It's time for another Cythera Book Club discussion! I wanted to do the Aloiphoi because they never made any sense to me.
Of course you can find the books in the library in Pnyx, or on Fiery's website: http://sfiera.net/~s...hera/books.html
As far as I know, none of the characters in Cythera have a custom response when asked about the Aloiphoi. All the mages give this standard response:
"The Aloiphoi are a series of instructional books on magic. Unfortunately, they are difficult to read, and filled with obscure allusions.
What's more, they often contain deliberate 'blinds', to trip up the unwary - they are not for the uninitiated."
I considered making a separate thread for each volume, but in the end I decided fifteen different threads wouldn't be a good idea :x
Well, to start with, any ideas who wrote them?
I remember when I was little, for some reason I thought it was obvious that Alaric wrote them during the years that he stood looking at the void. I can't remember why I got that impression. Aloiphos FD in particular seems to counter this, as it seems to be describing the mage justice system (I think?), which wasn't developed until Alaric had completed his bond.
For the terminally lazy..
Let the Magus then contemplate each in turn, raising it to the ultimate power of Infinity. Wherein Sorrow is Joy, and Change is Stability, and Selflessness is Self. For the interplay of the parts hath no action upon the whole. And this contemplation shall be performed not by simple meditation ---how much less then by reason!--- but by the method which shall have been given unto Him in His initiation to the Grade. ...
There are four gates to one palace; the floor of that palace is of silver and gold; lapis lazuli
Many have arisen, being wise. They have said 'Seek out the glittering Image in the place ever golden, and unite yourselves with It.'
Many have arisen, being foolish. They have said, 'Stoop down unto the darkly splendid world and be wedded to that Blind Creature of the Slime.'
I who am beyond Wisdom and Folly, arise and say unto you: achieve both weddings! Unite yourselves with both!
Beware, beware, I say, lest ye seek after the one and lose the other!
Then look for Witnesses and Judge in their special table, and see what is said under the head of the demand. Put this down. Note next what figure falls in the House required (if it spring into other Houses, these too should be considered) 'e.g.', in a question of money stolen, if the figure in 2nd be also in 6th it might show the thief to be a servant in the house. Look next in the Table of Figures in the Houses, and see what the figure signifies in the especial House under consideration...
The frog being caught is kept all night in an ark or chest. Presently the frog will begin to leap therein, and this is an omen of good success. Dawn being come, though shalt approach the chest with an offering of gold, and if available of frankincense and of myrrh. Thou shalt then release the frog from the chest with many acts of homage and place it in apparent liberty. Dismay, for example, be placed on a quilt of many colours, and covered with a net. ...
Now in this is the magical power known.
It is like the oak that hardens itself and bears up against the storm. It is weather-beaten and scarred and confident like a sea-captain.
Also it straineth like a hound in the least
It hath pride and great subtlety.
Yea, and glee also!
Let the magus act thus in his conjuration.
Let him sit and conjure, let him draw himself together in that forcefulness; let him rise next swollen and straining; let him dash back the hood from his head and fix his basilisk eye upon the sigil of the demon. Then let him sway the force of him to and fro like a satyr in silence, until the Word burst from his throat.
Then let him not fall exhausted, although the might have been ten thousandfold the human, but that which floodeth him is the infinite mercy of the Genitor-Genetrix of the Universe, whereof he is the Vessel.
Wreathing and roaring for an ageless aeon,
Wrapping the world, spurning the empyrean,
Drowning with dark despotic imminence
All life and light, annhiliating sense --
I have been sealed and silent in the womb
Of nothingness to burst, a babe's bold bloom,
Into the upper aethyr of thine eyes.
Oh! one grave glance enkindles Paradise.
One sparkle sets me on the throne above,
Mine orb the world
Thou shalt crush me in the wine-press of Thy love. My blood shall stain Thy fiery feet with litanies of Love in Anguish.
There shall be a new flower in the fields, a new vintage in the vineyards.
The bees shall gather a new honey, the poets shall sing a new song.
He writeth for them that are ready. Thus is it known if one be ready, if he be endowed with certain gifts, if he be fitted by birth, or by wealth, or by intelligence, of by some other manifest sign. And the servants of the master by his insight shall judge of these.
This Knowledge is not for all men; few indeed are called, but of these few, many are chosen.
This is the nature of the Work.
Let the Aspirant beware the slightest exercise of his will against another being. Thus, lying is a better posture than sitting or standing, as it opposes less resistance to gravitation. Yet his first duty to the force nearest and most potent; e.g. he may rise to greet a friend.
This is the Third practice of Ethics.
Let the Aspirant exercise his will without the least consideration for any other being. This direction cannot be understood, much less accomplished, until the previous practice has been perfected.
This is the fourth practice of Ethics.
Aloiphos VD (heh, VD )
First Point. The student should first discover for himself the apparent position of the point in his brain where thoughts arise, if there be such a point.
If not, he should seek the position of the point where thoughts are judged.
Second Point. He must also develop in himself a Will of Destruction, even a Will of Annihiliation. It may be that this shall be discovered at an immeasureable distance from his physical body. Nevertheless, this much be reach, with this must he identify himself even to the loss of himself.
Third Point. Let this Will then watch vigilantly the point where thoughts arise, or the point where they are judged, and let every thought be annihiliated as it is perceived or judged. ...
In the beginning was Initiation. The flesh profiteth nothing; the mind profiteth nothing; that which is unknown to you and above these, while firmly based upon their equilibrium, giveth life.
In all systems is to be found a system of Initiation, which may be defined as the process by which a man comes to learn that unknown Crown.
Also the altar shall fume before the master with incense that hath no smoke. That which is to be denied shall be denied; that which is to be trampled shall be trampled; that which is to be spat upon shall be spat upon. These things shall be burnt in the outer fire.
The Speech in the Silence
The Words against the Son of Night.
The Voice of Tohuti in the Univers in the Presence of the Eternal.
The Formulas of Knowledge.
The Wisdom of Breath.
The Root of Vibration.
The Shaking of the Invisible.
The Rolling Asunder of the Darkness.
The Becoming Visible of Matter.
The Piercing of the Scales of the Crocodile.
The Breaking Forth of the Light!
For I am the soft sinuous one entwined about thee, heart of gold!
My head is jewelled with twelve stars. My body is white as milk of the stars; it is bright with the blue of the abyss of stars invisible.
I have found that which could not be found; I have found a vessel of quicksilver.
Thou shalt instruct thy servant in his ways; thou shalt speak often with him.
Buzzzzy last edited by
I don't think the terminally lazy would read all that. Then again I did.
I never understood the Aloiphoi and I recall believing that they were written by some guy named Aloiphos back when I was first playing.
Now you've spoiled the whole thing, Nezmy : P We're supposed to go through them one-by-one! Besides, I'm terminally lazy and I clicked on Fiery's page.
This post has been edited by BreadWorldMercy453 : 29 March 2011 - 08:55 AM
I think to understand one you have to take meaning from the others, and maybe other aspects from the game. Though I'm leaning towards some vague sub-story in the game that was never fully fleshed out except in Gandreas's head.
I always figured it was supposed to be nonsense "Wisdom" literature written by Aloiphos in the early years.
'nother thought. Maybe Aloiphos was the 'translator' of the older manuscripts, & snuck a few of his own essays in amongst the classic works. :ninja:
This post has been edited by Jehezekel : 29 March 2011 - 06:15 PM
The volumes are organized in Pnyx in this general order: F, B, MJ, YH, V, O, A, YD, MRS, FD, YS, J, YA, VD, VA. Maybe it's just a random order (& a lot of them do have duplicate copies later on), but I thought I'd mention it.
Thanks for pasting the entire works in here, Nezmy ^_~
I don't have comments on most of them because I don't understand them at all. But, I do have comments for a couple of them.
Aloiphos B, my first thought was LKH? It seems to me that there's four gates to LKH (the main entrance, the wolflizard cave, the headwater ruins, and that hill near Cademia), but then the gates aren't silver and gold, so I guess not.
Aloiphos F, ew. What if I don't want to marry the blind creature of slime? I'm reminded of the episode of Teen Titans where Starfire's sister arranged for her to marry a giant green blob. Am I the only Teen Titans fan?
Pallas Athene last edited by
I have trouble believing any attempt to analyze the content of the Aloiphoi will be productive. It might at least be possible to determine the origin of the name, and the significance of the lettering system, if any. However, "αλοιφός" (1) only occurs four times on the internet (if you're willing to wait, it will eventually link to this post). "αλοιφή" apparently means "ointment," "paste," or indeed "unguent," but there's no declension of it that could be rendered "αλοιφός," which is clearly a masculine noun (Latin "unguentum" is neuter).
Interestingly, one of the search results for αλοιφός discusses Linear B. I had been thinking that maybe the lettering system for the Aloiphoi had to do with Linear B, in part because the Theran eruption occurred before the development of the Greek alphabet (in fact, if not for the eruption, the Greek alphabet might never have been created). Google Translate appears to confirm the "ointment" theory but I can't figure out what is being discussed.
(1) Note that stressing the final syllable is just a guess on my part.
No wonder unguent tends not to work!
Is there any evidence that the Aloiphoi were written by one person? If they are a series of books, they may have been written by a number of different people over a long span of time.
The comments about them by the mages suggests they are intelligible to them and thus are probably not prophetical. They may just be a collection of saying and such assembled over time.
Are the mages the only group who respond when asked about them?