Flames by the Campfire
Hristijan Pavlovski is a professor of Philosophy who loves art as much as he loves wisdom. His philosophy is that no other medium can summon the full range of human emotion quite like the literary arts can, and it is his goal to explore the extent of that.
The following was taken from a set of tokagi tablets discovered during our expedition to Little Eyelet in the Isles of Nulst. The work done to translate this was difficult, as the tokagi notably do not have a spoken language, instead relying on pictographs as well as a dialect based on scent and gesture for in-person communication. For this reason, this translation may seem a little whimsical, but the priesthood of the Nulst assure me it is accurate to the tokagi way of thinking. May it aid you in your endeavors to make an alliance with these peoples.
Magelord Tolrend Weal
Many moons ago, a summon was issued by Chief Punji-Mata to all corners of Talmenor, calling forth envoys of the wisest tokagi from their respective tribes. They were to come together and finally end the debate about their origins as a species: something that had caused them misunderstandings and quarrels for many hatching cycles. All those who deemed themselves wise and knowledgeable in such matters could attend, no matter the position they held within their tribes.
The meeting was to be held in the village of Makuta’Mata. If decisive, it would be a historic moment for the tokagi. Settling the dispute once and for all would bode well for the Chief’s reign, as well as serve as an example of his prudence and intellectual prowess.
So, from all corners of Talmenor in which the tokagi resided, entourages of wise folk flocked to Makuta’Mata. Some came to finally settle old debates, others to learn, and yet others to earn fame to their name… While some, well, some just appeared to have a bit of fun.
From the village of Kraka-Tu, came Kiki-Riki and his disciples. He represented a school of thought that preached that the universe is one. He had been deemed the wisest by their chief, yet Kiki-Riki did not see it as such: in his eyes, there was no wisdom in stating the obvious.
Yet, curiosity drove him to attend. Even if he could not settle the debate, he would still learn something new. That in itself was a glimmer of wisdom.
From the village of Oro-Kara, came Maki-Kaki. A peculiar lizard by all accounts, he was the village idiot, constantly prancing and dancing everywhere he went. His appearance was a gesture that the others found insulting. Yet, even in their cynicism, they recognized perhaps some truth could be discovered.
From the village of Shaka-Tu, came Ciki-Briki, the elder of the village. He had been deemed the wisest on account of the many moon cycles that he had experienced. If this old reptile could not show the truth to the hatchlings, then no one could.
From the village of Rakana, came Chum-Bum. Chum-Bum was a shaman who claimed to speak directly to nature and the deities residing within it. He and his followers were mystical in nature, and it is exactly for that quality that he was sent as an envoy. According to him, his words were no less than divine providence: for those able to accept them, that is.
And finally, from the hamlet of Roshana, came Shamora-Sha. Shamora-Sha was a unique hatchling, for his skin was opal blue, and his eyes seemed as if they had the night sky contained inside them. Yet, that was not the most unique part about him. The most unique part was the way in which he spoke, as would be made evident at the great debate.
As the entourages began arriving, a great feast was held to accommodate them, as a demonstration of the hospitality of Chief Punji-Mata and the folk of Makuta’Mata. They dined on the finest anthropods and herbs, and they supped the sweetest ichor. At the end of their feast, a campfire was lit, as demanded by tradition, and the debate could finally begin.
First stepped up Chief Punji-Mata, and he addressed everyone:
“Brothers, sisters, wise folk of all the tribes, hear me! Thank you for coming to this humble village at my behest; you do me a great honor. A great debate has divided our people for many moons, a debate that we must settle here tonight, lest we stay divided furthermore! I ask of you: do not multiply your enemies this day; instead, expand the horizon of your minds! This debate has divided our people and fed the animosity between us, and it ends today! Let us begin!”