The Price of Knowledge
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Blood has long been regarded as an important part of our rituals. Its powers and properties have been extensively studied by many famous priests. Among the first was the Holy Father Dichardu of Himay, who began his research in the First Cycle of Oyatl.

William did not enjoy his job as a history professor. In fact, he hated it. He hated the repetitiveness; the same lectures, over and over again, given to hundreds upon hundreds of bored, sleepy students every day. There was no hope of newness, of discovery or exploration. He wanted a change of pace, something that was not just about the Fur Trade or the Opium War or the Industrial Revolution. There had to be something more to discover, something that he had not yet stumbled upon.

And that was how William found himself in the University library, peering over mounds of history books, looking for new material to learn from. But there was little promise for him there. Pages and pages of useless, dreary information about useless, dreary events lay in front of him like dead leaves in the fall.

He knew that his passion for knowledge was borderline fanaticism. But he couldn't help that; it was who he was. Obtaining knowledge was exponentially more thrilling and satisfying than anything on Earth. It was better than all the sex, drugs, food, music, and art combined.

William would give everything for knowledge.

He gradually lost all sense of determination for his quest, and drifted away from the dry history books. Wandering between bookshelves, he let himself relax within the comforts of the library. The homely, snug atmosphere eased his mind, and allowed him to forget his troubles.

He found the nondescript black book tucked away in a forgotten corner of the shelf, sandwiched between a dusty copy of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey and a moldy Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.

William groaned. If it had been abandoned here, it must be just as horrible as its neighbours. He took it off the shelf anyways. Who knows? He might be able to get a cheap laugh out of it.

Tucking it under his arm, he went back to looking through the shelves.

And on the Fortieth Length of the Great Siege, Alkri led fourscore of his finest warriors and crept into the city through a secret passage that had been dug underneath the walls. Slaughtering the slumbering sentinels, Alkri opened the gates of Julabin and let his Black Horde into the city. For three Lengths and three Sets, Alkri and his men pillaged and raped and burned, until the mighty Julabins were no more. Thus the Great Siege ended, and Alkri once again led our people to glory.

William slowly lowered the book with trembling hands onto his desk. His face was pale from the lack of sleep and nutrition, and with some difficulty he clamped his tired eyes shut. But even as he saw nothing but darkness, he could still picture the words floating around in his mind.

Creaking out of his armchair, William checked his digital clock. 6:30am, September 21. He had been reading nonstop for the past 60 hours. He needed something to drink. Something strong. William went to go look for vodka.

"Yes sir, her condition is stable now….no, I'm leaving for London tonight…yes, of course…thank you, goodbye."

He hung up the phone. With a heavy sigh, William slowly creaked back to his armchair. He hated lying, but he couldn't go to work. Not when he still had to finish the book. Who cared about English or French or German history when there was still so much to learn about the Daevites? He had read through hundreds, thousands of pages already, but it seemed like he had only just scratched the surface. There was still more to know, more to discover.

Yunoc's banner was designed by Hrusga of Guinen. It depicts three Irun lions guarding the Spear of Uin, with a background of indigo and vermilion. The lions represent strength, courage, and charisma, of which the House of Yunoc possesses in surplus. The Spear of Uin represents Guinen, a city of impressive influence and might from which Yunoc hails. Lastly, the indigo and vermilion background represents Yunoc's respectable profession as a warrior-chanter.

Flip. Page 1877. He kept reading.

He was losing weight. Too much weight, in fact. William had not been a skinny man. But now, he barely pushed a hundred pounds. He didn't care, though. The Daevites were waiting.

The Divine Father then blessed all who knelt before him, and declared, "True sons of Iloquim, you are the Chosen. You are the Blessed. We shall defeat the unbelievers, and take back our Holy City!" And so in the Third Cycle of Kiluya, thirty thousand heroes of Ambuil marched for the unbelievers at Orpija, to reclaim the City of Worms.

Flip. Page 3630. He kept reading.

William hated to leave his study. That would mean leaving the Chronicle, and he hated even the thought of that. But he had to eat. Steeling himself, he dashed to the kitchen.

William finished the hastily-made sandwich as fast as he could, and then rushed back to the book. With crumbs clinging to the sides of his mouth, he eagerly picked it up again.

The Urimbja Ritual is an extremely important tradition, dating back to the time of our King the Okalyt. The Urimbja begins as the Sun climbs over the horizon on the Sixth Length of Yatzel, when the villages still slumber and the cities still dream. This is the time for boys to become men. Those who are of 12 Cycles rise with the Sun, and travel, by foot, to the great Numbik Sea. There, they are to wash in her waters until the Sun touches the great Inu Peaks.

Flip. Page 5936. He kept reading.

William no longer knew the time of day. Was it June? Or August? He didn't care. The smell of the leftovers and dirty dishes piled all around him went unnoticed. Drinking water had become something mechanical: lift the bottle, tilt, swallow, put it back down. His eyes never left the pages.

The women wake before the men, and collect the grain in baskets before heading out to the pens. They water and feed the fowl and hogs and cattle, before attending to the crops. One Turn after the rising Sun, men of the village are roused, and break their fast at the head of the table, joined by the elders, wives, daughters, and sons of the settlement. Then, the men carry their axes and hatchets to the forests, where they cut down pine for fires and elm for the home.

Flip. Page 7851. He kept reading.

William flipped to the next page when he heard a groan above him. Just as he tilted his head up, the water pipe broke, and the liquid spewed into his study.

"No no no NO NO! FUCK."

Frantically, William shielded the book from the water with his body, and raced out of the house. Where could he go? The library? They'd kick him out if they saw him. That's it! His office at the University! William ran, bony legs bending and buckling.

He locked the door and slumped into an uncomfortable chair. But he couldn't feel a thing now. Checking to make sure he had not damaged the book, he continued reading.

Sqelinof was talented from birth. He composed his first melody at 3 Cycles, and his first chant at 5 Cycles. His father did not cut down enough trees for the slates that Sqelinof worked with, so he would inscribe on all the surfaces that he could find. This included the village gate, the garden stones, and the inner walls.

Flip. Page 11,214. He kept reading.

Huik is a small village near the mouth of the Jhefgim River. It was first settled by Linj of Alkrin, in the Eighteenth Cycle of Niklezt. Its nearest city is Proctitu, which grants Huik the right to clear the woods, work the land, and fish the waters of the Jhefgim. In return, Huik is to pay tribute every sixty Lengths, in the form of fifty markeqs of crop and twenty markeqs of cod and trout.

Flip. And then there were no more pages. That wasn't right. It was still unfinished, still more to know! William tore through the book, flipping frantically for undiscovered passages. But there weren't any. He felt tears blurring his vision. No, this couldn't be! There was more. There had to be. More! More! More!

His finger slid over the edge of the page, and a drop of blood fell onto the book. William dropped the volume, shocked and horrified at the possible damage that he had inflicted upon it. Quickly picking it up from the ground, he tried to find the page he had bloodied. But to his surprise, he found instead an unread section.

William was delighted. Just as he was about to settle into the chair again, however, a thought crept into his fuzzy conscience. Blood. He had bled, and the book had given him more to discover. This was too good to be true. Was blood all it took to unlock the secrets of the chronicle? He had to find out if it was so.

Gnihal of Quirtu is commonly credited with the invention of the Enlarger, a device that is now commonplace throughout our cities. The Enlarger is a long hollow rock-tube, with disks of Eilu ice that magnify any object the user wishes to view. However, some claim that it was in fact invented 200 Cycles before Gnihal, by a Lupanion priest named Zikail.

Flip. Page 24,760. And that was it. The back cover greeted William's eyes, like a nemesis that he dreaded to meet again. Fumbling for the knife on his desk, William impatiently opened up the old wound on his finger, dribbling his blood onto the pages. And then he kept reading.

William decided not to use his own blood anymore. He could feel himself become weaker every time he cut himself. And he did not want to die. If he did, there would be no more opportunities, no more chances to obtain more knowledge. But he needed blood for the book. Where could he get more blood? The butcher shop? Then William remembered. The Dean's dog, what was it's name? Alto, that was it. It was a stupid little dog. No one would miss it.

William slipped the knife into his coat pocket, and then stepped out of the office, into the deserted hallway.

William was terribly happy. The University was a haven; there was an endless supply of blood for him to use. He would never have to stop reading!

And thus Bjukva claimed, "No warrior shall beat me, no chanter shall sway me, and no maiden shall seduce me! I have been blessed by Thulicn, and my fortitude is strong!" And so as Bjukva challenged those around him, Kilar drew his blade and declared Bjukva a liar. Kilar then beheaded him with one swipe, and tossed Bjukva's head into the swamp.

Flip. He had reached the end. He cursed himself, and then glared with contempt at the vessel that lay on its side by the corner of the room. It hadn't given a lot of blood, even though it had been quite tall for its age. He had to go collecting again.

William slipped the knife into his coat pocket and stepped out of the dormitory. The larger the vessel, the better.

We, as Daevites, are the supreme race. No other can match our glory. Our culture shall be spread by the sword and the spear and the holy chant. We are the Daevites. We are absolute.

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