The Eschatonic Scripts

The Eschatonic Scripts are a collection of scraps of prophecies assembled into one volume by persons unknown. The first instance of the Scripts appearing together in one transcribed collection appears to have taken place in Kandang in the year 1848, when the compilation was discovered in an unopened library of the Dragon-Kings. In an attempt to improve the world’s opinion of the country, the monarchs of Kandang allowed several roving bards and curious wizards supervised access to their libraries. These students made copies of the Scripts for their own uses, sometimes adding comments and interpretations that varied from the tentative to the declamatory.

The Scripts are composed of four sections. The oldest of these, the so-called Quatrains of Anak Xul, date from the time before the first Equinox of the Heroes and are widely believed to refer to the events that took place in that Equinox. They are thus discharged prophecies, though modern speculators never tire of finding new meanings for them.

The Sayings of Good Mother Fubbage are the most urbane of the Scripts, resembling the prattle heard in fortune-tellers’ huts the world over. Versions of the Sayings are repeated as folk wisdom in most of the eastern nations of Ashfar.

The most respected section is the Cryptic Mutterings of Thuz. Wizards invest more significance in this section than any other; no doubt the fact that the author was a wizard himself accounts for this. Thuz was a definite historical figure, a wizard of Jehannum. His evil and power were such that he was the de facto ruler of Jehannum for a century and a half; his servant, a strange humanoid creature with long grey body hair called Yarnak, acted as his emissary and was commonly called the Hound of Thuz. Only age put an end to Thuz’s evil. Following his demise, his tower was torn down and even the bricks were smashed to fragments. The fate of Yarnak is not known.

The most recently authored section is the Vision of Septimus Jessop, the rantings of a common peasant who was taken for a prophet. His conviction was such that many nobles as well as commoners were persuaded to take his words seriously; it was one such noble who provided a scribe to take down Jessop’s words as he spoke them. Jessop originally began by uttering prophecies of doom to come, as prophets typically do, but rapidly distinguished himself by prophesying the means that could be taken to ensure oneself a place in Heaven. Jessop’s prescriptions originally involved unremarkable measures such as regular prayer and allowing one’s hair
and beard to grow in defiance of fashion, but Jessop’s cult became steadily less popular and more hardcore as the requirements for salvation became more extreme.
Emphasis was placed upon the mortification of the flesh and the denial of comfort. Nobles who had previously embraced Jessopism at a time when everyone else was doing
it were not willing to enter Heaven if the cost of doing so was bathing in manure and applying sheep ticks to one’s body parts. The whole Jessop cult was wiped out when the cottage it occupied fell in following an infestation of beetles. All that now survives is the Vision. Jessop’s prophecy, though short, caused mass hysteria the last time there was an eclipse of the sun, as an increasing number of people took this as the ‘seventh sign’ to which Jessop refers, although the world failed to end.

So assuming that any of these inane mutterings have anything to do with us I have added some comments to sections that match what has happened.

The Quatrains of Anak Xul

The lamps of Heaven tumbled down, burning still;
Fire and force shall suffice to stymie the gorgon's breath.
Three times the tyrants rise, three times they fall.
This could be the black tyrant of brass in the desert? Reference to the equinoxes?
Upon the fourth, the heart shall burst and break.
The abyssal Altar?
I see a tower like a shadowed man,
A Darkspear
Higher than hills and castles he shall walk.
Battening on blood of heroes. His the fist
That topples my proud race.
When shadow turns on shadow, black on black,
When White holds Black in final check and mate,
Then shall a greater hand in spite descend
To overturn the chequered board of worlds.
After bright stars have nailed down the night
A deeper doom shall face a brighter sky;
Hell shall arise, breaking forth in flame
And Heaven's trumpets sound the final fray.
The tryst is forged on a world not this world,
Our latest meeting of off-worlders?
Brith's folly soon shall bear its final fruit;
A reference to She the goddess of the drow?
An unclean wedding, swift to the fouler feast
Kafu's tragic nuptuals.
Breeds further foulness within, awaiting its hour.

The Cryptic Mutterings of Thuz

In the midst of many storms I see a table, where the wicked and the wise dine together.
Again us at the current meeting.
I against my enemy; my enemy and I against the stranger; me, my enemy and the stranger against the devouring unknown.
Bone above, bone beneath, and bone shall heal the hurt.
The giant skull
The colours are many, but the light is one.
The crimson hells and the azure skies shall feud, yet those in the midst shall join together to hold back the night.
Again a reference to the Fnuttters
As the diamond yields only to the touch of the diamond, so does a great evil yield only to a great evil.
All turns with the turning of the Wheel.
Even as the corrupt renounce their corruption, so too shall the pure become apostate to their purity.
Betrayal seethes in the heart that seems most warm, even as the worm writhes in the hottest dung.
The craftsman despises not the saw for its cruel teeth, nor does the blacksmith hate the fire for its cruel heat. Yet wood and iron alike shall curse the hand that works them.
When chaos reigns and all around are filled with doubt and wrath, he shall prosper who heeds the youth that bears great age in its hands.
Bodiless Ao?
The evil genius is no less a genius; the heroic fool is no less a fool.
Good without evil is like a steeple without a church; it wavers and cannot stand. Evil without good is like fire without fuel; it shall consume itself and perish.
Evil does not deal in false hope. Good has a monopoly on it.

The Sayings of Good Mother Fubbage

When the Final Days draw near,
When the End of All is here,
One shall sweat and one shall sing,
One to stones of sorrow cling,
One shall steal a kingly crown,
One shall tear a prison down,
One shall sail the damned bark
Unto the shores before the dark;
Sure as moths devour the silk,
Sure as thunder sours the milk.
Never did a man rejoice to tread upon a thorn;
Never did the appleseed bring forth an ear of corn;
Never was a castle built all out of rotten wood;
Never did an evil deed bring forth a deed of good.
If wizards never had walked the land
To work their wonders with word and hand,
Nor whittled a wand from an elder tree,
Then dragons children's toys would be;
And goblins, giants and ogres all
But shadows cast on a nursery wall.
So bless the wizard and treat him well,
Wise words.
And show respect to every spell.
Trust the fire to burn you, and trust the snow to chill,
Trust a dog to fetch and trust a cat to do its will,
Trust the merry jug of wine to fuddle up your brain,
But never trust a turncoat, lest he turn his coat again.
One a prince in sackcloth dressed,
One a child with bounty blessed,
One a Star in blood and bones,
The Starborn
One beset with sighs and groans,
One as black as midnight's heart,
One a fiend of double part.
A sinful nation shall arise
With steeples to assail the skies;
The demons loos'd to roam the earth,
Recent planequake
The angels baffled for a birth,
While men and women all folorn
Await the coming of the dawn.
The world then at an end we'll see
In nineteen hundred and ninety-three.

The Vision of Septimus Jessop

The angel came before me once again, bearing a crown of flame upon his head and a trumpet that was also a sword, and this he did say: Ye shall know that the last days are come when the signs are sent unto you, and ye shall know the signs thus.
Seven are there.
The first sign is the tearing of the Heaven like unto a hempen cloth.
The last planequake
The second sign is the howling of many beasts, in alleys of blood.
The third sign is the shattering of realms, unseen and yet heard, past the veil of the clouds.
Destruction of the planes?
The fourth sign is the rage of a dead mother at her dead child.
The fifth sign is the repentance of the fallen.
The sixth sign is the return of the tyrant of cinders and flame, that the world might be tormented by fire.
The seventh and the last sign is the sphere of brilliant day, eclipsed by the sphere of night.