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 Virtues, Ascension, Divine Humanism, a balance between Light and Shadow (Important information, please read)

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Favius Daark
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Join date : 2009-06-15
Location : England

PostSubject: Virtues, Ascension, Divine Humanism, a balance between Light and Shadow (Important information, please read)   Wed Jun 17, 2009 1:17 pm

The Cult of Shadow practices the three virtues as preached by The Forgotten Shadow: respect, tenacity, and power.

Respect
The universe is the physical manifestation of other's wills. Thus, for a person to denigrate the universe is to ignore the personal power of those around them. This is not only disrespectful, it is dangerous. A follower of the Forgotten Shadow must develop his personal power in order to exert his will on the universe, but seeking too much power too quickly puts him in conflict with other, stronger beings. Only a foolish follower seeks to challenge his superiors right away. Showing respect ensures a measure of self-protection.

Tenacity
Followers of the Forgotten Shadow put even greater stock in the virtue of tenacity. It may at first seem impossible for a person to change the universe when countless others seeking to do the same surround him. Through unwavering perseverance and tenacity though, they may triumph.

Power
Power is the third virtue of the Forgotten Shadow, and the most difficult to attain. A Forsaken who grabs greedily for power might encounter power too great for him or her to handle, and die in their attempt to master it. A Forsaken who succumbs to despair and seeks no personal power has no reason to exist; he craves nothing, desires nothing, he sits alone and pines for his old life. To the cult, Forsaken who do not seek to better themselves might as well still be part of the Scourge. The quest for power requires caution, forethought, and a subtle touch.

Other Virtues
Some branches of the Forgotten Shadow consider death to be a fourth virtue; most consider it sub-virtue of power. Additionally some members of the Forgotten Shadow still show a limited yet twisted version of the virtue of Compassion (one of the Holy Light's main virtues).

Death
A Forsaken reaches the pinnacle of power when he masters death itself, transcends it. This power over death requires the same delicate touch of any other power. A Forsaken must not kill indiscriminately, nor can he withhold death from the weak. To kill wantonly escalates the Forsaken's risk of encountering power too great for him to overcome. It also robs him of his strength; a Forsaken who spends all day slaying wildlife and human peasants might exhaust his power, and be left defenseless when a true threat arises. Likewise, a Forsaken who shows mercy to the weak and forgoes regular exercise of his power may gain a reputation for weakness himself. This draws predators and offends the cult. He must always preserve a balance.

Compassion
Despite their mercenary outlook, the cult possesses a streak of compassion. The living world fears and shuns the living dead, and who can blame them? The cult understands the plight of the Forsaken and wishes to ease their burden if only a little. This compassion tempers even the most heartless priest - though compassion is limited to the Forsaken.

Ascension
The ultimate goal of practitioners of the Forgotten Shadow is to ascend. Ascension occurs once a person achieves complete control over his/herself and the power to transcend death. A Forsaken who ascends becomes invulnerable, invincible and eternal. In essence, he/she becomes a god.

The Cult of Forgotten Shadow teaches that the Forsaken of Azeroth were too weak to ascend. Their undead state is a curse brought on by that weakness. Once the Forsaken learn to master themselves and control the world around them, they shake off that curse and become what they always should have been. Those on the path to ascension often become shadow ascendants.

Divine Humanism
Instead of seeing both a self and a universe and seeking to create a bond between them through compassion, the Forgotten Shadow preaches a much more self-oriented idea. Priests preach that the self has power over the universe, and the universe revolves around the self. They preach that if an undead was powerful enough to rise from the grave on their own freewill, and become sentient, the undead may strengthen himself by increasing his control of the world around him, thus becoming more godlike. Many priests dub this concept "divine humanism".

Divine humanism is the concept that the self shapes the universe. In essence, each sentient creature in the world is a tiny god, able to exert her will to manifest small changes in the universe. A minor example of divine humanism might be something as simple as mood. The Holy Light teaches that to be happy, one must work to better the universe, and the effort of reflecting joy back through the universal bond spreads happiness. However, divine humanism notes that an angry individual who shows his/her rage triggers anger in those around him/her. She does not change some insubstantial universe "out there" - he/she makes a choice and others sense the strength of her emotions and change themselves. In short, the Holy Light teaches that by changing the universe, you change those around you. The Forgotten shadow teaches that by using your power, you can change those around you and change the universe. Power is key, not some mythical bond.

Balance between Light and Shadow
While the undead can no longer use the Holy Light, and have learned how to use the Shadow, they also preach that there must be a balance between Light and Shadow, and that they must learn the Light as well, but never forget they were born from the Shadow.
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