Editorials

The Vabbian Guide to Awakening

Elonians! We know the transitional nature of death. Honoured are the ones who have felt the grace of our king, for whom death became nothing more than a few days sleep. We call them Awakened. From joining their immortal ranks to the numerous vocational opportunities, this essential guide covers everything you need to know about Awakening.

Before we start, you must remember the importance of your mortal life. It is easy to set your eyes on the glory of Awakening and see nothing else than the dream of serving our resplendent God-King in his great army. A beautiful vision, and one that will not be realised if you are idle. You will not be Awakened if you are weak in body or mind, nor will you if your devotion to His Magnificence is questioned. Let your life be preparation for a greater one.

One who understands the importance of such preparation is Okoro, who spends his time around the Garden of Sebhorin when he is not training. Heed his words as he speaks of his lifelong dream:

“I’ve been training my entire life to be strong enough for the Awakened army. I want to be prepared when the time comes and leave an example for my children. Life in the garden makes us too soft. When the time comes to serve Joko as an Awakened, I want to be ready. I also want to make sure my sons are prepared for the coming battle.

I’m afraid my eldest, Ishme, lacks discipline and believes he can get by without practice. He’s talented but thinks talent alone will keep him safe.

My second eldest, Retha, has always had an affinity for books. He often trains his mind rather than his body. His efforts are admirable, but he must be well-rounded to be a good candidate for Joko’s army.

My youngest son, Okan, sees the value of strength and trains tirelessly to overcome hurdles before anyone else. He is sure to be accepted into the Mordant Crescent. He sets a fine example to his elder brothers.”

May all Elonian youths kneel to the wisdom of their elders. We must take particular note of Okoro’s advice to Retha: the Awakened army needs well-rounded individuals, so respect both your studies and your training as you strive to better yourself. If this intimidates you, peace. You have a lifetime.

Once death has befallen you, your relatives will bring you to the Court of the Dead, situated in The Necropolis. It is here you will be judged. Your family and friends will put to the court a case for why you should be Awakened, heard by judges appointed by our honourable leader and vested with his authority.*

Consider preparing your friends and family for this important event. A common mistake is leaving the backbone of their argument be how much you want to be Awakened. Every true Elonian wants the gift of immortality to fight forever beside the titanic Palawa Joko, slayer of Gods and Elder Dragons, so what sets you apart? Prepare.

Your family and friends will not be the only ones present at the court. Other members of your community will be invited to also weigh the value of your life and may even make a case against your Awakening. Rest assured that everything will be taken into consideration.

You will be blind and deaf to these proceedings, but be worthy, and your eyes will open to a new life. Your physiology would have changed. Awakened embalmers will have removed unnecessary organs, such as the lungs, intestines, liver and stomach. This makes room for that esoteric tar, gifted to us by our most benevolent leader, which preserves and empowers you. Your new strength will be such that you can even stand in the sulphurous environs of The Desolation without being harmed.

We are proud to say that our public embalming service has stood the test of time since its inception and is perpetually improving its craft. Here is some recent praise coming from Vabbians:

“The embalmers have been in rare form these past few weeks.”

“Quality craftsmanship. I’ve hardly seen better stitching from my tailor.”

You are free to watch the embalmers yourself at their building in The Necropolis.

Solid craftsmanship is needed in the fight against Elona’s enemies. Branded abominations encroach upon Vabbi from the east, while rebel forces plot to destabilise our prosperous kingdom. Now a false god sends soulless armor to attack our families. Your living descendants depend on Awakened protection. Will you protect them? Do you have what it takes to fight for your king and the glory of Elona?

Glory be to the one who serves in the army of King Palawa Joko, Eternal Monarch of All. Supreme Training Specialist Tozan, situated in the south-west region of The Necropolis, will be the first to mold you in your career. Under him you can expect to undertake strength exercises and learn rudimentary battle formations.

Once trained, you will likely be stationed at one of the garrisons situated within our glorious kingdom. From here your duty is to protect the surrounding settlements. You may be given work near your loved ones as you act as a guard within their village or palace, or perhaps you will be stationed to protect the bright young minds of the Vehtendi Academy. Would you like to see the world? There are several opportunities to travel outside of Elona, as near as the City of Amnoon and as far as Central Tyria, to enforce King Joko’s divine will.

While all forms of Awakened are to be respected, they are not equal. Those who thirst for more strength, so that they may better serve our glorious leader, can partake in rituals of empowerment.

Three shrines near The Necropolis have been built for this purpose, each near large pools of tar. Submerge yourself to begin the process. You will rise with your physiology changed once again and with a greater capacity to fight for the most victorious general in history, King Palawa Joko.

Will you be one to ascend beyond the Awakened Mummy form? You may end up working with the brute power of the Awakened Soldier or the arcane abilities of the Awakened Occultist. Will you master the speed, strength and stealth of the Awakened Canid?

You might even prove worthy of being enhanced in size and strength many times beyond that of mortals, and join the ranks of those the enemies of Elona call “Abominations”. Wear their fear and hatred as a mark of pride. It will be well earned through your efficiency in crushing the foul schemes of those who seek to destroy our great nation.

Every year, there are Awakened who realise they are not cut out for military life. If this happens to you, do not worry. Battle may not be for you, but there are other important roles you can fulfill. Your superior undead body is useful for more than violence.

In the Bonestrand lies the farming village of Purity, where the Awakened and the living work together to feed our empire. We must honour these tireless workers, whose labour prevents famine that would cripple the domains of Vabbi and Kourna. Praise be to our marvellous leader and his divine mercy.

The Vehjin Mines use Awakened workers to mine metal for the empire. Not only does this provide metal for weapons and armor to protect our people, but also for tools and art, the staples of civilisation.

It’s here in the mines we find another example of the virtue desired of Awakened subjects. It comes from an Awakened miner, Tooraj, who was found injured after surviving an attack from Elona’s despicable enemies. Though his wounds were severe, his first thought was of the safety of the nearby living.

“When Forged first came, many servants were slain. I fear for the palace, want to help.”

Let Tooraj’s selfless words be a reminder to why we love the Awakened and what we strive for in ourselves.

Perhaps you are a more scholarly type? There are opportunities for Awakened to work at the Vehtendi Academy in roles other than guard duty. For example, several of the Headmaster’s assistants are Awakened Mummies.

That is not to say all Awakened at the Academy are servants. Master Tahiq and Mistress Azmera are the heads of Houses Ventura and Rolic, respectively. It is fair to assume Master Utku of House Ingene will join them as Awakened upon his death.

Are you an artist? Art is a fine way to express your undying devotion to the radiant King Palawa Joko. The Lyssan Fools acting troupe performs at the Garden of Seborhin; only an Awakened could possibly hope to play our supreme leader while enacting his victory over the tyrant, Turai Ossa.

If you are not an artist yourself, but possess a cultured eye, consider a job as an art inspector. The current art inspector of the Vehjin Palace even holds a Canid form.

Being Awakened is a blessing beyond what we mortals deserve. Every morning you are Awakened, remind yourself, “Without the mercy of His Glorious Majesty Palawa Joko, I would be dead.” Etch those words deep and let them empower your dedication. Show your gratitude to the mightiest monarch with the perfection of your service. Praise Joko, the Saviour of Vabbi.

*At the time of writing this guide, outlander criminals have been seen meddling with Elonian court affairs. If you see any such outlander in court, report them to a nearby Awakened immediately.

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