and possesses no other characteristics than beauty, beautiful persons or works of art exhibit beauty only within certain limits: in degrees, for a certain time, and according to appropriate standards. The Form of the Beautiful is not merely an abstraction from beautiful particulars, but is far more real than they: the Beautiful exists without qualification, while mere sense objects imperfectly partake of both Forms and their opposites.

Holos is inconsistent in his description of what, exactly, counts as a Form. Certain important ideas such as the Beautiful, the Good, and the One, seem not only to be Forms in Holos’ view, but may even amount to the same thing. On the other hand, concepts such as dwarf, shipwright, blue, and evil may or may not participate in their corresponding ideals.

Closely connected with his theory of Forms, Holos also claims that the soul is immortal, passing through alternating phases of material and immaterial existence. While embodied souls suffer the intellectual distortions of both duplicitous senses and a weak mind, the soul after death/before life apprehends the Truth directly, ‘seeing’ the Forms themselves in their timeless and perfect austerity. Upon our reincarnation, Holos argues, we forget all we have known in the realm of Forms, and suffer again the illusions to which embodied cognition is ineluctably vulnerable.

Holos has opinions on just about everything, and has shown himself more than willing to change those opinions with the benefit of reflection. He is the dominant figure in the intellectual life of ToadChapel, and many great sophotasters have created their own ideological identity in opposition to his views. In this, too, his mastery is evident.

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Holos (but not quite)

Holos has been coming along. His buddy Hyûm & he should be able to hold a decent conversation soon.

Though he’s only got a few ‘zones’ & nubbins to paint, access to the stuff inside the folds of the cloak is very tight, so he’s taken a fair amount of care… and retouching.

As you can see from the hairs on my hoodie, the Small God Cora has been helping me this morning as usual.