Sanctuary

Rand's Journal: Excerpt 1

On the war for the heart of the city

He’s not watching.

The incompetent shits in that cabal under Michael’s guidance did actually learn some things. Whether it’s true is another thing entirely, but based on what I’ve already learned, it makes sense.

They interrogated the angel Adnachiel. She spoke to me of the war for the city, between angels and demons, but I think there’s more to it. I think it’s a war between the gods themselves, old and new, and I think that Thales is a pawn in it.

She said, according to her interrogator, that the Gods live in the Void. Implied the Void isn’t good or evil — it’s got both in it, but the place itself is just the in-between, and the outside.

I saw it. The Void. Koroboros showed it to me. He knows I want to know more.

I need to ask the Other about it more when I can.

Adnachiel said that the Void is a force you cannot control. She said that the Gods are a force you cannot control. Angels are deliberate. From what I’ve read, they do not have the flexibility for that kind of deception. Are Gods and the Void linked somehow?

The Void snakes out and touches all of the realms it connects to. Like Gods.

If the only difference between the Gods and others that live in the Void is that they cannot be controlled by mortals, then what interest do they have in us at all? What stake?

And what does it mean to be controlled? Koroboros is not within my control, yet he trades information and power for favours easily. It is a brutal facsimile of a partnership, that we have. Yet I can deny him. Is that a form of the control Adnachiel spoke of?

The Other can take my body from me. I do not know if I could deny him if I had to; yet he is not a God, but is angelic. In what way can he be controlled?

I have seen Gods grant favours to the devout. They may be entreated, but not controlled, then? Could they be manipulated, or directed?

If the power of the Gods ebbs and flows, then by what moon does it do so? What directs their power? Is it faith, and the belief of humans? That may be why they are interested in our affairs. The affirmation of their power. That may be why Thales’ face went unhealed by his Vashanka after Adnachiel scarred it. She was shown by her foremost to be vulnerable, and fallible. Perhaps now that the city thinks us dead, she will be more forgiving.

And if it is faith and belief alone that informs the power of Gods, then I find myself curious about the reluctance of angels to bandy their names, and the eagerness of demons. The eagerness, in particular, of Koroboros. What is his game? Does he seek a higher seat than he has already? Perhaps of divinity for himself.

If there is a war for the heart of the city, between angels and demons, and gods, and humanity, then it is one that we must win for the good of everyone.

Thales thinks us dead. The city thinks us dead.

The city’s faith in him and Vashanka has redoubled. They think his victory has been restored to him.

We will have to show them otherwise.

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