A Pathetic Attempt to Explain Fifthism
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rating: +16+x

Dearest readers I have to admit defeat.

I do not know what Fifthism is. I do not know how it operates. The best I can do is present the information I have worn my talons to the bone to uncover and ask that you do your best to draw your own conclusions on the matter.

Here’s what we know. The first possible reference to Fifthism appears in our records approximately 8,500 years ago in a far flung spiral arm of the Andromeda Galaxy. A cult appeared among a forgotten sapient species worshiping the very concept of the number five.

Accounts of this cult’s practices are deeply inconsistent, but themes of bodily joining were prevalent, as was the dogma of “becoming eyes for the great watcher”.

Around 8,305 years ago, the spiral arm of the Andromeda Galaxy where this worship took place mysteriously vanished, along with four others. The fact that five spiral arms disappeared is not lost on me, but I have no solid information linking these events. It is reasonable to infer Fifthism was responsible for this tragedy, but I cannot say for certain.

It

Is

Utterly

Ridiculously

Infuriating!

6,315 years ago, a civilization on the planet Pech (which my research has indicated likely orbited Barnard’s Star at some point in its dimension) began constructing large five armed monuments with carved eyes all along them.

Unlike the lost civilization from Andromeda, Pech was fortunate enough to have a connection to the Ways, and thus the Wanderer’s Library. Meaning we got our first glimpses of the practices associated with Fifthism. These included:

1) The erection of structures formed from sapient flesh referred to as kahlechsk.
2) The worship of the number five and the formation of communities seeking to spread this number’s gospel.
3) The creation of a high priest and/or prophet known as the "Tsar of Cold"
4) The depiction of five limbed Entities in carvings
5) The Worship of five great gods

The Wandsmen of the time monitored this situation, but were hesitant to interfere directly. They believed the Fifthists were Nalkans, and at that time the Raptors were a shadow of their current self. As the Wandsmen lacked the firepower to handle even a proxy conflict with the Fleshcrafters, the Editors simply decided to inform the Ortothans and Mekhanites of the situation.

The Ortothan and Mekhanite forces at first appeared completely successful in purging the Fifthists from Pech (and Pech itself from the planetary system, much to the Editors’ chagrin), but their victory was short lived. It is unknown whether Pech was a conscious plan by some outside force to spread Fifthism to the multiverse at large or if the seeds of the meme being planted in the minds of the Ortothan and Mechanite expeditionary force was simply an accident.

Whether intentional or not, the minds of every soldier who visited that destroyed world had the number five burned into it. And they spread their story far and wide.

Over the next several millennia, Fifthist sects appeared all over the multiverse. The very office I’m writing this from has suffered from four Fifthist infections in the past. I could trace many of these infections to contact with Ortothan or Mekhanite officials, but not all.

Whatever this is, it is spreading.

Along with this spread come tales of the Five Terrors. I have not been able to come up with any solid information about them aside from the fact that the fourth one uses female pronouns. No living soul has been able to tell me anything else. And the dead souls were all far beyond my reach.

My hypotheses on the source of… shall we say the “phenomenon” of Fifthism fall into five two categories.

The “Divinity” Hypothesis is that an extra-extradimensional entity (entities?) of great power is trying to slip into our reality and Fifthism is this entity’s attempt to wrest control of this reality from the powers that currently lay claim to it.

This hypothesis is oddly comforting to me. Dark gods are terrible indeed, but we already have many of those who lay claim to the multiverse. They will not give up their claims to the Five Terrors without a fight.

Who will win and whether anyone will survive the crossfire… Well, let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

The “Parasite” Hypothesis of Fifthism is that we are experiencing the formation of a new memetic entity that is growing in power by feeding on the very fabric of our reality.

This hypothesis implies it would be possible to stop Fifthism from reaching many other realities by purging the realities it has infected. I only pray that something of this reality could be saved if such a thing were to be deemed necessary.

I’m afraid that that’s all I have. And all I can leave to you dear readers. My time is up.

When I showered this morning, I noted five feathers in my drain.

As I type this article, I note that I’ve placed five paper clips on my desk.

I know what this means. I can only thank the power of the truth and my Wandsman constitution that I’ve lasted this long.

I pray I’ve given you enough. And I’ve made arrangements to prevent myself from spreading this madness further.

If you see me after reading this, please find some way to put me out of my misery if it is even reasonably safe to do so.

I send love to my family, my friends, my colleagues, and most of all to you my dear readers. I beg you to use my words wisely, and to keep up the good fight.

Goodbye.

-The Fifth Wandsman of Chelon

Originally published in the Wandsmen's Gazette on 9-12-2021

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