By Ioan Eofor
Give me a few seconds of your time here.
Every single soul worth their salt on this earth today has got at least some sort of skill, or passion in a field that they understand to be their home territory. An environment they understand, and have spent much time within. A knowledge that is unknown to many, at least in the depth that they have delved into it.
Picture a vast and endless plain of nothing.
There are no trees, there is no water, shade or any other form of comfort. But there are grand structures far off in the distance; miles apart from one another. You know them to be temples of agelong dedication and worship to their respected cosm. Each of them is guarded, and built with the utmost attention to its imposing nature. A frame and spell that alerts any unskilled wanderer that this is no place to enter without true dedication to the spells and knowledge required to traverse its interior.
Everything worth doing is regarded with such approbation by reckoning of its difficulty and mysticism by virgin eyes. To realize that you have -at least in some way- learned how to navigate the madness of that specific temple, demonstrates to you and all others that you have found boons within the desert of nothing. For the desert will only yield nothing if you believe it so. What we speak of now is the riddle of water-to-wine, and the tricks of the magician. What is magic to all others is a simple and second nature action to that of the sorcerer.
This has always been, and will never cease. We look to the dark and sheltered hovel of the early iron age blacksmith. It was said that he possessed magic powers. For he could turn the elements of the bog into shining blades of steel. None were permitted to enter his spellroom, and he has remained the essential :magician-engineer: to this very day. But this did not come to any who picked up a hammer, it required many scars, and a lifetime of darkness, and failed projects.
To all other wanderers of the desert, the temple that was traversed appeared absolutely impenetrable, or at the very least daunting enough to successfully ward off all who entertained the thought of passage. This is the threshold, and the internal prison man keeps himself within, where his only boons are nothing, and where he helps strengthen the threshold through fear and bitterness for those that have yet to pass over its ancient and furious nihilism.
The desert of nothing is a temple in-itself, and claims countless souls. But there are those who find their way out of even its ancient magic, and realize that they might populate it with something.
The temples house boons, plunder, ancient tools and powers. These schools of collective human success and failure are the fire and ice for the now that you live within. They are the wombs of history and myth, and the great providers of something more.
The temple is the gauntlet; the rocks that crush and the reeds that cut. They are equally the great libraries of thought, and experience, and they require more than one lifetime to fully understand. They are more than human, and they are more real than anything else; perhaps even the desert itself.
Is it no wonder why contemporary humans are drawn to adventure games? Adventures which require your avatar to enter temples of particular themes, and that require a culmination of skills and understanding of the geographical areas which surround them. We have seen this before.
Most puzzles and enemies within are impossible to defeat without certain fragments of knowledge and ancient tools suggested to have been used long before you discovered their existence.
This is all subconscious human metaphor, and the contemporary extension of human collective-myth. We constantly strive for avatars, and seek answers through worlds which are believed to be less real than our own. Yet in reality they have always been more real than anything we have been told by those who sing the collective hymn of emptiness as they travel the endless nothing and preach the gospel of their god, whose name is also nothing.
This magic is careful. This magic is calculated, and it is amassed by centuries of failure, and mystery generated by those who failed and returned with mouths full of bitter tails of loss. And thus the temples I speak of are propelled by the vast internal feeling of inferiority when the humble wanderer finds himself at their ancient gates.
But enter, and scars you will find. At the cost of blood and time, you will understand more than any who did not dare to enter the secrets of that particular temple of human experience.
The temples are wombs. They transform wanderers into Halithazi, and heroes alone sing the song of rebirth to worlds of nothing.