6 · Wind cannot blow the wind away, nor water wash away the water.
— Jesma Shirancord, “Vectors”
The Lucidity is white. It is not bright, nor cloudy; there is no texture or shade. It is simply white, everywhere you look, and aperturesLocations where two realms are joined in such a way that you may slip between them. They appear as uncanny distortions through which passage can be disorienting and dangerous.Turn to chapter to uncharted regions open only to a directionless void. The Precepts who reside here however—wiry and nearly-featureless petitionersSouls of the dead that have re-manifested on the most well-suited lamina, where they perfect and reshape themselves while carrying out pursuits in accordance with that lamina's principles.Turn to chapter in black robes—have graced their void with alabaster monasteries and halls of marble tile and pillars that ascend out of sight, and on this solid ground they gather in eternal contemplation and mental and physical training in pursuit of the mantra “lucid body, spacious mind, empty heart”.
The Precepts’ most notable pursuit is their ritual of Erasure, in which a number will congregate, silently and peacefully, in some cardinalThe cardinal worlds make up our foundational, everyday reality over which the laminae are layered.Turn to chapter location, unseen by most but visible to some through vergesThe thinning of the Ordial barrier between cardinal and laminal realities such that certain aspects of one may influence, be perceived, or be simultaneously present on the other.Turn to chapter. After a period of meditation ranging from hours to weeks, the OrdialThe membrane that divides laminae from cardinal worlds, a membrane which can be forded by various means.Turn to chapter will pull taut again, hiding the Precepts from view while at the same time the object of their attention is erased from existence. When they gather it is never clear what is going to be erased,1 and no one has witnessed the actual moment of Erasure—it is said that this always comes when the target is held in the attention of only the Precepts and no others. In theory this suggests a possible counter: to have a sufficient number of defenders holding the target continuously in attention such that the moment of Erasure can never come.2 This of course is hampered by the impossibility of ascertaining what a given target may be.
The Precepts claim no magical abilities, only complete control over their faculties of consciousness and the flux between attention (which focuses steady consciousness on a single object) and awareness (which broadens consciousness to observe a wide range of perceptions). The proposed mechanism for Erasure is that many Precepts focus their attentions on the target and then, once they have fully enveloped every minute aspect of it in their minds, simultaneously snap their full consciousnesses away to an open awareness of the entire multiverse—this transition is as if a tremendous vacuum opens in an instant, annihilating the object.
Reasons for particular Erasures are unknown, and the Precepts speak only cryptically with visitors. Some observers presume benevolence: that there is a grand plan of balance that Precepts enact through targeted adjustments, an explanation this visitor finds unlikely. Others propose that this is an intellectual study, for to understand how something is destroyed is to truly understand the thing—every object breaks in a way that is unique to it. This theory is supported by the sometimes artfully selected recipients of Erasures, for example a natural landmark removed that drastically alters the landscape and environment as a result, or a small yet key mechanical component the disappearance of which causes a device to be completely ruined upon its next use. Precepts have referred to their endeavor as an art, and perhaps they mean this not in the academic sense as a subject of study, but in the literal sense as the application of skill for purposes of joy and fulfillment.
TODO have searched trinym and gone through quotes and demonyms, but should go through all other elements and also names
In some places, harmonic vibrations resonate your bones and guts, tremors starting fuzzy big and wide, then sharp and crack and divide, split you apart from the inside.?
Different regions vibrate differently: some will destroy only certain kinds of objects, some will destroy anything. Different Monks find themselves at home and in comfort in different regions.?
White is the color when nothing is there; white is the color of thoughts stripped bare White shows the mind the way it would be; white brings to mind the nothing-to-see White has no form, no texture, no grain; White clears the storm, the pleasure, the strain
They seek out (or hate?) actors and musicians and models—they’ve soaked up so much attention.
discuss difference between attention and awareness. They focus so much attention on the object, to the exclusion of awareness, that when the all simultaneously (how do they time it?) open up to a broad awareness, it’s like a massive vacuum that sucks the thing into nonexistence. This is why if anyone else is paying attention, it doesn’t work.
The monks claim no magical abilities, but merely the ability to have complete control over their attention. They say that beings waste vast strength by the fact that most of their attention is not under their control, that there is a constant background torrent of leaking attention. Everything is superfluous to them. It’s not unknown for a monk partaking in ritual to squeeze so much attention out of their beings that the blood stops flowing in their veins, the skin stops holding in the flesh, resulting in the petitioner’s structural form failing, and their essence being unified with the obliterative strength of the plane. Sometimes during Erasure ceremonies, monks are known to vanish while outside of their home, their essence presumably dispersing.
Ritualistic. Rarely, a cadre will coalesce for an Erasure, where they go en masse to some location and erase something—a building, a city, a lake, an artifact. The Monks will be seen congregating, silently and peacefully, in an area. They defend themselves with deadly and precise psychic force when threatened, but otherwise their techniques seem more subtle. Vibrations and noises, sometimes blurring or fuzzy muffling of sounds, will be evident, at a range corresponding to the size of the object being erased and the number of Monks participating. The to-be-erased object eventually vanishes. It happens suddenly, and the monks vanish simultaneously.
When the monks gather,
No one witnesses the actual moment of Erasure—it always happens during a blink or when glancing away from something. It’s said that staring at a thing, holding eyelids open so as not to blink, can prevent the monks from erasing it. However, since it is never clear what the monks will erase or exactly when it will happen, it’s impossible to purposefully employ this tactic. Even beings of immense clairvoyance whose physiology allow flawless unblinking, omnidirectional gaze, do not consume all the available information at any given time, and move their attention from time to time. During these times, an object will be erased. Erasures are rare TODO(example using some civilization), though a handful of beings are known to be have been the presence of more than one. Infamously, mighty wizard TODO/name(haughty wizard) who deemed every speck of dust in his dwelling to be in absolute focus in his mind at all times, found after several days of a half dozen monks that his TODO(important wizard belonging) vanished while he was in the same room having just used it. Maybe happened twice, first time was further away.
Academic observers have attempted to identify a system to what they erase, and the dominant narrative is that the monks maintain a multiversal balance by erasing TODO stuff at extremes. However, far too many observed erasures have seemingly no connection to this. The TODO/organization, a group of mostly gnomes who TODO, have made it a pastime and competition of documenting erasures, the most successful of which, TODO/name (winning gnome), has personally witnessed an astounding seven monk gatherings (a record), though in only 4 of those was the erased object identified (TODO/name (runner up gnome) holds the record for identified erasures, having traced 5, though first gnome maintains that the 5th is wrong and so they’re tied for it.) TODO how do the gnomes find them?
It’s unknown whether monks ever gather outside their plane for purposes other than erasure, though many gatherings have resulted in no erasure found.
TODO what do they do during ritual? Nothing much, but something.
TODO what tone/frame/form should next paragraph take? Could be “I once met a guy…” but narration should be more authoritative and not have “I”. Could be a blockquoted thing, like a journal entry. What else?
One report of a being who had a hunch about what would be erased TODO/building (but not a religious shrine, what) and resolved to stare at it as the monks swirled around. He held his eyelids open, drying, TODO describe, for days. Eventually it happened. He could still see the structure, but his vision became surreal and uncomfortable to witness TODO describe. Indeed the structure had not been erased in his vision, but it seemed to be an after image, or another existence superimposed upon his normal one. He could see passersby react as if the structure were gone (in shock, etc), but the structure still stood. And though the final moment of erasure is accompanied by the monks vanishing, in his vision, the monks remained. And they were busy. But his vision bubbled and blurred. They were disassembling the structure perhaps, or re-building it, or arranging something inside it or modifying it somehow. TODO more interesting, maybe they’re panicked that the watcher will fuck everything up. The after-image became stranger and stranger. Suddenly, a sneeze shook him, and though he swore his managed to keep his eyes open, it was no use—his attention was diverted for a fraction of a second. The monks and the structure were gone, and so was his vision: he was blind for the rest of his life
Generally the number of Precepts and duration of their presence indicate the size of what will be erased: a handful may congregate for a day to erase an ancient oak tree, while hundreds focus weeks to erase a mountain range. Size of the target is not the only indicator however. An entire city could be filled with Precepts for days, only to vanish without any sign of what they erased, which may have been a small but forceful artifact, or, very rarely, a mortal life.↩︎
Scholars argue that this aspect of erasure proves that there is no being in the multiverse that is truly omniscient, or at least who is both omniscient and holds everything in attention at once, for if this were the case, nothing could ever be erased.↩︎